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built alaska tough

The Alaskan Nomad Shelter yurt has many features that you'll only find here. Beyond the overall quality of construction, the following distinctions make a Nomad Shelter yurt stronger and more durable than any other yurts available.  We have to build them this tough to handle the wind and snow here in Alaska!

Cover

In Alaska, we face tough weather conditions year round. Only the toughest material can match our tough frame. We offer an industry-leading 15 year manufacturer warranty because our covers are made exclusively of tough Duro-Last roofing membrane with a welded roof seam. Duro-Last will not mildew, degrade with UV, or sustain a flame.

No skimping on the walls with a lighter, less fire resistant fabric! Our walls and roof are both made of the same tough, durable Duro-Last material. For the manufacturer's Duro-Last product information, click here.

Duro-Last comes in five color options: Terra Cotta, Tan, Dark Gray, Light Gray, and White.  Our Terra Cotta color is available in 50 mil thickness.  All other colors are 40 mil (28 oz) thickness.

If you are shopping yurts, pay close attention to cover material. If your yurt will be set up full time, only Duro-last will stay leak proof with unfaded colors the way your yurt deserves.

Lattice and tension cable

The Nomad Shelter lattice wall is a key structural element to our yurts. We use larger dimensions for our lattice and tension cables than most commercial yurts, to make ours strong enough to handle wind and snow The Nomad Shelter lattice is structurally engineered to support up to 60 lbs per square foot snow loads and 100 mph wind resistance.

The wall lattice on a Nomad Shelter yurt is made of white spruce or Douglas fir riveted with 1/4 inch aluminum rivets. Finished dimensions of our lattice is 7/8″x1 1/2 for all yurt sizes except our smallest.  Our 12 and 14 foot yurts use 3/4" thick lattice to allow the lattice to bend around the smaller curve. The top of the lattice wall is fastened with bolts for strength in bearing the tension cable.

Our steel tension cable is placed along the top of the lattice, safely dispersing the load from the rafters to the lattice. Our cables are much higher strength than industry standards:

  • 12-20 foot yurts: 1/4" steel cable

  • 24 foot yurts: 3/8" steel cable

  • 30 foot yurts: 7/16" steel cable

  • 34 foot yurts: 1/2" steel cable

  • 40-50 foot yurts: 5/8" steel cable (double cable for 50' yurts)

Rafters

Nomad Shelter rafters use wood-on-wood mortise and tenon joinery to connect to the central compression ring. The end of our rafters are designed to insert directly into matching pockets on the compression ring. 

Our mortise and tenon joinery prevents torsion or twist in the frame, giving the connection far greater strength than the more common metal bracket or pin design.. The rafters do not need to have holes drilled to secure brackets or insert pins.

Being able to simply slot the rafters into place also makes for a quick setup. Rafters are all hand-finished to bring out the natural grain of the wood. We are currently using Douglas fir for all our yurt sizes to maximize strength.

Rings

Nomad Shelter central compression rings are thicker and wider than industry standard. The extra strength of this design allows for improved wind and snow load. 

Bonus!  Our larger central skylight brightens the interior of your yurt during the day and shows off the stars at night.

  • 12-16 foot yurts: 4' ring, 3 layers. 4 1/2" thick

  • 18-20 foot yurts: 5' ring, 2 layers. 6 1/4" thick

  • 24 foot yurts: 6' ring, 2 layers. 6 1/4" thick

  • 30 foot yurts: 6' ring, 3 layers. 9 3/8" thick

  • 34 foot yurts: 8' ring, 3 layers.  9 3/8" thick

  • 40 foot yurts: 8' ring, 3 layers.  11 1/2" thick

  • 50 foot yurts: 10' ring, 3 layers.  11 1/2" thick

These robustly engineered rings ensure the compression from the rafter connection translates into an incredibly strong roof, while also serving as a beautiful design feature.

Doors and windows

 When it comes to letting in natural light, our yurts truly shine. We offer the largest range of frame sizes and configurations on the market, and will work with you to bring your unique design to life. You can mix and match door and window frames with polyvinyl window panels almost anywhere around the yurt perimeter, and hard frames can also be bolted together side by side. Every frame runs the full height of the yurt.

 

We've found it is more economical (and reduces our carbon footprint) for you to source your own doors and glass windows locally. We offer full support and guides for various installations, which can be done yourself or by a local contractor. Our wide range of frame options means a perfect fit for your choice of doors and glass windows, which can be fit snug with additional interior framing if necessary. 

Polyvinyl window panels are our base option. They are all 48"x40" and attach from the outside with industrial grade Velcro. They include a sewn-in bug screen and zippered Duro-last storm cover that can be rolled up and buckled tight. If you choose an insulation package, your window panels will also come with insulation inserts.

 

Nomad Shelter hard frames are specially crafted for each yurt from select Douglas fir for a beautiful grain and excellent dimensional strength. Yurts 16' or smaller have 9" wide face boards along the door, while yurts 18' and larger have 11" face boards. Yurts with 8' walls also include a header board above each frame, which adds extra structural support and shows off even more beautifully finished wood. If you opt for a 6' wall on our smallest sizes, you also have the option of a custom-made cedar door. 

Door Frame Widths (rough opening): 32", 36", 60", and 72"

 

Window Frame Widths (rough opening): 24", 30", 32", 36", 40", 48", 60", and 64" 

 

For guides and more information on windowpane installation and other hard frame considerations, please see our FAQ