Tent Terms 101

Tents are an event staple but understanding the lingo and the logistics that goes into building a structure can become complicated. We have broken down the most frequently used tent terms so you can become a tent professional.

Swoops (gullies)

The gully is the low point between two peaks. From the interior, it is the space between center poles.


The highest point of the tent. For a tension tent, the peak is supported by the center pole. The peak of a sailcloth tent can have a flag on it.

Pennants & Flags

Attached to the tops of the center poles on Century or Sailcloth Tents, adding a final touch to your tent that streams eloquently through the air. Custom color pennants and flags are available.


A valance is the finished trim at the eave of a tent and is either straight or scalloped.

Block-out Material

The upgraded fabric that is used on tension, Frame and Structure tents. Block-out fabric is coated and opaque, keeping the sun out and heating or cooling in.

Translucent Fabric

Sailcloth fabric is translucent, which lets some sunlight to shine through the fabric, and lighting to “pop” outside of the fabric so that the translucent top glows when lit in the evening.


When the fabric is run through a channel in the frame, creating stronger, faster installations and better protection from the elements.


The windspeed the tent can withstand while maintaining structural integrity. Each tent has a different wind rating of up to 115 mph.

Flame Retardant Material

As a requirement of IBC, all tent fabric must be made of flame-retardant material. This material is also non-combustible.

Hanging Load

The amount of weight you can hang from the beams inside the tent (i.e. suspended lighting).

Ground Bars

Steel Rods that are integrated into the sidewall system to keep the wall more rigid.

Beam Clamps

Hardware that allows PEAK and/or other vendors to safely rig from the frame of a tent. (Please speak to sales rep about maximum hanging loads of specific tents and associated beam clamps.)


Traditional means of securing a tent to avoid lift and shear in wind; most stakes are 42 inches.

Ballast Weight System

Concrete blocks specifically designed for tents. Allows for tent installation without piercing the ground that the tent will be set on while adhering to manufacturers guidelines. Have the ability to cover.


A permanent tie down system best suited for semi-permanent and long-term installations or sites where repeated installations will occur. Various options are available.

Tent Doors

Allow for heat retention and wind shield and add a more finished look to any tent. PEAK has doors for all tent styles and customized sidewall enclosures for any application.


Extension of tent that allows for expanded space without connecting two tents together, eliminating custom rain guttering. Dormers create a smooth fabric transition across the top, making it feel like you’re in one tent versus two connected tents.


End of a tent flatten versus pitch. Gables maximize tight spaces. These are essential to use in the winter with a stronger frame. Gables are also a great way to add unique, polished look to your tent.

Sailcloth Tent

With the signature flags at the top, these nautical-inspired tents feature soaring peaks and are made of genuine translucent sailcloth material. The soft, rounded ends and wooden poles create an open and airy space.

Century Tent

These premium tents feature majestic peaks and plunging lines that create a striking effect. Century Tents can be used for a multitude of events, everything from a wedding to a corporate function.

Frame Tent

Great for festival setups and road races, Frame Tents allow for quick installation and multiple configurations. Available in unique sizes with the ability to be weighted or staked, Frame Tents offer tent solutions for all types of areas.

Structure Tent

These clean, modern tents provide a blank slate for any event design. Available in our custom-made clear tops and with the option of glass walls and doors, Structure Tents can elevate any event. These engineered tents provide a clear, open floor plan with no center poles and with unique configurations available that can service any size event.

Canopy Tent

Canopy Tents can offer protection from a rainy day or an overly sunny one. You can also use our canopy tents to create an entrance into your event.

Hybrid Frame Tent

A hybrid frame tent is between a standard frame tent and a structure tent.