Marilyn Moss’ New Book Explores the Creative Genius of Tent Pioneer of Bill Moss

The Bill Moss Story from Driftwater Productions on Vimeo.

Modern camping tent designs owe much to the creative mind and technical ingenuity of 20th century fabric designer and artist Bill Moss. In 1955, Moss was frustrated with the bulky, smelly, hard-to-assemble camp tents of the day. Inspired by nature’s versatile and remarkably efficient designs, Moss fashioned the now-legendary dome “Pop Tent,” redefining tent architecture, and with it, life in the outdoors—gaining a cult following along the way.

In 2001, MSR revived our tent line, and many models were directly influenced by Bill’s designs. In fact, the MSR Fury and Zing are direct descendants of two of Moss’ original tents. Terry Breaux, MSR’s tent designer, worked for Moss Tent Works for 5 years and joined our team through a relationship between the brands.

“Bill brought a sense of style and design to tents,” says Terry. “He was always influenced by nature and worked to incorporate nature’s curves and solutions into his tents. The tents he developed were strong, efficient and beautiful.”

MSR engineering still adheres to many of the design philosophies that Bill Moss promoted. These include well-proportioned, simple shapes with precise detailing. “Most of which comes from looking at nature,” Terry says. “Shells, tree limbs, etc., are inherently simple, efficient and beautifully proportioned. We try and attain those attributes in our tents.”

Bill’s former wife and business partner, Marilyn Moss, recently released a book, Bill Moss: Fabric Artist & Designer, in which she chronicles his life and legacy. This video introduction offers historical images of Bill and his early designs, while Marilyn relates “the story behind the shelter revolution he ignited.”