Rainier Yurts is now Rainier Outdoor. Ready for Adventure!
R Is For Raven

You would not believe how many phone calls we get per day where the caller starts with, “well, this might be a stupid question, but…”

Hey, we get it! This is not something they taught you in school; there are no stupid questions. Knowing that some of the terms used in the yurt world are unique to the industry, my goal is to get information to you while you are researching. The Rainier Yurt Blog has been a huge tool in doing that. Also, I have been plutting together an A to Z glossary of yurt terms and information.

The glossary will be helpful as you plan for your yurt purchase, have questions about the platform, the materials used, and how long the build will take. You can find the full glossary here.

Here's an excerpt. For those of you who remember Sesame Street: “today is brought to you by the letter R!” which stands for Raven, and also “rugged,” which our Raven model yurt definitely is!


Radiant Barrier Foil

Insulation used in modern yurts consisting of one or two layers of thin bubble wrap (1/4” clear polyethylene foam) laminated with reflective foil on either side. Developed by NASA, Low-e insulation is very effective in keeping the yurt cool in the summer and warm in the winter (with a consistent heat source.) Refer to blog post: Yurt Insulation.

Radial Roof Design

Exclusive to the Eagle model yurt, the roof is cut into triangular sections and then RF welded (using radio frequency weld technology) into the right shape and pitch of the roof. This manufacturing technique eliminates the need to sew on the drip edge valance, thus avoiding the possibility of seam failure, leakage, and rotting stitches. The radial roof design fits like a contoured woman’s blouse, whereas the other method (tiling up flat panel widths) fits like a baggy sweatshirt.

Radio Frequency (RF) Fabric Weld

The process by which electromagnetic energy is used to permanently bond thermoplastic materials together. The RF Welding process uses radio frequency energy to produce molecular agitation in thermoplastic materials (the yurt roof, side walls, and the cottage rain fly) such that they “melt” and flow together, forming a bond that is as strong as the original materials. During welding, components are clamped under pressure between machined electrodes. A magnetic field is generated between the electrodes, passing through the components, fusing the material together. This is how we avoid sewing on the outer skins (roof and side wall) of the yurt. Sewing creates holes for water to penetrate and for thread to rot.


Rainier only uses hand-selected Machine Stress Rated (MSR) Douglas Fir in our rafters with a 2,400 rating in bending stress – 40% stronger than standard fir (used by the competition with a 2,100 lbs per square inch rating.) No other yurt will stand up to the snow and wind conditions like a Rainier Yurt! We refine the rafter selection process with a visual inspection, allowing only select structural or better to be used in our yurt rafters. Douglas fir is chosen for its superior strength to weight ratio and its dimensional stability. It’s documented to have superior performance in actual use against strong winds, storms, and earthquakes. All of our wood is clear mixed grain, kiln dried (seasoned in a heated chamber) to bring the product to a pre-determined moisture content, and a stable dimension, sanded smooth and finished with natural Brazilian Rosewood Oil.

The size of the yurt is the primary factor in determining the number of rafters you will have and the overall length of each rafter.

Yurt size 16’ 18’ 21’ 24’ 27’ 30’ 33’
Number of rafters 26 30 34 40 44 50 54
Approx. length of rafter
(rounded up or down to the next half-foot)
7' 8’-6” 9’-6” 11’-6” 13' 15' 16’-6"

Rain Diverter

Sometimes called a “cricket”, a small V-shaped flap of roof vinyl on the roof over the door to divert rain water from falling directly at the door threshold. You can add these to secondary doors and windows as necessary.

Rainier History

For over a century, Rainier has provided quality fabric and shelter products at a fair price to satisfied customers around the world. Rainier Industries, Ltd. (previously known as Puget Sound Tent & Awning) was established in 1896, during the Alaska gold rush, specializing in tents, custom fabric products and awnings for a growing Seattle. Our creative skills and production expertise make us the Nation’s largest, and oldest leading yurt, tent, awning and industrial fabric firm. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities combined with our fabric and frame expertise give us the ability to partner with our customers to build the ultimate yurt. Rainier Industries looks forward to a second century of serving our yurt customers.


The Rainier Raven yurt is designed to be simple, street smart, economical and engineered to be tough and resilient. Used by state parks, church camps, and schools; the Raven conforms fully to the International Building Code specifications as a living space or as vacation rentals to the public. Available in sizes 16’, 18’, 21’, 24’, 27’ and 30 foot diameter.



A BIG push here at Rainier is to Reduce-Reuse-Renew! As you tour our facilities, you will notice recycle bins EVERYWHERE. They are specific to certain types of waste; one might be for metal, another for wood, one for plastic and anther for vinyl or fabric. We also have composting in our lunch rooms alongside recycle bins. Under every desk at Rainier is a paper recycle bin next to a garbage can.

Everybody talks about recycling – but how many companies do you know that require all of their vendors to recycle also? That’s right! If you want to sell goods or services to Rainier Industries, you have to first be documented as an approved vendor by verifying that your “Vendor Impact” on the environment meets our standards. Every aspect of our business model has our Environmental Policy at heart. From Business Waste, Utility Usage, Product Design and Packaging…even employee commuting and company travel – every step made by every Rainier employee has an embedded environmental checklist.

Reinforced Vinyl

The Eagle Sidewalls are made with 15 ounce per square yard vinyl laminated to a 100% polyester weft inserted warp knit scrim with an acrylic top coat. This vinyl is water repellant, mildew and UV resistant and flame retardant. It also has exceptional dimensional stability, tensile and tear strength. This fabric takes to a RF weld perfectly making it an ideal vinyl for our Eagle Sidewall. This vinyl flame resistance meets or exceeds the standards of California Fire Marshall, NFPA 701 Tm2 and ASTM E-84, Class A.

Ring to Rafter Bracket System

This exclusive Rainier design uses metal brackets that bolt on either side of the rafter to secure the rafter to the compression ring.


Roof Drip-Edge

The seam where the roof meets the valance is sewn on the Raven model with a double-feld industrial strength seam using Tenara outdoor sewing thread. Conventional seam threads on yurts suffer from exposure to wind, UV exposure, and weather which can eventually become brittle and break or rot. In contrast Tenara Sewing Thread is not affected by these threats making it ideal for the yurt drip edge.

The Eagle drip edge is not sewn but rather a continuation of the radial pattern (think of a sliced pizza) and by using a series of darts creates a form fitting edge. A dart is used to shape a flat piece of fabric to fill a curve. These darts are made with the FR Weld technology to create a stitch less drip edge.

Roof Fabric

A Rainier Yurt roof is made from vinyl coated polyester with a lacquer acrylic top-coat. The standard Eagle vinyl is 19 oz (per square yard) light beige vinyl with a 10 year warranty. It is advised that you upgrade to the 28 oz light beige vinyl, with a 15 year warranty, if your roof will have significant exposure to UV rays. These structural grade fabrics are manufactured in Germany to exacting specifications. (Note: a 30’ Eagle roof weighs 113 pounds.)

The Raven, Sparrow, and the rain fly for the Cottages are all made from 18 oz tan vinyl coated polyester with a lacquer acrylic top-coat. This product offers a 7-year warranty and is made specifically for Rainier Yurts by a local Seattle Textile manufacturer. (Note: a 30’ Raven roof weighs 98 pounds.)

Roof Insulation

Low-E foil Encapsulated radiant barrier insulation is also used on the roof to give you added heat regulation, better control of the acoustics and prevent early morning light (or moonlight) from interrupting your sleep. This environmentally sustainable product comes standard with a non-attached liner which is visible from the inside of the yurt. A single layer provides R-9 while a double layer provides R-10. However, if you would like to increase your R value you will need to increase the space between the two layers.

This can be achieved by placing one layer of insulation on the outside, or topside, of the rafters followed by the outer roof vinyl. Then cut rigid foam insulation (using a knife or saw) to fit the triangular shapes caused by the rafters. Place the foam insulation into place using insulation tape. Place the second layer of reflective foil insulation on the bottom side (inside the yurt) of the rafters by stapling with stainless steel staples into the part of the rafter that faces downward. Cover the foil with the liner provided in your yurt kit (it may need a tuck or nip as it was meant to be on the top-side) using the same staple method. Rip pieces of cedar or Doug fir to recreate the “spoke” look of the rafters and nail them to the underside of each rafter to secure your insulation will stay in place.

Roof Liner

Every roof insulation upgrade comes with a liner. Depending on which model you get; the liner will either be 10 oz natural cotton canvas also called army duck (in the Eagle) it’s appearance is an off-white almost linen look, or the 6 oz white polyester liner (in the Raven) is standard. Both are treated to be water repellant, mildew resistant and flame retardant.

Roof Pitch

Our Raven and Eagle both have a 7/12 or 30 degree roof. We are able to make replacement roofs for existing (even non-Rainier) yurts, however we must have the correct pitch to provide you with a great fit.

Roosevelt Cottage

The former name of the Lakedale Cottage. Just like nicknames are in our pop-culture, the Roosevelt Cottage took on its own persona while being manufactured on our shop for the Lakedale Resort. Soon the shop was all referring to the multiple orders as “The Lakedale” style and it stuck!

Feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions you might have. We pride ourselves in educating and guiding customers – not selling them something they don’t need!

Enjoy the journey!

Dana Of Rainier, the Yurt Girl

Namaste~Dana, The Yurt Girl


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