“Since 2009 we have supplied hundreds of stretch tents every year for large and small events across the world, from Japan through Madagascar to Bolivia.”

Established
2010
Base
Ghent, Belgium
Employees
5
Combined experience
50+ Years
Export
Domestic & International
Yearly capacity
1007 tents
About Bonga

Developing and optimising stretch tents has always been our passion. After building up years of experience in the development of high-quality tents, we needed a change of direction. In 2010, Bonga saw the light and the classic party tent had to make way for a flexible version that immediately also had an attractive appearance. It was a real adventure learning by trial and error to achieve the current quality: optimising and reinforcing fabrics, continually testing and adjusting.... But the end result came closer step by step! The demand for Bonga tents rose quickly, so we had to start looking for motivated professionals who went to work with equal passion for our tents and contributed to the excellent reputation that Bonga evokes today.

Nowadays, a dedicated team works every day to convert this craftsmanship and product and materials expertise into stretch tents. The result: a high-quality stretch tent made in Belgium at a reasonable price. Our team has fifty years of combined experience, which is also passed on in full to new team members.

Craftsmanship

Production

Passion. Production. Perfection.

Naturally, a sophisticated production process goes into the creation of a finished stretch tent. It all begins with the production of the fabric. A single- or double-sided PVC coating is applied to strips of sustainable knitted polyester at high temperature according to quality (single or double coated). Knitted fabrics are much more elastic than woven fabrics. And they allow this to be an essential property of stretch tents. For example, compare a knitted sweater with a classic shirt and you will immediately understand what we mean.

During the production process, the tent material is subjected to various checks at different times: thickness check, bonding check, colour check, elasticity check etc.., After that the fabric is ready to be made into stretch tent material.

The finish

Thorough to the smallest detail

Depending on the size, various strips are welded together once more at high temperature and under high pressure. Thermal welding ensures the water tightness of the tent, even where two pieces of fabric come together. Because the two strips melt into each other during welding, you can even state that the welding seams are even stronger than the fabric itself. That is not the case for fabric that is sown or glued together. The edge of the stretch tent is then folded around a trapeze cord. At the same time, the tent is fitted with reinforced zones in the edge, to which the side clamps will later be attached. Finally, the corner clamps are fitted and the tent is packed.

Custom work

Custom work works

Because we are in control of every step in the production process, the possibilities are endless. We supply a fixed range of formats which are most in demand immediately from stock, but we also produce stretch tents to the client’s custom requirements. And the cliché that custom work is expensive and takes a long time, helps Bonga all over the world. Custom made tents are also reasonably priced and are usually supplied within a week. If your tent suffers damage due to circumstances, we are happy to help and, in most cases, we are able to repair the tent quickly.

History

2010
Birth of bonga

Birth of Bonga

Following an entire history making various types of tent, we felt like a new adventure. We heard rumours from South Africa about flexible tents that could adopt different shapes. Very flexible, but insanely expensive. The concept spoke to us, but we wanted our own version: lighter, easy to erect and most of all, affordable.

Without ever having seen this type of tent close up, our product developer sat down at his design bench and the result was the idea for the integrated trapeze cord and the clamps.

Watertightness

All major success stories begin with setbacks. In the production of the first tents with the very first load of fabric - the same material used to make wetsuits, by the way - it was evident that the tents were not fully watertight or UV-resistant.

The first clamps, drilled blocks of wood which could be tensioned over the side seam using a bolt, were perhaps a little primitive, but they were functional.
2011
First stretch tents
2012
Flexxfoil

Birth of the Flexxfoil stretch tent

To replace the non-watertight and non-UV-resistant material, a new type of fabric was developed. The problem with UV-resistance was fairly straightforward, but it was a real achievement to make the seams watertight. After much trial and error, after weeks of gluing, taping and welding...the first watertight commercial range of stretch tents was ready: the Flexxfoil stretch tent was a reality. This tent was also the very first in the world to be designed with triangular, plastic clamps. Sales were a great success, especially in the Netherlands.

Flexxfoil makes way for Proflexx

For the events market, we had to treat the tent canvasses with additional, temporary fire-retardant substances, as it was not yet technologically possible to do this during the production process. Whilst the previous production processes were outsourced, in 2013 we took production fully into our own hands. The design workshop in Ghent was converted into a production workshop. An eighteen-metre-long welding machine was installed and we worked with European weavers to develop an even more durable canvas, which would also comply with the M2 fire-retardant certificate. Thus, the Proflexx stretch tent was born.
2013
Proflexx
2014
Burning man

Bonga @ Burning Man, Nevada, USA

Thanks to intensive advertising and marketing, many customers from the United Kingdom found their way to Bonga, as a result of which our tents could be seen at the many British summer festivals. Partly due to this, we received the contract from the world-famous Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert for the design and construction of the central tent village.

This was a real challenge, as there are sandstorms every day in Nevada. After six months of sleepless nights, in August 2014 we went to put up our tents in the middle of the Nevada desert. An unforgettable experience and furthermore a successful project, since the 2,200 m² of Proflexx tents survived the sandstorms without any problems.

Dior Fashion Show in Hollywood Hills

The increased production capacity came at exactly the right time, as in 2017 an enquiry was received from the fashion house Dior, who needed a 2,400 m² tent village for their Fashion Shows in Hollywood Hills. As luck would have it, we were already flat-out producing stock for the coming season. In addition to production capacity, we also had plentiful stock of tents, so we were able to supply quickly via Ghent and via Spain. We were able to use a large part of that stock for the tent village in Hollywood.
2017
Hollywood
2018
Relocate

Bonga relocates

A large factory site directly opposite the original design workshop in Ghent became available and Bonga grasped this opportunity to purchase the premises and from 2018 to relocate production to the other side of the street, now with two production lines and a large warehouse for the storage of the ample stock of Proflexx and Triflexx stretch tents.

Flexxer - the little brother

After relocating production, three increasingly more successful seasons followed. The demand for stretch tents from the private market also continued to increase and we responded to that with the development of the Flexxer, the easy-up stretch tent. Thanks to its lightweight canvas and easy assembly, one person can easily erect this tent in around half an hour. Naturally, at Bonga we have also gone for high quality and reasonable prices for this little brother of the stretch tent.
2020
Flexxer
2021
Expansion

Bonga is expanding

The demand for stretch tents is continuing to rocket, so Bonga is recruiting more staff to stay on top of the continued increased demand for stretch tents. We are investing in extra welding machines to double production capacity and to be able to respond quickly to the needs and wishes of our customers. Instead of 450 tents annually, Bonga is now producing almost 1000 tents annually.

Birth of Bonga

Na een hele voorgeschiedenis met andere types tenten, hadden we zin in een nieuw avontuur. Uit Zuid-Afrika vingen we geruchten op over flexibele tenten die verschillende vormen kunnen aannemen. Heel flexibel, maar waanzinnig duur. Het concept sprak ons aan, maar we wilden een eigen versie: lichter, makkelijk opzetbaar en bovendien betaalbaar.Zonder dat hij dit soort tent ooit van dichtbij had gezien, nam onze productontwikkelaar plaats aan zijn ontwerptafel en daar kwam het idee van de ingewerkte trapezekoord en de klemmen tot stand.
1992
Birth of bonga

Waterdichtheid

Alle grote succesverhalen beginnen met tegenslag. Bij de productie van de eerste tenten met de allereerste lading stof - dezelfde stof die gebruikt wordt om surfpakken te maken, even terzijde - blijkt dat de tenten niet volledig waterdicht noch uv-bestendig zijn. De eerste klemmen, uitgeboorde blokken hout die met een bout over de zijnaad gespannen konden worden, waren misschien wat primitief, maar wel functioneel.
1996
Eerste stretchtenten

Geboorte van de flexxfoil stretchtent

Ter vervanging van de niet-waterdichte en niet-uv-bestendige stof werd een nieuw type stof ontwikkeld. Het probleem van de uv-bestendigheid was van de baan, maar het bleef een huzarenstukje om de naden waterdicht te krijgen. Na veel vallen en opstaan, na weken te hebben gestikt, getaped, gelast… was de eerste waterdichte commerciële reeks stretchtenten klaar: de flexxfoil-stretchtent was een feit. Deze tent was overigens ook de allereerste ter wereld die met de driehoekige kunststofklemmen werd opgezet. De verkoop werd een groot succes, vooral in Nederland.
2011
Flexxfoil

Flexxfoil wordt Proflexx

Voor de evenementenmarkt moesten we de tentdoeken echter nog steeds bijkomend behandelen met tijdelijke brandvertragers, want het was technologisch nog niet mogelijk om dit tijdens het productieproces al te doen. Terwijl de vorige productiestappen uitbesteed werden, werd de productie in 2013 terug volledig in eigen handen genomen. Het ontwerpatelier in Gent werd tot productieatelier omgevormd. Er kwam een achttien meter lange lasmachine en we gingen samen met Europese weverijen aan de slag om een nog duurzamer doek te produceren, dat bovendien het M2-brandvertragendheidcertificaat mag dragen. Zo kwam de proflexx-stretchtent tot leven.
2013
Proflexx

Bonga @ Burning Man, Nevada, USA

Dankzij intensieve marketing en reclame vonden plots heel wat klanten uit het Verenigd Koninkrijk hun weg naar Bonga, waardoor onze tenten zichtbaar werden op de vele Britse zomerfestivals. Mede hierdoor kregen we van het wereldvermaarde Burning Man Festival in de Nevadawoestijn in de Verenigde Staten de opdracht voor het ontwerp en de opbouw van het centrale tentendorp.Een heuse uitdaging, want er zijn dagelijks zandstormen in Nevada. Na een half jaar vol slapeloze nachten gingen we in augustus 2014 letterlijk onze tenten opslaan te midden van de Nevadawoestijn. Een onvergetelijke ervaring en bovendien een succesvol project, aangezien de 2200 m² aan proflexx-tenten de vele zandstormen zonder problemen overleefde.
2014
Burning man

Triflexx a España

Het atelier van nauwelijks 240 m² werd snel te klein om alle aanvragen te kunnen blijven verwerken. Dankzij het Burning Man-avontuur gingen de Bonga-tenten namelijk als zoete broodjes over de toonbank. In het Spaanse Tarragona kochten we een 1000 m² groot fabriekspand van waaruit vanaf 2017 tenten met een nieuw ontworpen doek - de double coated triflexx - geproduceerd werden.
2016
Triflexx

Dior Fashion Show in Hollywood Hills

De verhoogde productiecapaciteit kwam precies op het juiste moment, aangezien er in 2017 een aanvraag kwam van modehuis Dior, dat een tentendorp van 2400 m² nodig had voor hun Fashion Shows in Hollywood Hills. Als door het lot zo bepaald, waren we al volop met productie van voorraad bezig voor het komende seizoen. Naast de productiecapaciteit hadden we nu ook een ruime voorraad tenten liggen zodat we zowel via Gent als via Spanje snel konden leveren. Een groot deel van die voorraad konden we gebruiken voor het tentendorp in Hollywood.
2017
Hollywood

Bonga verhuist

Pal tegenover het originele ontwerpatelier in Gent komt er een groot fabriekspand vrij. Bonga grijpt deze kans om dit pand aan te kopen en de productie vanaf januari 2018 te verhuizen naar de overkant van de straat, met voortaan twee productielijnen en een groot magazijn voor de opslag van de ruime voorraad aan proflexx- en triflexx-stretchtenten.
2018
Verhuis