Happiness between tent poles
“Buying a tent from Spatz is like getting married: you take an oath. It doesn’t matter if the zip is stuck or a seam bursts – once the tent is damaged, Spatz Camping in Zurich will repair it for the rest of your life, the first ten years even free of charge. By now, many a Spatz has probably outlasted many marriages. For it is now 77 years since Spatz founder Hans Behrmann sewed his first tent in the heart of Zurich’s Hirslanden district…”
NZZ article from 10.08.2012
In 1925 Hans Behrmann (1912-1999), then 13 years old, spent his first tent night at the first Swiss National Scout Camp in Bern. Shortly afterwards, Behrmann sewed his first own tent as leader of the tent-making group of the “Sparta” scout unit in Zurich.
He and his colleagues called themselves the “Sparta-Zelt-Fabrik”, abbreviated to Spazefa, and the tents they made were called Spatz already back then. With the Spazefa’s stock, which he bought for 200 swiss francs, Behrmann founded his own tent factory.
During the next Swiss National Scout Camp 10 years later in 1935 Hans Behrmann sold his first group tents to his scouting friends under the brand name “Spatz”.
This is where it all started.
In 1941 Hans Behrmann invented the double-roof tent with an inner and outer tent. The company developed into the most successful manufacturer of group tents in Switzerland.
Spatz is known throughout Switzerland primarily for its large group tents, which are used by families, schools and youth organisations such as scouts.
The traditional triangular tents are handmade from Swiss materials according to Behrmann’s hand-drawn original plans. The aluminium poles from Alu Menziken are ground into tent poles in the company’s own workshop. The cotton is woven in Niederurnen by Jenny Fabrics AG.
Spatz tents are characterised by an unbeatable indoor climate: No condensation drips from the tent roof in the morning, it doesn’t get as hot as in synthetic tents and the air inside is better. The tents are considered Swiss workmanship like Swiss watches or the pocket knife.
In the 1980s, Behrmann began issuing shares to the staff. The employees continued to run the business after Behrmann’s death in 1999.
In 2012, Marc Jansen took over the Spatz and expanded the outdoor sector. Due to insufficient turnover, Spatz was “grounded” at the beginning of 2016.
In 2020, Beat Zaugg (SCOTT Sports SA) aquired the company with the aim of making the Spatz fly high again with the necessary support. Thus, the existing Spatz employees of the production and repair centre have been joined by further employees in Zurich.