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Considering a Tarptent Contrail

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Considering a Tarptent Contrail

Postby MountainMinstrel » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:01 am

I am in need of a new tent, as the cheapie Ozark trails thing I have been using is just not cutting it any longer. I am very interested in the contrail as the vast majority of my backpacking is without my wife. The few times that I might take her with me (very unlikely) I could still haul the rather heavy and not totally waterproof (leaks around the seam between the floor and the sides) Ozark trails. Any thoughts or experience with this tent in the Sierras would be really helpful, as I do not have a lot of money to spend.
Just an old musician who loves the Mountains.



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Re: Considering a Tarptent Contrail

Postby BSquared » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:06 pm

My son and I used a Tarptent Squall on our 2004 JMT hike and happened to meet up with another guy who had one and hiked with him for a couple of days. We both really liked them a lot. We had a tiny bit of condensation on one night, and I still haven't figured out why that night was different from all other nights (no, it wasn't passover ;) ). I was delighted with the combination of light weight, rain protection, and reasonable roominess. No complaints at all.

I've also used it a couple of times camping in Vermont, where of course the humidity is much higher, and once I learned how to stake it properly, it worked very well there, too, except there was some condensation on the inside by the time the morning rolled around. The Squall has (had—I see they're now up to Squall 2) optional side tie-outs, and we found that at least in Vermont they were mandatory to prevent contact with condensation and to prevent rainwater entry at the foot end (in a walloping thunderstorm). Once we learned that lesson, we found the Tarptent everything we'd hoped for: very light weight rain and bug protection!

We read a trick somewhere (probably on the Tarptent website) suggesting that we "paint" lines on the inside of the tent floor with silicone sealant to prevent pads from slipping around too much on the sil-nylon. We did it, and we didn't have much problem with sliding around (well... my son slides around an enormous amount no matter what the substrate; he's a challenging tentmate). Not sure how much difference the silicone treatment made.

-B2
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Re: Considering a Tarptent Contrail

Postby MountainMinstrel » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:02 pm

Thanks B2, That is the kind on info I was seeking. Still not sure if I will go with the the Contrail the freestanding Rainbow.
Just an old musician who loves the Mountains.
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Re: Considering a Tarptent Contrail

Postby Aviprk » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:05 pm

I don't have the Contrail but had the Cloudburst for a while. I liked it a lot till the double rainbow came around and it cost the same. If you are going solo the contrail should work well though you still have to make sure to pitch the tent facing the wind. However, instead of carrying a big and heavy tent just when your wife comes along why not get a two man tent which will still be lighter than most tents out there?

The rainbow has had really good reviews and many say it will fit another person. I have the Double Rainbow and I really like it. it's very roomy for a two person tent. The walls do slope more than say the MSR Hubba Hubba but for the weight I will take it. Mine weighs 2lb 10oz.
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Re: Considering a Tarptent Contrail

Postby MountainMinstrel » Sat May 03, 2008 9:39 pm

Well I finally made the leap and bought the contrail. The reason I decided to go this route is that I talked with my wife and the chances of her coming with me overnight is very minimal. She doesn’t mind day hiking but we have decided that backpacking will be the one activity that I do with out her. I was shocked at the speed with which I got it. I ordered it on Wednesday and received it on Friday, now that is service. I have not even been able to set it up yet but will be able to next week. This will let me take the sling light chair I got for CHRISTmas and still be lighter than I was last year. I will post a review when I get a chance to really check it out.

ken
Just an old musician who loves the Mountains.
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