Tarptent Advice

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
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AlmostThere
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Re: Tarptent Advice

Post by AlmostThere » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:14 am

I go backpacking with a lot of Big Agnes fans. One thing that struck me - all those end entry models have that crazy sloping door, like the one that made me get rid of the Clip Flashlight a while back. Opening that in a driving rain is just asking for a bath, for you and everything inside the tent.

I won't use a tent without a side entry. One, the ease of getting in and out - swing your legs through and out, instead of doing a complete end to end. Two, the majority of the end entry doors are just inviting water into the tent.

Look at the end entry Tarptents... the doors aren't sloped like a ramp. What happens when the tent designer actually camps in the rain once in a while! :whistle:








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Flux
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Re: Tarptent Advice

Post by Flux » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:06 am

Don't get me wrong on my initial post about draft and condensation. These are things to simply consider when you head this direction. Tarptents are some of the most clever designs you will run into, everything you need and nothing you don't. I am lusting after a moment or a rainbow.

Again, I think your style of hiking, what you will run into, and how high up you sleep are a big consideration. I have a BD lighthouse that comes in at about 3.5 lbs, but is an absolute beast in the wind due to it's crossing pole design. I have been dabbling in designing a tent and I keep coming back toward this design for more than a few reasons. But it's a tent and weighs more than the tarptent. I would not hesitate to take this into light snow and cold conditions. I camp between 10-12k, so wind and cold temps are there all year round. The BD has it's drawbacks too though.

I do wish the tarptents would come with a draft skirt. An extra length around the perimeter that you could drop down to limit breezes or pull up to max out ventilation. This is my personal deal really, but wind=cold.

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AlmostThere
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Re: Tarptent Advice

Post by AlmostThere » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:19 am

Flux wrote:
I do wish the tarptents would come with a draft skirt. An extra length around the perimeter that you could drop down to limit breezes or pull up to max out ventilation. This is my personal deal really, but wind=cold.
Why add extra weight when you can just pitch them all the way down to the ground?

You can do that, y'know.

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Re: Tarptent Advice

Post by Flux » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:30 am

AlmostThere wrote:
Flux wrote:
I do wish the tarptents would come with a draft skirt. An extra length around the perimeter that you could drop down to limit breezes or pull up to max out ventilation. This is my personal deal really, but wind=cold.
Why add extra weight when you can just pitch them all the way down to the ground?

You can do that, y'know.

So tents like the rainbow and moment have that ability with the static pole length??

I am curious because my 2 wall tents with the built in vestibule/rainflys are a total PITA to get the fly down to the ground if it can be done at all in a taught fashion. More than a few times I have not spread the vestibules out, but let them lie against the sides to seal up the tent better.

It just appears that in the photos the tarptents kind of hover 3-4 inches above the ground when they are properly set up and are taught.

Can you tell I don't like drafts??

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Re: Tarptent Advice

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:32 am

My previous comments were specifically about the Moment. I think ANY new design has a period of getting the bugs out. Small design changes can solve a problem. There have been adjustments made to the other Tarptent models. So, it may be best to wait a few years before buying a new model. That goes for any brand. Air flow in a center-high model with very low ends may require larger or differently located upper vents. I doubt condensation would be different in any other brand's single-wall tent of a similar design. This is not a"fatal flaw", simply an inconvienence. I almost bought a Rainbow instead, and in 20-20 hindsight, I would choose the Rainbow over the Moment. But then I have not lived 40 days in the Rainbow! The "devil I know" may be better than the "devil I do not know". I do however take issue with the posts that simply blow off condensation as "pilot error".

I also do not like the "race to the lowest weight" that is going on with all tent manufacturers. Light is good, but when you get a few ounce on the competitor by using inferiour tent pegs, of rediculously thin strings (there is an issue of the thickness of tent string that is needed for easy handling and knot tying and untying), or what I find now- a supposed 2-man tent that is so narrow that it is basically a 1-man tent. As long as we consumers demand an unreasonable low weight in a tent, the manufacturers will play this game. I also do not like the one-size-fits-all concept where we shorter people end up with a 90-inch long tent. Why cannot tents come in short-medium-tall like sleeping bags?

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Re: Tarptent Advice

Post by AlmostThere » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:25 am

Flux wrote:

So tents like the rainbow and moment have that ability with the static pole length??

I am curious because my 2 wall tents with the built in vestibule/rainflys are a total PITA to get the fly down to the ground if it can be done at all in a taught fashion. More than a few times I have not spread the vestibules out, but let them lie against the sides to seal up the tent better.

It just appears that in the photos the tarptents kind of hover 3-4 inches above the ground when they are properly set up and are taught.

Can you tell I don't like drafts??
I can't speak for the rainbow, I know that the moment will let you move the sides up and down the pole some. A sublite with trekking poles can be pitched all the way to the ground, or a number of inches off the ground, and the end vent can be opened and closed.

You don't like drafts, I don't care much for condensation but always plan so that my shelter has nothing to do with how warm I am and would rather have air flow. Seems to me there are shelters for each of us out there, which is as it should be. Probably my main shelter being a hammock is an ingredient in my preference for adjustability and flexibility, and why I look at those features in any shelter. The most customizable shelter in my box is the hammock and tarp... the ability to block off wind or let the breeze in, or leave the top off entirely, makes me happy. You'd think that would land me with a double wall but I only have one of those.... tho I have to say the Scarp really caught my eye.

I also think WD has a point - why aren't there different lengths of tents? I suspect the answer is much like the one with major manufacturers of packs - it's not lucrative enough to have the option!

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Re: Tarptent Advice

Post by Flux » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:40 am

Good things to know Almostthere.

Again, i really admire the ingenious designs that Tarptent puts out there. Having a 2lb shelter that can handle almost anything and is comfy is huge. Right now I am kind of torn between dropping the coin on an ultralight shelter or building my own. I am pretty sure I will mess mine up but it could be fun building it.

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Re: Tarptent Advice

Post by Clubb » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:30 pm

Wow, guys, you have a wealth of knowledge. This is the feedback I'm looking for. Luckily, I'm not in a rush to buy.

The Rainbow is becoming an intriguing choice to me. I keep coming back to the sublite for the trekking poles, and knowing I could pitch it the ground........simple things I may not think about, not having used the product.

Great discussion guys. Thanks.

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Re: Tarptent Advice

Post by maverick » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:46 pm

Clubb wrote "The Rainbow is becoming an intriguing choice to me. I keep coming
back to the sublite for the trekking poles, and knowing I could pitch it the
ground........simple things I may not think about, not having used the product."
You can use the outside adjustments to lower the sides a bit.
I do not like using my poles as part of my tent set up because I may want to do a day
hike or some peak bagging, and need my poles, especially if the weather is iffy I
do not want to collapse my tent, and find everything wet went I get back.
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Re: Tarptent Advice

Post by AlmostThere » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:24 pm

maverick wrote: You can use the outside adjustments to lower the sides a bit.
I do not like using my poles as part of my tent set up because I may want to do a day
hike or some peak bagging, and need my poles, especially if the weather is iffy I
do not want to collapse my tent, and find everything wet went I get back.
I've left the sublite staked out and yanked out the trekking poles, putting them back in when I get back to camp.

Would probably tie the peak up into a tree if the weather looked iffy so water wouldn't pool in the fabric.

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