BWCA Tarptent Boundary Waters Gear Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* BWCA is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Gear Forum
      Tarptent     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

08/08/2017 06:30PM  
Just wanted to give a shoutout for those looking at buying a Tarptent.

I was recently looking for a lightweight tent that I could push into the 4th season when needed and was comparing designs, build materials, etc from some of the more well known manufacturers of 4 season tents. After spending a good deal of time researching different designs, materials, weighing cost, etc I still wasn't finding exactly what I wanted. That's when I happened on a picture of a newer Tarptent model that I hadn't seen. Enter the Cloudburst 3.

It didn't have everything I wanted. Specifically the 3rd pole they have for it has a bit of an awkward installation process which involves going inside the tent and lacks a full length sleeve like the two end poles. I emailed tarptent about the potential for having a sleeve added to outside of the tent to match the ends in order to aid in pitching the tent in high winds and to boost the overall strength of the tent (I cared less about being able to pitch the tent with two poles to save weight in this case).

The response was that they couldn't do this simply because as a practice they generally don't do custom tents and it would likely cost significantly more and interrupt their normal production process. I was pretty much expecting this, but thought it was worth asking.

After talking with Henry Shires about potentially doing the customization myself (I've gotten pretty good at making my own gear over the last few years and I'm not scared of doing something like this), what he was able to do for me was to order the tent to be made with heavier poles (in light of my intended use) and I was able to get an extra pole section for repairs if needed. He also gave me his thoughts on what it would mean for the design, and some issues I might have.

Today I received the new tent in the mail (after only a week or so!) and I have to say the build quality exceeded my expectations. I ordered a Double Rainbow some years back and while it has been an AMAZING tent and put up with some serious abuse without fail, it did have some cosmetic issues (crooked stitching, folds in fabric overlap, etc.). This new tent almost seems to be on another level and some of their components seem to have been upgraded as well. Super excited to put this one through the ringer and see how well it holds up over the years!

I think I will still probably end up making my intended modification to the tent, but even without I am very impressed with the design, build quality, customer service, and the shipping. The price was also significantly less than any of the other tents I had been looking at.

I'm not associated in any way with Tarptent. Just wanted to drop a note as I know others on this board tend to look at them from time-to-time.

 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
08/08/2017 08:16PM  
Thanks for the review, keth. I've taken a hard look in the past at the Scarp1 as a solo, especially since the 2016 modifications. It's good to hear what you've related.
 
andym
distinguished member(5360)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
08/08/2017 09:13PM  
I've been lusting after the Cloudburst 3 since he introduced it. Our Hogback is great but a little bigger than needed and I like the end doors on the Cloudburst. One of these days! I hope you will update with your thoughts after using it.

Henry is in California and I think the factory is in Seattle. So, custom jobs aren't that easy for him. Glad he was able to help make it a bit better for you.
 
Minnesotian
distinguished member(2353)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/09/2017 07:25AM  

Thanks for the review. I have the Stratospire 2 and absolutely love it for backpacking for 2 people. Looking at getting the Notch or Protrail next.
 
Visitor
Guest Paddler
  
08/09/2017 09:30AM  
I also have considered the Tarptent. They appear very well made and light as a feather.
As we all know, tents of this weight and quality often cost a great deal of money.
Love the review. Thanks for taking the time to post it.
 
Canoearoo
distinguished member(2653)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/11/2017 10:40AM  
My friend bought one of those tarptent one person ultralight ones from them. Then she went backpacking in new zealand for a year. She loved it, it is super light and she was always dry. They don't make a 6 person tent so we are going with a lean 3 from ccs
 
08/12/2017 10:31PM  
I'm going to buy a Bowfin 2 before my next trip!
 
carmike
distinguished member(1725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/12/2017 11:24PM  
I have the Pro Trail, which I love for backpacking. For canoeing, I'll gladly haul a bit of extra weight for a bit of extra comfort. Great products, and thanks for the review!
 
carmike
distinguished member(1725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
08/12/2017 11:24PM  
I have the Pro Trail, which I love for backpacking. For canoeing, I'll gladly haul a bit of extra weight for a bit of extra comfort. Great products, and thanks for the review!
 
08/14/2017 08:39AM  
These sound great but they seem sized for people using 20" sleeping pads and then no more than an inch between them. I'm looking into eventually getting something at least 75" wide but more would be great too so I can sleep 3 with 25" pads. What are good options for me? I know there is the hogback, but for that price aren't there cheaper alternatives that work just as well?
 
andym
distinguished member(5360)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
08/14/2017 10:26AM  
Henry is an ultralight backpacker and that's how they size and use things. 20" pads and extra gear is in your pack under the vestibules or doors. We use the Hogback for two people but am thinking about his Cloudburst 3.

If you want 75" of pads then the Hogback is your only choice. Yes, you can find a cheaper big tent. But try to find a lighter one that is so compact in the pack. That's what his designs offer. They are great but the trade offs may not be for everyone.
 
08/14/2017 12:38PM  
quote A1t2o: "These sound great but they seem sized for people using 20" sleeping pads and then no more than an inch between them. I'm looking into eventually getting something at least 75" wide but more would be great too so I can sleep 3 with 25" pads. What are good options for me? I know there is the hogback, but for that price aren't there cheaper alternatives that work just as well?"


I have a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL4 that I could sell you if you're interested. :)
 
05/18/2023 05:20PM  
I'm coming to this party late, but I just bought a Double Rainbow LI (basically the version that's under 2 lbs) with carbon fiber poles and an option to make it free-standing. I'm looking forward to getting this out in the backcountry in the next week or so. I want to field test it before I take into northern Manitoba and see how it holds up....particularly in the rain, bugs and limited-tent-pad spaces :)
 
05/18/2023 09:32PM  
HighnDry: "I'm coming to this party late, but I just bought a Double Rainbow LI (basically the version that's under 2 lbs) with carbon fiber poles and an option to make it free-standing. I'm looking forward to getting this out in the backcountry in the next week or so. I want to field test it before I take into northern Manitoba and see how it holds up....particularly in the rain, bugs and limited-tent-pad spaces :)"


It's funny that you would revive this now. I'm heading to Brule Lake tomorrow and taking my trusty old Double Rainbow with. :) If the li is anything like the original I think you'll really like it.
 
05/18/2023 10:45PM  
Purchased an Aeon Li a few weeks ago. Quality is impressive. Taking into Quetico next week to put it to the test.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(911)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/19/2023 07:05AM  
HighnDry: "I'm coming to this party late, but I just bought a Double Rainbow LI (basically the version that's under 2 lbs) with carbon fiber poles and an option to make it free-standing. I'm looking forward to getting this out in the backcountry in the next week or so. I want to field test it before I take into northern Manitoba and see how it holds up....particularly in the rain, bugs and limited-tent-pad spaces :)"


A person I paddled with used the same Rainbow L1 set-up last August on a ten day trip we took through Wabakimi. Strong wind and heavy rain were constant, along with generally damp conditions. She said the tent performed perfectly.
 
05/19/2023 07:14AM  
It's encouraging to hear that several of you have had positive experiences with this tent or one similar. I'm certainly looking forward to testing it out. I'm impressed with the low weight of the materials and the potential durability. It will be interesting to see what kind of livable space I'll have inside of this style tent. I've also picked up the trekking poles to make it freestanding. So we'll see what works best.
 
05/19/2023 10:48AM  
jillpine: "
HighnDry: "I'm coming to this party late, but I just bought a Double Rainbow LI (basically the version that's under 2 lbs) with carbon fiber poles and an option to make it free-standing. I'm looking forward to getting this out in the backcountry in the next week or so. I want to field test it before I take into northern Manitoba and see how it holds up....particularly in the rain, bugs and limited-tent-pad spaces :)"



A person I paddled with used the same Rainbow L1 set-up last August on a ten day trip we took through Wabakimi. Strong wind and heavy rain were constant, along with generally damp conditions. She said the tent performed perfectly. "


I'm curious if she bought and installed the liner that is optional with this tent? It's used to control condensation. I picked one up as I thought it seemed practical for a single-walled design.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(911)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/19/2023 01:06PM  
HighnDry: "
jillpine: "
HighnDry: "I'm coming to this party late, but I just bought a Double Rainbow LI (basically the version that's under 2 lbs) with carbon fiber poles and an option to make it free-standing. I'm looking forward to getting this out in the backcountry in the next week or so. I want to field test it before I take into northern Manitoba and see how it holds up....particularly in the rain, bugs and limited-tent-pad spaces :)"




A person I paddled with used the same Rainbow L1 set-up last August on a ten day trip we took through Wabakimi. Strong wind and heavy rain were constant, along with generally damp conditions. She said the tent performed perfectly. "



I'm curious if she bought and installed the liner that is optional with this tent? It's used to control condensation. I picked one up as I thought it seemed practical for a single-walled design."


Yes, and I recall she felt it was useful.
 
05/19/2023 01:07PM  
HighnDry: "
jillpine: "
HighnDry: "I'm coming to this party late, but I just bought a Double Rainbow LI (basically the version that's under 2 lbs) with carbon fiber poles and an option to make it free-standing. I'm looking forward to getting this out in the backcountry in the next week or so. I want to field test it before I take into northern Manitoba and see how it holds up....particularly in the rain, bugs and limited-tent-pad spaces :)"




A person I paddled with used the same Rainbow L1 set-up last August on a ten day trip we took through Wabakimi. Strong wind and heavy rain were constant, along with generally damp conditions. She said the tent performed perfectly. "



I'm curious if she bought and installed the liner that is optional with this tent? It's used to control condensation. I picked one up as I thought it seemed practical for a single-walled design."


I never bought the condensation liner for my DR and haven't missed it (and I'm 6'2"). If I'm worried about it I'll usually just put a rain coat or something over the foot of my quilt.

I bought one for the cloudburst and find it even less useful there. You might get very lightly misted if a nasty storm comes through at the wrong time (from condensation getting knocked off, not rain getting through), but I've yet to experience anything that would tell me I really needed to have it.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(911)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/19/2023 01:17PM  
keth0601: "
HighnDry: "
jillpine: "
HighnDry: "I'm coming to this party late, but I just bought a Double Rainbow LI (basically the version that's under 2 lbs) with carbon fiber poles and an option to make it free-standing. I'm looking forward to getting this out in the backcountry in the next week or so. I want to field test it before I take into northern Manitoba and see how it holds up....particularly in the rain, bugs and limited-tent-pad spaces :)"




A person I paddled with used the same Rainbow L1 set-up last August on a ten day trip we took through Wabakimi. Strong wind and heavy rain were constant, along with generally damp conditions. She said the tent performed perfectly. "




I'm curious if she bought and installed the liner that is optional with this tent? It's used to control condensation. I picked one up as I thought it seemed practical for a single-walled design."



I never bought the condensation liner for my DR and haven't missed it (and I'm 6'2"). If I'm worried about it I'll usually just put a rain coat or something over the foot of my quilt.


I bought one for the cloudburst and find it even less useful there. You might get very lightly misted if a nasty storm comes through at the wrong time (from condensation getting knocked off, not rain getting through), but I've yet to experience anything that would tell me I really needed to have it."


Right, ymmv. I wasn’t using the tent. This is just what I recall. It was an interesting trip in that there were three very different sleeping systems. And in hindsight, I think the tarptent was probably top performing in terms of: weight, footprint, ease and speed of set-up and overall “take whatever wabakimi dished out”, which was solid overcast skies, rain, chilly at night and a lot of wind. In ten days, there was one day of sun, and then brief periods of sun at other times. It was very wet. My hammock worked well except I forgot the tarp with doors and brought a regular tarp. I’ve had no interest in using a tent since changing to a hammock but honestly, seeing the tarptent on this trip really made me think about it. And I think it would be fair to say that the person using the tarptent was not envious of the hammock system. :) I just hate ground-sleeping.
 
05/20/2023 08:01PM  
Price for these is insane. Get a CCS Lean for half the price, and no worries about the carbon fiber poles. Had a MSR something or other with carbon fiber poles about ten years ago. Pole snapped on first night-and there is no way to repair it in the field (or when you get home, for that matter0. Will never use any sleeping system with a carbon fiber pole again.
 
jillpine
distinguished member(911)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/20/2023 09:38PM  
For my friend with scoliosis and chronic back pain, the tarptent is a means of access for her to continue some pretty great adventures into her sixties.
My other paddle friend uses a CCS Lean. Excellent piece of equipment. But he has the strength to haul it.
 
05/21/2023 08:00AM  
What is your method of protection against ticks if you're using a tarp tent? This issue is what has prevented me from trying out tarp tenting.
 
05/21/2023 09:11AM  
There's a bathtub-style bottom sewn into the model that I've bought. I'm not sure if that answers your question? The CCS lean 3 is a great piece of equipment however it would add weight to the gear if I had to order the same modification. I think Canoearoo has that model for her family. You could get more detailed info from her on its bug-protection and durability if you're interested. I'm sure she'd be happy to answer any inquiries -- it's worked out great for her family.

My considerations were more along the lines of "less weight" and "more durability". I also looked at the BA Copper Spur UL1 which is a great freestanding tent for less money and more weight if folks are looking for another option.
 
Hockhocking
senior member (93)senior membersenior member
  
05/21/2023 09:20AM  
Kendis, That’s a great question for using tarps as shelter. This discussion has been about a brand of tents called TarpTents. Most of the models are fully enclosed with mesh and with lightweight floors, for insect protection.
 
fenrirrr
member (24)member
  
05/21/2023 09:24AM  
I used a CCS lean on a fall trip a few years ago and loved it–but haven't bought one. The speed and simplicity in setting up a freestanding tent can be huge pros. Rigging a lean for adverse weather definitely takes more skill and practice. But I did enjoy the versatility of the space once we had it set up. Glad to hear about people's positive experiences with Tarptent–I've been eyeing them for a long time.
 
cburton103
distinguished member(585)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2023 02:34PM  
I purchased a Tarptent Stratospire 2 maybe four years ago and have used it in quite a few conditions. It’s a great combination of being bombproof in a storm while still being pretty light and reasonably easy to set up. It’s a trekking pole tent, so it’s best suited to backpacking trips where you’ll already be carrying trekking poles. I purchased lightweight carbon fiber poles this trip to Dave weight and space - it looks like I’ll need to be conscientious with them. Either way, I’ve been an impressed and happy tarptent user for a handful of years now.
 
Minnesotian
distinguished member(2353)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/21/2023 08:33PM  
cburton103: "I purchased a Tarptent Stratospire 2 maybe four years ago and have used it in quite a few conditions. It’s a great combination of being bombproof in a storm while still being pretty light and reasonably easy to set up. It’s a trekking pole tent, so it’s best suited to backpacking trips where you’ll already be carrying trekking poles. I purchased lightweight carbon fiber poles this trip to Dave weight and space - it looks like I’ll need to be conscientious with them. Either way, I’ve been an impressed and happy tarptent user for a handful of years now."


I am surprised how well the Stratospire2 can handle the elements. I have been out on many trips with it now and it has withstood everything. Biggest test was probably on Death Shelf in the Grand Tetons back in September of 2021. Wind gusts were whipping down the valley at 40mph, conservatively. With just my hiking poles, and guyed out to some heavy rocks, that tent shed the wind like nothing. No caving in on the sides from wind, I was amazed.
 
05/22/2023 09:56AM  
fenrirrr: "Rigging a lean for adverse weather definitely takes more skill and practice."


This is true. My daughter and I were on Horse last October, and a wicked thunder storm rolled in around midnight. I poured for a good 40 minutes, and we were out of the Lean due to all of the electrical activity and high winds. I had not rigged the front flap effectively, and when the storm passed, everything 2 feet into the Lean was soaked. Lesson learned!
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next