View Full Version : Contrail..any experience

06-25-2007, 13:06
I'm about ready to buy the Contrail. But first, is the ventelation in these okay? Looks like there is not much of an opening for air flow? For ventelation, would the Rainbow be a better choice?

I know Henry has a money back guarantee, but I really want to get this right the first time.


06-25-2007, 15:03
I consider the Contrail to have more than adequate air flow. My most recent pitch was near a river on a warm and rather humid night. In the morning I was hard pressed to find a hint of condensation anywhere on it. There is plenty of air flow in the lower mesh area if pitched in the normal method, plus the beak area leaves a vast open space before the front mesh. Even pitched all the way down for heavy wind and rain, there is still some air flow.
Very Ventilated Contrail:

06-26-2007, 20:52
Best solo shelter Tarptent has made to date. Love mine, although, I yet to see any heavy rains with it. Ventilation is very good. Nice head room too. When weather and no bugs permit, I leave the mesh door fully opened, to reduce condensation. I like the built in floor as well.

06-27-2007, 02:51
Short of using an open tarp and a fan, the Contrail is about as good as it gets for ventilation.
Seriously, I have both the Rainbow and the Contrail and really could not recommend one over the other for that. BTW, both tents can be pitched higher or lower than standard to increase or decrease air flow.

06-27-2007, 06:58
I think that the Squall two had better ventilation than the Contrail.. but not enough to make up for the savings in size and weight...

06-27-2007, 13:59
My only experience with a tarptent is the contrail. Like *any* tarptent, I would guess, you can get condensation. I slept literally in a cloud once and woke about 2 am and towelled off the inside walls. The tarptent design makes it a bit challenging to get to the inside walls near the foot end of the tent, but it can be done --- one of those ultralight camp towels (I use the smallest) is a worthwhile investment, they suck up water better than a bandana and wring dry well.

There's some real expertise in how to pitch and where to pitch that can make a difference, but sometimes you're going to get condensation no matter what you do. If you expect few or no bugs, keep the bug net unzipped and the "door" wide open. If the possibility of rain bothers you, Franco posted some nice pictures of using a poncho as an extended vestibule --- a nice way to allow the door to stay open.

Franco also posted a picture of using a trekking pole (or whatever) to pull the foot end of the tent up to maximize air flow from that end, and I typically do that.

You'll still get condensation sometimes, but I think it's worth dealing with it for the obvious benefits.