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dgever
08-31-2007, 13:09
I’m thinking about getting a new solo tent, the two that I am considering are the MSR Hubba and Henry Shrires’s Rainbow. I wouldn’t say that I am an ultra light hiker but I am weight conscious. What I am wondering is if the added ventilation in the Hubba’s double wall design is worth a little extra weight.
Thanks for any opinions.

jnetx
08-31-2007, 14:54
The Hubba is a great tent and has been the preference for FL hiking when I have wanted the option of being protected from bugs, but not necessarily needing the fly on. I just purchased the Rainbow and I admit I have only set it up once (actually in the living room because it had just arrived, in the pouring rain but I couldn't wait to set it up!). It seems a lot bigger inside than the hubba. I'm fairly short but I could not only sit up in (can also do in the hubba), but actually kneel up in it. The bathtub floor in the Rainbow does not seem as "bathtubby" as the hubba, but I could seem how I could easily correct that with a few extra stitch lines on the floor supports. I will set it up outside and seam seal, make amendments, etc. this weekend.

If you think you will want to do a lot of "star gazing" breeze cooled hiking without a fly I would go with the Hubba. If you think you're going to want the fly on every night anyway (many do, even if just for the privacy) then I'd say save the weight and go with the Rainbow.

Obviously I can't comment on the condesation issue of the Rainbow being single wall due to not having used it overnight yet. Maybe some experienced Rainbow users will chime in on that.

troglobil
08-31-2007, 14:55
I had the same questions myself. Considering what I have been able to learn about single walls, I went with the Hubba due to the humidity where I do most of my hiking. In drier climates, I would have given a lot more thought to the tarp tent. But I do love my Hubba.

Wonder
08-31-2007, 15:01
I dig the squall. The only complaint I heard about the rainbow (freestander, right?) was water gathering at the window....but I think that was solved with staking. Also, HS seems to be really good about hearing these things and then fixing the problem. I got my first HS this year, and I"m never going back!

Earth Dweller
08-31-2007, 15:10
Here's a long discussion at BPL that might prove useful to you:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=6887

elray
08-31-2007, 22:03
I own both a Hubba and Hubba-Hubba and think that these are tents number 22 and 23 for me. (I'm no kid) I've been plugging this tent since its inception becuase I like it so well. Easy set-up free standing, one piece no lost parts pole system, roomy and entirely water resistant, it rained nine of the eleven days I first hiked with the solo model. Very narrow but long enough to bring all my gear iside and stow in one end and I'm six feet tall. The price is right also, I think it's a good value, you won't be disappointed.

dgever
09-02-2007, 01:30
Thanks for all the replies, I still want to hear a bout the rainbows ventilation some more before I decide.

Egads
09-02-2007, 07:05
You really should check out the six moon designs tents too. The Lunar Duo is 42 oz and is a palace, but not freestanding.

Egads

Appalachian Tater
09-04-2007, 14:02
The Rainbow worked well for my thru-hike and it has been improved since then. Ventilation was not a problem--plenty of air comes in around the floor and the vent at the top works well. You can also work with the door--leave it open or put it only halfway up by letting the bottom dangle. The bathtub floor can be up or down; down lets in more air. There were only a few times when I had any significant condensation, and the Rainbow is so big, it's not like it's going to get on you or your stuff. It never dripped.

If your tent is wet, it dries out quickly in the sun or just set it up as soon as you get to camp and it dries out quickly.

If you have any specific questions, I will try to answer them for you.

Johnny Thunder
09-04-2007, 14:10
Just got a Rainbow about a week ago and lots of these issues are solved. There are now two peak vents. The bathtub floor still clips off into a flat position. By adjusting the "fly" tensioners you can get another few inches of floor ventilation. The Vestibule now has a full length zipper AND a handy wedge-shapped flap that when velcroed in place opens up the vesty to provide full coverage for the mess and enhanced breathability. You'll need to attach another line to accomplish this.

Johnny

Quoddy
09-04-2007, 16:21
I've been so pleased with my Contrail that I ordered the Rainbow, too. Unless I need to carry the absolute minimum weight, the Rainbow and the option to have it freestanding is great. I've never found a problem with condensation in any condition with the latest versions of Henry's TarpTents.

Smile
09-04-2007, 18:59
I used a rainbow on a three day, and would've changed the vestibule to come all the way down, it seemed like it was only half way down. Has this changed with the new model?

Natchez
09-04-2007, 22:46
Quoddy

I would love a review ,comparison of the two tarp tents. Here or at
Practical site.

Quoddy
09-05-2007, 08:22
Quoddy

I would love a review ,comparison of the two tarp tents. Here or at
Practical site.
I'd love to give an unbiased review/comparison of the two, but since I haven't had the Rainbow out in the real world yet, it just wouldn't be a fair one. Here's my opinion of the Contrail, used on my thru hike of the Long Trail, and basic thoughts on the newly purchased Rainbow, too.

For anyone looking for the advantages of a tent and the lightweight aspects of a tarp the Contrail is hard to beat. The first few times I put it up it took a couple of minutes and a bit of adjusting to get it right, but after about ten times it all fell into place. Setup wise I've used both a single and double trekking pole set-up in the front and found that I liked an angled single pole from about half way toward the right side... gives lots of access room while keeping full and even support. Seldom does it now take me more than 90 seconds to set it up. Besides the weight aspect, it packs into an incredibly small package and easily fits horizontally across my Conduit.

I've never had a condensation problem, even on rainy or misty days, warm or cool. I do tend to set it up for as much ventilation as possible, though. I do use a center rear shock corded 22" CF pole in the center rear. I've found that I picked a slightly long length and that ideally it should have been around 19", so I end up jamming it into the ground a bit. I believe that the rear pole setup gives a better rain run-off and certainly improves foot room and ventilation.

Size wise, the Contrail is huge internally and has plenty of room for me (6'1") and my gear (Don't know how I'll deal with even more room in the Rainbow).

The only "downside" with the Contrail, at least compared with the Rainbow, is that setting it up freestanding is not an option. At a pound and a half and under $200, the Contrail is hard to beat.

Initial thoughts on the Rainbow. Got it for a couple of reasons. I wanted the option of a freestanding tarptent. I thought that I could ask my grandson, an avid camper, to join me on a few overnighters... it will be tight, but doable. I plan on using it well into the beginning of winter and believe that it will handle at least small snow loads. I bought the Tyvek groundsheet to push the limit of the season before switching to my Akto.

When I get the Rainbow out on the trail for at least a few days I'll be able to give a real comparison.

Wonder
09-05-2007, 15:04
I was on the Phone with Stonewall last night, and he said that condensation in the rainbow was a real problem

troglobil
09-05-2007, 19:53
:banana Well, I just bought a Hubba-Hubba to replace my old way to heavy Eureka. Found them on sale for 30% off. Couldn't pass it up.:banana :banana

mudhead
09-11-2007, 06:14
Has anyone had experience with snow on either of these tents?

(Small amount, not Mt. Hood.)

Bruce Hudson
09-11-2007, 19:15
I don't know the Rainbow, but I live in NC and I hiked between Atkins and Damacus this summer wtih a North Face Solo 12 single wall tent. A disaster!!

Fortunately I had got it at REI and they took it back. Got up to pee on Mt. Rodgers and found my bag soaked on top-- well lots of water on top-- when I returned from the condensation that I knocked off getting out of the tent. I never slept with the door zipped becuase I couldn't breath with it closed. I wouldn't touch a single wall tent for anything a humid as the AT.

Bruce Hudson
bruhudson@mindspring.com
Raleigh, NC

Earl Grey
09-14-2007, 00:52
I love my Hubba. One night it rained all night and I never got wet.
Heres a pic in Maine.
2311

mudhead
09-15-2007, 19:36
Last Wednesday morning, I saw Hubbas at $179. Must have been 10-12.

Kittery Trading Post. This place has gear. Never been there before. Won't stop at LLBean for a rest break on my way south again.

Can't vouch for KTP, returns, etc. but if you want to gear up with a wide array of mainstream stuff...

First time I have ever seen a fully stocked S2S bag display.

Auroras at $15. Blah, blah, ...

I would like to see a Hubba and a half.

Egads
09-15-2007, 22:12
Neither, get a six moon designs lunar solo:sun

Frolicking Dinosaurs
09-15-2007, 22:36
Several are reporting problems with getting wet in the Rainbow and not just from condensation. I'd go with a Hubba for use mainly on trails with lots of rain (like the AT and most east coast trails)

Jim Adams
09-16-2007, 01:42
Absolutely love my Hubba...very dry, holds up very well to wind and had it in 2 snow storms. Snow was light but still no problems and it was way warm inside even with all of the ventilation due to the low fly. I consider it to be one of my best backpacking purchases ever.
I have not owned a H.S. tent but probably never will...saw alot of them this year on the PCT...too much work with constant adjustments.

geek

mudhead
09-16-2007, 06:30
I did not find it to be wide enough.

I sleep with elbows out at the hip and felt I would "wet up" against the sidewall.

Nice door design. Quality zipper.

Cindy from Indy
09-24-2007, 10:49
I thought I was going with the Sierra Design Clip Flashlight. But, I saw that it was a non-freestanding tent. I really wanted the option of both. I am also trying to be weight conscience here too.

The MSR Hubba may be the way to go here. I need some feedback here. Thanks!

Appalachian Tater
09-24-2007, 11:22
I thought I was going with the Sierra Design Clip Flashlight. But, I saw that it was a non-freestanding tent. I really wanted the option of both. I am also trying to be weight conscience here too.

The MSR Hubba may be the way to go here. I need some feedback here. Thanks!

Really you have to stake down a free-standing tent or the wind hits it. What's nice about the free-standing design is you can set it up and then scoot it around to fine-tune the placement. It also works well on a platform.

A couple of people have commented on condensation problems with the Rainbow (second-hand in some cases) without giving any detail. I did not find condensation to be a problem on the A.T., using it well over 100 times, probably over 120 times.

Even if there is a little condensation, the Rainbow is large and because of the shape, you don't touch the walls. (Imagine yourself lying in the tent and sitting up--your head follows an arc and the tent is arched.) There's even room to hang your socks and underwear up under the ridge.

It also dries out very quickly when it's wet.

Another advantage to the Rainbow is that it is gray/green. The orange tents really stick out and make it difficult to "stealth". I have put my Rainbow up forty feet from a jogging path with dozens of people an hour passing by and they never noticed the tent.

A Hubba weighs well over 3 lbs, a Rainbow weighs about 2, with all the stakes.

The real question is not the Hubba vs. the Rainbow, but a traditional tent vs. a tarp tent. Once you decide which way to go, then decide what paticular brand and model to buy.

mudhead
09-24-2007, 12:06
Have you had light snow on it, yet?

Cindy from Indy
09-24-2007, 12:20
I'm not familiar with 'the Rainbow'. Fill me in:)--Also, I know that I need to stake in the wind, no matter what type tent it is. I just wanted the option to be able to put it up easily and not stake when it's not windy.

I'm looking to buy my tent before the ALDHA Gathering in 2wks! lol I need to make a quick decision!

Appalachian Tater
09-24-2007, 12:23
http://www.tarptent.com/rainbow.html

http://www.tarptent.com/TTRainbowinstructions.pdf

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Tarps%20and%20Bivys/Tarptent%20Rainbow/


Remember that you need to seam-seal it before use.

Midway Sam
09-24-2007, 12:26
I'm not familiar with 'the Rainbow'. Fill me in:)--Also, I know that I need to stake in the wind, no matter what type tent it is. I just wanted the option to be able to put it up easily and not stake when it's not windy.

I'm looking to buy my tent before the ALDHA Gathering in 2wks! lol I need to make a quick decision!

Generally: http://www.tarptent.com/
Specifically: http://www.tarptent.com/productsheets/RAINBOW.pdf

And you're in luck. Currently the website states that Rainbows are in stock.

rafe
09-24-2007, 13:06
I used a Rainbow on this year's section hike. Condensation is still an issue, even when the entire vestibule side is left open. When it rains, you're likely to have the vestibule completely closed, and condensation is at its worst. I'm probably going back to double-walled tents from here on out. Big Agnes SL1 or something like that.

Appalachian Tater
09-24-2007, 13:09
I used a Rainbow on this year's section hike. Condensation is still an issue, even when the entire vestibule side is left open. When it rains, you're likely to have the vestibule completely closed, and condensation is at its worst. I'm probably going back to double-walled tents from here on out. Big Agnes SL1 or something like that.

I would like to hear more about the condensation, such as what conditions you were in and what problems it caused. I am surprised because it was never a problem for me and only even noticeable a few times. Can regular tents have condensation, too?

Johnny Thunder
09-24-2007, 13:19
I would like to hear more about the condensation, such as what conditions you were in and what problems it caused. I am surprised because it was never a problem for me and only even noticeable a few times. Can regular tents have condensation, too?


Me too.

The times I've had it out haven't been an issue at all. Where were you set up? What was the air circulation like? Was there a lot of underbrush in the area around the tent?

Johnny

rafe
09-24-2007, 13:26
I would like to hear more about the condensation, such as what conditions you were in and what problems it caused. I am surprised because it was never a problem for me and only even noticeable a few times. Can regular tents have condensation, too?

The worst problem with condensation is when it's raining hard. Raindrops impact the tent from the outside, and that causes condensation on the inside to splatter off the "ceiling" of the tent and onto you or your sleeping bag (etc.) It feels like somehow the rain's "getting through" the tent but that's not what's happening. The secondary problem is simply that the tent becomes heavier by a few ounces -- and issue while hiking and carrying the tent.

Condensation would happen in almost any conditions. My ancient Eureka Gossamer (a double-walled tent) was smaller, heavier, slower to set up -- but a lot drier.

rafe
09-24-2007, 22:15
A few points before I bow out of the Rainbow vs. Hubba debate:

* I really liked the Rainbow in most regards. It's light, has oodles of floor space and headroom, and is very quick to set up & take down.
* I liked the fact that it could be used in freestanding mode... but on the trail, I never used it that way... :rolleyes:
* The only significant downside (from my experience) was the condensation.
* The Rainbow did keep me mostly dry when it needed to, during a thunderstorm in Maryland.
* I only used the Rainbow maybe six or seven nights (out of 39 nights on this last section hike.) IOW, Tater's got a lot more experience with the Rainbow than I do.
* The Rainbow is my newest tent, and it's the only single-walled tent I've used on the A.T.

Appalachian Tater
09-24-2007, 22:22
Did you or your stuff actually get damp or wet in the hard rain or was it just that the microdroplets weirded you out a little bit? That may have more to do with silnylon than condensation. Was there actual dripping? Did you have the top vent open?

It is heavier wet but it does dry out fast, during lunch on a sunny day.

I guess I should confess I've never used any other type of tent in my adult life!

Would you trade off the extra 1.5 pounds of weight and less space for the Gossamer or go with the Rainbow?

Also, does the Gossamer get heavier when wet or does it shed the water instead of soaking it up?

Also, the time I remember significant condensation was in very humid conditions, so humid that nothing would dry out, very near a stream in a low area. Still there was no dripping.

kirbysf
09-24-2007, 22:25
My hiking partner and I used the HUBBA HUBBA two-person tent in May on a shakedown hike on the AT. It is a great tent. But we both decided that we each needed a tent for our thruhike in 2008. There was no doubt what to order. We each got the HUBBA single person tent. Looking forward to April 2008.
Jumper

Appalachian Tater
09-24-2007, 22:28
How did you choose between a tarptent and a traditional tent and why did you choose the Hubba in particular? The reasoning would be helpful to the O.P. who is trying to decide.

Also, are you the same as kirbyinanutshell or is it just Kirby season?

rafe
09-24-2007, 22:47
Did you or your stuff actually get damp or wet in the hard rain or was it just that the microdroplets weirded you out a little bit? That may have more to do with silnylon than condensation. Was there actual dripping? Did you have the top vent open?

See Post #34. No leaks.


Would you trade off the extra 1.5 pounds of weight and less space for the Gossamer or go with the Rainbow?Neither. The BA SL1 is double-walled and only 6 oz heavier than the Rainbow. I used the Gossamer (3.0 lb.) exclusively between 1990 and 2006. The Rainbow allowed me to bring the pack and all my gear into the tent. That's not possible with the Gossamer.


Also, the time I remember significant condensation was in very humid conditions, so humid that nothing would dry out, very near a stream in a low area. Still there was no dripping.I was noticing heavy condensation on a cool, clear night (just a few days ago) with the entire vestibule side wide open.

Jim Adams
09-24-2007, 23:38
While on the PCT this year I saw alot of H.S. Tarptents. The weather is very dry out there with very low humidity and condensation was still a problem. If they were set up on grass , it was enough to cause condensation in the single walls. Most of the hikers with tarptents went out of their way to find bare forest floor or desert floor to avoid the wetness and due to needing staked out, they couldn't set up on bare rock. Almost everyone that I hiked with had the tarptents to save weight but also had to constantly be tightening "something" to keep the structure efficient. I only hiked 1,000 miles but by that time most of the others were considering changing to double wall free stavding.

geek

Appalachian Tater
09-25-2007, 00:08
While on the PCT this year I saw alot of H.S. Tarptents. The weather is very dry out there with very low humidity and condensation was still a problem. If they were set up on grass , it was enough to cause condensation in the single walls. Most of the hikers with tarptents went out of their way to find bare forest floor or desert floor to avoid the wetness and due to needing staked out, they couldn't set up on bare rock. Almost everyone that I hiked with had the tarptents to save weight but also had to constantly be tightening "something" to keep the structure efficient. I only hiked 1,000 miles but by that time most of the others were considering changing to double wall free stavding.

geek

The Rainbow is freestanding.

Jim Adams
09-25-2007, 00:13
The Rainbow is freestanding.


yes, but still single wall.

geek

Appalachian Tater
09-25-2007, 00:54
They must not have had Rainbows or they could have set them up on bare rock because it is freestanding. It is better if you can stake it down and stake out the sides but you can use rocks if necessary.

If you set up a Rainbow with hiking poles, and tighten up the four corners, it stays taut even when it rains all night, no need to fiddle with anything.

Those people you saw must have had other tarps or TarpTents than a Henry Shires TarpTent Rainbow model.

Maybe you could get some of those people who used them to give reviews here.

Jim Adams
09-25-2007, 08:44
My opinions that I've expressed here were obtained from the observations and conversations with 30--40 of these tarptent users on the PCT.
Occassionally the tent was a six moons (no problems with tautness and adjustment but still the single wall / condensation problems) but for the most part they were H.S. There were several different models and I personally don't know which ones or the differences between them but all of those hikers were constantly adjusting the pitch. It's not like they were just learning the pitch...I was out there with them for 3 months and the situation never changed other than a few sent their single walls home and had their old double wall tents sent to them. The condensation was always a problem with them unless they set up on dry dirt or pine needles and slept with all of the doors or vents open.
I always use a tarp and this was the first time that I had backpacked with a tent. I used the tent because of the mosquito problems on the PCT so leaving the doors and vents open would have negated the reason for the tent instead of a tarp.
I was in rain, snow, high winds, deserts, mountains, dryness and humidity and the Hubba never caused a concern or problem. I am not thrilled with the color but I feel that this tent may be the best single backpacking item that I've ever purchased. I think that the few ounces difference between the Hubba and a tarptent becomes a moot point when the performance of the probuct is compared. Light is good but if it doesn't work well then it is frustrating and a waste of money.

geek

rafe
09-25-2007, 08:53
Those people you saw must have had other tarps or TarpTents than a Henry Shires TarpTent Rainbow model.

I dunno... I trust Geek to properly identify a Tarptent Rainbow. ;) It's rather a unique shape, and Geek's been around the block a time or two.

HS calls this tent "freestanding" but that doesn't allow for guying out the two broad sides. At the very least, the vestibule side would need to be guyed out in any kind of rain. Considered as a freestanding tent, the Rainbow is kinda fiddly compared to, say, a Hubba or BA SL1.

Appalachian Tater
09-25-2007, 10:37
My opinions that I've expressed here were obtained from the observations and conversations with 30--40 of these tarptent users on the PCT.
Occassionally the tent was a six moons (no problems with tautness and adjustment but still the single wall / condensation problems) but for the most part they were H.S. There were several different models and I personally don't know which ones or the differences between them but all of those hikers were constantly adjusting the pitch. It's not like they were just learning the pitch...I was out there with them for 3 months and the situation never changed other than a few sent their single walls home and had their old double wall tents sent to them. The condensation was always a problem with them unless they set up on dry dirt or pine needles and slept with all of the doors or vents open.
I always use a tarp and this was the first time that I had backpacked with a tent. I used the tent because of the mosquito problems on the PCT so leaving the doors and vents open would have negated the reason for the tent instead of a tarp.
I was in rain, snow, high winds, deserts, mountains, dryness and humidity and the Hubba never caused a concern or problem. I am not thrilled with the color but I feel that this tent may be the best single backpacking item that I've ever purchased. I think that the few ounces difference between the Hubba and a tarptent becomes a moot point when the performance of the probuct is compared. Light is good but if it doesn't work well then it is frustrating and a waste of money.

geek


They were not Rainbows because the Rainbow doesn't have a pitch to be set. It has an arch supported by a pole. It also has a floor and netting and is completely sealed against insects.

Appalachian Tater
09-25-2007, 10:41
I dunno... I trust Geek to properly identify a Tarptent Rainbow. ;) It's rather a unique shape, and Geek's been around the block a time or two.

No, he has proved and admitted he has no idea about what models they were, he said, "There were several different models and I don't know which ones or the differences between them..."


HS calls this tent "freestanding" but that doesn't allow for guying out the two broad sides. At the very least, the vestibule side would need to be guyed out in any kind of rain.

That is true.

Cindy from Indy
09-25-2007, 15:16
Okay, I just bought a BNWT 2007 MSR Hubba w/footprint for $150 bucks on Ebay!!!!! Is that a DEAL or what??!! (I'll let you know if it is in fact that which was described-I've been 'hosed' on Ebay before ;) )

Jim Adams
09-25-2007, 16:26
No, he has proved and admitted he has no idea about what models they were, he said, "There were several different models and I don't know which ones or the differences between them..."



That is true.


This is true but it didn't matter which model...none of them were easy to work with. Most were squalls but it wasn't any different with the rainbow.

geek

Appalachian Tater
09-25-2007, 16:39
I promise you the Rainbow is very easy to work with. I can set one up in less than three minutes blindfolded or in the dark. Have you actually set one up and slept in it?

The hardest part about setting one up is changing the length of your hiking poles.