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  1. #1

    Default New to hiking... Zpacks, Tarptent, or LightHeart?

    Hello White Blaze. This is my first thread. I plan to do a SoBo thru-hike of the PCT starting in July.

    There is so much valuable information on WB it is outstanding. Thank you.

    Now to the tents. I know I want something that is ultra-light and isn't just a super easy pop up tent such as the Big Agnes Copper UL 2. There is just something awesome about these cottage manufacturers and the aesthetic of their products.

    So that leads me to: Zpacks. LightHeart. Tarptent. With all the research I've been doing I find myself repeatedly coming back to Tarptent. The thing that trips me up is... I do not plan to use trekking poles and from what I see Tarptent doesn't offer an alternative pole. Maybe I am overlooking something? The Double Rainbow seems to be what I am leaning towards (I am 6'3 and like to stretch out a little bit).

    If anyone can just kind of steer me in a bit of a direction with this decision that will really help. I am still open to splurging (although it seems unnecessary) on a Zpacks Duplex and also still open to LightHeart. All help is greatly appreciated and I am really excited for this experience.

  2. #2
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    https://www.tarptent.com/store/vertical-support-pole

    This is the Tarptent product to use in lieu of hiking poles.

    Good Luck with your hike

  3. #3
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    We have a mix of trekking pole supported tents and standard tent pole supported one.
    The Double Rainbow comes with it's own pole , a standard Easton aluminium type (and 6x stakes)
    You can sort of see that pole inside the yellow sleeves in the product photos.

    For the trekking pole supported 2 person models (SS2,MoTrail ,Squall 2 ) you can get the one posted by OCDAVE (preferred) or the lighter but not as sturdy Substitute Front Pole (also listed under Extras)

    [email protected]

  4. #4
    Registered User -Rush-'s Avatar
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    My latest tent is the Lightheart Gear Solong 6. It's got nearly as much room as my MSR Hubba Hubba NX and comes in at 1lb 14oz without stakes/sack. It packs down enough that you could fit it into a Nalgene bottle. The trekking pole support (which I use) is optional; LightHeart sells adjustable aluminum or carbon fiber poles for the tent as well. It withstood a 3 hour downpour in the Smokies without issue. There was a bit of condensation and eventually a small amount of misting during this storm, but you're going to get that with any tent in the right conditions. Just keep a small towel handy and wipe it down. The inside of the tent stayed dry and I've been happy with it.

  5. #5
    Registered User Vegan Packer's Avatar
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    My finalists were the Solong 6 and the ZPacks Duplex. I went with the Duplex. 21 ounces, and lots of interior room with plenty of room in the vestibule.
    "Not many miles, but a whole lot of smiles." Vegan Packer

  6. #6
    Registered User Hoofit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rybir View Post
    Hello White Blaze. This is my first thread. I plan to do a SoBo thru-hike of the PCT starting in July.

    There is so much valuable information on WB it is outstanding. Thank you.

    Now to the tents. I know I want something that is ultra-light and isn't just a super easy pop up tent such as the Big Agnes Copper UL 2. There is just something awesome about these cottage manufacturers and the aesthetic of their products.

    So that leads me to: Zpacks. LightHeart. Tarptent. With all the research I've been doing I find myself repeatedly coming back to Tarptent. The thing that trips me up is... I do not plan to use trekking poles and from what I see Tarptent doesn't offer an alternative pole. Maybe I am overlooking something? The Double Rainbow seems to be what I am leaning towards (I am 6'3 and like to stretch out a little bit).

    If anyone can just kind of steer me in a bit of a direction with this decision that will really help. I am still open to splurging (although it seems unnecessary) on a Zpacks Duplex and also still open to LightHeart. All help is greatly appreciated and I am really excited for this experience.
    I have a double rainbow and like it a lot, especially the two side doors, easy to get in and great views. It doesn't need any hiking poles for normal setup, just to set it up freestanding and then you'd need two. Lots of space and under three pounds.You can get it lighter, like I did, by going with carbon instead of aluminum.

  7. #7

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    I've also been looking at the same brands, but my partner is a big guy, so we're looking to upgrade to a 3p. I'm really leaning toward TT rainshadow, though he's gunning for the cloudburst. How much headroom is there really in the Rainshadow?

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    Lightheart, it seems to me, is at the cutting edge. If I had unlimited cash on hand I'd grab one of those Solong 6s. But my nine-year old Tarptent is still serving me flawlessly, so I've not bee lusting after a new tent.

  9. #9
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtgirl View Post
    I've also been looking at the same brands, but my partner is a big guy, so we're looking to upgrade to a 3p. I'm really leaning toward TT rainshadow, though he's gunning for the cloudburst. How much headroom is there really in the Rainshadow?
    According to the TarpTent online information, peak height of the Rainshadow is 48".
    Also look at the StratoSpire 2. If you relax the floor, the interior sleeping space rivals 3 person tents. 2 side doors and 2 HUGE vestibules are a bonus.

    Wayne
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  10. #10

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    Don't limit your shelter choices based on you using or not using trekking poles. It's so easy and not all that expensive buying or making your own dedicated UL tent poles of Al, CF(both wrapped and pultruded), and fiberglass. http://www.questoutfitters.com/tent_poles.htm

    http://tentpoletechnologies.com/?page_id=631

    http://fibraplex.com

    http://www.rutalocura.com/Tent_Poles.html


    Plus, several cottage gear light wt/UL shelter manufacturers offer their own dedicated UL CF and Al poles. Packs, SMD, MLD, etc

  11. #11

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    Awesome. Mystery solved. Thank you.

  12. #12
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    For what it's worth, the single ridge pole on my Tarptent Rainbow weighs 6.1 oz. In the overall scheme of things, not a big burden. Peace of mind to know I can set it up in about 2 minutes or less, without fiddling with hiking poles.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    We have a mix of trekking pole supported tents and standard tent pole supported one.
    The Double Rainbow comes with it's own pole , a standard Easton aluminium type (and 6x stakes)
    You can sort of see that pole inside the yellow sleeves in the product photos.

    For the trekking pole supported 2 person models (SS2,MoTrail ,Squall 2 ) you can get the one posted by OCDAVE (preferred) or the lighter but not as sturdy Substitute Front Pole (also listed under Extras)

    [email protected]

    I actually have really been considering the SS2. I think it is only a few more ounces than the DR, however is the SS2 something that come mid trail I will realize I really do not need all the room it provides since ultimately it is just me. Of course it is all subjective based on preference, but I definitely trust some of the experience people have on here. For me, I imagine it will difficult to adjust to sleeping well outside and stealth camping so my rational is the more comfort I have at camp the better the challenges (mentally and physically) the hike will be.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    For what it's worth, the single ridge pole on my Tarptent Rainbow weighs 6.1 oz. In the overall scheme of things, not a big burden. Peace of mind to know I can set it up in about 2 minutes or less, without fiddling with hiking poles.
    That is peace of mind. Especially for someone new to this. Might be reason for me to not go with the SS2 and stick with the DR... Although the SS2 just seems awesome if I can really get the setup down in my training before the PCT.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Don't limit your shelter choices based on you using or not using trekking poles. It's so easy and not all that expensive buying or making your own dedicated UL tent poles of Al, CF(both wrapped and pultruded), and fiberglass. http://www.questoutfitters.com/tent_poles.htm

    http://tentpoletechnologies.com/?page_id=631

    http://fibraplex.com

    http://www.rutalocura.com/Tent_Poles.html


    Plus, several cottage gear light wt/UL shelter manufacturers offer their own dedicated UL CF and Al poles. Packs, SMD, MLD, etc
    Really helpful. Thank you.

  16. #16

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    Talked to Henry Shires (responded within 12 hours) and he said the SS2 is too much tent for one person. But the Double Rainbow, as I look more into it, seems a little tight with limited space. I am 6'3 and definitely plan to want to sit up comfortably. Is the StratoSpire 1 the answer? Seems pretty narrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rybir View Post
    I actually have really been considering the SS2. I think it is only a few more ounces than the DR, however is the SS2 something that come mid trail I will realize I really do not need all the room it provides since ultimately it is just me. Of course it is all subjective based on preference, but I definitely trust some of the experience people have on here. For me, I imagine it will difficult to adjust to sleeping well outside and stealth camping so my rational is the more comfort I have at camp the better the challenges (mentally and physically) the hike will be.
    I owned an SS2 and ended up selling it. It's a great tent, huge vestibules, lots of interior space. Set up is a bit weird due to the geometry, nothing that can't be overcome, but if you're on a slope you have to get it right the first time since it's not free standing. The floor is very slippery even with added silicone strips.

    It also has a very large footprint for a 2 man and takes a pretty big area to set up.

    The outside geometry is excellent at shedding the wind and it's very weather proof overall.

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    Set up is a bit weird due to the geometry

    Yes it can be but , for some at least, setting up the rectangular floor area first and then pulling out the vestibules becomes much easier.
    This is how I do it, the clip is well under 2 minutes and in real time :
    <span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); background-color: rgb(235, 235, 235);">


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by newtgirl View Post
    I've also been looking at the same brands, but my partner is a big guy, so we're looking to upgrade to a 3p. I'm really leaning toward TT rainshadow, though he's gunning for the cloudburst. How much headroom is there really in the Rainshadow?
    here is my video clip on the RS @ , I'm 5'8"

  20. #20
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Rybir,
    The StratoSpire 1 is virtually the same size as the StratoSpire 2 except for the width of the floor. The floor is adjustable and widens from 32" to 42".
    Floor Width (in/cm)
    32/ 81

    Bathtub floor widens to 42/ 106
    That may work for you.

    Wayne




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