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  1. #1

    Default Tarptent Comparison

    Looking potentially at my first Tarptent shelter. I have never seen one in person. Looking for a 1 person, but would like to avoid the "coffin". What is the main difference between the Bowfin and Rainbow. They look very similar to my untrained eye? Pros/cons of either? Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    I own a Stratospire 1 with the part solid inner tent making it a real double wall tent. Floor width 40”. Definitely not a coffin. If insects aren’t a problem, I use the rainfly alone. Saves weight.
    The Bowfin is a double wall tent and the Rainbow is definitely a single wall tent.
    Talk to Henry at TarpTent. He can tell you everything about his tents.
    Wayne

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    hopefully Franco will come in and discuss this.........

    franco works (maybe owns, i dont know) with/for tarptent.....

  4. #4

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    i have the Protrail in silnylon. have about 25 nights in the tent, including some down pours, stayed dry and the tent works fine for me. 4 stake set up can literally pitch it in 3 mins

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by needlefish View Post
    i have the Protrail in silnylon. have about 25 nights in the tent, including some down pours, stayed dry and the tent works fine for me. 4 stake set up can literally pitch it in 3 mins
    I like the simplicity of the Pro Trail. I just don't know how I would like the end entrance. I'll be 53 in a few months and think a side entrance might be easier.

  6. #6

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    Thank you all for the feedback.

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    The Bowfin is pretty much a two wall freestanding Rainbow.
    Depending where you are , a single wall tent may have too much condensation on the inside walls for your taste. I have camped in some very humid areas with some and to me it wasn't a problem (i just wiped the walls down if needed) but some are really bothered by it. At the same time the Rainbow has a lot of ventilation options to minimise the problem.
    BTW, I am still very close to Tarptent but I don't work for it. It's just a hobby.

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    Registered User Siestita's Avatar
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    I bought a Rainbow (1 person version) about 12 years ago, shortly after they first appeared on the market. I like it a lot and have used it without problems many, many times, usually doing so here in Kentucky or in the southern Appalachians. I like the Rainbow's large side entrance and also the fact that it sets up without requiring trekking poles. When I bought my Rainbow I was not yet a trekking pole user. I now sometimes set up a base camp and then leave the Rainbow erect there while I take my poles with me on side hikes. I've never bothered to use the Rainbow's "free standing using trekking poles" feature.
    Last edited by Siestita; 07-31-2020 at 06:45.

  9. #9

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    I’m using my 2014 Rainbow 2P on my 3rd AT thru - a few hundred nights in it, and it has never failed me! Can’t imagine why anyone would ever buy a 1P tent, but that’s just me...

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    I know that many DRs have been sold to solo hikers but the Rainbow is larger than many solo tents.
    The 88"x40" floor is fully usable , you can put two std 20" mats on it and the footprint is a bit smaller.
    With the DR you gain another door and vestibule so it just depends on how much space you like to have.

  11. #11
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    Love my Rainbow. Very roomy for one, and easily vented so I've not had any condensation issues. If I were looking from scratch, the only benefit I see to the Bowfin is the ability to roll back the cover and stargaze. Might be worth the $50 difference. Downside - the Bowfin looks a little more complicated, and a good deal smaller inside.
    Last edited by Deadeye; 07-30-2020 at 13:02. Reason: more info

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    Registered User greentick's Avatar
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    We are similarly aged. I have the Contrail, predecessor to the Protrail (PT looks to be better ventilated). There is crawling in/out involved but it packs so small/light that I consider it an acceptable trade. I haven't looked at TT's lineup in a while but were I shopping a one person shelter I can't say I wouldn't go for the PT (or even the PT Li if I had the spare jing) for the same reasons I like the Contrail.
    nous défions

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    Ditch Medicine: wash your hands and keep your booger-pickers off your face!

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    Registered User Siestita's Avatar
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    "Can’t imagine why anyone would ever buy a 1P tent, but that’s just me..."

    Like Deadeye I find the regular Rainbow quite roomy. And, I often camp in locations where it its difficult to find much ground that is both clear and flat. Then, it's helpful to be be using a narrower tent. Also, choosing the two person version would have unnecessarily added five ounces to my pack weight.
    Last edited by Siestita; 07-31-2020 at 07:00.

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    Registered User Siestita's Avatar
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    Removed duplicate post

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillyhanger View Post
    I like the simplicity of the Pro Trail. I just don't know how I would like the end entrance. I'll be 53 in a few months and think a side entrance might be easier.
    i'm 63, 6' tall, 190lbs and it's not a problem for me.

  16. #16

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    I also have the contrail and it’s great, a 1 person but will fit 2 people who like each other.

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    While we are talking about TarpTents and 1 versus 2 person tents.
    The floor of my Stratospire 1 person tent is 40” wide.
    The floor of the newish 2 person Stratospire Li is 45” wide.
    Really?
    Wayne

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    The floor width on the SS Li has to do with the width of the DCF rolls. However the factory in China has a way of bonding the fabric so this limit has been overcome in the DR Li version. ( 50" wide)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillyhanger View Post
    I like the simplicity of the Pro Trail. I just don't know how I would like the end entrance. I'll be 53 in a few months and think a side entrance might be easier.
    You are not old by any stretch. The entry is actually quite large and you would offset the pole for essentially unrestricted entry and exit. It is larger than the Notch and Bowfin inside. Probably similar to the Rainbow. If you don't like fabric closer to your face when you sleep, then the Bowfin, Rainbow, or Protrail are your best bet.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    While we are talking about TarpTents and 1 versus 2 person tents.
    The floor of my Stratospire 1 person tent is 40” wide.
    The floor of the newish 2 person Stratospire Li is 45” wide.
    Really?
    Wayne
    That second person better be on a pretty good diet ! ( makes no sense).

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