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Thread: Tarptents

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    Registered User panama snail's Avatar
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    Question Tarptents

    Would like to hear from anyone that has a sub 2 lb tarptent. How easy is it to set up? Is it stabale in windy conditions? How hard is it to use the hiking pole to pitch?

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    Hopeful Hiker QHShowoman's Avatar
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    Please see my response to the thread you posted two minutes ago on this very same subject.
    you left to walk the appalachian trail
    you can feel your heart as smooth as a snail
    the mountains your darlings
    but better to love than have something to scale


    -Girlyman, "Hold It All At Bay"

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    Tarptent Rainbow. Exactly 2 lbs. Roomy. Sets up in a flash. Love it, so far but it's still somewhat new in my kit.

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    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama snail View Post
    Would like to hear from anyone that has a sub 2 lb tarptent. How easy is it to set up? Is it stabale in windy conditions? How hard is it to use the hiking pole to pitch?
    =================================

    I've got the Lunar Solo-e (23 oz) and it not hard at all to set up. This is a full tent with floor. It uses a single trekking pole. Takes a few times to get the pitch just right but after that you can be up and ready to go in a few minutes.

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

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    Registered User hopefulhiker's Avatar
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    I used Henry Shires Squall for my 2005 thru. With just a couple of times it becomes almost second nature to set it up. I could set it up in the dark after a while. I really liked these tents.. They are the ticket for a thru hike..

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    Registered User jesse's Avatar
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    I have a homemade ray-way tarp. 15 oz. 10 stakes = 4 oz. Tyvek ground cloth 12 oz. Soon I will sew a net tent to replace the ground cloth. It will weigh 7 oz.
    Very easy to set up using sticks or hiking poles. Very stable in wind. I was in the Cohuttha 2 weekends ago, and up in Tennesee with the Boy Scouts last weekend. Both nights I estimate the wind in excess of 30 mph. It held up nicely.
    Ray sells a Tarp Book, that has the directions for making the tent. I also found it to be very informative con how to camp using a tarp.
    http://www.ray-way.com

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    Chicken Feathers Chicken Feathers's Avatar
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    I have the Virga 2 and it is great, fast put up (the more you use it the easier it is to set up). I would recommend it

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    My brand new Tarptent Contrail just showed up 2 hours ago, can't wait to get home from work now.....

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    Springer - Front Royal Lilred's Avatar
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    I have an '03 Squall and have had it in more than one big thunderstorm. Stayed bone dry in it. Easy to set up. The hiking pole wasn't a problem and was really an asset on the Squall. If I wanted more head room, stretched that pole out. In big thunderstorms, shortened the pole and hunkered down. Had some condensation but nothing to write home about. Had some misting too, but again, not a real problem.
    "It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America." - Daniel Boone

  10. #10

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    Tarptent Rainbow, thru-hiked with it, used it at least 120 times, easy to set up. Extremely stable in wind if staked down (not freestanding on a platform without stakes) and quite easy to pitch, even in the dark.

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    Default Groundsheet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Appalachian Tater View Post
    Tarptent Rainbow, thru-hiked with it, used it at least 120 times, easy to set up. Extremely stable in wind if staked down (not freestanding on a platform without stakes) and quite easy to pitch, even in the dark.
    Did you use a groundsheet for your Tarptent?

  12. #12
    The Incredibler Edibler
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    I have a Henry Shires Squall II Tarptent with sewn-in floor (comes in right at 2 lbs) and have used in a variety of conditions. As others have shared it's very quick and easy to set up even in the dark after a long day. Lots of pitching options make it stable and comfortable in wind and rain. The size makes it an absolute castle for one person and provides plenty of room for two people plus gear. I love my Tarptent, almost a much as my spork...
    A foon by any other name, is still a spork.

  13. #13

    Default Tarptent Squall

    I used my Henry Shire's Tarptent Squall (the original) on my traverse of Alaska last summer, one of the rainiest summers on record for northern Alaska.

    I highly recommend this shelter. It is the best shelter for the weight I have ever used, no question. Using a hiking pole for the front pole was simple and worked great. I used a Silshelter on the AT which was at least as good for rain protection, but I needed separate bug protection. Wish I'd carried a Tarptent. I had some minor problems with the Tarptent, but I want to emphasize that it's the big picture that counts!

    Some minor problems:
    I had to be careful the bug netting didn't stick out or some rain would try to drip through and then run onto the floor. With a little care, this was never a serious problem despite all the rain, but could and should be fixed, and perhaps it has been in the latest model.

    The zipper was wearing out by the end of the trip. The front guyline pulled loose, and there were some seams that should have been hotknifed or rolled, in my opinion, but weren't.

    I didn't care for the door closure system.

    It worked out in high winds, but only because I was smart about how and where I set it up. For example, setting up in openings in high willows. Needless to say, ultralight shelters, this one included, aren't going to be as bomber as 4-season mountain tents in high winds. Find a protected spot with good drainage.

    What I did like:

    I slept dry, every single night.
    I had tons of room.
    I very effectively escaped all the countless mosquitoes.
    It was very light for how effective it was.

    I ordered it with the sewn in floor. For me, in buggy country, that's the only way to go.

    I give the Tarptent five stars.

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    Registered User Lucky Dog's Avatar
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    I have the Contrail, i really like it, only 4 stakes and 1 treking pole. At 24oz and 2 min to setup, hard to beat.

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    Default Henry Shires Rocks!

    I have a Double Rainbow and a Squall 2. Both have sewn-in floors with bug mesh. I've never had flooding or bugs. I've been through some very extended t-storms with buckets of water raining down and high winds. Never an issue. The DR's clip-in liner feature is a great 2nd ceiling. Both are easy to set up and light. I'm very happy that I bought the DR. Now I've got extra headroom as well as space inside for my gear, too. Also, Henry's great at customer service.
    "Don't worry...even if things end up a bit too heavy...we'll all float on... all right."
    - Modest Mouse



  16. #16
    Registered User Bravo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckles View Post
    I have a Double Rainbow and a Squall 2. Both have sewn-in floors with bug mesh. I've never had flooding or bugs. I've been through some very extended t-storms with buckets of water raining down and high winds. Never an issue. The DR's clip-in liner feature is a great 2nd ceiling. Both are easy to set up and light. I'm very happy that I bought the DR. Now I've got extra headroom as well as space inside for my gear, too. Also, Henry's great at customer service.
    Besides headroom, is the DR much bigger than the S2? Can you fit 2 people plus gear in a DR?

  17. #17
    GA/VA 2007 Buckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo View Post
    Besides headroom, is the DR much bigger than the S2? Can you fit 2 people plus gear in a DR?
    The footprint is different. The DR has a width of 52" from head to toe, whereas the S2 is 51" at the foot and 78" at the head. You can get two sleeping pads in the DR, but you'd have to keep the elbows tucked in more than the S2. As for gear, with two people in the DR, in my opinion, gear would be in the very spacious vestibules, one on each side.
    "Don't worry...even if things end up a bit too heavy...we'll all float on... all right."
    - Modest Mouse



  18. #18
    Registered User snarbles's Avatar
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    I love my double rainbow. It comes in at about 2lb 11oz with 4 extra ti nails for tough ground. The cool thing is it easily fits 2 people.

    For one, go for the rainbow, you will love it. Just be careful when stuffing it not to damage the Apex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snarbles View Post
    I love my double rainbow. It comes in at about 2lb 11oz with 4 extra ti nails for tough ground. The cool thing is it easily fits 2 people.

    For one, go for the rainbow, you will love it. Just be careful when stuffing it not to damage the Apex.

    Okay, what is the Apex and how can it be damaged??


    From Colter....

    The zipper was wearing out by the end of the trip. The front guyline pulled loose, and there were some seams that should have been hotknifed or rolled, in my opinion, but weren't.

    Colter...this sounds like serious stuff. How long was the Alaska hike? Did you talk wth HS about this??

    Thanks,
    Stag3

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    Quote Originally Posted by stag3 View Post
    Okay, what is the Apex and how can it be damaged??
    If it's like the "regular" (not double) Rainbow -- the "apex" is probably that short stick sewn into a pocket at the very peak of the roof. It goes crosswise to the main ridge pole. You soon learn when folding the tent to take a bit of care with it. You can remove the stick, but there's really no need. Much easier to just leave it in place and roll up the tent "around" it.

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