Feb 19, 2014 at 8:53 am #1313506
So heres my issue. I leave in a month for a thru hike on the AT and I'm having a small case of buyers remorse about my Tarptent Notch. I slept in it not too long ago and while I did like the tent overall, I didn't care for the small floorspace. Another problem I've been having with it is trying to pack it into its stuff sack. Does anyone know the best way to pack a tarptent with carbon struts? It takes me forever and I'm using a lot of force to do so which scares me, has thinking ill rip a seam somewhere. The final bit thats been frustrating me is that because of the struts there is a fixed pack size. In other words i am forced to pack it on the outside of my pack.
Because of these reasons I've been considering a lunar duo. I seems to eliminate all of these problems I have with the notch and saves me a couple ounces. Does anyone have long term experience with either or advice that can help me solve this problem?Feb 19, 2014 at 9:06 am #2075068
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
I had an older Lunar Solo e before the height increase and even the older model was very spacious. The only "mod" I did was add a small elastic cord to the cord securing the main pole for a little bit of "give" if hit with intermittent high winds to minimize shuddering, wind noise, and the min stake pulling out (keep an elastic cord for all brands of tarp and tarp tent structures nowadays, so not that unique). Like all single walls, there can be condensation if there's no breeze but that was minor. Though I had a lot of room, I ended up selling it (used) since I often camp on uneven surfaces and with that large footprint (it is spacious) some lines would be at one angle, some would almost level, etc.. Maybe with the new height, that could have been mitigated to some extent. With my "luck" in campsite selection I'll be going with a tarp and hanging net tent eventually (maybe a Notch) but YMMV.
Add : as to packing, the netting and tarp were sewn together on the old model, … so a bit of hassle to dry it on the move … but not that much.Feb 19, 2014 at 9:12 am #2075070
I have a TT Scarp 2 and Hogback and had a Moment. All of these have the struts. I haven't found it to be a big challenge, but maybe the Notch sack is smaller. Make sure you're rolling the tent tightly around the struts. Silicone from sealing can make it sticky and resistant to sliding sometimes. I rubbed chalk on the silicone to help with this.
Edit: You could also make or buy a larger stuff sack if that doesn't work.Feb 19, 2014 at 9:25 am #2075080
> Does anyone know the best way to pack a tarptent with carbon struts?
The idea with the Notch (and other strut supported models) is to roll it up around the strut supported ends. Stretch the Notch out flat on the ground folded in half such that the right/left side hems line up and the folded flat struts are at opposite ends. Now bring one strut end over and align it with the other. You will then have both struts supports flattened and parallel to each other and the zippered vestibules will be wide and on the other end. Now grab the fabric by the vestibule edges and layer it back onto itself in roughly thirds so that the whole package assumes the same width as the struts. Now start at the struts end and roll tightly toward the other end. The air will come out through the vents. Slide/twist the rolled package into the stuff sack.
-HFeb 19, 2014 at 9:33 am #2075088
@edhyattLocale: The North
How tall are you? At 5' 7" I find the Notch roomy enough – so much so that I get almost all my gear in the inner (my preference); occasionally leaving my shoes, and stove outside.
As Henry suggests – rolling it up around the carbon struts is easy. I tend to roll it most of the way up then roll the other end in so the struts are kept separate from rubbing on anything in my pack. It seems very compact to me and fits easily into a Talon 33 or a MacPac Amp 25 IME.
I've used the Notch a fair bit in Scotland and for a CT thru last summer – it seemed really easy to pack to me – even when dripping with condensation, seemingly a common happenstance at those altitudes.Feb 19, 2014 at 10:39 am #2075117
The weight, space, and small packable size of the Duo will be an improvement over the Notch. AT weather is generally very tame so storm worthyness isn't much of a consideration. Dealing with some condensation is your main worry with the Duo IMO. I loathe it but for others it isn't a big deal. YMMV
RyanFeb 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm #2075139
I have a video on how to pack a Rainbow,Moment and a separate for the Contrail.
The Notch packs the same way as the Moment.
Start the cliup at 4:25 :Feb 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm #2075141
Sorry for writing duo, i meant solo. My issue is really the length in that it has a fixed length, i like to squish it sideways when i pack my tarps and i cant do this with the notch.Feb 19, 2014 at 1:01 pm #2075144
@edhyattLocale: The North
No. You'll never be able to do that.
Pack you are using?
I always 'squished sideways' until I got a Scarp, then a Notch….their packing requirements have not affected the carry despite the orientation.
I'm not a blind 'TT' disciple BTW ;-)Feb 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm #2075225
> My issue is really the length in that it has a fixed length
The struts are 16" so that is the rolled length. Not sure if you want to take them out but they do come out pretty easily through a slit at ground level–we get them in that way–and then you can stuff all you want.
Everything is a tradeoff and the 16" packed length otherwise affords structural integrity and setup ease impossible in something without.
-HFeb 20, 2014 at 12:29 am #2075342
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
I have the Notch and have also had the old Lunar Solo (can't comment on the improved version) however the things that I didn't like about the Lunar Solo would still be a problem for me with the new version. Setting up on one pole does not leave a lot of head room, the Notch sets up on two poles and has tons of headroom. I found the Solo drafty (a design feature to handle condensation…. which was the third problem for me… I don't like dealing with condensation). I bought the semi-solid inner with my Notch and that handles drafts and condensation very well.
I also like to drop my shelter into the bottom of my pack without a stuff sack. I was concerned about the struts but have found it fairly simple to just hang onto the struts when I drop the shelter into the bottom of my pack and then I just point the struts up the side of the pack. The rest of my gear rests against them and keeps them in place. This is pretty much what I did with my Fly Creek except the poles were not attached to the shelter but they were still slipped down the side of the pack with the rest of my gear packed against them. It works for me.Feb 20, 2014 at 6:51 am #2075369
I really like the idea of simply stuffing it into my pack and pointing the struts up, I'm going to try that out. Don't get me wrong I really love this tent and think it has a superior design to just about every other one out there, and honestly after reading a ton of reviews, if I switched to the solo I'd just be purchasing a whole new set of problems. Ooooh the quest for the perfect shelter, so fun :)Mar 4, 2014 at 7:30 am #2079280
I used a notch for about 30-35 nights last summer. I'm 6'1" and 180 lbs. I found the floor space fine. I even had to keep my pack inside a few nights because ground squirrels woukd eat anything. It wasn't ideal but was ok. The only problem I had was set up. I could never get it up on the first try and found extra guy lines on the apex helped there. I also found that a groundsheet was really worth it in wet conditions, under the floor picked up all kinds of mud that was hard to clean up. Oh put a bunch of silicone on the floor my neo air slid around like crazy. Packing is esay, even if I couldn't get a tight roll I found that the extra material could be stuffed into the stuff sack.Mar 4, 2014 at 9:22 am #2079314
@detroittigerfanLocale: Ann Arbor
I have a Contrail and a Squall and have borrowed a Rainbow in the past and getting them to fit into their respective stuffsacks was always a challenge, and impossible if still damp. Finally decided it's an annoyance I don't need to deal with every morning, so made replacement ones on my own; well worth the couple of extra grams.
I remember someone posting about this a while ago and Franco's response was that it was simply user error. Incompetent tent rolling. ;)Mar 4, 2014 at 10:08 am #2079335
@feetfirstLocale: Northern Sierra Nevada
Mike W. said, "I also like to drop my shelter into the bottom of my pack without a stuff sack. I was concerned about the struts but have found it fairly simple to just hang onto the struts when I drop the shelter into the bottom of my pack and then I just point the struts up the side of the pack. The rest of my gear rests against them and keeps them in place."
Perfect! I've been using a Moment, and now a Moment DW, for a couple of years now and have just dealt with the longish pack size. Not a huge problem, but when carrying my bigger bear can (BV500) for a week in the Sierra last year, I did end up lashing the shelter on the outside due to space constraints. I just tried this method and it makes packing so much easier and way more efficient. Why didn't I think of it before?! Thanks.Mar 4, 2014 at 11:02 am #2079357
> The only problem I had was set up. I could never get it up on the first try and found extra guy lines on the apex helped there.
Sounds like a problem with pulling a strut-supported end out too far before inserting the trekking poles. When your first stake out the setup, you spread apart the struts and stake one end. Now pull the other end in the direction you want to sleep. The trick is to pull that second end out only to the point where you just start to feel a little underlying floor strap tension. And I do mean JUST. Resist the temptation to pull it out as hard as you can. Now proceed with the trekking poles and vestibules staking. The result is/should be a virtually flat ridge line and you will not need any extra guylines to achieve proper setup.
-HMar 4, 2014 at 11:54 am #2079372
Thanks henry! You make great tents! I was able to do just that the first time I set it up. Not sure why I'm so inept with it, still I can get it up in five miuntes, most people can probably get it up in less than three. I still like the extra guylines and they don't add much weight. The notch is a great tent it kept me nice and dry in a couple of downpours last summer.
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