Sep 26, 2005 at 12:22 pm #1216838
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
check out the new “Rainbow” tent coming from Tarptent—in today’s Spotlite (if you are a subscriber). Wow! And a future Epic tent ? ditto!Sep 26, 2005 at 1:27 pm #1342028
Looks similar in concept to Montbell Fast & Light, but single wall / Tarptent-ish / First-lightish design.
Looks like it will be very competitive.
Question, it “looks” like the pole goes on the outside and the tent clips to the pole? (referencing yellow “line” in picture)Sep 26, 2005 at 1:29 pm #1342029
Can you please post a link? I don’t see the information anywhere on his site and I don’t get the newsletter.
BobSep 26, 2005 at 1:37 pm #1342030
Link is Members Only, however.Sep 26, 2005 at 1:42 pm #1342032
The pole slides through a continous (yellow) sleeve just like all the other Tarptent models.
-HSep 26, 2005 at 1:49 pm #1342033
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Every time we convince ourselves that we’ve got our gear pat down, Henry comes and messes it all up! :)Sep 26, 2005 at 1:59 pm #1342034
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
based upon the many, many posts in these Forums, i have to believe all of your shelters must be excellent in both design and construction. read the “SpotLite” review of the Rainbow prototype and have a few questions. i’m curious about your new “Rainbow”.
other than brand loyalty from existing HS users and the fact that it’s freestanding, what are the other marketing points about your new “Rainbow” shelter that would make one purchase it over a SMD Lunar Solo ‘e’? based upon the “SpotLite” Review of the prototype, the Lunar Solo ‘e’ is slightly larger, but lighter even with the heavier floor (26.5oz). the pic looks like the “Rainbow” has overhangs that prevent wind driven rain from entering the shelter, is this correct? it sure does look like a very nice design. can’t wait to hear more.Sep 26, 2005 at 2:00 pm #1342035
My wife will kill me. The only way I get another tent is to buy her a new bike first. But it sure is tempting.Sep 26, 2005 at 2:04 pm #1342036
What is the spotlite news letter? Is that just the regular BPL news letter because I didn’t receive it. I would not have known about this review unless I saw the post here. How do I sign up?
BobSep 26, 2005 at 2:44 pm #1342038
A direct comparison with the Lunar Solo E is a bit of oranges vs apples (and Ron Moak is a good friend) so I wont go there but I will share of bit of the design goals for the Rainbow below:
First and foremost, I tried to design a hybrid, free-standing shelter that incorporates trekking poles to produce the absolute minimum pole structure. Every other free-standing shelter in the world is a dome or dome-like shelter with two flexible crossing poles that meet in the middle and form the skeleton for the canopy. The Rainbow is radically different in that it uses a single arch pole that tensions to two trekking/ski poles anchored cross-wise to the arch pole tips to form a stabile base. (note: the Rainbow can also be easily staked to the ground with 4 stakes if you don’t use trekking poles) The Rainbow pole structure is under stabile equilibrium because the arch pole tips try to push out while the trekking poles (under tension from the canopy) try to push in. Tensions running up the fabric to the strut at the top of the arch complete the tensioned canopy.
Secondly, I tried to build a shelter with a lot of headroom and very steep walls both for sitting up and moving around and for limiting any chance of a sleeping bag contacting a wall. An arch (with cross-strut) is particularly effective at meeting both goals.
Lastly, I tried to design a shelter with maximal usable volume, minimal footprint, and minimal weight. I don’t think you’ll find another shelter that does those 3 things better in combination than the Rainbow. There are certainly lighter solo shelters out there and if “lightest” is your need then you should run quickly to the superb Lunar Solo E. But for a few ounces more, the Rainbow is lot of performance and luxury for the weight.
TarptentSep 26, 2005 at 2:56 pm #1342039
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Bob G. check out
look at online subscription–it’s a premium service and you pay an annual subscription—much more useful than the ever decaying Backpacker magazine.
Go, Henry,go!Sep 26, 2005 at 3:13 pm #1342042
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
many thanks for the swift reply. hopefully, you understood that i was not trying to cause a HS vs. SMD feud. i love the Lunar Solo ‘e’ Mr. Moak kindly sold me a few months ago. of all the tents & bivies i currently own, it’s the shelter that’s the closest to the Rainbow – hence my request that you compare your new Rainbow to it. i appreciate all of the info you included in your post. obviously, the Rainbow is a very well thought out and engineered design.
you’ve made it difficult for me. since i already own the “orange”, i guess i’m i gonna’ have to buy the “apple” too, once it becomes available. thanks again. best wishes for continued success in your business endeavors. “if you build it, they will come” buy it.Sep 26, 2005 at 6:24 pm #1342051
David LewisBPL Member
@davidlewisLocale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Very MSR Hubba-esq :)
In a nutshell, I would say that this new tent, while not the lightest shelter available, is clearly the lightest shelter *in it’s class*. i.e… it has many of the same benefits and clearly the same amount of headroom and bug protection as other single pole tents like the MSR Hubba (and many others) while being 1 pound lighter than all of them. Pretty cool. Basically a single-walled take on the single pole dome type tent… and also using the hiking poles to save another couple of ounces.Sep 27, 2005 at 8:48 am #1342072
Good to see you here. I’m looking forward to seeing the 2-person version and how it compares to the Cloudburst—my favorite 2-person tent.
As regards EPIC, I’m curious how your tests are going. Personally, I have not been happy with the EPIC jacket I have. It is neither waterproof nor breathable. Once it gets wet, it is done. And, I found that as I used it more it went downhill quickly, possibly due to buildup of salts/oils from perspiration, etc. You may be using a different grade EPIC; I certainly would not want to rely on a tent made out of the EPIC in my jacket.
I have a Feathered Friends EPIC bag that seems to work ok at repelling water droplets from the occasional condensation in the tent (e.g. if it touches the tent wall). I do have some reservation, however, based on my jacket experience and its lack of breathability, about moisture buildup in the interior of the bag.
Based on the actual structure of the EPIC fiber itself, I wonder whether it is indeed suitable for long-term use as tent material (dirt, etc.).
What is the insdie scoop on e-Vent? Are you barred from using it as a tent material?Sep 27, 2005 at 10:13 am #1342076
No EPIC data yet. There are certainly different grades of EPIC–the one we’re testing is a polyester ripstop–and performance is no doubt impacted by fabric tautness, airflow, contact etc. The goal here it to limit condensation while preventing water from getting through. If EPIC wets through (and it will eventually) but doesn’t leak/drip beyond that then that condition is virtually identical to silnylon when condensation occurs under cold and wet conditions. At that point the fabric performance differences are a wash and silnylon wins because it’s lighter and less expensive. However, if we find that EPIC significantly limits condensation under other conditions where silnylon condensates then we’ll take a serious look at offering it on some of the models. There’s about a 1/2-ounce/square yard weight penalty for EPIC vs. silnylon which works out to a about a 4-ounce weight increase on something like the Cloudburst. There would also be a corresponding price increase of $25-$30 for fabric cost. You, the consumer, would need to decide if those increases are worth it to you and I, the “investor”, will need to decide if it’s worth the investment risk.
E-Vent is not available as a tent fabric, at least to me in the US.
-HSep 27, 2005 at 10:36 am #1342080
Duplicate. NMSep 27, 2005 at 11:39 am #1342081
What about stability in high winds? One of my problems with the squall was what I felt was inadequate protection from wind/rain in high winds(40 mph+). Will it be equivalent to the BD firstlight?Sep 27, 2005 at 12:05 pm #1342082
I haven’t tested the BD Firstlight so I can’t comment on that comparison but I think the Rainbow is better in wind and rain than the original Squall (your tent) and at least as good as the Squall 2 (with dual trekking poles) when staked down. The pole and pullouts provide better fabric support than do the poles and pullouts on the other models. I got hit by some high winds and plenty of rain in Colorado and the Rainbow (and occupant) survived just fine.
-HSep 27, 2005 at 12:17 pm #1342083
Any idea when this tent (and a 2-person model) will be in production? I’m curious also about the condensation issues relative to the Cloudburst model; how much did you experience on your trip? It’s difficult to see what venting there is other than the door side.Sep 27, 2005 at 12:55 pm #1342086
The Rainbow should be available by late Dec. No timelines on a 2-person version.
The Rainbow has a high shielded window on the back wall as well as the usual venting at floor level all the way around the perimeter. I experienced one night of substantial condensation after a cold rain and no wind and one other night of minimal condensation after another cold rain and an occasional breeze. The first time the shelter was completely sealed up and the second time I left the netting door open (under the beak) which apparently helped. On other morning, after it snowed and the temperature dropped to 20 degrees, I had some really thin patches of ice on the inside walls in a few places. All other mornings were dry. I don’t really have a way to measure condensation in one model vs. another but my gut feeling is that it certainly isn’t any worse in the Rainbow in bad weather than any of the other models and overall better because you’re a long way from any potentially wet walls. Two people can actually sit up together facing each other inside and still touch nothing. In good weather, I think condensation potential is less than the other models.
-HSep 28, 2005 at 2:48 am #1342135
Wow, looks like the Rainbow will create a bridge for those (aka, my friends) who are more comfortable with a more “traditional looking” design and a lightweight tent.
I can’t wait for the 2-person version, though. Keep it up!Sep 28, 2005 at 8:37 am #1342142
Put me down for a new Cloudbust 2 with EPIC fabric. There are definatedly MANY different grades of EPIC fabric, so if a person dislikes an EPIC jacket, a different grade EPIC bivy or tent (that is the correct grade) would make the disliker change their minds about this wonderful fabric.
ACSep 28, 2005 at 12:43 pm #1342153
Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Looking good! Too bad I’ll miss the Gathering this weekend.
I’d strongly recommend a covered rear high vent on the production model. All that mesh definitely impedes ventilation, especially on days with little or no breeze, and raises the internal temperature. There has to be a way for moisture to escape at night. If it’s not buggy, then the door stays open, but when the mossies are out…………..SAUNA CITY!
Personally, I have no use for a window – IMO, it’s just one more gimmick to crack, scratch, and/or discolor, and more seams to seal.
Wandering BobSep 28, 2005 at 12:58 pm #1342154
Not to worry, there is a covered high netting vent on the prototype rear wall (not shown in the photo) and there will be one in the production model. I have no interest in plastic windows.
-HSep 28, 2005 at 1:58 pm #1342158
Because EPIC is an individual fiber coating and not a barrier film coating or impregnation that blocks the weave of the fabric, EPIC actually works better in tents and in sleeping bags than it does in rain/wind wear. This is because capillary action can draw moisture throught the pores of EPIC’s weave when the material comes in contact with other objects. EPIC coats first leak notably at pack straps for instance. Of course, since most people don’t seal their seams, EPIC coats usually leak at seams before the fabric experiences breakthrough.
Tents and to a lessor extant the shells of sleeping bags hold the fabric where capillary action is reduced. Just stay away from the walls when it is raining. EPIC over polyester insulation, as in Golite’s Belay jacket seem remarkably waterproof. Water pressure can overwhelm EPIC tents as in a severe downpour, and long soakings can eventually also lead to breakthrough. Many people haven’t found it to be a problem in Black Diamond’s tents; it’s a trade off between bulletproof versus good enough. If you expect bombproof you may be disappointed with a few managable leaks. This might not be a problem for brief afternoon mountain thunderstorm protection, but could be a deal killer for outings with days of continuous rain.
EPIC doesn’t breath as well as DWR treated nylons, but it breaths well enough that polyester clothing that gets wet underneath it will dry under body heat in dry alpine conditions.
Unless you really swet up a storm in a sleeping bag, EPIC should only be a problem in retaining moisture under conditions where one could successfully use a vapor barrier liner (under say 10 degrees F). Remember a sleeping bag has considerable area for vapor transmission, so that application really doesn’t compare to your jacket.
EPIC does crap out when it gets dirty and it should not be laundered in detergent or with fabric softeners, or it will lose its repellency until those contaminant residues can be cleaned and rinsed out, with fabric softener being the tougher of the two to fix.
You might want to try sealing the inside seams of your EPIC jacket with Silnet or thinned silicone caulk. Once done you may find that the fabric even when it wets through passes very little moisture compared to seam leaks.
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