Tarptent Cloudburst for winter camping?

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    Todd Brashear



    I’m new to the whole concept of backpacking light and new to this site, but I’ve learned a lot and have really been enjoying it.

    My question-I just got a Tarptent Cloudburst for Christmas and was going to use it this weekend on an overnight trip in the Red River Gorge here in KY. It’s supposed to get down to about 12 F Saturday night. If I have a -5 sleeping bag, is there any reason that I shouldn’t try the Tarptent? Could the extra ventilation be of benefit to help with condensation? I have an REI one person tent that I could use, but I’m really wanting to try the tarptent out.

    Graeme Finley


    Locale: SF Bay Area

    I’ve been out in the high teens in my Tarptent Squall and it was fine during a minor snowstorm (some frozen condensation on the interior, but easily wiped off). The only issues I see in camping in a Tarptent in winter are shielding yourself from high winds (I have a goretex sleeping bag cover) and handling heavy snow loads (I regularly brushed the snow away until it stopped falling).

    Richard Nelridge


    Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania

    I have yet to use my Cloudburst in such conditions, but I discussed the use of this Tarptent with Henry Shires before ordering mine through e-mail and on the telephone. Henry indicated that the Cloudburst was designed to accept more snow loading than the other models because of its shape and the use of its front hoop pole (snow is less likely to collect and will slide off better than the A frame shape of the Virga and Squall). This is why this is the only model rated as a 3+ season “tent”.

    The new designs of the Virga 2 and Squall 2 may also be able to take more snowloading than the older versions.

    If need be you can roll down the sidewall storm flaps of the Cloudburst to lessen wind and snow entry. If you ordered the extended beak you can also lessen wind and snow from entering from the front. But, the more you close up the “tent” the greater the likelihood of condensation and or frost build-up on the inner walls just like any single wall tent (particularly those made of unbreathable materials like silnylon).

    Due to the amount of netting of the Cloudburst, the air circulation through the tent you may lessen the build up of moisture. If you can lessen your perspiration (as through the use of vapor barrier clothing) or if you do not perspire that much you will have less condensation and frost build-up.

    Your REI tent may be warmer than the Cloudburst because it is a full tent.

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