Six Moon Designs Europa II vs. Tarptents

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    Matthew L.
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pittsburgh, PA

    Hi everyone. I have been eyeing up a lot of lightweight shelters and am really impressed with the Six Moon Designs Europa II and the Tarptent Squall and Cloudburst. All of these shelters seem to have different (and similar) assets and liabilities. I know that Tarptents are hugely loved and have a big following. How do they stack up next to the Europa II? It has a nice design that has received some really positive reviews from people at and There are some things that I like better than on the Tarptents (neat entrance design, optional vestibule, unique noseeum netting throughout that really helps with condensation). Has anyone used a Europa, and how does it compare? Have you tried a similar product like the Dancing Light Gear Tacoma For Two or Wanderlust 2-4-2? Any information would be very appreciated.

    Justin Gunn


    My first lightweight shelter was the Europa II. At 2 pounds (using a trekking pole for the front support), it’s extremely roomy for one. However, as my ultralight ethic evolved further, I began to look for a lighter and more efficient system for solo ventures. The Tarptent Virga is a half pound lighter (with sewn-in floor) and functions similarly (but needing only four stakes instead of six) compared to the Europa II.

    When travelling with a tentmate, I take the Europa II. My girlfriend and I used it together on a trip in Washington with great success. However, since most of my trips are solo, the TarpTent Virga provides all the protection I need without any unnecessary extra room (or weight).

    By the way, TarpTent’s newly revised Virga 2 has dual catenary ridgelines and a carbon fiber strut which greatly increase the interior volume (especially for taller guys like myself) and make changing clothes much easier. Apparently, these newer shelters are a few ounces heavier, but probably worth the minor increase in weight.

    So, my advice is to stay with the smallest shelter possible. For one person, anything bigger than the Virga 2 (which can sleep two in a pinch) is a total waste. The Europa II is just too much shelter for the serious lightweighter travelling solo. Similarly, I wouldn’t consider any of the larger TarpTents for solo forays either – just unnecessary.

    So, the verdict? Virga 2 with sewn-in floor. Ease of setup, protection from weather, earth, and bugs at just 26 ounces (if you use a trekking pole).

    Check it out here:

    Jim Busick


    We’re only talking 4-5 oz difference between a Virga and Squall.

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