Oct 7, 2006 at 9:42 am #1364467Henry SBPL Member
> Can we all just admit that the Rainbow and Double Rainbow weren’t designed to be bomber tents and accept that there will be problems when they encounter alpine conditions?
Miguel, I’ll be the first to say that none of the Tarptents are designed to be bomber tents (though the Contrail can be configured that way if you drop the rear struts). Pole structure aside, there’s just too much netting and canopy surface above ground (by design for views and ventilation) to keep out high velocity wind and wind-driven precipitation. If you want to (or have to) camp above treeline in a raging storm then at least put yourself behind a boulder or on the leeward side of a ridge or whatever to gain some some natural windbreaks.
One more thing about materials, the Easton aluminum poles obviously do/did a great job flexing and withstanding the stress without breaking. For those of you considering moving to carbon fiber to shave a few ounces off your packweight, you’re taking a big risk if you run into high winds. I will bet the national debt that carbon fiber would not have withstood that stress and the resulting snap would have been ugly.
-HOct 8, 2006 at 7:26 am #1364499Curt PetersonBPL Member
@curtpetersonLocale: Pacific Northwest
I’ve never seen a Double Rainbow in person, but the design seems almost perfect for my uses. Like all things in the lightweight gear world, I assume there’s likely to a compromise somewhere in terms of durability/setup/care/etc.
Instead of highlighting a shortcoming of the Double Rainbow, this video (much more useful than the still pictures) puts it at the top of my shelter list. 55 mph and it handled it very well. That’s freakin’ high winds – very unlikely to come out of nowhere. If you are getting winds like this, you likely knew you were heading into a storm. When I’m out in nasty conditions I guy out every little loop and slot I can find, which doesn’t appear to be the case here and it still held up. No fabric shredding. No poles snapping. Certainly some rockin’ and rollin’ going on, but that’s Tropical Storm conditions.
I think this is a great PR video for a TarpTent. Any question marks I had about it being a solid mountain tent are gone. Thanks for the fantastic data, Martin!Oct 16, 2006 at 2:05 am #1364917Roman AcklBPL Member
tried to download your DR video from the Mac site but for some reason it disappeared…:-(
Could you please place it again there or at a different location??
Thanks a lot,
RomanOct 16, 2006 at 5:24 am #1364918Martin GüntherBPL Member
Excuse-me! At the moment I have some hosting problems… but I hope to find a solution this week. I will post the updated link and some remarks as soon as possible.
MartinOct 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm #1453350Seth AyotteMember
@sethayotLocale: Western Oregon
I thought I would post on this old thread because it has some good insight into the performance of the Double Rainbow in heavy winds.
I am looking for a tent that will perform reasonably well in strong winds and was curious if anyone could compare the lateral stability of the tarptent rainbow (single person) and the MSR Hubba. On an earlier post in this thread, Henry Shires states that the rainbow's design would have greater lateral stability than the Hubba Hubba because of it's longer cross strut. The single-man Hubba has a shorter strut, though it still may be longer than the Rainbow's. It also seems like the poles on the Hubba are stronger, and the lower "hub" poles on the Hubba may provide more structural rigidity to the tent.
Anyone have experience with these two tents in the wind and care to comment? I know the Hubba is not exactly "UL," but I am looking for something that will perform well in the wind. I was also wondering if the mid-ridge pole tieouts and hiking pole grommets on the cross strut are now found on all new Rainbows or only by special order, if anyne knows.
Thanks for your insight,
SethOct 6, 2008 at 11:57 am #1453398Henry SBPL Member
Both the Rainbow and Double Rainbow have mid-ridge pole tieouts and hiking pole grommets on the ends of the cross strut.
-HOct 6, 2008 at 12:00 pm #1453399Lynn TramperMember
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
I have no experience with the Hubba, but now have a lot of nights in the DR, some of them in true gale force winds.
First of all, Henry has made design changes to the original DR mentioned in this thread. Ridge guylines are standard, and there is also grommets at either end of the strut, effectively allowing you to insert vertical trekking poles or sticks in strong winds. He added these to our tent after we also had a collapse (due to a downdraft rather than a side wind). Note that our tent also bounced back, but it was pretty scary (unlike Martin, we didn't intend to pitch the tent in a gale). With these extra supports in place, it is virtually impossible for the tent to flatten. The vestibules now have zippers, the top vents now have storm closures, and all in all we have found this to be a surprisingly robust tent. With the added trekking pole supports, the tent will provide shelter even in the unlikely event of the long main pole breaking. We tried this once for real when someone forgot to bring the pole….!Oct 6, 2008 at 9:16 pm #1453465Matt LutzMember
Can someone post a photo of how trekking poles can be used in the grommets at the end of the strut pole? I'm also confused about how I am supposed to close my peak vents in wind.Oct 7, 2008 at 12:24 pm #1453537Lynn TramperMember
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
I don't have a photo handy, but you quite simply insert the tip of your poles (one on each side) into the grommets, then adjust pole height until it is taking most of the weight from the ridgeline. The poles may angle out slightly from the tent at the bottom, so it helps if you can anchor them in place somehow to prevent the handles from slipping in a gust. I have permanent guylines attached for this, and they are slightly off-centre to make it easier to get in and out of the tent, but that's just a fine detail.
RE: Closing the vents…this option has been added to newer models. if you have the Mach I version then you won't have these closures, but Henry is usually happy to retrofit (he retrofitted our strut grommets and vestibule zippers too). Barring this, in an emergeny you can just use a safety pin to secure the closure. Not ideal but works well in a pinch.Oct 7, 2008 at 3:01 pm #1453562Matt LutzMember
That's kind of what I thought would be said. I have a Gen 2 DR (purchased Spring 07), so I have the new additions.Oct 8, 2008 at 6:45 pm #1453768John McMillinMember
Seth, you asked about the DR's windworthiness compared to the MSR Hubba. I had both tents set up on my lawn hoping for an extreme weather event, but it was the wrong time of year. After waiting a week, I began an eBay auction. Now the Hubba's on its way to some happy purchaser in Japan. He's happy, I guess, because he doesn't know what he's missing. The Hubba and the DR look so similar side by side, but I found Shires' creation so far superior in almost every category that I couldn't find a place for the Hubba in my gear collection.
The Hubba can't be supported by vertical hiking poles, as my late-model DR can. It's back wall is very upright, with a short fly protecting it. That's not a very wind-shedding design, IMHO. In a strong, sustained wind, I'd want to pitch the Hubba's door into the wind instead, since like the DR's, it's aerodynamic and can be staked quite low to the ground to minimize drafts. But that means the Hubba's only door must stay closed (no views) and is facing the wind (possible wet exits). The benefits of twin doors and a symmetrical shape are shouting out to me here, especially since wind direction can and does change as a thunderstorm passes over.
The DR seems so much more spacious than the Hubba that I was surprised that MSR's tent was larger in one dimension. Its cross ridgepole is about twice as long as the DR's, which gives the first impression of plenty of space at head level. The problem arises as you look down, though. With a wide ceiling and a narrow floor, the mesh walls are almost vertical. When I sit up inside, that leaves only about an inch between each of my size-L shoulders and the mesh walls. In a very buggy area, it's easy to imagine mosquitoes landing on the mesh and biting me through the mesh as I brushed against it.
Unlike many other folks, I just wasn't impressed with the Hubba. The color might be perfect for stealth camping in a pumpkin patch, but it would wear on me in time compared to the Tarptent's neutral gray. The Hubba's poles do seem sturdier, but the Y-shape created at the ends by the hubs isn't so helpful when I want a "storm pitch." (It's simple to set up the DR normally, then stake the windward door very low and the lee door higher, with the tent's pole slightly aslant.) The MSR's lack of hooded peak vents seals the deal for me.
The Hubba seems like design stretched too far, intended to make a traditional tent (with double walls, reinforced corners and big zippers) as light as possible. In contrast, the DR is an ultralight tarp made as comfy, sturdy and tent-like as possible.
I've probably finished my backpacking for the season here in Colorado, but I intend to put the DR through some extreme weather tests in my Extreme Yard this winter. I'll keep you posted, since this forum was so instrumental into introducing me to this great gear.
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