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New Review: Tarptent Double Rainbow Li


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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable New Review: Tarptent Double Rainbow Li

Viewing 25 posts - 26 through 50 (of 50 total)
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  • #3643158
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    I wonder what is more windworthy – the rainbow or the notch? Spoiled for choice.

    I have both in silnylon.  The Notch wins, hands down.  It’s not even a competition.

    #3643169
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Blunderwoman:

    From the TT website: “Dyneema® fabric spec : canopy CT1E.08 OD2 (0.51 oz / sq yd) ; floor and stuffsack CT2K.18  (1.0 oz / sq yd)”

    #3643203
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    I wonder what is more windworthy – the rainbow or the notch? Spoiled for choice.

    Definitely the Notch. Lower profile, smaller panels, and the vestibule and end stakes can be cranked down to 20+ lbs of tension. It’s hard to do that with the Double Rainbow vestibule stakes without disrupting the arch shape.

    I’d consider both of them to be fine in moderate steady winds up to 30 mph. The Notch will have an edge in gusts up to 50 mph. At 50 mph you’d risk the carbon arch pole breaking on the Double Rainbow Li but the fabric should hold up fine.

    Higher than 50 mph, you are leaving the realm of what can be accomplished with most ultralight shelters.

    #3643226
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    I wonder what is more windworthy – the rainbow or the notch? Spoiled for choice.

    I’d consider both of them to be fine in moderate steady winds up to 30 mph.

    I think Ryan is being a little optimistic here for the Rainbow, at least if you don’t predict the wind direction right.  My Rainbow (single, which I love, BTW) has done the collapse thing where the windward side of the top crossbar dips down in side winds that didn’t *seem* to be more than 30, maybe 35 mph.  And when it dips down, man, it’s right there on top of you.  The one time I had it out in winds of 50 mph (again, an estimate), it actually bent the pole.  (See here, if you don’t know what I mean by the collapse thing.)

    I’ve never tried adding the trekking pole supports, but without them, the Rainbow doesn’t like wind; do your best to pitch it lengthwise.  Even with additional tie-outs on the pole sleeve (partway between the peak and the bottom), the top bar still does its fold-in thing, though maybe not quite as bad.

    The Notch is solid as long as you pitch it right so as to avoid flapping.

    #3643229
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    I measured one broadside gust (back wall) last week in the snowstorm that hit the Double Rainbow Lithium at 34 mph (Kestrel 5500 wind meter was 3 ft above the ground, about 6 ft upwind from the tent. No pole collapse (carbon pole) but I did have the two accessory guyline stakeout points on the pole staked out with three guylines each like this:

    Each number represents a stakeout point, I used 12 stakes in this pitch. #1, 6, 7, 11, and 10 are keeping the tent from collapsing here, and potentially causing the carbon pole to break. In addition, I had the tension cranked down fairly tight on everything, but you can only do so much with 1, 6, 3, and 4 without disrupting the structure.

    #3643230
    Dena Kelley
    BPL Member

    @eagleriverdee

    Locale: Eagle River, Alaska

    The mesh gutters are a very nice addition to the design.

    #3643243
    Henry S
    BPL Member

    @07100

    Dena, actually mesh gutter are integral to every single wall tent we make and always have been.

    #3643245
    Henry S
    BPL Member

    @07100

    > My Rainbow (single, which I love, BTW) has done the collapse thing where the windward side of the top crossbar dips down in side winds that didn’t *seem* to be more than 30, maybe 35 mph

    Are you using the extra back wall pullout?  It really helps equalize the lateral wind resistance as otherwise the Rainbow definitely has asymmetrical side to side tensioning.

     

    #3643260
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Are you using the extra back wall pullout? It really helps equalize the lateral wind resistance as otherwise the Rainbow definitely has asymmetrical side to side tensioning.

    Not if you’re referring to a guy from the top.  I’ve only added guys from the two halfway tie-outs on the pole sleeve.  If you’re referring to staking out the bottom of the back wall, I didn’t know it was an option not to.  (Mine was purchased Jan, 2009, if that matters.)

    #3643268
    Henry S
    BPL Member

    @07100

    I honestly don’t remember if the ’09 Rainbows had a back wall pullout. The newer ones do –>

    #3643283
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Oh. No, the ’09 version didn’t have that. Just a loop of line at the bottom edge of the fabric.

    #3665289
    William N
    BPL Member

    @will-n-too

    I just bought an REI Flash Air 2. Great tent. ( I think they stole a few ideas from TarpTent…but what do I know). This looks like another good design. When I was fiddling with making a rain fly in 2018, I quickly figured out that as smart as I thought I was, I was already far behind the current set of tent makers.  Now I’m not even close. While I started to watch this video I thought about that triangle gap when my flaps were both extended. What if I made a triangle of silnylon… five minutes later: Tarp Tent already did it. Brilliant.

    Cooking in a tent. I don’t think the issue is fumes, it’s fire. I cook in my rainfly because 1. I use a JetBoil (the flame is highly contained) 2. There’s no bottom, so the cooker sits on dirt and 3. There are 360 degrees of emergency exit. Cooking in the vestibule with that little porch triangle? Probably more than good enough and safe enough.  Normally I won’t bother with tent reviews for a few years after getting a new tent- but this is good.

    At first glance wind seems like it could be a serious issue, but other commenters who have this tent say it seems to be good enough. That makes sense. The tight design is probably very stabilizing. My rainfly is all triangles (so not well designed head room like the Lithium or my FlashAir2, but those triangle panels staked down in 25 knot winds? It barely moves. I used to think of commercial tents as wobbly bubbles (but with lots of interior space) and my fly as a series of low crevices around a couple of hiking poles. This Lithium seems like it’s figured out how to do both. Impressive.

    One thing I’ve already done to my FlashAir2. I sew grosgrain loops underneath the loops that are on top. Maybe I missed something, but it seems that a guy line instead of using the flaps would have the top line interfere with the zippers.  Some commenters have asked about a trekking pole set up option for this tent. It’s not designed for that, but I think in an emergency if that long pole snaps, it would be good to have a back up plan.  Thanks for the review.

    #3679004
    MTN
    BPL Member

    @madscot

    Locale: PNW

    I’ll post my first impressions of the tent here as I am guessing most people will go here first when thinking of this tent. Please don’t nail me to a cross or something like that. I’m just an average hiker that likes getting out every so often.

    I bought the Double Rainbow Li as an upgrade from my previous double rainbow I bought used ten years ago from this site. I figured with all of the canceled trips and the money I was saving it was reasonable. I was looking for a lightweight tent where the netting did not go all the way to the bottom because my dog will accidentally paw it in the morning putting holes into it. I also wanted something that did not take up large amounts of space and is simple to set up. Although I have thought hard about tarps with a bivy set up, I am not totally sure how my dog would take to it and I have a Minnesota fear of mosquitoes. Also I do not know how to set up a tarp or about how much space it takes when setting up w other tents around. I’d like to someday have a one tent does it all in the name of life minimalism.

    This rainbow is a little easier to set up than my previous version. However, it would be nice if the pole holders at each end were a little deeper; my poles slipped out occasionally while I was setting it up. I do not often use the trekking pole holders but it is nice for when you are rearranging your tent as well as shaking out any dirt etc that gets in. The holders work better too. It definitely is roomier than my previous Rainbow.

    Now here is the hard part and I wish I had taken pictures. Our first night the only campsite was near thirty feet away from a river in a heavily forested site. No breeze. I have never had so much condensation. Not only was the ceiling wet but around my sleeping pad and under my dog’s sleeping pad and basically anywhere in the tent that had something atop it was a puddle of water. It took me some thinking over tea to figure it out. I think what had happened is that my tent was acting as a giant sill and water had condensed and pooled around low-lying areas. I wish I had propped the doors open in porch mode to allow more airflow. I’m sure folks will say we chose a poor location but the other campsite was blown down. Others will say to leave the dog outside. She says otherwise. I’m going to consider leaving the door propped next time.

    The next night we slept by a lake’s inlet. I really made sure that all of the netting was exposed as possible. In addition I left one of the doors rolled open. I did not have the water pooling issues and had the basic run of the mill condensation on the ceiling.

    I still like this tent. It’s not going to be my do everything tent and I do not know what tent will be. The condensation issue worries me when the first rain comes.

    #3679309
    Bill in Roswell
    BPL Member

    @roadscrape88-2

    Locale: Roswell, GA, USA

    A double wall tent in same situation would have same condensation. To wit, I had a similar experience with a X-Mid with same result. As an experiment I didn’t move the X-Mid, but tied a half door on each side back. Result was very little condensation. I learned all this w a sil Protrail so same principle applies – free circulation of air makes all the difference. Dont close the doors unless its raining or windy.

    #3679447
    MTN
    BPL Member

    @madscot

    Locale: PNW

    Thanks Bill

    Ive camped in a few rain showers and a lot of areas around water (BWCA, Olympics, or basically anywhere into the PNW) and I’ve never encountered this sill effect. I think it really speaks to how waterproof DCF is.

    that said I still really enjoy this tent and I plan on using it for my pup and myself. Super light weight. Quick pitch. Small volume in the pack. Pup hasn’t put a hole In it. Great company.  But like you said I’m going to have to leave a door open and pay more attention to how I set the tent up in general. It is going to be my go to tent.

    #tarptent4lyfe

    #3707597
    Aaron J
    BPL Member

    @pikapal

    It’s been about a year since Ryan’s “limited” (though highly informative) gear review that extolled the virtues of the Double Rainbow Li (DR Li). Assuming additional use in the last year, do you have updated thoughts on the tent? Any feedback from other DR Li users, like MTN above, would also be great.

    I’m particularly interested in the level of confidence in the wind/weather resistance of the DR Li. Ryan reported that it shed 3” of snow and withstood 30+ mph wind, which sounds solid. So should one feel comfortable using it as one’s shelter on a weeklong summer backpack in the Wind River Range? Or on an outing like the shoulder season Absaroska-Beartooth Wilderness trip, in which Andrew Marshall tested the Stratospire Li?

    #3707635
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    I’d be fine using it in just about any summer condition in the CONUS, except in the odd big storm above treeline.

    As for fringe seasons, anywhere below the treeline would be fine. Above the treeline in the US Rocky Mountain Wind Tunnel (Southern Wyoming, Northern Colorado) during storms, probably not.

    It’s a really well-done tent. The interior volume is terrific.

    #3707718
    Mark Verber
    BPL Member

    @verber

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Using the optional pullouts make a huge difference with heavy wind. An old thread about this from 2006 with pictures of 55mph side wind without extra guidelines.

    #3707720
    Randy L
    Blocked

    @randyman

    Thanks Henry

    #3713973
    Anand S
    BPL Member

    @obelix74

    Hi Ryan

    I can’t figure out from the stock photos where to connect 6,5,4 and 1,3,2 above. Are there a provision to connect additional guylines on the top of the tent?

    #3713979
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    @obelix74 there are guyline attachment points on the pole sleeve at these two points. They are kind of hard to see in the photos.

    #3713991
    Anand S
    BPL Member

    @obelix74

    Thank you.

    #3718697
    Bendrix B
    BPL Member

    @bendrix

    Was the porch roof a prototype feature?  I can’t find it mentioned or shown in a photograph at the tarptent site.  Shame, that was one feature I’ve been imagining for other tents with a center open vestibule zipper.  It really is impossible to open the vestibule and not get drenched hanging out there, and its not big enough to hang out when closed.  Got any inside dope on this feature?

    #3719076
    Henry S
    BPL Member

    @07100

    #3719126
    Paul Wagner
    BPL Member

    @balzaccom

    Locale: Wine Country

    I would like to add one element to this review, which is the customer service angle from Tarptent.

    A couple of years ago, I was doing trail work with a crew in the Sierra, and as a result, got a small 1/4 inch burnt from an ember of a fire we were using to clear timber.  And it was right on the top of the tent.

    On Saturday I sent a note to Tarptent, and got an answer within half an hour from Henry Shires.  He sent me all the materials I needed to effect the repair, as well as very clear and simple instructions on how to do it.  Three days later I had the materials.  Two years later, and the repair is fully functional.

    We love our tent.  We also really appreciate that kind of customer service.

    And one more comment:  There are two of us, and we got one of his three man tents, because for about 6 ounces, we have a ton more room, and we’re old enough to balance comfort and weight…

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