Editor’s Note 3/11/16: After publishing this review, we learned that the 5.1 oz vertical support poles we originally referenced are not recommended by TarpTent for strong winds or snow. Instead, they recommend vertical support poles that are 8.o oz and cost $32. These changes were made below.

TarpTent Stratospire 1 Review - Tent with mesh inner.

Tarptent Stratospire 1 | Photo from tarptent.com

TarpTent Stratospire 1 Video Preview:

The Skinny

The Tarptent Stratospire 1 is uniquely positioned as one of the most livable and stormworthy lightweight solo tents available.

Features & Specifications


  • Dual entry, dual vestibules
  • Dual trekking pole support
  • Double wall design (inner tent & fly)
  • Silnylon fly + mesh or solid fabric inner tent
  • Design allows for dry interior when entering/exit during storms


  • Sleeps: 1-2
  • Weight: 36oz / 1kg
  • Floor Width: 32 in
  • Floor Length: 86 in
  • Interior Height:48 in
  • Stakes Required: 6
  • Packed Size: 16 x 4 in
  • Cost: $309

My Take

I found the Tarptent Stratospire 1 to be a very comfortable solo shelter, with plenty of space inside and in both vestibules.

I liked being able to retract the fly doors entirely away from both vestibules for magnificent views of stars and alpenglow.

I’m not a trekking pole user – so the fact that it requires trekking poles makes its use a bit of a hassle for me, requiring the additional cost (minor, only $32) and weight (8.0 oz) of optional shock-corded aluminum poles.

I’m used to the simplicity of using single-pole pyramids for most of my backpacking, and while the Tarptent Stratospire 1 is not difficult to pitch with practice, there are still two poles, two strutted corners, and six stakeout points to adjust to get everything perfect.

The tent pitches extremely tight – owing to its use of structural elements and strong silnylon fabric: it should hold up well in storms.


The Stratospire 1 is particularly unique for its livability and its stability.

  • Livability: dual side entry, dual vestibules, lots of usable interior space, plenty of headroom – sacrifices often made in other ultralight tents.
  • Stability: Carbon fiber struts, dual pole support, hexagonal design, strong silnylon fabric – all of these design features result in the ability to create a highly tensioned structure that distributes wind loading well.
  • Modular inner tent can be left at home to save weight, or swapped with a solid fabric inner tent for winter use.


  • More complex (but not complicated…) to set up than simpler 1-pole structures (i.e., pyramids).
  • Silnylon fabric is less resistant to condensation than Cuben Fiber.
  • Complex design, inner tent, and structural elements contribute to a relatively heavy weight for a solo shelter.

Additional Info

  • Learn more at tarptent.com.
  • The Tarptent Stratospire I has been nominated for a 2016 Backpacking Light Guide’s Gear Award, and is currently undergoing extensive field testing in extreme weather conditions in all four seasons. We are evaluating it for both its wind and snow loading, as well as use as a winter shelter with its solid fabric inner tent. A comprehensive review is planned for later this year.
  • Backpacking Light is currently sponsoring a research project with the Montana State University Department of Mechanical Engineering to evaluate the effect of shelter design on wind load distribution. The Stratospire 1 is one of the shelters being investigated in this study, and we are looking forward to seeing how it performs under high wind loads.


  • The author wishes to thank Ryan Jordan for putting together the preview video shown above, highlighting the TarpTent Stratospire 1 features.