Tarptents are a favorite with all types of lightweight and ultralight backpackers, as evidenced by the Tarptent Squall 2 receiving one of Backpacking Light’s 2005 Lightitude Awards. So a new Tarptent is big news.
I recently had the pleasure of thru-hiking a section of the Colorado Trail with Henry Shires, and had an opportunity to inspect Henry’s latest creation tentatively named the “Rainbow”. With Henry’s permission, we are releasing this preview of the new Tarptent Rainbow, which may be available as soon as December 2005.
The Rainbow is a distinct design departure from previous Tarptents. Instead of the traditional flowing catenary curves, and headroom-at-the-front design of the other Tarptents, the Rainbow is free-standing, has a single center ridge pole, side entry with vestibule, mesh entry wall with zippered door, a sewn-in silnylon floor, and loads of headroom.
The top has one 18-inch strut to widen the tent and support the vestibule on one side and a vent/window on the other. At the ends there is a provision to use hiking poles to extend and secure the sides.
The current prototype is a 1+ person size. It has a sewn-in floor, and mesh around the edges like other Tarptents. The floor size is 38 inches wide by 88 inches long, which comes to 23 square feet. Headroom is 44 inches. It weighs 32 ounces.
The initial model will be made of silnylon, and will likely be followed with a 2-person version, a model made of Epic fabric, and other options.
The new design innovations and options coming in the new Tarptent Rainbow are enough to make us lightweight gear fanatics lick our chops! We look forward to its arrival and the opportunity to do an in-depth review.
Photo: Through-hiker Henry Shires kneeling in his new Tarptent Rainbow.
Specifications and Features
- Tent Type: Single-wall, free-standing, side entry with vestibule
- Capacity: 1+
- Fabrics: 1.3 oz/yd2 silnylon, no-see-um mesh
- Dimensions: center height is 44 inches, outside is 46 inches wide by 100 inches long, the sewn-in floor is 38 inches wide by 88 inches long
- Floor Area: 23 square feet; the sewn-in floor has 4-inch bathtub walls that lay flat to expand width and length by 8 inches in good weather
- Included: silnylon tent, single aluminum ridge pole, aluminum strut, 6 titanium stakes, stake sack, tent sack
- Weight: prototype is 32 ounces
- Full height entry vestibule
- Large zippered netting entry door
- Sewn-in silnylon floor
- Top vent/window
- Optional use of hiking poles to secure the tent base
- Reflective Spectra cord guylines
- MSRP: $225 (tentative)
- Contact: http://www.tarptent.com