Tarptent vs MSR
Display Avatars Sort By:
Amy Files
(wildermind) - F

Locale: New England
Tarptent vs MSR on 09/10/2009 12:12:15 MDT Print View

I read through an older thread comparing the Tarptent Rainbow to the MSR CR2.

One of the main thing people were saying about the CR2 is that it's lighter than the Rainbow.

When I look at the spec's I see that the CR2 lists 3lbs 4 oz for the packed weight - Tarptent lists a total of 2.5 lbs.

Am I missing something?

Also - I was wondering about the comments about how the floor of the CR2 is more waterproof than the Tarptent. The FAQ for Tarptent says that they don't recommend needing a ground cloth...what makes the CR2 more waterproof?

Thanks for any info...

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Tarptent vs MSR on 09/10/2009 12:53:43 MDT Print View

I can't answer the question, but the cool thing you can do with Tarptent that you can't do with MSR is call Henry up and ask him.

And I don't know how something can be "more waterproof" than something that is "waterproof". But with a tarptent, the user is expected to be more intellligent about site selection, IMO. I've also never heard anything good about long term durability of carbon poles.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Tarptent vs MSR on 09/10/2009 13:47:51 MDT Print View

The floor of the CR2 is rated at 10,000mm waterproof. That refers to how much pressure it can handle before water is able to penetrate. Tarptents are Silnylon and thus are rated at about 1200mm of waterproofing. 1200mm is pretty low. For comparison, Gore-Tex jackets are in the 10,000 - 30,000mm range. So while the tarptents are 'waterproof', they won't be able to maintain this 'waterproofness' is as harsh of conditions as the MSR can.

I'm not sure anyone was saying the CR2 is lighter than the Rainbow. The Rainbow is a one person tent. The Rainbow may have a floor that is nearly as wide, but the headroom is way less because the Rainbow tapers inward signifcantly to about 18" wide at the roof, whereas the CR2 taper outward to about 50" wide. Two adults would have a hard time sitting up in a Rainbow.

The most direct Tarptent competitor is the Scarp 2, which is also a 2 person double wall tent. The Scarp 2 offers more floor space, but lower waterproofing and it's heavier. The Scarp 2 is 3lbs, 6oz and I don't think that includes the crossing poles which add 17oz but are really only needed for winter. My CR2 weighs 2lbs, 15.5oz now that I shaved off nearly an ounce with Ti stakes. I just roll it all up and use hair elastics to keep it rolled.

Edited by dandydan on 09/10/2009 13:56:10 MDT.

Amy Files
(wildermind) - F

Locale: New England
thanks! on 09/10/2009 13:57:21 MDT Print View

Thanks - I hadn't found what the Rainbow floor was rated...I am actually looking at the Double Rainbow for my boyfriend and I...Tarptent lists the total weight at about 2.5 lbs...

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Dbl Rainbow on 09/10/2009 14:21:20 MDT Print View

Yeah the Dbl Rainbow is a nice tent if you are in the market for a single wall. It's lighter than a double wall like the CR2 and it's more spacious.....although you kinda need the extra space avoid contacting the potentially wet walls.

John Davis
(billybooster) - F

Locale: So Cal
Double rainbow on 09/10/2009 15:33:12 MDT Print View

I did buy the Tyvek ground cover in addition and survived torrential rain that had mini rivers running past our fire pit! The walls inside never got wet - two of us in conditions I thought would create it. It is blowy by comparison to a tent tent, so extra clothes at night highly recommended.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Tyvek on 09/10/2009 15:48:24 MDT Print View

How much does the ground cover weigh?

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Tarptent vs MSR on 09/10/2009 16:51:55 MDT Print View

Let's see......the tyvek ground sheet adds about 7-8 oz, a spinnsheet groundcloth adds about 3-4 oz, polycro adds 2-3 oz, and a treatment like the one described on Jim Woods web site adds 2-3 oz. Most people carry a ground cloth with a Tarptent for protection from holes, not water. I'm not sure I've heard of many cases of water penetration. But I'm probably biased, I like buying onshore.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Tarptent vs MSR on 09/10/2009 17:29:27 MDT Print View

"Most people carry a ground cloth with a Tarptent for protection from holes, not water."

Really? It seems fairly easy to almost eliminate the chance of holes by carefully removing any sharp rocks, sticks etc from the ground where your tent is going to go. I routinely did this when I wasn't an UL'er. It doesn't seem like a lot of UL Tarptenters would lugging along an extra 2-8oz for a ground sheet to avoid this slim risk. Even if you do get a hole, it's not really a problem since most holes can be easily repaired at home.

Water seems like a much more logical worry because there's nothing you can do to stop the rain from coming. Sure you can choose a wise spot for your tent, but you can never really eliminate this risk. If it's been raining hard then sometimes you have no choice but to set your tent up on soaked ground.

Edited by dandydan on 09/10/2009 17:32:05 MDT.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Tarptent vs MSR on 09/10/2009 20:26:52 MDT Print View

Whatever.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Tarptent v.s MSR on 09/10/2009 21:12:41 MDT Print View

"Let's see......the tyvek ground sheet adds about 7-8 oz, a spinnsheet groundcloth adds about 3-4 oz, polycro adds 2-3 oz, and a treatment like the one described on Jim Woods web site adds 2-3 oz. Most people carry a ground cloth with a Tarptent for protection from holes, not water. I'm not sure I've heard of many cases of water penetration."

Joe is absolutely right on this.

A 10,000mm rating on the floor is completely, utterly unnecessary unless you decide to set up your tent in a puddle. It is a marketing tool by MSR to make sure that potential consumers are not turned off by the thinner material now used on the floor of the Hubba models. Dan, do you realize how much pressure a 10,000mm hydrostatic head is? It would probably cut your finger in half.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Tarptent v.s MSR on 09/10/2009 21:13:48 MDT Print View

Oh, one other thing - the CR2 is about the same size as the regular Rainbow. It is much, much smaller than the Double Rainbow.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Tarptent v.s MSR on 09/10/2009 21:46:03 MDT Print View

"A 10,000mm rating on the floor is completely, utterly unnecessary unless you decide to set up your tent in a puddle. It is a marketing tool by MSR to make sure that potential consumers are not turned off by the thinner material now used on the floor of the Hubba models."

1000mm is the bare minimium something can be rated at and still considered waterproof. If it's under 1000mm, it generally can't stand up to a couple hours of light rain. 1200mm fabric is cutting it awful tight to this IMO and is on the edge of what can stand up to continued heavy rain. I haven't done any scientific tests, but I bet you are close to exceeding 1200mm of pressure when you walk on the floor of your tent or press the tent floor between your knees and rock as you crawl around.

Making things tougher is that the waterproofness of fabrics degrades over time. The silicone on the nylon wears just by using the tent....not to mention the considerable wear that soaps have on the silnylon if you ever need to wash it.

I'm not trashing silnylon here or saying it won't keep you dry, but I do think people need to realize that the waterproofing on silnylon can fail. It's hardly 'completely, utterly unnecessary' to have something better. 5000mm is pretty much the lowest rating you can buy a waterproof jacket at. I think we've all had 'waterproof/breathable' jackets that have become not waterproof after a few years of use, and these jackets all started off way more waterproof than Silnylon.

"[A 10,000mm rating] is a marketing tool by MSR to make sure that potential consumers are not turned off by the thinner material now used on the floor of the Hubba models."
10,000mm is pretty much the standard floor waterproofing from all major manufacturers. It has nothing to do with MSR trying to fool their Hubba customers. You can find the occasional tent from major manufacturers with a 5000mm floors (generally only ones aimed at summer use) and once in a while a 2000mm floor but 10,000mm is by far the most common.

I'm not arguing that 10,000mm is necessary, but I do feel that 1200mm is on the borderline of what you can get away with and there isn't much margin for wear over time or if you get stuck camping in muddy conditions. I would be fine with a 5000mm floor and I might gingerly use a 2000mm floor but 1200mm makes me pretty nervous. I work for Helly Hansen in the warranty department and I see our old 2000mm waterproof jackets (aka HellyTech 2) coming back all the time now that they are 4-5 years old.

For examples of 1200mm tents failing, check out this link which contains reviews of the Big Angles SL2. Here's a few tasty excerpts:

"During 24 days of hiking, I slept through about 12 nights of rain. If you're part Springer Spaniel, you'll love this tent (read: WET)."

"Anytime you touch the walls or ceiling while the fly is wet, water leaks right through, and if you have 2 adults in this tent, your sleeping bags will touch the walls. Our sleeping bags got soaked in this tent. Water also pooled on the floor"

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302885936&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442593507&bmUID=1252640481266

Okay so this is a darn long post. The bottom line is that 10,000mm may not be necessary but it's hardly a conspiracy by MSR. 10,000mm floors have a much larger margin of safety than 1200mm floors, which can fail as they age and/or in really wet conditions. It seems like a lot of people on this site are biased against major manufacturers...10,000mm is clearly safer than 1200mm. Can't we just acknowledge that this is one advantage with the MSR and move on to other topics? Or if you really want to discuss it, put some facts behind what you're saying instead of just dismissing tents higher than 1200mm as ridiculous. The reason I'm responding to this isn't because I want to argue with you, but rather because I'd feel bad for the layman who is fooled into thinking anything over 1200mm is unnecessary.

Closing quote from HammockCamping.com:

"However, the silicone is slightly water-soluble and repeated long exposure to rain, or repeated washings, can render the fabric less than completely waterproof."
http://www.hammockcamping.com/Free%20Reports/Silnylon.htm

Edited by dandydan on 09/10/2009 22:29:24 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Tarptent v.s MSR on 09/10/2009 21:58:30 MDT Print View

"Oh, one other thing - the CR2 is about the same size as the regular Rainbow. It is much, much smaller than the Double Rainbow.

The single Rainbow is hardly 'about the same size' as the CR2. The walls of the Rainbow slope heavily inwards, so the tent narrows from 38" at the floor to just 18" at the top, for an average width of 28". The CR2 starts off at 40-43" wide but then the walls slope outwards so the tent widens to 50" by head height. This gives it an average width of 47" or so.... this means you have nearly double the interior volume of the Rainbow....not even close to 'about the same' size. 2 people could not easily sit up simultaneously in the Rainbow, whereas 2 people can comfortably sit up, move around, play cards, etc in the CR2.

Compared to the double rainbow, the CR2 fairs much more closely. You have to choose your specs pretty carefully (ie. misleading) to argue the CR2 is 'much much smaller'.

The double rainbow is 88" long, the CR2 is 84". The CR2 starts off around 40" wide and widens to 50" by head height. The double rainbow does the opposite, starting off at 53" wide but narrowing down to about 25". Calculating the interior volume of a tent is difficult due to the odd shapes, but the CR2 seems to have at least as much interior room....probably more. The difference is just in where the volume is. The DR gives you more floorspace, whereas the CR2 gives you more headspace.

Edited by dandydan on 09/10/2009 22:13:57 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Floor on 09/10/2009 22:25:18 MDT Print View

From the TarpTent FAQ:

Q: Should I order a groundsheet?
A: It depends on the conditions you expect to encounter and your style of camping. The sewn-in flooring is remarkably tough and does not usually require a separate groundsheet. We just never see floors come back for repair. Tyvek groundsheets are very tough and great for sleeping out or taking a break but generally heavier than you need just for floor protection.

Q: Is silicone-impregnated ripstop nylon waterproof?.
A: Silicone impregnated ripstop nylon is waterproof within "normal operating conditions." In very heavy rain and high velocity wind-driven rain some extremely light interior misting is normal and equivalent to increased interior humidity.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Tarptent vs MSR on 09/10/2009 22:33:18 MDT Print View

A safety factor of 8 on a floor coating. Huh. Feels more like I'm on the Backpacker magazine forum, instead of the Backpackinglight forum. Talk about a Twilight Zone moment.

Go ahead, say it..........bombproof.

For me, for the cost of a CR2, I'll go buy a DR, use it for a few years until that crappy floor starts to leak, throw it away, and use the money I saved to buy a new DR.

Edited by skinewmexico on 09/10/2009 22:40:20 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Bombproof on 09/10/2009 22:41:38 MDT Print View

Yes it's bombproof initially...not so much 10 years later. Floors see a lot of abrasion so the waterproofing wears pretty fast....unless you're using a ground sheet but that's the heaviest option.

From MEC.ca:
"We find 600mm for flysheets and 1000mm for floors to be the absolute minimums for real-world waterproofness. Fabrics with higher ratings offer greater water resistance when new; more importantly, they also retain their waterproofness much longer in the face of everday wear and tear."

Consider 10,000mm fabric not as 8 times more waterproof, but rather as waterproof 8 times longer.

Edited by dandydan on 09/10/2009 22:46:42 MDT.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Tarptent vs MSR on 09/10/2009 22:54:22 MDT Print View

In all honesty, the last thing I want is a tent that lasts 10 years. The horror. And I bet there wasn't a single guy on the BPL trek with Andrew Skurka and Glen Van Peski that had a 10,000mm tent floor, were they all unsafe? If you like it, that's great, but if you apply that same logic to all your other gear, you're gonna be back with a 40# pack. Or maybe things are just tougher in Canada. Either way, this is turning into a total hijack, carbon flame war, guns in the national parks thread, so I'm done. Enjoy your CR2, I'll enjoy my DR, and it's replacement.

John Roan
(JRoan) - MLife

Locale: Vegas
Re: Bombproof on 09/10/2009 22:55:00 MDT Print View

"Feels more like I'm on the Backpacker magazine forum, instead of the Backpackinglight forum. Talk about a Twilight Zone moment"


Can't we all get along? No, probably not...no such thing as a bomb proof tarp! :~)>

BPL, can you please edit out the bad words like "Backpacker magazine forum"? I don't want my kids reading things like that!

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Tarptent vs MSR on 09/10/2009 23:02:22 MDT Print View

Sorry John, I lost control. Inexcusable. Won't happen again, forgot about the kids.

Edited by skinewmexico on 09/10/2009 23:03:37 MDT.