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Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 13:10:30 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 13:44:17 MDT Print View

Nice review. It seemed to me like there was less condensation in my Moment when I expanded my ground cloth to cover the vestibule areas. Might have worked because I was in a low-lying area along a river.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Tarptent test on 07/27/2010 13:58:36 MDT Print View

Given the popularity of tarptents, this test/review is obviously timely, and the article contains plenty of good data. However, and especially relative to the norm for reviews here, I found that data difficult to find.

The structure of the article is lacking; it wanders from topic to topic with little summary or connectedness, returning to topics previously covered with little explication. The presence of charts early in the article, and comparison to only one other tent are perhaps the most egregious examples, mostly because the necessity of the "performance appraisal" is not well explained, and the use of the Firstlight only is not explained in any way that approaches adequate.

I also think that 5 nights use is an inadequate test period. This may have caused and or aggravated the problem of coherence in the review.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 14:27:26 MDT Print View

My only comment is that my findings support the likes / dislikes. The management of condensation in this shelter is quite difficult, especially for taller folks.

Edit / added: I have not had the same condensation issues in my Rainbow. So not all are created equal.

Agree - strange comparison to the BD.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 07/27/2010 14:46:06 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 14:42:31 MDT Print View

Agree, 5 nights is not rally adequate. I would have liked to see it tested in more substantial winds and heavier rains...

But yeah, pretty much all Tarptents suffer condensation issues. Not my choice for the fourth season.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 14:54:52 MDT Print View

I have had a Moment for about six months and am mostly happy with it. I get condensation also, but since this is my first single wall tent, I can't say whether the Moment is worst in this regard than similar tents. The tent is large enough so that one person can avoid contact with the wet walls in any case. I simply wipe down the walls with a bandanna in the morning.

The fact that the Moment has only two stakes is a two edged sword. It makes it very easy to set up, but in windy conditions you are relying on only two stakes to hold the tent down. One of the supplied needle stakes pulled out in windy conditions (estimated at least 30 mph) last February at Point Reyes National Seashore, perhaps because I hadn't set it properly. I replaced my tent stakes with MSR Ground Hog stakes for more wind stability, and haven't had problems with that issue since.

Most people will like this tent if they can deal with the condensation and wind deflection over 30 mph. I think it is a good trade off for the light weight.

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Tarptent Moment metric converions on 07/27/2010 15:21:51 MDT Print View

These metric conversion figures are from the manufacturers sites.

Tarptent Moment metric conversions
Weight: 28.5 ounces (810g) Optional crossing pole:7 ounces (200 g)
Interior Height: 40" (102 cm)
Floor Area: 18 sq ft (1.67 sq m)
Vestibule Area: 6.6 sq ft (0.61 sq m)
Floor Width : 20"(51cm) ends; 42"(107 cm) mid 5" (13 cm) bathtub floor walls
Floor Length: 84" (213 cm)

2009 Black Diamond First Light metric conversions
Average Packed Weight : 1.5 kg, 3 lb 5 oz
Minimum Weight : 1.28 kg, 2 lb 13 oz
Dimensions : 208 x 123 x 123 x 107 cm, 82 x 48 x 48 x 42 in
Area : 2.5 m², 27.3 sq ft
Packed Size : 15 x 23 cm, 6 x 9 in

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 15:36:38 MDT Print View

Very good review. I'm glad to see a review by BPL of this tent. I came across it a couple of months ago online and have been looking for good reviews of it.

I had seen another video on youtube about this tent, and in that video, it was demonstrated that you can raise the walls at the bottom of the pole while you're inside the tent, in order to improve ventilation. Did you try that? I also thought that there is a solid covering you can zip up on the two ends, to enclose them in case of really bad weather.

At any rate, this is the tent I want to go with. The thing I like best about single-wall tents is that you can set them up in rain without getting the inside of the tent soaked, as you would with a double-wall tent.

I like this tent a lot. I don't think any tent on the market, single-wall or double, is impervious to some amount of condensation - it's sort of the nature of the beast, I guess.

Are there guy-out points on the tent so that it would withstand wind a little better?

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 15:54:18 MDT Print View

"At any rate, this is the tent I want to go with. The thing I like best about single-wall tents is that you can set them up in rain without getting the inside of the tent soaked, as you would with a double-wall tent."

Yes, but then it can rain inside on you.

"I like this tent a lot. I don't think any tent on the market, single-wall or double, is impervious to some amount of condensation - it's sort of the nature of the beast, I guess."

Double walled shelters with solid inner tents prevent the condensation from dropping on you. In addition, a solid or netted inner makes managing the condensation much easier keeping your sleeping bag, etc, dry.

One issue of this shape in single wall design is that you sleep with the fabric very close to your face and this area will accumulate a lot of condensation. The foot end does not allow much movement to prevent some touching of the sides of the shelter with your sleeping bag.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 16:42:56 MDT Print View

It appears that the author of this article has given us brief and rather unorganized first impressions based on 5 nights' use. He has not used it in severe storms or in high winds, but, based only on his visual impressions, states that it would not work in such conditions even though he has not experienced them. (My own experience is that Tarptents are a lot tougher than they appear!) It also appears that the author did not use the generally accepted methods of reducing condensation (such as avoiding camping down low in river valleys, setting the tent under trees, etc.) I'd like to see comparisons with single-wall silnylon solo tents of the same class. Examples would be the Tarptent Sublite Sil and Contrail, the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo and several others that have recently hit the market. The Black Diamond First Light is a completely different type of tent, being made of breathable fabric. It depends on the fabric, rather than on ventilation features, to reduce condensation. It is therefore not comparable to the Moment or any other silnylon tent.

To me, this article is a haphazard reporting of first impressions, not a true review! IMHO, it is definitely not up to the usual BPL standards.

I do agree with the reviewer that those Easton stakes are pretty useless! Some years back, Henry Shires sent out Ti shepherds crook stakes with his tents; I found those more durable than the Easton, which bend more easily and whose tops tend to pop off the first time they are pulled out of the ground.

Edited by hikinggranny on 07/27/2010 17:27:46 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 16:47:59 MDT Print View

The BD Firstlight is listed at 3.3 lbs with a 9ft sq vestibule at $320.
That is not correct. The vestibule is an extra 21oz at an additional $135.
That is a total of $455 (about $20-30 less shopping around) at a total weight of 4.65lbs.
Franco

Daniel J Kowalski
(camperdan) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
I like my Moment on 07/27/2010 20:55:34 MDT Print View

I purchased my Tarptent Moment last spring, and used it on a Memorial weekend trip to Big South Fork NRRA in Tennessee. It was a two night trip. I look forward to using it again.

It was hot and humid with the night time temps down in the long sleeve shirt range. I've been using a tarp and it is the first tent I have used for backpacking in over 12 years. It's also the first time in that many years that I have done a trip in warm, buggy type weather. It was great to have the bug barrier as there are these really big millipedes in the woods down there. When you step on one it sounds like a twig snapping. There was some condensation, but more trips in different weather will tell the tale.

It is lightweight, quick(<3 minutes with a little practice) & easy to set up,...and easy to move. I had plenty of room for my NeoAir mat and my belongings inside (I'm 5'9"). I could sit or change clothes without hitting the tent walls. Vestibule was perfect for my pack, boots, and cook set. It did well in the brief light rain we had the last morning.

I sealed the seams with a thinned out mix of Silnet, and added six beads of uncut Silnet across the floor to eliminate sliding.

Over all, I am really quite happy with my purchase. The design/feature set is well thought out and skillfully assembled. It is a quality made product and so far has exceeded my expectations. I look forward to using it in the Cranberry Wilderness, WV this October.

Dan

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Stakes on 07/27/2010 21:31:58 MDT Print View

I've found the Easton Stakes easy to bend as well. However, they only seem to bend severely if they aren't in the ground all the way. From the picture in the article where the stake is visible it looks like the author didn't have it buried to the nail head.

Miraculously the heads haven't popped off of mine yet.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Stakes on 07/27/2010 22:53:07 MDT Print View

I've found very few places where there aren't either roots or rocks preventing at least a couple of the stakes from going in all the way.

I've started using MSR Groundhogs for the center front and back guylines on my Squall Classic and Rainshadow tents, those being the two that are under the most tension. Even if not in all the way, they hold a lot better. For the rest I use the Ti shepherds hook which hold just fine.

Andrew Browne
(andrew_browne) - MLife

Locale: Mornington Peninsula AUSTRALIA
CONDENSATION on 07/27/2010 23:24:40 MDT Print View

I haven't tried the Moment and will not as it has the same problem as my current Contrail..............condensation. I love the Contrail but hate the condensation which despite all the recommended methods persists in 99% of occasions I use it.
I'm stii waiting for the holy grail.......an ultralight 4 season tent with no condensation problems.....it still doesn't exist!!

Marc Clarke
(marcclarke) - F

Locale: Front Range of the Rocky Mountains
Re: Stakes on 07/28/2010 00:45:14 MDT Print View

"I've found the Easton Stakes easy to bend as well. However, they only seem to bend severely if they aren't in the ground all the way. From the picture in the article where the stake is visible it looks like the author didn't have it buried to the nail head.

Miraculously the heads haven't popped off of mine yet."

The heads have popped off both of the Easton stakes supplied with my Tarptent Moment. 100% failure rate. I have switched to MSR Ground Hogs, which have had a 0% failure rate (so far).

Marc Clarke
(marcclarke) - F

Locale: Front Range of the Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 01:05:03 MDT Print View

"I also thought that there is a solid covering you can zip up on the two ends, to enclose them in case of really bad weather."

Yes, there are triangular flaps that completely close the ends of the Moment tent. They are connected to one side of the tent and tie back to open the tent's ends, or secure to the far side of the tent with a hook-and-loop fastener to close off the tent's ends.

Here is a picture of my Tarptent Moment's interior. You can see the rolled-up triangular end-flap on the left side of the triangular opening.

Tarptent Moment End Flap Rolled Up and Tied

Here is a picture of my Tarptent Moment with the optional lengthwise center-line pole and the triangular door closed.

Tarptent Moment with Triangular End Door Closed (and Optional Center-Line Pole)


"The thing I like best about single-wall tents is that you can set them up in rain without getting the inside of the tent soaked, as you would with a double-wall tent."

I confirm that the Tarptent Moment tent can be set up in a pounding downpour without the inside of the tent getting wet. I got completely soaked, but the inside of the tent remained completely dry. The way Henry Shires has designed the Moment's door, you can get into the tent without having your gear inside the tent get wet.


"Are there guy-out points on the tent so that it would withstand wind a little better?"

There are two additional standard factory-supplied guy-out loops located part of the way up the central pole's sleeve. You can see them as black loops on the yellow pole sleeve in pictures of the Tarptent. These lateral guy lines run in the same vertical plain as the central support pole (hoop). I consider the Moment to be a four-stake tent as supplied from the factory, with the two end stakes (mentioned in the review) and the two lateral guys. I find that the two lateral guy lines significantly steady the Moment in gusty winds. (Of course in still conditions just the two end stakes would certainly suffice.)

Lateral guy-line running from loop on yellow pole sleeve

Tarptent Moment tent with yellow guy line attached to black loop on yellow pole sleeve

When I ordered my Moment tent I asked Henry Shires if he would please add four more guy-out loops to my tent, one to each of the centers of the four long sides of the tent. He did so. When the wind is really gusting I pull the rear side of the tent all the way down to the ground and then I put two more stakes into the upwind sides of the tent. (I tend to pitch my tent so the door side is downwind, but I'm open to suggestions as I am a Tarptent Moment tent newbie.) Just so my arithmetic is clear, my modified-at-the-factory Moment has a total of 8 guy-line attachment points: 2 at the ends; 2 from the central pole's sleeve; and four on the centers of each long side. Technically that is 6 stake points (2 ends, 4 sides) and 2 guy-line points (on the sleeve of the supporting pole). At this time I am using MSR Ground Hogs for all of my stakes. That may be overkill. It may be sufficient to use titanium shepherd hooks for the four sides.

This particular added loop is on the center of the bottom of the door.

Black stake loop added on the center of each of the long sides of the Moment tent

Edited by marcclarke on 07/28/2010 01:43:51 MDT.

Charles Hill
(chuckster) - F

Locale: Georgia
Moment/Rainbow on 07/28/2010 07:35:49 MDT Print View

Great review, very informative and excellent photos to illustrate what you're talking about. I looked at the Moment when searching for a replacement ultralight shelter but ended up with Henry's Rainbow instead. It's only 6 more ounces but almost twice the interior space at 30 sq ft. I can sit up in it with plenty of head room and space enough inside for me and all my gear. No condensation problems either even here in the southern Appalachians.
Rainbow

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 08:03:02 MDT Print View

I find this review a bit confusing. I'm not sure why the tent is compared to the BD First Light. The BD First Light uses waterproof, breathable material (Epic). This is an apples/oranges comparison. You may as well compare this tent to a double walled shelter.

Since condensation seemed to be the biggest issue, a better comparison would be with the latest Contrail. It isn't clear what steps were taken to minimize condensation. Did the author open the doors fully? Did he open the screen netting? If so, how did he deal with drafts and bugs? How did the efforts to minimize condensation (as just suggested) compare with the Contrail? If the author wrote something like "unlike the Contrail, when I opened the door to get better ventilation, the wind blew right on my face" or "unlike the Contrail, I couldn't get enough venting without opening the screen door" then I would find this review more helpful.

It also isn't clear to me, from the picture, how much room exists above the head, when the backpacker lies down. This too could add to condensation (breathing contributes quite a bit of condensation, so if the walls are close to the head, your may get a lot).

One more thing: It seems like most reviews that talk about storm worthiness just speculate. I can understand this, as who knows when a storm will occur. However, I can easily see how this can be tested (assuming you don't mind hurting your tent). Place a board on the top part of the bed of a pickup truck. Put the tent on top. Drive down a remote highway (with someone else behind a ways, with their hazards on) and see what happens. If a tent can withstand 40 MPH winds, it is pretty good (in my opinion). You could even put the tent on a rotating platter, thus mimicking swirling winds. If you are afraid of the state patrol, there are probably some closed tracks (for amateur racing) that could possibly be rented.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Where is the snow load testing? on 07/28/2010 08:06:36 MDT Print View

No photos of the Moment under 3 feet of wet snow, like the BPL review of the Akto (a few years ago)?

Edited by vigilguy on 07/28/2010 08:07:38 MDT.