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Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/17/2006 19:29:00 MDT Print View

This has been touched upon before by others, but I just want to share my experience, and also thank Henry for the quick repair and retrofit! :)

While setting up camp halfway up Mt. Whitney (Trail Camp), I suddenly found it exceedingly difficult to set the pole tips into their grommets (the first one was easy, of course, but I struggled hard trying to get the second tip into its grommet). Only with the help of my buddy, plus leveraging against a piece of flat rock, did we finally succeed! The next day, as expected, freeing the pole tips from the grommets was completely impossible! I had to cut the webbing strap in order to take down the tent. Luckily, that was our last day and we were heading back to trail head.

Calling Henry after my trip, he explained that silnylon shrinks in dry environments. That made sense, given the low humidity at Whitney that day. Henry further explained that this had happened to others too, and therefore, all new Rainbows (and I believe Double Rainbows as well) now come with a longer strap and a Ladderloc strap length adjuster. Henry repaired and retrofitted my Rainbow with the above ladderloc -- free of charge -- in just a few days!

I count myself lucky that the 'incident' happened on the last day of my three-day trip, since the tent was effectively out of commission once I cut the strap for take down. Owners of earlier Rainbows should contact Henry -- to avoid getting themselves into a potential bind on their next mountain ascend or desert hike!

Edited by ben2world on 09/17/2006 19:30:52 MDT.

Elliot Lockwood
(elockwood) - F
Re: A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/17/2006 19:47:24 MDT Print View

Hi Ben,
I live in Southern Utah and had this problem with my Rainbow. Just to note a quick fix - luckily the first few times I pitched it before fixing it I was able to do it and take it out - just barely.

My fix was to cut about an inch of the pole off with a hack saw - certainly not doable in the field. This may not be elegant but it did work and I've had no regrets since.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Retrofit Tarptent Rainbow on 09/17/2006 19:56:29 MDT Print View

Hi Elliot:

Whoever said "neccessity is the mother of inventions" certainly got it right. :)

But I would recommend Henry's retrofit for those who haven't already shortened their tent poles. Silnylon will expand when wet, so cutting "too much" of the pole may lead to a droopy / flappy tent in the rain...

Edited by ben2world on 09/17/2006 21:04:45 MDT.

Henry Shires
(07100) - F - M
Re: Retrofit Tarptent Rainbow on 09/17/2006 22:31:16 MDT Print View

Actually, a pole trim will work just fine in most cases since the line tighteners will pull the sleeve down and take up any additional slack. Alternately, sewing on an extra grommet tab to create a second "low humidity" position also works fine. I'm happy to send out a grommet tab to anyone who wants one. Takes a few seconds to add one on.


Bryan Redd
(lucylab) - F
Re: Re: Retrofit Tarptent Rainbow on 09/18/2006 07:22:15 MDT Print View


I'd like the extra grommet tabs for my Double Rainbow. How best to start that process----by e-mail to you?

Also, are you still planning to send out some other modifications to current owners of Rainbows?

Used my Double Rainbow this weekend in lovely weather and had a fine trip. Thanks.


Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/18/2006 07:44:57 MDT Print View

To all:

Before the floodgates open, please let me suggest a little restraint here.

Let's try not to bury Henry in tarptents being returned for retrofit.

It's great customer service on his part, but instead, let's first ask for the free extra grommet strap he offerred and stitch that on. Sent off my request a few minutes ago.

If that doesn't solve the problem, try cutting one inch off the arch pole.

If that's too daunting for you or still doesn't solve the problem, then by all means, return the tent to Henry for profesional repairs. Letting him know it's coming rather than just dropping it into UPS would be a nice and courteous thing to do.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/18/2006 11:22:16 MDT Print View

Agree with Bob. For those who are handy with tools, etc. cutting a short length off the tent pole is fairly easy to do -- as is requesting two pieces of grommet/webbing and sewing them onto your tent.

But regardless, if you plan to camp in areas of low to very low humidity (just the sort of places where single wall tarptents excel) -- get the problem taken care of before you go.

As above, I came VERY CLOSE to not having a tent, and the next day, I had to cut the strap and put it completely out of commission in order to take it down. If that happened in the middle of my trip instead of the last day -- the prospects would have been unpleasant (probably would just have to wrap the silnylon around me at night).

As we all know, silnylon can expand quite a bit when wet with rain and condensation. Apparently, it shrinks quite a bit as well when it's very dry . So we are not talking about an anomaly, but it just depends on how dry your location is.

Finally, if you find yourself in a similar situation, the quickest fix is to splash copious amounts of water onto the silnylon -- although this may not be an option in the desert, etc.

Tyler Cockrell
(tylercockrell) - F
Re: A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/18/2006 15:35:31 MDT Print View

I have a double rainbow and have used it about 10 nights this summer in varying conditions ranging from very dry to wet. The best way for me to get pole in the grommet is to eat food high in protein and really put my back into it. It just takes a little bit of strength, you whimps. Just kidding. Honestly, I have had some trouble and some frustrating mornings (cursing and struggling with cold fingers) however it is still my favorite tent.

I like idea of cutting the tent pole. Plus, it is the ultra light solution, removing a 1/10 of a gram versus of adding 1/10 of a gram.

Edited by tylercockrell on 09/18/2006 15:37:06 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/19/2006 08:12:51 MDT Print View

OK, so you had to cut the webbing strap and you still have days to go on your trek:

Take your spare cord (you do carry some as part of the 10 essentials don't you?) put a loop in one end, stick one end of the arch pole in that, run the cord under the floor to the other pole end, put another loop around that and tension the line. You might not get the perfect arc, but the tent will stand nicely, supported by the arch sleeve.

This is the same way the other (floorless) tarp tents set up their arch poles routinely.

The secret to overcoming the wrath of the Trail Gods is flexibility and resourcefulness.

Edited by wandering_bob on 09/19/2006 08:13:46 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/19/2006 09:48:36 MDT Print View

Yes, Bob, we all spent $215 to minimize our load just so we can cut the tent strap and whip out our spare 120-inch cord...

The whole purpose of my post is to alert Rainbow users that they can have real problems pitching and/or taking down their tents -- in the condition described above. The focus, therefore, is on solving the problem upfront. The various solutions are all pretty easy, so there's no reason for users to "do nothing" and then getting themselves into a bind out there.

Users who feel comfortable cutting their poles a bit shorter or sewing on extra grommets may want to do so, as that will take some pressure off Henry. However, those who don't wish to go the DIY route should contact Henry for a retrofit.

Edited by ben2world on 09/19/2006 11:51:14 MDT.

Charles Ruefenacht
(cwruefenacht) - F
Rainbow Tent on 09/22/2006 23:03:18 MDT Print View

So how do all of you Rainbow-owners like the tent? How does it perform in rain??

Charlie R.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Rainbow Tent on 09/22/2006 23:25:44 MDT Print View

I like my Rainbow tent very much! The seams need to be carefully sealed with Silnet or equivalent -- top side and underside. However, once the job is done, rain protection is superb!

For 3-season use in temperate areas with low to moderate humidity, I highly recommend this tent for its very low weight, easy set up, generous interior floor space and headroom, and superb weather and bug protection!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Rainbow Tent on 09/23/2006 00:10:09 MDT Print View

I wrote a lengthy review of the Rainbow here, so I won't make a lot of comments here. Suffice it to say that it is, as Ben expressed, a great tent.

Henry Shires
(07100) - F - M
Re: Re: A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/23/2006 11:59:27 MDT Print View

>.. The various solutions are all pretty easy, so there's no reason for users to "do nothing" and then getting themselves into a bind out there.

I'm happy to send out grommets or, for anyone who wants to send in their Rainbow, add a tensioning buckle.

For "emergency" field use in very dry conditions, the simplest thing is actually just to wet down the sleeve area with your platypus hose or whatever. That restores fabric stretch and allows relatively easy removal/insertion. Should be no need to cut any straps.


Bryan Redd
(lucylab) - F
Re: Re: Re: A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/25/2006 11:29:29 MDT Print View

I am very satisfied with my Double Rainbow. I used it this weekend. Had zero condensation (45 degrees, moderate humidity, fully opened on one side, partially closed on the other).

I like the option of using poles or as a free-standing tent.

I have deep respect for Henry Shires as a product developer and manufacturer. He is constantly working on "continuous improvement," a hallmark of a good company. His customer service is an integral part of that focus.

In response to some concern about some interior drips from wicking in the Rainbow, Henry has stated that he'll be addressing that issue and sending out a slight modification to existing Rainbow users. I place great value on a committment to service and quality like that.


Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Double Rainbow floor question on 09/25/2006 12:06:42 MDT Print View

A question for double rainbow owners ... the single rainbow lists the floor size as 38"-46" wide and 88"-96" long. I read an explanation somewhere that the smaller dimensions was with the floor in bathtub config and the larger with it laid flat.

Does the double have the same option to release the corners and lay the floor flat?

Edited by jcolten on 09/25/2006 12:07:15 MDT.

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Re: A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/25/2006 15:42:56 MDT Print View

Hi Ben and company:
Noticed HS's responses and would have to attest to the wetting solution. I have had the issue come up several times on the trail and Henry's suggestion the wet down the sleeve has worked great for me. ( I believe that he pointed this out in a prior set of Forum posts when the Rainbow first came out) I usually just soak my bandana and rub it along the sleeve -- wait a minute or two and then out of the grommet it slips. Glad to see though that Henry has created a modification to deal with a "problem". Just what one expects from him.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
A Note for TARPTENT RAINBOW Owners on 09/25/2006 18:28:42 MDT Print View


Yes, it does.
All of the TarpTent bathtub floors work that way; clip them up to form the tub when wet weather threatens (reduces ventilation, increases splash protection) or leave them flat for more space and ventilation when precipitation is not expected.


Edited by wandering_bob on 09/25/2006 18:30:47 MDT.