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Tent recommendations
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Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Tent recommendations on 05/15/2012 22:54:23 MDT Print View

I have been researching a tent now for a while but recently my wife decided she really enjoyed backpacking here in CA. With that said I have to shift from the 1 man or bivy shopping I was doing and into a 2 or 2+ mode. So far I am looking at the Rainshadow due to the weight, costs and sleep space. I will still keep my existing bivy for my singular trips or those where just my son and I go. The reason I went with the Rainshadow is it gives us the ability put 1 more in the tent in case we need to but normally gives us a little extra stretch out room with ONLY an extra 7 ounces. Yes I know the ONLY will drive some of you nuts.

With that said I am looking for recommendations either for or against this choice. If oyu are for it please give me the main reason you feel it is a good choice. If you are against it please give me an alternate opinion.


Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Tent recommendations on 05/15/2012 23:16:39 MDT Print View

For a bit more luxury for no more weight, the Tarptent Double Rainbow has two doors and two vestibules, so your wife and you each have your own entrance and can go in and out without disturbing each other. The Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo has two doors and two vestibules and is a bit bigger than the Double Rainbow. The Tarptent Stratospire 2 has two doors and two vestibules and is a double-wall tent.

Weights: TT Double Rainbow, 41 oz; SMD Lunar Duo Explorer, 41 oz.; TT Stratospire 2, 40 oz; TT Rainshadow 42 oz. (SMD Lunar Duo weight doesn't include stakes.)

How old is your son? If he's getting towards the teenage years, he'll probably want to have his own shelter anyway!

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/15/2012 23:19:49 MDT.

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Tent recommendations on 05/15/2012 23:24:02 MDT Print View

I don't use hiking poles so that is my main reason i was steering away from the Double Rainbow. My son is 6 but already has his own tent as I snore he wont sleep with me. ;0)

The SMD Lunar Duo Explorer is nice but i don't see the advantage over the Rainshadow or Double Rainbow for the extra $$.

Edited by chrisjgilmore on 05/15/2012 23:27:15 MDT.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Tent recommendation on 05/16/2012 10:55:27 MDT Print View

You can't go wrong with anything from Tarptent. That said, two other recommendations for two-person tents: MontBell Thunder Dome 2 and Stephenson's Warmlite 2R. Unlike many two-person tents, these two sleep two.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Tent recommendations on 05/16/2012 10:58:33 MDT Print View

You don't need trekking poles for the Double Rainbow; it has its own poles.

The manufacturers of tents that do require hiking poles sell separate poles for non-trekking pole users. The TT Rainshadow you're looking at is one of these, but if you're looking at tent poles instead of trekking poles, you really need two of them.

You might want to look more carefully at the descriptions/specifications!

Edited by hikinggranny on 05/16/2012 11:00:53 MDT.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Tent recommendations on 05/16/2012 12:13:40 MDT Print View

I have the Double Rainbow and Rainshadow (1st generation).
My wife likes the dome shape of the Rainbow so she can sit up with head in the center. But she PREFERS the greater space in the Rainshadow. Rainshadow requires a big footprint space so that makes it a little trickier in finding a camping spot.

Also it was easier to seam seal the Rainshadow. I just couldn’t keep out the Illinois rain in the DR with my 2 coats. So I sent it back to Henry and he did a good job of sealing the DR.

Over the past year, my Rainshadow and zpack hexamid has been my most used tents.

Good luck in your choice.

-The mountains were made for Teva’s

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Tent recommendations on 05/16/2012 12:32:10 MDT Print View

thanks for the feedback guys I appreciate it and it helps me craft a good sound decision. How is the condensation in single walled tents like these?

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Tent recommendations on 05/17/2012 11:33:48 MDT Print View

We have owned the original Rainshadow, the Double Rainbow, and now use the SMD Lunar Duo.

The Rainshadow will comfortably sleep three adults. Nice tent, but I disliked the front entrance/single door.

The Double Rainbow is a very well built tent, and it has two doors and vestibules for excellent views and ventilation. Of the three I thought it was the most storm worthy. We eventually sold it because the sloping walls reduced the interior headroom enough to be a problem.

We have been using the Lunar Duo for several years. The interior room is best described as "cavernous." Seriously, it's just huge inside. The two long side walls are vertical, which means we can leave the vestibules halfway up even in the rain for ventilation. The two vestibules are huge. Four people can sit up inside this tent comfortably. (Try that in the others....) The LD does require two hiking poles and six stakes minimum to pitch.

Condensation is an issue with single wall tents. We carry a small pack towel to dry the tent when we get up in the morning. For us the tradeoff is worthwhile to get a 2.5 pound humongous 2-person tent. For others, it's not.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
VESTIBULES on 05/17/2012 11:47:51 MDT Print View

I vote for the TT Double Rainbow for several reasons.

1. Two vestibules (ex. one for cooking in the rain and the other for entrance/exit)
2. great ventilation W/ both vestibules deployed.
3. optional liner for warmth and/or condensation control
4. low weight for the space & features.
5. possibility of reducing weight further with the purchase of an aftermarket carbon fiber pole. ($$)
6. can be made freestanding with your hiking poles (2 pr. needed for DR)

Christopher Gilmore
(chrisjgilmore) - F - MLife

Locale: New Almaden
Tent recommendations on 05/21/2012 21:10:45 MDT Print View

Thanks for all of the feedback I went with the Rainshadow but I may also purchase the Double Rainbow if i like the quality. I like having multiple options when hitting the trail.

I already have a water resistant down bag, a bivy and now (hopefully) a good 3 person tent.


Edited by chrisjgilmore on 05/21/2012 21:20:52 MDT.