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Help me decide on the tarptent!
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Tim Klaus
(WWhermit) - F

Locale: So Cal
Help me decide on the tarptent! on 07/17/2012 11:17:06 MDT Print View

I'm ready to take the plunge on a tarptent, but am having trouble deciding between the Double Rainbow and the StratoSpire 2.

For those that have one, or have had both, I'd like some input. There are 2 main deciding factors for me.

1) The trekking poles I hike with are not adjustable. They are fixed at 120 cm. This will impact my ability to "tweak" the setup for proper pitch.

2) I'm also looking for which tarptent will give me better rain and wind protection, mainly from wind and rain sneaking in under the fly. For those that have owned either of these, has this been a problem?

Thanks for the input, folks!

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Help me decide on the tarptent! on 07/17/2012 17:50:12 MDT Print View

hi Tim,
It depends a lot on how you perceive space.
The DR is a rather compact double . Having the two doors vestibules allows you to have a pack under each vestibule and not trip over your partner so it isn't all that cramped (if you don't have 2 6'4" 250lbs guys in it...)
nevertheless not that large either.
The SS2 has a lot of space inside the floor as well as very large vestibules.
So particularly on the sides there is a lot of space between the fly and the floor to reduce the chance of wind driven rain hitting the inner.
Set at 120cm it looks like this :

SS2 at 120cm
as you can see there is a very small gap at the bottom of the fly.
If you are still worried about wind, you will be able soon (a week or two) to order the "solid' (fabric inner)
Looks like this :
SS 2 solid inner
BTW I have used the SS2 in wind driven rain . It did just fine (IE I was dry, others there not so much)
This is the correct position for the guylines (E and W)
SS2 guylines
(there is a clip of the SS2 on the Net in the wind with those guylines set up in the wrong place...)
(I look after TT in Australia...)

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

TarpTent on 07/17/2012 20:44:20 MDT Print View

I can't speak to the DR, but the fly on the SS2 comes quite close to the ground. It's nice and provides good protection from wind/drafts entering the tent. In terms of rain, both tents use the same materials and should be equally waterproof. In rainy conditions you tend to get more condensation than in dry conditions, so the SS2 would handle this a bit better as it's a full double wall instead of a partial double wall. You can add a liner to the DR to make it essentially a full double wall too.

In terms of standing up to high winds, I consider the SS2 to be adequately sturdy. I'm sure if you had a tent shoot out in 80mph winds on some alpine ridge then the SS2 wouldn't end up the winner, but it's a solid design that's going to be fine pitched anywhere 98% of the time and if you're really in rough conditions then just put a bit of thought into pitching it in a more sheltered spot.

I've never needed to adjust the height of my trekking poles in the night. Even if the fabric did sag a lot, I could just adjust the tension on the ridgeline guyout lines instead. I normally set my poles at 48" (122cm) when I pitch my SS2, so I think 120cm would be just fine.

Tim Klaus
(WWhermit) - F

Locale: So Cal
The SS2 specs on 07/18/2012 11:13:34 MDT Print View

Great information from both of you, thanks.

Franco, do you have any specs for the SS2 with the partial wall, particularly the weight?

Yes 1000
Partial wall design issue.. on 07/18/2012 12:18:42 MDT Print View

I'm almost on the verge of ordering SS1 and certainly want raised solid wall for cold draftand privacy reason.

However looking at the images on TT's website, I believe TT has raised the partial wall way too much IMO. They should have reduced it by 4-5 inches to keep people inside the tent be aware of what is happening outside and still protected from cold drafts. even with traditional light weight tents we don't see the so little mesh.

Issue with this extended wall is that you can't take a look at outside while laying down, may be this way TT wanted to deny buyers best of both worlds :) and shell out $100 more to get both partial soild and mesh tent and very good business decision by TT.

I emailed TT on customizing the tent and lowering the solid wall but they replied back telling they can't do it. I am now sitting on the fence contemplating what next.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Help me decide on the tarptent! on 07/18/2012 16:21:11 MDT Print View

I think that the solid inner is about 2 oz heavier.
The total weight can change a bit with every production run so keep in mind that it is always approximate..