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Need some Tent advice
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Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
Need some Tent advice on 03/21/2013 16:12:39 MDT Print View

I have decided to climb out of the trees and start sleeping on the ground. My hammock gear is kinda heavy at almost 7 pounds. So I need to get a tent. My last one was about 5.5 pounds, ALPs Zephyr 2. Not a bad tent but a bit heavy. With REI's 20% off starting tomorrow I need to make a decision soon. In a bit of analysis paralysis and need to some help. I went the tarp direction but did not like using trekking poles, so I know I want a tent that does not require trekking poles to set up.

Just to give some background, I am usually solo but my kids have expressed an interest in coming along some time. Whether that would happen I am not sure, but the price of tents I figured I should consider some larger ones just in case. We do get rain, wind and humidity in Missouri, sometimes it can be pretty heavy. I do camp year round, although we don't seem to get much snow anymore. I am 5' 10" and wide lol. I seemed to do ok in the Zephyr with room, I like to keep my bag and shoes inside the tent. Beats getting spiders or a mouse on your boot. I had that happen once.

It is a toss up between the Tarptent Rainbows and Copper Spurs at this point. Either the singles if I will fit or the doubles for a little more room and kids if they come. I looked at the Moment DW and I am just not sure I like the shape. Worried about hitting head or feet. The single wall is a concern on the rainbows with misting and condensation. But the liner is just an extra 4oz for either one. I don't really need the 2nd door that comes with the double/UL2 models aside from the extra ventilation it may add. The Spurs are free standing for the most part. Takes 8 stakes vs the rainbow's 6.

Price wise the tarptents are cheaper, although I have a few gift cards for REI not to mention the 20% and dividend. I could get the Copper Spur UL2 for about 40 bucks out of pocket. I will be getting a pad, Xtherm regular most likely, although that large sure has a nice width. Not sure if that matters.

So the question for the masses, are the single Rainbow and Copper Spur roomy enough or should I look at the doubles? There are just too many things to think about here and not enough personal experience. Makes my brain hurt lol.

Dan D

Locale: Boston, MA
my take on 03/21/2013 16:27:33 MDT Print View

I'm a noob to lightweight tents and have been doing similar research and hope to make a purchase soon. I'm also looking for something that's probably 50% solo and 50% girlfriend or even a tentless buddy. So far i'm looking hard at the TT Double Rainbow. It doesn't weight much more than the single rainbow and looks nice and roomy and well regarded. I'm also 6'4 so i'll happily sleep diagonally in it when i'm alone.

I do wish there was a similar REI option though so i can use my dividend, 20% off, and possibly benefit from their great return policy if need be.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Big Agnes on 03/21/2013 17:04:42 MDT Print View

My girlfriend and I use a Big Agnes Jack Rabbit SL2, the heavier version of the Copper Spur UL2. Its been plenty roomy for us. There's actually quite alot of room in it. The two vestibules/doors make it really easy for two people to get in and out and there's plenty of room to keep your gear outside, but there's also alot of room at the feet to keep stuff there too.

If you don't mind a single entry, and a little less sit-up space, the Fly Creek UL2 would be a good choice, since its only 2# 2oz trail weight (a few more oz with stakes). Since you're mostly doing solo, and the occasional extra person, the tighter squeeze would be well worth the weight savings.

John Martin
(snapyjohn) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
Spur on 03/21/2013 17:19:09 MDT Print View

I can't add anything to the tarp tent side. I have had all of the Copper Spur line. My first UL purchase was a Copper Spur UL3. These tents are as close to optimum as I have seen. Side entry and big vestibules if you are interested in livable space the line is really hard to top. If you buy one at REI with a discount and it is not to your liking you may return it so hard to see a downside. If you purchase a Tarp Tent and find it not to your liking selling it on the gear swap is also pretty easy so not a lot of downside there either. I am really interested in the Rainshadow 2 and the the new CloudBurst 3. I am not fond of front entry and the trekking pole pitch but they have such a great reputation. I am going to hike the wonderland trail and I am claustrophobic so I need a little more room. To save weight I am considering the Rainshadow 2 or a Copper Spur 3. So I am in the same boat. A coin toss?

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
re Comments on 03/21/2013 17:33:38 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments guys. Looking at the Rainbow vs the double the weight is only about 6 ounces. The footprint is a little bigger as well, although I have never had issues finding a campsite. But I have been using a hammock :) So perhaps I should just drop the single rainbow and just look at the double. More room is never a bad option I guess.

I did look at the fly creek series, I am not too keen on the end entry though. Much prefer the side of the Spurs or Rainbows. It is pretty light though. I have read a few complaints on condensation issues which seemed surprising to me for a dual walled tent.

The REI thing is very nice, return policy and the dividend. Not to mention I have like 140 in gift cards. I am sure I could resell a tarptent if I did not like it. The spur just seems to be more stable having the poles. Not that the rainbow won't take the weather, the fast pitch and interior does not get wet option is very nice. It is a very tough choice.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Need some Tent advice on 03/21/2013 17:33:44 MDT Print View

Like John said, REI has a pretty good return policy so there's little to no risk in trying out the tent from them except that you've used up your 20% discount. Tarptent has a pretty good return policy though too.

"You may return an unused item, purchased directly from us, within 90 days for a full refund (minus the original shipping charge). No exceptions beyond 90 days. We will not accept any tent seam-sealed with urethane. Tarptents that have been used in the field will be evaluated for resale and partial credit returned to the original purchaser. Any returned items must be thoroughly clean and acceptable for resale. Dirty or wet tents will not be accepted."

You might check with Henry as to what "unused" means, but I would assume you could set it up in the grass for the night to test it out.

Edited by cobberman on 03/21/2013 17:34:23 MDT.

Stu Pendious
(Beeen) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Need some Tent advice on 03/21/2013 17:44:01 MDT Print View

"So the question for the masses, are the single Rainbow and Copper Spur roomy enough or should I look at the doubles?"

In a pinch, both my girlfriend and I could get into a Copper Spur UL1. So, unless you really think you'd be sticking other people in your tent, the UL1 will fit you fine. Although, if you're not trying to shave ounces from anything you can, then the UL2 will give you a lot of luxury room to play with.

Addendum: When getting both of us into the tent, the bottoms of our sleeping pads would start to overlap at about our knees as the tent tapered in.

Edited by Beeen on 03/21/2013 18:15:44 MDT.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
Extra Room on 03/21/2013 18:07:24 MDT Print View

I had always figured tents to be one less than what they state. Maybe that is changing but I know my Zephyr 2 was a 2 person tent but there would be no what to stick in two pads even if they were 20". Good to know the UL1 will accommodate 1 human of semi-normal size.

I hope to shave ounces all around but I want to make sure I am getting the right shelter. Don't mind a few extra ounces if it means things will be more comfortable. I do hope to get my kids out so extra room might be warranted.

So when setting up the Double Rainbow, is there any issue with just that one support pole? I know you can use trekking poles to stabilize the tent but I don't want to have to rely on that. The Spur has a pole set but of course the fly needs to be staked out. Wonder if there is issues finding good spots with the DR if there is rough ground.

Bruce Tolley

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Copper Spur vs Double Rainbow on 03/21/2013 18:27:04 MDT Print View

To the OP, you mention kids and your wife. You might think of their possible preferences and activities in the tent that might require more room.

I find the TT DR tight but tolerable for my wife and I. She likes to read a bit at night while sitting up and there is room for her to sit up, but both of us cannot sit up at the same time. Previously we used a REI Quarterdome T2 and it had more room to sit up.

My kids liked to read and play cards in the tent, especially when the mosquitos came out. In fact, I think the card playing after a day of hiking is what my son liked most about backpacking....

Herman E
(hre814) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
TT Double Rainbow on 03/21/2013 18:33:27 MDT Print View

Used the double rainbow for 3 years now. More than enough room. Originally used it to backpack with my 7 and 5 year old girls 2 years ago. Used it for 14 days in the Brooks Range with my father in law. No problems at all, worked great. I don't think it is tight at all. Very spacious for yourself, especially coming from a hammock.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
Re: Copper Spur vs Double Rainbow on 03/21/2013 18:36:24 MDT Print View

If there was anyone else in the tent it would be one or perhaps both of my kids. Both are young and small too. I have ultralight kids. Makes it easier to carry them around lol. My wife would not be caught dead in the woods. A suggestion of camping usually gets me the look of death. So for the most part it would be me and my gear.

The Double rainbow does seem pretty spacious just looking at the stats. When packed up what is the length? Curious to know if it would fit horizontal in a circuit or if it would need to go vertical. I thought I saw something somewhere that they shortened the sections of pole.

scree ride
Rainbow on 03/21/2013 18:36:46 MDT Print View

The Double Rainbow has been " on order" for some time now. the occasional used ones for sale seem to go quick and at almost full price.
Six Moons Skyscape ($125)with stakes ($20) and optional poles($14) is the same weight as the Rainbow with the same area and you'll save $80.
I ought the larger Lunar Duo for all the same reasons mentioned above. Really nice tent, but I wish I had resisted the temptation and gone a little smaller.
If you have an extra guest, squeeze her in or use your savings to buy a tarp for your buddy. If you're claustrophobic, they have very nice vestibules, leave them open.

Henry Shires
(07100) - F - M
Re: Rainbow on 03/21/2013 20:02:13 MDT Print View

> The Double Rainbow has been " on order" for some time now.

On order just means that we are filling backorders as we get tents out of production. We make them as fast as we can but demand has gone a little crazy this year. Wait times are currently holding in there at 1-2 weeks.

Regarding packed size, the Rainbow and Double Rainbow are now 18" (down from the long standing 20").


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: Rainbow on 03/21/2013 20:41:45 MDT Print View


1-2 weeks wait is not bad at all.

Keep up the good work.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Moment DW on 03/21/2013 21:17:11 MDT Print View

I have the original Moment which is a single wall tent and may have an inch or two more headroom than the DW. I dunno but I can say for sure that it has ample room to sit up (I'm 5' 10").

And no, you don't bump yer head on the tent sitting up from a sleeping position.
Also the vestibule is great for storing your pack out of the weather. Finally this tent is very aerodynamic and great in high winds.

For two the Stratospire 2 or Double Rainbow are good choices if you'd like to stay in American made double wall tents. (Yes, the Double Rainbow has a liner to make it effectively a double wall.) Love the DR's two big vestibules.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
Re: Re: Rainbow on 03/21/2013 21:36:52 MDT Print View

Henry, thanks for the info on ordering and the pole size. I don't think 18 will fit horizontally but ain't no thang to stick it in a pocket on the circuit. 2 week order time is not bad either.

The moment dw looks very cool I am just leaning towards a shape with more vertical walls. All very tough decisions. Too much thinking and not enough buying I think lol. need to win the lotto.

scree ride
On order just means that we are filling backorders as we get tents out of production on 03/22/2013 08:21:11 MDT Print View

Thanks for the clarification.

The Stratospire 1 actually looks plenty big for 1 person with the occasional guest.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Need some Tent advice on 03/22/2013 16:05:52 MDT Print View

this is my video clip on the SS1 :

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
Done on 04/03/2013 16:20:52 MDT Print View

Well I waited my allotted gear purchase time. I decided to go with the double rainbow over the big agnes. Now I just have to wait for it to come in. Did use my 20% on an xtherm. Gonna be a fun season of camping. Thanks for all the input and help.