Rating: 5 / 5
This is more of an initial test report. After sealing my Notch's seams, and doing several test-pitches in my backyard, I took it out into Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness Area for an overnight trial.
I conducted the test in mid-September. My campsite was in a valley at about 10,700 ft. In elevation, near Coney Lake. No precipitation occurred, but winds were breezy. Temperatures during the test were predicted to range from overnight lows in the mid-30s and daytime highs in the high 50s.
The tent goes up quickly and easily, and making a taut pitch only takes minor adjustments to the guy lines.
Inside, the tent isn't wide, but it is wide enough. Dual vestibules do compensate for the relative lack of space. And the tent's interior height is superb. I'm 6' tall, and I could sit up fully, change my shirt, put on a hat and/or a jacket. The interior is long enough that a taller person could easily use a long sleeping pad, and still have space at his/her head and feet. The floor is slightly slippery-- my NeoAir pad slid around all night long. Brushing on some silicone seam sealer in the recommended dots-lines-crosses pattern would be of great benefit.
There is a reasonably thick open space between the inner mesh wall and the silnylon outer wall.
I experienced difficulty getting the end corners/struts to rest in their full width. It appears to take some futzing in order to find the length of the center guy line that coordinates with the length of the side guy line. That may have been due to my naiveté, though, or the fact I wasn't camped in a perfectly flat tent pad. I raised the struts a little with flat rocks, in an effort to mimic a flat tent pad, but it still didn't work. Perhaps if the struts were staked down at the full width, that would do it-- but that would add the weight of four more stakes to your pack.
With the vestibules raised to 115 mm, the interior is gently breezy with the walls zipped. There is a reasonably thick open space between the inner mesh wall and the silnylon outer wall., making ventilation exceptionally good. I experienced no condensation whatsoever, despite temperatures low enough that my coconut butter pillow-packs solidified overnight.
I set the tent up with the narrow side leaning into the wind, but at altitude, it can shift dramatically without warning. In the morning, the winds increased in speed, and became gusty. The vestibules began to flutter-- not too badly, but enough to make some noise. The pitch remained taut, but I only had the tent up for 2-3 hours in the windy conditions.
Overall, I'm very impressed by TarpTent's design. It looks to me that my minor complaints can probably be alleviated through experience and experimentation.