Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment

A quality, lightweight shelter that's easy to assemble, but does a condensation issue leave us all wet?

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

The Moment is a quality lightweight tent, recommended for long distance backpacking. It is fairly light, simple, and takes up little space. A lightweight tarp is lighter and easier to pack, of course, but it does not provide the comfort and convenience that comes with netting as well as poles and stakes that make for a speedy set-up. Note also that the Moment is not a sturdy structure for use in exposed windy terrain, but is intended for laying down the miles on lengthy treks where shelter is available.

About This Rating

M Find other top product reviews »

Print Jump to Reader Comments

by Chris Murphy |

Introduction

Tarptent, a California based company, manufactures the Moment. It is a simple tent with flooring, netting, and one entrance. It also includes one pole and two stakes. The entrance to the tent can be rolled back and secured with two nylon ribbons as seen in Figure 1.

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 1
Figure 1. Moment with 6'2" User

When the door is closed, it forms the vestibule where gear can be stored. The vestibule area has ample room at 6.6 ft2 (see Figs. 2-3). Also, there is a plastic clasp that can be secured that prevents the door from unzipping (see Fig. 2).

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 2
Figure 2. Vestibule Shot 1 and Plastic Zipper Clasp

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 3
Figure 3. Vestibule Shot 2

At the ends of the tent are two A-frames that are plastic rod housed sheaths composed of nylon-like material. Attached to the A-frames is a system of yellow cords. The cords are secured with stakes and then can be used to tension or loosen the tent with a plastic cleat (see Fig. 14). The sleeping area is surrounded by netting and is accessed through a large half-circle door. The netting does not droop around the user because it is secured to the tarp as can be seen in Figure 1. Below these connection points are two mesh pockets. The flooring inside the netting is held flush to the ground with a Velcro patch (see Fig. 11). The area in the netting is spacious with ample room for a 6’2” individual (see Fig. 1). At the peak of the roof are two vents and plastic clips attached to nylon ribbons that can be used to jury-rig an attic.

Specifications

Categories Tarptent Moment
Weight (lbm) 1.78125
Cost $215
Tent Material Ripstop nylon impregnated with silicone
Stake Material Easton aluminum 7075-T9
Pole Material Easton aluminum
Dimensions (in) (LxWxH) 84 x 42 (center) x 40 (20-inch width at ends)
Vestibule Area (ft2) 6.6
Sleeps 1
Temperature Three-season

Quantitative Gear Rating

In order to provide a better idea about how the Moment stacks up against other products on the market, it was compared with another common and popular tent, the 2009 Black Diamond First Light. Specifications for the First Light are listed below.

Categories BD First Light
Weight (lbm) 3.3125
Cost $320
Tent Material EPIC by Nextec Fabric
Stake Material Aluminum
Pole Material DAC Featherlite poles
Dimensions (in)
(LxWxH) 82 x 48 x 42
Vestibule Area (ft2) 9
Sleeps 2
Temperature Four-season
(Note: For further details on EPIC see: http://www.nextec.com/nextec_faq.html) 

The Moment and the First Light were evaluated according to ten specific items critical to quality (CTQ). Each CTQ was assigned an importance value. Importance values are from 1 to 3, where 1 indicates low importance and 3 indicates high importance. Then the Moment and the First Light were rated on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 indicates poor and 5 indicates excellent. The rating was then multiplied by the importance, thereby yielding a final score. The importance, ratings, and scores for the Moment and the First Light are presented below.

Moment Performance Appraisal   
  CTQ Importance (1-3) Rating (1-5) Score (1-15)
1 Weight 3 4 12
2 Durability 2 3 6
3 Breathability 2 2 4
4 Water Resistance 3 4 12
5 Ease of Assembly 2 5 10
6 Vestibule Area 2 3 6
7 Tent Space 3 4 12
8 Appearance 1 4 4
9 Packability 3 5 15
10 Cost 3 3 9
11 Normalized Total NA NA 11.25
Tent Comparison: Black Diamond First Light   
  CTQ Importance (1-3) Rating (1-5) Score (1-15)
1 Weight 3 2 6
2 Durability 2 4 8
3 Breathability 2 4 8
4 Water Resistance 3 3 9
5 Ease of Assembly 2 2 4
6 Vestibule Area 2 4 8
7 Tent Space 3 4 12
8 Appearance 1 4 4
9 Packability 3 3 9
9 Cost 3 2 6
10 Normalized Total NA NA 9.25

The scores for the Moment and the First Light are presented in a Pareto chart to aid in comparison (see Fig. 4).

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 4
Figure 4. Score Comparison between the Moment and First Light

Analysis and Testing

Analysis

The rating values assigned to each CTQ for the Moment were formulated while using the Moment in the November of 2009 and April of 2010. Presented below is the qualitative reasoning for the ratings assigned. The testing details are provided later on in this section.

  • Weight - The Moment weighed 1.78 lbs. This is not super light, but it is fairly light and easy to pack so it received a rating of 5.
  • Durability – Nothing on the Moment has failed as of yet. However as discussed in the qualitative review there were some components that seemed flimsy, so it received an average rating of 3.
  • Breathability – There is no breathability with silicone impregnated rip-stop nylon. However there were vents that alleviated condensation to some degree, so a below average rating of 2 was given.
  • Water Resistance – The Moment with silicone impregnated rip-stop nylon is completely waterproof, thus a high rating of 5.
  • Ease of Assembly – The Moment is extremely easy to assemble as evidenced by my experience setting up while intoxicated, in the dark, late at night without instructions. 5
  • Vestibule Area – The Moment provides 6.6 ft2 of vestibule area. This is ample room for a pack and boots. A little more room is nice, but it is currently satisfactory. 3
  • Tent Space – There is ample room in the Moment – even for my 6’2” compadres. Therefore an above average rating of 4 was given.
  • Appearance – The Moment is sleek, stylish, and vaguely aerodynamic like some futuristic rocket pod to transport homo-sapiens between distant galaxies. 4
  • Packability – The size of a pole bag and half the weight. Again the Moment is a joy to slip into a pack. Bam. Score of 5.
  • Cost – The Moment costs approximately $215.00. This is a modest sum that compares favorably to the $315.00 for the First Light. $215 is not a steal, but it is a decent price for an excellent product. 3

Testing

Testing was performed in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness and the Gravelly Mountains. The two primary tests were a two-night hunting trip in the Gravelly Mountains (estimated mileage: fifteen miles), and a two-day twenty-six-mile trip up the Selway River.

Moment Performance Appraisal    
Date Morning Temp (deg F) Evening Temp (deg F) Weather Notes
4/1/10 ? 42 Partly cloudy with winds 5-10 mph Evening - Set the Moment up again. Got compliments all around. Also my tent bag is the size of the pole bag for the Hubba Hubba my buddy packed in.
4/2/10 32 ? Gray and windy with light rain sprinkling Morning - Again, a truck load of condensation on the outside.
11/6/09 ? 45 Cold and cloudy with about 1 inch of snowfall Evening - First Moment set-up in the dark at hunting camp. Surprisingly easy. Happily surprised.
11/7/09 30.9 20 Cold and cloudy with about 3 inches of snowfall Morning - Condensation. Definitely a three-season tent. Glad to have a 0 deg F bag.
11/8/09 27.3 ? Cold and clear Morning - Lots of condensation. The Moment is a snow cone. Again glad to have a 0 deg F bag.

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 5
Figure 5. Selway River April 2010

What I Disliked

The condensation. And the condensation. And the condensation... And the condensation. The Moment is made of silicone impregnated rip-stop nylon so it keeps the rain out, but... imagine wearing a full body silicone suit and picture how the sweat would pour off the body in a get-up like that. That actual volume of sweat is hard to quantify, but let’s say it would fill a Nalgene bottle. The same volume of condensation was on the Moment come morning time. There are two vents at the top of the tent that alleviate condensation build up, but even with the vents open, the condensation is still substantial (see Fig. 6). Note that when the vents are open, you need to make sure to connect the internal plastic hooks shown in Figure 6 (rightmost photo). If the hooks are not connected, a Velcro strip external to the vent will catch and re-seal the vent. Figure 7 illustrates how easily the Velcro strip could re-seal a vent.

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 6
Figure 6. Vent 1 & 2

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 7
Figure 7. Closed Vent and Open Vent

The condensation discussion is slightly exaggerated, but the Moment does hold a lot of condensation. After one night of camping in cool weather with minimal wind and no rain there was enough condensation on the Moment to make a sizeable snowball, (see Fig. 8). This is great for that early morning snowball fight that ignites unparalleled affection in camping compadres worth their snuff, but not so great for packing into a stuff sack. Especially when it is about 32 F outside and your hands freeze up into unfeeling nubs trying to jam a tarp into a stuff sack that's the diameter of a pole bag.

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 8
Figure 8. Condensation Snowball

Other than the condensation issue however, the Moment is a quality product. Some of the components on the Moment do seem too flimsy for backpacking gear, but they have not failed as of yet, and I am excited to continue using the Moment this coming summer and fall - and for however long the Moment holds together. The three items that seem especially flimsy are the tent stakes, the elastic cords that connect the tent floor to the two small A-frames at either end of the tent, and the Velcro strap that holds the floor of the tent flush to the ground.

The tent stakes are lightweight aluminum stakes shaped like knitting needles. Upon first inspection they seemed rugged sturdy items. The size was misleading. Both of the stakes bent the very first time they were driven into the fall Montana ground (see Fig. 9).

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 9
Figure 9. Bent Tent Stakes

This is not a big deal, since all tent spikes bend. In this case, however, it was surprising because the size and knitting needle shape seemed to indicate that here at last was a stake design that would not conform to that bent shape that all stakes eventually achieve.

The Moment has, for lack of better term, two small A-frames at either end of the tent (see Fig. 10).

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 10
Figure 10. A-frame and Elastic Cord with Bowline

These A-frames are lightweight plastic tubes housed in sheaths made of a nylon-like material. The A-frames elevate the far ends of the tent and they stretch out the tent flooring. The floor of the tent has elastic ties extending from each corner to connect to the base of the A-frames (see Fig. 10 (rightmost photo)). As shown in Figure 10, the elastic cords are tied, with a bowline, to the base of the A-frames. Since the cords are elastic, the bowline easily unravels. The bowline is easy to re-tie, but re-tying the bowlines at set-up time can be bothersome.

In actuality this detail is not so much flimsy as just pesky, and it also incites a sense of low quality - admittedly this sense could be spurious. A tent from, say, Black Diamond would most likely have some plastic clasp or other doo-dad to keep the elastic tie from detaching from the A-frames. And so now, prejudiced by this standard, one expects to see quality tents with doo-dads that keep elastic cords in place. Now whether or not doo-dads indicates high quality is debatable, considering that they could snap, thereby possibly making it difficult or impossible to reconnect the elastic cord. It is perhaps preferable to have elastic cords that simply tie off because they are easy to re-attach. Most likely the Moment designers recognize this. So after re-considering, this detail, although seemingly flimsy and indicative of low quality, is more likely the result of a commitment to simple design that in truth is of higher quality in light of the old adage “keep it simple.”

The Velcro strap that holds the tent flooring flush is located on the same side as the entrance (see Fig. 11).

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 11
Figure 11. Velcro Flooring Strap

When I first rolled into the tent, I fully expected the Velcro to detach after the first few minutes rustling around in my bag. Then the rest of the night I would have an ever-diminishing tent space. This was not the case. The Velcro held fast and I rested comfortably in a spacious dwelling all night. Granted I was not on a ridge line or making a summit attempt where heavy winds would have surely uprooted the Velcro strap and battered the Moment until it lay over me like a crumpled tarp you’d find in the back of an old shed. But the Moment is not designed for summit attempts. It is made for lightweight backpacking trips where a skilled user selects sheltered campsites that make for enjoyable camping.

Tarptent does offer a second pole to improve the structural integrity of the Moment (see Fig. 12).

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 12
Figure 12. Moment with Second Pole (http://www.tarptent.com/moment.html)

However I was not issued this secondary pole and therefore cannot comment on how it would affect the Moment's performance. From Figure 12 though, it seems unlikely that the second pole would do much to improve the performance of the Moment when it comes to heavy winds and/or serious summit bids.

What I liked

I liked everything about the Moment - except the condensation, that is. The features that really stand out are:

  • The weight
  • The packability
  • The ease of assembly
  • The plastic tensioning clasps/cleats

The Moment weighs in at 1.78 lbs and, when packed in its stuff sack, it is approximately the same volume as a pole bag (see Fig. 13).

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 13
Figure 13. Moment Tent in Stuff Sack


However, it is much lighter than a pole bag, making it is a pleasure to hoist up and slip into a pack. The actual volume of the stuffed tent, with a diameter of ~3 inches and a length of ~16.5 inches, is ~2 quarts. The BD First Light packed in its stuff sack is about two times the size of the Moment, with a volume of ~4 quarts, and it is twice as heavy.

The Moment is also extremely easy to assemble. There are two stakes, one pole and one tent sleeve. I first used the Moment while hunting in the Gravelly Mountain range in Montana. I arrived at camp near dusk, and I immediately headed out to scout for critters. When dark came I stumbled back to camp and spent several hours around a fire with friends and a bottle of whiskey. It was around 11:00 p.m. when I finally endeavored to set up the Moment. I pulled out the stuff sack, noticed I had lost the set-up instructions and then bragged to my friends, “Time for some gonzo gear testing.”

Fortunately the instructions were unnecessary. It’s been said that a well engineered product does not need instructions, and I’d like to add to that: an extremely well engineered product does not need to supply directions to people who have been enjoying adult beverages. The Moment is just this. Cheerfully impaired, cold, and by the light of the fire (my headlight batteries were long dead) I successfully erected the Moment in five to ten minutes. Truthfully it probably took less than five minutes, but I added a few extra minutes since my cognitive abilities were somewhat dulled.

To set up the Moment first insert the pole in the tent sleeve. Then insert one stake through the yellow loop at one end of the Moment (see Fig. 10). Complete the set-up by applying tension on the other end of the tent until it stands erect and then insert the second stake into the second yellow loop. To increase or decrease tent tension push or pull on the plastic tension clasps as illustrated in Figure 14.

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 14
Figure 14. Tensioning and Loosening the Moment Ex. 1

These clasps are quality. They don’t catch or hang up, and it is not necessary to hold the loose end of the cord at a funky angle to tighten and loosen, like when raising blinds. It is a simple, functional design. Tent tension can also be adjusted with buckles at the base of the pole (see Fig. 15).

Tarptent Moment Performance Appraisal - 15
Figure 15. Tension Buckle at base of Pole

Final Comments

The Moment is a quality lightweight tent. It is fairly light, simple, and takes up little space. A lightweight tarp is lighter and easier to pack, of course, but does not provide the comfort and convenience that comes with netting as well as poles and stakes that make for a speedy set-up. In closing, it is possible to go lighter, but if you’re willing to put up with 28.5 ounces (actual weight of the Moment) the Moment is worth it. Note also that it is not a sturdy structure for use in exposed windy terrain, but is intended for laying down the miles on lengthy treks where sheltered sites are available.

The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge, and the author/BPL has returned or will return this product to the manufacturer upon completion of the review. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to review this product to the manufacturer under the terms of this agreement.


Citation

"Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment," by Chris Murphy. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/tarptent_moment_performance_appraisal.html, 2010-07-27 00:05:00-06.

Print

Reader Comments

You must login to post comments.

New Visitors: Create a new account
Username:
Password:
Remember my login info.

Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment


Display Avatars
Sort By:
Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 13:10:30 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 13:44:17 MDT Print View

Nice review. It seemed to me like there was less condensation in my Moment when I expanded my ground cloth to cover the vestibule areas. Might have worked because I was in a low-lying area along a river.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Tarptent test on 07/27/2010 13:58:36 MDT Print View

Given the popularity of tarptents, this test/review is obviously timely, and the article contains plenty of good data. However, and especially relative to the norm for reviews here, I found that data difficult to find.

The structure of the article is lacking; it wanders from topic to topic with little summary or connectedness, returning to topics previously covered with little explication. The presence of charts early in the article, and comparison to only one other tent are perhaps the most egregious examples, mostly because the necessity of the "performance appraisal" is not well explained, and the use of the Firstlight only is not explained in any way that approaches adequate.

I also think that 5 nights use is an inadequate test period. This may have caused and or aggravated the problem of coherence in the review.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 14:27:26 MDT Print View

My only comment is that my findings support the likes / dislikes. The management of condensation in this shelter is quite difficult, especially for taller folks.

Edit / added: I have not had the same condensation issues in my Rainbow. So not all are created equal.

Agree - strange comparison to the BD.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 07/27/2010 14:46:06 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 14:42:31 MDT Print View

Agree, 5 nights is not rally adequate. I would have liked to see it tested in more substantial winds and heavier rains...

But yeah, pretty much all Tarptents suffer condensation issues. Not my choice for the fourth season.

John Coyle
(Bigsac)

Locale: NorCal
Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 14:54:52 MDT Print View

I have had a Moment for about six months and am mostly happy with it. I get condensation also, but since this is my first single wall tent, I can't say whether the Moment is worst in this regard than similar tents. The tent is large enough so that one person can avoid contact with the wet walls in any case. I simply wipe down the walls with a bandanna in the morning.

The fact that the Moment has only two stakes is a two edged sword. It makes it very easy to set up, but in windy conditions you are relying on only two stakes to hold the tent down. One of the supplied needle stakes pulled out in windy conditions (estimated at least 30 mph) last February at Point Reyes National Seashore, perhaps because I hadn't set it properly. I replaced my tent stakes with MSR Ground Hog stakes for more wind stability, and haven't had problems with that issue since.

Most people will like this tent if they can deal with the condensation and wind deflection over 30 mph. I think it is a good trade off for the light weight.

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Tarptent Moment metric converions on 07/27/2010 15:21:51 MDT Print View

These metric conversion figures are from the manufacturers sites.

Tarptent Moment metric conversions
Weight: 28.5 ounces (810g) Optional crossing pole:7 ounces (200 g)
Interior Height: 40" (102 cm)
Floor Area: 18 sq ft (1.67 sq m)
Vestibule Area: 6.6 sq ft (0.61 sq m)
Floor Width : 20"(51cm) ends; 42"(107 cm) mid 5" (13 cm) bathtub floor walls
Floor Length: 84" (213 cm)

2009 Black Diamond First Light metric conversions
Average Packed Weight : 1.5 kg, 3 lb 5 oz
Minimum Weight : 1.28 kg, 2 lb 13 oz
Dimensions : 208 x 123 x 123 x 107 cm, 82 x 48 x 48 x 42 in
Area : 2.5 m², 27.3 sq ft
Packed Size : 15 x 23 cm, 6 x 9 in

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 15:36:38 MDT Print View

Very good review. I'm glad to see a review by BPL of this tent. I came across it a couple of months ago online and have been looking for good reviews of it.

I had seen another video on youtube about this tent, and in that video, it was demonstrated that you can raise the walls at the bottom of the pole while you're inside the tent, in order to improve ventilation. Did you try that? I also thought that there is a solid covering you can zip up on the two ends, to enclose them in case of really bad weather.

At any rate, this is the tent I want to go with. The thing I like best about single-wall tents is that you can set them up in rain without getting the inside of the tent soaked, as you would with a double-wall tent.

I like this tent a lot. I don't think any tent on the market, single-wall or double, is impervious to some amount of condensation - it's sort of the nature of the beast, I guess.

Are there guy-out points on the tent so that it would withstand wind a little better?

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 15:54:18 MDT Print View

"At any rate, this is the tent I want to go with. The thing I like best about single-wall tents is that you can set them up in rain without getting the inside of the tent soaked, as you would with a double-wall tent."

Yes, but then it can rain inside on you.

"I like this tent a lot. I don't think any tent on the market, single-wall or double, is impervious to some amount of condensation - it's sort of the nature of the beast, I guess."

Double walled shelters with solid inner tents prevent the condensation from dropping on you. In addition, a solid or netted inner makes managing the condensation much easier keeping your sleeping bag, etc, dry.

One issue of this shape in single wall design is that you sleep with the fabric very close to your face and this area will accumulate a lot of condensation. The foot end does not allow much movement to prevent some touching of the sides of the shelter with your sleeping bag.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 16:42:56 MDT Print View

It appears that the author of this article has given us brief and rather unorganized first impressions based on 5 nights' use. He has not used it in severe storms or in high winds, but, based only on his visual impressions, states that it would not work in such conditions even though he has not experienced them. (My own experience is that Tarptents are a lot tougher than they appear!) It also appears that the author did not use the generally accepted methods of reducing condensation (such as avoiding camping down low in river valleys, setting the tent under trees, etc.) I'd like to see comparisons with single-wall silnylon solo tents of the same class. Examples would be the Tarptent Sublite Sil and Contrail, the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo and several others that have recently hit the market. The Black Diamond First Light is a completely different type of tent, being made of breathable fabric. It depends on the fabric, rather than on ventilation features, to reduce condensation. It is therefore not comparable to the Moment or any other silnylon tent.

To me, this article is a haphazard reporting of first impressions, not a true review! IMHO, it is definitely not up to the usual BPL standards.

I do agree with the reviewer that those Easton stakes are pretty useless! Some years back, Henry Shires sent out Ti shepherds crook stakes with his tents; I found those more durable than the Easton, which bend more easily and whose tops tend to pop off the first time they are pulled out of the ground.

Edited by hikinggranny on 07/27/2010 17:27:46 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/27/2010 16:47:59 MDT Print View

The BD Firstlight is listed at 3.3 lbs with a 9ft sq vestibule at $320.
That is not correct. The vestibule is an extra 21oz at an additional $135.
That is a total of $455 (about $20-30 less shopping around) at a total weight of 4.65lbs.
Franco

Daniel J Kowalski
(camperdan) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
I like my Moment on 07/27/2010 20:55:34 MDT Print View

I purchased my Tarptent Moment last spring, and used it on a Memorial weekend trip to Big South Fork NRRA in Tennessee. It was a two night trip. I look forward to using it again.

It was hot and humid with the night time temps down in the long sleeve shirt range. I've been using a tarp and it is the first tent I have used for backpacking in over 12 years. It's also the first time in that many years that I have done a trip in warm, buggy type weather. It was great to have the bug barrier as there are these really big millipedes in the woods down there. When you step on one it sounds like a twig snapping. There was some condensation, but more trips in different weather will tell the tale.

It is lightweight, quick(<3 minutes with a little practice) & easy to set up,...and easy to move. I had plenty of room for my NeoAir mat and my belongings inside (I'm 5'9"). I could sit or change clothes without hitting the tent walls. Vestibule was perfect for my pack, boots, and cook set. It did well in the brief light rain we had the last morning.

I sealed the seams with a thinned out mix of Silnet, and added six beads of uncut Silnet across the floor to eliminate sliding.

Over all, I am really quite happy with my purchase. The design/feature set is well thought out and skillfully assembled. It is a quality made product and so far has exceeded my expectations. I look forward to using it in the Cranberry Wilderness, WV this October.

Dan

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
Stakes on 07/27/2010 21:31:58 MDT Print View

I've found the Easton Stakes easy to bend as well. However, they only seem to bend severely if they aren't in the ground all the way. From the picture in the article where the stake is visible it looks like the author didn't have it buried to the nail head.

Miraculously the heads haven't popped off of mine yet.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Stakes on 07/27/2010 22:53:07 MDT Print View

I've found very few places where there aren't either roots or rocks preventing at least a couple of the stakes from going in all the way.

I've started using MSR Groundhogs for the center front and back guylines on my Squall Classic and Rainshadow tents, those being the two that are under the most tension. Even if not in all the way, they hold a lot better. For the rest I use the Ti shepherds hook which hold just fine.

Andrew Browne
(andrew_browne) - MLife

Locale: Mornington Peninsula AUSTRALIA
CONDENSATION on 07/27/2010 23:24:40 MDT Print View

I haven't tried the Moment and will not as it has the same problem as my current Contrail..............condensation. I love the Contrail but hate the condensation which despite all the recommended methods persists in 99% of occasions I use it.
I'm stii waiting for the holy grail.......an ultralight 4 season tent with no condensation problems.....it still doesn't exist!!

Marc Clarke
(marcclarke) - F

Locale: Front Range of the Rocky Mountains
Re: Stakes on 07/28/2010 00:45:14 MDT Print View

"I've found the Easton Stakes easy to bend as well. However, they only seem to bend severely if they aren't in the ground all the way. From the picture in the article where the stake is visible it looks like the author didn't have it buried to the nail head.

Miraculously the heads haven't popped off of mine yet."

The heads have popped off both of the Easton stakes supplied with my Tarptent Moment. 100% failure rate. I have switched to MSR Ground Hogs, which have had a 0% failure rate (so far).

Marc Clarke
(marcclarke) - F

Locale: Front Range of the Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 01:05:03 MDT Print View

"I also thought that there is a solid covering you can zip up on the two ends, to enclose them in case of really bad weather."

Yes, there are triangular flaps that completely close the ends of the Moment tent. They are connected to one side of the tent and tie back to open the tent's ends, or secure to the far side of the tent with a hook-and-loop fastener to close off the tent's ends.

Here is a picture of my Tarptent Moment's interior. You can see the rolled-up triangular end-flap on the left side of the triangular opening.

Tarptent Moment End Flap Rolled Up and Tied

Here is a picture of my Tarptent Moment with the optional lengthwise center-line pole and the triangular door closed.

Tarptent Moment with Triangular End Door Closed (and Optional Center-Line Pole)


"The thing I like best about single-wall tents is that you can set them up in rain without getting the inside of the tent soaked, as you would with a double-wall tent."

I confirm that the Tarptent Moment tent can be set up in a pounding downpour without the inside of the tent getting wet. I got completely soaked, but the inside of the tent remained completely dry. The way Henry Shires has designed the Moment's door, you can get into the tent without having your gear inside the tent get wet.


"Are there guy-out points on the tent so that it would withstand wind a little better?"

There are two additional standard factory-supplied guy-out loops located part of the way up the central pole's sleeve. You can see them as black loops on the yellow pole sleeve in pictures of the Tarptent. These lateral guy lines run in the same vertical plain as the central support pole (hoop). I consider the Moment to be a four-stake tent as supplied from the factory, with the two end stakes (mentioned in the review) and the two lateral guys. I find that the two lateral guy lines significantly steady the Moment in gusty winds. (Of course in still conditions just the two end stakes would certainly suffice.)

Lateral guy-line running from loop on yellow pole sleeve

Tarptent Moment tent with yellow guy line attached to black loop on yellow pole sleeve

When I ordered my Moment tent I asked Henry Shires if he would please add four more guy-out loops to my tent, one to each of the centers of the four long sides of the tent. He did so. When the wind is really gusting I pull the rear side of the tent all the way down to the ground and then I put two more stakes into the upwind sides of the tent. (I tend to pitch my tent so the door side is downwind, but I'm open to suggestions as I am a Tarptent Moment tent newbie.) Just so my arithmetic is clear, my modified-at-the-factory Moment has a total of 8 guy-line attachment points: 2 at the ends; 2 from the central pole's sleeve; and four on the centers of each long side. Technically that is 6 stake points (2 ends, 4 sides) and 2 guy-line points (on the sleeve of the supporting pole). At this time I am using MSR Ground Hogs for all of my stakes. That may be overkill. It may be sufficient to use titanium shepherd hooks for the four sides.

This particular added loop is on the center of the bottom of the door.

Black stake loop added on the center of each of the long sides of the Moment tent

Edited by marcclarke on 07/28/2010 01:43:51 MDT.

Charles Hill
(chuckster) - F

Locale: Georgia
Moment/Rainbow on 07/28/2010 07:35:49 MDT Print View

Great review, very informative and excellent photos to illustrate what you're talking about. I looked at the Moment when searching for a replacement ultralight shelter but ended up with Henry's Rainbow instead. It's only 6 more ounces but almost twice the interior space at 30 sq ft. I can sit up in it with plenty of head room and space enough inside for me and all my gear. No condensation problems either even here in the southern Appalachians.
Rainbow

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 08:03:02 MDT Print View

I find this review a bit confusing. I'm not sure why the tent is compared to the BD First Light. The BD First Light uses waterproof, breathable material (Epic). This is an apples/oranges comparison. You may as well compare this tent to a double walled shelter.

Since condensation seemed to be the biggest issue, a better comparison would be with the latest Contrail. It isn't clear what steps were taken to minimize condensation. Did the author open the doors fully? Did he open the screen netting? If so, how did he deal with drafts and bugs? How did the efforts to minimize condensation (as just suggested) compare with the Contrail? If the author wrote something like "unlike the Contrail, when I opened the door to get better ventilation, the wind blew right on my face" or "unlike the Contrail, I couldn't get enough venting without opening the screen door" then I would find this review more helpful.

It also isn't clear to me, from the picture, how much room exists above the head, when the backpacker lies down. This too could add to condensation (breathing contributes quite a bit of condensation, so if the walls are close to the head, your may get a lot).

One more thing: It seems like most reviews that talk about storm worthiness just speculate. I can understand this, as who knows when a storm will occur. However, I can easily see how this can be tested (assuming you don't mind hurting your tent). Place a board on the top part of the bed of a pickup truck. Put the tent on top. Drive down a remote highway (with someone else behind a ways, with their hazards on) and see what happens. If a tent can withstand 40 MPH winds, it is pretty good (in my opinion). You could even put the tent on a rotating platter, thus mimicking swirling winds. If you are afraid of the state patrol, there are probably some closed tracks (for amateur racing) that could possibly be rented.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F

Locale: Northern Utah
Where is the snow load testing? on 07/28/2010 08:06:36 MDT Print View

No photos of the Moment under 3 feet of wet snow, like the BPL review of the Akto (a few years ago)?

Edited by vigilguy on 07/28/2010 08:07:38 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 09:30:53 MDT Print View

"It also isn't clear to me, from the picture, how much room exists above the head, when the backpacker lies down. This too could add to condensation (breathing contributes quite a bit of condensation, so if the walls are close to the head, your may get a lot)."

Exactly.

Isn't Henry coming out with a condensation 'curtain' for the Moment? If it covers the head area it should work really well.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 07/28/2010 09:39:57 MDT.

Pierre DEMAN
(pdeman) - MLife
condensation and wind on 07/28/2010 11:57:17 MDT Print View

I personally own both Contrail and Moment and I must admit that some conclusions of this review do not correspond to what I experienced with the Moment.

After 15 nights in the Moment in various weather conditions, I do not consider condensation as a particular issue (not worse that the Contrail). I agree with Ross that appropriate actions must be taken in order to minimize condensation. In addition it takes some time to become familiar with a new tent; 15 nights is more than 5 but probably not enough neither to consolidate the conclusions about condensation. My actual observation is that condensation can be limited to similar levels in both Contrail and Moment.

Concerning wind, it is worth to remind that additional support to the canopy can be provided using a guy-line and a walking pole as explained in the Moment instruction sheet and illustrated as below. This come in addition to lateral guy-line when needed, depending on the wind direction.

Canopy support with guy-line and walking pole

check also my video of the Moment under moderate wind. Additional guy-line are present but without walking pole.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCMq8BtiZhU

Marc Clarke
(marcclarke) - F

Locale: Front Range of the Rocky Mountains
Re: Where is the snow load testing? on 07/28/2010 12:38:54 MDT Print View

"No photos of the Moment under 3 feet of wet snow, like the BPL review of the Akto (a few years ago)?"

There are two pictures of the Tarptent Moment tent under heavy snow load in this BPL thread:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=22575&disable_pagination=1

Marc Clarke
(marcclarke) - F

Locale: Front Range of the Rocky Mountains
Re: Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 12:41:35 MDT Print View

"Isn't Henry coming out with a condensation 'curtain' for the Moment?"

Yes, Henry has told me via e-mail. He said it would be very much like the liner for the Rainbow:

http://www.tarptent.com/doublerainbowliner.html

I believe Franco has posted a picture of the liner for the Moment tent elsewhere.

I would really have liked to see the new condensation liner included in this BPL review of the Tarptent Moment tent. :-(

Edited by marcclarke on 07/28/2010 17:20:52 MDT.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 13:33:20 MDT Print View

"The thing I like best about single-wall tents is that you can set them up in rain without getting the inside of the tent soaked, as you would with a double-wall tent."

Not always. The Scarp pitches almost exactly the same way as the Moment, the only difference is the number of stakes that you need to nail down in the process. You CAN separate the inner and outer walls, but if you don't, they pitch as one unit, so the fly keeps the interior dry even if it's raining when you pitch it.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 13:40:50 MDT Print View

Yup and every double walled Hilleberg out there. Not to mention most Terra Nova's, etc.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 13:44:16 MDT Print View

Reading your post, I realized that I implied that the Scarp was the ONLY double-walled tent that works that way... which isn't the case, nor was it my intent. Oops. :)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 14:21:05 MDT Print View

Hey Rakesh,

I was agreeing with you. Should have been more clear.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 15:54:33 MDT Print View

It wasn't you, David -- I was just making fun of myself more than anything. :)

Christopher Wilke
(wilke7000)

Locale: Colorado
Umm... on 07/28/2010 15:58:07 MDT Print View

I found this review to be substandard for BPL.

+1 on the BD First Light being an odd comparison to the Moment.

Also, I thought the struts that make up the A-frame were carbon fiber not plastic...

Very disappointing. I didn't feel like this review gave me any insight on the performance of the tent.

Edited by wilke7000 on 07/28/2010 15:58:37 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 07/28/2010 17:05:57 MDT Print View

Not a review. Just an initial impression.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Hmmmm... on 07/30/2010 20:13:37 MDT Print View

I've owned my Moment for 2 years and have had a generally BETTER experience than the tester. Therefore I place much more weight on my own appraisal than his.

The Moment is a suprisingly easy tent to pitch taught, something the tester never seemed to be able to accomplish. And his not-to-high rating of ease of pitching seems very odd. Can he find a FASTER-pitching equivalent solo tent??

'Nuff sed.

Edited by Danepacker on 07/30/2010 20:17:48 MDT.

JR Redding
(GrinchMT) - F
Not usual BPL quality on 07/31/2010 21:35:01 MDT Print View

I also found the review to be disorganized and not of the usual BPL quality. As an example, several times it is mentioned pieces of the tent "seemed flimsy". Seeming flimsy versus actual use and longevity are two different things. Comparing a TT to the BD tent to me was also pointless.

I hope in the future BPL reviews "reviews" such as these a little more closely before publishing.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
review on 07/31/2010 23:51:58 MDT Print View

I thought your article had good info, thanks.

I have experimented with several small tents similar to the Moment and had the same problem with condensation.

The Moment vent looks to be way too small to do very much. I've tried a bigger vent but that didn't make much difference either.

I am beginning to think the only solution is to use a tarp with sides raised a foot or more off the ground. Then condensation is minimized.

Pieter Kaufman
(Pieter) - F
@ 10,600 ft in the Sierra on 08/02/2010 11:17:49 MDT Print View



This was last weekend. Overnight low was estimated high 40s-low 50s (tent inside was 55 when I woke up before dawn), calm with almost no wind, clear skies, but a lot of ambient moisture in the soil from a thunderstorm earlier that day. I had both end vents open, vestibule closed, and the interior was bone dry in the morning. Sharp contrast to some nights in Joshua Tree in January and February below freezing in which there was significant condensation on the inside of the tent.

I should note that last weekend, during our climb Sunday morning, a powerful thunderstorm rolled through, and when returned to camp, the Easton and extra shepherd's pegs with guy line were pulled out of the ground at one end. They were embedded in fairly standard Sierra granitic soil. I probably should have weighted the top of the pegs with a rock though, as I did on the other end, and as I often do in such soil.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 08/02/2010 11:58:42 MDT Print View

No wind and no condensation? I bet there was wind when you slept. Even a tarp in those conditions would likely generate some condensation.

Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: OH & AK
TT Moment on 08/02/2010 22:06:35 MDT Print View

I have had my Tarptent Moment for a few months now. For the most part, it has been just fine. Condensation CAN be an issue but the end vents do help some. In the humid conditions I use mine in, ANY tent becomes soaked by morning! I do look forward to the add-on liner though.

As far as rough weather, I have not experienced a bad thunderstorm but did survive a freak unexpected "wind storm" one night with gust probably into the 40+MPH range. The Moment arch pole did flex and collapse but this would not have occurred if the two side guy supports had been used. One of the Easton tent pegs did snap in half that night. I now use some of those spiral rectangular shepherds hook steel stakes that work great but are heavy.

This "review" did seem somewhat lacking compared to other BPL articles. More experience in adverse testing conditions rather than opinions would have been nice.

Tom Bender
(shovelman) - F

Locale: Out East, sort of
A little more Field Time to Report on 08/06/2011 21:42:45 MDT Print View

I have used the Moment on 2 trips for a total of about 12 nighte. There was condensation only one night when the other more traditional double wall had condensation also. Jury is still out on that.

At 5 ft 6in there is plenty of room and my face and feet are not near the tent. Those of you who are vertically challenged may struggle a bit if nature has cursed you with a view of the world from above 6 ft. I find it roomy and pleasant.

My Easton stakes did not bend on the first trip but I replaced them because they will not get a good grip in sandy ground. I normally use 4 stakes in case the wind kicks up. In moderate breezes the tent works perfectly.

Setup is flat out awesome! Drive one stake, insert the pole, drive the other stake, make a couple of adjustments, drive the optional extra stakes and load in your gear. With a traditional tent you have to drive the many stakes where they have to go. With the Moment you can move any stake around to find good ground.

Big problem for me; the stuff sack is impossible to use. I had a replacement made. It is styled like an envelope. Tuck in the pole and stakes, wad up the tent and tuck it into the envelope, roll and secure the velcro. Takes one minute and you can do it standing up in a field of mud and sideways rain. Henery Shires was unimpressed. I guess the stuff sack is easy on a table.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
6 nights with Moment on 09/07/2012 15:35:54 MDT Print View

Just returned from my first trip with Tarptent Moment, 6 nights in the Santa Cruz Mountains, central California coast.

My impressions:

- Incredibly easy to set up. Even while sober in the daylight :-) Every time I finished, I thought "that's it, it's done already?"

- On the other hand, take down is harder. The pole sleeve is so narrow, I have to fight to get the pole out without separating sections.

- Tip: roll the doors starting from the vertical edge, and they tie up nicely. Roll from the horizontal edge, and it doesn't really work.

- Used MSR Mini Groundhog stakes. Worked great under these conditions.

- Plenty of room inside for one 6' 2" man and all my gear. Used vestibule only for trail runners, but plenty of room there, too.

- Just enough headroom inside for me. I spent several hours sitting and reading inside without trouble. My head touches if I move an inch or two in any direction from the center.

- Five nights with no condensation, but some of the nights were almost too hot to sleep.

- The ground-level bug netting around one side and at each end, picks up lots of grass stems and seeds, which is annoying at best.

- Like all Silnylon, this tent is a dirt magnet. Which normally isn't too big a problem, except ...

On the last night, thick fog rolled in. Almost got lost 50 feet from my tent, even with a full moon. 20 mph winds and nearby trees created Horizontal Tree Drip. Very similar to horizontal rain, except much fatter drops. I had to close both upwind vents to keep water out.

I slept OK, and all gear inside the tent stayed dry.

Next morning, same weather. Impossible to clean the now muddy tent (remember "dirt magnet"), and certainly could not dry it. Condensation film all over inside tent wall. Wiped off some of the mess -- a cotton bandana is NOT sufficient for these conditions. Crammed tent back into bag without too much struggle, but the whole package was noticeably heavier.

Under these conditions (100% humidity for 12+ hours, plus HTD) virtually any tent-like structure would have trouble. I've been in traditional double-wall tents where both the rainfly and inner tent wetted out from condensation.

Got home, set up wet-&-muddy-everywhere tent, and spent an hour cleaning and drying, inside and out. Could not have done that on the trail.

One disadvantage of one-piece tarp-tent style tents: you can't separate the wet & muddy parts from the relatively dry & clean parts, so everything gets wet & muddy, and everything needs to get cleaned. This could be a big issue at the beginning or middle of a multi-day trip. Around here, we can get thick fog many days in a row.

Also, this tent seems complex to me. Lots of fiddly parts: bungie cords, nylon tape, glued-on patches with snap hooks, and more. I didn't have any serious problems with this complexity, but I worry about things going wrong a long way from home.

I'll keep using this tent, but it's got some issues. I won't be switching to a tarp any time soon. Ticks are NOT my friends.

Edited by Rex on 09/07/2012 16:07:17 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 09/07/2012 17:32:57 MDT Print View

The pole sleeve is so narrow, I have to fight to get the pole out without separating sections.

Try this way :

Hold the pole up with your left hand about 1 yard in and with the pole tip against the palm of the right hand.
Push the sleeve with the left hand towards the end of the pole and then pull the fabric off the pole once it has bunched up at the end.
Repeat.
The pole cannot come undone doing it that way ..
you can see that here :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSTJMdjOql4&list=UU0PuLUKvG7Fxxex5BMVK4vw&index=25&feature=plcp
at 6:30 into the video.
Franco

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Thanks! on 09/07/2012 18:55:57 MDT Print View

Thanks for that tip, and I learned several more tricks from your video.

Henry should link to it!

Here's a shorter URL:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSTJMdjOql4

Edited by Rex on 09/07/2012 18:56:27 MDT.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
still going strong on 02/08/2013 13:20:28 MST Print View

I used the Tarptent Moment on a couple of overnight to week long trips last year (2012), summer through fall, in the northern and central Sierra, and I gotta say I'm still really happy with it and I'm looking forward to using it again this year.



Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: still going strong on 02/08/2013 13:47:32 MST Print View

I like that first picture. Might come in handy the next time someone says, "Just give me half a moment."

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
half a moment on 02/08/2013 15:46:48 MST Print View

Ha, I never noticed that. I think the fly door is tied back and I'm really good at taking a terrible photo.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Performance Appraisal of the Tarptent Moment on 02/08/2013 18:55:46 MST Print View

Alex
"I'm really good at taking a terrible photo."
Not at all. That second shot reminds me of why I like hiking (when I get the chance)
I do views, not distance/weights/speed...
Why did you change the end tie outs ?

(thanks for the reply. Makes sense)

Edited by Franco on 02/09/2013 15:25:11 MST.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
girth on 02/09/2013 00:40:14 MST Print View

I switched the lines partly because after a season of stacking rocks on the ends in high winds the lines were beginning to abraid from rubbing against the sharp rocks and needed to be replaced. Since I was replacing the lines anyways, I wanted to sideline the slipping problems that I've experienced in pulsing winds.
I swapped the guylines on the ends with ones that offered a little more bite in the linelocs. I believe they're under 3mm thick, so not much thicker than the stock lines, but the outter sheathing is not as slick and holds much better.