Author Topic: Tarp Tents - an American brand you should check out  (Read 1419 times)

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Tarp Tents - an American brand you should check out
« on: August 09, 2018, 06:24:45 pm »
www.tarptent.com

I saw one of these in a campsite on Oregon the other day and had to ask the owner about it as it looked really good.  His was a Moment DW, which looked like this:



It's basically the same as my Terra Nova Laser, with a similar weight at a hair over 1kg.  It does have some advantages though:

It comes with options for a mesh inner, a solid insert or both.
The inner can be pitched alone.
It comes with an optional second pole for foul weather.
They look like they've done a better job of the end poles than the Laser, where the ends are a bit finicky.
It's cheaper - at least if I buy it here in dollars.  I don't know how much it is for you lot in pounds.

Tarptent also make several other models.  I have no affiliation etc.

My Laser is getting pretty old and I've got several repairs to make on our on my next rest day.   I'd been wondering about whether to replace it or to soldier on in the hope that once I get to Asia accommodation will be sufficiently cheap that I hardly need to use it.  I'm now strongly considering replacing it with a Moment before I leave Alaska.

Re: Tarp Tents - an American brand you should check out
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 06:32:51 pm »
They are pretty well regarded.  I've considered their Scarp model a couple of times.
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fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Tarp Tents - an American brand you should check out
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 06:50:02 pm »
Seem to be quite expensive, from any UK/Euro shops.

And not seam sealed. Can you be bothered doing that yourself?

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Tarp Tents - an American brand you should check out
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 08:34:57 pm »
It's also listed with 4cm more interior height than the Laser, and the latter is just about too low for me to sit up straight.  It could definitely be worth it - what a shame I didn't have a sit in matey's tent while I was there.

Re: Tarp Tents - an American brand you should check out
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2018, 10:38:30 am »
They are pretty well regarded.  I've considered their Scarp model a couple of times.
I've also considered the Scarp 1, and may get one if my Akto ever gets trashed.

They are €450-€550 from Germany, depending on whether it's the Moment in the photo or the Scarp 1 and which shop, which is pretty much normal price for a good tent (unlike Hilleberg, who are expensive).

As for DIY seam sealing, that's normal for tents with sil-nylon outers.
Sil-nylon doesn't generally take well to taping, though a couple of manufacturers do now tape, and if sealant were to be used, the manufacturer would have to do the same as you, which would put up the price considerably (time taken for someone to put the tent up, crawl around sealing the seams, and repack the tent, plus the extra factory space for a considerable number of tents in a pitched seam drying state).

If the seams are well-made, sealing isn't usually necessary anyway.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Tarp Tents - an American brand you should check out
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2018, 03:55:42 pm »
TT offer a sealing service for $35 though they say you might have to wait until they get a good day to do it before they ship.

Their American prices are $300 / $350 for the Moment / Scarp, plus $50 if you want the extra cross pole, plus $130 if you want both the mesh and solid inners.

Re: Tarp Tents - an American brand you should check out
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 09:19:26 pm »
I've had two tarptents, and still have one of them ( the cloudburst ) but would like to offer a contrary word just in case it helps someone.  I hated both of them - it's one of those tents that looks good on paper, but has been frustrating on many points in actual use.  First let me get the good out of the way, because what is good is as good as I've found thus far, and that is use in very, very hot and humid temperatures. I live in the South East of the USA and tend to tour from Virginia down to Florida, though mostly in North Carolina and South Carolina, in the low country.  That means a lot of nights where the nighttime low tend to be between 30 and 36C, and 100 percent humidity.  The Cloudburst and my old MoTrail do well in those sort of conditions.  Air can flow through, and the mesh is high enough to catch the breeze in the typical stealth camping setup in grass that I tend to do.

But there are negatives.  The way the ropes are tied ends up really quickly becoming very fiddly.  The knots slip a bit and I have a really hard time getting my regular pegs inside the ever shrinking loops.  There are only four attachments to pegs, and so I would never want to test it in ANY sort of moderate or higher winds, and the way the peg ropes are set up, it is very hard to get a nice tight set up with the first stake out.  ON the other hand, my Hilleberg has none of these problems, I can eyeball it, and set it up without re-pegging two, three or four times.

I've found that condensation has not been a major problem for me, but they are single wall, and so one does have to accept more condensation that with a dual wall tent, and I while bought the extra pole and the extra liner for the cloudburst, it is such a pita to put up that I almost never go through the aggravation.  To put the third pole in, one has to first put up the tent, then go outside, poke the pole through the little hole, go back inside, lead it through to the other side, go back outside, put it into the cup, go to the other side and put the first end into the cup, go back inside and tie it off with the twiddly velcro, and then proceed to put the liner up with the stiff little mitten hooks.  I'd rather get condensation dripping on me and not chance any sort of high winds with the tent, rather than that sort of faffing about.

As I mentioned, I tend to stealth camp.  I remember one particular night, late in autumn, cycling on the outer banks and getting caught in moderate winds which swept sand across the road, almost making progress impossible. At about 2'30 am, I finally gave up for the night and camped in a closed for the season camp ground.  The moon came out and made the tent glow from what must have been miles away, because of that silly silver color.  And here I was camping, breaking the law, where signs pointed out that in the Ocracoke area, the fine for illegal camping is $5,000.00 US dollars. Too bad that all of Henry's tents come with no choice of color, because I've learned my lesson on bright colored tents. Probably if I could get the tent in dark green, I'd forgive the other flaws.

lastly, my number one peeve is how gummy the yellow pole channels are in use.  Getting the poles in and out is EXTREMELY tedious.  The material is sticky and the seam sealing makes it even more sticky and grippy.  In contest, the Hilleberg poles just slide in, the way one would expect.

So the Tarptents are in my harsh opinion very good for the target audience.  Hikers, who value the light weight, and never really worry about camping in any sort of high winds.  Hikers on the AT trail and such have the full right to camp, so the glow in the moonlight silver is not any sort of negative feature.  But for a cyclist, in the US where camping outside of a campground is viewed fairly suspiciously, the silver color becomes a liability and in my case, the fiddly nature of the tent just does not mesh with my personality.  But I have kept it, and have used it probably 90 nights over the last six years, because for really hot weather, it has been wonderful, the second coolest way to sleep next to using a hammock.

I guess my favorite thing about the Tarptents is that they finally taught me the lesson, to buy once and do it properly, and in my case that means buying either Hilleberg, or Hilleberg in the future, if it's got to be a tent, but more and more I leave home with one of my hammocks nowadays.

:)