Thursday, 3 September 2009

Tarp Tent

I'm still thinking about a tarp tent as a lightweight alternative to a normal double skin tent but I'm unsure whether it would suit me. I like the look of the Tarptent Contrail and the Tarptent Rainbow or Double Rainbow. The Contrail I would use as designed but the fact that the Rainbow/Double Rainbow layout is very similar to my favourite tent, the Phoenix Phreeranger had me wondering if I could fit my Phreeranger inner tent under the Rainbow/Double Rainbow fly, perhaps even removing the inner netting on the standard tents. Another possibility would be to make a lighter and slightly narrower inner based on the Phreeranger one. I think I could get the weight under 1400g for the Double Rainbow and under 1200g for the Rainbow. That would be a useful weight saving of between 300 and 500g over the Phreeranger as it is.

I've already made a silnylon footprint for the Phreeranger which attaches to the fly so it seemed like a good idea to try it out as a single skin tarp tent to see how it feels. I'm intending to use it tonight with a CCF mat and my ME Xero 250. The tent has been up all day and there's been a few really heavy showers which haven't caused any drips but I'm going to use a goretex bivybag. The bivy is pretty heavy at 596g, heavier in fact than the Phreeranger inner and wouldn't be offer any advantage in a normal backpacking situation but it will allow me to try the concept. As it is it weighs approx 1250g, the inner tent weighing 525g.

I'll report back tomorrow on how it or more accurately how I fare.

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