User Review: Tarptent Contrail
Design: Tarp tent, kinda wedge shaped, 3 season, not freestanding. Uses 4 stakes and trekking pole for setup (Tarptent offers a tent pole if you do not use trekking poles)
Ease of Setup: very easy, put trekking pole in place, pull out front corners and stake out, pull out back corners and stake out, adjust as needed.
Weight: 28 ounces including 4 aluminun stubby stakes or titanium stakes, not including stuff sack, which I do not use.
Price Paid: $275 ?
Have used Contrail since last summer and have experienced the spectrum of weather. From hot and humid on the Maryland AT to a wind-driven, hail storm in Otter Creek Wilderness in WV.
Very easy and quick set up, less than 5 minutes. When the thunder is booming, very weather worthy. Despite user error (left flap half open when retrieving a jacket), the Contrail kept my gear pretty much dry. A little rain blew in the partially open flap, but my down bag stayed surprisingly dry despite the hard wind, hard rain and hail. I enjoyed the great ventilation on a very hot and humid hike of the AT in Maryland in Sept 2007.
Very lightweight, about 27 ounces including mini-biners attached to the guys for quick set up. Plenty of room for one person, a dog and gear. Easy to adjust the pitch to the weather conditions.
I recommend the Contrail for overnight hikes or longer hikes. Seems well made and well thought out.