User Review: Tarptent Double Rainbow
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: from tarptent.com. Cut the middle man.
Light and convenient. Difficult to set up correctly to keep out rain.
- Light and easy to set up.
- Handles wind reasonable well.
- Made in the USA.
- Weak constructions in areas.
- Not easy to keep out rain.
- Not really free standing without modification.
Not sure this tent is suitable for the Canadian Rockies. It needs pegs for setup, so when the ground or tent pad is covered in rock chips (frequently), you'll be struggling to secure it. Using hiking poles is not very functional, and I also don't want small animals chewing on the handles by leaving them outside.
Some people use a modified sleeve to be able to make the tent free standing when using hiking poles. I like to take my poles on day hikes from a base camp — a necessity to see the Rockies properly — so this isn't an option for me. A true free standing tent is more suitable.
I know that there is a setup to allow ventilation and a setup to keep out rain, but trying to raise the sides of the floor to keep out rain is not easy to do without pulling draw strings/straps and the floor too tight. To further complicate things, one of the tighteners became frayed and was almost useless. (Difficult repairs were required.) I'm not unrealistic, but I expect that straps and the tightening system should not have problems in the first week of use. That's basic.
I also have to prop the corners with boots to get the them set properly.
I even make sure the outer tarp is pulled as close as possible to the ground, but the inside is still vulnerable. Getting wet in temperatures just above freezing in the Rockies — even in July — wasn't fun. To be honest, it kept me dry for three of five nights that it had rained.
I found this tent not quite large enough for me and my backpack. I imagine that for two people it would be tight, so unless you travel with a significant other, why subject each other to your sounds and smells in such close range. Get your own tents — this one's light enough.
For some people this tent seems to function well. I'm used to a Sierra Design Observatory — a tent that hasn't failed in seven years of extensive use -—so the Double Rainbow is a bit of a letdown. It is, however, very light, so the compromise is that it is not heavy duty. The fabric itself is great, and I had no problems with the fly. As long as you don't abuse the fabric, it won't fail you.
Be aware that this is an ultra light. Much depends on how you use it. Lean how to set it up for various conditions and monitor the condition of the straps. Test it out for a few nights where you can make repairs easily. Once it's proven, then head out on a trek.