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Tarptent Notch

3 reviews
5-star:   0
4-star:   3
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0
1

Used this for solo backpacking and random short car-camping…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300

Summary

Used this for solo backpacking and random short car-camping adventures. Sets up quick, handles wind and rain amazingly well, and you can hardly feel it in your pack it's so light. Would highly recommend it as a single person shelter (as long as you aren't claustrophobic)

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy setup
  • Handles weather well

Cons

  • Can be awkward to get in and out of
  • A little small if you're claustrophobic
  • Ventilation can be a minor problem

I have now camped with this tent for a total of about 20 nights. Some of it backpacking, some of it car camping. In the windy spots on the east side of Glacier to the woods of Wisconsin. It is an amazingly well put together tent, and the use of your hiking poles to prop it up works very well. 

Admittedly, there is a bit of a learning curve to get the tent set up properly (practice at home!) for rough wind/weather, but once you practice a few times, it can be setup in under 5 minutes. 

There is ample room to store your pack in the vestibules.

One tip, if you do the seam sealing yourself (or even if you don't) is to paint some stripes inside the bottom bowl, so your sleeping pad doesn't slide all over the place. 

G00SE

I saw this on an AT thru hiker's page the other day. Man, if I wasn't a hammock hanger, I would be seriously looking at this UL tent. Thanks for posting Erin!


1 month ago
5

I've used my Notch on several backpacking trips in…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $259

Summary

I've used my Notch on several backpacking trips in Idaho and on my recent John Muir Trail thru-hike. It provides a good balance of light weight and security. The side-entry with dual doors and vestibules are a real plus. I'd recommend it as a solo shelter for summer/early fall backpacking and thru hikes.

Pros

  • Two doors and two vestibules
  • Fairly light at 26 oz
  • Full screening keeps out the bugs, snakes, etc.
  • Only requires 4 stakes
  • Side entry provides easy access
  • Option to set up as tarp or bug shelter
  • Reasonable price, great customer service

Cons

  • Takes practice to set up with a taut pitch
  • Doubt it would hold up to heavy snow
  • Integrated struts at each end limit packing options

Although I wouldn't want to brave a snowstorm in this shelter, it has protected me well through extended rain, heavy frost, hail, and 35-40mph wind. It does take some practice to get a taut pitch, and takes longer to set up than a tent with poles, but the weight savings are worth the extra fuss. I put rocks on top of the stakes to make sure they held if it was windy.  It only requires 4 stakes, which is less than many non-freestanding shelters.

I'm small (5'2"/102 lbs), so space was not an issue for me. I was able to stretch out and sit up easily. There was enough room at the head or foot of the Notch for my pack if I wanted to bring it in from the vestibule.  I've even had my border collie in it with me a few times.

I never had a problem with excessive condensation, but admit that I've used it only it low-humidity Western climates.

This shelter requires 2 hiking poles for set-up, which is not an issue for me since I always backpack with poles. On the negative side, I did find that the handle-down position made the tops of my poles very dirty and I needed to wipe them off each morning to avoid grinding dirt into my hands.

The notch doesn't take up much space in my pack, but the integrated struts at each end would not fit into my pack horizontally, so packing options were constrained.

All in all, I'm very happy with the Notch and plan to use it on future summer hikes.


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Notch at Guitar Lake, below Mt Whitney on the John Muir Trail

Franco BRAND REP

The Notch can take some snow if you use the guyout points and it is pitched taut .Enter Notch in Google Images and you will see mine under abouta foot of snow


7 months ago
mjidaho

Thanks, Franco-I'll check that out. I noticed those extra guyout points really did make a difference when I used them is stormy conditions, so I could see how they would be helpful in snow.


7 months ago
Cody Bartz

I have to say that the Notch sets up very quickly. Like any other tent takes some practice, but when you are familiar with it it goes up really fast. Certainly quicker than most tents with poles as the rainfly is already attached and there is only four stakes.


7 months ago
Cody Bartz

One can also put the tip of the trekking poles into the ground and the handle up into the canopy. Tension alone will probably hold it fine, but Tarptent does sell a cheap velcro accessory that allows this to work better. I am not allowed to put the link, but go to Tarptent > ordering > click here to place your order > extras > it is on the 2nd page.


7 months ago
Cody Bartz

In your photo, it appears to be the Tarptent Rainbow. Is that actually what you have?


7 months ago
mjidaho

Hi Cody--My Notch is in the foreground. A friend's Tarptent Moment is in the background.


7 months ago
Cody Bartz

I see it now, the photo fooled me!


7 months ago
7

Henry Shires' Tarptent Notch is a solid performing,…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $200

Summary

Henry Shires' Tarptent Notch is a solid performing, lightweight, solo shelter. It has two vestibules as well as two doors to enter/exit and access items. It can be used as tarp only, mesh inner only, or both together for rain and bug protection. It sets up quickly and utilizes trekking poles for its structure.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Packs small
  • Versatile
  • Two vestibules
  • Two doors
  • Uses trekking poles as support
  • Decent headroom

Cons

  • Fairly small footprint of inner mesh
  • Hard to unclip/clip in inner mesh

This is a review of the Henry Shires' Tarptent Notch. 

The Tarptent Notch is a single-person shelter. It could be classified as a double wall shelter as it has a separate "inner mesh" or "bug net" and a rain fly. It has two vestibules as well as two doors. It uses trekking poles to set up (although you can use "normal tent poles" of correct length or even sticks to set up the shelter).

The Notch has a rain fly and an inner mesh. The rain fly can be set up independently. This is great for trips when bug protection is not needed. It reduces the weight and pack size of the shelter. The inner mesh can also be set up independently. This is great for clear nights, but when bug protection is necessary. And as a unit, the rain fly and inner mesh make for a shelter to escape from rain, wind, and bugs. I like this versatility of the Notch. In colder weather you can bring only the tarp. In warm weather you would bring both, but have the option to only use the inner mesh if it is a nice night and want to really see the stars and get the most ventilation. I must admit that I have not used the inner mesh set up on its own at the time of this writing. 

Two vestibules and two doors really make the Notch very accessible. Two vestibules allow you to store some items on one side and some on the other. They are large enough to store a pack and shoes in one vestibule just fine. This may be handy if you want to leave one door clear to enter and exit. Or if raining sideways or the weather changes you may want to move items from one vestibule to the other.

The interior or inner mesh is small, yet comfortable. I am 6'2" and even on a 2.5" thick inflatable mattress such as the Exped UL 7 I can sit up in the middle of the shelter and not hit my head. It is long enough that my sleeping bag just touches the mesh above my feet and head, but there is still a couple of inches lengthwise on both ends. The footprint of the inner mesh is sort of a rectangle/diamond that widens at the center and narrows at the ends. This matches body shape and is effective. There is slight room on both sides in the middle of the inner mesh for some small items if need be. It is relatively easy to changes clothes, pack/unpack your bag, hang out, etc in the inner mesh. It strikes a good balance of being lightweight, yet allowing room to be comfortable. 

It is lightweight. Tarptent claims 26 ounces for the complete shelter. This includes rain fly, inner mesh, guylines, 4 Easton aluminum stakes, stake sack, and stuff sack. All of these are included when you purchase the shelter, although I bought mine used with the exact same items. 1 pound and 10 ounces for a comfortable, complete shelter with all of its features is pretty decent.    

I have used the Notch in northern Minnesota in spring. I have also used it in spring in the desert of Moab, Utah. So far it has done well. 

I have been happy with this tent and I highly recommend the Tarptent Notch. You can visit the Tarptent website for more photos, details, and even a set up video. 


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denis daly

Good Review!!


11 months ago
300winmag

Ihave a Tarptet Moment (original single wall) which was the inspiration for the notch. Soon I'll sell it and get the TT Moment DW with a ripstop inner tent. The Moment DW is essentially the Notch with a hoop instead of hiking poles.


11 months ago
300winmag

Ihave a Tarptet Moment (original single wall) which was the inspiration for the notch. Soon I'll sell it and get the TT Moment DW with a ripstop inner tent. The Moment DW is essentially the Notch with a hoop instead of hiking poles.


11 months ago
300winmag

To finish my comment:


11 months ago
300winmag

(Computer glitches) I like the Notch but need a solo 4 season tent and the Moment DW will shed wind and especially snow better with its arched main pole.


11 months ago
300winmag

(Computer glitches) I like the Notch but need a solo 4 season tent and the Moment DW will shed wind and especially snow better with its arched main pole.


11 months ago
300winmag

With the Moment DW's crowwing pole, specifically the carbon fiber version, one might be able to give the Notch snow shedding form by running the crossing pole INSIDE the fly. I will do with the Moment DW and have done on my original Moment.


11 months ago
Cody Bartz

On the Tarptent website, Henry Shires actually lists the Moment as a 3+ season shelter and the Notch as a 3-4 season shelter. The 2013 model has tie outs at the "peaks" of the shelter and with those guyed out the shelter should be very stable.


11 months ago
300winmag

Cody, I just talked to Henry Shires today re availability for the "solid" Moment DW inner. He said late June. A ripstop inner in the DW would make it a 4 season tent like the Notch with that option. Henry will likely list that as a 4 season tent when using the optional solid inner.


11 months ago
Cody Bartz

Very cool!


11 months ago
bheiser1

Do you find heavy rain "mists" thru the Tarptent fly?


11 months ago
Cody Bartz

I have not had the tent very long and have not used it in heavy rain. I have used it in light rain and light snow and it has done just fine.


11 months ago
300winmag

Cody,


11 months ago
300winmag

Cody,


11 months ago
300winmag

Cody, According to Franco, Tarptent's Australian distributor, Henry Shires last year began using a better grade of silnylon which should not mist through in a driving rain.


11 months ago
bheiser1

Ohhh... that's what I needed to hear. I am "this close" to pulling the trigger on a Moment DW. I am just having trouble convincing myself that it's worth the $$ for the half pound weight savings over my present tent (only 1/2 pound because I would get the optional pole to make it free-standing). I did notice the DW is a bit heavier than the previous version... maybe it's due to the better grade of silnylon.


11 months ago
300winmag

I have the original 28 oz. (W/ 2 stakes) original single wall Moment. It is lighter than the DW Moment B/C it has a single wall except for the door side interior netting.


11 months ago
300winmag

I have the original 28 oz. (W/ 2 stakes) original single wall Moment. It is lighter than the DW Moment B/C it has a single wall except for the door side interior netting.


11 months ago
300winmag

I'll likely sell my SW Moment and get the DW Moment (with optional ripstop inner so I can use it for winter travel.


11 months ago
bheiser1

Is the optional inner available now?


11 months ago
Franco BRAND REP

Cody,


7 months ago
Franco BRAND REP

Cody,


7 months ago
Franco BRAND REP

Cody


7 months ago
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Tarptent Notch

MSRP:
$259.00

The Tarptent Notch is not available from the stores we monitor.

If you're looking for a new three-season tent, check out the best reviewed current models.

Specs

Weight 26 oz / 0.74 kg