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Tarptent Scarp 1

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Tarptent Scarp 1 four-season tent
Version reviewed: 2016 Model

I am rating the newer 2016 model.
Adaptable, four-season capability in a small(ish) package.


  • Easy to pitch
  • Seam sealed from TT (extra cost)
  • Modular
  • Light for a four-season shelter
  • Two entries/accessible vestibules
  • Sturdy/strong design and update
  • 2016 update has included stronger middle pole
  • Can actually fit two people in if leaving gear in vestibule in newer version


  • Inner can slide around when moving about
  • Sil nylon requires re-pitching when wet or cold
  • Cannot adjust ventilation from inside
  • Vents can close as stated by a previous reviewer
  • Due to a rather large footprint finding a perfect fit for it has been tedious the times

I purchased the 2016 updated model last summer with the basic included solid interior.  I've used the Scarp in varying conditions with no issues, other than it being an equivalent to a hot box with the solid inner during warmer weather. 


I will list the new specs first:

Extra wide interior states it can allow two pads and sleep two people. Please be VERY comfortable with this other person responsible with your own body. Or be two tiny people. I'm unsure if the extra wide interior was included in my base price, from the description, yes. I wouldn't suggest using it with larger people for an extended period.  

9mm center arch pole. Talk about some storm worthiness right heaaaahhhh... I mean yes. Thanks, Henry. I've had it in some crappity crappie crap, watched the wind push and shake right into it after changing direction off the lake, slept me safe and soundly with me pup at me feet.  

Improved internal pockets. Not sure what's new about them but I like that they're double stacked. You basically have two pockets where it seems you only have one. Neat-o. I put my contacts and basic things I'm sure you don't really care about there.

I'll try and think of situations that I had that may influence your decision to purchase or not. One time I hunkered down for approximately two days waiting for a freak thunderstorm of pass. It's typically wet and miserable here but the week called for blue skies and happiness. What I recall the most was the two entries were greatly appreciated, if the wind and rain came thata way I went out thisa way.  

The space for one, as a previous post states, is akin to a palace...especially when stuck in said palace. I appreciated the adaptable living space as well, you can extend vestibule space and adjust the interior living area from inside easily enough. This allows for winter usage and heating to be a bit simpler as well.

The interior is light enough that when I couldn't put my solar powered devices outside I was able to charge them, slowly, but still.  Long story short, even though the surrounding area was completely drenched and I was all alone since other visitors left (yay!), I stayed snug as a bug in a rug. Everything in my vestibules stayed dry and I had no condensation issues whatsoever.  

I'm a fan of taking a UCO candle lantern in the winter months and have stayed wonderfully warm and dry as well. You will have to occasionally adjust the pitching ND tightness of the fabric in some cases. It's just a con of the fabric, not the shelter itself. 


The weight is a bit off-putting (50oz+) for me to condone taking it on longer trips, on trips that I'm not sharing weight, or expecting seriously cold and wet weather. That being said, you can save weight by using the mesh inner or not using an inner at all.

I do not care for the design and not being able to remove the "PitchLoc" foldable corners. It can make stuffing back in the supplied stuff sack tricky. The arch pole also can be a bit of a deal to cope with both inserting and removing. If anything I could see this needing replaced eventually by my impatience with tedious things.

Like I stated before, the pole itself is super duper strong in storm conditions when the wind shifts and slams into the sides instead of skimming over the sleek pod design it's intended to shed. It gets caught up in the lining while inserting and removing, coming detached from itself and possibly weakened over time. Perhaps simply widening this arch insert would negate the issue. 

There are two available optional poles to either make the Scarp freestanding or, in my case, for when snow is expected. They weigh approx 12oz and to me do not qualify for bringing along just to allow the convenience of freestanding. I personally prefer to stake down due to how often I've been caught out in that crappity crappie crap.

However when using during winter, the Scarp is a fully equipped and capable but still lightweight-ish DW shelter. You will be hard pressed to find a four-season shelter that can hold up to snow loads, hurricane like winds, treacherous rains, and still keep you comfortable while weighing in at 3.4lbs or at 5.5 with snow load bars.

They can be a bit weird getting the hang of and I never have them perfectly attached so that they look purdy, but they do the job! It keeps the material from sagging from the weight of damp/cold or snow in winter and I accommodate the extra weight for the safety and convenience during these trips. 

I'd like to also address the great customer support that TT provides. From the beginning of your inquiries to ownership, I've spoken directly to Henry upon my first day of calling TT and he patiently answered all of my questions. I once called while standing in Walmart to ask which Woolite to purchase for cleaning and was greeted by kindness at my wanting to play 21 questions, on the second ring. You only get that with small businesses.

I actually considered selling a few of my shelters to purchase a few others. We are just gear junkies, however even with my lightweight backpacking style as of late, just the suggestion of putting my Scarp up makes me cringe. It'll be there and my go to for lots of trips for years to come. 

**Price quoted includes snow load bars, TT factory seam sealing, tyvek groundsheet (not needed I use for other reasons). Base model is around $350 I believe.**


Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $450

Extremely roomy and strong 1-person tent.


  • Interior space
  • 4-season capable
  • Lightweight for the size


  • Takes slightly longer to pitch than smaller/simpler tents
  • Needs seam sealing before use
  • Some condensation


I've had the Scarp 1 for about five years now and have used it on bushwalks mostly in southeastern Australia and New Zealand.

It is enormous inside. I feel like I'm sleeping in a ballroom at times, with plenty of space on each side of the sleeping mat for all your gear. Headroom is good as well. I wasn't sure if two vestibules were needed for a 1-man tent initially, but found that you can have your pack and gear in one and use the other for entry and egress. You can also choose which tent door to open to stop the wind blowing stuff in, or if you don't want people looking into your tent.

Design-wise, it seemed a little odd at first with vertical tent ends which I wasn't sure were aerodynamic, but I've never had any issues in strong winds. The vertical ends also help create the roomy interior. It comes with two long crossing poles for heavy snow conditions, but I've not used it in the snow yet so these have stayed at home.

I've found the supplied larger diameter hollow (?) stakes to be difficult to embed in hard ground, so I've used the smaller diameter solid stakes from my previous Salewa tent. It has more stakes than some of the newer, more compact designs (like the Tarptent Moment DW) so will take a little longer to set up.

The overhead hoop pole slides into a sleeve which I found was a little tight especially when it has been raining and the pole tends to get stuck and needs a bit of wriggling around to slide through. Or maybe it needs to be made from a mesh material.

It pitches tautly but tends to sag a little by the next the morning. I've made my own elastic rope loops to connect to the stakes so the fly is under tension for longer. Wouldn't it be great if you could adjust the fly tension from the inside of the tent? I've also had to shorten the connections between the fly and the interior over the years to keep the interior taut.

I've had some problems with condensation on the inside of the fly and the small ventilation hatches don't seem to help much as they tend to shut themselves after a while. But I've found it easier to just shake the tent when packing to get rid of most of the water. I think it's a problem that affects most tents.

My tent hasn't seen particularly heavy usage, perhaps 10 days a year, but I haven't had any quality issues. One downside is the need to seal the seams yourself after buying it, not particularly difficult but hopefully it can be factory-sealed in the future. I've never had any leaks in the fly or floor, not a drop, so the material quality is excellent.

Customer support is also excellent with Henry replying to queries himself.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: About A$400

Fantastic tent, lightweight (1.3kg), great design for all round strength, and the great venting features mean it deals well with condensation and help to cool the tent in warmer weather.


  • Strength
  • Lightweight
  • Space!
  • Dual vestibules
  • Speed of 'de-camping'


  • Pitching takes practice
  • Very minor faults from manufacture
  • Basic tent not freestanding (two additional poles required)
  • Internal poles mean you can't stuff sack it, and it always has to go as checked baggage.

The Scarp 1 has a few different configurations. This review refers to the solid interior tent without the extra crossing poles.

I am a big, big fan of this tent. The setup can be a little bit tricky at first, but the line tighteners are fantastic (I added key rings to the end of my lines to get a easier purchase on them), and once I had pitched it a few times I soon got the hang of it.

And the strength you get from the pitch is fantastic, I've slept confidently inside while the winds outside have been raging and gusting in all directions. The inner and the outer skin also stay attached and pitch as one, so even when it's raining as you pitch you'll still be climbing in to a dry home (always close all the zips vents before you take it down, not only for keeping the rain out, but also because it makes it faster to get a taut pitch)

The dual vestibules mean you've got gear storage and cooking/access space, which you can change around if the wind requires it. But what doesn't get mentioned often is they also provide an extra exit or view point, which I am a big fan of if there's dangerous wildlife about.

I also really like the space this tent gives you. I am 6 ft, so not the tallest, but still need a good amount of space and the verticle walls, and the high flat sections at the end of this tent make it a really comfortable space to be in, and to move around in.

Another big advantage of the dual vestibules fits in with another big feature of this tent — venting. There are two end vents that can be opened and secured, two top vents, the sides of the outer skin can be raised several inches from the ground, and the doors secure with clips at the bottom, meaning they can be unzipped to supply venting, but still kept closed.

And for the really warm nights you can just open and secure the outer doors and let the through-draft cool the tent down — the mesh sections on the solid interior are large enough to provide lots of venting, but high enough up that you still get plenty of privacy when you have neighbours.

The other features of the tent are fairly basic, just a couple of gear pockets, but I really like the fact that this tent focusses on what's most important, and save weight by skipping the things you really don't need.

Once I did have it up and settled I did notice a couple of faults from the hand manufacture, I'm told Henry Shires and Tarptent are fantastic for fixing problems, but all I have to deal with is a bit of a messy hem (the fault is with the trimming — the stitching all through the tent is solid), and unfortunately the tag that holds back one of the inner doors was not stitched in - a very quick fix.

The other thing to mention is that this tent is not free-standing unless you also pack the extra support poles, which are designed to add extra strength for snow-loading, as well as making it free-standing. But the only time that has ever been an issue has been when I was pitching on the wooden platforms you sometimes find at campsites — and it was just a matter of using some extra guy lines to extend those on the tent down to the ground.

But my favourite thing about this tent is how fast it comes down, I have not seen anyone else get there tent down and bagged as fast as mine — even before I've had my morning coffee (AeroPress!). And for me that is one of the biggest advantages when you are getting an early start for a big day, or when the weather is cold and nasty and you just want to get moving to get warm.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $600 NZD

Very user friendly, roomy, easy and quick to erect and a nice place to be. Capable of withstanding high winds, it quickly earned my confidence. In England and Wales we have to camp discretely so dark green would be preferable, but Scarp 1 is an improvement on the Akto, no mean achievement.


  • Nice light and spacious inner
  • Plenty of storage and cooking space in porches


  • Guy lines too short

Easy to pitch, even in a gale. Sensible usable pegs although the top pulled off one of mine. Pole a tight fit in sleeve, can be a bit sticky when threading and unthreading especially when the tent is wet. Never found condensation to be a problem however I tend to sleep with inner doors open if possible. I seam sealed my tent before first using it and rain never penetrates.

It is a well designed and made tent which has earned my trust. Replacing an Akto is a hard act but it seems to be as tough whilst also being a more pleasant tent having increased head room when sitting and more head and foot room when lying down. My feet would often rub against the Akto's damp inner, wetting my sleeping bag, a problem the Scarp avoids. Compared with the Akto the Scarp seems flimsy in some areas however in use it is at least as capable whilst being a slightly nicer place to be.

In a gale the Scarp is stable when foot to wind but if the wind veers onto the tent side then the pole will distort inwards. This can be reduced by use of extra guy lines tied to the loops on the pole sleeve. 

Wild camping is neither legal nor illegal in England and Wales so we have to be careful not to be discovered if permission to camp has not been given. A dark green fly would be welcomed.

I love having two porches and often lie in the tent with both doors open, giving views in both directions and superb ventilation. The door tieback for the outer tent works well but I carry a pair of clothes pegs which let the inner doors open wider than the original set up. I have lengthened the guy lines to give more flexibility in placing the pegs, a necessity in the UK.

In just over a year I have had about 8 weeks use, mostly in inclement weather. The tent shows no sign of wear although I have had to straighten the pole twice.

I love it and highly recommend it.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £263

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81 cm
Price MSRP: $295.00
Reviewers Paid: $450.00
Weight 44 ounces (1250 g)
Weight crossing poles 12 ounces (340 g)
Sleeps 1+
Interior height 39 inches (99 cm)
Floor area 19 sq ft (1.77 sq m)
Vestibule area 6.25 sq ft (0.58 sq m) each side
Floor width 32 inches 5 inches (13 cm) bathtub floor walls
Floor length 86 inches (218 cm)
Product Details from Tarptent »

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