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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Gear Guide 2009: Tarptent Double Rainbow Tent Review

Tarptent's innovative tent creates an ultralight solution for big campers.

by: Kelly Bastone

Tarptent Double Rainbow (Seth Hughes).
Tarptent Double Rainbow (Seth Hughes).

Gear Guide 2009: More 2-Person Tents
Search through our extensive library for more reviews.

Most Innovative
We've seen plenty of shelters that employ trekking poles for structure, but none like the Double Rainbow. This radical new design turns things around to make a freestanding, spacious, double-wall shelter that weighs less than two and a half pounds. The trick: Your trekking poles run along the ground, at the foot and head, and stabilize the central pole (included). Add your partner's trekking poles, and the vestibule flaps can be staked out to open the interior to breezes (though we never had condensation in the basic setup, thanks to all-mesh walls and two fly vents). The interior, with a tall-guy-friendly 43-inch-high ceiling and 96-inch-long floor, was plenty roomy for our 6'4" tester and a partner. For ultralight purists, the benefits of the stable, freestanding shelter will likely offset the drawbacks: The fussy pitch is easier with two people, and strong wind blew some rain in through the mesh along the tent's lower perimeter. $260; 2 lbs. 6 oz.

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Reader Rating: -


The Sole Brother GA>ME 2004
Oct 15, 2010

I have never heard of any Osprey breaking down in the field. I carried an Osprey Aether 75 pack on my 2004 AT thru-hike. It was awesome. Love all the mesh pockets on the outside and the weight vs carry capacity is very hard to match. I had friends that all carried different packs, and when we had a rescue situation and packs were ferried along by different people, all commented on how comfortable the ride of my Osprey was. The suspension rocks! No problems with wear and tear, it's still in great shape today.

As for Jackets, the Marmot Precip is still hard to beat, and Backpacker always recommends it every year.

I have some Keen shoes. While Keen is designed well for wide feet, i have never tried their boots meant for hiking.

Nathan Liechty
Jan 03, 2010

Keen makes fantastic, comfortable shoes. Not shoes for a thru-hike. While their boots are fabulously comfortable, they are not as durable as comparable brands. Great for day hikes and the occasional overnighter, but not for any serious pursuits.

As Josh stated Osprey does have an incredible reputation to stand on. Whomever you spoke with must have had an experience quite unlike most Osprey customers.

Josh Robinson
Dec 31, 2009

That's funny,

I found the opposite. Osprey has the best warranty period. They also have a reputation amongst thru-hikers as the best light weight design. Keen and marmot, suck. Know your gear.

Devaul Lanier
Oct 12, 2009


Last year I bought you mag at the airport. I investigated your NB boot recommend and osprey backpack recommend before leaving on my +150mile AT trip. What my buddies and I found was shocking. Nearly none of the thru hikers recommend your NB recommendation and the osprey had a reputation for breaking down on the trail. Sorry guys but you cant be trusted, even worse you could be putting hikers in danger....why not recommend the gear we saw on the trail-Keen boots and marmot jackets? I notice they dont have ads in your me understand?


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