Gear Guide 2009: Tarptent Double Rainbow Tent Review

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

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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