Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

OR: Tarptent Squall 2 - Brad Banker

Expand Messages
  • bbanker1974
    Sorry, accidently left my name off... TARPTENT SQUALL 2 OR October 08, 2008 TESTER INFORMATION NAME: Brad Banker EMAIL: brad_banker@hotmail.com AGE: 34
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 24, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Sorry, accidently left my name off...

      October 08, 2008


      NAME: Brad Banker
      EMAIL: brad_banker@...
      AGE: 34
      LOCATION: Greensboro, NC, USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 6' 0" (1.80 m)
      WEIGHT: 240 lb (109.00 kg)

      I went on my first backpacking trip at 5 years old, and hiked quite a
      bit growing up. I picked it back up again in my 20's and have
      regularly backpacked now for over 10 years. I backpack the mountains
      of North Carolina and Virginia on 1-5 night solor or group trips,
      mostly on or around the Appalachian Trail in all seasons in
      temperatures from 90+ F (32 C) to under 0 F (-17 C). My companions
      are my wife and my two golden retrievers, or whoever wants to
      disappear into the woods for a while.


      Manufacturer: Tarptent
      Year of Manufacture: 2004
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
      MSRP: US$230
      Listed Weight: 34 oz (940 g)
      Measured Weight: 34 oz (940 g) as advertised.
      I added two more stakes and some extra guylines that add 4 more oz
      (113 g ) and a Tyvek ground sheet that makes a grand total of 43 oz
      (1219 g) for my entire 3 season tent system.
      Sleeps 2
      Weight 34 oz (940 g) using trekking poles
      Width 78/51 in (198/130 cm)
      Length 94 in (239 cm)
      Height 45 in (114 cm) adjustable
      Floor Area 30-37 sq ft (2.8-3.4 sq m)
      Beak Area 7 sq ft (0.65 sq m)
      Stakes (included) 4
      Packed size 20 x 4 in (51 x 10 cm)
      Hybrid bathtub floor — clip / unclip fl oor walls for splash, space,
      views, and airflow
      Dual trekking poles support; front poles available
      Abundant netting for views, airflow, and insect resistance; bug proof
      when zipped up
      Front beak shields rain, provides gear storage
      Fast setup — 2 minutes from sack to pitched
      Integrated line tighteners
      Quick drying — inside and out in minutes
      Small packed size — removable strut for stuffing
      Catenary ridgelines for wind, sag, and storms
      Reflective spectra cord guylines included


      My Tent History: Henry Shires, the originator and owner was very
      helpful both initially and since my Tarptent purchase. I did a fair
      amount of shopping around while trying to convert from dragging my 7
      lb (3 kg) old 2.5 person tent which was great for two although heavy
      by today's standards, to a lighter weight 3 season option. I read a
      lot of reviews and posts on various websites. I asked a lot of
      questions and eventually decided on a single walled option. The
      Squall 2 was an excellent compromise between the standard tent and
      ultralight tarp usage. I will in this review use tarp and tent
      somewhat interchangibly because it is a Tarptent.

      Initial Impressions: I ordered my Tarptent directly from the website
      listed in the beginning of this review. I had some questions before
      I purchased it. I posted some questions on www.whiteblaze.net, which
      Henry Shires frequents, and he answered many of my questions within 1
      day. I also emailed him before purchasing, and once since for help,
      and he was prompt and informative in response. My Squall 2 arrived
      with all of the advertised components and detailed instructions. The
      weight of the tent was measured as advertised.
      My first experience with this tent was on a solo overnight in
      February in North Carolina with my 110 lb (45.36 kg) golden
      retriever. The temperature dipped to 16 F (-8.88 C). I was somewhat
      ill prepared in that I was carrying my 20 F (-9 C) down bag which
      sleeps like a 30 F (-1.10 C) bag. My dog had only a fleece blanket.
      I was accustomed to the extra 5-10 F (3-6 C) of comfort that a double
      wall tent gives. I was cold and my dog was shivering all night the
      first night. I have since gotten a 0 F (-18 C) bag for colder
      weather. The tent was pitched for medium ventilation and there was
      minimal condensation in the morning. My dog was no worse for wear in
      the morning. I have since used this tent for all different types of
      weather from summer heat to winter cold in rain, sleet and 1.5 in
      (3.81 cm) of snow without difficulty.


      Tent setup:
      The Tarptent is a single walled design with a single curved pole that
      is inserted into the rear part of the tent for a hoop style support.
      The rear of the tent is anchored by an ingenious method of one
      guyline loop across the back, and another with another line attached
      to the primary line tied together. To erect the tent, anchor the
      longer loop with the stake and pull the tent forward to create even
      tension from back to front. There is a front guyline that is staked
      to the ground to maintain tension in the front, and two guylines off
      the front lateral corners that are staked into the ground as well.

      You can follow <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
      "http://www.tarptent.com/squall2.html" LINK TEXT = "this link">> to
      see more pics on setup variations.

      of Tarptent.com">>

      The tent may be supported either by a single pole that is able to be
      purchased separately, or by the more common option of using 1-2
      trekking or hiking poles (which is the option that I choose.)
      I chose the standard option of a sewn in bathtub floor which is
      connected to the silnylon body of the tarp by a mesh netting. The
      bathtub floor is able to be adjusted by a series of shock cords with
      slide locks. This allows the user to adjust the tension on the floor
      and increase height for protection or ventilation through the tent.
      The bathtub floor is connected to the tarp top by mesh all the way
      The front entrance is mesh with a zipper down the front and across
      the bottom in an inverse T formation allowing you complete protection
      from all pests of the flying and crawling variety.
      There is also an non attached floor option and one may also purchase
      the tarp with no floor.
      From the sides of the tent there are two sides of a "beak" that may
      be rolled down and secured to the front guyline to form a vestibule.
      This vestibule does not reach all the way to the ground, but in my
      experience has been enough to keep the rain or snow off my gear,
      temper moderate wind, but allow sufficient ventilation to minimize
      condensation due to the single wall design.
      Per manufacturer recommendations and with my own personal experience,
      it is best to pitch the tent with the low side into the wind, and
      pitch the tarp as close to the ground as possible in colder or
      windier weather to minimize the breeze, and pitch it up higher with
      max ventilation for warmer weather, which is easy to do with a little
      I have used 1 and 2 trekking poles to set up my tent. There are 3
      grommets along the top bar of the tent with which to insert the
      trekking pole ends, which allows both the two poles on the outsides,
      or one pole in the center. I do notice a significant difference in
      stability in using both poles. The poles can be angled out to
      increase the space for entry, exit and gear storage. The front
      guyline can also be angled out to bias the room for entry on one side
      of the front of the tent.
      I am continually amazed the the light weight of this tent, even with
      the Tyvek ground sheet and extra lines and stakes I added. I added
      these mostly to be able to guy the tent out for more stability with
      snow and high winds. For somebody who used to lug a 7 lb (3 kg) tent
      for solo trips, the significantly lighter weight has been a
      blessing. I am amazed at how much space there is in my small pack,
      and this purchase has helped me get my base weight down to
      approximately 19 lb (8.62 kg) for 3 days. It has become my favorite
      tent setup for solo trips. It would be my first choice for trips
      with my wife, but for some reason, she does not really like the
      tent. She prefers a two sided entry tent with double walls. I had
      entertained the idea of getting a Rainshadow 2 Tarptent which is the
      3 person version, but the idea was nixed.

      Long term use and maintenance: I seam sealed the tent with the
      recommended silicone sealant when I purchased it and once 2 years
      later. There have been minimal signs of wear, although I did not use
      a ground sheet for the first few years, but started recently to
      protect the floor. I have had no rips, tears of signs of abrasion on
      the tent, but I tend to take care of my gear. The zippers, velcro,
      slide locks, shock cords and guylines have worked great and are all
      very lightweight. The guylines are all reflective which is great in
      the dark with a headlamp on, especially with the beak line.

      General observations: This is my first single wall tent, so getting
      used to condensation in the main compartment was something to get
      used to. The better I get with estimating ventilation needs, the
      less I have. A small pack towel takes care of the rest. The most
      snow I've been in was as mentioned above. I had the tent guyed out
      very tightly and didn't have any problems, but have not tested more
      heavy snow conditions yet (maybe global warming will ensure that I
      never have to in North Carolina.) The tent sets up very quickly and
      packs down very small. I can't say enough about how small this tent
      packs down and how light it is.

      Rogers Morning">>


      In summary, I have been very pleased with my Tarptent Squall 2
      purchase. I have had excellent customer service from Henry Shires.
      This tent has been an extremely helpful purchase in reducing my base
      weight without sacrificing comfort or security. It is a good
      blending of a standard tent design and an ultralight tarp setup.
      There is a learning curve with this tent setup, but with some work it
      is possible to overcome the condensation problems associated with a
      single wall design. I would not hesitate to recommend this tent to
      anybody who wishes to reduce pack weight without sacrificing
      the "tent feel" and does not mind playing around with their gear a


      Very light weight option for 1-2 people.
      Very sturdy.
      Single wall design (in the summer.)
      Sets up with trekking poles.


      Learning curve for setting the tent up for existing conditions.
      Single wall design (in the winter.)
      My wife does not like it.
      Not much else - overall I love it.


      Brad Banker
      Greensboro, NC

      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.