I attach an application to test the Tarptent Double Rainbow.
I am now down to three items with two finishing in August.
Application to test Tarptent Double Rainbow Ultralight Shelter
Date: 29th June, 2006
I have read and understood the current requirements in the Survival
Guide (version v. 1202 as of 8.05.05) and I agree to comply with all
these requirements as a tester. I have also signed a tester agreement
which is on file with Shane Steinkamp dated 7th March, 2005 and has been
acknowledged by Stephanie Martin on the 27th April, 2005.
I have graduated from being a Newbie in January 2006.
Carrying out multiple test reports has not been a problem as I usually
am testing four items at any one time. All of my reports have been
submitted on time.
Name: Ralph Ditton
Height: 1. 76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight: 77 kg (170 lb)
Email: rdassetts@optusnet dot com dot au
City: Perth. Western Australia. Australia
I have been walking the Bibbulmun Track over five years and the Coastal
Plain Trail. My goal is to complete the 964 km (603 mi) Bibbulmun Track
and become an End to End walker. I am nearly there.
I have evolved from being a heavyweight backpacker of approximately 28
kg (62 lb) including all my water and food to a mid- weight backpacker
averaging 18 kg (40 lb). I am still trying to get lighter with better
equipment. My trips range from overnighters to five days duration.
Bibbulmun Track : Sea level to 585 metres elevation (0 to 1,920 ft).
Within this region I backpack along old forestry roads, sandy tracks,
and purpose built walking tracks.
Temperatures will range during the testing period, from a minimum -4 C
to 28 C (24 F to 82 F) during June to October, 2006. Overnight
temperatures on average during autumn and winter range from -4 C to 12 C
(24 F to 54 F).
Prickly Bark campsite on the Coastal Plain Trail is roughly 80 m (262
ft) elevation. The trail from the eastern terminus to the campsite is a
sandy track that is mostly flat with a steep climb up a sand dune over
the last half a kilometre (0.31 mi) to the campsite.
Temperatures can range from -5 C to 30 C (23 F to 86 F) during June to
October of 2006. Overnight temperatures on average during autumn and
winter range from -5 C to 10 C (23 F to 50 F).
I will be venturing into the Avon Valley for off track geocaching and
camping. Actual details still to be worked out as to exact location, but
it will be in September/October.
The weather will be mostly wet as this is when we receive most of our
rain with frequent heavy rain storms.
Snow does not occur in the areas that I hike, just heavy frost with fog.
The areas that I hike in have kangaroo ticks, huntsmen spiders and
various species of snakes. If selected I would require the innovative
"liner" that clips on the inside of the tent.
I will be going on overnighters and extended trips ranging from two to
five days backpacking, sometimes walking solo and/or with one or two
I will be camping out between eight to twelve days and nights between
July and October. There will be five days and four nights in July in
the dept of our winter. The month of August has been allocated two
nights and three days with Andrew Priest, and in September I want to do
at least three days and two nights. October has tentatively been
allocated three nights. July is the depth of our winter.
It is now the beginning of our winter. In July the overnight
temperature regularly ranges from 3 C to 11 C (37 F to 52 F) and the day
time temperatures can reach a maximum of 29 C (84 F). They have in the
last week been consistently in the low 20's (68 F+). UV ratings have
been at the medium range of 6.
Winter is traditionally our wet season. The average night time minimum
over the winter months is around 5 C (41F). Day time maximum average
temperatures for July, August September and October usually reach an
average range of between 17 C to 22 C (63 F to 72 F).
I am always looking to reduce my pack weight and this ultra light Double
Rainbow weighing in at 1125 g (2 1/2 lb) with the floor is miles lighter
than my four season tent weighing in at 3.67 kg (8 lb 1 oz).
Normally I do not share my tent with anybody as my walking partners all
carry their own. I initially purchased mine as my son would camp with me
and we would share the tent. He has now left home and does not go
camping. However I have a mate who usually comes with me and with his
help I would test how much space two people have inside the tent,
whether we have problems changing with two of us in the tent and if we
can fit our backpacks inside with us.
I plan to weigh all of the components needed to pitch the tent and arrive
at a minimum and maximum weight that will successfully erect the tent
for the prevailing conditions.
The Double Rainbow has a rear arch pole made of Easton aluminum 7075-T9
with a diameter tubing of 8.74 mm (0.344 in). There is no mention if the
pole is shock corded or has locking tips to stay in place in the pole
sleeve. There is no mention of clips, so I am presuming a sleeve judging
by the web site. I will test to see how effective the pole stays in
place if there are no locking tips.
I do not use trekking poles, so I will be staking out the tent on most
occasions. However, on the Coastal Plain Trail there is a lot of fallen
branches at the campsites due to the lack of backpackers, so I would
test the suitability of using the fallen branches in lieu of poles
including the use of duct tape to create a fixed location around which
to wrap the guyline.
How user friendly is the instruction sheet?
The website mentions that the tent is a fast set up. Two minutes from
sack to pitched. I would like to test this claim.
In addition, no mention is made as to how quickly the tent can be
dismantled and put back into the sack. I would test this time and make
I would like to see how effective the reflective spectra cord
guylines are and from what distance can they be seen in a torch beam.
Also, what method is used to tension the guylines. Is it an effective
method or will there be slippage during the night when it is windy?
The manufacturer makes a claim that the tent is quick drying, inside
and out. Being winter when we receive our rain, this would be a good
season to test this claim.
I would like to test to see how the tub floor would perform without a
groundsheet, or if I needed the Tyvek groundsheet that is available.
Will the groundsheet be provided?
From reading the web site, the tarptent needs to be seam sealed to
protect the stitching. I would like to do the seam sealing and make
comment on how easy/difficult the task is as I have never had to do this
before. My tent is factory seam sealed.
The manufacturer make the claim that the tent has an excellent flow
through ventilation, especially when the netting doors are open. This
defeats the purpose of keeping insects and other bities out. I would
test to see how the ventilation performs when the netting doors are closed.
Further testing of the ventilation would be how efficient is it when the
fly doors are closed and vents open.
Can the vents be closed in adverse weather?
Can rain enter through the vents when open?
What means are used to keep the vents open? A prop or a stiffener inside
the fabric hem of the vent.
Is it an effective means to keep the vent open?
Will it be stifling and uncomfortable inside the tent on a warm day?
When I lay down, I want to find out if the tent is long enough without
my head and foot end of my sleeping bag touching the walls in the tent.
How close does the inner wall slope to my head and if it causes a
What is the clearance from my face?
Can I comfortably sit up inside the tent without my head touching the
roof of the inner?
Are there any storage pockets?
Is the entry through the inner door to the inside of the tent easy or is
it too narrow and a bit of a squeeze?
Entry through the fly tarp would appear not to be a problem judging by
the photos, but I would like to verify that.
Is the height of the tub floor adequate to prevent splashing of rain to
enter the tent? It appears to be very minimal.
Is the vestibule roomy to place my 90 L (5,492 cu in) pack, boots, stove
and kitchen sink and can I gain easy entry through that side provided
the gear is there?
If I cannot place all of that gear there, how much can I place there?
What colour does the tarp come in? This is important as a light colour
lets in the very early morning sun and wakes me up. I would test to see
how effective and to what degree the tarp blocks out very early morning
Will the storage bag containing the tent be long enough to be secured on
the outside of my backpack, or if too short, do I have to remove it from
the storage bag and rearrange the folding of the tent so that it can be
secured to the outside?
Will the material fade in our sunlight as we have a big hole in the
ozone layer above us? A UV rating is broadcast daily by electronic and
I will examine the overall stability against wind side forces by
examining the attachments between the fly and inner.
Will the fabric sag when wet?
Do the zippers slide freely or are there sticking points along the
pathway of the zip?
Will the zips have a tendency to catch on the fabric when being operated?
If the zips do jam on fabric, how easy/difficult is it to free the zips?
Cleaning of tent
There is no mention on how to clean the tent, or what type of product
NOT to use on the fabric that could cause damage. I propose to wash the
tent in lukewarm soapy water to remove the collection of dirt and mud
that tend to adhere to tents.
Other points that may come up during the testing would be commented upon
that are unforseen at this stage.
Thank you Tarptent for the opportunity to apply for this product.
My owner reviews and test series are listed below.
Trangia Billygrips or Pot Lifters
Tiny URL. http://tinyurl.com/c579c <http://tinyurl.com/c579c>
Back Country Cuisine
Freeze Dri Packaged Meals
Tiny URL. http://tinyurl.com/bvdla
Caribee Thirst Pak
Tiny URL. http://tinyurl.com/8by5h
Metzeler Thermo Mat
Tiny URL. http://tinyurl.com/9k4bm
Sea to Summit
The Kitchen Sink
Tiny URL. http://tinyurl.com/aclsr
Snowgum Storm Shelter 2 Tent
Tiny URL. http://tinyurl.com/ajvjj
Sea to Summit
Thermolite Reactor Sleeping Bag Liner
Tiny URL. http://tinyurl.com/c5bu8 <http://tinyurl.com/c5bu8>
Vargo Titanium 'Jet-ti' stove
Seattle Sports LedHedz Cruiser 10
Field Report: 29/11/2005
Long Term Report 26/1/06
Spyderco Vagabond Knife
Initial Report: 26/9/2005
Field Report: 23/11/2005
Long Term Report 18/1/06
Snugpak Softie Chrysalis Micro Sleeping Bag
Initial Report: 6/10/2005
Field Report: 29/11/2005
Long Term Report 26/1/06
Thorlos Men's Light Hiker CoolMax Protection Level 2 Socks
Initial Report: 27/1/06
Field Report: 14/306
Long Term Report: 19th May, 2006
Big Sky Products Summit Evolution 1P Shelter
Initial Report: 13th February, 2006
Field Report: 23rd April, 2006
Long Term Report: 26th June, 2006
Princeton Tec Apex LED Headlamp
Initial Report: 12th March, 2006
Field Report: 6th June, 2006
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack
Initial Report: 12th May, 2006
Initial Report: 10th May, 2006
Field Report: 23rd June, 2006
I am a mentor for two aspiring gear testers in the Mentor Programme.
I am currently a monitor for the Pacific Outdoor Equipment-Pneumo LTW
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