Gear spotlight: Tarptent Scarp 1
Posted 06/13 by Ruthie BenDor
Though I’ll be staying with friends and acquaintances a fair bit, there will be many nights this summer where home is a tent.
I went tent-shopping armed with a few special requirements:
1. Pitches fly-first. In wet weather, it’s a pain to pitch the inner tent first, because by the time you’ve thrown over the rainfly, the floor of the inner tent is all wet. I wanted a tent that goes up as one unit, keeping the inside dry in foul conditions.
2. Comfortable in hot and cold. I’ll be passing over mountains, through deserts, and across plains and farmland. Some nights will be sweltering; others, frigid. I need a tent that ventilates well in the heat, but can seal up tight to keep me warm on chilly nights.
3. Compact, not claustrophobic. Ideal would be a 1-person or 1.5 person tent, with room for me to sit up AND space to store my bike bags without spooning them all night.
3. Lightweight. It’s easy to find a two-person tent for around 5 pounds, but there aren’t a lot of sub-4 pound one-man tents.
4. Freestanding. Many lightweight tents require staking in order to pitch them, which will be a problem should I need to pitch the tent on asphalt or concrete. I wanted a tent that can be pitched freestanding, meaning that it doesn’t require staking in order to stand up.
5. Pitches easily & quickly. I ordered a tent that met all the other requirements, but was such a pain in the ass to erect the tents even under ideal, sunny-afternoon-in-my-backyard conditions that I knew I’d regret bringing it this summer.
After testing and returning a few other tents, I ordered the Tarptent Scarp 1, and I’ve been super-happy with it. It’s a four-season, double-wall tent that weighs 3.5 pounds, pitches fly-first and freestanding, ventilates well, and is exactly the right size for me and my stuff. I sealed all the seams (there’s a video, but it’s the most boring video ever made—it’s literally watching paint thinner dry) and—weird, I know—I can’t wait to test it out in the rain.