Tarptent Notch

I can’t top the review SectionHiker did several years ago so read that for background.

Out of the box, the weight for the bag, fly, mesh canopy, 4 stakes, and stake bag is 750 grams (26.5 oz).  A Tyvek footprint adds about 120g (4.2 oz).  Sealing the seams adds about another ounce so you get a very good rig for about 2 pounds.  TarpTent sells some 3-section aluminum poles that can be used in place of the hiking poles.  They weigh 99g each so you take about 7 oz out of your pack by using hiking poles.  If you’re doing a base camp then you might want to use the optional poles.

I added guy lines from each apex tie-out to the side stake to help pull the top taut.  This has the added benefit of reducing the tension on the door zipper and makes it possible to roll up the entire side of the tent if desired.  I may find that in strong wind I will need a separate stake further from the tent for the apex line but needing only 4 stakes for most cases is a win.

I brushed silicone stripes onto the floor of the tent – inside and out – while sealing the seams to reduce sliding of the mattress on the floor and of the floor on the footprint.

The narrower space (versus my Big Agnes Copper Spur) requires some adjustment, as many things need to be kept at the head or foot end instead of beside the mattress.  There is no side pocket for small items but I should be able to rig something to hang from one of the interior hooks at the apex.  Ventilation proved to be as good as expected.

I agree with SectionHiker that unclipping the canopy from the fly is cumbersome so packing a wet fly and dry canopy separately will be difficult at best, especially if it’s raining while you’re taking down the tent.

The optional poles have a small rubber cap on the end that sits on the ground and the first time I took down the tent I lost one cap as the pole had sunk into the ground and the cap stayed behind.  I recommend using a 2-3″ diameter disc under each pole to keep them from sinking like that.  A hiking pole won’t have that problem.

One odd issue is that the nylon of the fly is very slippery and that makes it awkward to stuff into the sack.

Jan 2018

April 2019 update: Something I’ve come to appreciate is that Tarptent uses durable and smoothly-operating zippers even though they probably add a couple ounces to the weight versus the finicky coil-type zippers found in some other ultra-light products.

The product was purchased with my own money.  I have no material connection with any companies, products or services mentioned in this post.