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  1. #1

    Default Tarptent Double Rainbow Li: Review

    When I first bought the DR Li from Tarptent there weren't many out there and few reviews so it was a tough decision to make. After 6 months of owning and using this tent I know feel like I can give my thoughts on it and maybe helping others out with a decision:


  2. #2

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    Giving this a bump as I know we are all starting to head into camping season soon

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    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    I recall you using duplex a while back and you mentioned it at the end of your review, would be interested to hear your comparison of features and functionality since they are similar in design and materials. Not sure how weights compare, if tarptent includes weight of included stakes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maineiac64 View Post
    I recall you using duplex a while back and you mentioned it at the end of your review, would be interested to hear your comparison of features and functionality since they are similar in design and materials. Not sure how weights compare, if tarptent includes weight of included stakes?
    Yeah, used to have the Duplex and really liked it. Sold it to buy the TT Strat Li which I thought was my dream tent...turns out I hated it. I debated long and hard about getting another Duplex or going with the Rainbow Li (does include the weight of guylines and the stakes they send with the tent). If I could find someone with a Duplex I'd be happy to do a comparison on the two.

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    Sold it to buy the TT Strat Li which I thought was my dream tent...turns out I hated it.



    just outta curiosity, what did you hate about it?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    just outta curiosity, what did you hate about it?
    I found it a pain to set up as no matter how I did it it never set up exactly where I wanted it so the orientation was always wrong and it wasn't easy to adjust that like with the Duplex. I also hated the packability with the struts. I like to have my tent in my pack and at the top, not vertical or outside, and the struts made that impossible. If you've seen Dixie's recent issue with the tent struts and stakes I also did the same custom fix BEFORE going out with it. It helped but those cords and ribbons always seem to get tangled at the worst times.

    I know it's a popular tent and works well for some people...I just didn't get along with it. Some of the issues I have are non-issues for others. Structurally it is a very strong tent for wind though.

  7. #7

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    I've used the standard Double Rainbow for about 10 years on dozens of trips on the PCT, AT, Oly Nat Park, Montana, and two trips to Iceland. It is an adequate tent IMO. The 42 oz weight seems really low to me for a two person tent. Is it really worth $350 to save 14 ounces weight? That's $25/oz. I know the ultralight world gets a bit crazy to save ounces, or even grams... but ???

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    I've used the standard Double Rainbow for about 10 years on dozens of trips on the PCT, AT, Oly Nat Park, Montana, and two trips to Iceland. It is an adequate tent IMO. The 42 oz weight seems really low to me for a two person tent. Is it really worth $350 to save 14 ounces weight? That's $25/oz. I know the ultralight world gets a bit crazy to save ounces, or even grams... but ???
    Guess it depends on what you're looking for. Personally I hate silnylon (sag and holds water) and much prefer DCF due to it's waterproofness. I also already have to carry extra gear for the dogs, and now having to carry some of their food as they get older...the weight is important for me. I looked at silpoly tents but still haven't found anything I like in the weight/size/style range I want.

  9. #9
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Thanks for the fine, thorough review Dune!

    Quote Originally Posted by DuneElliot View Post
    Yeah, used to have the Duplex and really liked it. Sold it to buy the TT Strat Li which I thought was my dream tent...turns out I hated it. I debated long and hard about getting another Duplex or going with the Rainbow Li (does include the weight of guylines and the stakes they send with the tent). If I could find someone with a Duplex I'd be happy to do a comparison on the two.
    My 4-5 year old Duplex, with the 0.74 oz spruce green DFC/Cuben (upgrade from the 0.51) weighs 22.3 ounces, including the guy lines but NOT including stakes. My little 8 Ti stake kit weighs about 2-2.5 ounces, IIRC.

    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    I've used the standard Double Rainbow for about 10 years on dozens of trips on the PCT, AT, Oly Nat Park, Montana, and two trips to Iceland. It is an adequate tent IMO. The 42 oz weight seems really low to me for a two person tent. Is it really worth $350 to save 14 ounces weight? That's $25/oz. I know the ultralight world gets a bit crazy to save ounces, or even grams... but ???
    As Dune points out in her video review, DFC/Cuben (vs. SilNylon) is not just about the weight, it's also very much about the water absorbency, DCF basically doesn't absorb water. So DCF never sags once the tent is pitched. Plus there is even more weight savings when packing a "wet" DCF tent vs. a WET Sil-nylon tent, I did some experiments a couple few years ago, and bottom line this can make up to 10-16 ounces of water weight carried with a soaked SilNylon tent.

    Yeah, I know, spending $650 for a tent isn't for everyone, but it is worth it to me.

    Again, thanks Dune! That being said, when my duplex goes belly-up, the question still remains if I get another or that Double Rainbow Li ! The main attraction seems to be the lack of a trekking pole in the middle of the two entrances.

    One other annoyance with a Duplex/trekking pole tent is that my wife and I are "peak baggers", setting up a base camp and climbing from there. On the easier climbs, I carry my trekking poles, meaning we have to "borrow" the poles from the pitched tent, meaning the tent is collapsed during the day. I gently place a couple of rocks on the tent to keep it flat. Not a big deal, but another plus on the D-R type tent.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Again, thanks Dune! That being said, when my duplex goes belly-up, the question still remains if I get another or that Double Rainbow Li ! The main attraction seems to be the lack of a trekking pole in the middle of the two entrances.

    One other annoyance with a Duplex/trekking pole tent is that my wife and I are "peak baggers", setting up a base camp and climbing from there. On the easier climbs, I carry my trekking poles, meaning we have to "borrow" the poles from the pitched tent, meaning the tent is collapsed during the day. I gently place a couple of rocks on the tent to keep it flat. Not a big deal, but another plus on the D-R type tent.
    I spent weeks going back and forth over getting another Duplex or the Double Rainbow Li. Loved the Duplex but what eventually sold me on the Rainbow Li was the slightly taller inner walls on the mesh wallsgiving a little bit of a reprieve from any cool breezes, and also the optional liner to give a little more privacy and almost make it a double wall tent. It does also have more sitting up room for changing. It was definitely a tough choice though as I also much prefer the weight and .74 spruce DCF of the Duplex.

  11. #11
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuneElliot View Post
    I spent weeks going back and forth over getting another Duplex or the Double Rainbow Li. Loved the Duplex but what eventually sold me on the Rainbow Li was the slightly taller inner walls on the mesh wallsgiving a little bit of a reprieve from any cool breezes, and also the optional liner to give a little more privacy and almost make it a double wall tent. It does also have more sitting up room for changing. It was definitely a tough choice though as I also much prefer the weight and .74 spruce DCF of the Duplex.
    Good stuff, thanks, I just might go with the DR Li in a year or two.

    JUST in case you're homesick, here's a duplex pitched in what was (I think?) your stomping grounds (Cloud Peak wilderness)...

    (alas, the orange sky is mostly from CA wildfires last summer)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Good stuff, thanks, I just might go with the DR Li in a year or two.

    JUST in case you're homesick, here's a duplex pitched in what was (I think?) your stomping grounds (Cloud Peak wilderness)...

    (alas, the orange sky is mostly from CA wildfires last summer)
    Geez...thanks for that ...lol/ I'm sadly homesick for Wyoming everyday (except when it's -26 plus windchill)

    I can't quite place that location there...at least not from that point of view

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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuneElliot View Post
    Geez...thanks for that ...lol/ I'm sadly homesick for Wyoming everyday (except when it's -26 plus windchill)

    I can't quite place that location there...at least not from that point of view
    I didn't mean to make you sad, sorry!

    The location is where the "normal" paint rock creek route to climb Cloud Peak branches off the Solitude trail, not too far past Misty Moon lake. Fabulous campsite. We saw our first-ever in-the-wild wolf the second evening there (after the climb) down in the valley that paint rock creek meanders through. We asked a ranger about this and she verified that there are wolves in the area, so were pretty sure is was indeed a wolf and not merely a HUGE Coyote.

    My wife on the Cloud Peak summit:
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    I thought your review was good it made me seacrh Backpacking lights website for reviews on it and I found it...So oth reviews are saying this is a very good 2 person tent..Have to say think I am sold on this for a new tent between the 2 reviews...
    My love for life is quit simple .i get uo in the moring and then i go to bed at night. What I do inbween is to occupy my time. Cary Grant

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbs View Post
    I thought your review was good it made me seacrh Backpacking lights website for reviews on it and I found it...So oth reviews are saying this is a very good 2 person tent..Have to say think I am sold on this for a new tent between the 2 reviews...
    That's a lot of responsibility to have...lol. Hope you do enjoy it as much as I have. I remember putting it up in the living room the first time and thinking "oh my god this is HUGE" with all the head space (which you don't get with the Duplex due to the shape). I definitely don't regret it one bit and have continued to really enjoy the DR Li

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    Sorry for the interruption but I spotted this comment :
    "I found it a pain to set up as no matter how I did it it never set up exactly where I wanted it so the orientation was always wrong and it wasn't easy to adjust that like with the Duplex'
    I know what you mean but it is in fact VERY easy to overcome if you set it up the way I do.
    You just need to think where you want to lay down to sleep and set the rectangular floor over that area. You then pull out the two vestibules and they go automaticaly where they are supposed to go. Like this :
    <span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(235, 235, 235);">
    maybe looking at the floor plan (so you can see what I mean by sleep area in relation to the rest ) could help
    ss2_dimensions.jpg



  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    Sorry for the interruption but I spotted this comment :
    "I found it a pain to set up as no matter how I did it it never set up exactly where I wanted it so the orientation was always wrong and it wasn't easy to adjust that like with the Duplex'
    I know what you mean but it is in fact VERY easy to overcome if you set it up the way I do.
    You just need to think where you want to lay down to sleep and set the rectangular floor over that area. You then pull out the two vestibules and they go automaticaly where they are supposed to go. Like this :
    <span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); white-space: normal; background-color: rgb(235, 235, 235);">
    maybe looking at the floor plan (so you can see what I mean by sleep area in relation to the rest ) could help
    ss2_dimensions.jpg



    Believe me I tried doing it that way most of the time and my floor orientation still never ended up exactly where I wanted; it just wasn't the tent for me.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DuneElliot View Post
    When I first bought the DR Li from Tarptent there weren't many out there and few reviews so it was a tough decision to make. After 6 months of owning and using this tent I know feel like I can give my thoughts on it and maybe helping others out with a decision:

    I like that your review was only 7 minutes. I hate watching 25 minute gear reviews where they talk about 7 different thing rather than what's in title bar. Good job!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsoloBootsSuk View Post
    I like that your review was only 7 minutes. I hate watching 25 minute gear reviews where they talk about 7 different thing rather than what's in title bar. Good job!
    Thank you :-) I agree...I don't see the point of making reviews very long. I don't do many reviews but there weren't many on the DR Li when I bought it

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