It was an A-frame shelter made from purple silnylon with a mesh border (sidewall). Henry was preparing for a thruhike of the Pacific Crest Trail, and could not find anything on the market that was light or simple enough to meet his specifications. After a successful thruhike, Henry published his plans for the purple Tarptent online. People who did not want to make the tent themselves kept urging Henry to start a business.
She borrowed the purple Tarptent for a thruhike of the John Muir Trail in 2000, and gave feedback to Henry about his design: the simple Tarptent was too hard to set up and it needed a floor. Henry spent 9 months redesigning the original Tarptent and came up with the Tarptent Virga and Squall.
After bringing on an engineer in late 2016 to shoulder some of the design load, Tarptent released its first Dyneema tent in February 2017, the Notch Li. One Dyneema tent turned into 3+, rounding out a line of 19 tents. Since the first Tarptent was hand-sewn by Henry Shires in 1999, our ethos has always been about user-centric ideas and technologies—lighter, stronger, simpler. In the summer of 2019, we searched around the world for the best production technology partner to support our constantly expanding vision. We are now working with global manufacturing partners to supplement our Seattle-based sewing contractor.
Elegant and airy, Tarptents set up virtually anywhere. Designed by and for the outdoor enthusiast, Tarptents keep you dry and sane no matter the elements. Constructed of the lightest and highest quality materials available, Tarptents let you focus on the joy of the journey, not on the pain of getting there. The first Tarptent was born in the spring of 1999. Since then, Tarptents have successfully traversed all 3 ultra-long distance U.S. trails—the Pacific Crest, Appalachian, and Continental Divide Trails. We now serve thruhikers, backpackers, bikepackers, hunters and more!