Warranty and Repair
What is the Tarptent return and warranty policy?
- Tarptents are fully guaranteed, to the original purchaser from Tarptent or authorized Tarptent distributor, against fabric and workmanship failure. We stand behind every Tarptent and will make every effort to repair or replace products that fail due to defects in workmanship or materials. Normal wear and tear repairs will be done on a “non-profit” basis and we will provide a price quote before beginning the work. In many cases, we charge only for the return shipping. Our return policy is defined below:
- The purchaser of a Tarptent may return a new, unused Tarptent for a full refund, not including the original shipping charge, within 30 days of receipt if not satisfied.
- Returns involving more than one tent will incur a 10% restocking fee on all returned tents.
- A lightly used Tarptent shelter may be returned for a partial refund, to be determined upon examination, within 30 days of receipt if all of the following criteria are met:
a. The Tarptent is in excellent condition and has no visible wear, dirt, hair, or smell.
b. The Tarptent shelter is returned to Tarptent neatly folded and assembled in the original condition in which it was sent.
- All other returns requested outside of 30 days of receipt will be evaluated on a case by case basis. If a refund is issued, the amount refunded will depend on the condition of the returned shelter.
Please contact us BEFORE sending.
- Tarptents seam-sealed with urethane or any product other than silicone (as per the Tarptent seam-sealing video) will NOT be accepted for return. Tarptents seam-sealed by the customer will be evaluated for correct application prior to refund.
- Lightweight stakes are designed to be inserted and removed by hand and are not warrantied against breakage due to striking with feet or rocks. Returned stakes will be evaluated for wear and may not be given full credit.
How do I arrange for repair?
- Please order a repair authorization. In most cases we charge only for the return shipping.
I have a small tear in the silnylon fabric of my tent. How can I fix it myself?
Very small tears or pinholes in the roof or floor are best repaired by applying pure silicone to the wound and letting it dry. Larger tears are best repaired by coating the area with pure silicone and then gluing down a patch of siliconized ripstop nylon cut to fit the wound. Netting tears are best stitched up. Scrap siliconized ripstop nylon and no-see-um netting are available at no charge on request.
Please see our video on how to patch your silnylon tent.
My zipper no longer zips properly. How can I fix it myself?
What is seam-sealing?
Seam-sealing is the application of a liquid silicone solution to fully waterproof stitched seams in sil-nylon and sil-polyester. All seams over your shelter’s living space should be sealed with 100% SILICONE ONLY to prevent water leakage. The Tarptent Lithium series uses Dyneema® Composite Fabric and do not require seam-sealing as they are fully seam-taped from the factory.
Do Tarptents need to be seam-sealed?
- Yes for all tents other than the Lithium series! Please refer to the seam-sealing video to see the full procedure. You have several options for seam-sealing your Tarptent:
- We offer seam-sealing kits ($6-$8) containing premix silicone, and a foam brush.
- We also offer seam-sealing as a service ($35). Please note that seam-sealing is weather dependent and ordering this service may add a few days to as long as two weeks to the wait time.
- You should be able to buy the necessary materials for seam-sealing at your local hardware store. An inexpensive product that works well is GE Silicone II thinned with odorless mineral sprits or white gas. Both of which are available in most US hardware or camping stores. (Note: some “green” odorless mineral sprits, like those sold in California, will not work)
To seam-seal your tent: Set up the tent outside in a well-ventilated location. Mix two tablespoon of silicone with two tablespoons of mineral spirits or white gas and then apply the solution to the seams with a small foam brush. Add more mineral spirits if the solution gets too thick and more silicone and mineral spirits as needed to maintain about a 1:1 ratio. The goal is warm honey consistency. Avoid skin contact and breathing fumes. Allow sealant to dry for several hours, ideally overnight, until the solution is no longer sticky/gummy to the touch. Allowing the Tarptent to dry outside also allows for the odor of the seam-seal solution to dissipate.
Is one coat of seam seal sufficient or should I apply several coats?
One coat should be sufficient. Make sure to apply a liberal coat to the ridge line and/or arch pole seam as this portion will have the greatest exposure to moisture. Make sure to pay attention to the seams around the plastic line tensioners, and loops. Use a paper towel to clean up spills or wipe away excess. Darkening of the threads as they absorb the solution is normal, and a good indication that they are being well sealed.
Do I seam seal from the inside or the outside of the tent?
We recommend applying the silicone solution to seams on the outside of your shelter. The exception is when sealing a tent’s floor seams and/or the application of sealant in stripes to create a less slippery interior floor surface.
Why is using Silicone so important? Why can’t I use a different sealant or tape?
The only product that will bond permanently to silicone is silicone! For this reason, we recommend using only 100% silicone seam-sealing products.
Where can I buy Tarptents outside the US?
- Tarptent shelters are sold through our website only with the exception of a few retailers in Europe:
Germany http://www.sackundpack.de Germany https://hikerhaus.de Sweden http://backpackinglight.se
We are based entirely in the US, but ship internationally all the time. We strongly value personalized contact with our customers which we believe is best achieved by providing our products directly to you.
I’m ordering from abroad, how do I estimate the cost for shipping?
There is a shipping calculator built into the online ordering system. After you add an item to the online shopping cart, click the “CART” button at the top of the page. You will be directed to “Calculate Shipping” where the cost of shipping can be calculated.
If you click here, you can estimate the customs duties in your country. Please note that we cannot influence or predict customs processing times or charges.
Can I order extra stakes and lines?
Yes. These items are available in the webstore. Other replacement items are also available.
I want to check out a Tarptent in person before ordering. Can I come by the headquarters to see what they look like?
Of course! We are happy to have you come in and “kick the tires” on our different Tarptents. Our staff can help you with set up in the backyard and answer any questions you may have. Please contact us in advance to schedule a time.
I want a forest green Tarptent. Can I order different colors or customizations?
Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate custom orders for Tarptent shelters. Our shelters are made in bulk and we are unable to do one-off manufacturing.
Do you offer a discount on used or blemished shelters?
Yes, please look at our “Sale and Blem” website page to find discounted items.
Do you offer discounts on bulk orders?
Yes, please contact us for details/restrictions.
Manufacturing and Materials
Where are Tarptents made?
Tarptent uses globally sourced materials and manufacturing. Every shelter is designed, assembled, checked, and shipped by staff from our office in Nevada City, CA.
What are Tarptents made of?
Our tents are made from the best materials we can find and are constantly being updated as new materials become available. Our buyer’s guide discusses the fabrics we use and you are always welcome to contact us if you have a specific question(s) on our materials.
Do Tarptents come with stakes, poles, and guylines?
Yes. Every Tarptent comes with a tent bag, aluminum stakes, a stake bag, and the necessary guyline cording. Arch pole tents also include the arch pole(s), but trekking pole supported tents do not come with trekking poles. If you are not a trekking pole user, we offer optional lightweight folding subsutuite poles that can be ordered with the shelter. For some shelters, such as the Scarp 1 & 2, optional crossing poles for additional support are also available for order.
Are Tarptents fully bug-proof?
Yes, we use “no-see-um” netting which stops bugs quite a bit smaller than mosquitoes, including gnats and midges.
Are Tarptents fully waterproof?
Yes, the fabric is waterproof, however, the seams of sil-nylon and sil-polyester shelters need to be seam-sealed. We offer an easy-to-use seam-sealing kit as well as a seam-sealing service.
Do I need to use a groundsheet with my Tarptent?
Use of a groundsheet depends on the conditions you expect to encounter and your style of camping. We choose extra tough materials for floors so in most conditions a groundsheet is not required. We do also sell Tyvek groundsheets which provide extra protection and are great for cowboy camping or taking a break on, but generally are not needed unless ground conditions are exceptional sharp or abrasive. For use on very rocky ground (especially sharp volcanic rocks) and/or desert conditions where punctures and slices are possible, a groundsheet is recommended.
What size do the poles fold to?
Aluminum and carbon arch poles fold to about 18in/46cm.
Aluminum vertical poles fold to about 16in/41cm, and our carbon vertical pole folds to about 13in / 33cm.
Can I use my trekking pole in place of a Tarptent short vertical pole?
Absolutely! A trekking pole is stiff, strong and increases wind performance. Any adjustable trekking pole should work with every model. Fixed length trekking poles need to be matched to the model of the shelter. For exact heights, please check the specifications tab under each Tarptent model.
What is the difference between the solid and mesh interiors in the double walled Tarptents?
The solid interior is noticeably warmer and gives additional protection against the wind and cold. The white fabric of the solid interior does block the view when laying down in the shelter. The “no-see-um” mesh interior provides better airflow and visibility, which is why we generally recommend it unless you expect to encounter harsh weather conditions. Some users have also found solid interiors to be good for blocking blowing dust even if extra warmth is not needed.
Mesh interiors are made completely of mesh. Solid interiors have 2/3 solid, 1/3 mesh walls and solid roof panels. Partial solid interiors have 1/3 solid, 2/3 mesh walls and mesh roof panels. All interior styles have full bathtub style waterproof floors.
Product Questions and Comparisons
How do I choose one model over another?
Do the Rainbow and Double Rainbow require trekking poles?
No trekking poles are needed for either model. To use the free-standing setup feature, the Rainbow needs at least 51in (130cm) poles and the Double Rainbow needs at least 55in (140cm) poles. An additional 5cm-10cm is better for full fabric tension. Pole tip extenders can be made from PVC pipe or, alternately, aluminum trekking pole tip extenders are available in the webstore. A 6in PVC pipe extension adds 4in to the trekking pole length (since you lose 2in in the overlap).
What Tarptents are recommend for tall people (over 6ft / 183cm)
Look for our “Sleeps Tall People” bubble on our tents webstore page. This indicates the shelters that provides longer interior dimensions.
Our solo shelters best suited for tall people especially those over 6’4″ / 193cm are the Protrail, Protrail Li, Dipole 1 Li, and Rainbow.
Also keep in mind that many tall users opt for a two person shelter even for solo use, as depending on the shelter in question the weight penalty is often minor.
How should I pitch my Tarptent in a storm?
All Tarptent’s can be easily pitched fly first so your interior can stay dry when pitching in the rain. Make sure to familiarize your self with the set-up video and practice pitching in calm conditions before taking the tent out into a storm.
Firstly, in windy conditions make sure to tie/clip a guyline to your pack/tree/yourself to prevent the tent from accidentally blowing away before you get it anchored to the ground with stakes/rocks/etc. Also tuck the tent and stake bag away in a pocket to keep them safe as you complete the set up.
If you have an arch pole tent assemble your poles and struts (if applicable) and insert them into the arch sleeves, then stake/anchor the windward edge of the tent down first. For trekking pole tents, set your poles to the desired height and assemble struts (if applicable), then stake the windward edge first. It is recommend to orient the tent so that the minimum about of fabric catches the wind.
Once the windward side is staked, follow the set-up procedure described in our video. Avoid allowing the the tent to flap/flog in the wind. Allowing the the tent to flap around greatly increases the changes of damage occurring. Temporally staking corners or holding the fabric down with your pack can help avoid this.
For high winds taught and well anchored/staked guy-lines are key to stability. The less the tent moves in the wind the better. We highly recommend packing extra cording and stakes if you expect to encounter high winds. No stake is suited to every environment so consider what stakes will work well where you are going.
What is the best Tarptent for winter conditions?
The Scarp 1 & 2, StratoSpire 1, 2, and Li, and Cloudburst 3 are all 4-season capable shelters. The StratoSpire 1, 2, and Li require trekking poles or substitute poles and have larger vestibule space. The Scarp 1 & 2, with their optional crossing poles allow for easier, free-standing setup on snow. The Cloudburst 3, can sleep 3 or is roomy for two plus gear, sets-up quickly, and has an optional third center pole to support heavy snow and/or wind loads. Many of our other shelters can handle light snow loading and can be used in combination with a solid interior or liner for extra warmth and protection.
How do I clean my Tarptent
For a great video on how to clean tents please visit:
Tarptents can be hand washed in mild soap and water. We recommend Woolite® Fabric Wash. An easier way to remove most accumulated dust and grime is to set up the shelter, soak a towel in regular tap water, and then wipe down the fabric surfaces with the wet towel. Use a circular motion and rinse as necessary.
How can I avoid condensation in my tent?
Please refer to the site-selection video to better understand how to avoid condensation.
Try to avoid camping overnight in cool, damp environments such as river valleys, meadows, marshes and next to water. If possible, choose an elevated campsite with a bit of a breeze and preferably under a tree canopy.
When condensation occurs, the best you can do is to dry off the inside of your shelter as thoroughly as possible before you take it down–a sponge or pack towel is useful for that. Give your shelter a good shake before you pack it up and use snack/lunch breaks in the sun to drape the fabric over a bush, especially if you can take advantage of breezes to accelerate the drying process.
Here’s a fun little tool for playing around with dew point: http://www.dpcalc.org.
Note that the dew point temperature increases as the humidity goes up. Surfaces can actually be colder than the surrounding air—note frosty roofs and windshields on morning when the temperature never hits freezing—due to radiational cooling. That’s why it’s often best to camp under trees since the foliage traps heat and keeps your tent canopy warmer.
Is there a difference in condensation levels between a single wall and double wall Tarptent?
Condensation happens in every tent when the temperature and humidity conspire. There’s no fundamental difference between single and double wall tents with respect to condensation formation. The difference is that, in a double wall shelter, there’s a (mostly dry) fabric layer between you and where the condensation layer forms. For our hybrid single walled tents—Cloudburst 3, Rainbow, Double Rainbow—the optional liner puts a layer between you and the underside of the roof panels. For this reason, the liner is worth carrying for trips where condensation potential is high.
I lost the instruction sheet, where can I get another one?
Downloadable product instructions (PDF) for all models can be found here.
Can I find you at any local or national events?
Tarptent has a booth at the annual Pacific Crest Trail Days. We also occasionally attend ALDHA-West events. Come say hi!
What new products are Tarptent working on?
You can visit the What’s New page of our website where we post photos, reviews and information on our newest products.
You can also sign up for our email list where we will send out early announcements of new products/sales/etc. We promise to not fill your inbox with marketing, or goal is to send less than one email per month on average. You can find the sign up in the footer of our website on the bottom right.