Is the Double Rainbow Li fully waterproof?
Yes, it is fully seam-taped and fully waterproof. Dyneema® has a hydrostatic pressure rating of over 8,000 mm.
Which Dyneema fabric weights do you use?
The fly weight is 0.51 oz / sq yd
The floor weight is 1 oz / sq yd
Do I need trekking poles for general use?
Can this Tarptent be converted to free standing?
Yes, it is free-standing with trekking poles of at least 140cm or at least 130cm in conjunction with our trekking pole tip extenders. We also offer a stiff “Vertical Support Pole” (weight 4.75 oz/ 135g) which can be used horizontally in lieu of a trekking pole.
Can I use this for winter?
The interior will be cool but the structure will withstand light snow loading.
Can I stuff the Double Rainbow Li to make it smaller?
The folded strut and arch pole can be stored separately but Dyneema fabric has a lifespan directly proportional to how you treat it. Roll, don’t stuff the fabric.
Does this Tarptent accommodate tall people (over 6 ft 3 in / 190.5 cm)?
Yes, the full floor length (88in / 223 cm ) is usable without running into an end wall.
Do I need the optional condensation liner?
The liner is useful for cool, damp conditions or anywhere condensation is unavoidable.
Are there any additional pullout points for extra staking?
Yes, there are additional pullouts on the arch sleeve.
Do I need a footprint?
Use of a groundsheet depends on the conditions you expect to encounter and your style of camping. The 1-oz Dyneema flooring is tough and does not usually require a separate groundsheet as long as the ground is clear of sharp objects. However, Dyneema, like all non-stretch fabrics, is subject to puncture under extreme pressure from sharp rocks or sticks. We sell optional Tyvek groundsheets which are very tough and great for sleeping out or taking a break, but generally heavier than you need for floor protection in most conditions. A groundsheet is recommended for use on very rocky ground and desert conditions.
scerny (verified owner) –
I can’t rate this tent high enough. My favorite tent before the DR Li was my Tiger Wall Carbon 2 which with its footprint is about the same weight as the DR Li . However, the DR Li is more spacious, more comfortable, and more durable. I added a polycro footprint (from Six Moon Designs) with tyvek anchor loops (from ebay) and 1.3 mm Z-Line cord and Micro Linelocs (from Zpacks) to secure it under the tent to the 4 corner stakes. The added weight is negligible and provides good groundcover. I also added 4 guylines (also 1.3 mm Z-Line cord and Micro Linelocs) connected to the 2 loops over the pole sleeve to provide more stability in major wind. It makes for a very stable shelter even in severe weather. Plus I have the liner just in case I’m in more humid places. Its weight is also negligible, and it hardly reduces the interior height. The tent is really easy to put up. The set up video on Tarptent shows inserting the pole first and then staking it down. However, I found that staking the four corners down first and then inserting the pole is even easier. From there, it’s just a matter of quickly adjusting the lines as needed. I haven’t had to use the freestanding option with my trekking poles yet, but it’s awesome that that option is there. The only thing I would change is giving the ability to close the two upper vents. They are always open. I backpack all over the Sierras and mostly above 10K feet. When it’s really cold and windy, it would be nice to prevent those drafts from coming through the vents. Overall though, this is by far the best tent I have ever purchased. For me, it’s almost perfect in every way.
Lauren S (verified owner) –
The thoughtful design and excellent build quality have made this my favorite tent. I’ve spent a very windy night on a ridge, a rainy night on a beach, and a very humid night on a rock in a lake with surprisingly little condensation. It has performed well in all conditions. Love that you can pitch it free standing when needed. For one person it is a palace but it’s definitely a little cramped for two. However I would have that complaint with any two person backpacking tent. Overall so happy with this purchase and wouldn’t hesitate to buy another tent from this company.
Jacob (verified owner) –
My wife and I love this tent. It is light weight and fits two 25” pads. It also held up well in high winds on big frog mountain. I Highly recommend
Rocket_Dog (verified owner) –
This is an update to my initial pre-camping review on 8/11/2020. I’ve put about 10 trail nights on this tent: 5 nights on a solo backpacking trip in the Adirondacks in September 2020, and 5 nights on a backpacking trip with my wife on the AT in June 2021. We are planning another 5-6 night Adirondack backpacking trip together in October 2021.
I really like this tent, with a few minor caveats. Overall it feels really solid, I would almost say “bomber”. Very fast and easy to pitch, fits in small spaces due to short guy lines. This advantage cannot be overstated, as I’ve pitched this tent in spaces that I doubt could have fit a Zpacks Duplex (see photos for a couple of examples).
I originally purchased this tent because it hit the sweet spot for me in terms of being small and light enough to use as a solo tent (with loads of room for gear), but also large enough to use as a 2-person tent. (Yes, I realize it’s billed as a 2-person tent, but my wife and I use 25″ wide sleeping pads, so we need at least 50″ of floor width which this tent gives us. The Duplex, at only 45″ wide, was not an option for us on trips as a couple, and the Triplex is WAY too large for solo trips).
One thing I love about this tent is the minimal “fiddle factor”. When we arrived at one site on the AT, another couple had just started setting up their Zpacks Triplex tent. By the time they finished staking, guying it out, and tensioning it, we already had our Double Rainbow Li pitched, staked, our sleeping pads and bags unrolled, and we were getting started on dinner. Plus you’re unlikely to trip on a guy line during potty breaks in the night, because the guy lines are nice and short, whereas the Duplex/Triplex has long guy lines all over the place.
– Fast pitching.
– Taught, “bomber-like” stability.
– Small footprint.
– Waterproof DCF.
– Dual doors & vestibules.
– Can be made free-standing with trekking poles.
– Small/light enough for use as a “palace” solo shelter, but also large enough for 2.
– Sloping doorways means smaller vestibules and less usable space inside, so when you have a tentmate it can feel a little like the walls are closing in on you. This must have been an attempt at saving a few ounces, because it makes no sense from a design perspective as far as I can tell.
– Vents aren’t as sturdy as they should be (they don’t stay open reliably and are a little too “floppy”). Needs a more rigid but flexible insert (I think that “memory metal” they use in pop-up structures would be ideal).
– Porch mode seems a little gimmicky, with a tiny little flap of DCF that Velcros across the top where the doors meet in order to protect the inner tent from falling rain (a problem that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for those inward sloping walls).
– Not as light as a trekking pole tent (e.g. Duplex, etc.)
– Mesh pocket is wimpy and encourages items to fall out, but now they offer a “Rainbow Roost” for added storage at the peak which I have also purchased and highly recommend.
Touching on the inward sloping walls again, I think that’s what keeps this tent from being the gold standard. If the walls were vertical, that would enable you to keep the doors wide open at night without worry that a little rain might pop up and drip into the tent. If they also added trekking pole cups as an option to use as supports (like the Duplex), that would offset the weight of the added fabric by not needing the crossbar. It would also increase the volume of the vestibules and make the interior much roomier for two people. To me these are no-brainer design changes.
Overall, I will always use this tent on short solo trips or trips with my wife. If I were to do a long solo thru-hike I would probably have to consider either the Aeon Li or Zpacks Altaplex instead, if only for the added weight savings of 9-10 oz.
I was undecided at first between this and zpack duplex and I was so glad I made the right decision to get the double rainbow. It’s roomier than duplex and very easy to set up. I was able to test this in hail and rain storm and flash flood last week at Garnet Lake ( Ansel Adam Wilderness ) and it survived with flying colors. I stayed dry inside after hours of heavy rain. I could see the heavy flowing mud and water under my tent that I thought I was gonna get swept away unto the lake with the tent. But the tent remained standing and hooked to the ground with one side attached to a trekking pole. Best tent ever and best customer service.
David Cooper (verified owner) –
This is an absolutely awesome tent — the best I’ve ever owned for backpacking. It’s light, super easy to pitch, and has a small footprint. The ventilating netting at both ends works to perfection and the liner is a stoke of genius. I use a piece of ShamWow to wipe down the little condensation I’ve experienced, exit, pack up, and hit the trail. I’ve used it with trekking poles and stakes, the tent works well with either. Great job!
MT (verified owner) –
I have around 150mi on this tent so far and couldn’t be happier. I came from a pre-2019 DR, and a 2019 DR. I’m one of the (only?) lucky ones, and had leaking from the seam-tape above both of my peak vents. This was allowing dripping water into my interior during every day of a 7-day RMNP circuit. Despite this, this tent was still bomber in pea-sized hail with a few acorn chunks in an unexpected second round of storms at 10,000ft. At one point, I had 2inches of standing water surrounding the tent, could see it underneath me – a lucky perk of Dyneema, but was bone dry outside of my trickling issue. Henry and team fixed this issue with zero struggle on my end, and marks the second time their great customer service has swooped in to assist me. I’ve since taken the tent back out twice for 4-5day jaunts, and have an upcoming 5/65 that I’m excited to take it out on. I’m 5’11, and this thing is a palace. I haven’t used the liner yet, though I have it from previous DR, and I’ve had the usual condensation most mornings here on the East coast. I like the partial solid interior, as this helped a little more with sand and snow (not perfect, but better than previous), and provides more of a wind-break. My only issue isn’t really one: I was used to jamming my Nylon version into a small stuff sack with reckless abandon, but have to fold and roll the Dyneema version to give it more longevity. I carry my poles and stakes separate, so the tent still packs every bit as small. The DR has been my go-to for a while now, and I’d only change that for a DR Li. Very pleased so far.
Things I would love to see:
1. I wish the awning flap was as long as the Nylon version. Henry mentioned this was due to the Dyneema sheet sizing. I wish it all the same, as I like keeping this open in the rain when I can. I’ve thought of adding a little extra velcro to help with sag when I’m off-camber.
2. I was one of the people who used the trekking pole grommets on the Nylon Double Rainbow for some snow-load assist. I wish this option still existed on the Li, but it wouldn’t deter me from buying again.
3. Maybe a head/foot end pouch or pocket, doesn’t have to be in the mesh, and could be centered to allow for 2 persons still.
4. Larger pole-pockets/strips for the free-standing setup, handle-side. These seem a bit small, but didn’t stop me from using my poles at all.
Ellen (verified owner) –
I have struggled to find a tent that I love. This tent is nearly it. I just used this for 19 nights on the JMT and aside from a couple issues, this was the perfect tent. I own a NEMO Hornet 2P and Zpacks Duplex as well. Planning on selling the Zpacks now that I have the Double Rainbow.
Pros: Lightweight. Extremely easy to set up—perfect pitch every time, whether it is staled down or pitched with rocks. I packs the poles and tent separately, so the tent folds down nice and compact in and 8L stuff sack. Great headroom. The nice thing about having a tent made for taller people and being only 5’8” means that the end of my quilt and my head never touch the tent, no matter how much I move at night. Easy to spread out gear, sit out thunderstorms, and share the tent with another person if needed. Dries very quickly!
Cons: I couldn’t seem to get the trekking pole attachments to work to make it freestanding—the side meant for the pole handle seemed too small to fit my standard Leki cork handle trekking pole. Condensation. Not surprised, it’s something I expected. I had two nights where my quilt was pretty wet. One night where the inside of the tent sides was soaked. I did not have the liner, but plan on ordering once in stock. I am just happy it is an option unlike other dyneema tents.
Overall, I am very satisfied with the tent. I’ll take the weight increase over the Duplex for convenience. This will be my go to tent in the future (with some small modifications).
Tarn (verified owner) –
This has quickly become my favorite tent. It is very well designed and clearly built to a very high standard of quality. I used it for 470 miles of the Washington PCT, among other hikes, in a variety of weather and wind.
I’m 6’4″ with giant feet and need to sleep on a long/wide 2.5″ thick pad, so I hit the end and the top of most tents. Using the Double Rainbow Li as a solo tent I can lay down and sit up without hitting sides or top. I even fit in it decently with a second person, though being closer to one side or the other doesn’t give quite as much headroom.
Using it as a one-person tent I can fit a ton of gear in with me. The vestibules work well to fit my pack, and have allowed me to pack up everything but the tent when it’s raining.
It has handled wind up to about 25-30 mph without a problem, though I did guy out the ridge line. The solid panels on the lower part of the doors help cut the wind.
I initially thought the porch setup with the little velcro attached panels was kind of cheesy, but I’ve used it multiple times now in light rain and found it very useful. Using velcro allows the “awning” to be in a variety of positions making it a flexible solution.
As with all single wall shelters, condensation can be an issue. I’ve only had a couple nights with really bad condensation, but both of those were in temps around 35 degrees with very high levels of moisture in the air where any tent would struggle. I haven’t tried the clip-in liner yet so don’t know how well it might work.
Setup is pretty quick and easy, and I can get a taught tent pretty quickly after some practice. I do recommend bringing an extra stake to stake down the center under whichever door you will be using as it makes using the zipper a one-handed job.
There are only a few minor (to me) things I would change:
– Make the mesh pockets angled so stuff doesn’t fall out of them
– Make the pole sleeve a little larger diameter so a stronger pole could be used for high wind conditions
– Make one end of the pole sleeve closed, so you just slide the pole in, it hits that end and seats itself, and you push it up and get it under tension. Hilleberg tents have been doing this for decades.
None of these issues keep this from being my favorite tent though!
Francis Carney (verified owner) –
Finally, a Dyneema tent that comfortably fits someone 6’3″ (190.5cm). I’ve had the Duplex since it first came out, but struggled with the leaking at the head and foot due to the mesh interface design. (It’s a problem if any pressure at all is put on the head or foot; could not keep the water out.) Also tried the LightHeart Solong 6, as well as others.
The length of this tent gives me a good 6-8 extra inches on each end. A big part of this is the steep walls created by the arch-pole system. The tent feels huge inside. (Much more usable space than with an “A” frame tent.) Plenty of room for a tall man with a long inflatable pad, and a 95-lb Labrador.
I have had it out for a week in the Wind Rivers, with some minor showers. (No issues, but I will update after more experience in heavy rain.)
It packs really well, and fits horizontally in my pack. (Much easier to pack than the Stratospire Li.) I do pack the carbon-fiber poles and the stakes separately, on the outside pockets.
Setup is really quick, although you will have to readjust the stakes to get it right. The carbon fiber poles seem sturdy enough.
The “porch” setup with trekking poles was a pleasant surprise- a nice touch.
The vestibules seem substantially smaller than on the Duplex- nowhere near as much room for gear.
No problems with condensation noted.
All in all, I think Henry has knocked it out of the park with this design. Well done.
Just received my Double Rainbow Li and I had to put it on a scale to confirm the weight for myself. The specs on the web site are spot-on, and maybe even a gram or two higher than what my scale says. That’s rare in the world of outdoor gear, where some manufactures fudge their weights the way car manufacturers fudge their mileage.
I will write another review once I’ve spent a few nights in this beauty (I’m currently planning a solo 4-night trek in the Adirondacks this fall), but in the meantime I made an unboxing video complete with weigh-ins of all the components for those of you who are contemplating this tent but hesitant to pull the trigger:
arobert (verified owner) –
This tent is a superbly engineered, well-crafted work of genius. I came for the light weight but am staying for the wind-worthiness. The dyneema fabric was literally born for the wind, and the shapes and tensions of the walls cause it to bow and let the wind wash silently over it just like a sail on a boat. I’ve spent nights up on Norwegian hills where it’s windy and gusting outside, then you go inside the tent and all you hear is the wind whishing over *everything else* outside – not flapping and rustling your tent around. When it comes to rain on the other hand it is the opposite of silent, but it does keep you bone dry, and the way the seams are sealed you’ll never have to worry about them.
Now the quibbles. First, it’s trickier to tune the setup than the video leads you to believe. Each vestibule only extends fully if its two corners are JUST right, and you can’t just adjust them with the tensioners because they also affect the tautness across the tent’s width. I don’t know if some kind of system of straps could be created to allow adjusting just the tension to the vestibule side only from each corner. The second and worst problem is that the two entrances are oriented oppositely towards one another. No reason for this is given, but some reviews have speculated it’s so that two campers can sleep head to toe. I’ve yet to pitch the tent anywhere where it’s flat enough to allow this to actually happen, not that I’d want to anyway since my sleeping partner is my significant other. ;-) The result is that one sleeper ends up with the entrance and the storage pocket NOT where they’d want them to be. Worse, the opposite directions are a problem when wanting to orient the vestibule openings away from the wind (or towards a view) – you can’t do it, because rotating the tent doesn’t change the opening side!
I hope at least the entrance orientations can be fixed in the next version, or at least an option provided to have them the same way. Regardless, this tent is a keeper!
Reed Aiken (verified owner) –
At the risk of sounding like the commercial where chocolate meets peanut butter and becomes one indescribably delicious candy, so it is with the pairing of the DR with DCF – for me, an unbeatable combination.
At 6’4”, and as one who enjoys a nightly pack explosion, finding a lightweight, roomy tent was always a challenge. That is until I came across the pre-2019 version of the DR. Lightweight, roomy and easy to set up, it hit all the major targets. Love that tent.
Over the ensuing years though I got drawn into the new features offered by the 2019 DR but I also began to fall for the siren song of DCF. Ultralight, no sag, no water absorption, what was there to not like? What could be better than a DCF DR?
I should have known that Henry already had it in the works!
Been a week now since I got my DR Li and it’s everything I thought it’d be and then some. Even got to ride out a serious thunderstorm in it and right out of the box and I felt 100% secure. It is truly a confidence inspiring tent, leaving you feeling ready to comfortably handle whatever 3-season weather gets thrown your way.
The only “nit picks” are the side pockets. The pockets on my pre-2019 DR were more functional. The ones today don’t hold near as much and almost seems to be there to provide tension for the inner door to make zippering more easy. Again, just a very minor point.
Again, congratulations to Henry and Tarptent team. Excellent design, high quality execution of that design and then marrying it up with DCF really hits this one out of the park.
Kevin V. – “Lucky Strike” (verified owner) –
I’m 6′ 4″ and this tent is PERFECT!
My Double Rainbow Li Tarptent just arrived this afternoon. I was able to set it up in freestanding mode with my trekking poles in my bedroom to test the fit. I’m 6’ 4” and have been looking for a big enough UL tent for years. I’ve tried almost everything: Z Packs: Duplex and Altaplex. Big Agnes: TigerWall HV UL, and Copper Spur HV UL. Lightheart Gear SoLong6. Other than the SoLong6, none of the other tents would fit. My head and foot box of my sleeping quilt always touched both top and bottom edges of the tent wall. (*Note: I use a Therm-a-rest X-lite sleeping pad and a Sea to Summit Aeros pillow. So, that also cuts into the headroom and length of my tents).
The fit of the Double Rainbow is absolutely luxurious for a tall person. And to have double side-door entry and, double porch options and, doesn’t require a trekking pole to pitch, and is DCF, and Freestanding option with trekking poles, and includes tent stakes and all the sacks. I can’t believe I get to say “and” with respect to additional features in a tent that fits a tall person. Am I dreaming? It’s PERFECT!!! (Sorry, just having a moment here. Us tall folk have been second class citizens when it comes to decent gear choices….)
I can’t wait to get it on trail and do a complete shakedown and review in the High Sierra Snow. I have a permit for the end of this month (May 2020 – COVID permitting) to go hike Cottonwood Lakes up around 11,000’. Look for a YouTube video about this on my “Lucky Strike Hikes” YouTube channel soon.
Thank you so much!
JR M –
I’ve owned six different tents from some top-notch companies (MSR, Zpacks, Sierra Designs and Tarp tent). I consider myself an ultralight backpacker. My search for the right tent for me has been guided by a desire for light weight, single wall, options for both free standing and staked and no issues with condensation. The new Double Rainbow Li appears to be the answer.
Although I’ve only spent one night in it, this tent meets all my needs. My previous favorite was the Zpacks Duplex and this Tarptent was meant as a replacement that would solve two issues with the Zpacks; a pole in the middle of the side load doors and vestibule doors that are difficult to operate from inside the tent. It does both very well.
One feature I now appreciate that I didn’t anticipate was the wonderful head and foot room while lying down that is caused by the longitudinal arch pole.
The low weight is very impressive. I also like the solid portion of the lower doors that will eliminate wind driven rain or snow that gets under the doors.
My only complaint so far is the size of the inner mesh pockets. They are small and my phone kept falling out. But other than that, this is my dream tents.