Do I need trekking poles for general use?
Trekking poles are preferred but a 4 oz / 113 g alternate pole set is also available for moderate winds. An 8 oz / 227 g pole set is available for strong winds and snow.
Does this Tarptent accommodate tall people (over 6 ft 3 in / 190.5 cm)?
Yes, we recommend the Notch for taller folks. The design of the shelter makes it impossible to run into end walls and there is ample sit-up room. We’ve heard of folks as tall as 6’6″ (198 cm) making the Notch their home.
Can I stuff the Notch to make it smaller?
Yes, the 4 carbon fiber struts are easily removed from the fly.
Are there any additional pullout points for extra staking?
The Notch has attachments for (and ships with) apex guylines to strengthen the ridgeline. It also has mid-hem loops for tie-outs.
Will the Notch fit a long/wide sleeping pad?
Yes, the Notch can fit a 76 in x 25 in / 193 cm x 64 cm sleeping pad. Scroll through the photos above to see it in action.
Can I use this for winter?
The structure will withstand light to moderate snow loading. Opt for the partial solid interior to increase warmth and deploy the apex guylines to strengthen the ridgeline.
Are there any additional pullout points for extra staking?
Yes, there are additional pullouts on the arch sleeve and perimeter hem.
Annika (verified owner) –
You guys made an awesome tent! Thank you for this beautiful, cozy and strong home en route!
I took it on the GR54 also known as The Tour of the Encrins national park in the southern Alps of France. It was a 120 mile hike with 39,300 feet of altitude gain and loss and regardless where I bivouacked the tent never let me down. Close to rivers, higher up in the mountains, through rain and strong winds, I always felt very comfortable because I was dry even my backpack stayed dry.
I really appreciate the hight as you can pack up everything comfortably inside before you get out of the tent. That helps on a rainy morning or any other one as it is just easy to get ready. Every little detail just makes perfect sense. I love how easy it is to pitch it, to take the inner compartment out, how quickly it drys. The two pockets on the inner compartment are great to keep smaller things in them such as a pepper spray which I didn’t have to use.
My personal conclusion: I was looking forward to lie down every night and not just because I was knackered from all the hiking!
Thank’s a lot you guys.
There’s so much to love about this tent. I’ve had it for eight or nine years now and recently shopped around for a different tent because I was sure there would be something even more incredible by now – nope! This tent is still among the best!
But, I think people should know that the silnylon outer layer isn’t fully UV proof. (Maybe that’s from wear over years?) Learned that today at the height of summer, reading under it for shade at the beach for three hours. I was surprised to get a sunburn. Nothing catastrophic, just don’t think it’ll 100% protect you if you use it for shade – it’s a tent for sleeping, after all. Maybe it provides something like 80% UV protection.
Chris sewell –
My Notch has just turned 10 years old and has seen around 400 nights of use. I’ve used it from desert to alpine to the beach. Most tents last me around 4 or 5 years, but the fabric used on the Notch is still strong and waterproof. It has withstood storms with winds up to 80kph (around 50mph) and 100mm rain in ten hours. I am 1.83cm (6ft2in) tall and it still gives me room to store food, etc inside the tent, whilst the pack, boots, etc easily fit in the vestibule, leaving the other for cooking when the weather is really bad.
Spencer N (verified owner) –
I got a notch last year, and have been continually impressed by it. It has kept me dry and comfortable through massive thunderstorms, blizzards, and 30+ mph winds. It’s light, easy and quick to pitch, and big enough to keep me and my stuff protected.
My only real complaint has been that the little stash pockets near the doors have no vertical lip, meaning that stuff frequently just falls out over the course of the night.
67 yr old Navy retiree. Made 10 AT section hikes over 20 yrs covering 2k miles. Used the Notch on 6 of these trips. By far, best tent ever owned. Light and able to take high wind, storms, hail. Plenty of room for gear/comfortable and sets up quickly. I am 66 inches tall, buck 45 weight. On one AT trip, the owner of Tarptent returned my call concerning setup. Fantastic customer service!
Aaron Wilson – awilsondc –
I’ve had my Notch for a couple years now and I really love it! It’s easy to set up, although it takes a little practice to get everything perfectly taut. It holds up very well to wind and rain and has just enough room to sit up in and maneuver around easily, even being 6′ 3″. The vestibules are huge, enough that I’ve kept my friend’s gear easily under my vestibules when he only brought a bivy. This tent has everything I need and nothing I don’t for a light weight one person double wall three season tent. I’m very pleased with it and would highly recommend it.
Mark A. Bailey -Uncle PYRO (verified owner) –
I thru hiked the AT in 2017. I used the MSR Hubba, which is a great tent, but when setting it up in the rain, it was impossible to keep the interior dry. The Notch looks like it will eliminate that problem. It’s also lighter than my Hubba. I wish had know about this tent in 2017. The Notch was exactly what I was looking for, for my next adventure. I’ll follow up with another review after my 800 mile trek.
Jason Lav –
The craftsmanship of the tent is excellent (sewn in the U.S.A). It is quite evident that the tent comes from a cottage company; not mass-produced. The tent uses numerous generic accessories (clips, elastic ties, etc) instead of custom parts. If an accessory were to break, it would be easy to replace. Unfortunately, many ultralight tents use 15D or 10D fabrics to reduce weight. The Notch uses a very high-quality 30D fabric. High-tension points are well reinforced. The necessary seam sealing is easy to accomplish with the Tarptent kit.
Due to the angular architecture of the tent, the overall footprint is close to smaller two person tents. This may be an issue with very small tent sites. The tent is very easy to pack and unpack. I roll the tent up with the fly struts installed. As is often the nature with non-freestanding tents, setup can take some practice and adjustment. The initial setup is quite easy, but it some fiddling to get a perfectly taut fly. The Pitchloc line tighteners make adjustments easy. When the fly is perfectly taut it is very sturdy and the lines and geometry are a thing of beauty. Setting up this tent on rocky or uneven could be challenging.
The interior of the tent is narrow. For reference, I am 5’ 6” and weigh 145lbs. Storage inside the tent is quite limited. Being short, I can store a fleece and some clothes above my head. Storage on the sides is very limited, even with a standard sleeping pad. The two vestibules make up for limited interior storage. Sleeping bags will touch the interior wall, however, this is unlikely to be an issue with a double-wall tent.
Customer service is absolutely amazing. I had some issues with initial setup due to an a-typical configuration (my fault, not Tarptents). However, Henry was very responsive and helpful; he even sent me some custom parts to make it work. This company stands behind its product and is willing to help customers. They also provide a repair service is necessary.
I have not encountered any high winds or rain with this tent. However, it appears to be quite storm worthy. The height of the flight can be adjusted to “batten down the hatches” if need be. I have noticed some stretch in the nylon fly from morning dew. This is the natural property of wet nylon. I am curious to see how much it stretches in the rain.
The fly is attached to the interior with small clips and elastic loops. The elastic loops are fairly small gauge and may easily stretch out or break over time. While camping on decently flat, smooth ground, I noticed the interior sliding off center very easily during the night. Several mornings, I woke up to find the interior nearly touching the fly on one side. This is my only major concern with the tent.
Overall, the Tarptent Notch is a superb double-wall ultralight backpacking tent. After using the tent for 5-day backpacking trip, I remain quite pleased with it.
Bluebird (verified owner) –
This is a great tent! I have used it for over 1200 PCT miles and it is still going strong. It is super light for all the pros of a double wall tent. Also, even when it rains if you have to pack it up wet it is easy to keep the inner mesh dry — useful if it is raining all day and there’s no time to dry it out. You will not have wet nights in this tent from condensation or precip! It has held up better than a lot of my friends’ tents, no major holes or tears or repairs. It is easy to set up (just 4 stakes!!) and even when I have done a bad job it stands up to wind just fine. I will be using this tent forever and if it does break I will buy another because the Notch is amazing!
Mark Langley (verified owner) –
A lot to like here! I got this to supplement my Double Rainbow as a solo tent with a narrower footprint. I take middle schoolers on backpacking trips, so sometimes it is tough to squeeze all the tents in.
The fundamental set-up is not difficult, but the fine tuning to get all the parts – ridgeline, bottom edge, floor – all pulled tight at the same time can be finicky. I have only used it a few times so far, so maybe I’ll get it dialed. Done right, though, it is really solid. A trip a few days ago was on the Olympic Coast and we had some decent wind one night. It was rock solid with the apex lines. However, one night I tried to pitch it on the beach which was a challenge because of the amount of tension required. I piled rocks, tried tying to logs, and eventually gave up (I had other duties to attend) and moved it up off the beach where there was solid ground.
A couple modifications I would like to see: 1) Something to supplement the hook at the bottom of the vestibule door. I was in a narrow site and had to have the bottom of the fly draped over a small log. At that angle the hook would not hook and the velcro can’t hold it. I used a carabiner to keep it from flying open, but a clip or snap – maybe even where the first velcro strip is – would be useful to prevent it from pulling open. 2) All of the ribbon tabs with the line-loks should have enough room to slip 3mm p-cord through them. This would provide a possible way to reinforce or re-engineer the pitch. 3) I don’t understand the pockets. Things fall out..
This is a very good tent and and a great value at it’s weight, and worth checking out. Personally I am still not sure it will ultimately be the right tent for me (I am looking at the Rainbow, Bowfin 1, or Moment as alternatives), but that is more about meeting my specific needs, not because of the tent.
James (verified owner) –
First off, the positives. Craftsmanship is superb. Well sewn seams and a great design. After thoroughly sealing the seams, the tent and stakes and sack weighed in at 29 ounces. It snowed around an inch the first night I used this tent, and the next morning there was very little sag. This tent is VERY easy and fast to set up and to take down and pack away.
The negatives. I do not like the plastic mitten hook – grosgrain loop to fasten the rolled up vestibule door. It is a small loop and is a pain to unhook. The hook and loop system on my StratoSpire 2 is so much simpler and easy with gloves on or in the dark. Just a simple twist and the door is secure. Pull the 2 ends apart and the door is loose. My other complaint is the storage pockets. I know we are trying to save weight, but c’mon, these pockets are way to small, and not in the greatest location. My glasses fell out sometime in the night, and it was only luck that I didn’t bend the frames. It will be a easy mod for me to change the method of securing the rolled up vestibule door.
With those 2 issues fixed, I would not hesitate to give this a 5 star rating. All in all, I’m happy I purchased this tent.
How appropriate that one of the reviews for this tent was written by the man who recommended the Notch to me. I had previously used the Contrail on both my AT and PCT thru hikes and loved it. However when my boss gave me a cuben fiber tarp by another manufacturer, I decided to try it out on the CDT. I hadn’t gone more than a few hundred miles before I was missing my Contrail. After HikeOn recommended the Notch, I ordered one and Henry had it waiting for me by the time I arrived at the next town. The notch was bomb proof, and still extremely lightweight. With only 4 stake points, it was so much easier to pitch than the other ill advised tent. The notch carried me through many extreme conditions and the remainder of the CDT. Since then, I’ve used it for section hikes on the AT as well as an additional 1300 miles on the CDT. I highly recommend this tent.
I received my second Tarptent last week in the mail. I love my MoTrail but wanted to drop some more weight and size and went with the Notch. I took it for a quick one night trip last night to try it out. Awesome tent! I could not be happier with it. The ease of setup and small footprint of this tent I really like. With the dual entry and 2 vestibules I had plenty of space to organize my gear. Many thanks to all who to all who designed and put this tent together. I am still holding on to my MoTrail for when I need more room but I am very happy with my new purchase.
Michael Smith (verified owner) –
Used my new Notch on a 6 night section hike of the AT in Georgia /North Carolina September 10 – 15. I love how fast and easy it is to set up. I used it in 2 configurations…tarp with inner and tarp only. It rained a lot during the week as a hurricane approached North Carolina. The Notch kept me nice and dry. I had plenty of room in one of the vestibules for my pack, shoes, water bag, etc., and I left the second vestibule clear for entry and exit. There was plenty of room inside the inner for extra clothing, water bottle, knife, headlamp, phone, etc…to either side in the middle and above my head. This is a well made, compact, lightweight shelter that is easy to use and provides everything you need and nothing you dont need. Thanks for making a great tent!
I bought a Tarptent Notch 2 years ago to spend 2 months in the US Southwestern deserts. I really appreciated that little tent (light in my suitcase, light on the plane from France, and not taking much room!), easy to set up and take down, and really nice on photos… In Monument Valley, I event got compliments from a Navaho woman on my ‘beautiful’ tent!
I chose the interior mesh because I wanted to see the stars and cactuses and mesas… – all the wonderful sceneries of the desert surrounding me during the night, and I must say it was an incredibile experience!
Once, in Anza-Borrego desert, the wind was very strong – the forecast was 70mph; I don’t know if it really was that strong – but I had fastened my tent to heavy stones to be sure it wouldn’t fly away. All night the tent was battered by the wind – I couldn’t recognize its shape and, of course, I didn’t get a wink of sleep… I was afraid the tent would tear, because the cloth is so thin, but it held out… and now I’m eager to take my tent back to the desert again, enjoy the wilderness and my little shelter at night under the stars…
To protect the tent from the rocky soil, I had made a light groundsheet to measure; and I took the tent down every morning so that the fly wouldn’t be damaged by the scorching sun. What else? The interior mesh is a great protection from bugs… and scorpions!…
J’ai acheté une Tarptent Notch il y a 2 ans pour passer 2 mois dans les deserts du Far West. J’ai vraiment apprécié cette petite tente (légère dans ma valise et dans l’avion, et qui prend si peu de place!), facile à monter et à démonter, et très photogénique dans les paysages désertiques et les belles lumières de l’Ouest américain. A Monument Valley, j’ai même eu les compliments d’une femme Navaho en admiration devant ma ‘beautiful tent’…
J’ai choisi l’intérieur ‘mesh’, parce que je voulais voir les étoiles, les cactus et les mesas – tous ces merveilleux paysages du désert – tout autour de moi pendant la nuit, et je dois dire que cela a été une expérience inoubliable.
Une fois, dans le désert d’Anza-Borrego, le vent était très fort (plus de 100km/h, selon les prévisions – je ne sais pas s’il était vraiment aussi fort, mais j’avais attaché les cordes de ma tente à de grosses pierres pour être sûre qu’elle ne s’envole pas. Toute la nuit, la tente a été battue par les vents – je n’en reconnaissais plus la forme, et bien sûr, je n’ai pas fermé l’œil de la nuit… J’avais peur que la toile de tente se déchire, car le tissu est tellement fin, mais elle a tenu bon… et maintenant, j’ai hâte de retourner dans le désert, et de profiter de mon petit abri la nuit sous les étoiles…
Pour protéger le sol de tente, j’avais fabriqué un tapis de sol léger sur mesure; et je démontais la tente tous les matins pour que la toile ne soit pas abîmée par le soleil brûlant. Que dire d’autre? L’intérieur ‘mesh’ est une protection idéale contre les bestioles… – les scorpions, par exemple…
Mike (verified owner) –
First of all: WOW! I placed my order on a Saturday and received it that Thursday using standard shipping (was supposed to be Wednesday, but the post office sat on it for an extra day for some reason). We’re talking from CA to FL and that included the seam-sealing service! Have a trip planned in a couple months for my Notch’s maiden voyage, but like a kid on Xmas I did set it up in the backyard as soon as I got my hands on it. First impression: I think this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship ;-)
Just finished a thru-hike of the ~170 mile Cohos Trail in New Hampshire. I’m a bigger guy at 6′ 225lbs and still had plenty of room for myself, plenty of gear and clothes and a full sized rectangular pad. The dual vestibules provided ample space for my pack (some nights my buddies’ packs too) and shoes while keeping them bone dry! The Notch was amazing in both weather resistance and ease of setup. Like previously mentioned, I was able to set it up in very small openings between trees, in wet ground and on less than ideal grades in a pinch. It cut the wind and handled some heavy downpours with no problem. It packs so simply and small that it dissappeared in the outside mesh pocket of my 40L pack. Really liked the trekking pole setup too! I will continue to recommend this tent and your company to my friends and fellow hikers.
Thanks for an awesome and innovative tent.
I love my Tarptent Notch!
I just returned from a 50 mile solo hike with this tent, and it is the one piece of equipment I would not trade for any other. Here’s why:
The Notch is light! It fits easily in my pack at an unbelievable 27 ozs.
The Notch is strong! Bring on the rain and the wind. This little baby can take some punishment.
The Notch is easy to set up! Two minutes had my tent all ready for me.
The Notch is roomy! I love the length and headroom. The dual vestibules are huge, and the sheer interior gives the illusion that the walls extend all the way to the fly.
The Notch is a cut above the rest! Believe me, I know. I spent all winter ordering tents and returning them, because they did not measure up to the Notch.
The Notch feels like home! This may be a silly statement, but it is an important one to me. I want to feel comfortable, sheltered and protected in my tent. With the Notch, I do.
Many thanks to all of you at Tarptent. You are brilliant and savvy tent engineers.
Dick Vogel aka HikeOn! –
Three cheers for Henry Shires and Staff!
The Notch you have engineered and produce is an oustanding, durable, lite-weight, long-distance backpacking tent. My Notch has lasted four years and 8,000 miles of backpacking trail miles on the PCT, CDT, AZT, PNT, Canyonlands, Escalante, Capitol Reef, and Mt. Rainier (Wonderland Trail twice). My Notch endured extreme spring, summer, fall and winter-like conditions, including snow, hail, cloud bursts, high winds and scorching desert sun (without any UV rotting). The only maintenance I had to do is replace the zipper sliders which Henery sent to me on the trail at no charge. A TOTALLY EXCELLENT TENT!
Drew H. –
Henry Shires & Crew,
I completed my thru hike of the AT last year (2014) and am finally getting around to letting you know how much I loved my Notch. I squeezed it into tiny openings in thick pines, set it up in high winds and driving winds and it never let me down once. At one point I camped on top of a mountain in New Hampshire and woke to find it was pouring down rain, the worst storm I saw on the trail. Turns out I was set up in a depression and my tent was sitting in about 2 inches of water. The bottom of my Notch did not let one drop of water through and I woke up warm and dry in the morning. I’ve recommended the Stratospire 2 to some friends of mine who are planning an ADT through hike because I know it will be well made and a great tent.
Thank you for the peace of mind I got from having such a reliable sturdy tent on trail.
Drew "Mr. Jingles" H.