When I was talking with Henry Shire about the Contrail and Rainbow shelters from Tarptent, Henry mentioned that during 2009 his company would introduce a new one-person shelter. Last week I asked Henry to tell me more about this new Tarptent. Here are the news, including a couple of pictures never published before.
Strider: Henry, you just added another shelter to your collection, right?
Henry: Yes, it’s called the Moment. We’re starting production in a few days.
Strider: Looking at the specs, it seems a good synthesis of the other two models and it has some characteristics I really appreciate in an ultralight tent: decent internal height (102 cm), a vestibule and free standing capability. What are the exact size and relative distances between floor edges and canopies?
Henry: You can have a better sense of available space and relative floor offsets from the canopies from the full ghosted views of the Moment posted on the website.
Strider: Does it have internal pockets?
Henry: Yes, on both ends.
The photos currently published in the Moment web page show a flat mesh guard, but the final production model has internal, integrated mesh guard and pockets at both ends.
Strider: What about ventilation and protection from bugs?
Henry: This other picture shows the back wall synched up from the inside for ventilation - there’s a hook and clip system for doing so. As far as bugs are concerned, please note that there’s a full mesh perimeter between all points between the canopy edge and floor edge. It’s hard to see but it’s there. Anything that looks like a gap (as in the photo above) is actually black, no-see-um mesh. There is no possible way for any bugs to enter once you zip up the mesh door
Strider: How long does it take to set the Moment up?
Henry: The Moment is the fastest, easiest setup in our product line -under 1 minute - and I think the fastest setup on the market. The only quicker setup is one of those 2-second popup shelters which really aren’t practical for backpacking (due to folded size).
Strider: Could the Moment be used for snow camping?
Henry: Yes, I think so, at least in a limited way. We will list it as “3-season” but it will certainly take some snow loading with the crossing pole and some lighter spring/fall snow without the extra pole. It has steep walls so it sheds precipitation very well.
Strider: Would it be possible to make a shorter (but not lower nor narrower!) version for small backpackers/women/kids? If yes, how much could it be lighter, assuming a floor length of 190⁄200 cm?) Would it be stable?
Henry: No, not while retaining good clearance between the floor ends and canopy edges. The best way to maintain a good gap between the floor and canopy is to push the end back. The only other way to do it is to increase the size of the arch (which then make the shelter taller, wider, and heavier). Lastly, the ends are dimensioned to accept the crossing pole for free-standing setup. Believe me, I thought long and hard about your question when I was designing it.
One further point on this question. The end struts are 18”/46cm long and the end triangle is 20”/51cm wide. Longer struts/wider triangle could be used and it would then be possible to bring the ends in closer to the floor edge. However, such struts would then fold to a longer length and no longer be practical for storage without disassembly.
The key feature of this shelter is that the ends fold up quickly (and unfold quickly) with the shelter. Than means that you insert one arch pole and 2 stakes and you’re done. No other poles to insert, assemble or lose. Lastly, having some distance between the floor ends and the canopy ends means that you can leave the end storm flaps open in all but the worst conditions. That greatly helps vent the shelter.
Strider’s comment: the Moment looks like a very useful addition to the Tarptent line. I will explain in more detail why by comparing it to another one-person shelter, the Camp Bivak mini tent, in a future article. Stay tuned!