Tarptent Double Rainbow Review – Ultimate Lightweight Shelter?

Lightweight, durable, and spacious, the Tarptent Double Rainbow is a top choice for backpackers seeking reliable and versatile shelter.
Tarptent Double Rainbow

Tarptent Double Rainbow

Uncover the Perfect Balance of Weight, Comfort, and Durability in the Tarptent Double Rainbow
The Tarptent Double Rainbow is a versatile and lightweight tent that offers excellent ventilation, easy setup, and durability, making it ideal for three-season backpacking.


Weather Resistance
Space & Livability
Weight & Packability
Durability & Build Quality
Ventilation & Condensation Management


  • Lightweight design
  • Easy setup
  • Spacious interior
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Durable construction


  • Single-wall design condensation
  • Limited insulation for cold weather
  • Higher price point
  • Stake dependency for stability


Brief Overview

The Tarptent Double Rainbow is a lightweight, versatile two-person tent designed for backpackers who prioritize a balance of weight and comfort. Renowned for its simple setup and robust construction, this tent is a popular choice among avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its design caters to those who need a reliable shelter for multi-day trekking adventures, offering ample space without adding unnecessary weight to your pack.

Initial Impressions and Context of Testing

Upon unboxing the Tarptent Double Rainbow, the first thing that strikes you is its compactness and light weight. Weighing in at just 2 pounds 10 ounces, this tent is impressively light for its size. The sleek design and quality of the materials immediately suggest durability and practicality.

Setting up the tent is straightforward, thanks to the single-pole design which simplifies the process even in less-than-ideal conditions. The tent was tested over several nights in various environments, including a high-altitude alpine region and a coastal forest. These diverse settings provided a comprehensive understanding of the tent’s performance across different weather conditions and terrains.

From the first night, it was clear that the Tarptent Double Rainbow was designed with the user in mind. The generous interior space allowed for comfortable sleeping arrangements and storage, while the vestibules provided additional room for gear, keeping everything organized and within reach. This tent promises to be a reliable companion for those looking to explore the great outdoors without being weighed down by cumbersome gear.

Technical Specifications

Key Features and Technology

The Tarptent Double Rainbow is packed with innovative features designed to enhance the backpacking experience. Some of the standout elements include:

  • Single-Pole Design: Simplifies setup and takedown, making it quick and easy even in challenging conditions.
  • Dual Vestibules: Provide extra storage space for gear, ensuring that the main living area remains uncluttered.
  • Integrated Rainfly: Offers seamless protection from the elements without the need for an additional cover.

Design and Materials

The Tarptent Double Rainbow is crafted with high-quality materials that ensure durability and performance:

  • Fabric: Made from 30D silnylon, the tent fabric is lightweight yet strong, offering excellent weather resistance and longevity.
  • Poles: Constructed from lightweight aluminum, the single-pole structure provides sturdy support while keeping the overall weight minimal.
  • Floor: The floor is made from a 30D silnylon bathtub-style design, which helps prevent water ingress during wet conditions.

Dimensions and Weight

The tent is designed to comfortably accommodate two people while maintaining a lightweight profile:

  • Interior Floor Area: 30.6 square feet (2.8 square meters), providing ample room for two sleeping pads.
  • Peak Height: 39 inches (99 cm), allowing for a comfortable sitting height.
  • Vestibule Area: Each vestibule offers an additional 10.5 square feet (0.97 square meters) of space for gear storage.
  • Packed Weight: 2 pounds 10 ounces (1.19 kg), making it an ideal choice for lightweight backpacking.

Ventilation and Weather Protection

Ventilation is crucial for preventing condensation inside the tent, and the Double Rainbow excels in this area:

  • Mesh Panels: Large mesh panels on the doors and ceiling provide excellent airflow, reducing the risk of condensation buildup.
  • Rainfly: The integrated rainfly extends over the tent, ensuring full coverage and protection from rain and wind.
  • Stake Options: The tent can be securely anchored with multiple stake options, ensuring stability in various weather conditions.

Additional Features

The Tarptent Double Rainbow also includes several practical features to enhance the camping experience:

  • Entry and Exit: Dual side-entry doors make it easy for both occupants to enter and exit without disturbing each other.
  • Interior Pockets: Multiple interior pockets provide convenient storage for small items like headlamps, phones, and maps.
  • Optional Liner: An optional clip-in liner is available to add an extra layer of insulation and protection against condensation.

These technical specifications highlight the Tarptent Double Rainbow’s thoughtful design and attention to detail, making it a top choice for serious backpackers seeking a reliable and lightweight shelter.

Performance Evaluation

Fabric Performance


The Tarptent Double Rainbow excels in breathability, thanks to its large mesh panels and strategic ventilation design. The extensive mesh coverage on the doors and upper sections of the tent allows for excellent airflow, reducing the likelihood of condensation buildup. During testing in a humid coastal forest, the tent maintained a comfortable interior climate, even with two occupants, preventing the clammy feeling often associated with less breathable shelters.


Constructed from high-quality 30D silnylon, the Tarptent Double Rainbow offers impressive waterproofing capabilities. The integrated rainfly and the bathtub-style floor design effectively keep water out, ensuring a dry sleeping area even during heavy downpours. In our alpine region test, the tent withstood a night of intense rain without any leakage, proving its reliability in wet conditions.


Durability is a key strength of the Double Rainbow. The silnylon fabric, combined with robust aluminum poles, provides a sturdy structure that can withstand the rigors of extended use. After several nights of use in rocky and wooded environments, the tent showed no signs of wear and tear, with the materials holding up exceptionally well against abrasive surfaces and constant handling.

Weather Resistance

Wind Performance

The Tarptent Double Rainbow is designed to handle windy conditions effectively. The aerodynamic shape and low-profile design minimize wind resistance, while the multiple stake-out points ensure stability. During a night in a high-wind alpine environment, the tent remained secure and intact, offering reliable protection against strong gusts.

Rain and Snow Performance

In addition to excelling in rain, the Double Rainbow also performs well in light snow. The sloped design prevents snow accumulation on the roof, and the waterproof materials ensure that melting snow does not seep through. This makes the tent versatile for use in various seasonal conditions.

Practical Features

Ease of Setup

The single-pole design significantly simplifies the setup process. It takes just a few minutes to erect the tent, making it convenient for setting up camp quickly, even after a long day of hiking. This feature was particularly appreciated during a late arrival at a campsite in fading light, where the straightforward setup proved invaluable.

Storage and Organization

With dual vestibules and multiple interior pockets, the Double Rainbow offers ample storage options for organizing gear. The vestibules are spacious enough to store backpacks, boots, and other equipment, keeping the interior clutter-free. The interior pockets are ideal for stashing smaller items like headlamps, maps, and snacks, ensuring they are easily accessible throughout the night.

Ventilation Options

The tent’s ventilation options enhance comfort during warmer weather. The mesh panels can be fully opened to maximize airflow, while the adjustable rainfly allows for varying degrees of ventilation depending on the weather conditions. This adaptability was beneficial during a warm night in the coastal forest, where increased airflow made a noticeable difference in comfort.

The Tarptent Double Rainbow’s performance in diverse conditions and its thoughtful practical features make it a standout choice for backpackers seeking a reliable and versatile tent. Its excellent fabric performance, weather resistance, and user-friendly features contribute to an enhanced camping experience, whether in rain, wind, or shine.

Interior Space and Comfort

Sizing and Space

Interior Space

The Tarptent Double Rainbow is designed to provide ample space for two occupants. With an interior floor area of 30.6 square feet, the tent comfortably accommodates two sleeping pads side by side, allowing each occupant enough room to move around without feeling cramped. The peak height of 39 inches provides sufficient headroom for sitting up, making activities like changing clothes or organizing gear more convenient.

Vestibule Space

The dual vestibules add to the tent’s practicality by offering additional storage space outside the main living area. Each vestibule provides 10.5 square feet of space, which is perfect for keeping backpacks, boots, and other gear dry and out of the sleeping area. This feature enhances overall comfort by keeping the interior clutter-free and maximizing usable space.

Comfort During Use

Sleeping Comfort

The Double Rainbow’s design ensures a comfortable sleeping experience. The bathtub-style floor keeps water out, preventing dampness from seeping in during wet conditions. This, combined with the tent’s excellent ventilation, ensures a dry and comfortable sleeping environment. During our tests, even after a long hike in humid conditions, the tent remained well-ventilated and dry inside, contributing to a restful night’s sleep.

Ventilation and Airflow

The tent’s large mesh panels play a significant role in maintaining a comfortable interior climate. By allowing ample airflow, these panels reduce the risk of condensation and provide a cooling effect during warmer nights. The adjustable rainfly can be fine-tuned to increase ventilation or provide additional protection, depending on the weather, adding to the tent’s versatility and comfort.

Ease of Access

With dual side-entry doors, the Double Rainbow makes it easy for both occupants to enter and exit the tent without disturbing each other. This feature is particularly beneficial during nighttime bathroom breaks or when accessing gear stored in the vestibules. The zippers on the doors operate smoothly and are designed to be snag-free, enhancing the overall user experience.

Practical Features Enhancing Comfort

Interior Pockets and Organization

The inclusion of multiple interior pockets allows for better organization of small items. These pockets are strategically placed for easy access, ensuring that essentials like headlamps, phones, and maps are within reach when needed. This thoughtful design feature helps keep the sleeping area tidy and organized.

Adjustability and Customization

The tent’s adjustable features, such as the rainfly and stake-out points, allow users to customize the setup according to their comfort needs and weather conditions. This adaptability ensures that the tent can provide optimal comfort in a variety of environments, from humid coastal areas to breezy alpine regions.

In summary, the Tarptent Double Rainbow excels in providing a comfortable and spacious shelter for two people. Its thoughtful design, ample ventilation, and practical features make it a reliable and comfortable choice for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re settling in for a night under the stars after a long day of hiking or seeking refuge from unexpected weather, this tent offers the comfort and convenience needed for a pleasant outdoor experience.

Pros and Cons


Lightweight Design One of the most significant advantages of the Tarptent Double Rainbow is its lightweight design. Weighing just 2 pounds 10 ounces, it is ideal for backpackers who need to minimize their pack weight without sacrificing comfort or functionality. This makes long hikes more manageable and reduces overall fatigue.

Easy Setup The single-pole design simplifies the setup process, allowing you to pitch the tent quickly, even in challenging conditions. This is especially beneficial when arriving at a campsite late in the day or during inclement weather.

Spacious Interior The generous interior space, including dual vestibules, provides ample room for two occupants and their gear. This ensures a comfortable sleeping arrangement and keeps the main living area free from clutter.

Excellent Ventilation The large mesh panels and adjustable rainfly offer superb ventilation, reducing condensation and maintaining a comfortable interior climate in various weather conditions. This feature enhances comfort during warm and humid nights.

Durability Constructed with high-quality silnylon fabric and robust aluminum poles, the Double Rainbow is built to last. It withstands the rigors of outdoor use, from rocky terrains to dense forests, ensuring longevity and reliability.


Single-Wall Design While the single-wall design contributes to the tent’s lightweight nature, it can also lead to condensation issues in very humid or cold conditions. Despite excellent ventilation, managing moisture buildup can still be challenging in certain environments.

Limited Insulation The tent’s focus on breathability and ventilation can result in less insulation during cold weather. It may not be the best choice for winter camping or extremely cold environments where additional warmth is required.

Price Point The Tarptent Double Rainbow comes at a premium price compared to some other two-person tents on the market. While it offers excellent features and performance, budget-conscious hikers might find the cost a bit steep.

Stake Dependency The tent’s stability relies heavily on proper staking. In rocky or hard-packed ground where stakes are difficult to secure, maintaining optimal stability can be challenging. This might require additional accessories or creative anchoring solutions.

In conclusion, the Tarptent Double Rainbow offers a range of benefits, particularly for lightweight backpacking and versatile weather conditions. However, potential buyers should consider the minor drawbacks, such as condensation management and higher price, to determine if it aligns with their specific needs and preferences.

Comparative Analysis

When comparing the Tarptent Double Rainbow to the REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ and the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL, several key differences and similarities emerge, offering a clearer picture of each tent’s strengths and ideal use cases.

The REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ is known for its spacious interior and robust build. Weighing more than the Double Rainbow, it offers more headroom and additional interior space, making it an excellent choice for those who prioritize comfort and space over weight. The Half Dome SL 2+ also features a dual-door and dual-vestibule design, similar to the Double Rainbow, enhancing convenience for two occupants. However, its heavier weight may be a drawback for ultralight backpackers who need to minimize their pack load.

On the other hand, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL is a strong competitor in the ultralight category, weighing even less than the Double Rainbow. It features a semi-freestanding design and uses advanced materials to achieve a lower weight while still providing ample space for two people. The Tiger Wall UL also excels in ventilation and weather resistance, similar to the Double Rainbow. However, the single-pole setup of the Double Rainbow offers an edge in simplicity and quick setup, which can be crucial in adverse weather conditions or when arriving at a campsite late.

In conclusion, the Tarptent Double Rainbow strikes a balance between the spacious comfort of the REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ and the ultralight efficiency of the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL. Its easy setup, excellent ventilation, and lightweight design make it a versatile option for backpackers seeking both convenience and performance.


The Tarptent Double Rainbow stands out as a top-tier choice for backpackers who seek a balance of lightweight design, spaciousness, and durability. Its easy setup, excellent ventilation, and thoughtful features make it an exceptional companion for a variety of outdoor adventures. While it may face competition from tents like the REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ in terms of interior space and from the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL in terms of ultralight efficiency, the Double Rainbow offers a unique combination of simplicity, comfort, and reliability.

For those who prioritize a lightweight shelter that doesn’t compromise on essential features, the Tarptent Double Rainbow is well worth the investment. It is best suited for three-season backpacking trips where weight and weather resistance are crucial, making it a reliable and versatile choice for serious outdoor enthusiasts.

Further reading