The Vault Regulars

Monday, November 1, 2010

Scarp 2 first impressions

This post is not a review of the Tarptent Scarp 2 it is just my first impressions. To do a review i need to take it on the hill and that won’t be happening for 2 weeks due to other commitments.
First of all what has it cost us.
Tent cost    £242.39
Shipping to UK    £29.06
Vat and handling by UK Parcelforce    £33.47
Total cost   £304.92p

What does it weigh.
The Tent which includes the solid interior, bag, single arch pole and 6 pegs with bag. 1.737kg. So not much difference between this and my Vaude Odyssee Winter tent.
If you don’t need to use the cross over 4 season poles, 22 grams can be deducted from the above weight as the pole straps can be removed from the fly.
The 2 cross over poles weigh  479 gr.

Reading the instructions i found out that i had to seal all the seams prior to use. I admit to not being very impressed with this and thought i might make a mess of it. I also had to go and buy a tube of Silicon and some white spirit.
In retrospect, now that i have done it, and i have only done the outside, it wasn’t that important an issue as it’s not that obvious, but while i was doing it, i hated it and cursed Tarptent for not doing the job professionally.
Tarptent say to apply the sealant with a foam pad but i found it easier and quicker just to use my finger.
It took a couple of hours in total, due to the fact that i couldn’t put the tent up outside because of the rain and high winds so it had to be done in the house with the windows open for ventilation.
Eventually i have now managed to put the new Scarp 2 up in the garden.
The first and in some ways one of the most important things is the time it takes to put up. It took me about a minute and a half, and then another minute just making adjustments.
I was amazed at just how easy it was to erect. 1 pole and 6 x 200mm Easton pegs.
The corner posts and the vent posts, 10 in total, remain fixed into the tent and once it’s pegged out it’s just a matter of adjusting the pole positions and line tensions.

The flysheet does go down to the ground unlike it’s predecessor and funnily enough the green tinge to the material that i liked indoors has now changed to silver outdoors. Quite bizarre.
Opening one of the 2 doors gives access to a small porch area and the same can be found on the opposite side. Good to have 2 doors and porches and will also aid ventilation.

The floor area measures 218 cm long x 132 cm wide. 2.9 sq, metres in total. The height is 114cm and it is adequate. There is plenty of room for 2 tall people plus all your gear. No need to have your rucksack stored in the porch if you don’t want to, there’s enough room inside.
Photo above shows Sheila sat down on the groundsheet, showing plenty of headroom space.
And below the space sideways and partially lengthways.

Ventilation has been included with a roof vent on either side of the ridge which has internal elasticated clips that maintain the opening of the vent. Also zip vents at either end of the lower wall.

The first thing i don’t like are the zips on the lower vents. They do not lock and when you put tension on the corners of the tent the zips undo. A zip closure like the ones on the main doors would help maintain material tension or just better zips.
The outer doors are held open by velcro and the inner doors by elastic. Why there are 2 different methods of retention i know not, but i will be changing the elastic tie to velcro.
On the inside, sadly there is no storage apart from 2 very small pockets which are a bit pointless i think. I would have liked a mesh pocket on either side or at the top and bottom.
Above the internal door zips on both sides there is a D ring. I presume that these are for a cord to be fixed between the two for hanging wet gear on, but thats just a guess as there is nothing in the instructions to explain any different. If anyone has a better idea then i would be pleased to know.

 And also under the groundsheet on both sides, adjacent to the door are 2 ribbon loops. I am at a loss to explain these at the moment. You could attach cords to them and peg down the groundsheet maybe?
Note added 26.12.2011. The loops are shown on a video below at 0.55 seconds.
Thanks to Aushiker for the Information. 

On the inner ridge there is a clip for a light.
The groundsheet is good quality Silicon/Nylon, it looks the same material as the fly but black and thankfully there are no seams in it. The bathtub sides are 100mm+ high. It’s quite slippery material and the instructions suggest that it would be a good idea to apply some silicon beads to prevent the sleeping mat from moving. I havn’t done this as yet. 

On the day of pitching it was breezy and it was very noticeable that the outer touched the inner quite a bit. There is quite an expanse of unsupported material on the S2. That means when it’s a blustery day it is going to need some additional support.
Without using the 4 season poles (which are in the picture below) i suggest the walking pole method of support, would be a necessity. We don’t use walking poles so for this we will have to come up with another similar idea. Or buy walking poles God forbid!

Packing up the tent was a bit awkward i found, due to the attached poles. Getting a neat package was difficult and it will take a bit of getting used to especially if it’s wet. I might try removing the inner and giving it a go that way.

Overall we are pleased with it. It’s bigger in reality than we expected and we look forward to giving it a try in a couple of weeks. A review will follow. 

Thanks to Robin Evans AKA blogpackinglight and Martin Rye AKA Summit and Valley for their mods listing which i have taken note off, cheers guys.


selfpowered said...

a great 'first impressions', thanks very much. Am right on the point of deciding about this over the tried and true TN super solar 2.2, so maybe i;ll hold off just a bit longer! Bon voyage, looks good so far

AlanR said...

Hi David,
If the Scarp 1 is anything to go by then the S2 should be a good buy. I have had a look at a TN SS2.2 and it's the usual TN quality kit.

markswalkingblog said...

Alan - good post, with some nice detailed photos.

I fail to see why Tarpent and some other manufacturers don't seal the seams. Is there some technical reasons or is it just to keep costs down ? I just think that if it is not for technical reasons,it is just plain sloppy business practice, that your customer has to finish the tent off for you.

AlanR said...

Hi Mark,
Tarptent are only a small company and maybe the equipment needed to do the job is too expensive.
For me the feeling that i have in some ways made it second hand now that i have modified the original is a little disappointing.
Also if i decide to sell it at some point in the future, will this have a detrimental effect on the price. Who knows.
I'm still glad i chose it though.

markswalkingblog said...

You may have a valid reason for machine sealing but what about a human being doing it...
I am glad you like the tent- it has had some good reviews ( well Scarp 1).

AlanR said...

What ever the reason is i'm sure Henry will tell me if i email him. When i do a full review hopefully i will have an answer and all will be reveled. But i agree with you that it's not right.

-maria- said...

Nice looking tent, this too! The double entry option is really nice if you are two. And good internal space for two.

Markswalkingblog said...

maybe it was a bit strong to say sloppy, but I just think that this is a process a user could easily mess up and should be done at the factory. Enough said - I do actually think that this is a good tent. Look forward to your review have fun in it.

AlanR said...

Hi Maria,
Yes,this is the first tent i have had with 2 doors. I am looking forward to having a good undisturbed nights sleep.

I couldn't agree more and i am looking forward to doing the full review. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

On seam sealing, to be fair to Tarptent, other manufacturers like Terra Nova don't seam seal silnylon tents. They can't be sealed like PU coated tents. The Scarp has more vulnerable seams than the Laser Comp. The Comp has a pole hood to cover the arch (a bit of a pain!) and the only other seams are at the ends of the tent. The downside of this structure is that it is difficult to get a taut pitch.

The Scarp has two long seams on either side of the tent stretching to the ends to ensure a taut pitch, which need to be sealed. The pole arch is also vulnerable, particularly around the crossing pole webbing loop. Once these are sealed, it is water tight. I think the only real design flaw is that the crossing pole loop wicks water to the inside of the tent. Once this is sealed with a bit of silicone sealant, it's water tight. The other seams are easy to seal with a bit of McNett silicone sealant (use a thin brush)or you can make your own.

My Duomid was supplied with a tube of McNett sealant.

AlanR said...

Thanks Robin.
I have just used a GE silicon as suggested by Tarptent and thinned 1-2 with white spirit. It only cost £2.50 from my local hardware store for the Silicon tube. I cannot complain at that.
On the other hand i do agree with Marks comment that if WE can do it then Tarptent could do it. But as i replied to Mark, i don’t know why Tarptent or Terra Nova for that matter don’t finish it off.
Like i posted, i now feel as though i have a second hand tent rather than a pristine one which is a little bit disappointing.
Some people won’t bother about it i suppose.

Mac E said...

That's a very spacious tent given how little it weighs, should be a good one.

Regarding seam sealing I think I read that a big part of the problem is the amount of space required for a manufacturer to set up each and every tent to seam seal them. Some will seal your tent if required at a price but I imagine it's something that needs re-doing at some point so you're probably as well doing it yourself from the start.


AlanR said...

Hi Richard,
It certainly is spacious.
You may be right about the sealing issue but the offer to seal it at the manufacturers is not offered by Tarptent as far as i can see.
Other manufacturers of Silicon nylons do seal them, so it’s not a technical issue and i wouldn’t have thought space was a problem in Nevada City.
It should certainly dry quick anyway.

Mac E said...

No Tarptent don't offer it, I can't remember where I saw it, perhaps MLD.

Unknown said...

That fellow is leviathan! Take a 42" Plasma and a Blu-Ray player and you'll be living in a palace on the hill. Looks nice Alan and I hope you like it. What's the HH rating for the groundsheet and the fly...?

AlanR said...

Richard, Maz.
Sorry for delay in reply. Have been to Seathwaite in the Lakes, so have not had internet.

I’ll try and sneak the TV and player in Sheila’s rucksack when she’s not looking.
Not sure what the HH rating is Maz, Tarptent don’t have it on the website as far as i can see, but it’s a 4 season tent and as you will be aware from other blogs the material certainly stands up well in torrential rain.
Just seen your l’al lads picture. Congrats to you all BTW

Сергій Сосницький said...

Hi Alan,
I also bought a Scarp 2 recently. Mine weights somewhere in 1.6-1.7 kg range. I guess, the weights stated at tarptent site are for the previous version.
And yes, the colour is really funny. It is grey, but can be warmish, greenish, blueish or silver depending on the lighting and surrounding objects.
I sealed the seams indoors with rainfly lying on the floor, one seam after another with some time in between to let them dry. I dissolved silicone before applying and after drying the result of my work is almost invisible. So, I am afraid that may be I had dissolved it too much. I have used the tent only once now, and there was no rain that night.

AlanR said...

Hi Sergei,
Thanks for your comment.
I think the weight on Tarptent is for the previous version and also the mesh interior. I bought mine with the solid interior.
I don’t think you have done anything wrong with the sealant. Mine too is almost invisible and that is why i posted that having done it myself it is no big deal.
Did you put the sealant on the inside and outside. I have only done the outside.

Сергій Сосницький said...

Yes, I have sealed it from both sides.

Mine has a mesh interior and weights 1.61kg without the removable stuff which is supposed to hold the crossing poles.

AlanR said...

Hi Sergai,
Ok, the weather is so bad here in Uk at the moment i will find the time to do the inside also.
Have you any idea what the loops of ribbon are for on the underneath of the groundsheet. (photograph 3rd from bottom)
I thought that they might be for a protection sheet but they are the wrong way round.?

Сергій Сосницький said...

No, I don't know what are these.

Mac E said...

Regarding the loops on the groundsheet, I wonder if there should be clips on the main pole tension band/tape to hook the inner back like you can on the Tarptent Moment.

AlanR said...

Richard, You are the only one who has come up with a suggestion so i will look at the moment in a moment so to speak. Cheers.

AlanR said...

I have checked out quite a few “Moment” video’s and i think you are correct.
It would seem that the loops on the underside of the groundsheet are there so that the groundsheet can be tensioned at both sides.
Maybe there should be some clips or suchlike on the tape that runs across the floor but there is nothing on mine. Anyway, thanks for bringing this point to my attention you get a gold star today.

Anonymous said...

Hi plan to buy a scarp 1 paypal is giving $1.5 can't find rate yet for my card.can I ask which you paid with ?

AlanR said...

Sorry for delay in reply, Been to Lakes and had no internet.
I bought my Scarp with Mastercard.
When you order it make sure that you specify the right carrier. ie International, for UK.
I inadvertently picked the wrong one and pressed return just as i realised it was the wrong one i had chosen.
All the best with your choice.

Aushiker said...

G'day. Great first impressions review. Much appreciated. I have just received my Scarp 1 (thanks Santa) and had similar questions to you, particularly about the loops on the underside of the floor. Do you by any chance ever come up with a definitive answer why they are there? Thanks. Andrew

Aushiker said...

To add to my previous post, I may have actually found the answer to my question. Taking a look at Franco's video (Australian Tarptent representative) you can see how he uses the loops at around 0.50 seconds mark in the video.

AlanR said...

Hi Andrew,
Merry Christmas.
I admit to not finding what the loops were for. Having watched the video i can see now. I have never cooked inside, only in the open doorway so i have never used it.
The Scarp 1 is a fantastic piece of kit, i am sure you will enjoy it. i have just loaned out our Scarp 2 to some seasoned long distance walkers so i wait to see what they think of it.
My TT Moment is superb too.

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