Gear Review: Tarptent Double Moment Tent

Tarptent Double Moment
Tarptent Double Moment

Three-Season Tent
Tarptent Double Moment
$349, 3 lbs. 4 oz.

With a preference for backcountry tents that are lightweight and stable, I’m willing to sacrifice capacious living space and the convenience of freestanding models, and I’ve seen tunnel-style designs that stand up well to strong winds despite their low total weight. Intrigued by the Double Moment’s space-to-weight ratio, I took it out on a five-day backpacking trip down Paria Canyon on the Utah-Arizona border in late March and a three-day backpacking trip on the Royal Arch Loop in the Grand Canyon, to see how it would hold up.

Tarptent Double Moment
Tarptent Double Moment

A two-person, double-wall tent with two doors and vestibules, and an interior with mesh walls and a solid, fabric ceiling that can be detached from and pitched independent of the rainfly, its standout selling point is a good space-to-weight ratio: At just over three pounds, it’s a bit too heavy to be called “ultralight,” yet is certainly lightweight for two people. And the seven feet of length, plus a peak height of 45 inches, create nice headroom and living space even though the 27 square feet of floor area isn’t exceptional. It had adequate living space for sharing with a 5-foot, 10-inch friend in the Grand Canyon, and with my five-foot-tall son in Paria Canyon. The vestibules are each big enough for boots and a mid-size pack, plus sliding buckles on straps outside the doors allow you to increase vestibule space while proportionately reducing the width of your interior living space.

Tarptent Double Moment
Tarptent Double Moment

Not freestanding, it pitches using an arch pole over the tent’s peak and short, collapsible, carbon-fiber struts at each end that help give the tent its structural integrity. While you never have to remove the struts from the rainfly, they are removable and you can substitute trekking poles to shave four ounces of weight. An optional, 8-ounce pole makes the tent strong enough to handle a snow load, according to Tarptent. (I didn’t test that.) The Double Moment held up well through a night of steady rain in the Grand Canyon. But on an evening when strong gusts kept shifting direction—preventing us from pointing the tent’s foot end into the wind, which would be its most stable positioning—wind hitting the side walls bowed them in until we stacked large rocks to anchor the ends, all four corners, and the vestibules. Pitching it on dirt in wind would demand more stakes than the two end stakes that come with the tent. Vertical inside walls overhung by the rainfly ensure against rain coming in when you enter or exit (unless the rain is blowing sideways).

Tarptent Double Moment end struts.
Tarptent Double Moment end struts.

It’s kind of tedious to pitch and take down, partly because the pole sleeve is so narrow that I had to wrestle the pole through it, and partly because the guyline system that helps support both ends has to be tensioned perfectly—I found that requires some patience to get it right until you get to know it. The tent is also easier to pitch in dirt than on a flat, sandstone slab where we had to substitute rocks for stakes. The Double Moment packs away to a moderately compact 5×18 inches in its stuff sack.

With the caveat that this tent requires a little more thought and work to figure out how to pitch it effectively before you’ll pitch it quickly, it’s a good choice for people—especially tall folks—looking for some extra space while keeping their shelter weight reasonably low.

See all of my reviews of backpacking tents I like and all of my reviews of backpacking gear.

See also my stories:

10 Tricks For Making Hiking and Backpacking Easier
7 Pro Tips For Avoiding Blisters
The Simple Equation of Ultralight Backpacking: Less Weight = More Fun
Ask Me: How Do We Begin Lightening Up Our Backpacking Gear?

NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See categorized menus of all of my gear reviews at The Big Outside.

—Michael Lanza



Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by USA Today and others. I invite you to get email updates about new stories and gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box in the left sidebar, at the bottom of this post, or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.


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Leave a Comment

5 thoughts on “Gear Review: Tarptent Double Moment Tent”

  1. Thanks for the reply!
    I’ve looked around at some of the other lightweight tents that are popular now…I love my old REI half dome plus. But it’s pretty heavy when solo. So, I’m looking for a replacement for it (it goes to kids tent), that is somewhat spacious but light enough for me to take on solo trips.
    Narrowed it down to the DM, rei quarter dome, copper spur ul, and a Nemo hornet (and of course
    another half dome 2 plus).
    Out of those choices, the DM seems to be
    the best trade off of weight vs room. We looked at a quarter dome today and man it is tiny.
    Thanks again for your reply! Will enjoy reading your blog.

  2. Hi James, I do not still have this tent. I used it on the trips I described in the review and passed it along to other gear testers. The fabric is lightweight, so like a lot of tents in this category, you’d have to be somewhat careful in how to handled it and where you pitch it. As I wrote in the review, the tent bowed under strong winds in an exposed campsite in the Grand Canyon–as would some other tents of similar weight or lighter (it was extremely windy)–but it kept us dry in the rain.

    You should take a look at my “5 Tips For Buying a Backpacking Tent.”

    Good luck.

  3. Hello, I know this article was written a couple years ago, but i am looking at this tent. Having a hard time deciding between it and the Double Rainbow. Leaning towards this one. Im interested to know if you still have it, and if so, how has it served you/held up?
    How does it perform in rainy weather? Any info you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    James Dillon
    New Braunfels, TX

    • I am also decing between the double Rainbow and double Moment for two 5’8″ people.
      All the specs show the Rainbow is slightly larger- floor space, vestibule, and it even weighs less,
      BUT It seems as if the Moment has more ‘useable’ space since the side walls are a bit more vertical and it ‘seems’ like it a bit stronger than the rainbow.
      sidebar: Many of the competitors use pole hubs- these concern me from a breakage perspective-and in the case of the REI quarter dome 2017 model, its hard to stretvh the grommet over the crossmember pole

      • Hi Daev, I have not used the Double Rainbow, so I can’t give you an answer on which tent has more usable space. As the review above notes, the Double Moment’s floors are on a slider, so you can adjust floor space to vestibule space, a useful feature when you’re swapping between using it as a solo and a 2-person shelter. Yes, the side walls are steep and the headroom is good at the head end of the tent; but the steep side walls are also more vulnerable to wind. I’ve used many tents with hubbed poles and not experienced any durability issues with them. Most tents will break zippers, or possibly suffer torn fabric, before wearing out other parts like poles.

        Good luck.