Over the last ten years or so I’ve probably used the Tarptent Scarp 1 more than any other tent. My original Scarp was getting a bit tatty, so when I had the opportunity to pick up a second hand unused latest version of the Scarp, I leapt at the chance. I’ve listed the main changes in the new version in another blog post, so I won’t repeat them.
I’ve been itching to try it out, so my trip to the Lakes recently provided a good opportunity to put it though its paces. As I wasn’t walking far from Brothers Water to Deepdale (four miles) and it was winter, I decided to pack the crossing poles and I was glad I did! Believe it or not, this was the first time I had used them in the wild.
My pitch was one I had used a couple of times before near the head of Deepdale, below Greenhow End. Although it’s not far from Patterdale, it has a real feeling of remoteness. I knew that some showers were due in late afternoon, so I was pitched by around 3:30pm.
In terms of pitching, the new Scarp is really no different than the older version. I had replaced the corner cord with 2.8mm MLD reflective cord, to avoid any slippage through the line locks. The main difference with the crossing poles is the new clips to attach the poles to the fly, which are a real improvement.
The biggest thing you notice about using the crossing poles is how solid the Scarp becomes. They really lock the apex of the pole arch and the corners, so it is virtually free standing. I was grateful for this stability in the early evening when the wind picked up and became very gusty. The Scarp felt rock solid. I think the double side guys also helped.
It also rained quite heavily for a couple of hours. The tent had been seam sealed by Tarptent and I’m pleased to report there was no water ingress whatsoever. One of the great things about the Scarp is it feels safe no matter the weather, which is why I used it on three of my TGO Challenges.
The biggest change between the versions is the new inner where you can adjust the width at the midpoint on both sides, so you can have as much or as little porch as you want. I pulled it out to its maximum width on one side, but there was still enough room to store my rucksack (Lightwave Ultrahike) on its side between the fly and the inner.
It was really easy to adjust the inner with a sliding buckle. On the other side, I had a normal sized porch for cooking and storage. I was a little concerned that the door material might be a bit loose and flap, but that didn’t seem to be an issue. That little bit of extra width makes a big difference in perceived roominess, especially as I had the rectangular Exped Downmat UL, which is a bit bulky.
I wasn’t hugely impressed by the new mesh pockets. I think more conventional rectangular ones would be better but they are fine for holding glasses and a torch. It’s a shame that they are not at both ends. I’ve fitted some removable cuben ones at the opposite end, so I can sleep with my head at either end.
I like the new fly and groundsheet materials and the fly colour. As I mentioned, on this brief test, they seemed very waterproof. The repositioned vents are also an improvement as occasionally the odd drop of water could be blown through the old roof vents.
One thing to note is the pitchloc struts are removeable and it’s worth tightening the securing buckles so they don’t fall out and the end material doesn’t flap. The new style waterproof fly zips ran smoothly and there’s no flap to catch, unlike the old fly.
Often second or third iterations of products run the risk of degrading them from the original functionality either by changing essential features or by adding superfluous features. I’m pleased to report that all of the changes to the Scarp have improved on the previous version and I wouldn’t reverse any of them.
Overall, I’m really pleased with the new Scarp. It’s still one of the best one man mountain tents on the market.
Disclaimer: I have no relationship with Tarptent