Scarp mods

The Scarp is probably one of the best tent designs ever. If I only had one tent, this would probably be it. The only downside is it it a bit on the heavy side if you’re worried about weight.

Before you look at the mods, you might want to look at my long term review

I thought I’d collect my ideas on modifying the Scarp 1 on a dedicated page as I have done for the Laser Competition. You’ll see that I’ve modified the mods over the years! If you want to skip the intermediate stages, go to the mod summaries at the bottom of the page.

Initial ideas

Part 1:  zip pullers on the door zips, modified  inner door tie back with cord grip and loop, hook and loop arrangement for the end vents, improved raising and securing method for the porch flysheet and internal clothes line.

Part 2: seam sealing and new guying arrangement.

Part 3: threshold cords, end guy loops, anti-slip strips.

Part 4: inner tent pocket and new venting cord.

First pitch: how it looks and an accident!

Scarp review: a first test.

Crossing pole attachment modification.

More thoughts

Some issues on seam sealing

Re-guying with 2.5mm cord

Pole arch tension system

Revised pole arch tension system

Mod summary part 1

Mod summary part 2

60 thoughts on “Scarp mods”

  1. I’m really considering buying one of these. If I flog my Akto, LC and old Space Explorer I’ll have change but then I have as much trouble actually selling stuff as a hobbit giving away a ring!

    Is there enough room for 2 blokes in it at a push, in extremis, ala mountain marathon? The LC is a joke in this respect and for one night if the weather is ok then just bearable as you can cook and chew the cud outside. A door each side and maybe a bit more space means this could be workable once or twice a year in worse weather? Do you actually prefer it to the Akto and or Comp?

    1. I think it would be a bit of a squeeze but less so than the Comp or Akto as the floor is oblong and there’s more headroom. The dimensions are on the Tarptent web site.

      Yea I do prefer it to the Akto and the Comp. It beats the Akto in just about every way for a similar weight. The Laser Comp is lighter, but I like the extra room and the stabilityof the Scarp. It is much more stable than the Comp and the Akto. I like it. If there was a stable double skin tent at or under 1kg, I would be tempted. Incidentally, you might be better to wait until the rumoured (and featured on OM Alpkit 2 man tent (1kg) comes out (or not).

  2. Thanks for that. I actually prefer the Akto to the Comp, apart from weight I think it is a much better tent, I bought the LC on a whim at a very good price.

    I don’t like the look of the Alpkit tent, from the prototype pics I think it will flap like a comp and have huge condensation issues. If I wanted to experiment I would have bought a Power Lizard when they first came out, that said I’m sure it will sell out quickly given Alpkits aggressive pricing and notoriously short production runs!

    The 2 porches on the Scarp is attractive, for normal solitary use i think I would use it like I used to share a quasar, one porch for wet sac and boots and the other to cook in. For a possible squeeze for a race although you’d sleep top to tail a door each would be great. The fact that you think it is better than an Akto in all areas is certainly food for thought.


  3. Hi robin ,just about convinced myself to get a scarp for me and dog .is it worth asking Henry to seam seal the tent or better to do it myself ?

  4. hi robin ordered mine on 24 th but told(email)that they were waiting for flys due in a weeks time ..emailed a few times since and no response..should i be worried or do you think there just to busy to repley ta peter

  5. woop woop ? just had email its heading my way…back on shift on monday but finished again at 6am friday morning…might get a night out saturday…excited

  6. SO sealing these seams i have to thin it first and if so cud you give me a quick run through how and where to seal and how to best thin it ta peter

    1. I used Silnett silicone seam sealer which you can get from an outdoors shop. Make sure you get for silicone fabrics as the ordinary sealant won’t grip. You can make your own from silicone sealer and white spirit (see Tarptent FAQ) but I couldn’t be bothered.

      The three critical areas are: the crossing pole loop, the pole arch/flysheet junction and the seams from the pole arch to the corners.

      The other thing I’ve done is to put some stripes on the inside floor of the groundsheet for grip.

  7. ta so you used the silnet silcone straight from the tube?did you use a brush or just your finger end ta peter

    1. I used the brush supplied. The new tubes have a screw cap with a brush but you would be better using a thin cheap paint brush (25-50 mm wide) from an art shop. I apply the sealant with the brush. The key is to apply a thin coat.

  8. hi seams sealed …i hope..the guy ropes are way to short any idea on how long each new corner guy measures? 3m ?? ta peter

  9. Ta so 6m should sort out the 4 corners then just need some for guys on hoop . Hope to get out for a night Saturday ta peter

  10. This looks like a great tent.
    I use a Laser Comp at the moment.
    I find it very fiddly to erect and the condensation problem is appalling.
    However I love the weight.
    What would the weight of the Scarp if you took just the pole?
    And what is the ventilation like in comparison to the LC?
    Great blog by the way!

  11. hi Robin we had our first night together yesterday ! quick nip up to crag below slight side..mist mist mist..looked out at 5 ohh yes all valleys full of brecky boots on me and dog nipped over slight side to scafell then back for rolled in from wasdale just as we were finishing brecky..ohh well walk back doen to car and home in time for school run..have posted some pickies on striding edge web page on face book..bit of frost and a little wind nothing testing but tent worked very well for me and pouch nice and quick to put up….proper test in a few weeks when i use it on walk into canmor(fisherfield) scotland peter

  12. When choosing a Scarp which type of inner should I be going for?
    There appears to be a choice between mesh and solid!
    Any pointers appreciated!
    It seems strange that you are in the process of planning at trip South only for the sun to come out up North!

    1. Personally I don’t like all mesh inners. They are draughty and don’t fully guard against condensation dripping on you. In the UK, I would always go for a solid inner. I can see some circumstances in warmer climates where there is an insect problem, where mesh inners might be more appropriate.

      It’s sunny down here as well. 🙂

  13. I’ve had a look at the Tarptent Rainbow and have read some glowing reviews.

    I believe that the material used is the same for all their range of tents?

    I wondered how waterproof the actual material used is? (3,000mm hydro head?)

    Where can you buy them in the UK and is there anywhere you can see them set up? At the moment it’s a pick n risk via other’s pictures….

    Any thoughts or contributions much appreciated?

    1. You can only buy them from the US. Waterproof qualities have been fine so far even on the groundsheet. I don’t have any experience of the Rainbow so you have to make a judgement on what you can glean from Tarptent and US users.

  14. I’m not sure on what to do.

    I like the Hilleberg Akto but it’s £400! The Laser Comp 1 is too small and the Laser 2′ price is high!

  15. I’ve just found a youtube clip of the Scarp being assembled and it pretty much sells itself!
    From the set up and its shape being similar to that of the Laser and Akto it seems better!

    If you ordered direct from Tarptent what did they charge you on shipping?


    1. I can’t remember but if you email Henry he’ll tell you. Don’t forget you’ll have to pay import duty and a handling charge this end. I can’t remember how much but the PO/Parcel Force website should help.

  16. Hi Robin,

    Nice review of the Scarp 🙂

    I had been on fence about the Scarp for months and finally took the plunge and received it in the post today (was held up in customs for a month).

    I just pitched it at home and its a cracking looking tent, I will get a chance to give it a proper test it in the Lakes in a few weeks.

    It really does look like a tent that could be used in most UK conditions.



  17. Been debating a Scarp or a Laser Comp for some time.

    Is the seam sealing easy enough to do ?

    I’m guessing from reading this blog that I should really bite the bullet and get one ordered…..

    1. Easy using some McNett silicone sealant. Just pitch it in the garden, take out the inner and away you go.

    1. I really like the Scarp

      On the pole arch I’ve sealed inside and out. On the roof seams I’ve only sealed inside.

  18. My Scarp has arrived and I’ve seam sealed it, think I might need to revisit it, as I didn’t seal the pole loop.

    Looking forwards to testing it out in the Peaks next weekend.

  19. I bought a Scarp 2 this winter and I’ve finally had a chance to use it in anger. I was lucky and got mine pre-seam sealed for some reason, however as I was to learn, it could have been done better.

    During very heavy rain we got some drops being pushed through at one of the middle crossing pole connector patches. We also got a drop through the lower end stitch of the top vent as it stretched open the fabric.

    I’ve done some extra seam sealing since, using an extra blob on the stitch to block the hole and strengthen the fabric.

    I found the nail pegs excessive and changed to titanium shepherd pegs which were more than sufficient even with a trampoline taunt pitch. I also find that hooking the end vent bungees onto the shepherd hooks to be easy without pulling out the pegs. It also means you still have a tight pitch.

    1. I’ve had to seal my Scarp twice to make sure.

      I use titanium hook pegs as well as some shorter Easton alu pins.

  20. Laser Comp owner here. The two issues bugging me is the condensation problem and headroom problem. I see the roof vents will help and the hoop is taller.

    I bike tour and the Laser Comp’s 16″ size is one important dimension to me and moving up to 20″ means I’d have to fit it differently. So, what drives the 20″ size is it the hoop pole or the struts or some other reason?

  21. Thanks Robin, I’m not a tent geek, is pitch lock struts mean the short poles at the ends? They don’t look 20″ ?

    What is involved with making it 16″ , remove them and so enormously increase pitching time? Also is it 20″ or if you can you squish to a smaller number, if so what is it.

    I was thinking of placing in my Brompton’s front pannier its internal dimension fits the Laser Comp. If I had to find 20″ then I’d have to strap it external somewhere.

    1. Yes they are the struts. They are not removable. I’ve just remeasured the packed scarp and it is 20″. You can’t make it any shorter.

  22. Thanks again Robin. I’ve got a ruler out, 20″ is a very long packed tent to me. Its the height of say my GoLite Peak and way too long for my bike panniers. So ok for me to use for backpacking and probably a good solution for camping at height with its stability, and probably leaves my Laser Comp for more campsite valley bike-touring.

    My Laser Comp is in the front bag here

    I was thinking of buying a Scarp and selling my Laser Comp to fund the Scarp but due to the size issue I’d have to keep both. A big reason I went to the Laser Comp is its packed size, it detached me from the car fully and increased my camping frequency. I might just buy the Scarp anyway as I live in USA, unfortunately I live in the same state as Henry so adds salestax 😦

    1. I can see why the scarp is not very good for bikepacking. I’ve not found the lenght to be an issue using my Mariposa, Ultrahike or Ohm. It is quite slim, so fits in a side pocket without too much bother. Removing the end struts on the Laser Comp means the tent can be compressed even futher if the poles and struts are stored seperately.

  23. So that opens a different topic. I look at the Scarp1 and its 20″x4″ and then when I look at simply adding 1″ wider package for a Scarp2. To a backpacker that’s adding 16oz / 453g on the back and noticeable but to a cyclist its a tiny % increase (of the order of 0.5%) to the total mass the cyclist has to propel. 20″ length makes it an external strap-down type package and that allows it go slightly wider.

    FYI for backpacking my pack choice is GoLite Jam, the Peak could just about handle the Laser Comp and the Jam if the Scarp is external will be ample.

  24. I’m doubting between a scarp 1 or 2. I’m planning on using it solo but it’s roomier and if someone joins me, it’s easy. Is it worth the extra weight and is it also good as a single tent (the scarp 2)?

    1. I think the Scarp 1 is a bit small to be comfortable for two. Perhaps for one night or in an emergency. The Scarp 2 (which I don’t own) is very roomy but perhaps too big for a solo tent.

  25. I have only used my Scarp 1 once. One of the problems I have with it is carrying the dam thing. The short poles in the fly sheet make it almost impossible to get it down to a manageable size. I thought the Akto was bad enough ! Any suggestions please ?

    1. I’m afraid you are stuck with the length as the rods are not removable. Overall I’ve found it less bulky than the Akto as the materials are lighter. Mine fits neatly in the side pocket of my GG Mariposa, so I’ve not found it a problem.

  26. You have an awesomely thorough list of scarp mods! My question is, are there any other changes you have made to it that aren’t listed currently? I have a scarp 2 and am about to put some of your mods into action.

  27. Hi Robin,
    Can you offer any comments on the 2016 version of the Scarp 1 ?
    I’d value your input as I am really interested having read all your comments and others albeit with the original version.
    Also what would you recommend accessories wise ?

    1. Can’t really comment on the latest version as I don’t know what’s changed other than a revised inner. TBH the original inner is plenty big enough for me. Probably worth getting the crossing poles if you are considering winter or high mountain use. Swapping the corner guys to 3mm is worth it to prevent slippage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

another backpacking blog

%d bloggers like this: