Gear Review: Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Tarn 3

Our first gear review! I’ll start off by saying I’m not getting any products for free, I bought this stuff after doing research for my personal needs and am not plugging any of the companies listed below or in future reviews.

The product I’ll be review today will be MEC’s Tarn 3 tent.

When looking for a tent I wanted something that was not to heavy, easy to set up, had enough room for a few people or a couple and gear. I took a look at MEC’s catalogue and had a few tents in mind that I wanted to look at and potentially buy. At first the Tarn was not on my radar but after finding that my store didn’t have the original tent I wanted I started looking for others. I talked to Ryan to see what kind of tent he had and he mentioned this one to me. There was a floor model set up of the Tarn 2 and after getting in it with Megan I decided to get the Tarn 3.

It has long been my belief that tents are constantly labeled as bigger than they actually are. I have a 5 man tent which I affectionately refer to as the Stewart mansion but in all honesty it sleeps 4 comfortably. Being a bigger tent it is cold and heavy and not to portable. It is also difficult to put up.

I didn’t have this problem with the Tarn. It has 3 aluminum poles, two for each side and one for the entrance way. Pole loops are conveniently color coordinated so if you’re too tired to function or to drunk to speak you can put this tent up properly. The fly has the same color coordinated loopholes so that’s not a problem either. The fly features windows and a large vent which I kept open for the entire trip. The best part of the tent was that it was warm and dry, essentials in any camping situation. It rained on Friday night and we had no problems with water getting in the tent, wicking through the walls, pooling below us or even coming in through the vent. On the morning I left I hung the fly to dry before I rolled it. Size of the tent is great, Megan and I slept very comfortable and had room for our gear bags as well. The fly also creates a vestibule that is perfect for putting your muddy or wet footwear for the night. Inside the tent there are various loopholes to hang flashlights or whatever else; you can see this from the outside in my second last photo.

I have set the tent up in the dark both times and had no problems. The biggest problem was waiting for the fly to dry after the weekend, which in the end wasn’t a problem at all because I took the rest of the camp apart while I was waiting for it to dry. I purchased the footprint for the tent as well and it kept things nice and dry on the bottom. As with any tent make sure you have the proper sleeping pad as up to 60% of your body heat may be lost to the ground while sleeping. The bag it comes with can be used with or without the poles in it and can be reduced in size to fit in your pack if you pack the poles separately.

Vital Stats

Price: $226.00 (Footprint $27)

3 Season Tent

Weight: 3.6 kg (Roughly 6.8 pounds)

Packs down to: 20 x 63cm

Capacity: 2-3 people

Fly Waterproof to 2000mm

Floor waterproof to 10000mm

Poles: DAC 7001 T6 aluminum (9mm diameter)

Area: 3.5 sq Meters

Coated with Polyurethane (fly and floor)

Comes in two colors, Driftwood (pictured) and Dijon

Overall I recommend this tent to anyone who is looking for a good tent at a reasonable price. I can’t wait to sleep in it again.



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