WORDS AND PHO­TOS BY BUDD STAN­LEY Test­ing the Treeline Out­doors Ta­ma­rack Rooftop Tent to the Ex­tremes

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If there is one thing you can say about Canada’s Arc­tic, it’s that it is a very un­for­giv­ing place that makes sur­vival the pri­mary con­cern of any­one who chooses to ven­ture into this for­bid­ding re­gion. Nine months of winter per year and some of the world’s most ex­treme con­di­tions de­mand that any­one trav­el­ling here had bet­ter be both ed­u­cated and pre­pared for the worst Mother Na­ture can de­liver.

Dur­ing the plan­ning phase of the Ti­tan Arc­tic Chal­lenge, this weighed heav­ily on our minds as we tried to wrap our heads around how to shel­ter our­selves from the el­e­ments. Oth­ers that had come be­fore us made use of mil­i­tary style can­vas ground tents. How­ever, with the ad­vent of the roof-top tent we could set up camp in a frac­tion of the time and pro­vide bet­ter weather-proof­ing.

There is no short­age of great com­pa­nies to choose from when pur­chas­ing a rooftop tent, how­ever, we found that nearly all of them hale from much hot­ter cli­mates than we planned to visit. That was un­til we came across Treeline Out­doors, an Al­berta-based com­pany that builds heavy duty roof-top tents specif­i­cally for Cana­dian en­vi­ron­ments. A quick chat on the phone con­vinced us that Treeline Out­doors were the an­swer to our shel­ter is­sue with their Ta­ma­rack two-man tent.

All of Treeline Out­doors' roof-top tents are built with 380g Poly/Cot­ton Rip-stop Can­vas that pro­vides max­i­mum shel­ter from wind and rain, and alu­minum tube frames. These Ta­ma­racks feature a light­weight alu­minum hon­ey­comb base. Each are com­pat­i­ble with Goal Zero So­lar prod­ucts with D-rings for hang­ing lights in­side, and easy mount­ing of so­lar pan­els and the as­so­ci­ated charg­ing sta­tion. Not so use­ful in the dark­ness of an Arc­tic winter, but these fea­tures will come in handy on sum­mer ex­pe­di­tions given the amount of elec­tron­ics we need to keep charged.

This new “Gen3” tent has been beefed up from pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions. Alu­minum tub­ing with 2mm wall thick­ness makes the tent both light weight and ex­tra rugged. The frame poles are equipped with con­den­sa­tion sleeves, ex­tra help­ful in the Arc­tic to prevent ic­ing. All the

tents come stan­dard with three over­sized awning win­dows that can be rolled up for un­re­stricted views, and we rec­om­mend the “Con­stel­la­tion” ver­sion that comes equipped with a win­dow panel in the roof for star view­ing from your sleep­ing bag.

The good folks over at Treeline Out­doors are proper out­doors­men and women, and that shows with the at­ten­tion to de­tails they’ve put into these tents. Sim­ple things like shoe/util­ity stor­age bags, an un­der­side util­ity net for ad­di­tional stor­age, heavy duty rub­ber latches for stor­ing heav­ier gear like fish­ing rods or pad­dles, and a Di­a­mond Rip­stop rain­fly, make the Ta­ma­rack a more ver­sa­tile unit. Large hinges con­ve­niently al­low stor­age of bed­ding in­side the tent while col­lapsed. The high den­sity 2.5” foam mat­tress is built-in and water­proof. While firm, they pro­vide an ex­cel­lent sleep­ing sur­face, even in the freez­ing con­di­tions we en­coun­tered.

Over the course of our two-week ex­pe­di­tion the tents were sub­jected to

sev­eral hun­dred kilo­me­tres of rough roads per day and con­stant de­ploy­ment in con­di­tions as low as -38°C. The frames pro­vided an ex­tremely strong struc­ture that held up against high winds and snow­fall, while the ma­te­ri­als con­quered the ex­treme con­di­tions re­mark­ably well. Our only fail­ure on the en­tire ex­pe­di­tion was some crack­ing in the outer an­nex win­dows in the cold­est tem­per­a­tures (-38) and some bent tent pegs due to the ground be­ing frozen rock hard.

De­spite con­stant snow­fall, high winds and frigidly low tem­per­a­tures, the Treeline Out­doors Ta­ma­rack’s were an ex­cel­lent life boat on the back of our Nis­san Ti­tan XD’s and pro­vided com­fort­able shel­ter with the aid of suit­able cold weather cloth­ing and sleep­ing bags.

Part Num­ber: NA Price: $3,161.00 www.tree­li­ne­out­

Rugged alu­minum frames are strong and light­weight with con­den­sa­tion cov­ers to keep the in­te­rior com­fort­able dur­ing cool nights.

Added shoe stor­age, hooks and mounts for camp­ing and out­doors equip­ment up the ver­sa­til­ity level.

Panoramic views with roll-up awnings give great vis­i­bil­ity and cool­ing in warm con­di­tions.

The Treeline Out­doors Ta­ma­rack’s were an ex­cel­lent life boat in the frigid Arc­tic cold.

Ev­ery Treeline Out­doors tent comes so­lar-ready for charg­ing sys­tems like the Goal Zero.

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