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Tarptent Cloudburst 3: Initial Impressions

TarpTent Cloudburst 3 - Pitched in the wilds of my backyard

Background and General Stuff

As a preface: I really like shelters.  I have two tarps, a pyramid, and two tents now!  I find the designs fascinating.  How to achieve functionality within your design parameters, how to transfer loads through a tensile structure into the ground, how to balance protection, space, weight, and features.  I could spend all day talking about this stuff. Yes, I am an engineer.  Anyways, on to the stuff and things!

I was given this most recent shelter, a TarpTent Cloudburst 3, as a gift this past Christmas.  TarpTent has a lot of fantastic shelters at good weights, at great prices, and they are high quality. Check out their website here.  This is going to be the shelter that we (my wife Lauren, my dog Obi, and I) use for backpacking. We have an older REI Halfdome T2+ that we really like for car camping.  It is easy to use, comfortable, and we got it as a wedding gift from my uncle.  However, our Halfdome is heavy (the newer models are apparently significantly lighter) .  At least, it is relatively heavy.  It is also pretty snug for two normal sized people and an 85lb dog to sleep in. So, I asked for a new tent for Christmas.  Not to mention, I like shelters.  And I am dork.