Asolo Velocity 4
This tent sets up and takes down quickly, has tons…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $169
This tent sets up and takes down quickly, has tons of room, and doesn't leak a drop, even in blustery thunderstorms. We just returned from a 3-week, 4,000-mile motorcycling vacation to Glacier, Yellowstone, and Rocky Mountain NP's, and the Velocity kept us and our loads of gear dry in 5 nights of steady rain.
- Easy up, easy down
- Huge room inside
- Bathtub floor keeps water out
- Good ventilation, even in steady rain
- Packs small for such a large-living tent
- Zippers are very quiet
- Tons of vestible space for wet or muddy gear
- Plenty of room to sit up to dress or move stuff around
- Plastic stiffeners for the fly vents can sometimes get in the way of stuffing the fly
My wife and I have been motorcycle camping in one form or another for over 20 years. We're pretty good at it, and have refined our gear to suit our needs as budget allows. For the past 8+ years our tent of choice has been an REI Taj 3, which has been an absolutely wonderful shelter through good weather and bad, heavy rain and wind, and even a little snow. I posted a review here: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/rei/taj-3/
While the Taj has been a faithful servant over the years, it's a bit limited in room inside for riding gear, and the vestibules are tiny. It's also a pretty fiddly tent to learn to set up quickly, and doing so in the dark was sometimes a real PIA. We've had a long ride/camp trip planned since the first part of the year, and while the Taj would have done the job well enough, I decided to look around for a good 3-season tent that had a bit more space, more storage on the outside, still be in the sub-10 lb. range, and not break the bank.
By chance I saw the Asolo Velocity series on REI's outlet store, and after some hemming and hawing, decided to take a chance. I will admit that when I pulled it out of the box I was disappointed. The build quality did not, at first glance, seem to be up to the lofty standards of our REI tent, and it seemed, well....a bit cheap. I'm happy to report that I could not have been more wrong.
We took the tent out for an overnighter in June as part of our bike/camp gear prep, and the Velocity 4 impressed both my wife and I as soon as we got it pitched. The interior is huge, providing over 60 square feet of living space, which could easily fit 4 smaller adults. I'm 6'2" and 255 lbs., and I dislike being cramped in a small tent.
My wife and I travel via motorcycle, and we do so ATGATT, which stands for All The Gear All The Time. As such, we can really crowd the inside of our tent quickly, and it amplifies if we've been traveling in bad weather. The Velocity 4 has almost 20 square feet of vestibule space, which is perfect for storing dry bags, boots, or anything that is not wanted inside the tent itself.
That room proved to be huge (pun intended) on our big vacation trip, as we spent a few days and nights in some of nature's best thunderstorms. Everything, including us, stayed completely dry during heavy downpours and lashing winds. To say that we were impressed is to short sell things. Asolo does not sell a foot print for the Velocity, but none was needed. The floor is made of waterproofed polyester, and it withstood everything we could throw at it with nary a mark.
Setup is very quick, and the second time we pitched it the tent was up and livable in about 2 minutes. The body clips onto 9.5MM aluminum poles, and the fly is secured on the tent corners with metal grommets. Staking everything down produces a very taut shelter which does not sag, even when subjected to the deluge of Mother Nature.
The fly has two vents that are held open with rod/velcro stanchions, and air flow was surprisingly good. We had a nice breeze in the tent during the heavy wind portions of the trip. :) Condensation was not an issue with the ventilation, and we could shake out about 75% of the moisture prior to packing up in the rain.
The whole shebang will stuff into an XL stuff sack, but I chose to use a pair of smaller sacks to keep the fly and body separate. This allowed me to spread the size of the load more efficiently in my bike's sadllebags. The poles and stakes went into an Ortlieb waterproof duffel strapped to the rear seat. The packed size of the Velocity 4 is on par with our Taj 3, yet the differences in pitched sizes is significant. I call that progress.
We are extremely happy with the Asolo Velocity 4 tent! I gave us the extra room that we needed, stood through inclement weather like a champ, and proved to be about as user-friendly as a tent can be.