Bergans Compact Light 2

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Specs

Weight 5 lbs 8 oz / 2.5 kg

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Reviews

17

The Bergans Compact Light 2 is an impressively sturdy…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Bergans for testing and review)

Summary

The Bergans Compact Light 2 is an impressively sturdy and weather-resistant four season tunnel tent. It excels in high winds and rain and sets up very quickly and easily. I have reason to believe that it would also excel in snow, but I was not able to find any during my summer testing period.

Pros

  • Very weather-resistant
  • Sturdy
  • Sets up easily and quickly
  • Generous vestibule

Cons

  • Weight (5lb 8oz)
  • Not free-standing
  • Foot end of inner tent touches the outer tent


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About the tester:

I am a 30 year-old 5’4” female from S.C. who typically goes on day and overnight hikes in the Southern Appalachians.

Conditions:

I tested the Compact Light 2 for two months in the Southern Appalachians and at home in Columbia, S.C. There was substantial rainfall here over the past two months. The tent was put through very high winds exceeding 25 MPH several times and driving rain multiple times.

The Bergans Compact Light 2 is a tunnel tent that has an inner tent and an outer tent attached together to make set up quick and to make it more weather resistant.


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Setup:

The Compact Light is very easy to set up:

1-      Spread it out


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While you have it spread out, make sure that the stabilizer on the bottom is actually on the bottom and not tangled up. The first time I tried to set it up it got tangled up and it confused me.


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2-      Stake it down (back and front)

3-      Insert the poles and insert them into the holsters


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That’s all you need to do for normal weather. For foul weather, there are 13 total stakeout points (5 guy and 8 peg points).  There are also adjustable straps at each pole holster to adjust the height of the outer tent. If it is windy, I also recommend guying out the front and back lines before setting up the tent, to keep it from blowing away.


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When you are putting away the Compact Light, I recommend that you fold in the corners and then roll it together. It is very easy to set it up the next time if you do this properly.


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Stability:

The Compact Light 2 is incredibly stable. The one I tested withstood fierce wind and barely flinched. Tunnel tents are designed to be very stable because of their shape and because of the multiple guy points.


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Here you can see the stabilizers that help support the tent. As I mentioned earlier, there is also one on the underside of the middle of the tent.


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Weather Resistance:

The Compact Light 2 is extremely weather-resistant. On one particular test, I camped on Little Hump Mountain, in the Roan Highlands (NC/TN line). There was a ferocious storm that came through, blowing 35MPH+ winds and driving rain. It blew so hard that it blew my friend’s rainfly off of his tent and his whole tent flooded. The Bergans didn’t flinch. It was as quiet as a church mouse and I stayed bone dry. I was so impressed!


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Here it is after a night of torrential downpours.

Of all the nights that I tested it, I never saw the Compact Light leak.

I did have one issue that wasn't a problem, but did concern me. After being set up all night during a crazy rainstorm, a puddle of water formed on top of the tent. It is very possible that I did not stake/guy it down correctly though.


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Here you can see the puddle.This is a great example of the tent's weather-resistance. See how much room there still is in between the inner and outer tents?

I was not able to test the tent in any snow because I tested it in the summer. If I am able to keep it for long-term evaluation, I will gladly update this section on its snow-handling ability. Everything that I have read indicates that these handle heavy snow very well.

The adjustable height of the tent and vestibule also makes it very weather-resistant. You can stake it down very close to the ground and also tighten the adjustment straps on the sides. Nothing ever got wet in my vestibule. You can also adjust it to a higher height for greater ventilation.

The outer tent and floor of the inner tent are made of ripstop nylon that is 5,000 mm/196.9" water-resistant.

Ventilation:

The Compact Light has three ventilation points: The large mesh front door, and a vent at each end of the tent.


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Here you can see the large mesh door open.


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The mesh door can be zipped closed for colder weather. You can also see the bathtub floor, which is for increased weather protection.


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Front vent


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Rear vent


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Inside of the vents


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I tested this tent throughout the hot summer months. When there was a breeze, it felt great inside, but when there was no breeze, it got warm, but not unbearably hot. I did not find it to be any hotter than any other tent that I have used in the summer with the fly on.


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The inner tent's fabric is light and very breathable.

I did not have any condensation issues whatsoever while testing it. That includes two people and a 100lb + lab sleeping in it in cold, heat, humidity, and rain.

Room and Storage:

The Compact Light 2 features a 28 square foot floor and a massive vestibule (42"L x 60" W). The vestibule size is probably my favorite thing about this tent. My 100lb+ lab can comfortably sit up or sleep in it with two full packs and two pairs of boots. All stayed completely dry every time. I typically prefer tents with two vestibules and two doors so that you don't have to climb over your tent mate in the middle of the night. The vestibule is so large that neither my tent mate nor I had any problem exiting the tent in the middle of the night. FYI, the door is on the left. I prefer not to cook in tents at all, but if it was raining with no wind,  you could open the door and toggle it for a porch effect and might could try cooking. I am not saying I recommend it, but I do think it would be possible.


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Interior room:


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The peak height of the front interior is about 40".


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The rear peak height is 34".

 

Livability is very important to me when I am picking out or testing a tent. The first question I ask myself when assessing two-man tents is "Can two people comfortably move around and pack up camp in this tent in the rain?". If the answer is "no" then I do not want the tent. This tent certainly has enough room for that. It really could be labled as a two-man plus tent (as Jeff kindly pointed out in the comments section). It has a very generous amount of floor space, interior height, and vestibule space for a two-man tent.


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You can see that I have enough room to pump up my sleeping pad.


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The floor length is the longest I have ever seen in a regular two-man tent (88").


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Here you can see that the sleeping bags touch the inner tent. This is not a problem in dry weather at all, but in wet weather, the outer fly touches the inner tent. Your feet can feel that it is wet, but no actual water gets in the tent. I understand that this is consistent with most tunnel tents. This is the one thing that I don't like about the tent.


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High loft bags and 3.5" thick sleeping pad make it kind of crowded.

Other than the vestibule, the tent does have additional storage in the form of two generuosly sized side mesh pockets.


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As you can see, they are large enough to each fit a pair of crocs.

 

Packability:

The Compact Light 2 is a rather large tent that weighs 5.6 lbs, so you have to factor that in when you are assessing packability. It comes with compression straps on the stuff sack, so it does pack down remarkably for its size. The tent poles also are very small, light, and compact.


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Features:

The Compact Light 2 is packed with features. Most of them I have already named, but here are just a few extras that I liked:


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Glow in the dark zippers throughout the tent


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Storm flaps to cover the zippers


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Velcro on the bottom of the zipper for extra weather protection


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Very strong, lightweight, flexible tent poles and very strong and lightweight stakes (both are aluminum).

 

Construction and Durability:

After testing this tent, I found no issues at all with the tent construction or durability of it or any of the poles or stakes. The tent was set up on some rough ground and it stood up well on the bottom. My dog also walked around inside the tent (he of course was scolded) and the floor held up just fine. Since I was testing the tent, I was also not particularly gentle with the poles. They held up perfectly. I prefer aluminum poles because they are much more tough than carbon fiber poles. I have to baby my carbon fiber tent poles. It was nice to not have to worry about that with this tent. None of the stakes have bent yet, either. They are surprisingly durable for their weight.

Conclusion:

The Bergans Compact Light 2 is the perfect foul weather refuge. It is durable, roomy, and is storm-proof. I have never seen a tent more weather-resistant. The ventilation is superb during cool weather and is still sufficient in hot weather. I highly recommend this tent!

Thank you to both Bergans and Trailspace for the opportunity to test this awesome tent! I really enjoyed it!

FromSagetoSnow

That tent looks fantastic. I'd call it a 2-man+ tent. I know its verboten but there's plenty of cooking room in there too it seems.


1 year ago
Sean Van Cleve GUIDE/OUTFITTER

Thank you for another great review!!!


1 year ago
gonzan MODERATOR

Great review of what looks like a great tent. I am astonished at how closely it mimics the design, color, and features of the Hilleberg Nallo. I'd not turn my nose up at it, though, that's for sure


1 year ago
bheiser1

@gonzan, I too was about to comment on how this seems like a competitor to Hilleberg. It seems these aren't for sale in the US though, so I wonder about pricing.


1 year ago
bheiser1

@gonzan, I too was about to comment on how this seems like a competitor to Hilleberg. It seems these aren't for sale in the US though, so I wonder about pricing.


1 year ago
bheiser1

@gonzan, I too was about to comment on how this seems like a competitor to Hilleberg. It seems these aren't for sale in the US though, so I wonder about pricing.


1 year ago
bheiser1

and @Ashleigh it seems "we" are on a roll with Bergans reviews... a pack and a tent in the same week :).


1 year ago
rob5073

Great review! I like the fact that the stuff sack can be compressed somewhat. Can't do that on the Hilleberg.


1 year ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Great job, Ashleigh.


1 year ago
Ashleigh MODERATOR

Thank you for the positive feedback! @Jeff, I agree. I have addressed your cooking statement. @Gonzan and Bill, I thought the same thing. I did check to see how much it cost in Europe and it appears to be about 311.90 euros or $416.73 US dollars. The Nallo is currently selling for $625. There is no way that there is a $200+ difference in the quality of these two tents. I would go with the Bergans without a doubt if they could be purchased in the US. @Bill, that is right! I honestly had never heard of Bergans until I got the e-mail that I would be testing it. I was very pleasantly surprised. From your excellent review, it appears that they make some pretty stellar packs, too!


1 year ago
Bergans Customer Service

Ashleigh, thanks for the great review. To answer some of the questions posted. Bergans has been designing gear and apparel for over a hundred years and has been in the U.S. for about twelve years. Two years ago, we opened a subsidiary office in Longmont, CO to improve product availability and visibility in the North American market. You can check out our newly launched website at bergans.com. We have a network of excellent retailers in USA and Canada who can be found via our dealer locator on our site. Click on your country and use the "Find a Store" link at the top right of the page to find one of our retailers near you. If your local retailer does not have a particular item in stock, it may be special ordered. You can always reach us at info@bergans.com. Thanks again for the great review - we look forward to more! - Team Bergans USA


1 year ago
Ashleigh MODERATOR

Thank you for the clarification! Here is a link: http://catalog.bergans.us/store-locator


1 year ago
Rick-Pittsburgh

Ashleigh, I thoroughly enjoyed your review good job. In regards to the price difference between tear strengths of Hille's Kerlon fabrics and other comparable tent fabrics out there. Kerlon(3 variations) boast a high tear strength. I would be very curious as to what the claims are on Bergans tents. I can tell you that I personally tell you that I cannot read the Kerlon used in Hilleberg tents. That might be where part of the price difference may come from.


1 year ago
Rick-Pittsburgh

Sorry this is a lil jumbled. My phone is being goofy but you get the point.


1 year ago
Ashleigh MODERATOR

Thanks, Rick! I am glad you enjoyed it. I can't answer the exact strength of the fabric, but it is very tough. It is way more tough than any tent fabric that I have ever really come across, but I don't have much experience with four season tents. I bet Bergans Customer Service can clear that up for us though!


1 year ago
FromSagetoSnow

I think 15 thumbs up might be a reccord


1 year ago
Ashleigh MODERATOR

:) I think Rick may have the record at 19 on his Hilleberg Soulo review. I haven't seen one higher. Thanks for all the votes!!


1 year ago
Ya Da No Ra

Great review indeed ! I came across the Bergans Compact Light series on The Clymb (discount website that requires you to register a free account before you can shop around; most items are listed for a limited number of days). Like people mentioned above, I was struck by its similarities to some Hilleberg tents. What struck me more was how much cheaper they are selling for on The Clymb ($275 for 2 person, $350 for 3 person, $375 for 4 person) compared to Hilleberg models. I tried shopping around for it on other websites, but as has also been stated above, it isn't widely available in the US and I didn't have much luck in my search. So I was hesitant to purchase until I came across this detailed review. Suffice to say I was completely sold after reading this review, and I figured I would share that it is currently available at The Clymb for a very reasonable price! Thanks Ashleigh


1 year ago
Ashleigh MODERATOR

Thank you! I am glad the review helped you. Thank you for sharing your info on The Clymb. $275 is a steal for that tent!


1 year ago
bheiser1

I have been looking at 4-season tents for a while to replace my Mountain Hardwear Skyview 1.5 - a great tent but super heavy for solo backpacking. I've looked at Hilleberg but can't justify the price for how I'd use it (I have yet to go on an expedition). So based in large part on this review, plus based on my testing experience with the Bergans Glittertind 70 pack, and of course the TheClymb deal mentioned above, I've decided on a Bergans Compact Light 2.


1 year ago
gonzan MODERATOR

Well, I've succumbed to the temptation as well. At that price, I had to get one and give it a go. If it turns out to be as good as Ash found it to be, I'll definitely give a shout out to say so. I just wish it would get here sooner, the clymb estimates I won't get it until a week into October :(


1 year ago
Ashleigh MODERATOR

Thanks for letting me know, guys! I appreciate the feedback. I hope you enjoy the Bergans Compact Light as much as I have!


1 year ago

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