User Review: Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2
Design: Rectangular, ridge-pole Dome
Ease of Setup: Quick & easy--max space requires two, side guy-outs
Weight: 3 lbs 14 ounces (w/ ground cover & stakes)
Price Paid: $280
I got everything as advertised. Number one, the weight: _including_ ground cover and minimum stakes (6) this tent is under 4 lbs. Number two, is size. This is a two-person tent--spacious for one person, cozy for two. Nice vestibule size--just big enough for a compact-sized backpack, or two sets of boots, camp shoes, and then some.
Setup is better than the one-person version. The one-person relies on stakes to open up the foot of the tent, requiring an extra two stakes to setup. On my scale, there was only a 5-ounce difference between the one- and two-person models equipped for the trail--for me the 5 oz was a small concession compared to the loss of space and extra setup on the one-person model.
The Seedhouse series uses a single-pole with several hubs that form an inverted 'V' at each end of the ridge-pole. It is easy to assemble the pole. Once assembled, place the four, pole ends into the grommets on the corners of the body of the tent, clip the body to the pole, and buckle & stake-out the fly. The whole setup takes me less than 10 minutes. To save the bottom of the tent with minimal weight, I recommend the BA footprint.
The tent performed very well under adverse conditions. The factory seam-sealing kept everything dry inside during a three-hour downpour, and the tent was solid during windy conditions partially-guyed (gusts to 30 and two other guy-out points I hadn't used yet). Although the tent is well-ventilated you can adjust the fly to reduce drafts.
Speaking from experience (I have led over fifty backpacking-trips over twelve years for Sierra Club), I recommend this as the best three-season, two-man backpacking tent I have seen yet.
Update: November 28, 2011
Since owning this tent for a few years now, I'd downgrade the rating to four stars. As a one-person tent, I'd still give it five stars, but I have found the space in the tent too cramped for two people.
The biggest complaint is headroom. It is nearly impossible to sit up straight if someone is lying next to you. This creates difficulty for the second person entering or first person exiting the tent. Some gymnastics are involved as a two-person tent.
As a one-person tent, I'd still say it is very spacious! It weighs what many single-person tents weigh (true tents here, not bivvys or tarps!).