Kelty Dart 2
I purchased the Dart 2 because I was very weight conscious…
Design: 3-Season, not free-standing, tunnel
Ease of Setup: Easy, even for one person
Price Paid: $135
I purchased the Dart 2 because I was very weight conscious and the price was outstanding. The ease of a single wall tent sounded great and it was originally listed as a 4 season tent. Well, my first few outings were great. In hot, nice weather with just me and my dog, the Dart 2 was great. It's easy to pitch and staking is no problem (and necessary). In less desireable weather the Dart still worked well. In heavy wind, it felt like I was in a wind tunnel. Even with two people in the tent, we could not maintain any heat. Finally, I took the Dart 2 on a 21 expedition to Alaska in the summer of 2002. I was with two companions who had the REI 2 person convertible tent. We decided to rotate sleeping arrangements. It rained every day in Alaska and the Dart was terrible. I actually had puddles in my tent. It sagged terrible and the condensations was insane. This single wall tent couldn't breath at all. It's basically a large bivy for only good weather. I've learned my lesson on going superlight on long expeditions and saving money. You really get what you pay for here. After 5 nights, the three of us fit snuggle in the REI tent and I never unpacked the Kelty Dart 2 again. It still sits balled up in my gear room, 9 months later. I have just purchased a Hilleberg Nammatj 3 GT, going for the best of the best.
The Dart II is very impressive as far as weight and…
Design: 3 season,
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: 3 lbs
Price Paid: $150
The Dart II is very impressive as far as weight and living space. No other tent can fit two people at 3lbs. It's very easy to set up, and has a massive vestibule to cook and store gear. However, condensation IS a major problem. I slept in this tent by myself in clear weather, where temperatures dropped to 35 degrees overnight. I woke to condensation all over the tent (but not on my sleeping bag), even though I had the top two vents, the side vents, and the vestibule door all fully open. I had camped in a grassy area, but there was not a cloud in sight, or any fog or humidity. I did not use a footprint under the tent, but the condensation was still very excessive in such fair weather. I'm returning this tent and plan on trying out the Kelty Clark. I'm glad we didn't get hit by bad weather. I recommend this tent only in dry and warm/hot conditions when weight is important.
CONDENSATION is the key issue with this single-wall…
Design: 3-season single-wall
Ease of Setup: simple
Weight: 2.75 lbs
Price Paid: $120
CONDENSATION is the key issue with this single-wall tent. Inside the Grand Canyon it served as a perfect solo tent, though in populated campsites dressing was a challenge within its confines. Along the Appalachian Trail, where the humidity is considerably higher, condensation was difficult to avoid, despite about 20 days of ventilation adjustments. Result in humid conditions: wet sleeping bag, wet clothing, wet tent to carry the next day. Not large enough for 2 occupants. So, canyon YES, forest NO.
The low ceiling and angled vestibule opening make…
Price Paid: $90
The low ceiling and angled vestibule opening make this tent very uncomfortable to get in and out of. If you have two people in it on a rainy night, your sleeping bags will be soaked with condensation in the morning.