Kelty Grand Mesa 2
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120
I used this tent on several trips this last summer. I found it roomy and comfortable for two of us. Weight of the tent was great when split. It rained 2 times once very hard for the whole backpack we stayed very dry.
- Design — layout (space) and set up is great
- Kept us dry in the heavy rain
- Fast and easy setup
- There are lighter tents out there
I think if you're looking for a great two-man backpacking tent with plenty of room and for a reasonable price this tent is the one for you. No problems with the wind or rain, no leaks or wet spots on floors or walls — well ventilated with large amounts of mesh. Poles are simple and the colored hooks make it easy for fast setup when you need to.
Note there are a lot of tents on the market that do weigh less, but few that can compare with the price.
Design: Three-Season with full coverage Fly
Ease of Setup: Very simple setup for those with moderate to little experience with dome tents.
Weight: 5 pounds
Price Paid: $160
I purchased this tent in October to use for basic camping. I do much car camping but usually out on backroads in the forest or out in the Mojave desert so a tent to withstand the elements was highly desired.
So far I have used the tent once for a weekend camp trip in the desert. Second day we had gust up to 40 mph and the tent stood strong as expected.
Set up was simple with the pole clips and clip on fly once I figured out what went where. I used my larger heavy duty tent stakes for the tent and the supplied stakes for the guy lines. The fly has 7 anchor points for guy lines but only comes with lines for 4 of them. I keep extra line in my supplies already so I used 6 of the 7 points just to help keep the tent down.
The vestibule is about the size of a pair of shoes and provides very little space but will let you keep wet gear outside or even a small ice chest.
Inside the tent I found two large mesh pockets outset with 2 smaller pockets on both sides of the door. Much better than the normal pocket locations in the middle of the tent as I am used to from previous Coleman's.
The space inside the tent was a bit tight form me and my gear, but a lot of my space is used up from my twin size air mattress and the shape of the tent makes it a bit too cramped at the head end using it so I may switch off to a Therma-rest or something similar. There is a flashlight loop at the center of the tent that will likely come in handy at some point.
The few issues I did have with the tent were related to the zippers on the door and the fly. They were catching on the fabric a bit too much and became a point of frustration when trying to get in the tent during the high winds. I do suspect that issue had to do with the set up so I will take time to pay more attention in that area next time I use it.
Another issue was with the large mesh sides and top part of the door. During the high winds everything in my tent was coated with silt and sand. It would be better to have the option to close up the mesh with a zipper cover or something. Blowing sand is usually an issue at places I camp so I will have to rig something up next time.
Regardless of these two issues, I am very satisfied with my purchase.
Design: three-season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: Amazingly Easy
Weight: 4 pounds, 10 ounces
Price Paid: $99
This is the best backpacking tent I have ever owned. It is an awesome tent. This is a premium tent at a bargain price.
First use was in a terrible rain storm. It was raining when we hit the trail, raining when we set up camp, raining when we went to bed, and raining when we got up. The tent did not leak a drop. I did not seal the seams (I know I should) and I did not guy out the fly but the ventilation was fine. Very little condensation with me and my son in it. Have since used it several times in better weather and still love it.
The negatives are: I don't like entering the tent from the end, if you and your buddy are not real close, this is a one man tent. Works well for me and my son but I can see one of us moving out in a few years.
Buy the footprint to go with it.
Design: three season free standing
Ease of Setup: Very easy to set up and break down
Weight: 2.0 kilos
Price Paid: $99.95
I wanted a light weight but comfortable tent that would easily fit on to the back of my maxi motor scooter for a 10,500 mile camping trip through 23 states.
I chose the Kelty Grand Mesa 2, because of the excellent brand name, lightweight and durable characteristics. You can fit 2 people in this tent in a tight squeeze, but it makes for an ideal roomy single person tent.
I used this tent continually for over 50 nights of camping, in all kinds of dry, wet and windy weather conditions and it performed admirably.
It is a very easy tent to set up and break down. Dries quickly when wet, and easily packs into a tight space.
I hit some tremendous rain storms from Missouri through to northern Florida, and the tent fly did not leak a drop.
Camping through South Dakota I went through a prairie wind storm one night, and the tent stood up well.
I took the precaution of extra waterproofing the tent fly, and this paid off with no leaks.
I highly recommended this tent. I'm planning another 2 month 12,000 mile motor scooter camping trip this summer and my Kelty Grand Mesa 2 tent will be right along with me.
Design: three season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: easy to set up
Weight: 4-5 pounds
Price Paid: @ $100
A good tent for the price. I set it up in just a few minutes in a windy campground, and it made it through a windy/rainy night without leaks or lots of noise. I did replace the tent stakes with MSR groundhogs, as the cheapos that come with it will bend the first time you whack them with a rock.
Also, the black guy lines are impossible to see in the dark unless you wrap a bit of reflective tape in strategic spots. The tent zipper pulls, on the other hand, have reflective thread in them and are very easy to find; the zippers work smoothly as long as you pull at the right angle or use your other hand to provide adequate tension in the material to avoid sticking.
This tent has plenty of room for gear and one person, and it's light enough to pack. I used a compression sack to get it down to size. The fly is easy to adjust and nearly reaches the ground which is great and keeps the rain out. The vestibule isn't very big, but I left my boots outside on a square of plastic for the night and it was adequate to keep the rain off them.
A tyvek ground sheet and you're good to go with this nice little dome. I'm looking forward to summer when I can leave the fly off and let the breeze through the mesh windows.
Design: three-season freestanding
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 4lbs 10oz
Price Paid: $88
This tent works real well with one person. The inside height is perfect but the vestibule is a little on the small side. It works good to fit your boots and possibly a small pack, but not a dog or huge 6000cu in. pack. As for a ground sheet, I just used a cut down to size orange irrigation tarp from a local hardware store.
The first time I used the tent it snowed about an inch, along with wind. The tent held up beautifully and was quite cozy during the cold weather. Plenty of ventilation, no condensation in the morning. With a soft foam pad and a warm sleeping bag, this tent will accommodate 1-2 people comfortably.
Like others have mentioned, the guylines are black and nearly impossible to see at night. This is easy to fix by simply tying some orange or pink flagging tape to the cord. Also the tent stakes are a little weak, pushing them into the ground with your feet will end up bending them. I bought some MSR Groundhogs and they work great, lighweight too.
Design: 3-season freestanding; full-coverage fly
Ease of Setup: Extremely easy set-up; color-coded.
Weight: 4 lbs 2 oz (without stakes and bags)
Price Paid: $99
This is a "high-value" tent for the money (much as described by Backpacker magazine). Well-designed configuration that accommodates two reasonably well and makes a superb 1-man tent at just over 4 pounds. I contrast this tent to the Eureka Backcountry 1 which weighs only 4 oz less but is coffin-like on the outside, lacks room for any gear, and lacks any vestibule space.
The GM-2's full coverage fly stood up to repeated downpours without leaking at all. Ventilation is genuinely outstanding, especially with the vestibule open (which is of adequate size (about 6 sq ft) given the weight. My only "complaint" after several uses is that the interior has only one loop centered on the ceiling for a flashlight. Ideally, additional loops would allow one to run some para-cord for drying lines. This is the only reason I didn't give the tent 5 stars. I'll likely sew in some loops myself.
Color scheme (tan and burgundy) is low-impact and allows for sufficient light to enter the tent during the day. White panels on the tent's interior reflect headlamp light well. Although a fitted footprint is available, I opted to cut a piece of Tyvek to size (run through a wash cycle without laundry detergent to "soften" it), maintaining the lightweight nature of the combination. I consider this tent highly enough to buy a second for my son to use for Scouting backpacking trips.
Ease of Setup: easy
Price Paid: $100
I recently purchased this tent to use during my week long trip into quetico provincial park. It packs nicely at ~5lbs with all the tent gear and is a breeze to set up with only two poles that have snap clips, no sleeves to get caught on.
Overall I'm very pleased by this tent, it kept me dry during an entire days worth of downpour and provides good ventilation so I never saw any wetness in the tent. The rainfly is designed well in that is doesn't contact the tent at all so there is no wicking of liquid.
I hope to use this tent many times in the future.
Price Paid: $111
This is a great tent, pitches quick and easy, stayed perfectly dry during a two rainstorms and packs down to almost nothing. Couldn't ask for more really. Though it would be pretty tight with two adults in it.
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: 4 lbs
Price Paid: $99
Great tent for the price. Easy set up and great ventilation.