User Review: Kelty Gunnison 2.1
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Very well designed, easy to use # season tent.
- Easy setup
- Quality fittings
- Twin door design
- Cheezmo stakes
I've been using and working with the Gunnison 2 since this model first came out about 8 years ago. Read my other reviews for more about me, but, briefly, I work around and on tents everyday for a living.
The Gunnison 2 is the standard tent I outfit clients with for summer and fall expeditions in the southwestern U.S., Alaska, and Mexico. We use them for extended car camping, backpacking, canoe expeditioning and sea kayaking. This is not a lightweight tent, but neither is it a beast. The materials are appropriate for hard institutional use (though a footprint or self-made Tyvek ground sheet is essential for keeping the floor happy).
- Extremely easy to set up. Clip the four pole "ball feet" into the corner pieces, the center into the apex hub, and engage the edge clips. The fly simply clips in and stakes out. I can reasonably set this tent up now in about four minutes.
- High quality plastics for all fittings. When I first saw the new (now four year old) apex hub and corner ball mounts, I was skeptical. "When those break, you're done for" I thought to myself. After many years of seeing 60+ of these tents come and go with clients I have only seen one broken plastic part — and that was because I broke it while strength testing it in our facility.
- Twin door design — When two people must live and work together in the field for extended periods, crawling over each other to get to a single door gets old fast. The Gunn 2's double door are a real blessing. Plus, due to the fickle nature of ALL zippers (see "cons" below), when the zipper on one door finally fades, you've got the option of another.
- Two Pole Design. The simplicity of twin identical poles cannot be overstated, especially after a long day of desert hiking or rough sea kayaking. However, it is worth remembering that this is not a winter or mountaineering tent. It is a fine rain and light snow tent that will handle moderately breezy conditions IF GUYED OUT PROPERLY. It is designed to collapse and pop back up if the wind pumps up — as it has done on numerous occasions to me in blustery willie-wah conditions in Alaska and the Sea of Cortez. While I have seen poles break on Gunn 2's, it seems to happen much less if the tent is fully guyed out.
- Easy fastening toggles facilitate keeping the door material out of your way when packing things into or out of the tent.
- Plenty of room for two people and their gear. The two vestibules at either door means that each occupant gets their very own covered gear shed. How nice!
- Zippers — Anytime you make a zipper turn a corner it causes stress on the zipper pull and teeth. And since the Gunn2 features oval entryways, the zippers are forced to make a turn. If you develop the habit of slowly opening and closing the zipper while feeding the material on either side with your free hand, this shouldn't be a problem. For me, with clients who sometimes are tired and cranky after a long day, I find that the zippers take a beating. To be clear: this is not a design flaw in either the tents or the zippers — it's just a part of life in the field. Attention to detail while zipping doors will keep your zippers alive for many years of service.
- The stakes that come with the tents are, as my British co-workers say, s***! Simply purchase proper stakes when you buy your new tent. These bad boys are what you want...MSR Carbon Core Tent Stakes Remember: when conditions get nasty, it is stake integrity that will determine whether you sleep comfortably or not.
- In stormy, snowy conditions, snow can be driven up under the fly and through the mesh window. But if you're in stormy, snowy conditions in this tent you already made errors in judgement and now you must suffer!