User Review: Kelty Salida 2
Price Paid: $114
Best Deal of 2011!
I've been looking for a 2 man (solo use) 3 season backpacking tent in the $100-$140 range for six months now. I had previously been looking at the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 (2010) and Kelty Teton 2. Both around the same size/weight. I liked the Mesa because of the complete rainfly. I likes the Teton because the door was on the wide side and the vestibule was larger. I didn't like that the Teton's rainfly came up on the side.
Kelty nailed it with the Salida. Not only does it have more screen than the others but it's lighter, has the best of both worlds and looks better in the new color scheme. I like the door on the side because I can be laying down on my side and look outside (when the fly is on). I can be laying sideways and reach out into the vestibule and access my pack easier. I didn't like my "tunnel tent" because to see out I had to turn on my stomach. To get into my pack I was on my stomach or knees ducking.
My friend and I bought our tents at the same time and they came the same day. He got the Grand Mesa because he found it for a steal on ebay $89. We put them up side by side and they are exactly the same size. Mine came with a gear loft and his didn't. Did i mention I got it on ebay fro $114 free shipping?
The Salida seams very sturdy. It was so easy to put up I let a very enthusiastic seven year old do it for me. No instructions or prior tent pitching, he just used intuition. I only had to help him turn the rainfly the right way because he was about to buckle it in the wrong position. I climbed in and its very roomy. I'm 5'9". No more claustrophobia for me in a one man cocoon. I can sit up without hitting my head.
I also researched several other tents in the same weight/size/price range and Kelty's were the best value. Glad I waited and shopped around!