User Review: Kelty Windfoil Ultralight
Source: received it as a personal gift
Mine is still going strong since 1997 through heavy use and a fair amount of neglect. It's kept me bone dry except for the times the ground was too hard for stakes, and using anchors really harms the tent's ability to remain taut during a downpour. My only real complaint is that it becomes a sauna with the fly attached if the weather is above 60°F.
- Long-term durability
- Ease of setup
- Warm in winter
- Hot in summer
- Heavy compared to newer UL tents
Setup: It's a breeze to set up and take down, provided the ground isn't too hard for stakes. Total time from pack to fully set up takes no longer than three minutes if you're really trying to rush it. Making sure the head, foot, and guylines are taut is very important if you're going to be experiencing rain or wind.
I learned not to follow the provided instructions early on if you want to keep it steady:
- Insert the poles into the body, then stake the head and foot with as much tension as possible.
- Stake the sides.
- Attach the fly with the sides tightened as much as possible.
- Unstake the head and foot and restake after pulling out the slack.
- Attach guylines to the fly and tighten.
- Finally, tighten the head and foot of the fly as much as possible with the vestibule zipped and staked.
This is the only way I've found to keep the fly from sagging during snow and heavy rain. After that, it's bone dry with none of the fly touching the body.
Stability: See above. It's incredibly stable in heavy winds beyond 40MPH and a few inches of snow, provided you get it set up with no means to develop slack.
Weather Resistance: No issues, so long as you keep the fly away from the body. I had issues with water on my last trip due to an inability to use stakes, and woke up during a hard rain after feeling water seep through my bag. Other than that, it's never failed to keep me completely dry unless I toss in my sleep and touch the walls. The fly and floor have had no leak problems in 16 years.
Ventilation: The only weakness this tent really has. In hot and muggy Kentucky, it's hellish to be in during a rainstorm in the summer. This same weakness turns into a strength when the weather gets cold, as I usually have to keep by bag unzipped unless it dips below the 20's. Opening the door and vestibule only alleviates the ventilation problem so much.
Room & Storage: I've had little problem fitting two people inside, but three adults was an interesting experience. If you're by yourself as I usually am, I can fit all of my gear and myself inside with no problem at all. The vestibule is fairly small, and it's hard to fit much in that area without it touching the fly, thus collecting moisture.
Packability: Easy to take down and put away in a hurry, and it compresses to an incredibly small size if you store the poles separate from the body and fly.
Ease of Use: The easiest tent I've dealt with to get set up in a hurry, but as I mentioned, there are some tricks you need to use to make it steady in less than ideal weather.
Features: None to really speak of. It's a giant bivy sack with a tiny vestibule.
Construction & Durability: After 16 years, I can't complain one bit. I may reseal the seams this season, but that's more of a preventative measure.
Conditions: This tent has seen use all over Kentucky and Tennessee during 12 of the 16 years I've owned it, during all seasons and all weather conditions. It was used most recently last year.
This tent has served me very well for what is creeping up on twenty years, and I'm only now looking to replace it now that UL solo tents at half the weight are within my price range. I'll still keep it on hand, but it will only see use during winter trips and when I need to cram in another person. In 1997, just under six pounds for a two-man tent was considered UL.