Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $175 CDN
Reasonably lightweight, roomy, comfortable tent; easy to pitch, rainproof, plenty of gearspace and pockets inside, and a great all-over mesh construction with a sturdy fly. Still going strong after 5 years of pretty solid use, including living in it 6 weeks straight in the alpine (Canada).
- full mesh tent stands alone without fly
- headspace, unique box design
- solid protection against rain (e.g. 17-hr downpour in tropics)
- fly has no windows at the back to open for ventilation
- a bit heavy for real backpacking
I bought my MSR Ventana in 2006 before a 3-month backpacking trip through Argentina. At $175 CDN it was a steal (I think new was $325) — and I've never regretted the purchase.
Although it's listed as a 1.5 person, two of us slept comfortably in the tent for more than a week at the time; the vestibules provide plenty of space for gear both front and back, and the crossing arches of the poles make a nice box design that maximizes the space while minimizing areas that are too small to utilize (usually corners and along the sides).
It's unfortunate that there are no small openings available for ventilation; during a long rainstorm in Argentina the condensation built up simply because there was no way to open the tent up without getting drenched through the doorway. It's also too bad that there's no zippered access from inside the tent to the rear vestibule, but it's not such a hardship.
The tent is pretty easy to set up and stands free or staked down. It would be handier to have clip-in poles rather than sleeves, but other than that I couldn't complain — just two lightweight folding poles to slide in and the thing is up and ready to go.
Price Paid: probably a little over $100
I've been a camper most of my life and and backpacker since high school. I use to just have a cheapy puptent but finally I wanted to invest in a nice tent. My mom was kind enough to research and find this tent at a great deal on ebay-it had been used once and kept in very good condition.
I love this tent! It's the best piece of equipment she could have gotten for me. It's very light weight especially for a small woman (5'3") to carry miles into the woods along with everything else I would need a for a few days.
I've only used it 3 seasons out of the year, but I'm convinced with the right sleeping bag I could use it in the winter too. I'd just have to keep the rainfly closed throughout the day. The rainfly, while it meets the ground, provides just enough cover in the entryway to put your bag and shoes, things like that.
My favorite things about this tent:
2) super easy to assemble by myself and in the most weather conditions-it only has two poles.
3) seems to be waterproofed on the bottom, as its never leaked.
4) the mesh top is great for a couple of reasons-doesn't get too hot, finally a tent I can sleep in until mid morning, and if it's a clear night I can fall asleep looking at the stars and wake up looking at the trees.
The poles can seem a little tough to get into the grommets.
The tent didn't come with a footprint-it's sold separately and pricey-so since I'm cheap I just bought a small tarp and cut it down, put grommets in the corners where the tent meets.
I've had this tent for a little over 5 years and I hope to have it for more years to come.
Design: "1 1/2" person freestanding
Ease of Setup: Easy, best with two but can be done with 1
Weight: Says 4 lb 14 oz, not sure if that's w/poles and fly
Price Paid: $160?? I think
I LOVE this tent. Bought it slightly used in 2006 and spent 3 months backpacking over Northern Argentina with it, and slept in the tent more than I slept in a bed. Also spent 6 weeks of a summer living in it in the alpine. There's room for two, even without romance, with more than enough room for backpacks and boots; and with just one it's palatial, with room to sit up, get dressed and turn around.
The smaller vestibule has poor access except from the inside, which was a bit inconvenient at times - on the other hand, I don't mind the missing weight of one less zipper. Rain protection is pretty good if you get the fly tight; I spent 17 hours in a torrential tropical downpour without leaving and the worst was some dripping in the middle where the fly touched (possibly not staked tight enough, or the stakes shifted with the rain). Admittedly the fly can be a bit tricky to get good and tight. Ventilation isn't the greatest but again - fewer zippers=less weight, and when the fly comes off for a nice starry night, there's no better view. Easy-peasy to set up, which is great in a downpour, mosquito swarm or tricky spots.
Overall it's a 4.5-5; I'd like something a *bit* lighter but it seems to be sold as one of the lightest on the market, so maybe it's an issue of getting better poles.
Design: 3 season freestanding - could be used all-year round
Ease of Setup: excellent.
Weight: less than 5 lbs according to the literature. But can be set up with just the fly and footprint for those concerned with weight
Price Paid: $199
This tent is awesome! I spent a week in New Hampshire at the end of August and this made the trip feel like I was staying in a five-star hotel compared to some of my buddies.
The tent sets up very easily and is fool-proof in a few short minutes. Only two poles, color-coded slip into fabric sleeves instead of sucky clips. It's free-standing, but stake it out just in case.
Can we talk ROOMY for such a small footprint? It easily fit me (6'1") and my girlfriend (5'10" -- yea, she's a tall drink of water), but would easily accomodate two tall guys without worrying about the people in the tent next-door questioning your sexual orientation. :)
It's got a nice gear loft included and a great vestibule. I'd HIGHLY recommend this tent.
Where to Buy
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