Design: 3 season single wall tunnel tent
Sleeps: 2 (34 sq ft)
Ease of Setup: 1 minute min
Weight: 1 700 g min (3 lbs. 12 oz.)
Price Paid: $200 US
Noall tents is a small manufacturer somewhere in California. I was amused when I called them to order direct and Steve Noall answered the phone, with his kids screaming in the background. As I understand it, he used to be the designer for Gregory when they made tents in the 1980s. The tent is supposed to be used mainly for lightweight backpacking, bicycle touring, and alpine climbing. I mainly use it for alpine-style mountain asccents.
The tent looks rather similar to the Walrus Arch-Rival except that it is a single wall tent made out of waterproof PU coated nylon taffeta. There are peaked awnings on both the front and back of the tent, as well as a huge mesh skylight with a stormflap. There is a mesh vent under the awning at the end of the tent, and, when used with the mesh door, a chimney like ventilation can be set up even in inclement weather. The tent body is sky blue and the floor is forest green.
This tent has a number of interesting features. The main door is actually an extension of the tent floor, which means when it's zipped all the way down it offers a ground cover which extends beyond the entryway. Also, the mesh door isn't sewn to the tent floor but instead attaches with velcro tabs, which allows it to be zipped fully up and stuffed into a little hammock in the awning. These features make stuff like rolling up my sleeping pad and stuffing my bag easier. There are also a couple of small gear pockets for eye glasses, or whatever.
My tent massed 1 950 g (4 lbs. 5 oz.) shipped with all the stuff sacks and ten pegs. With two pegs and no sacks, it is 1 700 g (3 lbs. 12 oz.). Both these number are within an ounce of the manufacturer's claims. The tent has either 30 or 34 sq ft of interior space, depending on whether or not you use a pair of stake-outs on the door cum floor or not.
The two poles are 8.6 mm tempered Easton (7075-T9) aluminium. I can set the tent up in under a minute using the two point setup. If I'm not alone, it's really necessary to use more stakes or scrounge replacements at the campsite to get a tauter pitch. You also need to take more effort in setting it up if it's breezy. OTOH, if it's raining or dark out it's nice to just plop the tent down and crawl inside.
Condensation has not really been a problem for this tent. Because of the good ventilation system, it's better than a lot of double wall tents I've used. When I camped in spring snow conditions, when I woke up after being sprawled up against the sidewall the entire night, my down bag was only damp. The walls were damp to the touch, but no water droplets had formed.
Some of the the sewing on this tent could definitly be done better although it is not as bad as off-shore stuff -- at least they corrected their mistakes. I get the impression that a new sewer made my tent. Seam sealing this tent was quite difficult.
Also, since there's no vestibule, you need to carry either a packcover or garbage bag for your packs with two people. There is lots of room for boots, however, and a little beyond that.
Overall, the Equinoix is an unorthodox tent that takes some getting used to, but the user-friendlyness and weight are unbeatable. Cheap too.
Where to Buy
The Noall Equinoix is not available from the stores we monitor.
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