REI Roadster UL
Design: Three-season, not freestanding
Ease of Setup: Moderate at first, then easy
Weight: 3 lbs. 4 oz.
Price Paid: $112
This strange looking tent is one of the better one-person tents I have. It packs extremely small, is very light and is surprisingly roomy. The little sewn-in aluminum stays in the corners make the entire interior of the tent usable; many tents have pointy corners where you cannot put anything.
The tent is rather short (like me), and I suspect a tall person might find it too short in length. The peak height is good and sitting up is comfortable. Vestibule and entry/exit are OK. I do not like how the rain fly touches the tent body at the corners and does not extend very far past it, but I there have been no problems with condensation or rain.
Make sure you practice pitching this tent! The system of adjustable cords that REI uses is ingenious, but confusing at first. Once you figure it out, it is great because you don't just have one place to put the tent peg. If you hit a rock, just find a new place for the peg without moving the whole tent!
Only complaint is that this tent is not very taut in high winds. It will not blow down, but you will have a hard time sleeping with all the noise.
Design: 3-season, free-standing solo
Ease of Setup: can be difficult on rocky terrain
Weight: 3lbs, 2oz
Price Paid: $37!!!
I had seen this tent online, in magazines, and in REI and thought it was pretty ugly and since it wasn't free-standing, I was never interested in it. I was looking for a summer solo tent when i saw a 2004 model in REI for $37 BUCKS!! I couldnt pass it up, so I bought it with a footprint and took it with me to Zion and Bryce National Parks and it works like a charm.
The tent design allows for maximum room with aluminum stays in the corners and the set allows this tent to be one of the sturdiest non-free-standing tents I have ever seen. It packs down very small (3lbs). I love this tent and sleeping under the stars was great. Vestibule is large enough for boots and gear, but then again, so is the inside of the tent!!
The only difference between the 2004 and the 2005 model (besides the 100 dollar difference) is the aluminum pole is lighter....oh well.
Design: one man
Ease of Setup: Easy
Weight: 3-4 LBS
Price Paid: $80
OK I didnt pay $37 like the other guy but I am impressed with this tent. It is a 2006 model and I like the extra room you get with a aluminum stakes in the ends. The rainfly is vented so if you use it in fall or spring it vents well with almost no condensation. The guy outs and stakes are a really neat idea. It also doesn't hurt that it's light. REI has a great return and warranty policy. Pretty sweet tent.
Design: Ultralight One Person Non-Freestanding
Ease of Setup: Set up took about 3 minutes (in pretty serious wind)
Weight: Just over 3lbs
Price Paid: $49
The first time I used this tent was in an early season solo trip in the Cascades (OR). I was hoping that a low snow year and week of nice weather was going to offer a pretty low key weekend. I set up camp in the late afternoon. The weather that evening turned to light snow and winds of 40-50mph (estimate) whipping across of the lake I was camped next to. The roadster took it like a champ. There was minimal flappage, and while the poles bent a little under the wind, they regained shape when the wind died down (the next morning).
All in all there was a good amount of space in the tent for one person. I was able to sit up and read, but not much else. But then again it's an ultralight one-person tent, so what can you expect (at least at that price point).
The only reason I don't rate this tent five stars is because it is not freestanding.
Where to Buy
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