Specs

Min. Trail Weight 3 lb 15.6 oz / 1.80 kg
Packaged Weight 4 lb 8.5 oz / 2.06 kg
Floor Area 32 sq ft / 2.97 sq m
Interior Height 41.5 in / 1.05 m
Tent Body Volume 58.6 cu ft / 1.66 cu m
Vestibule Volume 50.0 cu ft / 1.42 cu m
Total Volume 108.6 cu ft / 3.08 cu m

Reviews

10

The CrossBow 2 Mesh is the workhorse configuration…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Samples provided by SlingFin for testing and review)

Summary

The CrossBow 2 Mesh is the workhorse configuration of the SlingFin CrossBow 2 family. This tent will stand up to virtually any weather and conditions during three-season use, easily housing two people and ALL OF THEIR GEAR. This shelter is best suited for two travelers who simply cannot compromise quality and comfort.

Pros

  • Very comfortable for two people
  • Extremely spacious vestibules
  • Good strength-to-weight ratio
  • Excellent quality of materials

Cons

  • Not dry pitch/dry breakdown
  • Learning curve
  • High price point


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A mild October evening near the Ed Garvey shelter area; Appalachian Trail, Maryland

Although SlingFin may be a relatively new name to the tent world, the crew on board has more collective experience than most well established companies. It is clear that they have paid very close attention to the needs of users who camp in adverse conditions.

This being said, this tent could be overkill for many hikers out there. Although not ideal in a world where "ultralight" is often viewed as better, this shelter system and its kin are here to stay...

Specs:

  • MSRP $480
  • Capacity: 2 Person
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Number of Vestibules: 2
  • Interior Area: 32 sq ft
  • Vestibule Area: 11sq ft (X2)
  • Interior Height: 41.5” at center
  • Fabric- 20D Nylon Ripstop PU Coated Floor
  •             15D Canopy Fabric
  •             15D Nylon Ripstop Silicone PU Coated Fly
  • Poles- 2x DAC NSL 9mm (Main Poles)
  •            1x DAC NSL 9.6mm (Bow Pole)
  • Min. Trail Weight: 4lbs (Without Footprint)

Setup

This shelter takes a good bit of time to learn for proper setup. After a couple of uses, the CrossBow 2 Mesh became intuitive to setup. After staking the four corners of the shelter, the two main tent poles slide through the WebTruss and are inserted into grommets, much like most tents. 

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Footprint clipped, tent pole, stake; only fly remains to attach to outer o-ring


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The rainfly can then be installed, which was shown to be problematic when breaking camp in the pouring rain (see R/S review). Removing the tent poles from the gusset can be troublesome, especially when every moment counts during a rainstorm.

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Rainfly setup, prior to final adjustment

The top bow pole is optional, if the user chooses to attach trekking poles as the secondary support system (weight savings= 3.7oz).

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The guylines are all included with clam cleats, which have become a standard in the industry over the last several years. 

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The guy line supports the structure, while also creating additional headroom.

Rainfly installation is easy, with special reflective tabs that indicate the correct opening in respect to the doorway to the tent.

Stability

All configurations of the SlingFin CrossBow 2 have shown to be among the most stable tents I have ever used. The strongest winds encountered during testing were only in the 30+ mph range, and this tent did not budge. This tent will easily handle far higher winds!

Weather Resistance

The CrossBow 2 Mesh unfortunately did not encounter any rain during testing. In the event of a downpour, the rainfly will keep the entire tent inner dry, as well as the two GIANT vestibules. The bathtub bottom of this shelter would successfully prevent any splash back, based on my encounters with rain using the other two configurations of the CrossBow 2 (CrossBow 2 R/S and CrossBow 2 StormPak). 

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Ventilation

This configuration of the CrossBow 2 does a sufficient job allowing adequate ventilation. When in pleasant weather with both vestibules open, the breeze successfully prevented any condensation buildup.   


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Room & Storage

The useable space for the size and weight of this shelter is truly great. Most of my testing was either solo or with my pup, and this tent is palatial! Even with two larger people in this tent, the vestibules will hold packs, boots, trekking poles, water bottles and more!


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More than enough space for a man and his pup, with room to spare.

Packability

For the size of this shelter, packability is a plus. The 15D and 20D material really does an admirable job packing down.

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CrossBow 2 Mesh, footprint, fly, stakes all packed in blue dry bag

Ease of Use

Once the system is understood, the CrossBow 2 is relatively easy to use. The WebTruss can easily become tangled and twisted when stored, but is not too much of a hassle to correct. The adjustable guylines allow the rainfly to appropriately adjust when the tent is set up on non-level ground.

Features

There are several features that set this shelter apart from most others. All guylines and sleeve openings have awesome reflective strips, making this tent quick to spot, even from 50+ yards! 


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Cam adjustments allow the flysheet to be easily adjusted, ensuring a happy and dry camper!


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The inner of the flysheet has additional toggles and o-rings so it can be directly attached to the tent poles rather than the tent inner, which greatly increases tent strength. 


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WebTruss and fly offset; toggle and o-ring system attaches fly directly to tent poles.

 

The tent body has two gigantic mesh pockets for storing more gear than any tent pocket you’ve probably ever used.


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Mesh pocket holding an 800 fill down jacket

Construction & Durability

SlingFin did not cut any corners when it comes to quality of craftsmanship they are putting into the hands of their customers. Every stitch, feature, and clip is top of the range construction. Titanium Dioxide coated fabric prolongs the lifespan of any material that is exposed to UV rays. Eco-friendly DAC tent pegs and tent poles are used. I have not noted any wear and tear during the course of testing; only one torn tent peg webbing loop needed replacement.

Conditions

This shelter configuration has been tested on approximately four overnight trips on the Appalachian Trail between October and November, 2016.


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Many thanks to the people out at SlingFin for the opportunity to test this product for the Trailspace Gear Review Corps!

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