Walrus Arch Rival Solid
Positives: I spent a long time looking at lightweight…
Design: 3-season non-freestanding
Ease of Setup: moderately difficult
Weight: 4 lb, 12 oz.
Price Paid: $120
I spent a long time looking at lightweight 2-person tents before I bought one. I found the Arch Rival to have the best characteristics of the group. It is lightweight (the posted weight includes all stakes that come with the tent, as well as the stuff sack, as weighed on my postal scale). It is large enough to sleep two people, and you can place one pack inside the tent and one pack underneath the fly. The fly does a good job of covering the tent and has a decent-sized vestibule.
Also, the tent floor seams are taped.
In fact, the weight of the tent can be further reduced by two ounces by leaving excess tent pegs at home.
On the negative side, I found the tent difficult to set up properly. While easy to set up in a sloppy sort of way, it is imperative that the tent be properly staked in order to get the tent walls tight. I had a difficult time getting proper ventilation/seperation between the tent walls and the fly. As a result, on our high sierra trip this summer (the first time we used the tent) half of the time my wife and I experienced condensation inside the tent, although we later remedied this through more ventilation (leave the door unzipped).
The tent pegs are cheap and will have to be replaced with ones which don't bend so easily. The front door zippers are awkward.
All in all, I find the Arch Rival Solid to be an excellent tent for the weight and for the money. If I were buying over again, I'd probably buy the mesh version to save a couple of extra ounces.
Size: Snug, although comfortably long, and very light.
Design: 2-hoop staked
Sleeps: 2 good friends
Ease of Setup: "Difficulty of tent setup" does not apply to this one!
Weight: 4.5 lbs.
Price Paid: $119
Size: Snug, although comfortably long, and very light. The 4.5 lbs. includes the stuff sacks and stakes (most published tent weights don't) Tapered footprint makes it a little tight width-wise at the foot end. Nice vestibule, although zipping the rainfly door while inside the tent is a trick.
Design: Simple and minimal, well-thought out. Setup WAY easier than rolling off a log. A breeze even on a dark and stormy night. One caveat: there is no latitude for adjustment when setting the stakes. The structure of the tent is dependent on the stakes pulling the fabric tightly over the two hoops and down, and placement is critical. Tying out to a stake with a length of cord to avoid a rock results in a limp tent. The only solution is to relocate the tent (or the rock, I suppose).
Comfort: Stuffy when closed up on a warm, rainy night. There is a mesh version available which must be nicer for warm-weather camping. I was truly impressed with the tent's watertightness. We stayed quite dry on a very wet weekend, watching pools of water form on the groundcloth, safely beneath the translucent floor.
Overall: Aside from the necessary accuracy of stake placement, the two-hoop design functions superbly with a minimum of components. This makes for a lightweight shelter and an efficient design. The Arch Rival is well-crafted and longer than any other 2-person tent (as well as most 3-person tents!).
Request: Does anyone happen to have a copy of the…
Design: 3-season non free-standing (hoop)
Ease of Setup: Easy
Weight: 4.75 lbs.
Price Paid: $125
Request: Does anyone happen to have a copy of the Assembly-Care brochure, which came with the Walrus Arch Rival X-V? Mine got soaked and dissolved?
If so, could you please email me a copy at email@example.com? Also, does anyone know whether this tent has, with the help of a couple of straps-with-buckles, a "fly-only" set up option?
This tent requires careful site selection to work…
Design: 3 season 2 hoop non-freestanding
Sleeps: 2 tightly
Ease of Setup: Easy to do poorly, little harder to do well
Weight: under 5#
Price Paid: $109
This tent requires careful site selection to work as well as it can. This somewhat limits the tent's utility. It is a terrific little tent though when you get it pitched well on an appropriate spot. Mine has always served me well through very nasty weather, even through 5 inches of very wet, very heavy snow. Ventilation is not its strong suit when weather dictates full fly coverage, but not many tents of this design could do better and it's all about weight and weather-proofness with this tent choice.