User Review: Wenzel StarLite
Design: 3 season non-freestanding
Ease of Setup: Pretty quick, but never satisfactory
Weight: 4 lb. 8 oz.
Price Paid: $30
The only positives of this tent are that it was really really cheap, and light.
That being said, I don't really think it was worth the 30 bucks. I'd rather have put that money toward a real tent. I think it fails in all of the respects that a tent should not: size/comfort, ease of use, weather protection, durability.
Although I knew the dimensions before I bought it, I didn't realize what I was getting into, or going to be trying to get into. It says that it sleeps 1-2, but even alone it's impossible to sit up. The entry/exit could be compared to playing the piano in mittens. You have to crawl and duck under your guy line and try not to put your feet on your sleeping bag.
It's a pain to set up, even for a non-freestanding tent. Three out of my six stakes bent the second time I used them and it was in soft ground. Even when perfectly staked, it still sags decreasing the already limited volume of the tent.
Its biggest failure is really in the weather protection department. The main purpose of a tent is to keep you dry and this one simply won't. Wenzel recomends seam-sealing the tent, so I did that before ever using it. Then I set it up in my yard to see how it faired in a moderate shower. I was dissapointed to find large puddles in the bottom of the tent the next morning.
The tent breathes so poorly that even on a dry night, you will still wake up in enough water to cook breakfast with! Considering how poorly it keeps water out, I was amazed at how well it keeps it in. I learned quickly that the door of the tent should never be closed unless there was no one in it, but even that was not nearly enough ventalation for the tent.
In summary, this tent sucks, and isn't worth the time I spent reviewing it. There are many other slightly more expensive options for lightweight solo shelters and I would recommend all of them over the Wenzel StarLite.
Where to Buy
The Wenzel StarLite is not available from the stores we monitor.
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