A pretty lightweight tent that is easy to set up and…
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $125
A pretty lightweight tent that is easy to set up and holds its own.
- Fairly lightweight
- Really easy set up
- Mountain Glo
- Double doors
- Single vestibule can't hold the needed gear
- Lightweight materials need to be pampered
Setup: The tent has a single pole design with quick clips. This is probably the first 4P tent that I've dealt with that has only one pole. This makes setup an absolute breeze. No color coordinating pegs, no missing pieces.
Once the tent is up, there are some guy lines to pull it taught. The 4 corner stakes and the fly vestibule stake is all you'll need for most weather, but in the case things get hairy, there are several more guy out points.
You can see each of the 4 corners has a guy out point as well as one on each side of the tent. This makes 6 additional stability points in addition to the 4 corners and the vestibule stake.
Weather Resistance: The floor has a single taped seam in the middle. The floor does the trick but after several pitches (minus the footprint), the weatherproofing on the floor material bubbled up away from the fabric where rocks poked into it. Very minor bubbles. This was mostly to the fact that we should have had a footprint under the tent. I wouldn't necessarily hold this against the tent. That's just the nature of waterproof coating on current models. The fly is taped and keeps out the rain well.
Ventilation: The tent has a small vent you can see in the pic below. It is screened in case you want to fast pitch just the vestibule with the footprint. I can't figure out why you'd add a screen to the vent if the backside of the tent is open. What's the sense of keeping out bugs from a little vent hole when the entire back side lets them in in fast pitch mode? Unnecessary weight and cost.
The vent doesn't do a whole lot but since the backside of the tent is open, you can really vent it well if weather permits you to unzip the door a bit at the top and allow the screen window to let the air in. For this reason, this tent scores well on venting and reducing condensation.
Open faced back of tent (or front if you prefer)
Room and Storage: Fits 4P just fine. (4 traditional Thermarest rectangle mats fit just about right side by side) You're not on top of each other but there's no room for extra gear with 4 people. The vestibule holds 1-2 big packs or a few day packs. and some footwear. You will not get more than 2 big packs stuffed in there.
4 corner mesh pockets hold essentials in the tent.
This is a lower tent when pitched. I like this fact. I don't feel the need to stand in a tent. The lower profile keeps the poles stronger on the pitch and makes the tent less obtrusive (never mind the bright red and orange colors).
Packability: Packs down pretty well for a 4P tent. As you can see in the pic, it's about two shoes big (I'm using ancient Mesopotamian units). I like the fact that you can actually stuff this tent into a single pack if needed (going camping with little kids who you can't split the load with for example).
Ease of Use: This is where the tent scores well. It's really intuitive, practical, and it keeps things simple. The mountain glo is really the only extraneous feature and it's a nice one.
Features: Mountain Glo and double doors.
It's a 3-click system: 1 click= full light, 2 clicks = 1/2 power light (good for nighttime bathroom breaks), and 3rd click turns the lights out again. Takes 3 AAA batteries. When not in use, there's a tiny switch you flick on the clicker to break the circuit so you don't get ghost drain on the batteries.
Mountain Glo is an ambient LED light strip that is sewn into the ceiling's fabric. The light is not overwhelming. Even on full, it's barely bright enough to read with if you have good eyesight. I like it for taking out my contact lenses. It's also a really nice feature if someone needs to get up in the middle of the night to exit the tent.
Construction and Durability: This tent sacrifices durability for weight reduction. I can't see this tent doing well for more than 5 years of continuous camping (monthly). It's a tradeoff. You'll love packing in 5lb less than most 4P tents. If you pamper the tent and you only make it out for a couple of trips a year, this tent is a good match.
Conditions: So far, it's been in light rain, full sun, average winds. It has been pitched on jagged rock.
In the end, I like the tent. It's simple, light, and does the trick. Like any tent, there are things that I would change but if they were changed, it would only create other things about the tent that I would want to change. I say, if you see one on sale, pick it up.