Kelty Riverbend 2

rated 4.0 of 5 stars

The Riverbend 2 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2020.


Price Reviewers Paid: $145.00-$180.00


4 reviews
5-star:   0
4-star:   4
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Kelty doesn't make this tent anymore. Shame... It's a good tent. If you can find one, buy it! I originally bought the tent as a Streamside 2, which Kelty made for REI. It had aluminum poles instead of the fiberglass ones for the Creekside Kelty normally made (or did I get them backwards?). Anyway, after seeing the newer Riverbend models, I realized the footprints were exactly the same. So, I ordered the Riverbend 2 fly to make a conversion. So, then I had a converted Streamside/Creekside/Riverbend tent!

Anyway, getting to the review. Most of the features are top quality and can't be beaten. This is an excellent tent. The visability is remarkable on a clear night with the fly off, particularly as the netting is black. This helps day vision also. It's roomy, with more room at the shoulders and head. The vestibule could possibly be bigger, but is functional. My last tent didn't have a vestibule at all.

The fly is a bit noisy in rain, due to the fact that it is flatter on top to make headroom wider. It thuds like a drum much louder than my more sloped tents. It would be nice to have some visibility when the hatches are battened down, so to speak.

My Eureka Timberline tent is great for rain because you can partially unzip the ends and watch it rain. The Kelty is meant for serious business and you are definitely secured down. I do like the little windows and the ventilation chimney.

All in all, it's a great tent, particularly if you are packing and a storm comes up. For campground camping, I might suggest something with more of a view, but the ventilation is good with this tent, view not-withstanding.

Design: 3-season, freestanding w/ vestibule
Sleeps: 2
Weight: 6 lbs. 10 oz.
Price Paid: $129 + $50

This tent is a great buy for what you get. The amount of space it allows is seldom found in this price range. The weight is a drawback for long trips. If you can split the weight between two people, it is much more manageable.

This tent is for you if you love star gazing on clear nights. With the fly removed, the mesh ceiling offers a great view.

My biggest problem is a bothersome spot with the fly. It has a tendency to droop right in the middle of the ceiling during hard rainfall and really wet weather. You have to be VERY careful not to push against the mesh ceiling (by accident) because the fly will stick to it from the condensation. Once that happens, it is hard to regain that precious distance that you need for the condensation to trickle down the fly. I've tried numerous manuevers to make the fly more taught but nothing seems to work.

Besides this bothersome problem, which only occurs in severe weather, I have used this tent for approx. 2 1/2 yrs. (since it came out) and have enjoyed it.

It even withstood a 10 inch snow storm it Rocky Mountain (although barely). 3-season, definitely!

Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Extremely easy to set up
Weight: see manuf.
Price Paid: $180

The Riverbend is a great tent but is discontinued. I still have mine and it is a perfect tent for weekend backpacking trips. It is probably a little heavy to do extended trips but not too bad for backpacking in to fish the High Sierra. It is a good size two-person tent but two large people and it gets fairly cozy. I am 6'4" and 200 lbs and went backpacking last summer with my buddy who is 6' 215 lbs. and we became more intimate than we bargained for. It is a breeze to set up and is tough as nails. The rainfly works well too in case you mis-time your trip. Overall it is a great two-person bag.

Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: A Monkey Could Do It!

I have had the Riverbend 2 for about a year. I needed a tent for two people and gear but it had to be reasonably priced. After a lot of research I found this tent to have a lot more floor space than most 2-man tents costing twice as much. The weight is not too bad when you split it between 2 people (a little less than 3.5 lbs each). There is enough room for 2 people and gear, I'm 6'-2" and there is even plenty of room to sit up. I haven't used it in a downpour yet but if you take time to seal the seams any tent should do fine in a heavy rain. This tent holds up very well in heavy winds when you use the guy lines. This tent should do well for anyone looking for a two man tent.

I wouldn't recommend it for one person because of the weight, but for 2 it's just right because you can split it up and let each person carry half. If you need a one man tent, get a Kelty Zen. Overall the Kelty Riverbend 2 is a great 2-man tent for the price.

Design: three season
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Very easy to set up because of the color coded clips
Weight: 6 lb 10 oz
Price Paid: $145

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