Open main menu

Kelty Salida 1

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Kelty Salida 1 three-season tent

One-person, free standing, three-season, double walled bathtub style backpacking tent.


  • Lightweight
  • Packs small
  • Full mesh top
  • Easy setup
  • Waterproof


  • Small vestibule
  • Rain fly could be a bit bigger


To start, I have over 600 miles of backpacking in with this particular tent. I have had the pleasure of setting it up at 5000' feet, as a base camp, in the rain, in the snow, in an open field, in the thicket, and on top of just about every kind of ground you can find from snow, rocks, and roots to leaves, mud and sand.

To this day, there are no tears, or wearing anywhere that I can see. It is important to note that to spite weight it is extremely rare for me to use any type of ground cloth or tarp. 

Upon opening this tent, it comes nicely folded in a unique square stuff sack measuring 11x14". The idea to minimize the packed footprint of it, and to fit it against your back more ergonomically.

I personally stuff everything, not fold, so I did take it out of the square stuff sack and put into a smaller one and was able to get my stuff size down to 7x13 . The one it comes with has quite a bit of extra room which makes getting it back into its storage great, however it is extra unneeded weight so I can't say I gave their idea in that regard, an honest shot. 

When setting this tent up, Kelty has made it extremely easy by color coding the tent fly with the corners of the tent. The collapsible pole system is quick to put together as well as take down. The quick clip system that attaches the tent to the poles is awesome! My favorite part to the tent I think! With a quick turn of the clip, the tent locks itself securely onto the fly to alleviate sliding, sagging, or coming undone  ... They literally take seconds to clip or unclip.


The 68D PU coated floor and 68 walls are taped from the factory making this tent completely waterproof from the outside in. It also has a raised seam system, keeping the leak prone parts (seams) up off of the ground. The tent has a full  360 degree 40d no-see-um mesh top, less the part covering the gear loft, keeping all bugs and debris out for the clear nights you choose to leave your fly in your backpack.


The gear loft unfortunately did not come with the tent, which I wish it had. There is plenty of headroom, that I believe even with the gear loft you would have ample room to sit up and move around. It also has small gear storage in the corners of the head end which is great for storing small things such as headlamps or a snack.


The fly is also taped and is made from 68d with a PU coating to reassure it stays dry in the harshest of conditions. Now, the fly is the only thing I have any sort of issue with on this tent. When staked out, it is not alot wider than the tent itself, making for a small vestibule and small amount of room on the back side for adequate venting. This does seem to matter in below freezing temperatures where condensation are inevitable. I think, had the rear vented a bit better, it would cut down on this issue.

The vestibule is nice in the fact it does touch the ground when staked out providing dry storage, however it has all it can do to store a full sized pack, some boots, and leave room for cooking. Also anything you put in the vestibule will more than likely lean against the tent, so make sure your gear is dry first.

The vestibule measures 6.5 sq. feet of space and is Velcro at the bottom to reassure a tight closure. When staked out from all four corners the fly tightens down extremely well, leaving no loose fabric to flap in the wind, making a nice quiet night's sleep. 


The freestanding tent is something I have learned to love while mountaineering and long distance backpacking, making setting up anywhere at anytime, or moving your tent a breeze. With clips locking your vestibule to your tent, you can move the entire thing at once. Weighing in at 3lbs 6 ozs it's very easy to move around or shake out in the morning. You also do not have to rely on soft ground to stake this tent out although highly suggested with any amount of wind. 

The base is cut slightly narrower at the feet and wider in the shoulders to help save on weight. With the door opening away from you so that it does not get in your way when in use. You can tie up the door and the vestibule both if not needed. The dual no snag zipper works great, and is fairly quiet to operate. It's important to know that when Kelty pins this as a 1-person tent, they do mean in fact, that it is a one-person tent. There is plenty of room for one, but adding another person is not suggested. 

In conclusion, I would highly suggest this tent to anyone that likes the perks to a free standing tent and doesn't mind carrying the extra weight of tent poles. If weight is not an issue, consider the Salida 2 for the extra room. It is only about $10 more for the 2-person model.

It has seen me through many storms, and many surroundings. I will continue to carry this tent until it no longer will function at which point I will be absolutely considering another of the same. I have used this as a four-season tent, and with a good sleep setup, I have seen no issues doing so.

A great tent, at an extremely reasonable price, with all the features and benefits you will need for the long distance or over night trips ($119.95-$144.95 Retail).

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $109.95

I bought this tent to replace an Alps Mountaineering Mystique 2 (two person) because I didn't need that much room for just myself. Thus enter the Salida 1.


  • Long floor plan
  • Tall, good for a tall person to sit up in
  • Kelty's reputation for good quality, been happy with both the tent and sleeping bag
  • High walls on inside


  • The 'cube' sack sometimes doesn't fit well in a pack
  • A little heavier than other one persons from my research

I also added the footprint ground cover to protect the floor.

The physical description from people's reviews are spot on...freestanding, rain fly, single doorway, kind of a smaller size vestibule but I think it works for one person's stuff.

The floor plan itself is long (one reason I chose it, I'm rather tall), is 'coffin shaped' so one sleeps in only one direction and is a tall one-person tent as I can sit up and not scrape my head (another point that I liked). 

Only real beef is the 'cube bag' it comes in, sometimes is awkward to fit in a backpack, so I use a cylinder drybag instead.

It does have high walls under the rain fly before becoming mesh, which I like because the draft up the space between the two comes out well above me even when sitting up and in summer with the fly off lets you have some privacy and still see the stars.

For the cost, if you're a taller person I'd say it is worth a look.

I haven't used it enough so far to be too critical, but so far I'm happy with it.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $110+/- on sale

Well made, good materials. Very nice looking.


  • Cost
  • Size and weight


  • No fly vent(s)

Just received it and set it up indoors. Very easy to pitch.

A major complaint: no fly vent. With the high walls, the lack of upper fly vent will make this tent hot in summer. I wanted a high wall solo for early spring and late fall, so it will work for me. Mesh on tent body is only near top of tent.

Rectangular tent bag is different; had to add ties to tent body and fly to keep size down when packed. Not lightweight, but not heavy either. A very well made tent for the price.

Edited: Ended up returning it, and opting for the Kelty Gunnison 1.3. The 1.3 is a little heavier, with a larger vestibule and slightly smaller floor space. It does have two fly vents though. I think the lack of vents will make the Salida too hot and will not dump condensation.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $125

Your Review

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.

You May Like


Price Historic Range: $80.97-$134.95
Reviewers Paid: $109.95-$125.00
Product Details from Kelty »

Recently on Trailspace

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Review

Fire Maple Petrel Ultralight Pot Review