Kelty TN2 Tent
- Quiet in the wind
- Packs small and light
- Easy to set up
- Fly rolls back for stargazing
- Lots of room for two
- Fly-tent attachment gets gummed up with sand
This tent is a steal. For $250 you get a relatively lightweight and highly packable tent with lots of room and excellent weather protection. It's roomy enough not to feel claustrophobic while car camping or base camping.
This is a roomy tent with a 50-inch width and plenty of room for two and a boatload of gear. The pole structure pulls the walls vertically, adding elbowroom, and the 42-inch height runs through most of the tent, creating plenty of sitting up room. Two big doors and two vestibules, with 20 square feet of total storage, made the tent feel even roomier.
Kelty not only worked on the tent design, but how it’s carried. Instead of a tube shaped stuff sack, they used a cube. It's easy to fold the tent to fit and the cube shape fits in overstuffed packs better than a cylinder. They also cut their pole sections smaller—to 14 inches—so they would be more compact for cramming inside packs. At two pounds per person, there’s nothing to complain about in the weight department, especially with the price in mind.
The three pole set up is simple, fast and easy. Even in 20 mile per hour winds it was no problem. The only issue was with the plastic attachment points where the poles meet the tent and the vestibule clips in. In sandy or muddy conditions these connections often gummed up and wouldn't snap in easily. Sometimes they never felt like they made a good connection.
One of our testers took this tent on a Baja sea kayak trip and purposefully set it up in the windiest spot on the beach during a howling storm. “It was awesome,” he said. “When guy'ed out fully it wasn't noisy at all and held up really well to the wind. I was impressed.” The long fly hits the ground on all sides and protected us through a night of pounding PNW rain and a small stream flowing under the tent.
One of the coolest features of the tent is how the vestibule unclips and rolls back exposing the all mesh body of the tent for awesome stargazing. It was perfect on clear, but buggy nights. It works great for hot weather camping, too. In the rain vents kept the inside humidity under control and plastic windows helped for spotting an approaching break in the storm.
It's a lot of tent for $250, with plenty of room, many useful features, solid protection and fairly lightweight. Bottom line: a killer deal.
How We Tested It
A small army of testers used and abused the shelters for a minimum of seven nights (and some much longer) on trips that ranged from car camping to a rain forest hike to a month long Baja sea kayak expedition. Then we set them up on our lawn and turned the hose on them, left them standing during a 40 mile per hour windstorm and released a pack of kids to test the zippers and run through them with their shoes on.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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