- Very light
- More elbow room than footprint suggests
- Packs really small
- Easy to set up
- Not free standing
If weight and pack size are more important than anything else, consider the Slingfin 2Lite. It may not be freestanding, but with only two poles, set up is fast and easy. And while it may not be roomy lying down, the generous height and vestibule space help make up for it.
This is a case where the stats don't tell all. While the 2Lite's 29 square foot floor area seems small, living in the tent does not. The two 11 square foot vestibules swallow packs and gear and the elbow room feels expansive when hanging out in the tent. The pole set up lifts the head room almost straight up and the aggressive bends in both poles create near vertical side walls, resulting in 41 inches of head room.
Weighing only 2.7 pounds and packing down smaller than most sleeping bags (12” X 6”) this is one of the most packable tents we tested. This is even more impressive considering the livable space it creates. If you're a hiking pole person, cut weight by four more ounces by buying the trekking pole conversion and leaving the larger pole at home.
The two-pole, non-freestanding design requires diligent pegging to get the tent standing strong and to keep the fly off the tent body—not a problem in soft ground, but can be a chore on bedrock and hard sites. The two horseshoe-shaped poles (one big at the head, another small at the toes) clip to the tent body with a unique clip system that's quick and easy.
Despite the non-freestanding design and nearly vertical head wall, when set up carefully, this tent is impressively resilient. In testing, it shed water well and stood up to 40 mph winds. The fly overhangs the entrance, even when fully open, creating an all weather awning. However, the to-the-ground fly couldn't keep the wind from whistling through the all mesh body, making this tent best for warmer seasons.
The vestibule rolled right back into the tent and the D-shaped door is high and roomy—together they make getting in and out of the tent easy. Venting is limited, but with an all mesh body, not a problem in most conditions. Due to its lightweight nature, the pockets and other accessories are slim.
Typically tents in this weight class cost around $400, so by that measure the Slingfin 2Lite is a good value. And because it feels roomier than most of it's ultralight competitors, the tent turns out to be a great value.
How We Tested It
The tents is this test were used in a variety of conditions, from the Vancouver Island rainforest to uninhabited islands in Baja. In total, more than 50 nights were logged in the five tents. At home we set them up in the yard, timing how long it took, sprayed them relentlessly with hoses, and left them set up during a 60 mile per hour wind and rain storm.
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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