Review: Kelty Aero 2 [ 2-man 3-season ultralight Tent ]

Review: Kelty Aero 2  [  2-man 3-season ultralight Tent ]
Product Description
Polyester ripstop rainfly and tent walls-NO SAGGING. Spreader poles greatly increase interior volume/headroom. Large mesh roof under fly allows ventilation. Fly can be rolled up for stargazing and increased ventilation. Vents on side walls pull in cool air. Foot vent helps dissipate condensation. Large floorless vestibule for storage. Lightweight. Taped seams. One door, one vestibule. Materials: 2.3 oz polyester ripstop fly and tent walls. 2.3 oz nylon taffeta floor.

Retail: $170


Reviewed by: Tom, a Backpacker from Buffalo, NY
Date Reviewed: 6/18/2001 10:10:24 AM
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Used this tent for the first time recently, a 3 day camp in the Adirondacks. As a prelude to the review, the weather was extreme - both heat and rain were unusual, though not at the same time.

Pros: Very light (about 4 lbs), easy to set up (once you decipher the lame instructions), huge vestibule (kept my Gregory, day pack and boots dry during the monsoon),decent room to sit up (I'm 6', 180), stargazing through the "skylight" was very nice when it was dry - a specific reason I bought this tent.

Cons: Had a big problem with condensation, especially when it rained. Interior walls were weeping from a combination of my breath, the moisture on the ground rising up though the 2 floor vents, and (ugh) leaky seams (to be fair, it was after a few hours of very hard rain). The narrow space between the botton half of my bag and the slick walls got progressively closer as the night went on - moisture on my bag as a result.

Unique tent design is basically a psuedo rain fly with ceiling, floor and foot vents. The ceiling vent gets protected with another flap when it's wet, and this cuts off a lot of air movement. Adding to the problem, the foot vent was easily blocked by the bottom of my bag.

On a minor note, the vestible door makes entry/exit awkward. And although Kelty markets this as a 2 person tent, there is no way to do this without elbos, torsos and legs in eachother's "space". There's a minor pouch in the skylight, but could use a few ceiling loops or a hanging cord (the price of less weight I suppose).

I appreciate the Kelty effort (there are some nice feature and it looks, as my brother put it "like a NASA experimental plane"). I think the tent is best suited someone who's used to a bivy and wants a few more feet of space, (and it wouldn't hurt if you were on the smaller side).

Similar Products Tried:
Mountain Hardware, Walrus
 

 
  Reviewed by: Craig Smith, a Backpacker from Pleasant Hope, MO
Date Reviewed: 3/29/2001 7:20:55 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
The Kelty Aero 2 is a one hoop tent with an additional single pole to support the foot section. The hoop pole can be difficult to fit into the grommets made for it, but once assembled, it makes for a taut tent. Although advertised as a two-person tent, it is a tight fit, and I would recommend it's use as a solo tent. Two can sleep in it; I've experienced it, but pads and bags overlap near the foot section.

The peak height is 42" and one can comfortably sit up in it near the front section. The vestibule is huge, and I can easily place my internal frame pack and boots beneath the vestibule. Ventilation is good, though if you inadvertently block the mesh vent at the rear of the tent, condensation will be a problem. But with the large screen door, the two eyelid vents on each side, a mesh panel in the roof, and the mesh window in the foot, ventilation is good provided you keep all air passages unobstructed. I took the tent to the Post Office and had it weighed on a postal scale. It weighed four pounds exactly, but I guess tent weights vary because of minor differences in the cloth, etc.

This is a well-constructed tent. The seams are tightly-sewn, straight, and taped. However, as I mentioned above, I would not buy this tent for use as a two-person tent. As a solo tent, it makes an incredibly roomy, but still lightweight shelter.




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