On one of my more recent camping trips, all that I brought was my sleeping bag, and a groundsheet. Last year, when backpacking, I carried a hammock instead of a tent. When I am mountaineering, generally, all that I bring to sleep in is a bivy sack. The reason that I can use all of these lightweight products and be fine in the wilderness is that I have years and years of experience. But the thing that I, and many outdoors experts sometimes forget – or don’t mention is that before we could use all of the super-cool hi-tech lightweight toys responsibly, there was a period where we learned how to camp; how to backpack, and in my case, how to mountaineer. In short, there was a point where we were beginners – and we used normal, beginner, every-day use beginner gear.
And this gets us to a key point: for the most part, other that weight concerns, there is nothing wrong with beginner, every-day use gear. For a majority of people for which camping is loading up the car, driving to a site, and pitching a tent, this gear is perfect, and fantastic. After all – who needs, or has weight concerns when the car is going to carry the weight? The key point here is that for fashionable people in the outdoor industry, “heavy” has become a key term to denigrate non-ultralight gear. But the dirty secret is this: everyday campers don’t need ultralight gear. Regular gear; beginner gear, and car-camping gear works just fine. As a matter of fact, in 2016, this gear is beyond fine: it is lightweight compared to products of my youth; and it is more durable – and easier to use than those products of years past.
A perfect example is the Tribe Provisions Adventure Tent II. The main concern I heard from various parties online and off about this tent is its weight: 5.4 pounds. As it is a general (non-four season) two person tent, the weight (for ultralight enthusiasts) is heavy. However, this fails to take into consideration who the tent was designed for, and what it was designed to do. This tent was not designed for the ultralight enthusiast. It was designed for normal, everyday use, and for normal, everyday campers – or for people learning about camping as a hobby. With that in mind, this tent is not problematic – it is fine; it is more than fine; and as you will see below from my review, it is an excellent gear choice.
I was provided a complimentary Adventure Tent II from Tribe Provisions, and pursuant to my gear review standards, I put the tent through its paces. No, I did not take it on a through hike of the Pacific Crest Trail – because it wasn’t designed for that purpose. What I did do, was take it on a four-day trip down the Colorado River; and I took it on a short backpack/car camp excursion with low mileage through the foothills of Southern California. In short, I took it places and used in situations where it was designed to be used. After over a week in the tent of overnight use, I found that it performs well in almost any situation.
The best feature about this tent, in my opinion, is the ease in which it can be assembled. The Adventure Tent II utilizes two poles which “clip-in” to various grommets along the fabric which cross at one location at the top, which makes assembly (and disassembly) a breeze. On average, it took me around five minutes to get the tent up – and down, which is in stark contrast to the assembly process of older tents. As a matter of fact, on one occasion, I was able to get the tent up in ten minutes – while holding my fussy two –year old in one arm. If that doesn’t tell you that assembly is a breeze, I don’t know what does.
In addition to the assembly process, the Adventure Tent II features a unique “dual-door” system. What this means is that each person on the tent can exit without having to crawl over the other person. This is also a great feature that older models of tents did not have, and should have had for generations. The Adventure Tent II also repels water with a removable 210 RT Polyester weave rainfly, which ensures that gear will stay dry on short or long excursions. The rainfly also adds an additional amount of space to the tent in dual vestibules. Finally, about the weight: while I did take the tent on a river excursion, where much of the travel was done by boat, I also backpacked with it. As I mentioned above, while it is heavier than an ultralight, in all honesty, it is no heavier than any tent I had used in the past, which means that for a beginner, this tent can be used for backpacking.
Overall, the Adventure Tent II provides durability, comfort, and ease of assembly in a compact package. For those people looking to expand their tent collections for casual, car-camping use, or for beginners looking into camping or backpacking on an introductory basis, or for anyone needing a two-man tent, it delivers a quality product. For advanced backpackers, the weight may be a concern, but until one reaches that advanced point, the Adventure Tent II will provide many nights of excellent service.
Disclaimer: I was contacted by Tribe Provisions who inquired whether I would review this product, the Tribe Provisions Adventure Tent II. In conjunction with this, they provided me with a free sample of the product, which I then tested. While I was not compensated for this review other than being provided with the free product, readers should be aware of the underlying arrangement that exists, and know that the opinions provided herein regarding this product are based solely on my own experience with the product.