Slingfin is new to the backpacking scene, but it’s designer is not. Martin Zemitis has been in the industry 33 years now, working with other industry leaders to design their gear. Now, he’s free to produce his own designs. The 2Lite tent is one of the results of that freedom.
The 2Lite comes in two variations, one that pitches with trekking poles and one that includes a full pole for setup. Tested here, the standard 2Lite is an ultra-light, non-freestanding shelter with full mesh walls and a full coverage rainfly with two vestibules. The tent utilizes two aluminum poles; a large hoop like pole at the head and one smaller pole at the foot. The larger pole arches wide and extends into the two vestibules, enhancing storage space and also improving stability. The tent fly is 15D nylon ripstop and the floor is a thicker 20D nylon ripstop, while the entire body is a breezy 15D mesh . The tent houses a peak height of 41″, a length of 89″, with a floor area of 28.5 square feet at 50″ wide at the shoulders. The packed weight comes in at 2 lbs 14. oz, and it retails at $338.
What I liked
The 2Lite is supremely light weight at just under 3 lbs, but still manages to hold up well to the elements. This is largely thanks to the large arched aluminum poles. Built from DAC NSL (8.5mm), the main pole arches around the tent, creating a large almost circular shape that produces an even tension all around the perimeter. This creates a resistant frame that holds up nicely in moderate winds, resisting caving in and holding it’s shape without creaking or moaning. The clip system secures the body snugly to the poles, and helps even out tension across the frame. A tensioning line, located inside the tent for easy adjustment, allows further fine tuning without leaving the tent during a storm.
The build overall is also quite nice, using a high quality 15D rainfly and body that is light weight without feeling frail or flimsy. The corners are reinforced, and the entire tent is carefully balanced. The designer avoided using webbing and tensioners that are designed to hold up to hundreds of pounds of tension, instead relying on slimmer but adequately durable lines that closer match up the much lower tearing strength of the nylons actually used in modern tents. What’s the point of webbing that will hold your weight if the tent body it’s connected to can only handle a few pounds? This cuts weight, without adding unnecessary strength and bulk.
Livability is also good. The tent is roomy enough for two campers to happily rest inside, thanks to the wide shoulders, generous length (89″) and a tall 41″ ceiling. It’s sufficient enough for two campers to sit up and get things done like changing and rummaging through equipment without causing too much disturbance between one another. The vestibules were always large enough to hold all of our gear, especially once you realize that the well placed poles can be used to rest a fairly packed backpack up against vertically instead of laying it out flat, which saves a lot of ground space. I was able to keep my entry free of obstructions at all times. The wide doors are pretty easy to get into and out of, mostly due to the long rounded zipper that extends deep into the foot of the tent, and the large included pockets at the head and one at the toe of the tent provides plenty of storage.
Setup is super easy, requiring only 7 stakes to get a solid pitch. Simply stake out the body, insert the poles, clip to body to it and throw on the rainfly. It’s easy enough that one person can easily set up the tent while their companion frolics in the fields taking photos of flowers and butterflies(You know who you are).
Condensation was fairly well managed, with a nice breezy body allowing plenty of airflow for most humid nights,and the double zippers can be unzipped from the top creating a makeshift vent along each vestibule door.
The same breezy body is fantastic for star gazing and the occasional meteor shower.
Priced great, the 2Lite retails at just $338 dollars. It’s certainly one of the best values in it’s weight class.
What I didn’t like
While the tent pitches stable and holds up well in the wind, I was never able to get a fully taut pitch. Countless attempts of manually adjusting the knots and stake out points resulted in wonderfully taut seams, but a somewhat saggy body anyway. This was especially prevalent in high humidity or when the tent was wet from humidity, as nylon stretches when soggy. This results in some light flapping during wind gusts, but wasn’t enough to keep me awake at night. A little experimenting showed that an added tensioner and guy point located at the middle of the foot of the tent would help, if you’re the crafty type. The tent also included a couple guy lines, but no additional stakes to pair them with, and no obvious guy out points either (aside from attaching them to loops designed to roll back the door, which only worsened the slacking body). The same saggy body would often result in a condensation soaked (unavoidable in some of the areas I camp) fly, which would contact the mesh at the head and foot, resulting a wet sections. It was manageable, and never made it to my sleeping bag or gear, thankfully.
Taller testers (5’10” and up) were found wanting a tent door that opened up slightly higher, as they would have to rotate out of the tent, and duck and crawl out from under the vestibule.
The 2Lite from Slingfin is a solid shelter. It’s very light weight, at just under 3lbs, and still manages to provide good livability thanks to the tall head, wide shoulders, extended length, and generous vestibules. The well balanced build and carefully selected materials held up strong with gusts of wind on exposed balds with no cover at all. Aside from the mildly loose pitch, there is no reason to not recommend the 2Lite. It provides an exceptional value and true reliability at a price point that’s hard to ignore. If you need low weight and good living space paired with a true double wall tent, it’s a good choice.
For more information on Slingfin and the 2Lite, check out http://www.slingfin.com
for information on our rating system and our testing procedures, check out our About us/ Contact us page.
I want to extend a big thanks to loaning us this shelter for review. Our full disclosure can be found here.
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