Outdoor Vitals Fortius 2p Trekking Pole Tent Review

An ultra-light yet storm worthy shelter, the Fortius 2p from Outdoor Vitals combines a rugged trekking pole supported design with a feathery 2.lb 3 oz pack weight. How did they manage to pull it off? This is my review:

The Fortius 2p is a full sized two person shelter with two double zippered doors and two double zippered vestibules for storage. It is supported by two trekking poles (not provided of course) that each slot into the top of the tent to provide it’s shape, height, and rigidity. The tent includes 8 stakes, two quick attach storm lines, two traditional guy lines, two interior hanging loops, and a handy stuff sack. It is constructed primarily of 15 denier sill/PU coated micro ripstop nylon, with 10 denier no-see-um mesh for the doors and vents along the head and foot. It stands 118 cm/46″ in height at the peak, with floor dimensions of 224 cm x 122 cm (88″ x 48″). It retails for $340, comes in two different colors, and weighs 2 .lbs. 3 oz. packed.

Outdoor Vitals Fortius 2P review
You can use sticks to lift the guy lines, effecting increasing interior space.

What I liked

The first thing that stood out to me with the Fortius was just how well built the shelter was. Trekking pole tents, generally speaking, are designed to remove as much weight as possible, which often results in using somewhat dainty materials. This isn’t the case here. While the chosen 15 denier fabric ripstop nylon it is constructed with is certainly light weight, it isn’t nearly as thin as many shelters I’ve tested in this weight class. They also opted to not cut corners on the silicone or polyurethane coatings, rated at 1,500 mm HH (ability to shed water) which greatly influence durability and longevity. Sure, the fabric is still relatively thin, but certainly tougher than most high end shelters I’ve tested lately. This is something I absolutely appreciate as many shelters are crossing the lines of being “too light” these days for usage in rough weather, which in turn restricts where and when you can use it. In that same vein, the shelter is also fully seam taped, generously stitched, and is reinforced in the corners and areas of high wear and tension, , such as the corners of the floor and in the trekking pole pockets. It’s a sturdy shelter for the weight, which instills confidence in some really rough situations.

Outdoor Vitals Fortius 2P front
The guy lines can be attached to rocks branches in a pinch, or preferably just the ground.

Speaking of weight, the Fortius 2p is extremely light weight indeed. It manages this in large part by simply ditching poles altogether in favor of user provided trekking poles, which is central to the design. They also opted to remove other unnecessary features like interior pockets, while also reducing material strategically, like using slight smaller zippers internally than externally where the durability isn’t needed. These smart choices accumulate into the 2 pound 5 ounce ( 978 gram) pack weight. This light enough for any backpacking trip, regardless of length. Weekend adventure or multi-month excursion, there is no weight penalty here.

Outdoor Vitals Fortius 2P side
Notice how much airflow can get under the doors.

The feathery weight also translates into a miniscule pack size, considering it’s literally just a ball of soft fabric with no hard material to speak of aside from the stakes. It can be stuff flat into the bottom of a pack to take up only a two or three inches of depth, or it can be balled and up and shoved into it’s stuff sack to roughly a 6″ x 7″ roll. I was even able to stuff the entire shelter in my pack, beside some of my backpacking quilts without much fuss which greatly expanded my usable pack space. In a word, it packs down quite small making it viable for even 45 liter packs, given the rest of the gear is similarly whimsy.

Outdoor Vitals Fortius 2P packed
It packs down tiny and easily. Just stuff it inside (after drying)

The shelter is also quite comfortable to be inside of. The living space is quite nice, with a 46″ (118 cm) peak height that easily accommodates most hikers. Sitting straight up in the tent was no issue for me, avoiding common issues like rubbing the ceiling or walls (mostly). The shelter is also decently wide, with plenty of room to roll about, change or generally manage gear inside without much trouble even with two campers. Two full sized sleeping pads fit just fine, but two wide pads are probably out. As a solo camper, it’s quite luxurious feeling inside with plenty of sprawl room and even enough space for all of my gear inside, including my backpacks. Not that bringing the gear inside is necessary with the generous vestibule space that easily houses all of my gear outside as well, if I prefer.

Outdoor Vitals Fortius 2P with pad
The interior is cozy and the green color is quite inviting.

Setup is also fairly easy, especially for a trekking pole shelter. Simply pin the 4 corners down, add one pole, lift it up, stake out one vestibule, and then do the same with the second pole and vestibule. Even in the wind, it doesn’t fight too much, especially if you pitch it with the first pole facing the wind a bit. Dialing in the pitch can be done by tensioning the various lines, including one that runs the length of each vestibule to adjust the ceilings pitch. Each stake can be shifted around a bit to remove wrinkles without the shelter caving in, which is a nice plus. There is also enough adjustability in the stake points to help avoid most rocks and roots if they show up. I’ve found that it has been best to guy out the shelter in the direction of the wind, and move the mobile guy lines around if the wind changes given the included number of steaks and lines. Personally, I added a couple more stakes to the kit so I could guy it out in every direction at all times, just because I don’t like my shelter moving around when the wind when it shifts. I pitch it and forget it.

Outdoor Vitals Fortius 2P grounded
Pitching the tent isn’t bad with good soil and a flat pad.

Wind stability is quite good when pitched properly. Point the head or foot into the wind slightly off angle, buckle it down with the appropriate guy lines and it holds up quite well. It can move around a bit when the wind gusts, mostly at the head and foot, but this mediate by adding a couple of additional guy lines to the setup. Just don’t over tighten or it could damage the connection points. It’s generally rather quiet in the wind also as there are no poles to shift around and creak against the fabric.

Ventilation is also pretty good with a proper pitch. There is a full mesh layer that follows the entire perimeter of the tent, essentially acting as a giant 360 degree vent. This allows air to blow in and circulate any time a mild breeze is present from any direction. The doors are full mesh and have double zippers as well, so you can open them up from the top as a slit vent for extra circulation when the weather allows for it. The ventilation slows down in stagnant weather, but has generally been pretty solid.

The shelter has some neat features that stood out to me. The trekking poles lock in place in the top pockets, half way down via a small hook tab, and the tips slot into a grommets locked in place at the bottom. This prevents the poles from slipping out if pushed against or rolled into, which really makes getting in and out easier. The floor of the tent stakes out for extra weather protection and just a little extra volume, the peaks are each able to be tensioned independently for a better pitch, and the storm lines can be popped out and move to the side of the tent if need be, which is pretty nice (although honestly I would just prefer a couple more lines to be added to the shelter). All these smaller details really add a premium feel to the shelter and wrap the package up nice.

Outdoor Vitals Fortius 2P floor
I don’t recommend non-adjustable trekking poles, but it can be done as I found out.

What I didn’t like

While the ventilation is good, it isn’t perfect. If you live in a very humid area, like myself, you will get some condensation on any shelter, and the Fortius is no exception. Being a single wall tent, the condensation can build up and shake down in high winds, creating a little sprinkle inside the shelter. Manageable but notable. I also had a touch of contact moisture at the toe and head of the tent as my sleeping bag can reach above the mesh and touch the single wall in some situations, but this was minor and really not a concern. In good weather, opening the vents up really helps this, and especially opening up the vestibules. However, in bad weather this may not be an option, and when paired with high humidity it can get a little messy. Not a deal breaker for me, but something that some will run into.

The feathery weight did require the cutting of some creature comfort features, like interior pockets, additional vents and providing only the absolutely necessary stakes and lines. These are more important to some than others, and can be added onto the shelter thanks to included loops and attachment points, but still worth pointing out.

The shelter can get mighty hot in the heat especially in direct sunlight due to the use of darker materials. It looks great, but can become unbearable in the 90’s (32 C and up) especially on humid days.

Getting a picture perfect pitch can be a little finicky, but doable with some trial, error, and a bit of practice. It mostly comes down to finding the perfect angles for the stakes and a nice, level pad to pitch on.

Outdoor Vitals Fortius 2P foot
The floor attachment points great improve the interior of the tent, and keep rain splash out.

Things to consider

Site selection with this tent will be very important as with any trekking pole tent, as it’s holding strength is directly affected by the quality and amount of soil present for the stakes to dig into. Thin, loose soil can provide challenges here. Poor soil may require specialized stakes, for example sand and snow.

While you can get away with solid, non-adjustable trekking poles (see my pictures of my trying it out), adjustable high quality poles are highly recommended. If you snap a cheap trekking pole on the hike out, you should have a way of repairing them (duct tape comes to mind). The adjustable height is also important for a proper pitch.

Outdoor Vitals Fortius 2P interior

Overall

The Fortius 2p by Outdoor Vitals is an excellent shelter. It finds an excellent balance between ultra-light and extra livable, while also being a bit on the side of extra durable, without making much in the way of sacrifices in any category. This is impressive. They managed to achieve this by carefully cutting away features, like a frame, pockets and extraneous accessories, without cutting things like quality fabrics, reinforcement and space. It does require the user to provide adjustable trekking poles (preferably) and is quite minimalist in some areas, but absolutely excels in key areas like livability, packability and weight because of it. It also holds up great in the wind, rain, and is generally pleasant to be inside when the weather is foul. Site selection will be important with any trekking pole tent, and it will get a little messy when the humidity really climbs due to condensation, but it is still an impressive shelter that I can’t recommend enough.

Highly Recommended

Want to learn more about this product and their other offerings? You can check out their products Here. This is not an affiliate link.

For information on our rating system and our testing procedures, check out our About us/ Contact us page.

I want to extend a huge thanks to Outdoor Vitals for providing this product for review. We couldn’t do it without their help.

Our full disclosure can be found on our about us page. Thanks as always for reading! Don’t forget to follow our blog for future updates and reviews (link on the right also).

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