ThisÂ lightweight two-person tent claims to be idealÂ for multi-day hiking.
If you are planning a multi-day walk or bike ride then a lightweight tent could well be on your list of must-buys.
Anything around 2kg (4.4lbs) or less is attractive because you wonâ€™t want to be laden down with kit. And if you are using a two-man tent the chances are there will be two of you, which means youâ€™ll be carrying only 1kg each.
Of course, there are tents that are lighter than this but they are generally very pricey or a bit useless. A super lightweight tent needs careful design and super duper top of the range lightweight materials and features. This usually means a hefty price tag.
I have also tested super lightweight tents that arenâ€™t so costly but compromise on space and quality. One such tent leaked every morning due to dew; not even rainfall!
Jack Wolfskin EXOLIGHT II tent features
- Tent measurements: Length 215cm x width 120cm x height 100cm.
- Roll-shut pack sack and pack size 45cm x 13/11cm
- Weight: 2070g (1760 stripped down)
- Inner tent/flysheet combination
- Two entrances with mosquito (midge) nets
- Four internal pockets
- Two integrated vents in entrance
- Five brightly coloured guy lines
- Reflectors on key guying points and zips
- Lightweight pegs
- Outer tent made of ultra-lightweight, tear-resistant Siliconized HT nylon ripstop 20D fabric coated on both sides, water column 5000mm
- Inner tent made from fine, lightweight mosquito resistant mesh
- Frame/tent poles made of very light aluminium
Erecting the Exolight II tent
I have put up enough tents to know the general pattern.
Lay out tent.
Put poles together.
Push pole through colour-coded (hopefully) pole sleeves.
Form general shape of tent.
Peg out and add guy ropes and peg these, too.
Adjust a bit and go inside.
The Exolight is not dissimilar except the first few stages take a bit of extra thought. The poles fit together to form a kind of long skeleton. They also stay completely on the outside of the tent and you need to work out which way round the tent goes to tie in with the pole skeleton.
My first go was wrong. I had the tent round the wrong way. My second attempt was perfect. Once you have the poles skeleton in the right place it is very simple and quick to attach to the tent.
Only a minute or so later and the tent had taken shape. Big plastic clips are dotted along the edges of the tent and attach to the poles.
Now the tent can be stretched out and pegged down. The outer and inner tent are attached so even if it was raining the inner tent would stay dry.
The pegs are small, neat and lightweight. They go into the ground very easily. I tried to bend one to see how strong it was and it resisted.
Five bright yellow guy lines attach to the tent and offer extra strength and adjustment when pegged out.
Jack Wolfskin say that the pole system was â€œdeveloped by specialists from DAC and can withstand wind speeds of up to 80 km/hâ€. Apparently DAC is an aluminium specialist so I presume the poles are strong and not just light. 80km/h is around 50mph.
Itâ€™s worth bearing in mind that Scottish winds can be fierceÂ so I would suggest this is a tent to use at lower levels. The tent does look fairly strong and squat. Itâ€™s an unusual shape and resembles a frog from the back. The shape does offer a nice amount of room inside.
The rounded shape gives a fair amount of height (around one metre), which is tall enough for most people to kneel under.
This tent is long enough for men over 6ft (215cm internal length). I am not sure how comfy it would be for two tall men to sleep inside but it depends on how cosy you like to be!
The shape also offers two windproof and rainproof side storage spaces outside the internal tent. These arenâ€™t huge but they would be useful if there were two people sharing the tent.
Splitting the tent between two people makes for light carrying. One person can carry the tent fabric. I suggest you stuff the fabric into a small pocket of your rucksack or bike panniers.
The other person can take the poles and peg. The poles skeleton folds down into a manageable size and fits into a neat carrying pouch.
The fabric is quick drying after rain.
It doesnâ€™t blow or flap about too much in the wind.
Itâ€™s easy to take apart and pack (this definitely isnâ€™t true of some tents).
The pockets inside are useful.
I also like the colour. So many tents are various shades of green that a lovely steel blue colour makes a change.
The Jack Wolfskin Exolight II rrp at Â£400.
I have seen it for around Â£360.