Looking for the best tents? Kelty takes customer focus to a level above what many outdoor companies deliver, and it shines brilliantly in the brand’s products and customer experience. As consumers, we’re constantly bombarded with marketing hype that we could take or leave – we know most it is “hot air” – but not Kelty’s. This tent will keep you, and your best disaster first aid kit, safe from the elements.
From engineering some of the best 3-season and 4-season tents, to participating with performance athletes and mountaineering masters, Kelty doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to tent perfection. Here’s our take on one of the brand’s best backpacking tents, the Kelty TN2 tent. If you prefer something you can carry on top of your car, take a look at one of the best rooftop tents to compare.
Our review of the Kelty TN2 tent, one of Kelty’s best compact and lightweight tents in the brand’s lineup, unsurprisingly delivers above and beyond on nearly every level of our materials and field testing. Check out our full Kelty TN2 Tent Review after the break.
Price: $204.95 on Amazon
Model: Kelty TN2
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: An outstanding combination of weight, durability, versatility, and cost, the Kelty TN2 won our Editor’s Choice as the one of the best backpacking tents for a reason.
Summary: The Kelty TN2 tent is an excellent tent for those searching for a great lightweight contender which packs well, is priced competitively, and offers unique design features to accommodate a variety of sleeper preferences and environments.
What We Liked
- Stargazing fly
- Simple assembly
- Quality materials and construction
What We Didn’t
- Vestibule configuration can be a little clumsy
Kelty TN2 Tent Specifications
|Kelty TN2 Tent|
|Weight||lbs 4 oz1125 Sq Ft|
|Floor Area||27.5 sq ft|
|Head Height||42 inches|
Kelty TN2 Tent Design
Coming in at a packed weight of 4lbs 4oz, the Kelty TN2 leaves a little to be desired for a lightweight-segment tent, but it easily makes up for riding that line with its cost, and Kelty name. The tent is fully seam taped, has a floor constructed of 70D Nylon, a fly constructed of 40D count Sil Nylon, and a No See-Um mesh wall that allows campers to admire the sky and surroundings in class with the included fly strapped back.
In poor weather, the fly can be anchored down, zipped up, and with the tent’s bathtub bottom even a heavy downpour can be slept through without a second thought. A unique window on the fly allows occupants to survey the weather while staying safe and dry.
Throughout our testing and research we’ve found that some consumers reported the windows on the fly coming unglued from the fabric after repeated use – but we were unable to replicate this issue.
DAC Pressfit poles are packaged in a separate stuff sack and easily unfold for quick tent setup – they’re also color-coded with green ends to match green color-coded Jake’s Foot pole attachments. There’s really no guess work when putting this tent together. Lay the tent body flat on the ground, attach one side of the Jake’s Foot clips to the poles on one end of the tent, clip the tent hug-clips along each pole length, and insert the final pole connections to the last foot attachments; super easy. Check out Kelty’s demonstration below.
The Kelty TN2 tent offers 27.5 square feet of livable space, and 42 inches of head room – a living area with a larger than average vertical clearance than other similar, 3-season tents. For Kelty TN2 pitching instructions, click here. For the Kelty tent user manual, check this out.
Kelty TN2 Tent Field Test
We tested this 3-season tent on the Gulf Coast during an especially windy night, and in the backwoods of the Big Thicket National Preserve in Kountze, Texas. The TN2 performed exceptionally well, providing ample room for two adults to comfortably sleep while blocking winds near 25 MPH with the fly secured and staked down. Condensation buildup didn’t prove to be an issue, but the temperature difference between the exterior and interior never exceeded twenty degrees, so we can’t speak to users in situations where a greater temperature variation might be expected.
A dual sleeping pad in combination with two 40° F sleeping bags was used to test the comfortability of the Kelty TN2 tent. Forty-liter backpacks were also easily accommodated at the foot box area of the tent without causing either tester discomfort throughout the night – although, if weather permits, the TN2’s vestibules can easily shelter a 60-liter bag without a problem.
Related: The Best Sleeping Pads 2018
One of our testers did report that while the No See-Um mesh provided protection from insects entering the tent, resting a hand against the mesh throughout the night ended up causing a cluster of mosquitoes to grab a late night snack – totally our tester’s fault, not Kelty’s.
Kelty TN2 vs TN3
If you’re looking for a somewhat larger tent, we recommend the Kelty TN3. It’s the exact same tent, only designed for three instead of two people. Literally every component is identical. Packed weight, floor dimensions, peak height, and vestibule area change with the added size:
- Packed weight increase by roughly one pound
- Tent body width increase by approximately inches
- Peak height gains one inch
- Vestibule area gains about one more cubic foot
Overall, the Kelty TN2 tent is an excellent 3-season that deserves a spot among some of the best, most value rated, lightweight tents on the market. We highly recommend this tent for family excursions, backcountry backpackers that don’t need 4-season protection, and anyone else that wants an awesome tent to hit a trail with.
The Kelty TN2 tent is a Gadget Review top pick and Editor’s Choice for the Best Backpacking Tent of 2017.
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