Do I need a really expensive tent for minimalist touring? After two years of using this little tent I can say that I do not. I spent about $30 on this tent over two years ago. It's been with me across a few states, camped on mountains, lakes, deserts, and never let me down. It may be big enough for two small people but not two average sized humans however, it fits my large size just fine. And they still make the same model with some improvements.
It meets my minimalist criteria:
- I can sit up without touching the roof with my head
- I can lie down without touching the ends or sides
- keeps me dry in the rain
- Is large enough to fit me and my gear with room to spare
- Goes up in 10 minutes, comes down in the same
- Is Free Standing
- Is light
- I can replace it easily and cheaply on the road if needed (most Walmarts carry the new version)
I had a Kelty two person tent prior to this one, I liked it a lot but after many years of use it finally started to fall apart. It was larger than this tent, a true two person tent, so I always had plenty of empty floor space. It was larger and heavier so I wanted something with just the space I needed, no more. I bought two of these for our Laguna Seca MotoGP trip in 2012 where my daughter and I camped on Fox Hill within the Laguna Seca Race track, something reserved for only motorcycle riders during the race. The tents worked great, kept out the rain, heat, sun, dense fog, moisture etc. We also camped on the beach in Pt Mugu, and various other places we visited during the two weeks we spent going to and from the race track. One night at Lake Diaz near Lone Pine we got hit by a big storm, high winds, rain, thunder, and we kept dry and comfortable in these little tents all night. Two years later and 50-60 nights of camping with these and they are still in good shape, no rips, tears, holes, destitching, etc. So I expect they will at least last us another two years.