Black Diamond HiLight 2 Tent
- Product Review (submitted on July 27, 2008):
This is a great tent for light weight and packing small. The tent, plus the optional vestibule packs down to the size of a loaf of bread, especially if you put it in a stuff sack.
Two people will fit comfortably inside but you'll probably want to leave most of your gear on the bike. If you add the vestibule though, you'll have some extra room to keep gear outside, but out of the rain.
The neat thing about this tent is that you put it together from the inside. You'll appreciate that when it's raining. One drawback though is, if you are in a mosquito infested area like one campspot in The Yukon I was in, the mosquitos are inside with you and are still there when the setup is complete. I spent 1/2 an hour squashing them before I could go to sleep.
It's pretty light, less than 3lbs, so even though it's free-standing, it should be staked down when the wind picks up.
It is a single-wall tent, and on a cold night you might be tempted to close off the ventilation, I would recommend against that. You will get a lot of condensation - enough to where you think the tent isn't waterproof.
Also, being single-wall, you want to make sure that you don't have anything leaning against the sides. Water will come through there and make whatever was against it wet. For that reason I'd recommend against this tent if it's going to sleep two in rainy weather.
I fit nicely into it at 6'2". Anyone much taller might start to have problems touching the walls.
This tent takes a little longer to set up than most because you have to fasten the poles to the inside of the tent with 12 velcro loops that you first have to unstick (from being packed), then wrap around the pole, then stick 'em back together. It's more difficult to do if you're cold and wet.
I own several tents, but this is the one I take with me from Baja to Alaska. There are better tents, but at the expense of packed size and weight. I find that traveling by thumper, I don't have the luxery for the big, double-walled tents. This tent, my 3/4 length TheraRest and my 600# Marmot sleeping bag all fit into one 37L Zega with a little room to spare. That's what I'm talkin' about!