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First test: Kelty TraiLogic Collection - TN2 tent (2014)

£270.00

The TraiLogic Collection consists of four individual products: a rucksack, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat. What sets Kelty’s new range apart from other manufacturers, though, is that while the products can be purchased and used separately, each has been specially designed to work with the others as part of an integrated system. It’s not an entirely original concept. When ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Terra Nova Jupiter (2013)

£270.00

There’s a lot to be said for simplicity, and the single-hooped bivvy is a classic of design in the outdoor kit world. The British-made Terra Nova Jupiter – one of the more venerable designs in the bivvy world – is designed to be a no-fuss, super-quick shelter for backpackers. It’s made of premium Gore-Tex FLO2, which accounts for the big ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Borealis Bivi (2013)

£190.00

A traditional style of bivvy bag made largely from Gore-Tex Starlite – hence the price – the Mountain Equipment Borealis Bivi offers high levels of waterproofing and breathability in a compact package that can be washed (in pure soap) to keep its performance high. It’s pretty much even stevens on the weight and pack size stakes with the Rab Storm ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Snugpak Stratosphere (2013)

£120.00

A big turn-off when it comes to bivvy bags is the feeling of claustrophobia – understandable when many are akin to only slightly more respiration-friendly body bags. The Snugpak Stratosphere sidesteps this by featuring two poles around the head area, which make things within much airier. Not only that, but beneath the rainflap at the back is an open vent ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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PHD Sleeping Bag Cover (2013)

£80.00

Not strictly designed to be used outdoors – that is, outside of a more structured shelter or at the very least a tarp – the PHD Sleeping Bag Cover will at just 165g nonetheless appeal to minimalists who are happy to save weight and tolerate a certain lack of, how shall we say, finesse. This is a quality product (everything ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Storm Bivi (2013)

£70.00

Made of heavy-duty nylon and in the arresting colour of emergencies, the Rab Storm Bivi is designed to offer the compact protection of, say, the £190 Mountain Equipment Borealis but at a price that doesn’t break the bank. It’s made from proprietary fabric Hyperlite, which is waterproof, breathable and pretty robust with it. It won’t hit the same performance levels ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Blizzard Survival Bag (2013)

£32.00

The Blizzard Survival Bag arrives vacuum-packed into a square the size of a thick sandwich; but don’t take it out expecting to get it back to that size again,’cos it ain’t gonna happen. For this reason, you’re far cleverer leaving it packed up until you actually need to use it, which is hopefully never. As this suggests, the Blizzard Survival ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Alpkit Rig 7 (2013)

£50.00

The Alpkit Rig 7 offers the classic tarp design of a large rectangle of fabric that can provide shelter for several people, but with the addition of numerous reinforced rigging points that are evenly spaced across the whole tarp. These additional rigging points can be used as guy line attachments or as pegging points around the base, which means it’s ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vango Adventure Tarp (2013)

£30.00

The Adventure Tarp is designed to be used as an additional porch for a Vango tent or as a standalone tarp-style shelter. It comes with guy lines, pegs and a very robust pole as well as an elasticated edge to provide a closer fit to a curved tent. When used as a more traditional tarp it can’t be set up ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Siltarp (2013)

£50.00

  At 230g the Rab Siltarp is a very lightweight option, but is smaller than other tarps, so really it’s best used as a solo shelter. It’s very much a minimalist design but is more in keeping with traditional tarps, being a basic rectangle of material that isn’t supplied with pegs, guy lines or poles, so you’ll have to add ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Terra Nova Bivvy Tarp (2013)

£200.00

Most tarps are a simple square of fabric with no protection against midges, but the Terra Nova Bivvy Tarp benefits from a mesh inner tent, making it more of a hybrid bivvy-tent-tarp design as its name suggests. The inner and tarp fly come preassembled so you just need to fit the two supplied poles and peg out the guy lines ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Backpacking Light Solo Tarp (2013)

£55.00

If you’re new to tarping, then the Backpacking Light Solo Tarp is a good option as it comes with a DVD that explains the art and craft of tarping, but it’s also slightly larger than other minimalist designs, so it provides a little more protection for you and your gear. There are 12 rigging points around the edge with an ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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MSR E-Wing (2013)

£140.00

The MSR E-Wing takes the standard rectangular tarp shape and adds additional material at each end to allow more protection at the porches when pitched as an A-frame. This is very welcome and it makes the E-Wing ideal for use in general tarping situations where you aren’t going to require the most elaborate of pitching options. The tarp has guy ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Karrimor X Lite X1 (2013)

£120.00

It’s the innovative configuration of the pre-assembled flexible pole set that gives the Karrimor X Lite X1 the edge. The poles are shock-corded together and to pitch the tent all that is needed is to locate the colour-coded pole ends into their matching eyelets on the webbing at the corners of the inner tent, with a final red pole clipping ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Nordisk Svalbard PU (2013)

£150.00

The Nordisk Svalbard PU is a PU (polyurethane)-coated tent weighing 2109g. It is a tunnel that pitches inner-first with two colour-coded poles easily fitting through sleeves around the outside of the inner. The flysheet goes over top, and ladder-lock webbing adjusters make tensioning easier. The tent is very stable for a tunnel and the fly comes down reasonably close to ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Kelty Gunnison 1.2 (2013)

£200.00

A new brand of tents to the UK, Kelty has been producing great kit from its base in California since 1952. The Gunnison 1.2 is Kelty’s smallest tent. It is a two-pole inner-pitched-first dome and it goes up easily thanks to the poles being shock-corded and linked with a Swivel Hub at the middle. The fly goes over the top ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Robens Starlight 1 (2013)

£120.00

The Robens Starlight 1 pitches outer-first with one pole having to be clipped to the outside of the fly (the four corner poles are pre-fitted and just require pegging out). So pitching is very quick and easy, although on uneven ground those corner poles do end up at unusual angles. However once up the Starlight is very stable, while the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Aztec Rapido (2013)

£120.00

The Aztec Rapido is more of a basic shelter than a conventional tent, as you get just a single-skin design with no inner and no porch. But there is lots of space inside and you get all that for just 1745g and £120, which is very appealing. There is just one main pole and so it pitches easily with this ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo (2013)

£143.00

To save weight the Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo has no inner and outer, and is just a single-skin tent with a mesh section around the lower edges to keep midges out while allowing air in to help manage condensation. There are no poles or pegs either, which is why it weighs in at just 895g, but you will need to ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Wild Country Zephyros 1 Lite (2013)

£180.00

Based on the hugely popular Terra Nova Laser series, the single-poled Wild Country Zephyros 1 Lite trims 300g off the standard Zephyros 1 tent, by using a high-specification ripstop nylon flysheet and groundsheet rather than polyester. There is only one main pole, but pitching was not quite as slick as some others, in part as I’d prefer an extra eyelet ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Force Ten Helium 100 (2013)

£220.00

The Force Ten Helium 100 is a frequent Trail award winner. It pitches flysheet-first with a single precurved pole slipped through a sleeve around the outside of the fly. A vertical pole at each end creates extra foot- and headroom, and once assembled the structure is very stable. Entry is via a side zip that has double zip pulls so ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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First test: Fjällräven Akka View (2013)

£395.00

It’s impossible to know what the great British weather is going to throw at you when heading to the hills. But this uncertainty means choosing the right tent is a real challenge, because so few are ideal for all conditions. To meet these demands, Fjällräven has developed the Akka View, a tent that’s stable and spacious for foul weather but ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Wild Country Coshee 2 (2013)

£100.00

The Wild Country Coshee 2 offers side entry to both sides of its two-pole wedge shape and as there is a porch on each side, it’s well-designed for two campers wanting their own space. It pitches very easily thanks to two colour-coded poles that slip through sleeves around the outside of the flysheet. The inner is pre-attached, but it can ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Coleman Cobra 2 (2013)

£110.00

The Coleman Cobra 2 is a side-entry two-pole tunnel with a porch on each side. It pitches flysheet-first with colour-coded poles sliding through sleeves around the outside of the flysheet. A series of guy lines and pegging points complete the pitch. This isn’t quite as easy as it could be, as you don’t get ladder lock webbing adjusters and the ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Robens Starlight 2 (2013)

£150.00

The Robens Starlight 2 is a refined version of the Star 2 from 2012, with a slightly larger porch. Own-brand poles and fittings mean the price has remained at £150 while most tent prices have increased. The tent pitches easily as there is just one cross pole to clip into place around the outside as the four corner poles are ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 3
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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