When I mentioned to a mate that I had a tent weighing less than a kilogram, the reply I got was: “So what? My tent weighs under 700g!” But when I added, “Ah, but this is not a one-person tent, this is a two-person tent…” his jaw dropped.
Apart from using lightweight gear, the best way to save weight when backpacking is to share a tent. If that tent weighs less than a kilo then each person is carrying under 500g of tent each.
Now that is what I call travelling light.
The Easton Kilo looks big enough for two people. But the weight is incredible for its size at just 999g without stuffsacks and 1030g with them. It packs down small and at this weight would be fine for a single backpacker who wants a bit more space or for a pair of backpackers who want to travel superlight.
Apart from some general fine-tuning to the design and fabric, which will skim off a gram or two here and there, the big difference between this tent and other lightweight tents is the Carbon ION poles. These have a unique design that makes them around 56 per cent lighter than standard alloy poles.
In use this tent is great. Its inner-pitch-first design is easy to erect, and you get a good amount of space for one – and if you want to save weight there is room for two. The front porch is pretty spacious for such a light tent so you can just about stash a couple of sacks on one side while rustling up a brew nearer the door. There’s just one door on the porch, but again it’s adequate.
Missing details are a two-way zip on that outer door and some extra vents to aid condensation control. But the Easton Kilo is designed for travelling light, and for that purpose it is superb. The £450 price tag may seem high, but other tents of this weight and size sit in a similar price bracket. All that is needed is instructions on how to get someone to share a relatively small space with you, as then you could each go backpacking with just 500g of tent in your rucksack!
Design ridge and hoop
Outer 20D nylon ripstop, with silicone and PU coating, 1500mm hydrostatic head
Inner 20D lightweight nylon no-see-um mesh
Ground sheet 30D nylon ripstop with PU coating, 5000mm hydrostatic head
Inner dimensions length 230cm; width 130cm; max height 92cm
Weight 1030g complete (999g without any stuffsacks)
Made in Vietnam
Stockist details – tel. 0870 034 7226; www.madison.co.uk
The Easton Kilo is a great two-person tent that could mean you only carry 500g of tent each – assuming you can get someone to share its compact dimensions with!
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine June 2011