The Highlander Forces 2 2-person tent is part of Highlander’s specialist Military range of outdoor products. It is the heaviest tent here, but it does come in at the lower end of the price range. It might be good enough for the forces, but is it good enough for a hill-walker stepping out from civvy street to the hills?
The Highlander Forces 2 comes with 500g of steel pegs, so no wonder it weighs a heavy 3500g! It is pitched inner-first, with shock-corded fibreglass poles sliding through sleeves around the outside of the inner. The steel ferrules linking the fibreglass sections make sliding the poles through the sleeves a frustrating task as they snag easily. The ends locate in eyelets then the flysheet is draped over the top. Those steel pegs come in handy for bedding down the structure. The front door zips away to the top and exposes a porch that extends down the whole side of the tent. The inner is accessed through zipaway standard and midge doors. This is a fairly simple design with no hidden extras, so what you see is what you get.
On the hill
The Highlander Forces 2’s design lacks some of the features that make other tents so easy and comfortable to use. The pegging points are not adjustable, for example, so if there’s a rock where the peg needs to go, it can be tricky. The front door only opens from the bottom to the top, while some tents allow the user to vent the door as needed. The inner door has the midge net on the inside, so it has to be opened to gain access to the main inner tent door, which will result in midges getting into the tent. There are no air vents on the outer either, so condensation could be more of a problem in this than in other tents. But all those niggles aside, the living space is superb. The porch is more than capable of storing two people’s gear and there is good headroom, thanks to the domed profile. It is also a very stable tent, shedding wind easily from all directions. The Forces 2 is excellent in terms of space, but all those little niggles make it second best to those tents that only cost a few pounds more. If your budget is really tight then this is an excellent choice, but if you can stretch a bit further you could buy a tent that is a whole lot better.
Design 2-pole dome
Pole shock-corded fibreglass
Outer nylon, 2000mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet PU-coated Oxford nylon, 5000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 210cm; width 145cm; height 105cm
Packed size 15x60cm
Packed weight 3500g
Made in China
Stores in the UK 400
Stockist details – tel. (01506) 438438; www.highlander-outdoor.com
Verdict: The Highlander Forces 2 has a good price, stability; large porch; excellent living space; and the steel pegs won’t bend easily. But it’s heavy; the inner pitches first; fibreglass poles; lack of ventilation; non-adjustable pegging. Overall, the Forces 2 packs more punch than expected for its price, but more money brings a lot more performance.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2009