How much shelter do you need? Maybe a simple single-skin tent is enough? Use your trekking poles to hold the shelter up, and you get acres of space inside plus plenty of mesh vents to allow good airflow without letting the bugs in. Well, that is exactly what the Robens Summer Wind has been designed to achieve. The big advantage is a weight of only 1400g.
The Robens Summer Wind is a ridge tent, with a pair of trekking poles used to support the ridge, one at each end. Pitching is very simple as you just peg out the corners, insert the trekking poles and peg out the guy lines. If you can find a tree, the tent could even be suspended so that the poles would not be required. The result is a shelter with no porch, but it does have a large inner space with good headroom. Large side vents ensure good airflow, while an extended canopy along each side keeps the rain out of these vents. The tent has a zipped entrance to the inner living space and there is an external stormflap to keep rain off the zip.
On the hill
Pitching is easy, but for stability the two main guy lines do need to be secured, unlike some other tents that are less reliant on guy lines. While the idea that the tent can be suspended from a tree sounds good, in practice this means your camping is restricted to areas where such trees exist and, more importantly, where camping beneath them is legal. There is no porch, so gear storage and cooking out of the wind and rain is not easy, so this is not the best tent for camping wild on a mountain in wind and rain. It’s a single-skin design so condensation can be a problem, although with so much mesh venting down the sides and at the ends, feeling chilly may be more of a concern in windy weather. However the space inside the tent is excellent, being far more roomy than any other tent in this test. There is certainly a place for this design of tent, and with the weight and space advantages it is clearly worth using it when the appropriate conditions can be found. Use this either for a single night and tolerate the drawbacks, or use it for camping in relatively good weather in sheltered sites, and it is perfect. It’s not for everyone, but for some users it will be just the job.
Design 2-pole ridge
Poles pair of trekking poles (not supplied)
Inner none provided
Flysheet Hydrotex, 40 denier ripstop nylon, 5000mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet PU-coated polyester, 10,000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 215cm; width 120cm; height 100cm
Packed size 45x15cm
Packed weight 1400g
Made in China
Stores in the UK 3
Stockist details – tel. (01937) 591101; www.robens.de
Verdict: The Robens Summer Wind 2-person tent is a good weight, and it’s easy to pitch with a very spacious inner. But it has no inner tent so condensation could be a problem; not as stable as others; no porch; draughty in high winds. Overall, it’s an ideal lightweight shelter for calmer conditions, but condensation, stability and lack of a porch are drawbacks, so it won’t suit everyone.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2009