Short on cash? That’s no reason to stop backpacking if you spend wisely. For just £90 the Robens Trailstar 1 provides most of the features a lone backpacker is looking for.
Robens is a Danish brand that produces a wide range of high-value tents. The Trailstar comes in a two-person version as well as the one-person model tested here, and it’s been designed to prove you don’t have to spend a fortune on outdoor gear to have a great time in the hills.
I lobbed the Robens Trailstar 1 in with my usual lightweight camping kit and headed to the hills of the Lake District. Its packed size is a little more than some higher-priced equivalents but not so big that I needed to worry about it. Pitching was extremely easy as this is an outer-pitch-first tent where the inner can be left inside so the two can be pitched in situ. There’s just the one pole to fit on the outside, and within minutes the tent was erected.
The most unusual feature is the pre-fitted poles at each corner, which form triangles to give stability and space to the head and tail of the tent. These worked well, and made the inside a little more spacious than it would have been without them.
The Robens Trailstar 1 is quite small, though, with just enough width for a sleeping mat and one person. Sitting up is pretty tight too and (at 6 feet tall) I was more comfy hunched up on one elbow than sitting up with my head rammed against the inside of the inner. Equally the porch is very narrow, with very little space. Overall the Trailstar actually felt more like a big bivvy bag than a small tent to me.
Stability and ventilation are good, however, and for one person the Robens Trailstar 1 does a pretty good job. But the weight is roughly double that of some tents that are double the price.
Sleeps 1 person
Design side-entry tunnel
Poles shock-corded 8.5mm alloy
Flysheet PU-coated HydroTex, 5000mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet PU-coated polyester, 5000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 210cm; width 60cm; height 85cm
Packed size 16x50cm
Made in Far East
Stockist details – tel. (01937) 591101; www.robens.de
The Robens Trailstar 1 is an excellent backpacking tent for those on a budget – but if you have more cash in the bank it’s possible to save more weight on your back.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2010