Shared lightweight tents require compromise. If you want light weight you have to expect less space for two. If you want headroom then you’re going to have to lug more weight. If you want both, expect a heavy dent in your finances.
But then along comes the Wild Country Aspect 2, which at just £150 offers a spacious sleeping area, while weighing just a little over 2kg. And, because Wild Country is a sister brand to Terra Nova, what you get is backed up with top-quality tent design.
Vango has led the budget quality tent market over the last few years, but Wild Country is definitely challenging its dominance in this area. Pitching the Aspect 2 is easy: two poles clip outside the flysheet, and a guy rope at each end adds tension for a very stable design. The only problem here is that by the time I’d got to the guys, I’d already used the seven pegs provided on the flysheet – four of them also doubling up to peg out the inner. So I had to dig around to find extra pegs for additional guy ropes to deal with rough ground.
Inside, the boxed sleeping area is superb: there’s enough headroom to sit up and plenty of floor space for two. And the double doors mean that you can both independently ventilate and exit the tent at night.
Lack of storage area in the porch is a problem: rucksacks touching the sides could cause water to come through or provide a collecting point for condensation. But for cooking out in the evenings, the door transforms into a handy awning with the use of an extra pole set (£10) or walking poles.
I was hugely impressed with the Wild Country Aspect 2. It is a tent that could cope with all of my wild camping over three seasons. It’s light, spacious and at £150 it’s a brilliant buy with no skimping on performance. I’d happily swap this for a number of higher-priced tents that I own, and I reckon it’s perfect for the majority of walkers heading to the hills.
Two people sharing can make getting in and out of tents a chore, but the Aspect 2 comes with a main door and a secondary exit, which means that getting up for a wee in the middle of the night doesn’t involve clambering over your camping colleague.
This is an exceptionally easy tent to pitch, and despite the basic design it feels very stable. The external poles also allow for more room and the main sleeping area is surprisingly spacious, allowing two people to sit up with ease.
There isn’t a great deal of storage space here. There’s just enough for two rucksacks in the main porch, which can also be easily extended to form an awning, but there’s no room on the secondary exit.
Sleeps two people
Design side-entry two-pole tunnel
Packed size 40x20cm
Pitching flysheet first
Internal height 88cm
Inner length 220cm
Flysheet polyester, 3000mm hydrostatic head
Features taped seams, DAC poles, mesh screens on inner door, full repairs service
Made in China
Stockist details (01773) 837373; www.terra-nova.co.uk
The Wild Country Aspect 2 is an excellent lightweight two-person tent that offers superb value for money, great use of space and functionality thanks to the double doors and awning potential.
Review by Matt Swaine
First published in Trail magazine July 2010