Most of us are exploring locally this summer, which can mean late starts on the trail or to the campground if you’re breaking away after work. Whether you’re escaping the daily grind by working remotely at your local campground or enjoying a quick weekend backpacking trip, the Kelty Late Start 2 tent helps you get settled quickly.
One of the main features of this two-person tent is its ease of set up, so I put that to the test by timing myself the first time I erected it, right out of the box in my backyard. From the moment of breaking the seal on the delivery box to the moment I snapped the last buckle on the rain fly: 4 minutes. And of course, that time period was substantially cut on subsequent efforts.
What makes the Late Start so easy to set up? It features a very basic–but fully functional–design. You get what you need in this tent, and nothing more. Kelty’s ‘quick corner’ technology color-coordinates your poles to their respective corner pockets, taking all the guesswork out of the set-up process, and with only two poles to deal with in the first place (utilizing a standard X design to erect the tent), anyone of any experience level could set up this tent…even in the dark.
You get a nice amount of headroom thanks to the (slightly) pre-bent poles, but the basic design does mean you have only one door, and therefore, one vestibule. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, you’ll need to keep looking. It weighs in at four pounds, which is decent for an affordable backpacking tent (but of course could be better), and your dimensions are 85″ x 54″ x 40″.
I’m not sure about the dark color of the mesh (it feels dark inside), but the rain fly is bright and airy. I got a bit of condensation after a night in the tent, but again, this is a concession that may have to be made at this price point. You can pick up the Late Start 2 for about $150 at REI or Kelty, with additional deals and discounts abounding online. This is a solid tent for the price, and the ease of set up is not exaggerated! Enjoy local camping!