Wednesday, February 21, 2018
I was kindly given the new Kiruna 2 tent made by the German outdoor equipment company Tatonka late last year to try out and review on some of my photographic adventures by the good folk at Tight Lines NZ.
I have since used it on two trips, one to Pouakai Tarn in Egmont National Park and the other trip was to Lake Alexandrina in the McKenzie Country and the Upper Rangitata River Valley in the Canterbury high country. I will give my honest thoughts on the tent below.
When I first received the tent I was quite surprised at how light it was – 2.3kg total weight including the poles and pegs, this can be minimized a little bit as the tent comes with extra pegs that you could leave at home even though they are also pretty light anyway. When I put it up in my back yard I was even more surprised at how large it was – it was twice the size of my old tent and only weighed 400 grams more.
There is plenty of room inside the tent for two people with a fairly large vestibule for storing your gear. It is extremely fast to put up, in fact a friend of mine timed me putting it up (without me knowing, so I wasn’t trying to rush it at all) and it took just under two minutes to get it from inside the bag to free standing. If the weather is good you can get away with only four pegs and two poles holding it up, but there are plenty more anchor points for when the weather gets a bit rough, there are eight anchor points around the tent itself as well as six adjustable guy lines to hold the tent nice and rigid in the case of strong winds. These guy lines can be neatly folded up and tucked away when not in use which is a small but great feature. When I was staying at Lake Alexandrina there was a strong wind blowing when I arrived so I used all anchor points and there was no worries at all about it flying away, it barely even rippled in the strong wind. Later that night I woke up and it had started raining steadily, the next morning there was not a drop of moisture inside the tent at all.
One of the best things I found about the tent is the ability to pack up the inner tent while the outer fly is still standing, this is great for when it comes time to pack up and it’s raining outside, you can pack up your gear and most of the tent without getting wet and then it’s only a matter of a couple of minutes to dismantle the poles and pack away the outer tent and you’re on your way again. This is great for ensuring the inner is nice and dry when you set up camp at the end of the day, even if it’s still raining.
Ventilation is pretty good with a front opening door on the fly leading to a large diameter opening on the inner tent that can be fully zipped open, this opening also has a large mesh “window” that lets plenty of fresh air through when the inner tent is zipped closed, this also has its own zip up cover for privacy. At the foot end of the tent is a smaller mesh window with a zipper on it to access the tube like hooded opening built in to the outer tent, the tube itself has a draw string on it to regulate the amount of airflow. There is also another hooded tube with draw string on the front door of the outer tent. The fly of the tent comes all the way down to ground level which means there is little ventilation around the bottom of the tent, but this ensures you are kept nice and dry in the rain and warm in cold weather and the ventilation tubes at both ends more than makes up for it, I did not have any condensation inside the fly of the tent at all on both trips away that I have used it.
There is plenty of head room to sit up in the tent comfortably, although I would imagine it would be a little bit more cramped with two people sitting up due to the tunnel shape and having it sloping down towards the foot end of the tent. There are also two adjustable lines running down the length of the tent inside the inner tent perfect for hanging up wet clothes or a light source etc.
There is only one thing I found to be a little bit annoying and that is the guy line for the front of the tent comes from the middle of the top of the doorway making it a little bit awkward to get in the doorway by having to crouch down quite low to get under it, but overall that is a very minor annoyance on a great tent.
Overall I am very impressed with the Kiruna 2 and I am looking forward to spending many more nights out in the wild places with it.
Tim Bond, Vicarious NZ Photography. February 2018.
Find out more about Tatonka Tents here.