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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2009

Gear Review: REI Ace SW2 Tent

This two-person, single-wall REI tent is tough, versatile, and $300.

by: Testers Kelly Bastone, Shannon Davis, Moira Downes, John Harlan, Kristy Holland, Karst R. Hoogeboom, Kristin Hostetter, Lauren McLean, Scott McLean, Tim Shisler

REI Ace SW2 (Courtesy Photo)
REI Ace SW2 (Courtesy Photo)

Seek Shelter
Fall Gear Guide: Tents

Best Buy
From the sandy, bake-oven banks of the Colorado River in July to the icy uplands of New Hampshire's Whites in February, the Ace SW2 reliably wowed our testers. The top reasons? Ease of setup, low weight, great livability, and rock-solid performance in high winds. This two-person single-wall has two doors and two vestibules, which make sharing a small tent much more pleasant. Two blunt-ended poles slide into webbing sleeves and a brow pole snaps across the top, creating mini-awnings over the vestibules; pitching takes less than three minutes.

"The Ace is remarkably tough for its weight. It withstood nine inches of fresh snow and 30-mph winds," said one tester after returning from a March ascent of New Hampshire's 3,155-foot Mt. Cardigan. Other testers in Utah praised the efficient use of space; the foot of the tent is narrower than the head. "The size is just big enough for two six-footers, and there's plenty of room for gear in your personal vestibule." Caveat: Testers in humid, East Coast regions reported moisture buildup, despite vents at the head and foot and adjustable vents at the top of each vestibule. $300; 4 lbs. 7 oz.; rei.com

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READERS COMMENTS

Anonymous
Dec 02, 2011

this tent is discontinued

Phil
Feb 09, 2010

REI is either sold out or no longer carrying this model. I managed to find one at their used gear sale (brand new, for $85).

Tim Colman
Jan 26, 2010

You might ask REI to put the tent online. I couldn't find one with the name you use in the story today.

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