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Gear Review: Stoic Arx XL 2 Tent

If spring finds you in the market for a tent that's lightweight and bombproof, check out this two-person, two-door, three-season shelter.
Photos and text by Allison Woods
  • Setting up the Arx is simple and intuitive. The carbon fiber brow pole helps to pop out the side walls, adding more usable space. An all-mesh tent body allowed outstanding cross-ventilation on a spring night near Washington's Saddle Mountains.
  • With a footprint of less than 28 square feet, and a slight taper at the foot end, seen at right, space is at a premium. Changing clothes is a one-at-a-time affair. Just shy of 85 inches long, the Arx best fits hikers under 6'.
  • Here's a look at what the brow pole does to the interior space. The height of the tent is 41.5" at the ends of the pole, allowing for a couple of friendly campers to sit and play an evening game of Yahtzee. A small gear loft, seen here, is included.
  • The brow pole, while critical for providing elbow room, made for a clumsy roofline when the rainfly was rolled up. A better solution? Unhook the fly from the brow pole and roll it all the way up to the long poles.
  • A two-way zipper on the vestibule doors allow you to peek out at the weather without getting wet and create a high-low venting system to optimize airflow on sticky nights. Twin doors allow stealth exiting for the inevitable midnight bio break.
  • The two vestibules are smallish, but there's room for a 50-liter pack and your boots. The steepness of the vesty walls can make for a damp exit, so give the door a good shake if it's raining.
  • The Arx pitches taut, and stays that way. Winds howled down Crab Creek at a steady 25 mph, but the siliconized nylon fly didn't flap. Corner tensioners allow for raising the fly to allow airflow and keep the interior dry and cool in high humidity.
  • The Arx is a solid bet for two smaller hikers who want 3+ season weather protection at a good weight and pack size. Best if you can catch it on sale (check online at backcountry.com). Larger campers should look elsewhere for more floor space.
  • The Specs:<br>  Stoic Arx XL 2<br> $269 (goes on sale regularly, various prices as low as $161)<br> 4 lbs. 5 oz. (on BACKPACKER scales)<Br> Length 84.5 in., head width 51 in., foot width 43 in.<br> backcountry.com
Setting up the Arx is simple and intuitive. The carbon fiber brow pole helps to pop out the side walls, adding more usable space. An all-mesh tent body allowed outstanding cross-ventilation on a spring night near Washington's Saddle Mountains.
Image 1 of 9

Setting up the Arx is simple and intuitive. The carbon fiber brow pole helps to pop out the side walls, adding more usable space. An all-mesh tent body allowed outstanding cross-ventilation on a spring night near Washington's Saddle Mountains.

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