Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

Gear Review: Easton Kilo Tent

This three-season tent saves weight with new pole technology.
Easton Kilo Tent (BP Photo Department)

[all-purpose ultralight]
Toss your tarp. For just one pound per person, the Kilo keeps bugs out and withstands windblown rain. And this three-season tent saves weight with new pole technology, so designers didn’t have to skimp on key features (for example, the coating of polyurethane on the floor, like the Turret’s, is four times thicker than most ultralights). Here’s how the poles save ounces: Instead of shock cord running through all segments, the carbon poles use connectors made of an aluminum/carbon composite and a short monofilament tether to hold sections in sequence.

Without the long internal bungee used by most tent poles, the Kilo is almost two-thirds lighter, and separators between the carbon segments prevent edge abrasion (which can be a problem with carbon-fiber poles). The Kilo is not freestanding, but it pitches fast: Stake out the four corners, erect the two crossing poles, and plug in the additional three stakes. Space is adequate, not luxurious: The 26-square-foot floor is a squeeze for campers taller than 5’10” (the ceiling slopes sharply at the foot, so the 91-inch length suggests more room than is realistic).

Width increases to 56 inches at the shoulders, so “we didn’t feel pinched because we had plenty of space near our heads,” one tester reports. And it stood firm during a night of raking 25-mph wind on Utah’s Meeks Mesa. Tradeoffs? The Kilo has just one tiny door; the six-square-foot vestibule proved too small to store packs; and the saggy interior fabric made working the door zipper a two-handed affair. $399; 2 lbs.

Leave a Reply