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Gear Review: REI Arete ASL 2 Tent

A four-season tent that truly can be used year-round.
March 2011 REI Arete ASL 2 445x260REI Arete ASL 2 (Courtesy Photo)

In the Rockies, where altitude makes summer nights nippy, I use four-season tents year-round. The Arete fits my bill, since the limited mesh can be covered with zippered panels. It pitches in a flash—feed the two crossing poles through sleeves and clip the third across the front to support the door.

The vestibule is big enough for gear, cooking, even a crouching body. The freestanding dome held strong in 20-mph gusts and several inches of fresh snow. Space is tight for tall guys, but the low weight, easy setup, and weather protection is worth the tradeoff.

Best For
Year-round campers who need more warmth than a three-season tent but less protection than a mountain bombshelter

Tester Data
> Kelly Bastone (other testers: Katie Herrell, Dennis Lewon)
> Duration April to June
> Locales/conditions CO; wind, snow
> “Despite the limited mesh, the Arete ventilates well enough to make condensation a nonissue.”

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