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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Gear Guide 2009: REI Cirque ASL 2 Tent Review

Want to get a winter tent without breaking the bank? The Cirque is the tent for you.

by: Kelly Bastone

REI Cirque (Seth Hughes).
REI Cirque (Seth Hughes).

Gear Guide 2009: More Mountaineering Tents
Search through our extensive library for more reviews.

Killer Deal
If you want to add a winter tent to your gear closet, but your budget suggests a new winter hat is more appropriate–get this tent. It's affordable, not cheap, and will see you through all but the worst winter conditions. The taut, three-pole pitch sheds wind and snow, and space is tight but sufficient (though testers much over six feet found the floor too short). The 40-inch peak height mitigates the cramped feel, but it's still not the best choice for the big and tall.

The Cirque rarely steamed up, thanks to two vents in the fly, mesh panels on the ceiling, and two doors that encouraged cross-currents. The ventilation helps the Cirque stay cool even on warm-weather trips. Downside: The two vestibules are barely adequate; they fill up fast with winter gear, which blocks the doorway. $269; 5 lbs. 2 oz. rei.com

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