Brand: Terra Nova Equipment
Model: Solar Competition 1
We don’t know why this three-pound tent is called the Kilo. No matter. Here’s the math that counts: one pound per person for a three-person shelter. And unlike some ultralights, which employ futzy trekking-pole setups or wispy fabrics, this three-season dome achieves its low weight by using innovative carbon-fiber poles with connectors that use short monofilament tethers rather than one long piece of elastic cord. Ergo, best-in-weight-class stability.
Pitching the Kilo takes two minutes, and even without guying, it withstood 30-mph gusts in the Sierra. Headroom is adequate, with a 40-inch peak height that lets campers play cards without crouching, but the 43-square-foot floor was a snug fit for three thru-hikers on the John Muir Trail.
Downsides: The 4.5-square-foot vestibule shelters little more than three pairs of boots. Condensation dampened testers’ bags with just two campers inside, and in rainy conditions, the fly sagged onto the mesh, further compromising airflow. (Update: Easton says Velcro attachment loops have been added to the inside of the fly to improve stability and reduce sag. We didn’t test the new version.) $499; 3 lbs.; eastonmountainproducts.comModelled on the Solar Elite, the Competition has the same dimensions but offers a higher spec flysheet and groundsheet. The Solar Competition also uses a triangular rear pole section to make it 100% freestanding and offer more stability in poor weather than its competitors. It is quick and simple to erect and there are various ways you can pitch the tent; inner only in hot and dry conditions, flysheet only with fastpack groundsheet for the lightest set up option or both fly and inner for normal use. There is enough room to sit up and access the porch space and a good amount of storage along with multiple ventilation options on the door.
DAC alloy poles
2g titanium pegs
Reflective guyline with Cam cleats