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BACKPACKER Gear 360 Review
If you want to maximize outdoor quality time and minimize camp chores, the Fresh & Black is a smart option thanks to its ease of setup. This single-door, car-camping shelter is unconventional: It packs away in a flat, 3-foot-wide, disc-shape bag held in place by buckles. Once you release the buckles it unfurls to its full size with no pole assembly required, so even children can pitch it on their own. “My 7-year-old always wants to do things herself, and had been asking for her own tent,” one tester says. “Because the whole thing just pops into place, it was easy for her and a friend to set up.” You still need to stake it out for stability and airflow, but whether you have kids or just want a zero-hassle tent for trips when you'll be pitching a new camp every night, there's nothing faster. Its other unique feature is the black-out fabric, which absorbs light to turn day into night. Our testers said it kept the tent dark even during the middle of the day for naps. (It also has windows you can open up to let light in if you want.) This tent has 41 square feet of floor space and fits three sleepers comfortably, but the interior feels smaller than the 41-inch peak height suggests, due to low ceilings that taper downwards at the front. The Fresh & Black—which also comes in a two-person version—can withstand rain storms (it’s double-walled, with the fly permanently attached to the canopy). Note: Folding the tent back into its carrying case requires practice.
This tent is incredibly easy to set up. It's almost self-constructing, with the exception of a couple buckles, and took less than a minute to get everything in place. There are no openings on top, which while very simple from a rain perspective (the fly is integrated), wouldn't allow any sort of stargazing or open-top camping. On the flipside of being easy to set up, I found it challenging to fold up and bag. There's definitely a system, but it took me a while to get it back compressed. All in all, I'd recommend it for a family, or as a separate kids' tent for a car-camping trip.