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BACKPACKER Gear 360 Review
Setting up your tent in couple of minutes is a feat to brag about. But a couple of seconds? That’s even more impressive. The 2 Second Easy Fresh & Black makes that distinction attainable with its unique pull-string design: The shelter comes pre-assembled and folded—yes, including poles—and all you have to do is pull two ripcords to stand it up (you will have to stake it out, though). “It took longer to unfold the tent from the bag and lay it on the ground than it did to set it upright,” one tester says. When you’re ready to take the tent down, simply push two buttons near the cords and the tent collapses. Instructions on how to properly fold the tent back up are straightforward, and you won’t break a sweat getting it back into the large stuffsack.
Don’t be fooled by the easy setup, though: This freestanding, double-wall, two-door tent is no gimmick. We found that the 2 Second can handle moderate rain and wind just fine thanks to a PU-coated polyester fly, and pop-out vents in the top kept the inside free from condensation on a 50°F night near Creede, Colorado. “It rained for most of the day, with wind gusts up to 15 mph, but no water got inside and there was no flapping material,” our tester reports.
Other smart features include a fly that’s white to prevent the tent from absorbing heat—it remained noticeably cool on a sunny, 80°F day in Colorado’s Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area—and a blackout interior that blocks sunlight for midday naps or late-morning starts. The 2 Second’s floor space (32 square feet) is on par with most two-person car camping tents and provides ample room for two sleepers, though you’ll likely have to keep gear in the two vestibules or your car. The shelter also has three interior mesh pockets and a small clothesline that comes pre-hung across the top; a 43-inch peak height meant we were able to sit up comfortably while changing clothes.
At a bit more than 10 pounds the 2 Second is definitely a car camping shelter, but its simplicity of setup and agreeable price point make it a great pick for frontcountry basecampers.
Consumer Reviews from Around the Web
Bill Delvaux: At first glance, I was intrigued by the tagline of the two-second setup and the pull-cords that pop the tent up. On a trip to Tennessee’s Montgomery Bell State Park, I pulled it out of my truck as the dusk deepened and wondered if it really was as easy as it sounded. I felt a twinge of anxiety. But I quickly had the tent up and stakes in the ground. I not only felt relieved, I felt glad to be out camping again after a long hiatus.
I like that the instructions are simple and everything is included. The ease of setup is the reason to buy this tent: Once you see how it works, it is literally up in seconds and down almost as fast. For a two-person tent there is plenty of leg- and headroom, and helpful features include interior pockets and a roof clothesline. However, the zippers were a bit hard to use, and there are no tie-backs for the doors. I would still recommend this tent to someone who would like a car-camping tent that's easy to set up and take down with plenty of room.