Have you ever been in search of that perfect product, but after a few years of searching you begin to think that it doesn’t exist? I’ve been in that scenario many times with all types of hunting equipment… tents, sleeping bags, rifles, backpacks, boots, camouflage, etc. Thankfully, many of these categories now have companies that have heard of the plight of sportsmen and decided to do something about it.
I’ve been in search of that perfect backpacking tent for a couple of years now, and although there are a wealth of tents to choose from, some of which are from very reputable companies and are great tents that serve their purpose, I couldn’t seem to find one that fit my needs of being roomy, sturdy, and light.
Recently Easton, the company that brings us some of the best hunting arrows in the industry, developed a series of lightweight tents that have received a lot of attention. Their claim of a two-person tent that is 2lbs. 8oz. is impressive to say the least, but their three-person tent was said to be 3lbs. 8oz.! A three-person tent that is under 4lbs. seemed mind-blowing and something that had to be checked out.
Once I received the tent from Easton I set it up in my house to verify the size. I’m 6’2” and have about that distance as a wingspan. I could lie in the tent and stretch my arms out fully and barely reach the two corners with my fingertips! The 40” head height makes sitting up in the tent and getting dressed for the day extremely nice and less frustrating than so many of the backpacking tents on the market.
The floor and fly are made of nylon ripstop and the canopy is made of lightweight nylon no-see-um mesh, giving you a three-season, double-wall tent. But that isn’t the best part. Using patented Easton technology, they have taken tent poles to a whole new level. By using their Carbon Ion pole system, they were able to shave many precious ounces of weight and maintain strength. This pole system is weight saving for two reasons: 1) the carbon poles are much lighter than standard aluminum poles in most tents, and 2) the AirLock connectors reduce the need for shockcord going through the entire pole system. These features enable the tent system to remain under 4 lbs. pretty easily.
The setup on this tent system is fool proof. The poles are color-coded with "quick-clip pole hooks”, making setup in any weather system a breeze (no pun intended). The tent also has a bathtub floor with generous sidewalls to keep unwanted moisture out, even in a downpour.
After seeing the features in a controlled environment, it was time to put it to the test in the field. On a high country scouting trip for elk in Wyoming, the Kilo 3P proved why it should’ve been called the Taj Mahal. I was more than impressed with the interior roominess of the Kilo after I had it staked out completely. There were two of us on this trip and having a tent of this size, and that is this lightweight, was perfect for a two-person excursion. While this is a threeperson tent that could fit three people in it, it is actually a perfect two-person shelter, giving each person more than ample room for their gear to be inside.
The tent also has a small vestibule. When I initially set up the tent, I was wishing it had a slightly larger vestibule, but after seeing just how much room was inside the tent itself, I quickly became less concerned about the vestibule size. A tent this size has to have some sacrifices in order to keep a desirable pack weight and the vestibule is where some of the sacrifice was made. Don’t get me wrong, there was enough room to lay two packs down sideways and have two pairs of boots in the vestibule, so it definitely serves its purpose.
The Easton Kilo 3P is a very, very lightweight shelter that fits the bill of being sturdy and spacious. Any backcountry pack trips I take in the near future will definitely have this tent strapped to my pack. In the game of counting ounces to lower our pack weights, saving a full pound from the twoperson tent I’ve been using is worth its weight in gold. You can check out the Kilo 3p, and the other Kilo tents that Easton offers, at www.eastonmountainproducts.com.