The Zephyros 2 Lite was something of a talking point when it was first launched and it’s easy to see why. The tried and trusted, single pole tunnel design has proven itself over the years and is a popular style with weight conscious backpackers and adventure racers. The Zephyros 2 Lite trims a sizeable amount of weight off the standard Zephyros 2 tent, by using a high specification ripstop nylon flysheet and groundsheet fabrics. It uses high quality Wild Country Superflex alloy poles and tried and tested Wild Country, high performance flysheet and groundsheet fabrics.
Based on an existing highly successful and award winning Terra Nova design, (The Laser series), the single poled Zephyros Lite tent gives sturdy resistance to bad weather whilst also offering spacious sleeping and storage areas. The tent pitches flysheet and inner together for speed and simplicity and features mesh venting for comfort. One advantage of the Zephyros Lite over the standard Zephyros tent, apart from the weight, is the smaller pack size – achieved by the end poles which come in 2 sections and can be folded down.
- Sleeps 2
- 3 Season Backpacking Rating
- Minimum Weight -1300 g (2 lb 14 oz)
- Packed Weight – 1400 g (3 lb 1 oz)
- Pitch Time (estimate): 5 mins
- 1 Vestibule
- 1 Door
- Fly and Inner pitch together
- Pack size – 45 cm x 16 cm (17.7 in x 6.3 in)
- Nylon PU/Si R/S 4000 mm Flysheet
- Nylon PU 6000 mm Floor
- 8.5 mm Wild Country Superflex Alloy Pole
- 8 x Aluminum Alloy V-Angle + 2 steel pins
- 4 x yellow reflective 1.6 mm Guy Lines
- Half Mesh Inner Door
- Measured weight – 1441 g (3 lb 3 oz)
- Retail – $360
I have seen the Terra Nova tent and equipment for some time. They are kind of a boutique manufacturer here in the US as they are a UK company. The company pushes the limits of what is possible by sourcing some of the most out of their fabrics to make their designs. I have not tested anything of theirs yet, but I finally was given the chance with one of their Wild Country tents. Wild Country is designed by Terra Nova for customers seeking the perfect combination of reliability, simplicity of use, and great value. The tents take many of the design and quality standards from the Terra Nova range but use some fabrics that are not quite as out there. Believe me, if you look at some of the fabrics used in the Terra Nova lineup you will see what I mean.
What also intrigued me to test this tent out was the design. In Europe, it is common to have a non- freestanding tent whereas the US is primarily all free standing dome designs. I am not sure how this came to pass, but I have noticed it across manufacturers. I wanted to test one of these tunnel style tents and better yet a very light one that I can use when I want to travel light and fast.
To test the Zephyros 2 Lite Tent, I took it up on some trips. Since I am now in Colorado, I took it up into to the Rockies. My trips were single person trips, but I did have Melissa hop in there with me when I set it up in the yard to see how well the two of us would fit.
The Wild Country Zephyros 2 Lite Tent is a mix between the top of the line lightweight materials and value. It still comes in very light weight for a two-person tent. At three pounds, it is one of the lightest tents I have tested. What is interesting about this tent is that is a typical European design in that it is not freestanding. Something I am not totally used to. The tent has one single hoop pole over the center of the tent. There are two smaller poles at the ends of the tent as well. The tent is also interesting in that the inner tent is hooked to the fly before setup, you put them up simultaneously. It has a single large door and a single vestibule.
Inside the tent, there is plenty of venting. The top third of the door is made of mesh to allow it two vents. There are also vents located at each end of the tent that can be closed with Velcro. If further venting needs to happen, the door zippers allow the main fly door to be opened slightly. The tent uses a lightweight nylon for both its fly and the tent floor. Both carry waterproofness to keep you dry even in a deluge. There are plenty of guy lines on the tent to anchor it down. When looking at all the materials used for the tent, you can tell they are all lightweight but even then they are solid and well made. I have been impressed by the construction of their so called “value” tent. I think it is only value compared to their uber engineered Terra Nova line.
A couple of other things worth mentioning are the appearance and sustainability. I mention appearance as it does make a difference to some people. The tent is a forest green color which I really like. I personally like it when my tent can blend with the environment. The dark-green color also does not distort the light inside the tent much which is not a big issue but something I noticed. For example, yellow tents make everything look off. As for sustainability, I was not able to find any information from Terra Nova on it. The one thing they do have going for them is they, like other outdoor brands, are encouraging people to get out and for that I have to give the tent a rating of one.
Ease of Set Up (25%)
Weather Resistance (25%)
I have liked using the Zephyros 2 Lite Tent more as a one person that trying it as a two. While I did not do an overnight as a two person, I did hop in the tent with my wife and our pads and bags to see how it would work. I think that I personally would struggle to use this as a two person. For one, you need to be close to the person you are sharing with as it is pretty tight. We fit, but we would be nearly rubbing shoulders. The reason that this would not work for me is because I am a light sleeper. I think that a tent this tight would be hard for me to sleep well in. Of course after a hard day hiking that may not be a problem. I do like the fact that you can fit two if needed, just not ideal. This tent is made for the fast and light so in those situations; two people in the tent may make sense.
The first time I set up the tent was a bit of a comedy. Of course, I first tried to do it without looking at the directions, and that was definitely an issue. After a little fooling around I pulled out the directions, and it was pretty easy to do. That being said, like all tents, after doing it once or twice it became easy. You can set the tent up in just a couple of minutes. I really like how the fly is already connected to the fly. That way when you put it up, and it is raining out the main tent stays dry. My first time using the tent it was raining only slightly and even then it was nice to keep it dry. I have included a YouTube video to show how the tent is set up.
The Zephyros 2 Lite Tent is well made. I used the tent several times, but I must say that I have not put it through the ringer. Thus far I have had no issues with the tent and do not expect to. The tent is a lightweight tent and therefore, has been made with some pretty minimalist parts. Even so, they have held up well. One thing the tent does a good job doing is venting. The door is 1/3 mesh and when you couple that with the vent on either end, I never had any issues with condensation. Of course if you add another person in there it may have been different, but I was not able to do that. As for the weather resistance, I must say that I was lucky as the weather was pretty good each time I was out. I got just a little rain one day and had no issues. Looking at the tent, I feel like it will be plenty weatherproof. I would worry a bit in really high winds, but then again, I was not able to test it in high winds so it may do fine. I just do not think I would push it past a three seasons.
Overall, if they had not told me was a mix of value and performance, I would have thought this was a top of the line tent. It is really well done. I was my first non freestanding tent, and even though it took a bit to get used to, once I did I really liked it. I like that it is very lightweight even as a one-person tent, but if you need to it can be a two-person. Maybe others will think there is plenty room for two, but that is not me. Thus far the only thing that I would comment on as a negative is the space issue. Wild Country is not easily found in the states, but I would recommend taking a look if you get a chance. The Wild Country Zephyros 2 Lite Tent retails for $360. That is on the higher side for tents but expected for lighter-weight tents as the materials are more expensive. As always, your mileage may vary.
- Fly and main ten are attached
- Quick set up
- Good Venting
- Bit higher priced
- Tight for two people
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