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Submitted: 11-01-2012 by rikjohnson
WENZEL STARLIGHT 2-PERSON HIKER/BIKER TENT
I bought this "used" at a yard sale from this lesbian couple who thought it would be nice to cuddle in the '2-person' tent. When I opened the box, I commented, "This looks like it had never been used," to which they replied that they couldn't figure out how to set it up so I got an unused tent for $4. I took it on a multi-day paddle down the Colorado and here is what I found.
ONE: Tents lie when they tell you the size. ANY 2-person tent means: "2 really skinny people who are very intimate." The Starlite is a one-person tent. BUT, it is so low I cannot sit up in it and changing clothes inside is an acquired skill.
TWO: Manufacturers like to make a good tent but they toss in really cheap stakes. I toss them into my loaner bag and buy better stakes. You will need 8. Plus a couple back-up for when you bend or loose the main ones.
THREE: No tunnel tent is free-standing. Thus the stakes.
FOUR: this is a one-piece tent so the thing is waterproof! Sleeping in it causes moisture to condense inside.
That said, here are the PROS:
ONE: The thing is light and packs small. I like it when I am kayak-camping solo and want the extra space for clothes and food.
TWO: Despite the size, I am 5'11 3/4" at 175# and I fit in easily with room for some gear. It's no '2-person' tent but for me it is quite roomy and I stretch easily inside.
THREE: Unlike most pup-tent designs, the door-poles fit along the sides to give full opening which is good.
I find that if I run the guy-line at the door off to the left (when facing the tent), it gives me more room to enter/exit.
Replace the crappy stakes with good ones and eat the weight.
Set the tent so you get a breeze flowing from door to feet to prevent condensation.
I took an old torn tent and made my own footprint. It adds some weight but it keeps the tent clean.
Once these are done, the tent is not a bad little tent.
I wouldn't spend a week in the rain in it and there is no chance of getting lucky in this but if all you want to do is save weight and space and sleep, this tent does the job at a good price.
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