Sorry for the first email, I didn't mean to send it off, I was still working on it. THIS is my first attempt to submit an Owner Review. Thank you editors, for your time.
OWNER REVIEW - KELTY GRAND MESA 2 TENT
BY BRIAN WAYNE SCHEMENAUR
NAME: Brian Schemenaur
BIRTHDAY: 02/08/1974 AGE: 38 GENDER: Male
LOCATION: Indianapolis, Indiana
HEIGHT: 6 FT 1 IN 1.85 M
WEIGHT: 225 LB 102.0 KG
I frequently camped in my "youthful" college days with friends on the weekends. Since my wife has absolutely zero interest in camping, I hadn't camped for nearly 15 years. I have returned to this wonderful hobby since my son joined the boy scouts about 2 years ago. Now I look for any opportunity to head out for the peace and beauty of the outdoors. I have begun a transition towards backpack/minimalist camping as opposed to car camping. I particularly love to tinker with the latest camping gadget technologies.
Model: Grand Mesa 2
Product: 2 person tent
Manufacturer's Website: www.kelty.com
MSRP: US$ 139.95
Listed Weight: 4 lb 10 oz / 2.10 kg
Measured Weight: 4lb 9 oz / 2.07 kg
Front (entry): 58 in / 147 cm
Rear: 44 in / 112 cm
Side: 82 in / 208 cm
Height: 44 in / 112 cm
Front (entry): 55 in / 140 cm
Rear: 43 in / 109 cm
Side: 83 in / 211 cm
Height: 43 in / 109 cm
This tent has one door and one vestibule. The framework consists of two aluminum DAC press-fit poles. The tent is designed for 3 season use by backpacking campers.
September 14 - September 16, 2012
BSA Scoutmaster's farm (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Lat: 39.6 deg N, Lon: 85.9 deg W, Elev: 781 ft
9/14 - (Temp) High 70 deg F, Low 56 deg F (Wind) 14-23mph (Precip) 0.05"
9/15 - (Temp) High 74 deg F, Low 50 deg F (Wind) 2-8mph (Precip) 0.0"
9/16 - (Temp) High 78 deg F, Low 54 deg F (Wind) 3-13mph (Precip) 0.0"
October 26 - October 28, 2012
"Civil War Days Camp" at BSA Camp Belzer (Lawrence, Indiana)
Lat: 39.8 deg N, Lon: 86.0 deg W, Elev: 781 ft
10/26 - (Temp) High 53 deg F, Low 40 deg F (Wind) 14-23mph (Precip) 0.24"
10/27 - (Temp) High 53 deg F, Low 36 deg F (Wind) 12-21mph (Precip) 0.0"
10/28 - (Temp) High 50 deg F, Low 36 deg F (Wind) 12-21mph (Precip) 0.0"
November 9 - November 11, 2012
Battle Ground, Indiana
Lat: 40.4 deg N, Lon: 86.9 deg W, Elev: 604 ft
11/9 - (Temp) High 62 deg F, Low 30 deg F (Wind) 6-17mph (Precip) 0.0"
11/10 - (Temp) High 70 deg F, Low 45 deg F (Wind) 8-18mph (Precip) 0.0"
11/11 - (Temp) High 68 deg F, Low 52 deg F (Wind) 14-26mph (Precip) 0.01"
Kelty markets the Grand Mesa 2 as a backpacker's tent for the budget conscious. In that respect, Kelty clearly accomplished that goal. Overall, I am very pleased with the performance of this tent.
I have several tents, but the Grand Mesa 2 is my first backpacking tent. My other tents are larger, car-camping style tents. It is a bit of an adjustment transitioning from these larger style tents to more of a minimalist tent. The Grand Mesa 2 is designed for 2 persons, and it will adequately accommodate 2 grown adults. With two persons in the interior of the tent, it is difficult fitting any additional gear within the tent. The single vestibule will be able to accommodate a large amount of gear, however, one will have to step over it or move it out of the way when entering or exiting. My intent in selecting the Grand Mesa 2 was to provide plenty of room for myself and for my Kelty Red Cloud 110 backpack. For this purpose, this tent absolutely shines.
The quality of the materials, design, and assembly of this tent rivals many of the other tent manufacturers. The poles are DAC press-fit aluminum, which are very high quality and light. The canopy and floor are made of 68D polyester, and the fly is made of 75D polyester, which seems to be fairly standard in the tent industry. My tent and fly colors are mostly grey with maroon trim. "Kelty Grand Mesa 2" is tastefully imprinted to the lower right of the tent door entry. On the fly, a large "Kelty" logo is imprinted on the left side vestibule. The tent floor seams are sealed, and I have never had any moisture penetrate the floor of the tent. I do utilize a tarp underneath my tent in order to protect the floor from punctures. I have not had any significant issues with the zippers, however I do exercise care while operating them. In my use of this tent, I have experienced no tears in the tent walls or fly, and the material appears to be in
like-new condition. This tent has endured a fair amount of gusty winds in its field use. The seams of the tent and fly have all held together well. I have had no precipitation leaks inside the tent, however I have experienced only the slightest amounts of rain, as indicated in my field log. Morning dew has never penetrated the tent material, and the interior of the tent remained dry during each use.
I have found the advertised length and weight measurements of the tent by the manufacturer to be fairly accurate. The largest discrepancy in the length measurement differed by only 3 inches (7.6 cm) which applied to the length of the front entrance. The other length measurements differed by only 1 inch (2.5 cm). Such differences in measurement is fairly negligible. I obtained my measurements from the tent interior. If I had obtained these measurements from the tent exterior, I likely would have obtained the factory results. I was impressed that my tent weighed slightly less than the factory listed specifications. The overall length of this tent is very accommodating for my 6'1" (185.4 cm) frame. When centered within the length of the tent, neither my head nor my feet touch the sides. The height of the tent allows me to fully sit up. This is a tremendous benefit when it comes time to changing clothes in the outdoors. The
dimensions of this tent make very efficient use of its volume to maximize comfort and livability for its occupant(s). I am very happy with the light weight of this tent and overall dimensions when packed down. It is easily stowed in my Kelty Red Cloud 110 backpack, leaving considerable volume and weight for other gear.
I was very pleased to observe no build-up of condensation within the Grand Mesa 2 on any of the outings. The large vent towards the rear roof-line, and the selective placement of mesh on the walls adequately dissipated condensation. I always fully stake out the fly to allow for air circulation, as well as to secure the tent to the ground for those gusty days.
On each of the three documented outings in the field use, I pitched and slept in the tent by myself. As luck would have it, I managed to pitch the tent each time in the absence of inclement weather. If I were to have to pitch this tent in the rain, I could complete the task with minimal water entering the tent. This is possible due to the simple design and quick set-up capability. Pole sections are assembled swiftly since they are pre-assembled with shock cords. The support poles' ends slip into metal grommets positioned at opposite corners of the tent. The attached tent clips then snap to the support poles. This tent is "NOOB" (AKA NEWBIE: a beginner) friendly! If inclement weather is present, you place the fly on top of the tent , which secures to each corner with plastic buckles. I was able to keep my backpack and all of my gear within the interior of the tent. Entering and exiting the tent through the front unobstructed vestibule
was fairly easy. Each camp site selected was set upon wide open areas in dense grass. Temperatures ranged from 30 deg F to 78 deg F (-1.1 deg C to 25.6 deg C). I used a Therm-a-Rest Ridge Rest SOLite pad, and a Kelty Cosmic +35DEG F / +2DEG C sleeping bag inside the tent. This combination of bedding within the tent proved comfortable for the three outings. There is a handy loop in the center of the roof-line, which is a perfect anchor point for mounting my headlamp. I was able to fashion a ceiling light for the tent in this manner. The side mesh pockets were perfect for storing small light-weight items, such as my mini-broom/dustpan for keeping the interior clean. The interior tent door has two anchor points on the left side (viewing from the exterior) to keep the door secured and out of the way. The vestibule tent door also has anchor points to the left side of the centerline, so that the right side of the vestibule flap can be
secured as well. This versatility of the tent door and vestibule door options makes it very nice for one to leave the tent open for maximum air circulation.
The only real "defect" I have experienced thus far is a small seam that has pulled apart on the tent pole bag. The bag itself is intact and not torn; it is a seam that separated due to some loose threading. It is a very slight issue and one that I can easily fix with a needle and some thread. I would rather have an issue like this develop with one of the product bags, as opposed to the tent or fly itself. However, I would have preferred a little more factory quality control invested in the assembly of the tent pole bag.
The provided aluminum tent stakes have adequately done their job, but I have bent several while using them in moderately firm soil. I've bent them back into shape when I arrived home without much effort; they are still very serviceable. I will likely replace them with more durable tent stakes in the near future.
The provided utility cords for use as guy lines work fine, however they are black in color. They have proven to be a tripping hazard at night when I've camped in groups. I will likely replace these cords with ones that are brightly colored or reflective to reduce this safety issue. This is a personal preference, however, and would not affect one who solo camps.
Knowing what I know now, I will seek some specific features in the selection of another tent when it comes time to replace this one. I would prefer having a tent with two vestibules, so that I won't have to crawl over stored gear when entering or exiting the tent. I would also prefer to have a tent that allows it to be pitched with the fly attached, or a tent that allows the fly to be pitched first, with the assembly of the tent to be done beneath the fly. Anyone that has experienced the "joy" of pitching a tent in a downpour will appreciate avoiding the task of drying the tent floor with whatever dry clothing articles one has available to them.
I will undoubtedly use this tent extensively in the future because it is a quality piece of camping equipment. This tent is quickly and easily pitched, even by a novice. The simplicity of its two criss-crossed tent-pole design is brilliant. The use of clips to attach the tent to support poles instead of the tedious task of feeding support poles through tent sleeves is a wonderful thing! The price point of this tent should appeal to beginner and expert campers alike, with features and quality appreciated by the entire range of consumers. Well done Kelty!
THINGS I LIKE:
- This is a very good quality tent at an EXCELLENT price
- This is perfect-sized tent for one person, but will adequately accommodate two people
- The gear pockets on both sides of the front entrace are handy to stow gear
- The tent packs down small for a backpack and is very light for a two person tent
- Did I already mention its EXCELLENT price?
THINGS I DON'T LIKE:
- The aluminum stakes are not very durable
- Black guy-out cords can be a tripping hazard at night
- The tent-pole bag stitching was a bit sloppy, creating a hole fairly early into its use
Brian Wayne Schemenaur
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