Owners Review: Microfast KT2 o Tent - Shorrelle Hayman
- Tested Item: Microfast KT2 o Tent
Name: Shorrelle Hayman
Height: 5’ 4” (1.6m)
Weight: 70kgs (11 stone), (154lbs)
Email address: shorrelle@...
City, State, Country: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Started backpacking about 6 months ago on the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia and hope to take my trekking passion all over the world. I have purchased so much gear and almost have 2 of everything. I find that your needs change throughout the seasons and what might have suited you once no longer meets your requirements. I go out hiking with my dad and friend and we absolutely love it. We don’t mind a few luxuries but it’s important to keep the weight down so we are always trying new things.
Initially it was the race of who could have the lightest pack and now being winter it’s all about being warm. My aim is to find the perfect pack combination.
We will tackle anything and the weather is not a deterrent. We have been out in a 42 degree day and stayed out in the freezing cold. The terrain has to date consisted of the Darling Ranges outside of Perth, Australia and sand dunes and forests in the South West of Australia (Bibbulmun Track). You could say we are just your average walkers who are learning every day and will give almost anything a go.
The scary thing about us which our families and friends don’t understand is that we LOVE hiking and we have all caught the hiking bug.
Why I selected this tent
I wanted to find the lightest tent possible as I was new to trekking and as I only had a 45 +10 litre backpack I had to find something that was small and compact and wouldn’t take up too much room. After much research I came up with the following solution. I purchased a Microfast KT2 o Tent.
Manufacturer: Highlander Year of Manufacture: 2004
URL of top level manufacture’s web site: www.highlander1.com
Listed weight: 1.6kg including pegs, guy ropes and bag
Size when pitched: 210 x 75 x 70cm
Size when packed: 45cm diameter x 12cm thick
Weight as delivered: as above
Product description: MicroFast® KT2 Self Pitch Bivi Tent
Ultralight and Compact 3 Hoop Single Skin Breathable as used by the Australian armed forces. PITCHES IN 5 SECONDS. Just release its retainer straps and it opens out into a waterproof shelter with a front awning. Full weather protection without condensation. Not free standing. If you are in a hurry, 2 pegs at the front and back will keep the tent upright.
Location: (geography, terrain, elevation, etc.)
My tent and I have traveled some 176km’s together across large hills and over a few mountains. The elevation of the largest mountain was 400metres over 3 km’s. This was Mt Cooke in Western Australia and we were on the Bibbulmun Track. I found my tent a bit annoying and as a result I now have two tents. It does however have many good qualities.
When the ground is reasonable soft, the pegs go in no worries and like the description states, it does only need a few guide ropes and pegs to stay up. This is most convenient especially when you are tired and in a hurry to get into bed. If you are unable to peg into the ground, just tie the ropes around rocks.
I have pitched the tent inside a hut, on beautiful flat ground, on top of prickles, a rock surface and on very hard ground. I did find that the pegs bend very easy when the ground is hard and it was better to tie the ropes to rocks and not use any pegs at all. The tend stays erect with a minimum of 4 guide ropes tied around 4 rocks.
The tent is much more stable when it is pegged completely in the ground and you have no fear of blowing away. I did experience this on my last trip on the weekend where the ground was fantastic for pegs yet the wheather was blowing a gale. The tent just remained in the one place and I felt very safe inside.
Weather conditions: (temperature, precipitation, etc.)
I have used this tent in the very hot weather (35 degrees Celsius) and at approx 15 degrees Celsius. The 35 degree night it was very warm in my tent, but comfortable enough to have a good sleep. The 15 degree night was a different story as there was a lot of due in the air. The air flow inside the tent is minimal and I actually had condensation dripping down onto my sleeping bag. As a result it was wet inside my tent and I decided it was better to sleep outside of it. I am unsure why I experienced so much condensation as in the description it says’s without condensation.
The tent is very small and when you get in and out it is very hard not to touch the sides. The airflow flaps on the side are there for air circulation but I didn’t find they stay open very well.
I have also used this tent in very windy conditions and found it easy to erect and safe and warm inside. The tent is very low to the ground and it doesn’t blow around too much.
Performance: (durability, convenience, etc.)
If it’s strictly convenience you are searching for the Microfast KT2 is fantastic. You pull it out of its bag and up she pops, just a few ropes tired down and you have your tent ready for action. There are pegs however you can get away with using only 4 of them and if the ground is too hard and it is not that windy you don’t really need to use any.
The base of the tent is quite thin and if you have any prickly bushes on the ground you will find they poke through, so it is important to find smooth ground. I found rock is very suitable as well as grass.
It carries in an oval shape bag, which is flat. I find that it consumed too much of my backpack and made it awkward to carry my other items. If I had a bigger pack it would be more suitable.
When it comes time to get it back in the carry bag, you just bend the poles over and around and poke it back in. You feel like you are squashing it a little and I was afraid of breaking my poles, but this has not happened to date.
I do like how the tent has doors at both side and a little canopy to protect your backpack. The only problem is that the canopy has no floor and your pack would get damp from the wet ground. There is no room for your pack inside the tent unless you are very short.
I have not noticed any wear on my tent and nothing has ripped off or broken. I am very careful with my products and I do look after them. When I return from my tip I always hand it over the clothes line and sometimes hose it down with water. This has not done any damage to my tent.
What first attracted me to this tent was its weight and I liked the idea of it being small and cozy. What I now don’t like about this tent is that is very small and cozy. You can not sit up inside your tent only crawl on your hands and knees. If you have a slightly largish bottom, you can quite easily bring the whole thing down when trying to get in through the door. The tent is ideal in the summer months if its only purpose is for sleeping. I think it would be ideal for a smaller person or child as it is light and easy to erect.
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