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47688FR - MontBell Crescent 2 Tent - Ben Mansfield

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  • ben.mansfield
    Aug 5, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      HTML in the test folder, here:
      http://tinyurl.com/6cbefx

      FR portion of the report in text below:

      Field Report
      August 5, 2008

      Field Conditions

      This tent must be magic! Or maybe it's lucky like a rabbits foot
      covered in four-leaf clovers stored inside a horseshoe (with the
      opening towards the sky, of course, so the luck doesn't fall out).
      Well, maybe not quite that extreme, but there must be something
      special about it. Never, ever, in my however many years of camping &
      backpacking (going back to my Cub Scout days) have I had a summer full
      of outings during which NOT ONE TIME did I have to pack up my gear wet
      and deal with it at home. Maybe it's global warming. I don't know, but
      what I do know is that to date, I've spent 12 nights in the MontBell
      Crescent 2 Tent, and I have yet to be rained on at night in this tent.
      Don't misunderstand - I was sprinkled on in the New River Gorge in
      West Virginia, rained on in the Allegheny National Forest in
      Pennsylvania, and even slipped and took a short swim in a small creek
      in the Allegany Forest up in New York (the Allegheny in Pennsylvania
      and the Allegany in New York are the same forest - the states just
      spell them differently). But in every daylight case, the "Magical
      MontBell" was safely & deeply entombed in my pack, in part because of
      its small size, and did not take on any water. My wife has almost
      forgotten that every time I come home from a backpacking trip, my gear
      spends a few days set up in the garage, like a little suburban
      campsite, in order to dry everything out. (This is probably a good
      thing, since this tent would be hard to stake out & therefore pitch on
      a concrete slab.)

      Temperatures on all my trips were mild - if it got down below 60 F (15
      C) at night I'd be surprised. Daytime temps were, at times, upwards of
      80 F (27 C), but I can't say that I spent a lot of time in the tent at
      these temperatures. Elevation-wise, all of my trips were somewhere
      around 500 ft (150 m) not quite up to 3000 ft (915 m).

      Field Observations

      What I have been able to test quite well is the ventilation options
      offered by this tent. Thanks to the warm, dry nights I've had, I've
      set up the tent with the fly rolled all the way up on many occasions.
      This gives a wonderful sense of sleeping under the stars, complete
      with view, while also providing good protection from bugs. I've also
      slept with the hatches battened down a few times when the weather
      threatened (but didn't deliver).

      Condensation-wise, the Crescent 2 has performed well - though on most
      nights it's been just me in the tent and with all the extra volume
      inside the tent (& with the fly open) there's plenty of air to soak up
      my breath. I haven't noticed any condensation in the mornings, even on
      mornings where the ground was a little dewy.

      I did share the tent on a few nights - note that my hiking partners
      are all long time friends of mine, and that we've all been doing this
      a long time. Also note that we're all average (or better) sized guys.
      We've shared other, smaller tents in the past and have felt much more
      awkward in the morning. The Crescent 2 definitely allows enough space
      for two average size men without a lot of extraneous elbow bumping and
      breath smelling, which is a welcome feature when comparing against
      some of the other two person backpacking tents on the market.

      One thing that the tent doesn't really provide, when being used as a
      shelter for two, is space for gear storage. The tiny vestibule has to
      stretch to fit two pairs of hiking boots, let alone provide space for
      making coffee or storing a backpack. It would be nice to have a little
      more room in the vestibule department, though I'm not sure I'd be
      willing to sacrifice the small packed size or additional weight to get
      it. I guess these are the tradeoffs that have to be made. That,
      coupled with the fact that a garbage bag is light and makes a pretty
      good overnight pack cover in a pinch, means that all in all I really
      can't complain about the vestibule size a whole lot.

      The smallish door that I pointed out during my initial review of the
      tent is, well, still small. With one person in the tent, it's not a
      big deal. With two people in the tent, it can be a little challenging.
      Especially when the person sleeping on the side opposite the door has
      to get out in the middle of the night for biological reasons. So, it
      comes down to a decision - do I want the side with the mesh
      ventilation and great view of the night sky, or do I want the side
      where I'm less likely to be stepped on if my tent-mate has to pee at 3 AM?

      The other issue with the door has to do with putting on my boots. I
      like to leave my boots in the vestibule, sit inside the tent, feet out
      through the door, and put on my boots so that they stay outside. Then
      I do this little dance where I try to get my head and shoulders out of
      the door (while my feet are still out there but my butt is still
      inside), the end goal being that I'm standing up outside & in front of
      the tent. There are probably easier ways to do this, such as rolling
      over and going out feet first, then butt, then head last, but my
      little tent exiting dance at least provides some entertainment for the
      squirrels and gives my hamstrings a good stretch in the morning.

      So far, this tent has met and exceeded my expectations. I'm very
      impressed with the ease with which it is pitched, the different
      options for ventilation, and the interior space that is delivered
      considering the weight and size of the total package. I didn't think
      I'd ever say it, but I'm actually hoping for some bad weather this
      fall so that I can report on how well the MontBell Crescent 2 stands
      up to the elements.

      Check back for my Long Term Report in about two months. In the
      meantime, I'll continue putting this tent to the test on every trip I
      take.

      I would like to thank MontBell and BackpackGearTest for the
      opportunity to test this tent.
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