LTR - REI Arete ASL 2 tent - Brian Hartman
- Hi Derek,
Below is my Long Term Report for the REI Arete 2 tent. The link to my HTML report is: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/LTR%20-%20REI%20Arete%20ASL%202%20Tent%20-%20Brian%20Hartman/
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the past two months I used the REI Arete ASL 2 tent on two backpacking trips totaling four nights. The weather during this time period was mild with daytime highs just over 70 F (21 C) and lows in the upper 40's F (9 C).
1. My first trip was to Mound State Park in Indiana. Daytime temperatures during this two night backpacking trip approached 66 F (19 C) while nighttime temperatures dropped to 48 F (9 C). The weather both days was mostly cloudy with light winds and intermittent showers. The terrain was hilly and trails were muddy but I was able to pitch the tent both nights on relatively flat, dry ground. I hiked 11 miles (17 km) over the course of this trip. Elevations ranged from 550 ft (168 m) to 730 ft (223 m).
2. My second trip was near the town of Oldenburg in southeastern Indiana. During this two night outing I hiked mostly off-trail through woods and farmland several miles outside of town. I covered 9.5 miles (15.28 km) across moderately hilly terrain while temperatures ranged from 72 F (22 C) to 55 F (13 C). I pitched the tent in flat, wooded areas both nights.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Arete ASL 2 performed very well during the past two months of testing. During this time it was durable, relatively easy to set up despite a few annoyances, and provided satisfactory accommodations for a sleeping partner for two nights.
Performance: The Arete did a great job of keeping me warm and dry on all of my backpacking trips. The nylon tent body retained my body heat while letting moisture escape through the roof vents so that condensation was never a problem. On the coldest nights I felt much warmer than when using my three season tent which has a mesh tent body. During my testing, I almost always left the roof vents open, and never had a problem with a wet sleeping bag in the morning. In addition to staying warm, the Arete stayed completely dry in wet conditions. There were no leaks in the tent and I found that the few times my sleeping bag touched the tent walls, I never experienced water penetration.
Durability: I had no problems or excessive wear issues with the tent body, rainfly, poles, zippers, or any other components during this test period. The tent withstood heavy winds and rain with no issues whatsoever thanks to its rugged three pole design and full nylon body. Unfortunately, this was a mild winter and so I could not comment on the Arete's ability to handle a heavy snowfall or extreme winter temperatures.
Setup: I had no major problems setting up the tent during this test period. As mentioned in my Field Report, the tent fabric eventually seemed to loosen up and that made it easier to pitch the tent. The only pole that continued to give me problems was the ventilation pole which remained difficult to install and remove barehanded and nearly impossible to do with gloves on. I found that if I applied enough force to the pole to bend it upward in the middle I could eventually secure or remove it. However, bending such a short pole puts excessive stress on it which may eventually lead to premature failure. One other area where I struggled was with the speed pitching option. After two more attempts using this feature, I finally gave up as it simply wasn't saving me any time and actually made pitching the tent more difficult without a second set of hands to help out.
Space: The Arete provided plenty of space while camping solo but remained just adequate when used as a two person tent. This was mainly due to the limited floor and vestibule space that was available for gear when two people were sharing the tent. Obviously this would not be as big of a problem in summer as in winter when more backpacking gear and supplies are typically brought along on trips. When sharing the tent with a sleeping partner, we found it difficult to fit two pair of boots and backpacks in the vestibule area and still have room to get into and out of the tent. On the plus side, there seemed to be adequate shoulder room inside the tent for two average sized adults lying side by side.
The REI Arete ASL 2 is well constructed and quite sturdy with its three pole design. It is a great lightweight alternative to heavier four season tents for moderate winter conditions. It has performed very well during this test period and has earned a top spot among my backpacking equipment.
This concludes my long term report and this test series. I would like to thank REI and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the this tent.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
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EDIT: Brian, the anchor link in your report isn't working. I'm not sure if that is
> However, bending such a short pole puts excessive stress on it which may eventually lead to premature failure.EDIT/Edit: I think you need to frame this statement differently to avoid projecting an opinion that you didn't see realized. Maybe "I was worried that I would break this short pole by all the stress I put on it, but it seemed to hold up well." I believe you need to find a way to express your worry but also state that in your experience, it never did fail.