Saturday, February 6, 2010

Quechua T2 Ultralight Pro tent Review


DON’T BUY IT. It’s a rip off.
I’ve gone thorough some tents in my time but this really is the worst ever. It is so badly designed it borders on theft and I would imagine that the designers have never slept in a tent in their lives because they have managed to cock this one up beyond belief. It’s not even any good for summer use it’s that bad. I know I should have gone to a reputable tent shop instead of decathlon but hell it’s local and I needed a tent quickly and though I didn’t expect to get value beyond what I paid for it it seemed good enough for my purposes. How wrong can you get?! My fault though, caveat emptor and all that.
So let’s look at its amazing faults.
It’s black; black outside and black inside. I knew it was black outside but it was a surprise to find a black inner. The inner is so floppy that there is no way, no way you can avoid touching the sides which, had the tent not had phenomenal problems of condensation might not have been a problem but it does and it’s a big problem. The rigging on the inner is so poxy and saggy that it reminds me of the tents at school camp 35 years ago. We have obviously not progressed very far since then. And it’s black, or did I say that already? Who the hell designs a black tent? It’s a two man tent and though I am perfectly well aware that most two man tents are simply one man tents with a bit more space this one is not really even a one man tent. I tried sleeping with my rucksack next to me in lieu of female company and it was sopping as was I the next morning. I thought I might camp out with my daughter this summer but this is not going to be possible if there is even a hint of damp in the night air.
This tent did make me laugh though, which can’t be a bad thing. It’s the first tent I’ve ever encountered where when you peg the corners of the inner to a normal tautness the inner protrudes outside of the outer. Great one Quechua. In fact at first I thought they had given me the wrong inner. There is no way round the problem so even the groundsheet is floppy.
It cannot hold even a sprinking of snow, mine collapsed. It’s abysmal in the wind and bends and flaps and the inner and outer rub together with delightful intimacy. It’ll hold a shower, in fact it says on the bag, ‘shower tested’, but it can’t handle rain at all. Rain with a zephyr like breeze and you might as well pack up and go home.
The poles are a lovely orange colour, their only redeeming feature; they bent on the very first use. The porch is pretty much useless
Ventilation is crap. There’s no mossy net, just a slice of the top of the door which means you can’t ventilate in the summer at all and even with the door open at the top, the bloody thing opens sideways which is a pain. The inner is so floppy and naturally close to the outer that it flaps in the breeze and as soon as there’s the slightest hint of dampness, sticks firmly to the outer.
The thing though that inspired me to write this was tryig to take the tent down this morning. The ground froze last night and trying to get the rings which hold the poles anchored out of the ground they bent. They are so flimsy I had to dig them out because pulling them is not an option.
The only good thing I have to say about it is the tent pegs are good and strong though lacerate your fingers when pulling them out.
So all in all I think that my three year old daughter will be playing in it this summer. I’ll take the inner out first and perhaps sell it to a funeral director as coffin lining.

Captain's log,  supplementary. Summer 2011
Well  the comment from anonymouse dated June 6th pissed me off enough to make me take the bloody awful tent out of its bag again just to see if I could possibly change my mind. I pitched it on the lawn. So now I have to review my review. This tent might just be adequate on lawns, golf courses, sandy beaches, wide grassy car parks, some festival sites, glastonbury maybe but with the proviso that weather conditions must be ideal and the space around the tent abundant.
Pity though that I use my tents for wild camping not for garden camping (usually). Being able to pitch it perfectly with the guys in the right place at the perfect angles and having perfect peg penetration on all pegging points did actually result in a pretty squared off tent (outside). Still more than crap on the inside though. However  where I usually go camping perfect peg penetration is usually almost impossible. Often you have to use stones or rhododendron bushes to anchor the tent as there is no bloody penetration whatsoever. So anonymus, I will concede that the tent was not pegged out properly but in my world of real camping, it is rarely  possible to put a peg exactly where the bloody awful T2 requires it to go.
Anyway, despite the taut outer and text-book angles of guys the dew that night was particularly heavy and I woke up with a soggy sleeping bag as the whole tent sagged in on me. 
Someone mentioned  snow. I have a Gelert Solo (I think that's what it's called). It too is not a 4 season tent, hardly even a one season tent really, but it took 2 feet of snow without a problem (almost over the top of the tent), and has taken squalls, torrential rain and wind all in its stride (it cost 35 euros!!!). The T2 can't even take heavy rain without sagging beyond belief. However I am no longer so pissed off as I am now the exceptionally contented owner of a Marmot Grid. Another price sure, but the quality is amazing so the T2 really is going to the kids. Quechua tents are tents for merenderos nothing more. Expect nothing more and you will be happy with yours..

13 comments:

Athena said...

Can't you take it back or write to the manufacturers,especially about the finger lacerations? Take photos of the bent poles and other defects, and tell them how shite it is!

Woozle said...

nah, my fault for being so stupid. I've subsequently read that the peg type is common and famed for cutting fingis. So I've been reading up on tents. what a nightmare:-)

Anonymous said...

Disagree mate, my 2 kids (12 and 9) used this through storms in Auvergne and it was fine. Too tight for them now they're a couple of years older though. Easy to put up for 1 person and a great tent for 1 imo.

dave said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zoly said...

Ultra Light tents are not for winter conditions, exactly the "ultra light" makes them worse, so better next time buy a normal one. Try Hannah tents!

Anonymous said...

disagree! this tenth is not for winter/snow conditions. As I can see in the picture, is not properly set. And the obvious result is the tent is folded. You can have the best mountain material, but if you don't have the knwledge fo how to use it, you can die. Take care next time and try to learn before risk.

Denno said...

For the type of camping you're doing you really need a more specialised and probably a more expensive tent. What you just did is like buying a Ford Fiesta and then complaining about it's offroad capacities. Your should've bought a jeep. I've read many positive reviews about the ultralight pro. You get a tipi style winter tent.

Anonymous said...

I can only agree with your review.

Bought the tent for solo-hikes. Took it on a 3 days-trip in the French Vosges in winter 2007, with a variation of forest, snow and rain.

The tent clearly lacks points to fix the outer parts to avoid flopping and flapping. No matter how you set it up, you always have the inner tent 'hanging' and touching the outer tent.

It just feels like a floppy sack.

Maybe OK in summer, with dry weather, but for me, in winter, with my rucksack in it, everything was just wet because you can't avoid touching the inner which is soaked with condensation.

It's even small for one person with the sides flapping all over.

I should have done some more review and spent more money on a decent one.

It's now occasionally used for sleeping outside in warm summer nights. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not agree with you, at any point, except the floppiness of the outer, which can be easily fixed using two more pegs.

Anonymous said...

@ previous anonymous:

How can you put more pegs in it when it lacks the points for putting them in?

Must admit, I've now used it in rain and was able to set it up a bit better and it held up well... but for in snow conditions... no.

Anonymous said...

Once again:

This tent isn't designed for snow.
It's a 3season-tent, not a 4season.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

There are at least two versions of this tent available. The one I have to be honest I have not yet used, but it was given to me by a mate who has used it in the Alps among other trips and only after several seasons did it begin to leak in torrential rain. I would take it out myself but I was a little heavy handed putting it up in the garden and snapped a pole. Mine has the door at the wider end and the inner goes up first and clips to the poles with the outer then over the poles rather than threaded through in later versions. The inner is a white mesh with a black floor and outer is a black / dark grey.