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Kelty Dart 2 Review
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Seach Latta Outdoors for Kelty Dart 2.
"I had been wondering about the condensation factor,and how other hikers experiences compared.I was in my Dart on a very cold night in Grand Canyon (Indian Garden) and by three in the morning the inside of the roof was raining on me.The outside was iced over.Clothes and sleeping bag soaked, I had to hike out and up 5 miles at 3am on the Bright Angel Trail or I would have froze.Major letdown.Picked up a Eureka Solitaire this year.Much better for less $."
Miles Julihn, 0/0/00
"The Dart 2 is a well thought out single-wall tent in this price range. It is suitable for one person plus gear storage in the integrated vestibule. Condensation was a problem however when I was camped in a damp mountain meadow. This tent is light-weight and easy to set up but it is not free-standing. Could be described as an overgrown bivy."
"The Dart 2 is very lightweight (<3lb), packs down well and is easy to set up. The vestibule is large enough to store your pack or cook in. I've had small amounts of condesation formed by morning, but this is outweighed by it's functionality. It's a more comfortable and roomier alternative to a bivy."
"I purchased the Dart 2 because I was very weight conscious and the price was outstanding. The ease of a single wall tent sounded great and it was originally listed as a 4 season tent. Well, my first few outings were great. In hot, nice weather with just me and my dog, the Dart 2 was great. It's easy to pitch and staking is no problem (and necessary). In less desireable weather the Dart still worked well. In heavy wind, it felt like I was in a wind tunnel. Even with two people in the tent, we could not maintain any heat. Finally, I took the Dart 2 on a 21 expedition to Alaska in the summer of 2002. I was with two companions who had the REI 2 person convertible tent. We decided to rotate sleeping arrangements. It rained every day in Alaska and the Dart was terrible. I actually had puddles in my tent. It sagged terrible and the condensations was insane. This single wall tent couldn't breath at all. It's basically a large bivy for only good weather. I've learned my lesson on going superlight on long expeditions and saving money. You really get what you pay for here. After 5 nights, the three of us fit snuggle in the REI tent and I never unpacked the Kelty Dart 2 again. It still sits balled up in my gear room, 9 months later. I have just purchased a Hilleberg Nammatj 3 GT, going for the best of the best."
Jay L, 0/0/00
"Low headroom and poor ventilation. This tent condensates like crazy during the winter. But for spring or fall if you want a light weight oversized bivy with a great vestibule at an inexpensive price, this is your tent."
Charlie Payne, 0/0/00
"This tent was very disapointing. I got excited over what it looked like I was getting for the low low price but in actuallity the quallity was as only as good as I payed for. Every moring the tent required toweling. Luckily I was the only one in the tent so I wasn't touching the walls, otherwise I would've ended up drenched. I wouldn't reccomend this tent to anyone who's not buying it with a satisfaction guarentee."
"The previous comments all apply: light weight and good price but to much condensation and not being free standing just frustrated me. Overall, I hated this tent."
"I used the DART 2 For the first time and the first night, it rained, rained and rained. I was sleeping in water!!! The condensation in the tent before it started raining was the worse!!! Once wet the tent is useless!! It will be wet inside from condensation even if it does not rain!!!"
Allen A. Smith, 0/0/00
"For 2 people, the Dart 2 is misery. Condensation is heavy enough to soak sleeping bags. There is so little headroom that one has to crawl out of the tent to dress. It's not that light, either: 3 lb 6 oz packed weight by my digital scale."
"I hate this tent. As well as above complaints, I had to rig several guylines to keep the walls taught (which were sagging to the point of resting on my sleeping bag, soaking it with condensation). It also does not repel rain/external moisture. The lack of space and difficulty in getting in and out left me severly aggitated, not to mention that I'm an agile and slender female who can tolerate a lot of discomforts. If you decide to sucker up all these disadvantages for weight or price, I warn that I used this tent rather extensively in Alaska and it was not just a threat to my comfort but survival (in summer!). It will not keep you (or your stuff) dry."
"Good: It’s easy to set up. I’m always first to have my tent set up. It’s pretty light and stuffs into a small sack.
Bad: Condensation is a problem. This can be partially alleviated by having every window/flap open including the vestibule however, if two people are sleeping in this tent it will be very wet inside by morning no matter what you do. And if it rains they you need the top vents covered. I was rained on in this tent a couple of times and I stayed fairly dry inside not counting the condensation but I coated it with a good layer of water proofing spray. I had to stitch one corner where the main tent pole attaches to the bottom of the tent.
It’s light, but there are lighter and more comfortable tents available now. I would not recommend this tent to anyone."
"I've been a bit of a tent whore, buying and selling in search of the perfect tent. Recently I picked up the Kelty Dart2 (used and nearly free) as a solo tent when it traded in my bivy. I've had it 1.5years now and spent a dozen nights in it on 6 trips.
PROS: It does pack down small, to about the size of a regular therma-rest, maybe a bit fatter.
It is very cheap. It is waterproof.
Nice large vestibule that you can cook in.
there is enough room for 2 people and gear but it's tight. For one it's got heaps of room.
It's REALLY long. Long enough to put all your gear at the foot and leave the vestibule free.
Massive condensation problem. The inside of the tent is WET even with one person.
It has very little headroom and ZERO hip-room. You have to guy it out to get any room at the hip level as there is a serious sag problem here. Two people who want to get friendly won't have room, besides, there is too much condensation.
It's not freestanding and you have to guy it out to avoid sag. This combined with it's 9 or 10ft overall length makes finding a campsite sometimes difficult.
This tent is more roomy than my bivy, though finding a nook to pitch it is hard and the condensation is a huge problem. It was practically free and packs small which is nice, so it's not all bad but if you can possibly afford it, a few more dollars will get you a smaller, lighter, more breathable tent that is less claustrophobic. On the other hand if you're poor and over 7ft tall this tent is a winner!
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