A review of the Coleman Aravis 2-man tent, £84.95 from Outdoor World Direct, an affordable, lightweight wild camping tent that comes cat-approved.
Product Description: “The Coleman Aravis 2 tent is a fantastic lightweight, wind-stable tent, which is ideal for those campers who wish to keep the weight down as much as possible. The Aravis 2 is simple to pitch, with its pitch-in-one structure and the tent stands up well against the elements with its wedged tunnel construction and aluminium 7001-t6 lightweight poles. This will neatly fit in a backpack. Simple and quick to pitch Lightweight with compact pack size Wedged tunnel design Aluminium 7001-t6 poles – light yet highly resilient.”
Winter Camping: As well as messing about taking pictures of the Aravis in the garden with some help from Nickel the cat, I’ve also taken my tent out winter camping with success (i.e I’m still alive). At 2.42kg the weight is fine for backpacking, although it does take up a lot of rucksack space so is perhaps best for weekend trips. The Aravis is an absolute doodle to assemble, even if you’re as instruction-phobic as me – you can figure it out on the first go as it’s a simple design of a long and a short pole, fed into plastic clips and popped into eyelets at each side.
The result is a wedge-shape tent that, like most two-person tents, is probably a better size for one person and all their gear, or two people and two small backpacks. If there are two of you there isn’t tons of room but you can sit up, and the doors on each side stop it feeling too claustrophobic if you need to shuffle out. Inside there are mesh pockets for your stuff and a hook for a lantern. There’s also a porch that will fit boots and rucksacks and keep them relatively dry.
The whole thing is made of waterproof, ripstop material that is waterproof to 4000mm – it’s withstood medium showers and wind well so far.
Verdict: Small, tough and easy to assemble, this is a great entry-level tent for wild campers at a decent price. It’ll do you especially well in the summer months when all you’ll really be doing in the tent is sleeping. If you’re off to a festival or staying somewhere for more than a night I’d opt for a design with more head room, and if there are two of you it might be worth going for the Aravis 3 man – for a little more dosh and a extra kilo in weight you’d get more breathing space.
Some great comments from fellow tent owner Michel: I tested it a month ago and endured a severe thunderstorm with high winds and heavy rain in it. It kept me safe and dry. My big backback in the apsis/porch room stayed dry, too. Vetilation could be a little better from my perspective. The openings in the outer tent at the bottom and and at the head are quite small and, in addition, the lashes that keep rain from coming in through the ventilation openings (they do a good job at this) extent in a quite flat angle so that they not only prevent rain from coming in but also hinder the airflow a bit. For two people on longer trips the Aravis 3 would be the better choice, I’d say.