This post may contain affiliate links.

Gossamer Gear “The Two” Tent Review

Gossamer Gear The Two Tent Review

Gossamer Gear’s “The Two” is a single-wall, two-person ultralight trekking pole tent that weighs 23.5 oz and costs $320. It has two doors and two vestibules, making it ideal for couples (or a palace for 1), with all-mesh interior sidewalls that provide good airflow and three-season comfort. Internal livability is excellent with abundant vestibule storage and generous dimensions that will be appreciated by taller backpackers. But the thing I like the most about The Two is how small it packs up compared to very similar tents like the Dyneema Zpacks Duplex which cost twice as much but only weigh a few ounces less.

Specs at a Glance

  • Weight: 23.5 oz / 667 g (includes guylines)
  • Interior Dimensions (bathtub floor) – Length (84″), Head  Width (48″), Foot Width (42″). Height (43″)
  • External Dimensions: Width of Ridgeline (64″); Length (135″), Width (115″)
  • Required Pole Height to Pitch: 49″ (125 cm)
  • Packed dimensions: 11″ x 5″ (you don’t have to roll it, it can also be stuffed)
  • Minimum number of stakes required: 6; Recommended 8
  • Materials:
    • Fly and Floor: 10D Nylon Ripstop SIL/PU fabric waterproof to at least 1800mm
    • Vestibule zippers: #3, waterproof
    • Tensioners: lineloc 3s on all main tie-outs
  • For complete details, visit Gossamer Gear

Tent Design

Gossamer Gear’s “The Two” is a single-wall ultralight tent with two peaks and two vestibules. Being a single-wall tent, the floor is attached to the fly by mesh, allowing the fly to overhang the sides of the floor to enhance airflow. The mesh also lets the floor float independently of the walls and ceiling making it easier to set the tent up on uneven tent sites. The floor plan is slightly wider at the head end (48″) compared to the foot end (42″), but it has sufficient interior room to hold two tapered 25″ sleeping pads side by side. 

The interior sidewalls are made with mesh the enhance airflow.
The interior sidewalls are made with mesh to enhance airflow.

The vestibule doors have a YKK #3 zipper running down the middle with dowel and loop tiebacks so you can roll the doors up and out of the way. The tent requires a minimum of 6 stakes to pitch, 4 in the corners and 2 for the vestibules which are staked out perpendicular to the sidewalls. As a result, the tent is very easy to set up, even by one person. Because it is a single-wall tent, the interior will stay dry if you have to set it up in the rain. 

In a break with convention, the vestibule guylines run inside the vestibule when it’s zipped shut, rather than over it, with one-half of the vestibule clipped to the base of the guyline with a buckle. (Unfortunately, there are no guyline anchors on top of the peaks to further anchor the tent in very windy weather – you have to trust the vestibule guyline instead.) The other half of the vestibule door does not connect directly to the guyline but is held in place by the zipper connecting the two halves of the vestibule.  

Side guylines run inside the vestibules not above them.
Side guylines run inside the vestibules not above them.

This has a number of ramifications worth considering: First, you can only clip one-half of the vestibule to the guyline with the buckle. Since you probably want to have the closed door facing and blocking the wind, this makes the setup of the tent “directional” as opposed to bi-directional, forcing you to “think” about the direction of the pitch, potentially in the dark. Unfortunately, the two ends (head and foot) are not color-coded, although this would be an easy modification to make with colored cord or tape.

When pitched, the handle of your trekking poles fits into the peaks while a grommet alongside the tent floor holds your pole tips. The tent is designed so the trekking pole handles are angled away from the sidewalls of the inner tent and create an overhang to protect you from light precipitation when one or both vestibule doors are rolled back. The result is a spacious interior with a ceiling ridgeline (64″) that is wider than the inner tent floor is wide (48″). The Two is also supposed to come with an interior clothesline that spans the two peaks and is useful for drying wet gear. Unfortunately, this feature was missing from the tent that Gossamer Gear sent me.

The tent floor is long with plenty of overhead space and good for taller hikers.
The tent floor is long with plenty of overhead space and is good for taller hikers.

The interior of the tent is 84″ long and has plenty of interior room to stretch out, even for tall hikers. Additional external guy out points on the large ceiling panels are good for creating even more interior space inside the tent, although they are not strictly necessary to use.

Center panel guylines help increase interior space and headroom.
Center panel guylines help increase interior space and headroom.

The sidewalls of the tent, inside the vestibules, are made with fine mesh for insect and creepy crawler protection. L-shaped zippers open into the vestibules, which are well-sized to hold gear. You can store quite a large pack in one half of the vestibule and still get in and out of the tent quite easily.

The vestibules are big enough to store a large backpack without blocking the mesh door.
The vestibules are big enough to store a large backpack without blocking the mesh door.

When packed in its stuff sack, The Two measures 11″ x 5″, which makes it very easy to pack in a smaller volume backpack. It’s the tent I bring on backpacking trips when space considerations are paramount. I actually don’t use the stuff sack that it comes in, but repack it separately in a shorter and rounder stuff stack that fits better with the rest of my packing scheme. In comparison, I own a number of Dyneema Tents, which while lightweight, a much bulkier to pack and far less compressible.

Size Comparison: Zpacks Duplex, The Two (rebagged), HMG Mid 1
Size Comparison: Zpacks Duplex Zip, The Two (rebagged), HMG Mid 1

For example, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the volume taken up by two Dyneema Tents and The One, which I’ve rebagged into a small stuff sack to make it easier to pack. The green tent on top is a two-person Zpacks Duplex Zip, which is roughly twice as large as Gossamer Gear The Two in the middle yellow stuff sack. The white tent on the bottom is a one-person Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid 1 Tent, which is nearly three times as large as the Two when packed. If there’s a downside to Dyneema tents, it’s their packed volume which is why I always prefer a non-Dyneema tent when pack space is tight.

Outfitting and Care

The Two is well made and comes with pre-cut reflective guyline and line locs on the four corners, reinforced panel pullouts, seam-taped seams, and immaculate sewing. The tent comes with 8 lightweight aluminum tent stakes and extra cordage, and storage sacks for the tent and stakes. As long as you have a pair of trekking poles that can extend to 49″ (125 cm), you can use The Two out of the box.

That said, The Two is lean and mean by design, so you’ll want to treat it kindly and maintain it after each use by hanging it to dry. For instance, the 10 denier floor is very thin and I’d recommend using a lightweight footprint with this tent if you camp one on the packed-earth or rock dust tent sites commonly found on prepared tent sites. Gossamer Gear sells a plastic sheeting called polycryo for footprints that is super lightweight but extremely tough.

Catenary cut curves help reduce gear weight while helping to achieve a taut pitch.
Catenary cut curves help reduce gear weight while helping to achieve a taut pitch.

Recommendation

The Gossamer Gear “The Two” is an innovative two-person, single-wall, trekking pole tent that’s great for two people and lightweight enough to be a place for one. While quite lightweight (23.5 oz), it is well-sized for taller hikers with a long bathtub floor and plenty of overhead space above your face and feet. Its two vestibules provide good external gear storage while its side mesh walls provide excellent ventilation when you can roll back the vestibule doors for cross-ventilation. The Two is also a versatile shelter to use in the rain since you can pitch it without getting the inner tent wet since the fly and floor are fully integrated rather than being separate components.

Disclosure: Gossamer Gear donated a tent for review

SectionHiker is reader-supported. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.

10 comments

  1. I only wish it had a smaller footprint. When hiking on the AT, space is limited. I sometimes feel tent makers forget this, though I realize engineering dictates a tents dimensions. I look forward to the day when a design hits the market that is truly unique from other designs and addresses interior space, exterior dimensions, weight and packability.

  2. How do you think this compares to the REI Flash 2?

    • The Flash Air 2 is substantially heavier and uses a much heavier form of nylon. While the two tents are roughly identical in design, the REI Flash Air 2 has peak vents over the vestibules, guyliines from the top of the peaks to the ground, and it has much better interior space (mainly clearance) than The Two. If weight weren’t an issue I’d use the flash air 2. I value those particular features.

      Read this too: https://sectionhiker.com/rei-flash-air-2-tent-review-2/

      • Thanks Philip,
        Appreciate the detailed comparison. Looks like the Flash Air 2 is about a pound heavier. As I mostly due overnight to week long trips, I can live with that. If I was thru-hiking, I think I’d lean towards “The Two”.

  3. Is it the design that makes it hard to get a taut pitch on?

    • It’s combination of factors. That color shows every crease. We had gear bulging out the vestibules. It was pitched on a wild tent site that was uneven. You get a lot more creases when you guy out those side panels. (Dyneema tents look like crap when you guy out their side panels too) Net net, the tent fabric is plenty taut because the tent has line locs tensioners all over.

  4. I have read quite a few comments that in heavy rain there is quite a bit of condensation, travelling with my lab he tends to sleep leaning against the side and the thin floor makes me worry about punctures.
    I just bought one and it packs super small and light though.
    Maybe I’m overthinking it.

    • You’d get heavy condensation on ANY single wall tent in those conditions. Keep the doors wide open. ventilation will help reduce it.

    • Deborah Sepinwall

      It’s a terrible tent. My husband and I used it when we hiked the 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine and it rained inside the tent–this was not an issue of condensation–nor was it an issue of user error. We have since upgraded to the Rainbow Li from Tarp Tent and not only does it not rain inside the tent, but the condensation is much more manageable. I would strongly NOT recommend the Gossamer Gear The Two tent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Captcha loading...