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Outdoor Vitals Fortius 1P Tent Review

Outdoor Vitals Fortius 1 Tent Review

The Outdoor Vitals Fortius 1P Tent is an ultralight trekking pole tent that weighs 1 lbs 6.2 oz and requires two trekking poles to pitch. It’s a single-wall tent that’s affordable, seam-taped, and packs up small because it’s made with sil/PU nylon, not Dyneema DCF, which is annoying bulky. The Fortius is straightforward to pitch with a two-peak design, one taller than the other, to create a large front vestibule. While the cross ventilation is quite good, like all single-wall tents, it is prone to some internal condensation. If you don’t use trekking poles, collapsing carbon fiber poles are sold separately as well as a premium tent stake kit.

  • Minimum Tent Weight (tent and guylines): 1 lb 6.2 oz (641 g)
  • Minimum number of stakes to pitch: 6. (we recommend using 8)
  • Type: Single-wall
  • Interior Dimensions: 82″ long x 28″ width x 49″ height front/40 height rear
  • Seam-taped: Yes:
  • Fabric:  floor & fly – 15 D sil / PU micro-ripstop nylon, 1,500 mm HH
  • Pros: Seam-taped, Packs compactly, Spacious interior
  • Cons: Sags when wet, Internal condensation, Carbon Fiber Pole upgrade kit is not well integrated with the tent
The large front vestibule provides ample covered storage
The large front vestibule provides ample covered storage

The Outdoor Vital Fortius 1P is a single-wall, one-person tent requiring two trekking poles to pitch. The front peak is taller than the rear peak to create a large front vestibule and a smaller covered area in the rear of the tent, although it is not accessible from the inside. The interior walls and floor are attached to the fly and hang below it, providing some flexibility if you have to pitch the tent on uneven or sloping ground. In normal use, the bottom of the fly does not touch the ground but is elevated to permit airflow. However, you can reduce the length of the trekking poles to reduce the height of the gap, reducing airflow through the tent, which is useful in windy or cool weather.

Entry is through the front vestibule and door. The guyline that secures the front peak runs under the vestibule and not over it, which is a little awkward but not a showstopper. The vestibule doors can be rolled back individually or together and secured with dowels. I usually sleep with one door rolled back so my pack is covered by the other door in case it rains at night. This also helps limit internal condensation.

The tent’s interior is fairly spacious at 82″ x 28″ with a tall ceiling. There’s one mesh pocket on the back wall where you can store your phone, glasses, and a headlamp and two hang loops in the peaks to hang gear, although given the height of the peaks, these loops are difficult to reach when you’re lying down.

You can increase internal headroom by staking out the side panels.
You can increase internal headroom by staking out the side panels.

When you pitch the tent, the trekking pole tips slot into grommets sewn to the side of the tent floor, which add stability and help maintain the floor width. However, if you purchase the add-on collapsible carbon fiber tent poles available with this tent, they do not fit in these grommets and lessen the strength of the pitch.

While the headroom inside the tent is quite good, since the floor is so long, you can increase the overhead headroom even more by staking out the panel guylines on the sides of the tent. The tent comes with 8 aluminum tent stakes, which enables this. Just be aware that the Easton stake upgrade kit only includes 6 stakes, so you’ll need to carry another two to implement this functionality.

The interior of the Fortius 1 is quite spacious
The interior of the Fortius 1 is quite spacious

Recommendation

The Outdoor Vitals Fortius 1P is a single-wall trekking pole tent that is easy to set up and has excellent interior space. It’s made with Sil/PU Nylon, fully seam-taped, and outfitted with guylines, tensioners, and aluminum tent stakes, making it easy to use out of the box. However, we were disappointed with the lack of integration with the tent’s carbon fiber pole upgrade and hope Outdoor Vitals corrects this mismatch for backpackers and bikepackers who do not use trekking poles.

The Fortius 1 is very similar to the Gossamer Gear “The One” Tent, which also requires two trekking poles to set up and has a front vestibule and a rear overhanging vestibule for ventilation.  While both are comparably priced and designed to accommodate taller hikers, The One has been around much longer and is considerably more refined than the Fortius 1. The Fortius 1 isn’t a terrible tent or a bad deal, but The One is much better and we recommend buying it instead of the Fortius.

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Disclosure: Outdoor Vitals donated a tent for review.

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9 comments

  1. The One has such a distinctive design, that I’d say they copied it. You’re too kind.

    • There are a few minor differences but the two are substantively the same. However, we don’t know if the two companies have an arrangement to share the design or not, so we need to be cautious about condemning OV for copying. Frankly, if it was an outright copy it’d be a better tent with a tighter pitch.

  2. I don’t understand the dark blue color choice that absorbs heat. Wouldn’t a lighter color be better for a single wall tents? Maybe color doesn’t matter regarding condensation? The Fortius 1 is currently discounted to $225 price near the Durston X-mid 1 at $240. The X-mid is a better tent IMHO. That the Fortius MSRP is priced higher than the GG The One at $290 vs $255 makes absolutely no sense. The Fortius wasn’t tested in wet weather (no fault of Philip) as I really question how the Fortius would perform in rain events.

    • The X-mid may be a better tent in certain circumstances but golly, it requires quite a lot of real estate to set up and it has a very small inner tent compared to The One or the Fortius which are very appealing for taller campers.

      As for the color, which is green, I find it quite stealthy which I appreciate. I doubt it has much influence on internal condensation at NIGHT which is more of a function of humidity levels, air temperature, and air movement (ventilation).

      What you’re missing in your analysis is an understanding of the OV business model. They primarily sell to a captive membership audience and are less influenced by direct price comparisons with other vendors. For example, the membership price on this tent is $202.47 which is pretty darn cheap for a tent that is this good.

  3. Over in the hammock world we’ve left SilNylon behind for SilPoly–siliconized polyester, which doesn’t misbehave when wet…any thoughts about why SilPoly isn’t more in use?

    • Cost and quality probably. It used to be that companies didn’t trust silpoly quality, but I suspect that reason is fading fast. For example, Lightheart Gear tried using Silpoly but reverted to silnylon because of quality issues, and it’s why Tarptent also migrated to silpoly more slowly.

  4. Philip, I didn’t realize that OV was doing that. Several hiker buddies have OV hoodies and jackets that they are happy with. They never mentioned a member thing. Thanks for the heads up.

    • It’s really quite clever. The membership fees pay for new product development while they can aggressively discount because they sell direct and not through wholesale. The membership model also cuts their marketing budget, because they have a captive audience. When you buy a membership, you buy potential future discounts which cost OV nothing to offer. Then when a discount on a specific product is offered, they still make out like bandits because they’re not selling at wholesale, which is typically 50% less than retail. REI’s membership model sort of works the same way, although you get a lot more for being a member.

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