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Slingfin 2Lite Tent Review

The Slingfin 2Lite is a lightweight 2 person tent with vertical walls and excellent interior room
The Slingfin 2Lite is a lightweight 2 person tent with vertical walls and excellent interior room

Slingfin 2Lite Tent

Comfort
Ease of Setup
Weather Resistance
Durabilty
Weight
Packed Size

Excellent

The Slingfin 2Lite Tent is a lightweight but rugged two person tent that's very wind and weather resistant. It has excellent interior room and large vestibules for gear storage.

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The Slingfin 2Lite is a lightweight double-walled two person tent that has excellent interior room and is easy to set up. Weighing 2 pounds 10 ounces (minus tent stakes) it has two doors enabling easy entry and exit, with large side vestibules for gear storage. An exoskeleton-style pole system helps maximize the amount of ventilation between the inner and outer tents while providing near vertical walls for maximum livability, while an interior tensioned cord on the curve of the main pole adds enormous structure stability.

Ventilation is excellent when the two vestibule doors are rolled open
Ventilation is excellent when the two vestibule doors are rolled open

Specs at a Glance

  • People: 2
  • Doors: 2
  • Minimum Weight: 2 lbs, 12 oz (2 lbs 10 oz actual), minus stakes
  • Minimum number of stakes to pitch: 8
  • Inner Tent Dimensions (measured): 85″L x 48″W, with 17″H above feet and 38″H above head
  • Materials:
    • 15D Nylon Ripstop Silicone PU Coated Fly
    • 15D Nylon No-See-Um Mesh
    • 20D Nylon Ripstop PU Coated Floor
    • 2 DAC NSL 8.5 mm poles

Pitching the tent

Pitching the Slingfin is simple. Start by stake out the four corners of the inner tent. Expand the two tent poles and insert them into grommets along the sides of the tent. For added stability, you can also stake out the grommet points, but it’s not necessary in fair weather. Attach clips on the inner tent to the poles and shake out the fly. Position the fly over the inner tent so that the vestibule doors align on both sides of the tent. Now stake out the fly, using the same four corner stakes used to pitch the inner tent. The vestibule doors require four more stakes to be fully staked out or you can roll both back and secure them to enhance cross-ventilation. For added security in foul weather, there are toggles at the vestibule end of the tent to attach the inner tent to the fly.

The Fly can be staked out using the same stakes as the inner tent.
The Fly can be staked out using the same corner stakes as the inner tent. Staking out the grommets that hold the poles in place is optional in fair weather.

Livability

The 2Lite really shines in terms of interior livability. There are the requisite 2 doors, which I consider a must-have when sharing a tent so that you don’t wake up your partner when you need to take a “midnight stroll.” The vestibules are positioned so that you can store a backpack in them without blocking the doorway. The D-shaped inner tent doors are also quite large, making it easy to enter and exit, with good overhead coverage so you don’t get drenched entering or exiting in the pouring rain.

It's easy to store a backpack in the vestibules without blocking side door access
It’s easy to store a backpack in the vestibules without blocking side door access

The pole architecture creates interior walls that are very nearly vertical so that the tent feels spacious and there’s less risk of internal condensation transfer to your sleep insulation. Ventilation through the tent is very good when both doors are open at night. In the event of rain, you can zip the vestibule doors part-way or leave the doors unzipped and secured by velcro tabs at the base of the zippers. The vestibules are also cut so that you can pitch the rear of the tent facing into a storm to block rain or wind, but still keep the front half of the vestibule open for better airflow.

The Slingfin 2Lite provides excellent weather protection and a huge amount of covered storage without compromising livability
The Slingfin 2Lite provides excellent weather protection and a huge amount of covered storage without compromising livability

The inner tent is 85″ x 48″ wide making the 2Lite a palace for one with plenty of extra side space for 2 x 20″ sleeping pads, something you don’t find on many other lightweight 2 person tents. Side pockets at the head end of the inner tent provide convenient storage for personal items. Head room is great with 38″ of top clearance, making it easy to get dressed and undressed or turn around inside.

The head height would be a full 40″, but there is a semi-permanent internal guyline inside the inner tent above your head (no need to remove it) that pulls the sides of the long pole together when you attach the inner tent to it. This creates the tension that holds the inner tent and fly up, without the need for more poles or external stakes, and makes for a very strong tent architecture. It’s really rather clever and unique.

Highlights:

  • Unique internally guyed pole structure creates a structurally strong and weather resistant tent
  • Excellent interior space and livability for two people
  • Huge vestibules provide plenty of gear storage and easy side access
  • Maximum pole segment length is 12″ (good for bikepacking)

The Slingfin 2Lite ($338) is a lightweight, high performance tent that’s available at a reasonable price compared more expensive 2 person tents. The thing that “makes” this tent (in my opinion) are the large tent vestibules because they’re ideal for more technical trips where you want gear storage, space to cook in bad weather, and easy entry and exit. Add in the enhanced weather worthiness provided by 2Lite’s unique tensioned architecture and you have a bomber lightweight tent for expedition use in non-winter conditions.

Note: Slingfin also sells trekking pole version of this tent called the 2Lite Trek that’s 2 ounces lighter weight.

Disclosure: Slingfin loaned the author a tent for this review.

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15 comments

  1. Somewhat tangential question. Is that a HMG Porter next to the tent? any thoughts on the HMG Southwest 4400? Thanks.

  2. Like it. Like it a lot in fact. Wonder if you can get a 1/2 solid inner.

    • It’s really not a bad tent. I can’t figure out whey they’re not more popular. I haven’t seen a 1/2 inner offered on the Slingfin website, but you can contact them to find out if they’d make one.

    • Thanks for the review, Philip!

      AlanR- A partially solid inner tent is actually an idea we’ve tossed around at SlingFin HQ quite a bit! We’re considering making a few samples to see how they work. It would be great for those wanting a little more privacy or draft protection for colder climates.

      And Philip- When you figure out why they’re not more popular, let us know :) I think people have a lot of bias against non-freestanding tents but we’re trying to change that! Thanks again for the review!

  3. Looks like a great tent. It’s probably the price that keeps folks away. I know it’s too high for my budget.?

  4. Looks a lot like the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight but with an extra door and a lot less weight. What’s not to like? I have a Tarptent 1-man tent, but if I ever look to replace my ancient REI Night Lite this would be a top contender.

    • Keen observation, PStuart! The Clip Flashlight was part of the inspiration for the 2Lite, and the guy who designed it is one of our board members and had a lot of input in the design process.

  5. Geez,,,never even heard of this company before. This tent reminds me of the Eureka Spitfire 2 without the pointed ends and a whole lot lighter. And now that we have your attention Slingfin, is there any chance of a 1 man model in the future ? I like it.

    • They’re known for their super strong tents for Everest expeditions. I’m pretty sure one of the founders was a co-founder at Mountain Hardwear.
      http://www.slingfin.com/Tents/alpine-zone-tents/bfd

    • We don’t currently make any 1-person tents. Since 1-person tents sacrifice a significant amount of space for only a marginal decrease in weight and price, we haven’t found them to be a good fit for our product line yet. However, we’re currently developing a 2-person shaped tarp that weighs about 8oz! If you’re looking to go as light as humanly possible, that’s the direction we’d recommend going. Or you can use a 2Lite for one person and live like a king!

      And yes, Philip, one of our founders was a co-founder at Mountain Hardwear. He’s responsible for many of their classic tent designs, including their classic mountaineering tents, the Trango and the EV.

      • Thx for the comeback. Yea, to save weight I’m normally a tarp guy so I’d be interested in what you got. But when the mozzies are out, there is no choice but a tent. 2 man tents are a lot nicer, but when you’re over 60, and it’s high mileage or high altitude , then every ounce counts. This UL revolution came along just in time.

  6. Does it Fastpack? I am guessing not, since you stated “there is a semi-permanent internal guyline inside the inner tent above your head (no need to remove it) that pulls the sides of the long pole together when you attach the inner tent to it. This creates the tension that holds the inner tent and fly up.”

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