This little 2-man tent is a relatively straightforward backpacking tent designed in a tunnel style. It pitches as one, with a pre-hung inner via a couple of lightweight Terra Nova poles (which are probably made by DAC or similar) and a simple pegging out system. All this is done in just over six minutes so if it’s raining you won’t get the tent or your belongings too wet.
As with most lightweight tents there aren’t enough pegs. Terra Nova don’t mention pegging down the pole ends in their instructions, but we would rather have a few more pegs available to do that, especially if you’re camping halfway up a mountain in the wind. The pegs are normal, straight alloy pegs rather than fancy y-beam anodized style, but the weight is the same and they do a good enough job of staking the tent to the ground.
The Starlite 2 is optimised for three-season use, which in the UK can often translate to 'cold and windy'. To save you from freezing at night the inner is mostly solid, with a section of bug proof mesh on the door and at the back for a decent cross flow of air, reducing condensation. The flysheet extends pretty much right down to the ground as well, making this a good choice if you think the wind is going to get up overnight.
As a result of the excellent protection from the elements, it isn’t as airy feeling as the MSR Hubba NX for instance, which despite being a 1-man tent feels more open inside. Having slept in the Hubba NX in cold, windy conditions though you get a right battering due to the mesh inner and high-rise fly.
Width and length in the Starlite 2 are sufficient for two on lightweight camping mats, and luxurious, at least in wild camping terms for one. Sitting height isn’t the best, I’m 6ft 2” and my head skims the roof when I try to sit up inside.
The vestibule continues the long, thin tunnel design and leads to a slither of a door which is limited in its scenery viewing potential. The vestibule is plenty big enough to hold a hiking backpack and pair of walking boots though so it’s functional at least.
All the materials used in the Starlite 2 are designed to last, the Dyneema guylines for instance are three times as strong as standard guyrope, and the tent floor and flysheet feel thick and durable. Despite this the overall tent only weighs 1.53kg which is fantastic for a genuine three season, 2-man tent. The shock corded poles fold to a particularly short length, allowing the shape of the Starlite 2 packed to be short and round rather than long and thin like other lightweight backpacking tents.
Although the Starlite 2 is marketed towards the bike packing and cycle camping crowds we think it’s a generally solid all-round lightweight tent for any adventure, whether by bike or on foot.
The price is eye watering, but the Starlite 2 comes from Terra Nova’s premium range of tents, trusted by mountain athletes and expeditions the world over. For cheaper alternatives look at Terra Nova’s budget wild camping brand, Wild Country.
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