I spent the better part of last week covering the Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City, and I'll be updating with all kinds of new and funky outdoor sports gear. My personal favorite piece of gear from the show is the new Kilo Tent from Easton.
Since making the transition from supplying aluminum to other tent manufacturers and gear makers to building its own gear just a few years ago, Easton has shown a penchant for innovation. Starting with a pair of split-frame snowshoes in 2008 and continuing with a line of quality tents and trekking poles later that year, Easton has made a big splash in the outdoor market.
Its latest cannonball--the Kilo tent--is billed as the lightest two-person tent on the market (though I believe the Rocket Tent has a thing or two to say about that). The appropriately named three-season tent weighs in at a scant two pounds (trail weight) and boasts dual-walled design.
Marketing Coordinator Rich Parker explained in a press release: "The Kilo incorporates all the latest and greatest technologies from Easton. With carbon ION poles and AirLock pole connectors, the Kilo [is] unlike any tent you've ever seen."
The latter is a particularly interesting innovation that falls under the category of "why haven't they been doing that for 38 years?" Easton pulls the ubiquitous shock cord--used in pretty much every other tent pole on the market--out of its poles and replaces it with small, jointed connectors that join individual poles. Not only does this cut nearly 60 percent of the weight from similar, shock-corded aluminum poles, but it makes repairs a lot easier. Simply carry a few extra AirLocks and you can easily swap them out should one break.
While the Rocket Tent is technically lighter than the Kilo Tent at a tad over two pounds in its packed form, the Kilo offers the ventilation advantages of a dual-walled design while the Rocket is single-wall. The Kilo features a full mesh exterior made from 20D nylon no-see-um with a 30D nylon rip-stop bucket floor and 20D nylon rip-stop fly. It offers 26 square feet of interior space with 44 inches of height and 6 square feet of vestibule space.
The Kilo Tent will hit the market next spring for a suggested retail of $399. (Update: The Kilo Tent is now available in stores and on Amazon here.)