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Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Kelty Gunnison 2 > Owner Review by John Schlafer

Kelty Gunnison 2 Tent

Biographical Information:

Name: John Schlafer
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Height: 6’3”(1.9 m)
Weight: 210lb (95.25 kg)
Email Address: John[dot]Schlafer[at]gmail[dot]com
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana USA
Date: August 19, 2008
Backpacking Background: I am new to backpacking. I do a long day hike every month or so. I’ve done two three-day two-night trips, and I backpacked 200 miles (322 km) of the Appalachian Trail in the spring of ’08. I like to hike light, but I have a small gear budget. So I try to go for a nice balance of light and inexpensive.

Product Information:

Product: Kelty Gunnison 2
Manufacturer: Kelty
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Web site:
MSRP: US$169.
Capacity: 2 person
Type: 3 season
Dimensions: 7ft 8 in(length) x 4ft 10 in (width) x 3 ft 4 in (height) (234 cm x 147 cm x 102 cm)
Stuffed Size: 7 in x 2 ft 1 in (18 cm x 64 cm)
Listed Weight: 5 lb 11 oz (2.58 kg)
Weight as Delivered: 5 lb 12 oz (2.82 kg) (This includes tent, poles, fly, stakes, guy lines, interior mesh hammock, and stuff sacks.)

Product Description:

The Kelty Gunnison is a free-standing, two-person, rectangular-dome tent. It has two doors and two large vestibules. It uses two flexible aluminum poles (8.45 oz each (240 g)), which cross to form an X. It stakes down in each of its four corners. The tent has twelve plastic clips to hold the tent to the poles. The clips are designed with a twist in the hook. This design is intended make the clips easily to slip on, but to require a small twist to take them off.
Tent without fly from an angle Tent without fly from the long side
Tent without fly from the short end Clip that holds the tent to the poles
The poles anchor to the bottom of the tent by slipping into dual purpose plastic clips. The clips both hold the poles and act as the slots that the fly clips into.
Dual purpose clip. The clip is attached to the tent and holds the ends of the poles and the clips that hold on the fly. Dual purpose clip in use
The fly has two plastic windows, one on each end of the tent.
Tent with the fly on from an angle Tent with the fly on from the short side
It also has two small vents, one on each side of the tent. The vents open and close with a zipper. The vents have a small, thin, permanently-installed, flexible pole above them , which supports a small flap. The pole and flap combination is designed to allow the vents to stay open in the rain. The fly has 8 stake points. 6 of these are for guy lines—one in each corner and two on the ends. The vestibule is created by staking the fly out away from the tent with a single stake on each side. The stake loop is a long piece of webbing looped through a plastic slide. The long webbing and plastic slide are designed to allow you to stake the fly where convenient and then pull the fly taught. The vestibule closes with a zipper and hook and loop closures. The zipper ends approximately 2 in (5 cm) before the bottom, which is finally closed with a snap.
Tent with the fly on from the long side showing the fly vent from a distance Close-up of the fly vent
Close-up of the stake strap for the fly that creates the vestibule and the strap's adjustable slide Close-up of the bottom of the fly zipper with snap
When the vestibule is opened, one side rolls back and is held back by a small clip. The tent doors have dual zippers. Inside the tent are two mesh pockets. Additionally, the tent comes with a small mesh hammock (.65 oz (19 g)) that ties into the top of the inside for storage. There is also a hook at the top center to hang a light. The floor of the tent comes pre-seam-sealed with tape.
The fly with the vestibule door open The hammock tied up inside the tent with an iPhone in it for perspective
The tent comes with 12 straight peg stakes. The stakes are 8 in (20 cm) long and weigh .55 oz (17 g) each. The tent also comes with 6 guy lines. The guy lines are made of black nylon and have small plastic sliding clips The guy lines are 6 feet (1.8 meters) long and weigh .2 oz (6 g) each. The tent comes with three stuff sacks: one large that will hold all of the tent items, one for the poles, and one the holds the stakes, guy lines, and mesh hammock.
Tent stake

Field Information:

I’ve used the Gunnison 2 for two three-day, two-night trips in Southern Indiana and a 16 day, 200 mile (322 km) hike of the Appalachian Trail. On both hikes, I shared the tent with my wife. The trails in Southern Indiana were hilly temperate rainforest in a federal wilderness area with few good campsites. Temperatures ranged from 20 degrees F. at night ( -7 C) to 75 degrees F (24 C) during the day. The Appalachian Trail is mountainous but has well maintained trails with many excellent campsites to choose from. The temperatures ranged from 40 degrees F. (4 C) at night to 90 degrees F. (32 C) during the day. On the Appalachian Trail (AT), we experienced rain while in the tent twice.

Personal Experience:

Overall, the Kelty Gunnison 2 has been an excellent tent. It is quick to set-up, very stable, and provides excellent ventilation.

The tent has many benefits. The set-up is a breeze. I can get the tent set-up and the fly on with the vestibule staked in less than 5 minutes if it is raining. Because of the shape of the clips on the corners I can usually just slip a pole into its slot without having to bend down and be right at the corner. The adjustable webbing on the edges of the vestibule makes staking the vestibule very easy. I just find a place where the stake goes in easy, and adjust the webbing to fit. Staking the corners of the tent and setting up the guy lines takes longer.

The ventilation in the tent is excellent. I’ve never had condensation drip on me, even when we were sleeping in below freezing temperatures. And usually, there is no condensation on the fly at all. I attribute this to the vents at the top of the fly. Because of the small flaps over the vent I can keep the vent open even when it is raining, which is one time I most want to be able to clear the humidity from my tent. One problem, though, is that the small poles that create the flap are not removable. One snapped when the tent was packed, probably because it was bent when I rolled the tent. The flap still works, but I am afraid the broken pole will eventually rip the tent and come loose. Had I thought this would be a problem I would have been more careful in how I rolled the tent.

The tent is a very nice size. It just fits my wife and me shoulder to shoulder. We are both large. I am 6 ft 3 in (1.9 m) 210 lbs (95.25 kg) and she is 5’11” (1.8 m), and we both fit comfortably, although there is no room to spare side to side. There is a few inches (6 cm) of room above our heads or below our feet (depending on how we lay) to store a few things. We are able to change when we are both in the tent, but only one at a time. There is also only room for one of us to sit up at a time because the ceiling slopes. The vestibule is plenty large to store all our gear. Our packs, boots, hiking poles, and anything else we want to keep under the vestibule fits well.

The plastic windows are nice. They have not yellowed, and I really appreciate the light they let in in the evenings and the mornings. However, I don’t know if they are worth the weight.

The mesh hammock works well. It stores a lot for what it is. Because it ties on to loops that are sewn on at the same spot as hooks that connect to the poles, it held more weight than I initially expected without causing the tent to sag. (The most I have had in it is two pairs of wet medium weight smart wool socks, a 250 page paperback book, an ipod nano, two headlamps, and a small plastic watch face.) The hammock does reduce the headspace, but because it sits only in the highest part of the dome of the tent and does not sag much, it has not gotten in my way.

The bottom of the tent is sturdy. I have never used a ground cloth, and while I pick my camping spots carefully, I have had no problems with the bottom tearing or getting small holes.

There are a few obnoxious things about the tent. The small straps that hold the fly and door open are not very effective. The straps are placed low on the tent, and the fly and the door almost always come loose. The straps themselves hold fine, but the placement of the straps allows the fly and door to slip out with the slightest breeze.

Perhaps the most obnoxious thing about the tent is the snap at the bottom of the fly. Because it is so far out, it is difficult to reach. Even being 6 ft 3 in (1.9 m), I have to almost lay my torso on the ground to reach the snap and close it. This is a particular problem when it is raining, because I get muddy.


Overall this is a great tent. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good tent for not too much money that will actually hold 2 large adults.

2 large vestibules
Great ventilation
Easy Setup

Hard to snap vestibule closed from inside the tent
Could lose weight without adding cost
Bad design of small rods holding open vent flaps

Read more reviews of Kelty gear
Read more gear reviews by John Schlafer

Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Kelty Gunnison 2 > Owner Review by John Schlafer

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