Our number one rated tent for 2014 is the Kelty Salida, which comes in both a 2-Person and 4-Person model.
We reached this decision after reviewing around 20 of the most popular and best reviewed tents on the market, and also taking the current price and brand names into consideration. There are better tents on the market, at much higher prices. At the current price point, this tent is an absolute steal.
Size and Weight
The Kelty Salida 2-Person tent (ad) is 88″ x 55″ x 43″, weighs 4 lbs. 8 oz., and has a floor area of 30.5 square feet.
The Kelty Salida 4-Person tent (ad) is 98″ x 80″ x 57″, weighs 7 lbs. 3 oz., and has a floor area of 54.5 square feet.
The tents uses DAC Pressfit Material for the two pole setup. This material is adequate and seems very durable, although aluminum would have been preferred. The actual tent is mainly mesh and nylon. The walls are mainly mesh, which is nice in the wild if you want to enjoy the scenery and daylight but keep the bugs away, however, it also makes it so that you basically have to use the rainfly at night or you will wake up covered in morning dew. The overall construction of the tent and rainfly is very good. If you are using the rainfly, the tent will stand up to very heavy rain storms.
Why It’s Awesome
Let’s cut to the chase, the main reason we love this tent is because it is of fairly high quality while it is priced very low. The tent was originally from 2011 (at that time it was the Winner of the 2011 Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice Awards) and it was at a much higher price point. Now it is 3 years later and the price has dropped significantly, but the tent still compares favorably with similar newer tents that cost a lot more (like the Hilleberg Nallo 2 Person Tent Green 2 Person (ad)). This tent is a great bargain, and its size and weight make it a backpackers dream.
What Could Be Better
There are a few drawbacks to this tent. There is only one door which is on the side of the tent. The vestibule zipper is difficult to reach, although it also is sealed tight to keep out bugs and water. As mentioned, the materials are adequate but there are better materials available. If you need a tent larger than 4 person, this is obviously not the tent for you. If you have tons of money and want to get the absolute best tent on the market, there are better options available.
The Kelty Salida 2-Person (ad) and Kelty Salida 4-Person (ad) tents are of very high quality, lightweight, from a trusted brand in Kelty, and are priced very low. For most people, either of these tents (depending on your need) would be a great purchase.
Kelty Salida 2
- Extremely lightweight given the price range.
- Very easy and quick to setup.
- Has a vestibule area to store your gear inside the tent.
- Includes a rainfly and has held up well in rain storms.
- Like most inexpensive tents, the stakes could be of higher quality.
- The tent poles are DAC Press Fit, not aluminum.
- While the materials are of a decent quality, they aren't as good as some much more expensive tents.
- The vestibule area zipper is a little difficult to reach.