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Member Reviews for MEC Tarn 2 Tent

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MEC Tarn 2 Tent

Popular with hikers who want a self-supporting tent. The peg-out vestibule, mesh sidewalls, and high front vent help keep condensation down in rainy weather. The clip system allows air circulation, and is colour-coded for easy pole set-up. The window adds natural light if you’re stuck inside during a rainstorm.
Average Member Rating:
4.514 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
5
(72 Reviews) 72
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (72 reviews)
5 stars
42
4 stars
25
3 stars
5
2 stars
0
1 star
0
30 out of 31(97%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Member Reviews for Tarn 2 Tent
Review 1 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Toronto
Age: 18-24
Gender: female
Gear Style: Minimalist

Great for Africa

Date:October 6, 2011
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User submitted photo
Bought this tent a few years ago for a hitchhiking trip across Canada. It was great, even on Cape Breton camped in a windy cove during a storm.
The real test came during a southern Africa cycling trip. It was light enough, easy to set up and put away, worked fine for stealth camping, was big enough for me and my bag, and kept me bone dry. A few days there was a little condensation on the inside of the fly, but not too bad.
My only consideration would be the weight. Fine for cycling but my next big trip is on foot and I think something lighter would be better.
Pros: Rugged, Good Value, Reliable, Dry
Cons: Heavy
Review 2 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: calgary AB
Age: 18-24
Gender: female
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

long lasting

Date:August 26, 2011
i have had this tent for 7 years and it is amazing this year i replaced the cord in the tent polls but that was after so many years of use its a good all around backpacking tent for one or two people.
Pros: Reliable
Review 3 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
By:
Location: Canada
Age: 35-44
Gender: male
Gear Style: Comfort Driven
MEC MEMBER

good tent but has mesh defects

Date:August 7, 2011
I purchased the Tarn 2 at the Calgary store for a cross Canada trip. it wasn't until I set up the tent the first night that I noticed defects in the tent mesh. The mesh on different panels looked as if some of the vertical strands were pulled together. There were eight places where these defects were present.
When I reached Toronto I returned the tent for warranty exchange. I should have checked the tent in store before I took the new one. After leaving the store and travelling to where I was staying (near Mississauga) I found the tent had similar defects in the mesh. It was too much bother to drive back into downtown to return the tent again.
I own a Tarn 3 and it has no defects. I needed a smaller tent due to travel restrictions and that's where the Tarn 2 came in.
The Tarn 2 is a great tent size wise, for one person. Two would be quite cosy. I'm 6'1" and had no issue fitting in the tent. I would strongly recommend getting the gear loft for storage. I would also practicing getting dressed/undressed inside the tent (but not in the store lol) to get used to it's smaller size/height limit.
Ventilation was great as I had no condensation build up and stayed quite cool despite the high humidity and hot summer temperatures in Ontario.
Pros: Lightweight, Simple, Good Value, Reliable
Cons: problems with mesh
Review 4 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
By:
Location: GTA
Age: 35-44
Gender: female
Gear Style: Comfort Driven
MEC MEMBER

Too small 2 & can't sit upright in tent

Date:July 11, 2011
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User submitted photo
I have to admit I made a mistake purchasing this tent.I sat in the store model to see if there was enough headroom , then I grabbed the floor model Exped 9 mat and threw it in to be sure mine would fit ok. The problem is I did things backwards , and found out first night at camp that sitting upon my air mattress my head pushes the tent roof up.I am only 5.6 so that gives you an idea of how little headroom this tent offers. I was lucky there was no rain because it would be impossible to wait out a storm in a tent that I can't even sit upright in.
My second issue is that my tent floor is strechting from side to side where the 3rd pole ( for the roof ) crosses.I have a tension ridge 2 inches high pulled tight across the floor and the tent sides pull up on either side.I had to move gear away from the sides because it looked like more pressure at those points might cause a tear.Therefore I could only sleep in the down the middle and could not use the tent for 2 people.I did not put any pegs in at those sides because I did not want to damage the fabric.Could be this tent was sewn a little funny , the service centre has told me to return this tent to my store.
I can say on the positive that the airy mesh and ventilated vestibule made sleeping at 7 degrees C and 80 % humidity comfortable while fellow campers found the cool summer night and high humidity a problem.The views from this tent are very pleasant.The vestibule is a great size for such a small tent , though I would gladly have sacrificed some of that for room enough to sit up inside.The weight is decent and the poles are short enough to pack easily.
Pros: Lightweight, Simple, Well Ventilated, roomy vestibule
Cons: too short can't sit upright in tent, problem with tension of floor fabric
Review 5 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
By:
Location: B.C.
Age: 45-55
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

what can u say

Date:June 24, 2011
if the fact that there are so many reviews is not enough to put your mind at rest , sleeping in this tent will , dry,light, easy to set up (in 3 min from bag)used this tent for a 10 day kayak trip with no issues,
Don`t just sit there go buy this tent before they are sold out!!!
 
My Product Recommendations
 
Pros: Rugged, Simple, Good Value, Reliable, Dry
Cons: None yet
Review 6 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
By:
Location: Toronto, ON
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
Gear Style: Minimalist
MEC MEMBER

SHORTY CAMPING

Date:May 14, 2011
This is a lovely LITTLE tent for backpacking and canoe trips, good for one person + gear, or two people if you're both VERY friendly. However, if you're taller than six feet (180ish centimetres) get something else. It would be WONDERFUL if MEC started making a TALL version of this... A few inches longer (not wider), maybe weighing an even 3kg?
Pros: Lightweight, Good Value
Cons: too short
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Review 7 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Toronto, ON
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Amazing Tent

Date:March 20, 2011
the best tent i have ever used. my only regret is not getting the tarn 3. it is a little small for my liking, but it survived my cross country trip to BC from Ontario. My only recomendation would be to spend a bit more and get the tarn 3.
 
My Product Recommendations
 
Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Simple, Good Value, Reliable, Warm
Cons: its a little small
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Review 8 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
By:
Location: central ontario
Age: 35-44
Gender: female
MEC MEMBER

nice and dry

Date:September 26, 2010
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User submitted photo
used this tent on a recent camping trip, and it kept me dry through a few rainstorms. one night it was really windy, but the tent proved to be very sturdy and rugged.
sets up easy, perfect for setting it up on your own. it is a little on the small side, so i would not recommend for tall people.
was glad i bought the footprint for this tent because the ground was soaked when i set the tent up. i discovered that a muddy footprint is much easier to deal with when re-packing than a muddy tent bottom.
Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Simple
Cons: Expensive
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Review 9 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Montreal, QC
Age: 18-24
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Desert Camping

Date:September 24, 2010
Images for this Review
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User submitted photo
User submitted photo
I lived in the tent for 6 weeks while doing archaeological research in the Great Basin Desert in South East Oregon. Good for backpacking in and out of sites. It compacts back down to decent size. Not a whole lot of room for changing but It worked out. Not well suited to house two people plus gear. The zipper started skipping teeth at the end from all the dust blowing into it. I was not the only one with this problem in the group. Stakes down well and held through 60mph winds and regular attacks by dirt devils. Fly kept out pouring rains. I also bought the footprint for the tent and had no water seeping or punctures from rocks, roots or cheatgrass.
Pros: Lightweight, Simple
Cons: Zipper
1 of 1 found this review helpful.
Review 10 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Kingston, ON
Age: 18-24
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Best Purchase Ever

Date:September 6, 2010
I used this tent on a 5-day canoe trip in Algonquin with one other person. It rained most of the time, with what I believe were hurricane tailwinds at one point. The inside of this tent stayed bone-dry the entire time. With two people, you will not fit your packs in with you while your are sleeping, but that is what tarps and drysacks are for. You could fit one pack in the vestibule, but that would make getting out really annoying.
The colour-coded clips are great and make it easy to put the tent up (the first time takes less than 5 minutes).
It did fit the two of us, but it was fairly tight and we are 5'1" and 5'11", small-average builds. if you are, or are going camping with, somebody over 6ft I would definitely recommend the Tarn 3 for 2 people.
Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Simple, Good Value, Reliable, as waterproof as they come
Review 11 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Toronto, ON
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
MEC MEMBER

Love it.

Date:September 3, 2010
Set up the tent with little space, and had the narrow end hanging off a ledge. Didn't get wet weather to deal with, but I spent 4 days living out of it.
Packs tight, even with all the accessories. I slept with out the fly and under the stars at night, and had plenty of room for myself and my pack, but two people and two packs... you'd have to really be into each other.
Room to sit up, change, and snooze like baby.
Pros: Lightweight, Reliable
Review 12 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Shelburne, ON
Age: 25-34
Gender: female
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

great tent

Date:August 16, 2010
Great tent. I have used it for 3 years, about 15-20 nights per season. Big enough for 2 people (cosy), very spacious for 1. Light enough to easily split between 2 people's backpacks for carrying purposes. Set up and take down= max! 5 minutes. No real problems with condensation. Very sturdy. My only problem with the tent came last week: after a night of heavy rain, the upper floor corner had seeped a bit of water. Oh no!! Up until now, I have never treated the tent with a waterproofer... I hope a bit of work with a seam waterproofer will fix the problem. Hence my reason for 4/5 stars, and not 5. For the money, really a great tent. I am sure you can spend x2 or more on a tent, but for what you pay, you get a very functional, easy to use and waterproof tent that does everything important well.
Pros: Rugged, Simple, Good Value
Review 13 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: port moody ,BC
MEC MEMBER

Underestimated

Date:August 5, 2010
For some reason people seem to underestimate this tent and its larger brother because of their price. Ive used this tent for about 6 years now and it will work basically anywhere. Ive camped in -12 on Seymour, and in +30 in the summer and i find that the tent does better in the winter despite the mesh walls. If you have a -7 bag youll be nice and warm, and pleased to wake up with very little condensation in your tent. In very hot temperatures, id recommend pitching in the shade, or keeping the fly off the tent as it will heat up very fast.
Pros: Simple, Good Value, Reliable
Review 14 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Sarnia
MEC MEMBER

Date:July 25, 2010
Great little tent! It serves me well. It is snug for a 2 person tent so I would not recommend for tall people. But it is very warm and works well in rain. It is also a good size for backpacking.
Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Simple
Review 15 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: NY, QC
MEC MEMBER

Tarn 2 Review

Date:June 12, 2010
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User submitted photo
User submitted photo
I've had this tent for 11 years. I've retaped the seams as a preventative maintenance, sprayed the fly every year with rain proofing and it's NEVER failed me. I'm 5'9. It's a bit too generous as a solo tent - I like to travel light. As a 2-person, it's snug, but livable. That depends on your size and comfort zone. Great product.
Pros: Simple, Good Value, Reliable
Review 16 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Coquitlam, BC
Age: 45-55
Gender: male
MEC MEMBER

Good Solo Tent

Date:June 11, 2010
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User submitted photo
I bought the Tarn-2 for kayaking trips; the very compact size when packed is ideal for stowage. Overall, I'm really happy with this tent. Most trips I paddle solo; the tent is good for me and some of my gear. I'm 5-10, and just fit. (I would NOT call this a 2-person tent, even though that is how it is described). Very small footprint is good for camping when there's not much level ground to put up a tent. The floor is my only serious complaint--a slightly thicker floor would be good, but since I always use a groundsheet, this hasn't yet been an issue with tearing, leakage, etc. Very easy to quickly assemble and break down solo, which is a must when packing up quickly in the morning to catching a favourable tide...
Pros: Lightweight, Simple, Good Value, Reliable
Review 17 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Banff
MEC MEMBER

VALUE!!

Date:May 30, 2010
If you're looking for a 3 season tent for one person, 2 in a pinch, go buy this tent!! I've had mine for 5 years. The fly required some waterproofing after 4 years, and with the footprint, the floor is showing NO wear. And that's after living in it for 2 summers as well! 3 pole design doesn't blow over in the wind, and if you're lazy you can set up the whole thing with only 1 peg (or rock). Not good for winter since the walls are mesh though (which also allow sand to blow in if you're in a windy desert.)
Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Simple, Good Value, Reliable
Review 18 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: Winnipeg
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

Solid investment!

Date:May 30, 2010
If you're shopping for a solo tent on a budget, and are under 6'-2", this tent is amazing!
I've used Tarn 2 for four seasons with zero maintenance, and on average 15 - 20 nights per season. The tent survived a few storms with 60km/h winds, hail, and even snow on a few occasions. No matter what the weather is like outside, it was always nice and dry on the inside. On top of that, it's small enough to fit in a 26L pack for an overnight hike, and a breeze to set up.
A few issues I encountered throughout the years:
- This isn't really a two person tent. Don't believe me? Just try it out! However there is plenty of room for one and all the gear!
- The slope of the back of the tent doesn't leave much room for the foot box of the sleeping bag. If you're tall like me, the foot box will be pressing against the mesh. If there is any condensation on the mesh, it'll end up on the bag. (to get a better idea of what I'm talking about, compare designs of Tarn 2 and MSR Hubba Hubba)
- I have had a few issues with condensation in the past. However if the sleeping bag doesn't touch the mesh of the tent, this is not an issue.
Despite the above issues, I still think the tent was worth every penny!
(note: I always used the tent with the footprint, with 11 pegs to maximize the air movement / stability (8 pegs is the minimum, 13 is maximum)
Pros: Rugged, Simple, Good Value, Reliable
Cons: may not be the best choice for tall campers
2 of 2 found this review helpful.
Review 19 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
By:
Location: whistler, BC
Age: 25-34
Gender: female
Gear Style: Performance Driven
MEC MEMBER

this tent truly got tested on the last trip

Date:May 21, 2010
this tent is amazing, had it for 3 years now just came back from west coast trail where we experienced 100km winds and intense rain storms, we stayed dry and the tent kept it together, its light weight, super easy to set up, a must buy!
Pros: Rugged, Simple, Good Value, Reliable, keeps out rain on wct
Review 20 for Tarn 2 Tent
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Effectiveness: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
By:
Location: Flin Flon MB
MEC MEMBER

Sweet Tent

Date:April 4, 2010
We have had this tent for 4 years, its been back and forth accoss canada, through Yellowstone, Banff and Jasper. Its survived a storm that trashed 90% of the tents in the campground without a drop of water getting inside. We love this tent and if we hadn't had a baby we would still be using it. We are just gonna set it aside for future father daughter canoe trips. Its a cozy fit for my wife and I but we think it was a great purchase
Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Reliable
Cons: snug
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