Kelty® Grand Mesa 2 Tent Review
Here is a quick list of form and features for the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 tent review:
• Front entrance tent, single door
• 4 lb 9 oz weight
• 7×20 in. pack size
• 6-ft vestibule area
• Two-pole easy set up design (DAC Pressfit)
• 3 interior gear pockets
• 7 guy points for tie downs and stakes
• 75D polyester Rain Fly
Editor: Mark B.
I have camped multiple times in varying conditions in the Kelty Grand Mesa 2. It has performed well for me in a variety of 3-season conditions. I really like this tent, provided I am the only one in it. I’ll say more about that in a minute.
This tent is attractively priced and, for me, is in an acceptable weight range (4 lb. 9 oz) even when I am going out for a week at a time. The tent material is a rip-stop nylon that I have found to be durable in the wind and rain. I have never had any problems with the fabric tearing or the zippers failing. The fly keeps water off of and out of the tent, though I have never weathered the larger two- or three-day rainstorm in it.
This tent is a cinch to set up and take down. I can seriously take it out of my backpack and have it up and functional in a couple of minutes. Staking it, guy lines, and rain fly takes an additional five minutes or so. But it is a quick set up and its trim design provides a solid shelter even when the wind is whipping around. Take down and storage is a breeze, very efficient.
Now, for me, the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 is not a comfortable solution for two adults and their gear. It is just too small for that. I use this tent as a one man and I have plenty of space, both in the tent and under the vestibule. It simply does not have enough space to keep two people happy, comfortable, and dry especially in adverse conditions. I’ve tried it as a two-man with my teenage son and it was very cramped for two people. Two wiry teenagers, or two slightly built women, or an adult and a child would probably be OK.
The entry way is a bit of a problem. The vestibule door unzips only halfway, impeding entry. If you are alone in there (like I use this tent), that’s no big deal. But if you have two people, two bags, gear, etc., in there, then it’s hard to get in and out without infringing on the other person’s space. If it’s wet and muddy it can be a mess.
In summary, I give the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 the following marks (of a possible 5):
Durability – 4
Comfort – 4 (one person, a 2.5 for two people)
Ease of Use 4.5
What They Could Do Better:
I wanted a weight improvement. Sure enough, Kelty’s 2015 model is lighter by half a pound. That’s a big deal to the serious hiker/camper who is going to carry this thing over distance and set it up and take it down over and again. They tent body went from a mesh/poly mix to a mostly mesh, with the poly fabric being a few mills lighter, which is where the weight reduction occurred. I like this improvement.
The stakes on my model are flimsy and easily bent. I recommend getting a set of sturdier stakes unless you know you will be setting up in loamy or sandy soil. Kelty offers a gear loft (always a good idea to help sort and store gear) and stronger stakes (Kelty J-Stakes) at an additional charge.
I also recommend they make the inner gear pockets more accessible (they are presently close to the ground near the door on either side).