KUIU MOUNTAIN STAR 2-P Tent Review
Editor: Randy Johnson
iReview Gear Lead Field Editor
HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES
Worldwide Trophy Adventures Hunting Consultant
Alti2ude Outdoors Pro Staff
KUIU’s development and design of their free standing, double walled, 3+ season tent is noteworthy. Lightweight, and easy to pitch, the MS 2P tent will save the mountain hunter/backpacker valuable time when out on the mountain facing the complex, “constantly changing moods” of Mother Nature. The 2P Mountain Star tent combines advanced fabrics, pole technology, and an innovative freestanding exoskeleton pole design that makes this tent ultra light, stable in harsh storms and extremely easy to set up and take down. KUIU continues its outstanding tradition of designing cutting edge, ultra light gear with the design of this innovative, comfortable tent. The Mountain Star 2P is strong, lightweight, durable, highly functional and very worthy of your consideration.
FACTS AND FEATURES:
KUIU has established itself as a leader in manufacturing quality, ultra light hunting gear, allowing mountain hunters to go further, faster and be more effective out in the field. Their Mountain Star 2P tent does a great job in following this concept. Designed to hold up against the high winds and inclement weather conditions that hard core mountain hunters will invariably face when pursuing wild sheep, goats and other big game animals in the rugged backcountry of North America or around world the Mountain Star 2P features a “winning” combination of performance changing fabrics/design.
Freestanding, the Mountain Star has been specifically designed to increase stability and promote the basic foundational integrity of this tent in the wind. Most tents integrate a pole system that you set up then deploy your rain fly to. However, with the Mountain Star, the unique pole system is placed on the “exoskeleton” of the rain fly thus saving time and becoming much more efficient during inclement weather.
The design team at KUIU utilized technologically advanced fabric, hardware, and pole technology in the development of this tough, lightweight tent. The Mountain Star 2P is very capable of standing up against the worst weather conditions. The 2P is quick and simple to set up, offering double walled protection. It is classified as a 3-season tent and weighs in at just 3 lbs. 4.6 oz. with aluminum poles. Featuring two entrances and large vestibules the 2P is fully capable of protecting gear from the elements for 2 people as well as offering a space for food preparation during storms.
Highlighted with a double intersection pole design in combination with a horizontal roof truss the Mountain Star 2P was designed for stability. This architecture increases the overall integrity of the structure so that it can withstand high winds. With the placement of the pole system on the exterior of the tent fly KUIU’s Mountain Star provides for a much faster setup and take down. When you are out on the mountain facing a furious storm system every minute counts. Having the tent fly and body connected together eliminates the frustrating struggle of attaching your rainfly in high wind and wet weather. This design also keeps dust and moisture out of your tent. It should be noted that you have the option of removing the tent body from the Mountain Star 2P for “fly only or fly and footprint pitching” of your tent in hot weather.
With 39 inches of ceiling height the 2P tent allows a tall person to sit up without touching their head on the ceiling. There is ample vestibule space to store gear without having to worry about getting pelted by snow or rain. You might think that condensation would cause you issues in such a structurally strong tent. However, the ventilation is better than expected. Featuring two vents half way up the sides this tent allows for good ventilation in addition to being coupled with the mesh interior for breathability. The vents are held open by a simple folding leg. The vent positioning on the side of the tent instead of on top inhibits any water from entering during storms. This feature combined with the outer 20D Silicone/PU treated rip-stop shell has proven to be water proof. Great features in my opinion! I have yet to find a tent that doesn’t have a few condensation issues in extreme cold weather.
Add to this the fact that the Mountain Star 2P can be erected with the rainfly attached and you never have to worry about the interior of the tent getting wet when pitching it in a rainstorm. For me, this specific design in a tent is a major selling point. I also like the grey gunmetal color of the tent highlighted by the orange entrances. The soft white interior “no-see’um” mesh brightens up the inside to create a pleasant, warm atmosphere.
To gain a better perspective of how well the Mountain Star 2P is built I also encourage the readers of my review to study the Technical features of this tent and measurement details as you compare with other manufacture’s models.
Durable Ultra light Waterproof Fabric
The Mountain Star 2P fly/outer shell is constructed from 20D micro ripstop nylon that has been treated with silicone on the outside and PU on the inside for sealing of all tent seams. Durable and extremely light this material is highlighted by high tear strength. A 1200mm rated waterproof coating and fully taped seams ensures that KUIU’s 2P tent will keep you dry.
Four guy line attachments add stability to the Mountain Star 2P
Lighter and Stronger Poles
The Mountain Star Tent features your choice of industry leading Easton Carbon Fiber poles or a set of highly durable aluminum poles that are a little heavier. The unique exoskeleton pole design minimizes overall weight and increase performance. Both pole systems are strong and provide an outstanding tent support system.
Mountain Star 2P Tent Internal Dimensions
• 3 lbs. 3.3 oz – carbon poles (tent body, fly & poles)
• 3 lbs. 4.6 oz – aluminum poles (tent body, fly & poles)
• Dual side entrance
• Adjustable vents for increased air circulation and reduced condensation
• Free standing – 10 Stakes and Guylines Included
• Unique suspended double wall tent design
• Fully taped seams on fly, tub and floor
• Double hoop & truss design
• Removable tent body for fly only & fly and footprint pitch
• Ergonomic design to sit-up or lay down with adequate head room
• Internal storage pockets
• Internal web loops for suspension of gear
• 20D Silicone/PU Coated Micro Ripstop Nylon
If you are a mountain hunter or avid backpacker then it is a given fact that you will spend a lot of nights out on the mountain in a tent. You simply pack your “shelter” on you back. I’ve had the opportunity to “live out of” and field test a lot of different tents over the years. Through those experiences I’ve witnessed first hand the good, the bad and the “ugly” features in various designs. Through trial and error I try to eliminate the “flaws” that come with many tent systems/designs. I demand a shelter that meets very specific criteria for my individual needs. I do my best to utilize tents that will prevent nightmarish memories of tent poles breaking in the wind, leaky rainfly’s, stuck or broken zippers and ventilation systems that just didn’t get the job done. When you are facing the wrath of Mother Nature’s fickle disposition there is nothing more exasperating than having to deal with tent malfunctions. When the tent that you are dependent upon to protect you from the elements doesn’t provide you with the ability to get out of rotten weather to relax then you are going to lose valuable sleep and the rejuvenation of your body. Without proper rest your body and mind are not going to function properly. Choosing a high performance tent is an extremely critical decision. Go with a cheap, poor performing design and I guarantee that you will regret it.
As I research tents I look for a design that is strong, yet ultra light. Because time is a critical factor when you are out on the mountain your tent must be relatively simple to pitch. I’m completely sold on tents featuring rainfly’s that are
attached or self-incorporated into the main tent structure itself. This design has saved me from getting my tent wet during inclement weather while pitching it. After all, how many tent manufacturers can you think of who were brilliant enough to allow you to pitch your tent with the outer shell or rainfly already attached to the inner-shell like the KUIU Mountain Star does? Basically, the tent I choose must be extremely functional and comfortable.
Great job KUIU on designing a tent system with the outer exterior (rainfly) and interior shell of the tent already attached as one!
My Mountain Star 2P can be set-up within minutes. Here it is on a recent desert desert sheep scouting trip in the canyon country of Utah’s Escalante!
Two Velcro Tab on Vestibule Zipper to secure Mountain Star 2P from elements.
My old one man tents have served me extremely well over the years but I have been looking for an ultra light strong tent such as the Mountain Star 2P that I could use for late fall backpack trips and hunts that would provide me with more head space and room as well as overall strength. I definitely found exactly what I was looking for in the 2P Mountain Star.
The first step I took upon the delivery of KUIU’s Mountain Star 2P was to ensure that it could be pitched easily. It was even simpler and less time consuming than I thought. All I did to erect my Mountain Star was stake down the 4 corners of the tent body since the rain shell is already attached, insert the long poles into the sleeve ends, clip where the poles intersect with two of the D-clips, install and D-clip the remaining short pole across the top of the two longer poles then go about the process of staking out the guy lines. Very easy and efficient.
MOUNTAIN STAR 2P COMPACTED INTO ITS CARRY SACK!
With every item of gear that I own the special attention to little details make a huge difference in separating quality from inferior products. I found that KUIU’s design of the Mountain Star 2P went the extra mile with detail and focus on small features that make it an incredible tent/product. Here are a few of the extra details that I personally have appreciated:
1. Adjustable “kickstand” vents for wind flow with internal zips to access and adjust them.
2. Internal storage pockets in each corner of the tent designed to organize important items like your headlamp, ear plugs, chap stick, etc.
3. Internal webbing loops on the roof of the tent that I can hang clothing from at night.
4. Vestibule tent zippers are YKK with Dyneema pull cords attached and covered by protective nylon flaps that keep out damaging rain and sand that also feature two velcro tabs to “button down the hatch” from the elements. I would have liked to have seen the KUIU team add a 3rd velcro tab on the vestibule zippers. This also ensures easy zipping without getting the tent fabric caught. You can also velcro the vestibule together at two points to “tighten down the hatch” to ensure that the elements stay outside
5. A fully taped seamed fly, tub and floor help guarantee waterproof protection. The two entrances and roomy vestibules were perfect. These two details have enabled me to easily store and protect my gear or that of another hunter. During severe weather I can also cook in the vestibule.
6. I like to dream about “big rams, bucks and bulls” when I crawl into my tent at night after a tough day of hunting. On the inside roof of the 2P Mountain Star Tent KUIU has cleverly imprinted their “ram head logo” and it “glows in the dark”! I just love lying there on my back in the comfort of my KUIU Superdown Sleeping Bag looking up at that big ram head on the ceiling. I don’t know which one of the members of KUIU’s innovative team thought of the fluorescent ram head imprint but in my opinion it is very cool. KUDO’S to you guys on this simple but neat feature.
7. This tent features a high bathtub floor that helps keep debris and water out of the interior.
Tent Pegs and Repair Sleeve
Glow in the dark “KUIU Logo” on ceiling on inside of tent!
Tent Opening – Featuring High Bathtub Floor. Vestibule can be “rolled” open on two sides if desired.
There are four Storage Pockets in each corner of Mountain Star 2P
Mountain Star 2P. Easy to Pitch!
Technically, the Mountain Star 2P was built for the abuse that comes with living in the rough, rugged terrain that Mountain Hunters call their home. No doubt, KUIU’s Mountain Star 2P tent is an integral part of their new ultra light sleep system. This tent is perfect for prolonged trips out on the mountain or just for a quick overnight stay to get you out of the weather. The Mountain Star’s game changing ultra lightweight, strength and innovative features are a backpack hunter’s dream in my opinion!
In conclusion, I highly recommend the purchase of KUIU’s Mountain Star 2P tent. If you are seeking an ultra light tent that is extremely durable, strong, and comfortable for extended backpack trips as well as a shelter that will provide you with the room and protection you need in nasty weather they you should give serious consideration to purchasing the Mountain Star 2P from KUIU. This tent sells for $449.
What they could do better:
The KUIU team, in my opinion, continues to do an incredible job of creating innovative, quality products that Mountain Hunters and backpackers are looking for. Nevertheless, they are not perfect and can keep improving. Here are a few minor feature changes that I would like to see KUIU incorporate into the Mountain Star 2P.
• A reinforced tent compression sack
• Replace the current pegs with titanium “stinger” pegs that are even lighter and stronger. Include several extra pegs.
• Two way zippers on vestibule entrances.