Posted on June 29 2020
After years of testing tents and modifying prototypes, we launched our first lightweight backpacking tent for the XKG Series this spring – the XKG Summit 2P Tent. The idea behind the Summit was to harness all the qualities of the XKG Series, including performance, affordability, and lightweight materials and engineer it into a tent.
We began our project by focusing on the best features in our favorite tents, while not hesitating to express our frustrations for improvements. Some tents were exceptionally lightweight, but couldn’t handle the challenges of tough conditions. The fabric would wear through on the tub walls, the guy lines would quickly wear from the wind, there was not enough space for two hunters, the list went on.
We started with a similar floor plan to many tents on the market that have a tapered design. This allows the campers/hunters to sleep shoulder to shoulder and the tent becomes narrower as it moves towards their feet. The upside to this design is that it cuts weight from the tent. The downside is that is takes away a lot of comfortable sleeping space and extra space to store your gear. It also does not give you much flexibility when it comes to how you would like to sleep – shoulder to shoulder or head to toe. Since this is primarily a hunting tent, we chose to make a roomy 86.6” x 55” rectangular floor plan which is 15-30% wider than other hunting tents on the market. It allows for versatile sleeping arrangements and comfort in the backcountry.
True 2-Person Tent
Many tents claim to be a 2-person tent, but there is no comfortable way to get two people in the tent. We addressed the floor space, but we also knew a frustration with weight shaving tents is the concession for 1 door. We did not want to inconvenience anyone by limiting to one door.
Who would want to crawl over someone at night to go outside?
We added two-way zippered doors to each side of the tent and each side has a vestibule. This makes for easy in and out and gives each hunter their own vestibule to store and protect their gear.
By including a footprint with the tent, it allows the Summit to reach its minimum trail weight configuration at 2 lbs. 11 oz. This works with the footprint, poles, and rain-fly. Simply place each end of the poles in the footprint rings. This will stretch the footprint and give the poles the shape of the tent. Then, place the rain fly over the poles and snap each corner into the buckles of the footprint. This will give you protection from the ground as well as the sun or rain and keep your tent system under that desired 3-pound mark for ultralight backpacking.
During our years of testing and development, we took the tent to the high country of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho. We hunted in the heat of August to below freezing temps of October.
Our final test came in the fall of 2019 when Justin Finch, Alex Millward, and I went on a backpack hunt in Idaho during the opening weekend of the rifle mule deer season. We rented two llamas from Backcountry Logistics to help carry our gear. We were going to an area without easily accessible water, so we had to pack it in. We knew we had to be selective on our gear. With each tent under 5 pounds, it wasn’t a huge burden to our llamas – who are capable of comfortably carrying seventy pounds each – to have sufficient water, tents, and extra gear.
During the hunt, we slept in a drainage which had the only flat ground we could find at the higher elevation. We experienced a snowstorm our first night. So, there was snow on the ground and the conditions were cold the rest of our hunt. Alex and Justin slept in one tent and I was in the other. They were able to comfortably sleep shoulder to shoulder with large sleeping pads. Each of them had room in the tent for their boots and other small accessories, while their vestibules stored their packs and larger things, such as their guns. Since I was alone, I was able to keep everything in the tent with me. I had ample space every morning to make breakfast and coffee in the tent and warm up before I had to leave to start the days hunt. We were thrilled that these lightweight tents performed in the cold and provided enough space to sleep, even though the conditions were less than comfortable.
Since our spring launch, some of our ambassadors jumped at the chance to test our tent. Joel Burham of Whitetail Fit took it on a Nebraska Turkey hunt and Matt Lee of Utah Sportsmen took it to Nevada for the shed hunting opener.
Here’s what our ambassadors had to say:
Joel Burham of @Whitetail_Fit – “I used this tent on a western Nebraska turkey hunt and I couldn't be happier with it! From set up to tear down, it has every feature you could want in an efficient, lightweight 2-person tent. Overall I was VERY pleased with this set up, and will be recommending it to all my hunting buddies.”
Matt Lee of @UtahSportsmen – “I am impressed at the versatility of this tent. You can run just a footprint with the rain fly and trekking poles for an ultra-lightweight scouting tent or you can run the footprint with the main body single wall of the tent as a nice baby tent to get away from bugs if you are not suspecting any weather. If you're going on a backpack hunt, I'd recommend taking the entire system for protection against all elements. I will be running this tent exclusively most this year!”
If you have any questions about the new XKG Summit 2P Tent, please leave them in the comments!