by MATTHEW KRONSBERG
SOME activities put relationships to the test more than others. Road trips. House painting. Playing host during holidays.
But no task is more daunting than the finale to a long day of hiking: Setting up a tent.
The two-person €899 (RM4,006) Kirra four-season tent from German outfitter Heimplanet is designed to keep campfire conditions convivial. That’s because you won’t have had to test your patience struggling with a thicket of poles.
The setup of the Kirra requires nothing more than a small hand pump (like the brand’s €49 double-action floor pump) to inflate the geodesic airframe in a mere 30 seconds.
• For those who’d rather bike than hike, try the US$450 (RM2,005) two-person Fly Creek HV UL2 Bikepack Solution Dye tent from Big Agnes. Its 12-inch Shortstik Poleset can be packed into a manageable size and strapped to handlebars, panniers and saddlebags.
• At just 2 lb 10 oz, Black Diamond’s US$399 Distance tent with Z-Poles is an ultralight three-season shelter that gets its support from a pair of Distance Carbon FLZ-AR trekking poles, which are included.
• It would be hard to beat the versatility of the Switch, from New Hampshire-based Nemo. The US$300 two-person tent can be reconfigured as a sunshade or a screenhouse that lets you see out, while still giving protection from bugs and rain.
Heimplanet has been making inflatable-frame tents since 2009, when it introduced the Cave, which could withstand winds as high as 112 mph. The smaller, simpler Kirra weighs 8.4 lb, so it’s better suited to those looking for less hassle than the lightest possible pack.
There are 45 sq ft of space inside, plus plenty of sewn-in pockets and a removable compartment against the ceiling that can hold a light and serve as additional storage. It comes in three-season and four-season versions: Both are constructed from a water-repellent, flexible and almost puncture-proof 40D Nylon Ripstop DWR fabric that’s so strong it’s often used as a sailcloth. — Bloomberg
- This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition