Redverz Series II Expedition Tent
(This Gearlab review was published in the July 2012 issue of Rider magazine.)
As Clem suggests in this issue’s staff camping story, approaches to camping can be, broadly speaking, divided into two groups: Spartan and comfort. Spartan camping foregoes certain conveniences in the name of minimal weight and complexity, distilling gear down to its essentials. Comfort camping, on the other hand, allows for nice-to-have items in addition to need-to-have basics.
At 14.9 pounds, the Redverz Series II Expedition Tent, which sleeps three people plus a motorcycle, is anything but Spartan. It weighs nearly three times more than a typical 3-person backpacking tent and, when packed, it is significantly bulkier (21 x 9 x 9 inches). Furthermore, as a non-freestanding tent with a unique design, pitching the Series II takes some practice. The instructions are clear and videos on Redverz’s website are very helpful, but I strongly suggest pitching it in your backyard first rather than on a camping trip, such as in the desert amid howling wind, as I did.
Unlike the typical dome tent with criss-crossing poles anchored to each of the four corners, the Series II has a hoop design, with three parallel arched poles and 10 adjustable guy lines that support the overall structure and keep it firmly attached to the ground. Once set up, the Series II looks like an elongated igloo. It stays put in high wind and keeps out the rain.
The one-piece outer tent serves as the rainfly for the inner tent (sleeping area) as well as the roof and walls for the large vestibule. The Series II has more doors than my apartment. Between the two taller tent poles are large doors on either side of the tent that can be unzipped and rolled out of the way, allowing a motorcycle to be ridden in one side, parked, and then ridden out the other side. Both ends of the outer tent have doors for entry and exit, and the inner tent has two doors that open into the vestibule and a third that opens to the small end of the tent.
Once pitched, the Series II is huge: 77 inches tall, 100 inches wide and 201 inches long. At 6-foot, 2-inches, I can stand up inside the vestibule, and I barely have to duck my head inside the living area. Having a covered place to park your motorcycle while on a camping trip provides a shaded, rainproof area for field maintenance, and it hides your bike from prying eyes. Such advantages may be more important on long-range expeditions in dodgy places than at your local campground, but the vestibule can also be used as a spacious cooking and sitting area that’s protected from wind and rain. When it rained during our staff campout, Bill Stermer and I set up our camp chairs inside the vestibule and enjoyed our coffee in dry comfort. The vestibule also provides plenty of dry space to hang up wet gear that’s separate from the sleeping area.
Quality of materials is excellent on the Redverz Series II Expedition Tent, which was designed by an avid adventure rider who lives in Colorado. High-quality ripstop nylon, zippers, aluminum poles, three-sided stakes that won’t bend and a rugged storage bag make this a tent that, if cared for properly, will last for years. It is available in yellow or green for $449. Add a Series II Groundsheet for $35. See the tent’s full specs on Redverz’s website.
For more information:
Call (720) 213-8287 or visit redverz.com