A budget-friendly, highly liveable and weatherproof 2-person tent for backpacking and camping
If hefty price-tags are putting you off getting started in the world of backpacking, then you may want to take a very close look at the Robens Boulder 2 Tent. Sure, it’s not super packable and is a little heavier than most higher end backpacking tents. However, at over half the price, that’s to be expected. What this tough little cookie of a tent does offer, is a highly liveable, weatherproof and straightforward tent that allows you to get out on the trail in comfort and stop worrying about your depleting back account!
Robens Boulder 2 Tent: The stats
|Pack size:||42 x 17 cm|
|Poles:||Alloy T6, 8.5 mm, anodised|
Features of the Robens Boulder 2 Tent
Outer rainflyThe rainfly is constructed of 75D polyester which is much tougher and heavy weight than higher end backpacking tents. This makes it heavier but also tougher. For protection against rain, the outer has a Hydrostatic Head (HH) rating of 3000 mm, which is sufficient in most moderate conditions. There are also two vents in the ceiling that can be propped open or closed up with a Velcro tab.
Like the outer tent, the dome-shaped inner tent is constructed of high denier fabric for durability, but not low weight. The breathable 68D polyester fabric of the inner incorporates mesh panels for airflow that align with the vents on the rainfly. To further protect against wet conditions, there is a built-in ground sheet that is made from tough 75D polyester Taffeta and has an HH rating of 6000 mm.
Doors on outer rain fly
There are two vestibules which increase the liveability rating 10-fold, especially when camping with another person. The doors feature a storm flap over the zippers with Velcro tabs to secure them down. Plus, the door tie-backs do a better than average job at keeping the doors actually tied back!
A big plus for me, and an unusual feature of this style of tent, is that the internal doors open up almost completely giving the feeling of spaciousness that crosses from the inner to the vestibules. When fully opened, the doors stuff into small pockets on the inside of the inner, which completely eliminates the faff of tying back the doors each time you want to come in and out. There are also toggles to roll down the tops of the doors should you want to increase airflow but keep some privacy.
There’s no clever hub system that connects all the pole components with this tent. There are simply three separate folding poles that are clipper together at the peak with a carabiner-like clip that’s attached to the top of the inner tent.
To attach the poles, there are simple clips on the outside of the inner tent, along with the aforementioned clip at the peak. The ends of the poles sit in small eyelets on the webbing of the stake out loops.
Stake out loops
To secure the tent to the ground, the Boulder boasts super tough stake out loops that are made of strong webbing. These can be cinched in or loosened via adjustable buckles.
There’s not much in the way of internal storage. As mentioned, there are low, angled pockets, two of which store the doors when they are open. The other two pockets are angled into the tent for storing easy access items like a headlamp, small book or glasses etc.
Robens Boulder 2 Tent review
Over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to camp and backpack with some exceptionally well-designed and lightweight tents. Some of the best in the industry, in almost every way.
However, the best lightweight backpacking tents are expensive. There’s no getting away from it. And so they should be. Their technical construction ensures that you don’t have to carry unnecessary weight without compromising on performance and liveability in any way. And anyone carrying their home on their back for days on end will testify to the fact that every ounce really does count.
So how have I adapted to camping this summer in the Robens Boulder 2?
How spacious and liveable a tent is, is a huge factor for me. I don’t believe that outdoor adventures should be a suffer-fest. If you have the means to choose comfort then why the heck would you not take it?
The Boulder 2 is surprisingly liveable offering good head space (100cm) inside that also extends out into both porches when the doors are open. This makes tasks like putting your boots on or cooking etc a little more comfortable. The main downside to this design is that when the inner tent is zipped up, the ceiling narrows, limiting headspace. But I really love that the inner doors open up completely, making the whole tent feel huge inside when the outer doors are closed, and even bigger when they’re open.
The internal floor area is 210 x 120cm which is slightly less roomy than the MSR Hubba Hubba but plenty big enough for two adults.
Ease of setup
Set up is really straightforward with easy to use clips, ties and buckles which secure together intuitively. Like most backpacking tents of this design, the inner goes up first which is a small negative when camping in rainy conditions.
With an HH rating of 3000mm, don’t expect the Boulder to be totally impenetrable to water in extreme and prolonged rain storms. But with the help of sealed seams and tough rainfly fabric, it should hold up to most conditions in which you would choose to go camping!
I spent a night in torrential rain – the sort that would wake you up even if you were in a house! The inner tent remained bone dry. And although the inside of the rain fly was damp to touch by the morning, water didn’t start to drip through at pressure points. Plus, even if drips did start to occur, the fabric of the inner tent would certainly resist it.
The biggest negative of this highly liveable and stormproof tent is that it packs away quite a bit bigger than higher-end backpacking tents. This is to be expected due to the heavier weight fabrics and components. But it’s still not huge and if you have a big enough bag to fit it in then it’s not a massive deal-breaker. If space is an issue, and you’re not camping solo, then you can just split the tent with your buddy when carrying it.
What I love the most about the Robens Boulder 2 Tent
The value this tent offers is incredible. It functions much like a higher end lightweight backpacking tent in terms of durability and liveability. But with a rather friendlier price tag! I also really enjoy how spacious the tent feels when the inner doors are opened up fully.
What I don’t love so much about the Robens Boulder 2 Tent
It’s on the heavy and large side for backpacking. But this is to be expected for a tent in this price-range. That said, it’s not too heavy for shorter trips and it’s perfectly fine when you split the weight with your camping companion.
The internal storage option and pockets are fairly limited.
The Robens Boulder 2 Tent is one heck of a good value tent. It offers a spacious and functional living area as well as good weather resistance and durability. Though it’s on the heavy and bulky side for lightweight backpackers, it’s a superb option for those on a budget or those starting out in the backpacking world without wanting to invest too much.
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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.