Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Person Tent

Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Person Backpacking Tent

Brief Overview

The Kelty Grand Mesa 2 is a classic 2-person backpacking tent designed for the budget-conscious outdoor enthusiast. As part of Kelty’s renowned line of reliable and affordable camping equipment, the Grand Mesa 2 offers a solid set of features and performance at a very attractive price point. Intended for casual adventures and weekend getaways, this tent aims to provide a comfortable and functional shelter for the modern backpacker.

Kelty Grand Mesa

Kelty Grand Mesa 2

Specifications

  • Weight: 5 lbs 3 oz (2.4 kg)
  • Interior Floor Space: 29 sq ft (2.7 sq m)
  • Peak Height: 40 inches (102 cm)
  • Packed Size: 18 x 7 inches (46 x 18 cm)
  • Materials: 68D polyester ripstop fabric, 68D polyester rainfly with polyurethane coating
  • Vestibules: Two, 9 sq ft (0.8 sq m) each

First Impressions

Unboxing the Kelty Grand Mesa 2, the first thing that stands out is the straightforward and no-frills packaging. The tent arrives neatly folded and compressed, with the poles, stakes, and other components organized in a practical manner. This simplistic approach sets the tone for the overall design and intended use of the product.

Upon initial setup, the Grand Mesa 2 reveals a classic dome-style silhouette with a clean and understated aesthetic. The fabric has a durable, yet slightly stiff feel, hinting at the tent’s focus on rugged functionality over modern, lightweight designs. The color scheme, a mix of muted earth tones, blends seamlessly with natural outdoor environments.

What We Like

One of the most appealing aspects of the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 is its exceptional value proposition. With an MSRP of just $149.95, this tent offers a tremendous amount of performance and features for the price, making it a highly accessible option for budget-conscious backpackers and casual campers.

Despite its affordable price tag, the Grand Mesa 2 still manages to deliver a decent level of comfort and livability. The 29 sq ft (2.7 sq m) of interior floor space and 40-inch (102 cm) peak height provide a reasonably spacious and comfortable living area for two people, especially for shorter trips or solo use.

Another standout feature of the Grand Mesa 2 is its straightforward and user-friendly setup. The color-coded pole system and intuitive clip-and-go design make the initial pitch a breeze, even for first-time users. The freestanding structure also means the tent can be set up without the need for staking, which is a significant advantage in areas with challenging ground conditions.

Key Benefits:

  • Exceptional Value: Affordable price with solid performance.
  • Comfort and Livability: Reasonable interior space and peak height.
  • User-Friendly Setup: Color-coded poles and clip-and-go design.
  • Freestanding Structure: Can be set up without staking.

What We Don’t

While the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 offers impressive value and functionality for the price, there are a few areas where compromises have been made to achieve the low cost. The most notable drawback is the tent’s overall weight, which at 5 lbs 3 oz (2.4 kg) is on the heavier side for a 2-person backpacking tent.

The Grand Mesa 2’s weatherproofing and breathability also fall short of more premium offerings in the backpacking tent market. The single-wall design, combined with the less durable fabrics, may not provide the same level of reliable protection against heavy rain, wind, and snow as some of the competition.

Additionally, the tent’s somewhat bulky and rigid construction, while contributing to its durability, can make it less convenient to pack and transport, especially for minimalist backpackers or those with limited space.

Key Drawbacks:

  • Weight: Heavier than some 2-person backpacking tents.
  • Weatherproofing: Less reliable in severe weather conditions.
  • Bulky Construction: Less convenient to pack and transport.

The Specs

Key Features:

  • Design: The Kelty Grand Mesa 2 features a classic dome-style architecture with a freestanding structure. This design provides a decent level of stability and weather protection, while maintaining a relatively compact footprint.
  • Fit: The tent is designed to accommodate two people comfortably, with a floor area of 29 sq ft (2.7 sq m) and a peak height of 40 inches (102 cm). The slightly tapered shape and sloping sidewalls help to maximize the usable interior space.
  • Materials: The Grand Mesa 2’s body is constructed from a durable 68D polyester ripstop fabric, which offers a balance of weight, strength, and weatherproofing. The rainfly is made from a 68D polyester with a polyurethane coating, providing reliable protection against the elements.
  • Dimensions: The Kelty Grand Mesa 2 has a packed size of 18 x 7 inches (46 x 18 cm) and measures 88 x 52 inches (224 x 132 cm) when fully set up.
  • Convenient Features: The tent features two vestibules (9 sq ft / 0.8 sq m each) for additional storage space, as well as two mesh pockets inside the tent for organizing small items. Kelty also includes a gear loft for improved gear organization.
Kelty Grand Mesa 2

Overall Performance

Weatherproofing

The Kelty Grand Mesa 2’s single-wall design and use of moderately water-resistant fabrics provide a decent level of protection against light rain and wind. However, the tent may struggle to maintain its integrity during extended periods of heavy precipitation or in more severe weather conditions.

Breathability

The Grand Mesa 2’s mesh canopy and vented rainfly help to promote airflow and mitigate condensation buildup, but the single-wall construction can still lead to some moisture retention, especially in warmer or humid environments.

Kelty Grand Mesa 2

Durability

The Grand Mesa 2’s use of durable polyester fabrics and reinforced components contributes to its overall ruggedness and longevity. While not as robust as some higher-end backpacking tents, the tent is built to withstand moderate backcountry use and occasional rough handling.

Ease of Use

Pitching

Setting up the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 is a straightforward process, thanks to the color-coded poles and intuitive clip-and-go design. The freestanding structure also means the tent can be pitched without the need for staking, which can be particularly useful in areas with challenging ground conditions.

Breakdown

Packing up the Grand Mesa 2 is equally easy, with a well-designed storage sack and a helpful compression strap for efficient packed volume. The tent can be quickly disassembled and stored away, making transitions between campsites a relatively hassle-free experience.

Kelty Grand Mesa 2 backpacking tent

Best Uses

Seasonal Use

The Kelty Grand Mesa 2 is primarily designed for three-season use, with the ability to handle mild to moderate weather conditions. It performs adequately in rain, wind, and light snow, making it a suitable option for spring, summer, and fall adventures.

Environment

The Grand Mesa 2’s compact footprint and freestanding design make it a versatile choice for use in a variety of environments, from wooded areas to more exposed settings. Its stability and weatherproofing also render it a reliable option for car camping and frontcountry campsites.

Comparison to Other Tents

When compared to other budget-friendly 2-person backpacking tents, the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 stands out for its exceptional value proposition and solid overall performance. While it may not offer the same level of advanced features or lightweight construction as some of the more premium options, the Grand Mesa 2 delivers a satisfactory camping experience at a very attractive price point.

Competitors:

  • Coleman Sundome 2-Person: Both tents offer similar interior dimensions and weight specifications, but the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 distinguishes itself with a slightly more durable construction and a freestanding design, which can be a significant advantage in certain environments.
  • Marmot Catalyst 2P: A slightly more expensive but also more capable 2-person backpacking tent. While the Catalyst 2P may offer better weatherproofing and breathability, the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 remains a compelling choice for those seeking a reliable and affordable shelter for casual outdoor adventures.

Our Final Thoughts

The Kelty Grand Mesa 2 is a solid and dependable 2-person backpacking tent that delivers excellent value for the money. While it may not boast the same level of advanced features or lightweight construction as some of the premium offerings on the market, this tent provides a satisfactory camping experience at a very accessible price point.

The Grand Mesa 2’s straightforward design, user-friendly setup, and decent level of comfort and livability make it an attractive option for budget-conscious backpackers, casual campers, and those new to the outdoor recreation scene. Its freestanding structure and relatively durable construction also lend themselves well to a variety of environments, from wooded campsites to more exposed settings.

However, it’s important to note that the Grand Mesa 2’s compromises in areas like weatherproofing, breathability, and overall weight may not align with the needs of more experienced or hardcore backpackers. For those seeking a higher-performance, ultralight shelter, the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 may not be the ideal choice.

Overall, the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 is a reliable and affordable 2-person backpacking tent that strikes a decent balance between functionality, comfort, and value. It’s an excellent option for budget-conscious outdoor enthusiasts and casual adventurers who are looking for a straightforward and dependable shelter for their weekend getaways and short backpacking trips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 suitable for winter camping?

The Kelty Grand Mesa 2 is primarily designed for three-season use. While it can handle light snow, it may not provide adequate protection in harsher winter conditions.

Q. How easy is it to set up the Kelty Grand Mesa 2?

The Kelty Grand Mesa 2 features a color-coded pole system and an intuitive clip-and-go design, making it very easy to set up, even for first-time users.

Q. How does the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 compare to the Coleman Sundome 2-Person tent?

Both tents offer similar interior dimensions and weight specifications. However, the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 has a more durable construction and a freestanding design, which can be advantageous in certain environments.

Q. What are the main drawbacks of the Kelty Grand Mesa 2?

The main drawbacks include its overall weight, less reliable weatherproofing in severe conditions, and somewhat bulky construction, which may be less convenient for minimalist backpackers.

Q. Can the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 be used for car camping?

Yes, the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 is versatile enough for car camping and frontcountry campsites, thanks to its compact footprint and freestanding design.

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