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April 2015 Issue
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Exped Cetus II UL

Price:

$899

Our Rating:

The UL in the Cetus II’s name stands for ultralight and at 1990g, it lives up to its promise.

Not only is it’s maximum weight light for a two person tent, but its multi-pitch design means the fly and inner can be pitched separately and in its lightest configuration weighs just 1500g. A three pole configuration supports what is basically a tunnel shaped tent, with a long, low sleeping cavity (2.5m²) and a very large vestibule area (1.3m²).

I used the Cetus II for a week-long trip in the upper North Island and enjoyed its low weight and bulk, and speed of pitching. I also found the large vestibule area handy – it’s easily big enough to store two large packs (standing up) and allows you to remove wet boots and clothing without getting into the inner tent. On wet days, you could easily fit another person in here for a cup of tea and a game of Scrabble.

The expansive vestibule comes at the cost of making the inner tent too low – 1m at the apex – for comfort. I’m of average height and could not sit without hunching at the entrance – the only place to sit as it tapers to foot height at the other end. For my shorter female companion to also sit up at the entrance was impossible, making cooking, eating and dressing a cramped and awkward process.

While a luxuriously spacious vestibule is something to be appreciated, ‘borrowing’ from the dimensions of the inner to create it seems a little disingenuous to me and I would not be comfortable using this tent for a long period of time.

On all other aspects, this tent gets multiple ticks – it’s well made, the light fabrics are top rate and it’s easy to pitch. If you’re less than average height, you just might love it.