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March 2015 Issue
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Kiwi Camping Pukeko

Price:

$149

Our Rating:

Pitched as a fly only, it’s an excellent, down-to-the-ground shelter; as a fly/inner combo it goes up quickly, the slowest part being the slightly awkward inner-tent attachment. But when it’s left clipped in place, the whole lot goes up together; a real bonus in bad weather.

Once pitched, the tent is taut and aerodynamic. With fly and floor aqua ratings of 4000mm and 8000mm, you should stay dry in even the worst conditions, while the UPF50 sun protection adds extra performance for warmer seasons.

For one person, the inner is spacious, with stash pockets at each end and ample room to bring all your equipment inside, important when there is only 200mm of vestibule outside. The door is generous, opening up the inner’s entire side, and has an excellent view-to-the-outside ventilation panel.

The steep pitch, narrow head room and small vestibule hint at one-person, but it has the large 2.6m² floor area of a two-person tent (it also has a 1.2m² vestibule). There’s room enough inside for two, with space between, but with limited headroom and all equipment outside.

All that space and fabric have to go somewhere, and unfortunately it’s straight to the Pukeko’s waistline. With a claimed weight of 2100g, it’s portly for a one-person tent. Retaining the existing fly configuration and reducing the floor area would increase the vestibule capacity and drop the overall fabric weight, perfect for those wishing to enjoy lightweight tramping. For now, it’s heavier than some (granted, more expensive) two-person tents boasting better headroom and storage.

The Pukeko is promoted as an entry-level one-person tent – and I like it. It’s well made and does many things very well indeed.

For overall comfort and value-for-performance, it’s tough to beat at this level.   

– Paul King