I’d been looking for a 2 person tent for quite a while now. and it seems that there are two major factors affecting price these days: lighter weight and 4 season toughness. I didn’t need 4 season toughness, but I wanted a tent as light as I could get. Surprise surprise, every pound in weight you drop, the price skyrockets to another tier. I was unwilling to deal with 6 lbs and was very reluctant to deal with 5lbs. 4lbs was my goal since anything under jumped to about $250-$400 and I wasn’t willing to pay that.
The Kelty Teton 2 is a really good buy for the money. Not without its quirks but a perfect compromise overall. First up are the ultra-light aluminum poles. While fiber-glass poles seemed like a great idea, I’ve heard terrible things about them snapping and while it’s okay for my large car camping tent, it wouldn’t do for hiking where any problem in the field is unfixable. The Teton 2 uses ultra-light aluminum poles and require only two of them in a commonly seen x pattern. The material is much lighter than I expected but still feels tough and rugged. Good enough to deal with most situations. The rain fly is weird as it doesn’t cover the tent completely, but in two overnight backyard tests, there was no condensation, so that was good. It rained the first night of the test so I already know that rain leakage problems aren’t an issue for light rain. My backyard becomes puddle heavy in rain, so it was a surprise to see water pressing onto the tent on all sides, but no water leaking in. That’s satisfactory enough on water protection.
Inside, you can sit up okay, while two people would be a squeeze, it’s doable if you backpack is also your pillow and you don’t mind the person you’re sharing the tent with. For one person it’s plenty spacious.
The vestibule is rather small, but great for boots.
I did run a sealer through the seams but I think I did it wrong and will re-apply later. I believe the correct way is to turn the tent inside out and apply the sealer along the seams then. Otherwise the sealer just drips in all the wrong places.
At 4lbs, it may not be the lightest, but the price difference for that extra point is so large that I can’t imagine a much better buy than the Teton 2 (or the Grand Mesa 2 for that matter) for the money.