At only 1 lbs. 5.9 ounces the Brooks-Range A2 Rocket Tent is a lightweight shelter that’s strong enough to handle the elements.
By Dan Sanchez
Ultralight backpackers may feel comfortable sleeping under a thin tarp or “space blanket” but for those of us who like the security and safe-feeling of a tent, the Brooks-Range A2 Rocket Tent may be one of the best ways to shed some pounds from your backpacking excursions.
The A2 Rocket Tent is made from CT3b fabric which is extremely light weight and looks kind of like the same material used for space blankets. Unlike other tents made from nylon, the CT3b fabric is much lighter, yet incredibly strong and water resistant up to 5000+ mm of pressure. That’s enough to withstand a heavy rain storm at high altitudes. The fabric is also designed to retain heat in the winter and stay cool in the summer. We liked the zippered vents, three of them, that allowed for plenty of ventilation control in hot and cold conditions.
The tent comes in it’s own stuff sack made from the same material, and when packed, it’s about size of a small coffee can. We also used the A2 footprint which is also extremely light weight and has its own small stuff sack. We easily unrolled the tent onto the footprint to set it up quickly.
The A2 comes with or without poles. In the winter, it can be set up with your ski poles so you can save extra weight. It also comes with a probe extender, that can be attached to your avalanche probe so it can be used on the A2; saving you even more weight. In the summer, it uses three high-grade aluminum poles 8.5mm and 9mm, that easily fit into the sleeves to set up the tent without any problems.
Featuring an aerodynamic design, the A2 also has a reinforced guyout system to secure it in heavy wind conditions. An integrated vestibule also makes it great to store your gear and protect it from the weather. We secured the A2 tent with the aluminum stakes and had plenty of room inside, (25.1 square feet) for two people to sleep comfortably and without feeling too crowded.
Rolling up the A2 was a little more difficult. Although the light weight CT3b fabric folds easily, you have to really fold it tight to get it to fit back into the stuff sack. As with any new tent, we suggest you assemble and disassemble it before your trip to gain some experience with it.
The Rocket Tent is also available in an S2 design for ski mountaineering. The difference is that the S2 floor doubles as an integrated rescue sled. It weighs 1 lbs. 10.9 oz. The Brooks-Range A2 tent with poles, weighs in at 2 lbs. 4 oz, which still makes it extremely light, reducing the load on your backpack. Because of it’s rugged construction and fabric, the A2 might be the only tent you would ever need for both summer and winter conditions. It retails around $600. For more information, visit www.brooks-range.com