I’ve used a number of tents over the years camping in a variety of different conditions, from snow to summer heat. Some tents I’ve loved and others have left me soggy and tired the next day. No matter what, setup and take down has never been my favorite part. That’s why I was intrigued to try the new 2-Second Easy tent from Decathlon’s hiking and camping line Quechua, which goes up literally at the pull of two strings and comes down at the press of two buttons.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been testing the tent in England’s almost constant wet and windy weather. I can’t say this tent and I got off to the best start, but since then it’s done a good job redeeming itself with its lightening-fast setup and takedown along with other useful features. Read on for my review and why I’m awarding the 2-Second Easy Tent a SELF Certified seal.

How I Tested

In order to establish consistent criteria for testing and reviewing tents, I talked to over a dozen different tent experts for both this story and SELF’s tent buying guide, which you can read here. I also used my own years of camping experience. Since this tent seemed made for car campers rather than backpackers, I tested the tent in car camping conditions—both pared down and full-on glamping-style. 

To start off, I took this tent out to my back yard. I followed the instructions for setting it up, then followed the instructions for taking it down. Then I did it all again without the instructions. I sat in it. I played with the zippers. I picked it up. I moved it around. I measured the inside and the outside.

Then the tent stayed set up outside through approximately three days of constant, pounding rain and another week of off-and-on rain. So far, I’ve slept in the tent four nights—three nights by myself and one night with my partner. Almost every night, it rained at least a little. I spent half the nights with a scaled-down, foam sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and pillow, and the other half with a lavish double air mattress, duvet, down camping quilt, and pillows.

For more information on how we’re testing tents, check out our full tent testing criteria guide.

Weight-to-Space Ratio

Fair warning: this isn’t a lightweight tent, so backpackers, this isn’t for you. Decathlon says it’s 10 lb 12 oz. When I weighed mine, it was approximately 11 lb 3 oz, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my scale is a little off. Either way, it’s not a tent you want to be carrying very far (though the carry bag is convenient for short moves). Also, because of the pop-up style, this tent also doesn’t pack down as small as a standard tent. The fully packed size is around two feet long with an eight-inch diameter.

On the other hand, you’ll probably use it for car camping, so weight isn’t that big of a deal. As far as space goes, it’s a two-person tent, so don’t go expecting a mansion, but it does the job. I was especially impressed with the fact it can fit a double air mattress, since most two-person tents are too narrow for that. (Granted, the mattress basically covered the entire tent floor, minus a small space for a change of clothes or day pack.) With the air mattress it was a tight fit for two people, but it was a lovely little sanctuary for one.

When testing with my partner, we opted for smaller sleeping pads that weren’t as thick so we got the full floor space without the walls coming in too quickly. We both had enough room, though not much extra. Decathlon says the tent measures 80.7”x57.1” with 43.3” usable height. My own measurements from inside the tent came in at 79”x56”x45”.

Durability

Durability is probably one of the this tent’s lower points. One of the pole connectors snapped the first time I tried to set up my first tent, making the tent completely unusable. However, I received a replacement, and the round-two tent has been holding up well so far.

One of our experts, NEMO product development manager Gabi Rosenbrien, recommends going for tents with aluminum poles and polyester fabrics when budget allows. This tent uses polyester fabrics, but its pole structure is a mix of fiberglass and thermoplastic. That said, the tent has held up against some fairly intense wind and rain so far.

As far as the outer fabric goes, the white coloring is fairly susceptible to staining and discoloring, especially in wet, muddy conditions. Personally, I don’t have any issues with this for a tent as long as the fabric still works (it does), but if you’re someone that doesn’t want to see stains or mud on your tent, it’s worth considering.

Ease of Setup and Takedown

It might not surprise you for a tent with “two-second easy” in the name, but setup and takedown are where this tent really shines. The tent pops up and collapses in a matter of seconds and is fully move-in ready or all packed up in a couple of minutes. Plus, the whole process is simple and intuitive.

Basically, all it takes to get the tent up is pulling two strings. As you pull, each side comes together with a “pop” as the poles click into place. After that, you just peg it down with the tent stakes and guy lines (the cords that attach to your tent to increase tension and help with stability) and you’re set. It took a total of 2 minutes 45 seconds from taking it out of the bag to fully up and staked down when I set it up on my own. It took a minute and 20 seconds when my partner and I did it together. And this wasn’t after a huge amount of practice either—we got that time on the first go doing it together.

Now, there are plenty of pop-up tents that are super quick to set up—including this tent’s precursor, the two-second tent—but takedown for pop-up tents can feel a little like wrestling a pool noodle. That’s not the case with this tent. In fact, take down is even quicker than setup. From fully staked down to packed away, it took me 2 minutes 30 seconds on my own and a minute ten seconds with my partner.

Part of what makes this process so simple (aside from the unique pull-string pop-up mechanism) is that everything is all pre-connected. The outer rainfly and inner tent are fully connected, so they go up together and you don’t have to worry about forgetting a vital pole or connector. I also pre-connected the guy lines to the tent for extra simplicity.

Waterproofing and Ventilation

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve put this tent through some heavy rains and it has stayed impressively dry. I used a standard tarp under the tent to reduce condensation and floor durability, but the floor itself holds up on its own too. I did notice some condensation buildup on the inside of the rainfly during especially misty, humid conditions, but I never saw that drop into the inner tent.

On top of the rain, I also gave the tent a 20-second hose test, which it handled effortlessly. Not a single drop got in the tent.

The only time a few droplets made it into the tent was when opening the rainfly door, but I’ll get into that next.

Usability and Comfort

In general, the tent was easy to use and comfortable to sit and sleep in. To get specific, I had one big critique and a whole lot of things I liked. I’ll start with the bad and end with the good.

My biggest issue with the tent was the rainfly doors. I don’t want hassle when it comes to getting in and out of the tent, and these doors didn’t help with that. The tent has two doors, which is great for two people so you don’t have to climb over one another to get out, but the way they’re constructed could use some work. The zippers run from the top of the tent to one corner so to get it fully closed or open from the inside you have to reach your hand down into a corner – not ideal if it’s been raining, since water pools there. On top of that, the zipper runs right next to the inner door, so any water buildup above the door drops directly inside the tent when you open the rainfly to get out. There’s a small barrier to stop water from dripping inside the tent, which helps a little, but not entirely.

Ideally, I’d like the zipper to run down the center of the tent so I don’t have to reach into the corner and the water doesn’t fall directly into the tent. It would also hopefully make the vestibule area a bit roomier (which is nice to have for cooking when it’s raining). But let me be clear: this is a pretty niche critique. In warmer, dryer conditions this feature would likely be much less of an annoyance.

As for the comfort and usability designs I did like, there were a lot of them. The Fresh and Black color option basically acts like black-out curtains for a tent. I was a little skeptical at first because I tend to like waking up with the sun while camping, but after blissfully waking up at 9:30 am feeling cozy and well-rested, I’m a fan. The white exterior also reflects sunlight and keeps the tent from feeling like an oven in warmer conditions.

Inside the tent, there’s a mesh pocket on either end and a top gear loft for small things like a headlamp or glasses. A short drying line at the tallest part of the tent also makes it possible to hang a shirt or some wet socks to dry overnight. It also has an attached hook on the line to hang a lantern.

Price

As far as tents go, this tent punches in around the lower- to mid-range price point. The speedy setup and takedown might be worth the extra price alone, especially if you don’t plan to do any backpacking or have the money to get a different tent for that.

Return Policy

Decathlon allows returns for unused products with tags still attached and proof of purchase up to a year after purchase. The tricky thing with it is it must be unused. However, Decathlon does have a five-year warranty for the tent, so you can contact customer service and they’ll repair or replace the tent if there are any covered issues.

The Bottom Line

For car campers who put a high value on quick setup and take down, I would definitely recommend this tent. It’s not the lightest tent, or the most comfortable place to be in the rain, but it’s definitely sturdy and waterproof enough to stand up to the occasional downpour. I could see it especially thriving in summer conditions when you’ve spent hours driving to the campsite and just want to wack the tent up and get to relaxing.

Source: self.com