Brooks-Range Rocket Tent
$650 | Brooksrange.com | 4 Stars
Imagine a weatherproof, wind-stable tent weighing less than a pound and a half. It sets up easily, sleeps two and packs down small enough to fit into a pocket. The Brooks-Range Rocket Tent weighs 22 ounces without poles and is made of Cubic Tech Fiber (CT3), an amazingly strong ultra-lightweight fabric that feels crinkly like a potato chip bag.
The Rocket Tent saves weight by using trekking poles instead of tent poles (tent poles do come with the tent) and an avalanche probe as a full-length ridge pole. These are items that most mountaineers carry, so they are put to double duty. The Rocket sleeps two with some room for gear and has a small floor-less vestibule.
The Rocket Tent is perhaps the first competitor to the high-altitude wedge tents (compact tents with internal cross poles). One mountaineering friend said this would be the tent he would use on the Magic Line on K2. Others practically fought over it for use on ski trips.
The Rocket sets up by placing your trekking poles into grommets on the tent's perimeter. Two external Velcro tabs on each side of the tent hold the poles securely. A large Velcro band wraps around the poles on the tent's top, locking them. An avalanche probe slips into a sleeve along the tent's spine, becoming the ridge pole (reflective tape the length of the ridge pole aids in finding the tent in blizzards and in the dark.) Three internally zippered windows allow fresh air and help control condensation. The front vestibule can be zipped shut or left open. Two side pullouts on each side of the tent help make the pitch drum-tight. Sidewall tie-through holes can help anchor the tent on those epic nights.
The low height (38) and aerodynamic shape of the tent allowed it to easily withstand winds measured at 44 mph. The low height does mean that you will have to crawl in the entrance, unless you dig out the snow in front of the door. This is NOT the tent for hanging out in and playing cards. It is designed for light, fast alpine climbing. If you are intrigued with a tent that is strong enough for high altitude, will fit two, sets up easily, has an integral vestibule and weighs less than half of any wind-proof, waterproof wedge tent, the Rocket could be the one for you.
- 1 lb. 6 oz. Tent only.
- 2 lb. 4 oz. With poles and ridge pole (included for summer use).
- Easy to set up.
- Tight for two, but adequate for alpine conditions.
- Excellent tent for alpine minimalists.