What guided us in choosing a tent? We applied the following criteria to get our dream tent for this expedition:
- high resistance to strong wind and rain;
- high water resistance, especially the floor;
- three poles that should ensure greater stability in wind;
- two separate entrances;
- designed for three persons, to provide more comfortable area for sleeping and staying in the tent, allowing us to store the equipment inside it, not in vestibules;
- light weight
- easy to set up and fold back
I have to admit that Arco tent almost fulfilled the above requirements. But Greenland's weather proved to be a bit different than we had expected, and therefore this review is not complete. We didn’t experience two extreme (but typical for many journeys) weather conditions: torrential rain and heavy wind – they were needed to carry out the full test. Fortunately for us and for our tent - we had no chance to “taste” the Foehn wind that blows in the south of Greenland, although a few times the clouds were suggesting its arrival. It is said that only a few tents in the world are able to withstand it. Who knows? Maybe next time.
The tent is spacious and offers plenty of room for two people. We could easily store our clothes, arrange sleeping pads and comfortably fall asleep without bumping into each other. The length is also sufficient - we are quite tall, so we may officially confirm it. Spacious vestibules allowed us to store the rest of our equipment (backpacks with the gear) outside the sleeping area without worrying that it would get wet. Inside the tent we could comfortably sit without touching its wall with our head. Overall - very good capacity and high comfort.
The flysheet of the tent is made of PU, UV Polyester Rip – Stop, with water resistance - 3000 mm. In Greenland we didn’t experience heavy rains and we had no objections to the water resistance of the flysheet. The same applies to the floor - its water resistance is 10000 mm. It never leaked.
The tent has three flexible poles and it takes a while to put it up. The poles have to be inserted into narrow sleeves – two people should cooperate to efficiently complete this task. Otherwise, it will be quite time-consuming. I was afraid that sharp ends of the tent poles would tear apart the sleeves. It didn’t happen and we put up and fold back the tent numerous times. However, it may be worthwhile to consider rounding the ends of poles - it would reduce the risk of tearing the sleeves. Apart from that, the process of putting the tent up is very easy.
Two entrances ensure very comfortable access to the tent. The same applies to bidirectional zippers installed in the inner canopy and the flysheet. In the sleeping area, each entrance is additionally secured by a screen opened with a zipper installed along the whole entrance length. These solutions protect the users against mosquitos and flies while ventilating the tent during the day or hot nights (unfortunately for us, fighting off the insects was a losing game). The tent is equipped with a few side-pockets, but they are quite close to the floor. I would prefer them to be located a little higher. Moreover, a set of small holders or hangers installed at the top of the sleeping area would be very useful. During cold Greenland nights the tent "sweated", but it didn’t affect items stored inside. Unfortunately we chose yellow tent and the inner canopy in this colour was very susceptible to dirt. After our journey it was really grimy. What seems strange, the yellow flysheet didn’t look so bad. Anyway the colour was our choice.
The tent is easily folded back and packed. The whole process is quick and intuitive. I think that the only disadvantage is the weight (3.8 kg). I would prefer the tent to be lighter, but I am writing this from the perspective of a trekker carrying more than 20 kg on his back. The weight seems to be a fair price for the comfort offered by the tent – it is spacious, efficiently designed and it looks good. Its shape and colours fir nicely into surrounding nature and would improve every outdoor photo. Without a doubt, Arco expedition tent made by Marabut came up to our expectations.
I really recommend it!
Text and photo: Łukasz Kuczkowski
more about our journey: www.grenlandia2010.pl