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Tent Reviews: Quechua 2 seconds XL III Illumin Fresh

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Quechua  >  2 seconds XL III Illumin Fresh Reviews

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Bedroom inners:
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Pitching Style:
3  (more 3 berth tents)
6.30 KG
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Average User Rating:
8/10 from 1 reviews

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1 Reviews of the 2 seconds XL III Illumin Fresh

By: Chimpy  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2015   Rating: 

I purchased this tent as a faster to erect/take down alternative to my Vango Omega 350, which although excellent isn't the coolest in hot weather and with a bright orange interior doesn't promote morning lie-ins.

The 2 seconds XL III Illumin Fresh is excellent in many ways, provided you're not expecting an all-season tent.

It's very fast and easy to erect, take out of the bag, slip off the retaining strap, undo 4 clips and BOING, it's up. Takes about 30 seconds, then you just have to peg it out (guylines are included, but not attached as standard).

The sprung steel inbuilt poles are very robust and likely to survive high winds better than stiffer alloy poles in my experience, although the tent will move more.

Interior space is decent, although headroom is limited. I'm 5'10' and can sit upright ok at the highest point, but not towards the rear of the tent.

Ventilation is this tent's major strength, it's absolutely incredible. The flysheet door has a zipped panel to open a vented section, plus there is an always-open vented areas above the door. The inner tent door is half vented, although sadly without a zip up panel to close the venting if needed. At each side there is a large vented section in the interior tent with zipped access to the flysheet, which can be lifted outwards and clipped onto the guylines to have open vents with rain protection (they can also be completely rolled up).

At the rear of the inner tent there's a large vented area which can be covered by a zipped/velcro panel when required. You can also lift the rear of the flysheet from within the tent to provide additional sight and ventilation.

In hot weather, I think this design makes it probably the best ventilated tent available and would be a godsend, however in cooler weather (such as a chill April night) the inability to close the front and side venting of the interior tent means lots of icy draughts - so great for hot weather, but not for cold.

The flysheet material is supposedly specially coated to reflect sunlight and prevent the tent getting hot - I've not tested it at the height of summer yet, but it certainly seemed cooler than I would have expected on a warm sunny spring day.

The inner tent is a dark grey/brown material which means that morning sunshine isn't quite such a brutal wakeup instigator, but can't be considered a black-out material in anyway.

The porch is big enough for a slim person to sit in and remove muddy boots and provides plenty of space to store boots/bags/waterproofs to save the sleeping area from getting mucky.

The tent includes 3 integrated LED lights which seemed a bit of a gimmick to me and didn't factor into my buying decision. Happily they've turned out to be great. There's a small battery box in a velcro-sealed pocket that takes 3 x AA batteries and the LED lights work really well, providing excellent lighting for reading or getting changed - you honestly don't need a lantern inside this tent.

Taking down the tent is remarkably easy, but I recommend viewing the videos and practising a couple of times before you do it in anger, as there is a knack. You unpeg the tent, climb inside and grab the red handle then drag it outside, which folds the tend into a large circle. You then attach 4 clips, pull a strap to cinch into a figure 8, flip end over end into a smaller circle and attach a strap before placing back into the bag. Less than a minute with practice.

I've not had a chance to test in seriously inclement weather yet, so can't comment on the waterproofing, but the overall quality seems excellent.

As a hot summer tent I'd give this 10/10, but I'm dropping two points due to it being so chilly in cooler weather. Overall a strong recommendation, I'd certainly buy one again, although would love it if they added zipped panels to cover the venting on the interior tent.
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Manufacturer's Description

Designed for 3 HIKING CAMPERS looking for an instant-pitch tent with space and sun protection.
2 large sleeping spaces + storage space. Instant pitching, easy to take down. Cleverly designed ventilation system plus fabric that insulates in hot weather. Built-in lighting is very practical.

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