Introducing the new Keb endurance 2 man tent
Backcountry Survival have been using Fjallraven tents for the past 3 years, both for personal instructor use and clients when running courses up in the mountains. We’ve seen the Keb tent range mature from being a reasonable tent that did the job, to the new upgraded edition, which to be honest is a different beast altogether.Lets start with the basics.
Running a company in the outdoors and especially in the Cairngorms, where the weather is at it’s harshest in the British isles leaves no space for second class gear. You have an equipment failure with something as fundamentally important as a tent on the wildness of the Cairngorm Plateau, and it can ruin a course, be incredibly uncomfortable and at the worst be potentially dangerous.
Backcountry Survival ran the Fjallraven 2016 tent launch in the U.K last October, with journalists from TGO and Trail magazine attending. From Backcountry’s staff point of view one of the highlights was the head designer Svante Bjorkroth had flown in from Sweden to do demonstrations and answer any technical questions that may float about. Backcountry had in the past had minor issues with the older Keb 2 and 3 endurance, so we naturally had some feedback……..at the presentation on the hill it quickly turned out that all our questions had been answered in action rather than words by the design team, from new fabrics to new sourcing for the tent poles.
The first thing to think about when buying a tent is ‘what are you actually going to be using it for?’
Are you going to be using a tent to throw in the back of a car and pitch up at a campsite? Walking or skiing long distance, so you need to keep the weight down to a minimum? Camping in all seasons including winter?
I’m sure Fjallraven won’t make any bones about it, the clue is in the name Keb Endurance. The updated version of the Keb 2 is a 4 season workhorse that sacrifices lightweight for sturdiness and comfort. The skirting around the bottom of the tent is reinforced for pitching on rough ground, the zips and zippers are heavy duty for use with gloves, the tunnel vents are reinforced with copper wire for sturdiness and as you’d expect with a winter tent the outer goes up first. The weight of the 2016 Keb 2 has been reduced compared to older models of the tent due largely to the upgraded fabric used (Polyester and polymide) which also almost completely eliminates build up of condensation. The “weight in bag” is 3350g which is acceptable for a 4 season tent. When issuing the Keb to clients we usually spread the weight evenly amongst the packs (one take poles and pegs, the other takes the outer and inner sheets)
Working in the outdoors means I’m constantly doing recce’s for new areas to run courses, new crags to climb at and new gorges and canyons to keep courses fresh. You can’t do this without a tonne of safety gear, most of which needs to be dried at some point. The Porch section of the Keb 2 is perfect for this and has roughly the same foot print as the sleeping area itself, in built dry lines inside and out keep the floor space clear. So regardless of how much of a gear freak you are, the tent will store it, the only problem is can you carry it all in with you!
The inside of the tent is quality, the panelling and cut of the inner has been well thought out and executed leaving you feeling like you are safe and in a quality product. The price of the Keb 2 hovers around the £500 mark which isn’t cheap, but lets put it this way…….How many times have you been caught out walking in the driving rain in a Jacket that feels like Rab C Nesbitt’s string vest? Been skiing in gloves you bought from a service station and quickly regretted when the “hot aches” set in? Or been standing on a freezing belay wishing you’d spent that extra £100 on a down jacket? The fact is when you’re out in the wild, you can’t head to the shop! Make the decision to get one before you head out……you won’t regret it.
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