Expert Review: Sea to Summit Telos TR Tent

This review is my honest opinion of the tent, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.

Telos TR2 at Sage's Ravine Campsite.

Telos TR2 at Sage's Ravine Campsite. All photos courtesy of Robert M. 

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About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tent, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.

My take

The Sea to Summit Telos TR2 Tent is a quality freestanding backpacking tent at a premium price. It does a great job of hitting the middle ground between being lightweight and roomy.

Another view of the Telos TR2 at Sage's Ravine Campsite.

Another view of the Telos TR2 at Sage's Ravine Campsite

About the gear

  • Product Model: 2021 Sea To Summit Telos TR2
  • Size: Two people

About me

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 225lbs
  • Experience: 30+ years of camping/backpacking

Test conditions

  • When I bought the tent: October 2021
  • Days tested: 2 days
  • Number of occupants: 1
  • Pack: Gossamer Gear G4-20 - Large
  • Sleeping pad: Sea to Summit Etherlite XT Insulated Air Mat - Rectangular Regular Wide
  • Sleeping bag: Hammock Gear Economy Burrow Top Quilt - 30F Wide/Regular
  • Total pack weight: Approximately 25lbs
  • Used for: Backpacking
  • Where I’ve used it: Western Massachusetts
  • Seasons I’ve used it in: Summer

How it performs

Breakdown Speed
5/5
Durability
3/5
Interior Space
4/5
Lightweight
4/5
Packability
5/5
Setup Ease
5/5
Versatility
5/5
Weather Resistance
4/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a freestanding and lightweight tent for backpacking that would be roomy enough for two people if I had someone else coming along.

Why I chose this gear

I chose the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 because of its light weight, easy setup, and steep vertical sidewalls. I also considered the MSR Hubba Hubba but decided the additional weight savings of the Telos TR2 was more important to me.

Nighttime view of the Telos TR2.

Nighttime view of the Telos TR2

What I love about it

  • Ease of setup: The Telos TR2 is extremely easy to set up thanks to color-coded tips on the poles that match up with color-coded metal hardware on the tent body. The poles are of a hub design meaning they’re all connected as a single unit which speeds up the entire process. Once the poles are secured to the four corners of the tent it's an easy process of attaching the clips on the tent to the poles and securing the top spreader bar to the tent body. The rainfly also has color-coded hardware to make it a breeze to install correctly on the first try every time. When using the optional footprint it will also match up with the color-coded hardware on the tent and poles.
  • Breakdown speed: I haven’t clocked my actual breakdown time for this tent, but I will say it is super fast and easy to break down! Remove the rainfly (if being used) and store it in its separate stuff sack. Then simply unclip all the poles from the tent and store them in their separate stuff sack. Finally, fold and roll the tent body up and store it in its own stuff sack.
  • Weight: Weighing in at only 3lbs 11oz, the Telos TR2 is one of the lightest fully freestanding backpacking tents available. Due to its light weight, it packs up small, and it is very easy to carry in any backpack and especially so when using a frameless backpack like the Gossamer Gear G4-20 (my go-to pack).
  • Performance in rain: It did rain lightly the first night I had the tent out and the rainfly kept me, and the interior of the tent, completely dry. The roomy vestibules on either side of the tent also provided plenty of extra dry space for storing my pack and boots.
  • Performance in wooded areas with lots of trees: The Telos TR2 performed with no issues in the woods of Western Massachusetts along a section of the AppalachianTrail.
  • Special features: Two additional features of note that I enjoy are the covered vent on the rain fly to help control condensation inside the tent, and that the stuff sacks are designed to secure inside the tent and be used as small pockets for gear — a great spot to keep my phone and glasses at night.
  • Stability: I found the tent to be very stable even when set up on a wooden tent platform without being staked out.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Durability: I am a bit concerned about how thin the tent floor is, as it’s made from a 20 denier ripstop nylon, which is a bit thin for my liking.
  • Any workarounds?: I bought the optional matching footprint, which is made from a much heavier 68 denier polyester which does a great job of protecting the tent floor. An added benefit to having the matching footprint is the tent can be set up with only the footprint and rainfly if desired.

Favorite moment with this gear

I haven’t had this tent out on many adventures yet, but setting it up for the first time in the woods and relaxing inside it after a long day of hiking in very hot weather was great.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Telos TR2 is a premium backpacking tent that is priced accordingly. I would say it is worth the money for anyone serious about saving weight or getting out on the trail a lot. An alternative is the MSR Hubba Hubba.

Final verdict

I am very satisfied with the Sea To Summit Telos TR2. It is a premium, lightweight backpacking tent with room for two that can perform well in a variety of conditions.

Selling Sea to Summit on Curated.com
Sea to Summit Telos TR Tent
From $599.00
Camping & Hiking Expert Robert M
5.0
Robert M
Camping & Hiking Expert
Robert here! How can I help?
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Written By
I'm an active hiker and backpacker. Most of my trips are just weekends whenever I can fit them in regardless of the season. I also enjoy biking, kayaking, and snowshoeing. ​I'm also a licensed amateur radio operator (Ham radio) involved in Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and the National Wea...

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