Bivy Killer? Flyweight 'Kilo' Tent Has Headroom to Spare

“Ditch the bivy.” That’s the marketing idea behind a new and lightweight one-person tent from Easton Mountain Products. Called the Kilo 1P, the tent weighs its namesake 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) and offers a three-season shelter with only a single, slender carbon fiber pole.

Unlike a bivy sack, you can sit up and organize equipment in this solo tent. It’s generous inside for one person at about 18 square feet, plus there is a vestibule for storing a pack.

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Easton Kilo 1P

Last week, I tested the $350 “bivy killer” on a rain-soaked trek on California’s Lost Coast Trail. We were filming an episode for a new GearJunkie video series, and as such I was toting camera gear along with my equipment for the trek.

The Kilo tent packs up tiny thanks to its light fabric and a single pole. Carbon fiber rods and tiny tether connectors, not heavier bungee cord, comprise the innovative pole design, which weighs just a couple ounces. It all stuffs in a pack as a little bundle not much larger than a rolled-up winter jacket.

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Pencil-thin pole made of carbon fiber

For a single-man tent, I found the Kilo roomier than expected. My six-foot frame easily fit inside without touching on either end or the sides. Its 39 inches of headroom let me sit comfortably upright inside and arrange my gear.

Setup is a breeze. The single pole clips to the tent body. The rain fly drapes over the body and mates with a hook and loop system. Complete setup of the Kilo takes just a minute or two.

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Rain fly removed

Caveat: The tent is not freestanding. You need to stake it out, and with a single-pole design good stake anchors are a must. On the sandy shore of the Pacific Ocean during our Lost Coast trek I used large rocks to help keep my stakes buried and my shelter taut.

On our rainy coastal hike, everything was fairly soggy to begin with as I set up the Kilo the first night. As best I can tell, the tiny tent kept any additional water from reaching the interior over the night.

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Speedy setup: Single pole and hooks

Ultralight backpackers, if you’re stuck between the decision to tent it or buy a bivy sack, if you can afford the $350 entry fee we think the right answer might be to pack the Kilo and have the best of both worlds — lightweight, protection, and the headroom to sit up and move around before lying back for a night’s rest in the wilds.

—T.C. Worley filmed three ultra-light treks for our “Fast & Light” video series last fall.

Posted by Toby - 03/27/2012 11:26 AM

How would the tent fair for 2 people?

Posted by T.C. Worley - 03/27/2012 12:18 PM

Toby, We like your style! If you are used to adventure race standards, I suppose it would be fine. It COULD likely hold two, but not comfortably by most people’s way of thinking. It’s also tapered, so the usual head to foot stacking would not be feasible. They do make 2 and 3 person versions of this same tent, however.

Posted by Gordon Wright - 03/27/2012 02:03 PM

YES! This is what I’ve been waiting for for my 80-mile, three-day fastpacking trip!

Posted by aka - 03/27/2012 10:33 PM

For 2.2 lbs, that’s pretty heavy for what it is. They could go sub 2lbs with only 1 pole system/ come on!

Posted by Dave - 03/27/2012 11:56 PM

I think I have to agree with aka here, they could get it under 2 pounds. It’s definitely doable, and certainly desired by ultralight backpackers. That being said, it looks a lot more comfy that your average bivy. Dave @ onClickDeals.com – Deals for Backpackers and Outdoor Enthusiasts

Posted by T.C. Worley - 03/28/2012 09:21 AM

If you really break down to just tent, fly, main stuff bag and no extra stakes, the weight is 2.08lbs according to my scale. Give that it coatings vary and it had been used several times, it is certainly possible that clean and new, it could fall under 2lbs. Also, leaving the stuff bag would put you right at 2 lbs. Again – all this according to my scale – which is capable of varying a few ounces.

Posted by richard - 03/29/2012 10:50 AM

better, lighter and less expensive options available from tarptent and six moon designs

Posted by Andrew Skurka - 03/31/2012 06:47 PM

I do not understand why this shelter is presented as a “bivy killer,” as if a bivy is the lightest full-service shelter out there. As another commenter said, there are better and lighter shelters available from Six Moon and Tarptent, and a few other cottage manufacturers too. Even a better system is a modular tarp whereby you combine a shaped or unshaped tarp plus a bug nest, ground cloth, or water-resistant bivy. This system is lighter than this “bivy killer,” is full-service, and is more versatile.

Posted by T.C. Worley - 04/01/2012 11:48 AM

For a true weight-weenie, of course it is not the answer. But for anyone looking for some elbow/storage room with minimal weight, we think this tent is a fit. Also, SixMoon tents, weights and prices do not include a pole – it is not a functioning shelter without it. Certainly not apples-to-apples comparisons.

Posted by willy - 04/19/2012 09:19 AM

I’ve been using something similar for the past 6 years. I live in Thailand and use it for beach camping. Mine has a claimed weight of 2 pounds. Differences are use of a sleeve for the pole and doors on both ends (which I dislike, have to crawl in). Interior dimensions are probably the same. Best feature though was the price, only $30 (made in Thailand).

Posted by Michael - 04/24/2012 04:30 PM

Yeah, while this looks good, I have a TarpTent Moment. It’s sub 2 pounds, uses only 2 stakes, can be free standing for a little more weight and OVER $100 cheaper.

Look into TarpTent if you haven’t yet!

Posted by Nathan - 04/03/2013 11:17 AM

Another great cottage manufacture is Zpacks, The Hexamed tarp tent is around 1LBS (Assuming you use your trekking poles) with much more space. Also, Six Moon Designs sells a 1.8oz pole fpr $30 if you don’t use trekking pole so I would consider it a fair competitor

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