Quechua 2-Second Tent

Last week I reviewed three high-end tents made for minimalist hikers who need to go fast and light through the wilds. This week’s featured shelter, an 8-pound igloo of fabric called the Quechua 2-Second Tent, is a flip opposite design, both in form and function.

But the Quechua 2-Second Tent — which with “one swift toss,” as company literature suggests, unfolds in midair to set itself up — is an undeniably cool creation.

Decathlon-2SecondTent-setupW.jpg

To boot, the tent, which is made by Decathlon USA, costs a mere $69.

As you may have guessed, the tent’s “2-second” namesake is derived from the time it takes to set up the shelter. I will admit to being a skeptic on this proclamation. But in my tests, the tent, which comes packed in a circular fabric container with backpack straps, did in fact spring to life with a simple toss into the air.

Indeed, before the tent even hit the ground, its structure, fashioned by bond hoops of fiberglass, sprung to life, pulling the fabric out and into place. It landed set up and complete, its face fabric taut, its door zipped shut and ready to keep the bugs at bay.

I did have to stake it down, however, which took a whole 20 seconds or so.

Decathlon-2SecondTentW.jpg

Measuring about 8 × 5 feet with a 3-foot-high ceiling, the tent is designed for two people. It was roomy enough in length and width for my wife and I plus our 18-month-old girl, though I could not sit straight inside without my head pressing into the fabric above.

The tent’s double-wall design, which incorporates a polyester shell fabric coated with polyurethane, promotes some ventilation. However, during my tests on a hot night in July the Quechua 2-Second was a bit clammy.

One other design complaint: When the door is open, rain falls right inside the tent, as there is no canopy and the oval-shape entryway is tilted back a few degrees from vertical.

Otherwise, rain was not an issue with this tent. I put it through a thunderstorm and then left it alone all day long as the skies drizzled away, but not a drop got in.

My biggest problem with the Quechua 2-Second Tent came when it was time to pack up. Despite explicit instructions, getting the tent back in its small circular bag — a contortionist’s feat that involves twisting and spinning highly tensioned fiberglass hoops — was a real challenge.

But after a few tries, I became competent putting the tent away in its bag, the process a sleight-of-hand parlor trick of sorts that I now rather enjoy.

Overall, the Quechua 2-Second tent comes highly recommended, especially for car campers tired of dealing with poles and stakes and tie-downs. Its design is not without flaw, but for most campers my quibbles will ring irrelevant.

And at only $69 (did I mention that?) the tent is a true bargain.

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Posted by Clive - 09/01/2006 09:33 AM

Note: There is about $20 of shipping fees for Decathlon to send the tent out, so the actual price is more like $89. Still a deal, nonetheless.

Posted by dave - 01/01/2007 04:38 AM

Where can I buy it??? I cant find it anywhere!

Posted by Jason Cuzzetto - 12/06/2007 06:15 PM

Too bad about this company. I was just getting ready to find and buy 3 of these for my family of 6. I guess the company used the wrong material (flamable) and they have all been recalled. They don’t meet US standards. The company is going out of business. I guess these were purchased in China. Anyone want to buy the patent and build these the right way. I will buy three!!!

Posted by LAURIE - 04/05/2008 06:58 PM

AS OF SPRING 2008…
STILL NOT AVAILABLE IN US.
CAN BUY ON EBAY-UK. SHIPPING IS $75.

Posted by climb_ca - 04/09/2008 11:55 PM

Decathlon shut their U.S. operations in 2006 and recalled their tents due to fire hazard. Still available in Europe, though, where they don’t mind campers going up in flames perhaps.
http://www.getoutdoors.com/goblog/index.php?/archives/1103-2-Second-Tent-Recalled-U.S.-Operations-Shuttered.html
http://www.getoutdoors.com/goblog/index.php?/archives/1335-Where-2-Second-Tents-Go-To-Die.html

Posted by Fernando Colaco - 07/28/2009 09:14 AM

Yep, we don’t mind going up in flames here in Europe… and despite the material being flammable, we still don’t burn… I wonder: In the US if it can burn means it will burn, right? You should stop also buying cars because they can have accidents…

Posted by Steve - 08/19/2009 01:53 AM

I believe those tents failed the US tests and requirements because they weren’t designed nor made by a US company, lets face it Americans can not deal with normal concurrence they always have to cheat or lobby their way through …

Posted by Steve - 08/19/2009 02:01 AM

And by the way professional athletes are using these tents, U can see them in the TV show “challenge in the Alps” on Discovery HD; including American teams …

Posted by wildbill69 - 10/04/2009 09:16 PM

Steve, you BELIEVE TOO MUCH !!!!!!!!

Posted by phil - 11/27/2009 11:55 AM

I ‘had’ an orginal design (2006) 2 seconds 2 man tent until recently when I tried to make a coffee whilst under the influence. The wind caught the door and blow it over the stove. It melted a large hole into the door. It didnt burn. I’m now on a mission to find another of the original design rather than the new design. The older version may pack to a bigger disc but it’s more robust in very strong winds.

Posted by Patrick - 05/21/2010 02:32 PM

I still have mine, not giving it up…the comments about the rain are true it will let some in when you open the door. Mine has been through some incredible storms and as long as the door was closed it was dry. Great tent – I love it! Flames shouldn’t be in your tents anyway.

Posted by Robin - 06/08/2010 05:03 AM

I have a Quechua 2 Seconds II which I use for music festivals, so as not to leave my North Face Tadpole to the mercy of the drunk/kelptomaniacs

it held up very well to the English “summer” including when the rain was beating down on it. Not a drop got in, and others camping nearby were flooded out. The one irksome design flaw is, as mentioned above, the fact that rain gets in when you open the door. The trick is to roll up your sleeping bag and keep nothing near the door you mind getting wet. This tent cost me £40GBP which was a bargain.

Posted by Nora - 07/15/2010 10:55 AM

where my American crappy REI tent left me practically damp in dismay during a backpacking trip in Europe, my quechua tent that cost 50% or more less, and was a bit more annoying to carry around, stood through wind, rain, and a few mud storms in scandinavia… I heart the big red tent they used to make, and plan to get one mailed to me as soon as I can if i dont just go back to France. American brands just like to cost more and go cheap… hm, that does suck that it is flammable, but I swear most things you eat in America will probably kill you off faster than this tent :D

all things aside- REI has some great stuff, but Quechua is my fav. tent and lightweight innovative gear producer…for affordable prices. You do not have to be rich to camp comfortably but with 200 plus dollars for a tent that is worth having in the USA, no wonder the poor tend to not be outdoorsy…

Posted by Jeff - 08/21/2010 09:38 AM

Not a comment but a question, are there any stores in the USA that sell these? I have looked online and I can only find overseas places.

Posted by davis,br - 08/22/2010 06:25 AM

Jeff – Search for Quechua on eBay; there’s at least one seller located in LA. They’ll set you back about $160 w/shipping.

Posted by Mechelle - 08/26/2010 10:18 AM

QUESTION!! My tent’s pole or whatever you may call it broke and I don’t know where or to get a repair kit that will fix it. Any one have ideas?

Posted by Chris - 12/05/2010 12:08 PM

I got one of these tents but I can’t replace the pole. Anyone have a clue where to get a pole?

Posted by Chris - 12/08/2010 05:47 PM

I have used my Quechua 2 Sec Tent for over 5 years and it is now just starting to come apart. I have raged many a festivals and flown twice with it and it has always held up. I have two other friends who have them and they have lasted equally as long. Going to upgrade to the Quechua Air III

Posted by Craig - 10/12/2011 11:29 PM

Broken pole here too, but the silly things still works perfectly. If it ever goes bad I’m going to upgrade to the air 3. I live in the US and got mine on ebay.

Posted by Proizd - 05/07/2012 04:20 AM

We used it just for one year and now one of the poles is broken. Too bad cos the tent is so perfect. So easy to put up. I wonder whether we did something wrong while folding. Too bad.

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