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'Crossbow' Is One Tent For All Seasons

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SlingFin is a relatively new brand in the tent market, but the Berkley-based company has roots tapping deep into the creative industry wells. In 2010, two of the founders at Mountain Hardwear left to form SlingFin, with a focus on expedition dream tents.

At the center of the design is the WebTruss system, which looks like a jungle gym of sleeves that you thread the tent’s poles through.

The to-be-released CrossBow 2 (available spring 2015) uses the WebTruss system into a tent design that can be used for everything from steamy summer nights to snowy winter mountains. We haven’t tested the design yet, but it’s intriguing insomuch as this singular design is extremely versatile.

Two important caveats: it is expensive and on the heavier side of summer hiking tents.

The WebTruss is bomber and drove the company’s direction towards alpine and big expedition style tents. But this year at the Outdoor Retailer industry trade show, SlingFin showed us this lighter take on the design.

One of three tent bodies can be slung inside the truss: a bathtub bottom (no walls), a mesh body, or a ripstop body. A full coverage fly comes with each configuration. Additional tent bodies are sold separately.

To use the four-Season mountaineering tent for summer camping, you can pitch the tent in StormPak configuration with only the fly, leaving the body at home, or purchase a separate mesh tent body.

All configurations are two person, have two doors (each with their own vestibule), and use propped trekking poles for stability.

The CrossBow 2 will be available in three base options:

— StormPak (flyweight). $395. WebTruss, tub footprint, fly. 3 lbs., 2oz

— 3-Season (backpacking). $460. WebTruss, mesh tent body, fly. 3 lbs. 14oz

— 4-Season (mountaineering). $580. WebTruss, ripstop tent body, fly. 4 lbs. 6oz

We wish the 4-season setup also included the mesh body for insect protection, especially at nearly $600. But for a bomber winter mountaineering tent that can also be used for summer backpacking (although it is a slightly heavy setup even in StormPak configuration), the design is noteworthy.

While it is definitely an upscale model at a high price point, the ability to use the single tent for a wide range of applications makes it appealing for those whose adventures cover all the seasons. We look forward to putting it to the test.

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