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The KUIU Storm Star 2 Tent Shines, Regardless of Weather

I was due for a tent that exceeded my expectations. The Storm Star 2 did it and then some.

KUIU Storm Star 2 Tent(Photo/Rachelle Schrute)
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All-season tents can make or break a late-season backpack hunt. I’ve avoided the activity for the majority of my hunting ventures for the sake of weight. Tents capable of resisting the elements are certainly not lightweight, and when I’m trudging through snow, I don’t want to be weighed down by the extra bulk of my camp.

Not only that, but they also tend to be cumbersome to set up. The last thing I want to do is fight a big-ass tent after a cold day trudging up a mountain.

Enter the KUIU Storm Star 2: a tent that really might be able to do it all. I wasn’t sure how much I’d like this tent from the beginning since I tend to go either an ultralight, minimalist backpacking tent or a full-blown canvas wall tent. This fell in an uncomfortable place for me of somewhere in between. After wandering out of my comfort zone, did the KUIU Storm Star 2 earn its keep?

In short: Ohhhhhhh, you betcha, it’s a keeper. This tent does everything I wanted it to, regardless of weather or location. Not only am I a convert to this style of tent, but I’ve also had to send this one back for the rest of the team at GearJunkie to test, so I plan to buy my own. As a person with about a dozen tents in storage, that says more than any review can.

KUIU Storm Star 2 Person Tent


  • Type Alpine hunting and backpacking
  • Weight 5 lbs., 5.2 oz.
  • Doors 2
  • Sleeps 2 adults
  • Floor area 29.5 sq. ft.
  • Vestibule area 16.42 sq. ft.
  • Height 45"
  • Walls Double


  • Spacious vestibules at each door
  • Eight interior pockets provide space to organize small items
  • Adjustable vents help manage condensation


  • Not an ideal construction for warm weather
  • Requires muscle to get the clips onto the poles

Testing the KUIU Storm Star 2

Winter in my neck of the woods (Montana) was weird. When I say weird, I really mean it. Snow, which is the shining hallmark of a mountain winter, seems to have evaded us this year. A dry and shockingly warm season meant testing cold-weather gear and snow setups wasn’t what it usually was.

That being said, we got some brutal cold snaps and had skiffs of snow, with the occasional foot here and there. I set up the Storm Star 2 behind a shelter belt, where it faced some gnarly winds and drifting snow. After a few nights cuddled up in my favorite sleeping bag, I was shocked by how comfortable I was. This little tent really does seem to persevere where I know my minimalist backpacking tents would have failed.

Where the KUIU Storm Star 2 Shines

KUIU Storm Star 2
KUIU Storm Star 2; (photo/Rachelle Schrute)

The biggest perk of this tent is its ability to be set up in any condition without compromising the interior. Because the rainfly and tent act as essentially one piece (clipped together) and the pole system is entirely external, the Storm Star 2 can be set up regardless of the weather.

The interior of the tent remains sealed for the extent of setup, meaning if you get caught in a downpour and have to whip your tent up in a hurry, the inside will remain dry, no matter how wet the world is.

The pass-through double door is great. If you get two people in this tent, there’s no wiggling around for a midnight biological relief emergency. Each party can exit their own door. Also, if you utilize the vestibule as storage for gear, you don’t have to try to navigate around it or unclip the vestibule to exit. You can climb in and out the backdoor, gear undisturbed.

Vestibule KUIU Storm Star 2
Roomy vestibule with secure attachment points, but easy access; (photo/Rachelle Schrute)

Speaking of the vestibule, this thing is ample. It is not just some minorly supported flap. You can pack a lot of gear in this dedicated space. If not gear, it’s a great makeshift dog tent for your hunting/hiking buddy.

Ample Storage, KUIU Storm Star 2
Ample Corner Storage, KUIU Storm Star 2; (photo/Rachelle Schrute)

The tent layout is so well thought out. It might seem minor, but the corner pockets in all four corners are a pleasant perk. There’s also a roof storage loft, perfect for attaching lighting or stashing the important stuff.

Where It Could Be Better

KUIU Storm Star 2 Clips
Attachment points and poles can be difficult and cumbersome; (photo/Rachelle Schrute)

This is going to sound odd, but I struggled with the first setup. As you can see, the path of the poles is clearly marked on the fabric with white, gridded strips. All of the poles are attached with clips. Should be simple, right? Well, I rode the struggle bus. Turns out, I’m not the only one.

This tent is tight, and I’m not talking about the slang use of the word. It can take some serious muscle to wrangle the poles into place and get them clipped in. It’s for good reason, but you should be prepared to manhandle this tent into place.

I had several other people attempt to set it up with no direction, and they all gave me the same oooooof look. Once you get it, though, it makes sense and setups after are easier. I assume the fabric will also loosen up a bit as it ages.

KUIU Storm Star 2 Packed Size and Storage Bag
KUIU Storm Star 2 packed size and storage bag; (photo/Rachelle Schrute)

Mini-gripe: tent bags suck. They all really seem to suck, and this one is no different. Though it feels durable enough, it’s such a tight fit that I battled it into the bag, and that’s without having the poles rolled up in the tent. As I usually do, I’d likely swap the bag for a stuff sack that’s more accommodating, so I don’t have to fight it every time I pack it up.

Oh, and the Gunmetal/Orange color is … a lot. Being inside has a risqué district feel. I couldn’t help but hear “Roxanne” playing on a loop in my head.

Aside from that, no other notes. I love this dang tent.

Final Thoughts

If you haven’t picked up on it already, the Storm Star 2 is on my short list of favorite products. For this one, it was an unexpected list-maker. It isn’t the smallest, lightest, or easiest-to-set-up tent, but for the protection and comfort it offers, it can’t really be beat.

Once I pinch my pennies and buy my very own, I’ll likely go with the Major Brown color option and add an additional stuff sack to my shopping cart.

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Rachelle Schrute

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