I love to sleep under the stars. So, if I don’t have to set up a tent, I will certainly opt not to! However, on a classic Teton summer night- warm, starry with the sound of the Snake River in the background- I got a chance to test out the Kelty Dirt Motel 2. I was not disappointed.
Kelty Dirt Motel 2 Review
In a dashed packing job, the Kelty Dirt Motel 2 tent setup directions were left behind. Not a problem. The single attached cross-bar design was easy to interpret. The pole ends insert easily into color-coded metal feet at each corner. The single crossbar pole expands the headroom to create a spacious feel in spite of the mildly short (84”) footprint. The rain fly attachments are also color-coded so the usual fly orientation issue is eliminated. The rain fly foot loops have a built-in cinch system that allows you to tighten the fly easily and firmly. Toggles are well placed to allow the fly to be folded half back or for the vestibules to be collapsed if it is only raining slightly. Kelty thoughtfully includes 4 guylines for attachment to the fly as well. I was able to get this tent fully set up in about 7 minutes the first go at it.
The tent body is almost all mesh. For star watching and ventilation, this tent was top-notch. The large doors on either side were easy to access. The gear pockets inside were modest-sized and there was one additional decent size ceiling pocket. The vestibules were ample size for backpack and shoes. The 70D Nylon floor predicts durability.
The 40D Nylon rain fly comes down close to the ground- great for weather protection. There are smallish fly vents on both vestibules and the vestibules are very generous. Well placed loops for the guylines help keep this fly taut and protective. Clever design features allow you to have the fly mostly in place with one half rolled back. This allows you to start your evening star-gazing and be ready for the quick middle of the night cover up when needed. The fly can also be rolled up on either side and toggled in place. There is enough coverage this way that you would stay dry inside in light or intermittent rain and still have lots of ventilation.
Bottom line, this is a great little tent! Its pros are ease of set-up, extensive mesh body, and multiple fly set-up options. The small side pockets and vestibule vents are slightly negative attributes. At 4.8 pounds, it is heavier than many of its peers. Due to its weight- it is probably best for car or boat camping. It will be comfortable for two people and moderate gear for the Kelty Dirt Motel 2 Tent ($259), this is an affordable way to go. One person, a cot and a large Golden Retriever dog were very comfortable.