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Gossamer Gear The Two Review

Huge storage, luxury, and living space at a great price
Gossamer Gear The Two
Photo: Gossamer Gear
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Price:  $376 List
Pros:  Huge storage and living space, good weather protection, easy set-up, durable, good price
Cons:  Condensation issues, hard to set-up on rocky terrain, need poles for set-up, bulkier than most
Manufacturer:   Gossamer Gear
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 7, 2020
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 15
  • Livability - 30% 9
  • Weight - 25% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 6
  • Adaptability - 10% 6
  • Ease of Set-Up - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The spacious Gossamer Gear The Two stands out for its superior durability, excellent price, and huge double vestibule design. If you're a backpacker or thru-hiker that is looking for a light (1.96 pounds) carry, but luxurious living on the trail, this is highly recommended. Its single body design features a durable nylon construction, with sewn-in bug netting and vestibules. The single body easily stuffs into any compression sack. We tested it while traveling through deserts and into the high country of the mountains. It provided good stability in wind, protection in the rain, and nice sluffing in snow. While it's only a three-season tent, this is a reliable option that'll keep you protected from the elements on any adventure — however big or small.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Gossamer Gear The Two
Awards  Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $376 List$220 ListCheck Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$365.00 at Hyperlite Mountain Gear$129.00 at REI
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Pros Huge storage and living space, good weather protection, easy set-up, durable, good priceAffordable, durable materials, removable inner, double doorsPlenty of room for two people plus gear, adaptable for four season use, very affordableExtremely lightweight & packable, adaptable to almost any situation, top quality materialsAffordable, easy to set-up, simple, packable, comes with stakes
Cons Condensation issues, hard to set-up on rocky terrain, need poles for set-up, bulkier than mostHeavy for ultralight, guy lines can be difficult to tightenNo floor or bug protection, potential condensation problems, needs to be seam sealedLacks bug protection and privacy, expensiveNot encompassing protection all around
Bottom Line Huge storage, luxury, and living space at a great priceAn ultralight, durable, highly adaptable, and fully featured shelter that won't weigh on your walletA single wall, floorless, all around awesome pyramid tent with a great value attachedAn incredibly protective and adaptive flat tarp that offers exceptional, lightweight performanceThis is a high value tarp that acts as a great shelter
Rating Categories Gossamer Gear The Two Durston X-Mid 1P Black Diamond Beta... Hyperlite Mountain... Kammok Kuhli UL
Livability (30%)
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
3.0
Weight (25%)
6.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
10.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
4.0
Adaptability (10%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
10.0
Ease Of Set Up (10%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Gossamer Gear The Two Durston X-Mid 1P Black Diamond Beta... Hyperlite Mountain... Kammok Kuhli UL
Type Single wall pole tent w/ sewn-in vestibule Twin pole structure w/ removable bug netting Floorless pyramid Flat tarp Flat tarp
Weight With All Components 1.96 lbs 1.90 lbs 1.35 lbs 0.64 lbs 0.84 lbs
Measured Weight of All Included Shelter Parts Total: 1 lb, 15.35 oz, tent: 1 lb, 12.30 oz, 6 stakes: 2.35 oz, stake bag: 0.05 oz, cord: 0.65 oz, tent bag: 0.05 oz Total: 1 lb, 14.5 oz, fly: 18 oz, inner: 9.5 oz, stakes: 2.5 oz, stuff sack: 0.5 oz, stake sack: 0.2 oz Total: 1 lb, 5.6 oz, tent: 1 lb 1.3 oz, stakes: 3.8 oz, stuff sack: 0.5 oz, (bug netting and floor 1 lb, 13 oz - sold separately) Total: 0.64 lbs, Guy lines: 1.8 oz, Tarp: 8.5 oz Total: 13.45 oz, tarp: 11.65 oz, stakes: 1.40 oz, sack: 0.4 oz
Stakes Included? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Poles Needed for Set-up? Yes Yes Yes Yes or Tree Yes or Tree
Capacity 2 person 1 person 2 person 2 person 2 person
Max Floor Dimensions 42” x 89 in 87" x 28 in 98" x 80 in 103" x 103 in 132" x 88 in
Peak Height 46 in 46 in 49 in Depends on configuration Depends on configuration
Fabric 15D high tenacity nylon 20 denier 420 thread-count 100-percent polyester 30D SilNylon DCF8 Dyneema Composite Fabrics Patagium 15D diamond ripstop
Packed Size 6.5" x 12 in 12" x 5 in 4" x 6 in 6.5" x 5.5" x 3.5 in 3.7" x 7 in
Floor Area 29.04 sq ft 17 sq ft 34.7 sq ft Depends on configuration 80.7 sq ft
Doors 2 2 1 2 0
Number of Poles 2 2 2 2 0
One person version? Yes Yes No 6'x8' available Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Gossamer Gear The Two is a trekking pole tent that features HUGE vestibules and large quantities of headroom and space. While its single wall construction doesn't offer the best ventilation, it provides excellent weather resistance at a good price. In the world of ultralight tents, this is a superior steal of a deal that you need to check out. No wonder it's a favorite amongst thru-hikers and backpackers that like to use trekking poles.

Performance Comparison


Our testers and friends love the value that's provided by the...
Our testers and friends love the value that's provided by the Gossamer Gear Two. It provides spacious living that's easier on the wallet than most ultralight tents on the market.
Photo: Amber King

Livability


Wow! We are super impressed by how liveable this ultralight tent is! It's super spacious with ginormous vestibules to fit everything you need. Unfortunately, it does gather condensation (despite all the ventilation), the pockets are in an odd location, and the pull-back for the door and interior mesh is a little inconvenient. But these minor flaws pale in comparison to the luxurious space it has to offer.

This tent features spacious vestibules, single walls with sewn-in...
This tent features spacious vestibules, single walls with sewn-in bug netting, and a floor. Just be sure to bring tall poles (120 cm to 150 cm) to give yourself more headroom and living space.
Photo: Amber King

When using poles that are at least 120 cm, you can sit up comfortably, fit two people easily, and store all your gear in the super spacious vestibules. One of the reasons we love and recommend this tent is because it's one that we'd feel comfortable setting up as a base camp for its luxurious amount of space. Stuck in a rainstorm? No problem! You can easily cook your meals in the vestibule, read a book, write a story, or stretch out the body.

Our main tester loves the living space that's perfect for her and...
Our main tester loves the living space that's perfect for her and her pup to spend the night in the Gunnison Gorge around Montrose, Colorado.
Photo: Amber King

One of our testers is 6'5, and he was able to sit up easily and layout completely without touching the sides of the tent. Our only caveat with liveability is the tent's breathability. The construction is single-walled, with a sewn-in bug liner. On the doors, no condensation builds up as there are two layers with the liner and vestibule.

Nolan fiddles with the vestibule pull backs that prove to be a...
Nolan fiddles with the vestibule pull backs that prove to be a little less intuitive then you'd think.
Photo: Amber King

However, on the walls of the tent, there is a single layer, which means moisture collects from our breath and begins to bead on this single layer along the main walls. Be prepared to deal with this issue, or open the doors to promote more ventilation and less condensation build-up.

A look at condensation build-up after a night spent camping in the...
A look at condensation build-up after a night spent camping in the mountains. This only builds on the large walls, but the foot of your sleeping bag or your head is bound to get wet. Similar to most single-walled tent structures.
Photo: amber king

Another caveat is the pockets. While the pockets easily fit a headlamp or phone, they are located towards the middle of the tent instead of towards the edges where you lay your head. We found this a tiny bit inconvenient as we had to sit up to reach them when looking for our headlamp during a midnight pee break. Aside from these minor criticisms, this is one of the most liveable tents out there. We love the enormous vestibules and space inside.

The pockets are positioned towards the middle, which makes them hard...
The pockets are positioned towards the middle, which makes them hard to reach when you're laying down. Reaching for your headlamp in the middle of the night requires a small ab workout.
Photo: Amber King

If you're seeking a solo shelter, there is a Gossamer Gear The One available as well.

Weight


While this isn't the smallest or lightest of tents in the ultralight category, it still doesn't feel heavy in the pack. It comes with a single body, six stakes, extra cordage, and storage bags. All weigh just under two pounds.


All parts of the tent (including stakes) easily pack into the...
All parts of the tent (including stakes) easily pack into the provided stuff sack that is roomy and easy to stuff.
Photo: Amber King

The packed size is larger than the lightest of the tents, but in comparison to other backpacking tents out there, it's still relatively small. It requires two trekking poles to set-up, so this is best for those that like to hike and explore with a pole in hand. Overall, it's not the lightest of light but offers a considerable space to weight ratio.

The measured weight of the tent with all its components (minus the...
The measured weight of the tent with all its components (minus the weight of your poles).
Photo: Amber King

Weather Resistance


This tent uses a heavier Nylon construction with a SilNylon finish for additional waterproofing. It does well in the wind, water, and light snow. We had the privilege of testing this tent in the deserts and mountains of the San Juans through the Winter and Spring. We pitched and slept in it through snowstorms, rains, and windy beachside backcountry spots. In all conditions, this tent held up, retaining its shape, and keeping us safe and dry.

A look at how the tent fairs after a snowfall. In the tent, the...
A look at how the tent fairs after a snowfall. In the tent, the fabric stays relatively dry, but kicking the snow off from the inside is required.
Photo: Amber King

During rain, the water wicks off, while the catenary cut promotes good drainage that doesn't build. It's important to ensure the tent is completely taut to ensure this type of performance. When taut, it does not billow or catch in the wind. The fabric does ripple and wave, but the material is heavy enough that it doesn't make a whole lot of noise. It holds its shape but does require re-tensioning once the fabric is completely drenched, which is easy with the adjustable guylines.

The pole heads insert into the corners of this A-frame style tent...
The pole heads insert into the corners of this A-frame style tent, giving it excellent headroom. Just make sure you can pull both sides tight for worthy backcountry performance.
Photo: Amber King

While this is a tent we'd recommend for three-season use (since there is only bug mesh inside), you might get caught in the occasional snowstorm. One night, we had over a foot of snow. After the storm, we noticed the walls shed the snow well, but collected a little right at the base. The walls were pinched in under the weight, but nothing we couldn't easily punch off from inside. For a light snowstorm, it'll stand up, but this is not a tent built for alpine or four-season use.

Adaptability


Given that this is a trekking pole set-up tent, adaptability is a bit limited. This tent needs soft ground that'll easily sink a stake to ensure a good set-up. While it does come with extra guylines for added guy points, we'd recommend bringing a few sections of cordage if you plan on camping on hard, rocky ground.

If you don't hike with poles but like the looks of this tent, purchase The Two Pole Sets and throw them into your pack. This will add about 5.7 ounces to your packed set-up.

Since the tent is completely enclosed with a floor, flat, open sites are best for this tent. You'd find it hard to set it up on uneven ground or where a tautly tensioned condition is hard to achieve. It doesn't have any modular components and comes with sewn-in bug netting to keep you protected from flying and crawly critters. Overall, it's not the most adaptable tent out there because it's not freestanding and requires staking and tensioning to work well. All components it comes with should be brought on the trail with you and can't be stripped down further.

Flat, soft surfaces are the best sites to select for this tent...
Flat, soft surfaces are the best sites to select for this tent. unfortunately, it doesn't have a whole lot of modular features to adapt to different surfaces. Be sure you can stake it down.
Photo: Amber King

Ease of Set-Up


Every tester appreciated how easy this tent is to set-up on flat, soft ground. The construction is simple and easy to figure out without any instructions. After a few tries, we were able to set this tent up in under four minutes. Make sure your trekking poles are at least 120 cm in height. The taller the poles, the more headroom you'll get! We were able to insert a pole as tall as 150 cm for HUGE space and living room. This is a huge advantage, as many tents don't offer much flexibility in height.

Staking down and adjusting is quite simple, especially when the...
Staking down and adjusting is quite simple, especially when the ground is soft. We appreciate the strong stakes provided, and the adjustable guy lines that are super easy to draw in or release.
Photo: Amber King

To set it up, simply stake down all four sides tautly. Then, adjust your poles to 125 cm. There is a small grommet at the base of the tent that your pole tip can insert into, while the handle holder is at the top. We tested this grommet with several different poles. Many of them did not work, as the tips were too thick and the grommet was too narrow. If you purchase this tent, make sure you have a trekking pole with a tapered tip that'll lock into it nicely.

Photo: Amber King

The handles are inserted into the top of the tent. From there, pull the guylines tight, peg down, and adjust all the way around. If you have taller trees around, use the additional guylines to provide more points to keep the walls from falling inward — especially in wind and rain.

Value


This tent is of excellent price and qualified in our consideration as a best buy award winner. While it's not the lightest, it offers a nice balance of performance and excellent liveability, all at a good price. It comes highly recommended to any backpacker that doesn't mind carrying a couple of extra ounces as a tradeoff to saving a chunk of change and living in luxury. In the ultralight tent world, this fully enclosed, trekking pole tent-set up is on the lower end of the price spectrum. Its nylon construction also offers superior durability in comparison to other lighter tents that use much more delicate materials.

Enjoy this spacious and high-value tent, wherever it is you like to...
Enjoy this spacious and high-value tent, wherever it is you like to explore.
Photo: Amber King

Conclusion


The Gossamer Gear The Two is a favorite amongst thru-hikers and the average backpacker for its super spacious and reliable design, which is an excellent value. While it's not the lightest option out there, it weighs in at just about two pounds, which feels like a water bottle in your backpack. It's one that we'd recommend to most friends because of its durable construction. Plus, the price is right for its excellent performance.

Jack and out main editor enjoy the pleasantries of the Gossamer Gear...
Jack and out main editor enjoy the pleasantries of the Gossamer Gear The Two. It offers excellent value, spacious living, and plenty of storage and protection for you on-trail needs.
Photo: Amber King

Amber King