Review ... Aztec Duro Tent

Note:

Having just received the tent this review is purely based on first impressions and setting it up in my garden.

When I have used it on a trip I will add any further comments.

Out of the Box

Initial impressions are that the tent is quite heavy.

On kitchen scales I got the following stats:

  • Gross weight of packed tent 4225g

The pack consists of:

  • Flysheet (with 12 guy ropes attached) 1685g
  • Inner tent 950g
  • 24 Aluminium pegs (plus sack) 410g
  • 4 Aluminium poles (plus repair kit & sack) 890g
  • Compression sack 90g
Note the size 8.5 boot for comparison
Yes I know the weights don't add up - but isn't that the nature of packing. The final package always seems to weigh more than the individual components !!!!

Setting up the tent

The tent pitches fly first. The poles are fed into the continuous mesh sleeves and then the ends of the poles are popped over the metal loops and pins at the edge of the flysheet. The shape of the fly is formed by 4 webbing straps under the tent which define the geometry of the poles' curves.

Threading the poles can be a little irritating as they tend to catch on the mesh, but I presume mesh has been used as it allows water to run off more efficiently. Also there is no tensioning system on the poles and straps which means that you need a reasonable amount of strength to get the pins in the holes. Children would find this quite difficult.

Once the poles have been threaded and clipped the outer tent can be pegged down. There are 12 pegging points around the flysheet and 12 guy ropes.

4 of the guy ropes are attached to poles rather than tent fabric (via brass rings on the mesh sleeving) which gives a strong and stable structure.

The flysheet itself looks very strong and heavyweight and is made of ripstop nylon.

Once the outer tent is up and pegged down the inner tent is clipped to the fly via small plastic rings and toggles. This is effective and they look strong enough for the job. However there are a lot of clips and it does take a few minutes!

The final stage is the 4 corners of the ground sheet are clipped to the fly using fastex buckles which can then be tightened. There are no pegs for the inner tent but it seems to form a good tight shape with no evidence of sagging material. The only thing I would like is for the ground sheet to pull a little tighter.

Doors, Cooking and Storage

There are two doors, with four way opening.

Both sides open

Roll down doors

Roll up doors

Attention to detail in the doors is good.

The outer doors are attached by a velcro strip under the storm flap. There is a mesh vent (see left) under the storm flap for ventilation when cooking and to cut down on condensation.

The zips run freely, and are covered by storm flaps (held in place by 3 velcro patches).

A nice touch is that the bottom of each zip has a metal hook and eye so that the zip is not strained when doing it up under tension. It also makes it easier for the user.

Inner doors are double doors (with bug netting). They are well designed in that the zip opens in a circular motion leaving the door attached at the side. There is a small pocket with toggle into which the door can be rolled. Very neat (see left).

There is adequate storage space at each end of the tent but cooking space is somewhat limited as the inner door slopes and takes up some of the porch space. This is easily solved as the inner tent can simply be detached from the outer to increase cooking space.

There are mesh pockets in the four corners of the inner tent (see picture)

Conclusions

This is a nicely made and sturdy tent. Main advantages are:
  • Price
  • Twenty four pegs mean it isn't going anywhere and the materials look strong and durable.
  • Stitching is good and there are lots of nice little touches.
  • The outer tent can be pitched quickly as a stable emergency shelter or for a lunch break.

Inevitably there are a few niggles:

  • Weight is quite high; but no heavier than the Quasar. The fly and inner can be left connected together and is then a heavy combination for one person.
  • Poles catch on the mesh sleeves
  • Lots of toggles to do up - but I suspect this will get much quicker with practice. (This is a necessary evil anyway as in a fly first tent - which is a good idea - the inner has to be attached in lots of places)
  • The roll up door only has one toggle to hold the roll in place and then the elastic is a bit short.

All in all I think the strengths outweigh the niggles by a long way. If you want a 2 person mountain tent then this is seriously worth considering.

Finally I have owned an Aztec Greenland for a number of years (which is their previous model of mountain tent). It has stood up to serious abuse by the weather and the only damage sustained is a slight tear to the snow skirt and a cracked pole joint. Both were sustained in a full on storm on Skye with up to force 9 winds. Most of the tents on the site were demolished (including Vango Force 10s)  but mine stood up to the punishment well and is the main reason I am now prepared to try another Aztec model.