It’s currently June and in Wyoming, that means the snow has finally stopped falling and it’s time to head for the mountains. Luckily for me, it’s only a thirty minute drive to the Wind River range, but I have been meaning to visit Flaming Gorge since passing it on the way to Moab last year. I thought this would be the perfect trip to tryout Slumberjack’s new, Nightfall 2 tent. They sent it to me a few weeks prior to my trip, and I have been reeling to give it a try ever since.
The SJK Nightfall 2 arrives pre assembled in a small storage bag. Setup is quick and straightforward. I confess that I didn’t read the directions, yet I was still able to erect the complete tent in under ten minutes on my first try. The only mistake I made was reversing one of the cross poles. There is a slight bend on one side which makes them directional (the silver ends go towards the rear of the tent). Despite my mistake, the Nightfall was still fully functional -which is great news if you repeat my folly while setting up in the dark.
There are four guy ropes, one at each corner, which are colored in high visibility yellow and are reflective for nighttime safety. The stakes consist of high quality aluminum “Y”-beams with notches near the top to capture guy ropes and tent feet. I was surprised and happy to see these tent stakes rather than the standard bent wire that seem to dominate the industry. There’s even a small loop attached to the top of the stakes to make retrieving them easier. I thought it was pretty cool that the vestibule can be converted into a shade awning by relocating two of the guy ropes and placing a pair of trekking poles into the rings located at its base -unfortunately, I don’t have trekking poles, so I couldn’t try out this feature.
The near vertical walls are achieved by attaching the third, and final, aluminum pole to a pair of nylon tabs. The spring force provided by the slight bend in the pole keeps the walls taught, even in high winds. The extra space makes a noticeable difference when sitting upright or trying to change clothes. I hope this feature catches on, because it really does make a significant difference in comfort. It was quite cold on the Wyoming/Utah border of Flaming Gorge, so I didn’t try the Fast-Pitch feature, which eliminates the inner tent for substantial weight savings and slightly quicker setup. I did remove the inner tent just before breaking it down just to get a sense of how easily it breaks down.
To make this adjustment, you will need to unclip the four corners at the base of the tent floor, and pull a handful of pegs through the hanging loops at the top of the rainfly. The entire process took about two minutes to complete. Breakdown was simple and, even more importantly, packing the Nightfall was extremely easy. This is the only tent that I have ever been able to put back in the bag on the first try!
Overall, I feel that Slumberjack did a tremendous job with the Nightfall series. They really hit the nail on the head with quality and function at an affordable price. Even if you are currently using a roof top tent, this would be a great backup for emergencies (we always carry a backup in case our larger tent is damaged or can’t be staked due to terrain). The Fast-Pitch feature could also function as a sunshade for the beach. The opportunities are limited only by the imagination. If you are in the market for a lightweight tent, give the Nightfall a close look.
Ease of setup
High quality tent stakes
Easy to pack
Tent poles are directional
Packed Weight: 5 lbs, 10 oz
Fast Pitch Weight: 3 lbs, 9 oz
Interior Space: 31.4 sq ft
Peak Height: 39.5”
Packed Size: 6.5” x 21”
Tent Fabric: wall 40D; floor 68D; fly 66D polyester
Tent Poles: 7001 series aluminum x3
For more information on the SJK Nightfall tent, visit slumberjack.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on this website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”