Review: First Ascent Lunar Tent

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Photo credit: First Ascent

The First Ascent Lunar is a 2-person, 3-season tent that offers amazing value for money and punches well above its 3-season rating, comfortably handling buckets of rain and near-gale-force winds.

Quick Specs

Size: 2-person tent
Weight: 2823g (without carry bag)
Waterproof rating: Flysheet: 2000mm HH; Floor: 3000mm HH
Structure: 2 poles; 2 intersections
Price: R2199 (at time of writing)

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The Lunar being tested way beyond its 3-season rating. Photo credit: First Ascent

Weight

Weighing in at a total of 2823g without the carry bag, the Lunar comes in at the upper scale for a 2-person 3-season tent. Although being marketed as a 3-season tent, it really is a hybrid 3/4-season tent. It offers a 210T (70D) PU Polyester flysheet, which is the gold standard for 4-season tents, and goes even further with 150D PU Oxford Polyester floor which doubles up on what most 4-season tents offer – a very useful feature for our abrasive sandstone. This tent will outlast and outperform just about any tent in its category, and for that you pay with a few 100-grams extra.

Flysheet: 929g
Tent inner: 1126g
Poles: 577g
Pegs: 191g

Ease of Pitching

The ease of pitching this tent is one of things I loved about it. The Lunar is symmetrical with two identical poles that run through sleeves. I could pitch the tent, securing all critical points, in 4 minutes 30 seconds and a little bit extra to secure the four guy lines.

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Photo credit: First Ascent

The flysheet is secured to the main structure by means of clips with tensioning straps.

Inside the Tent

The sleeping quarters are quite snug but perfectly suitable as a 2-person tent. The storage compartments are at the head and feet section, but I wasn’t aware of it pressing against my feet when I slept, possibly due to the generous length of the tent.

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The headroom is drastically reduced by the steep angles created by the pole structure. However, this is easily overcome by opening the doors to allow for some elbow room, while still being under the vestibule.

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Image credit: First Ascent

Ventilation

There are two vents in the fly sheet – one on either end of the tent. There was a fair amount of condensation build-up on the inside of the vestibules, but nothing that affected us inside the tent.

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Entrances and vestibules

The Lunar has entrances on either side of the tent, which makes for easy gear management, as each person has their own vestibule. Also, on hotter evenings, both vestibules can be opened, allowing for a lovely draft to move through the tent.

The doors open in a non-traditional downward fashion. I couldn’t think of any specific reason for this or benefit, but it seemed to work okay, other than taking up a tiny bit of floor space. Once rolled up, it can be secured with two toggles.

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The vestibules have two zips on either side, which open up a wide centre panel. This is great for clear, warm days, but impractical for rainy days as the top edge of the open vestibule is set in deeper than the bottom of the tent, causing water to drip off the fly sheet into the tent. This can be overcome by using one of the side vestibule panels as the entrance, leaving the majority of the vestibule intact and allowing for usable space in the rain.

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Overall construction

I was amazed at how solid this tent was in extreme wind and rain. It was tested under the same conditions as the First Ascent Peak Tent and handled 60-80km/h wind and torrential rain without any hassle. The fact that the two poles cross twice, more than doubles the tent’s structural strength over that of a traditional dome tent.

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With all the usual boxes ticked, like double stitched and sealed seems and reinforced high-stress points, the 150D PU Oxford Polyester floor also feels like it will stand up to a lot of abuse.

The tent was supplied for review by First Ascent and can be purchased directly from them on their website.

About Arno van der Heever 20 Articles
Co-founder of Hiking South Africa, Arno loves the outdoors and finds joy in sharing it with others. He is a qualified mountain guide, a keen rock climber and has a "thing" for technical backpacks and footwear.

1 Comment

  1. Looks like a awesome tent price seems to be great value for money wish I had one

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