Tested on an extensive splitboarding trip around the Rockies, the Access 2 earned a high score from our test team as well as the accolade “Best 2-Person Ski Touring Tent.” That said, camping solo in the Access 2 is definitely preferable for larger skiers and splitboarders; with two adults and winter gear, the Access 2 can be cramped.
If camping with a partner, however, and you divide the Access 2 up into your packs, each person is looking at approximately 2 lbs extra weight. That’s nothing on the skintrack, especially when compared to your average winter camping tent in this price range. The Access is also burly enough for stormy conditions, and spacious enough to sleep comfortably (so long as you stash gear in the vestibule and you’re both under 6’ tall), making it ideal for multi-day backcountry skiing missions.
The Access 2 is heavier than ultralight 3-season tents, but only by a pound or two; the fact that this 4-season, 2-wall tent comes in at 4 lbs and 1 oz is nothing short of mindblowing. Not only is the tent lightweight, but it’s also warm—an essential element when searching for a winter-ready tent. The design itself is minimalist: there are no extra vents, pockets, or zippers—every aspect of the Access is engineered to be small without sacrificing strength or function. A car camper might crave more internal pockets, but one tester found the two inner pockets sufficient for headlamp and a book when winter camping.
He also noted that the Access 2’s pole setup and overall architecture makes it strong and steadfast in storms. “It held up perfectly in a windstorm that rattled me all night and strew trees all over the road,” he said. The pole-to-tent attachment system is easy to setup with gloves on, and the attachment points are super secure. He also noted that the tent’s stuff sack is similarly simple to pack with gloves on, and there’s room to spare in order to include a footprint.
The vestibules are the crown jewels of this tent: they are roomy enough for boots, pack, Jetboil, and french press, according to our splitboarding tester. The diagonal zippers passed his unofficial “one-handed-I-have-to-go-pee-and-it’s-dark-and-freezing-outside” test.
While the Access 2 has adjustable guy lines, they’re a little short for deadman snow anchors. Size of the Access 2 is the main concern, especially if you’re looking to use this tent with two large males. If you’re over 6’0”, the sharp angles at the head and foot of the tent are likely to see fabric come into contact with your sleeping bag—a potential deal breaker if there’s condensation, which can definitely happen with two campers sleeping in the Access.
Favorite Feature: The intended purpose of this tent. The lightweight Access isn’t necessarily our first choice for extended winter camping missions, but the weight makes it extremely attractive for human-powered trips.
Tester Comments: “Even in a howling windstorm, the structure resisted drafts. When I overdressed and woke up sweaty on a different night, the walls had breathed out the moisture, with no condensation dropping on my face.”
Key Attribute: Innovation
Bottom Line: For ski touring, you want a tent that won’t break your back on the approach, and will provide ample shelter when you hunker down at basecamp. The Access 2 meets both of these requirements.
- Light and strong for winter backcountry trips
- Water-resistant fly and floor won't succumb to snow
- Easton Syclone poles resist breakage
- Optimized interior space design
- Resists snow-loading to avoid collapse
- Two doors for easy access and exit