Review of the Robens Voyager 2EX tent — small, light, fully-featured
No tent can ever be perfect for all occasions, so Katja and I own a couple of them. Whenever we travel by car and don’t care about bulk and weight, we always take our family-size Robens Valley Lodge with us (which we’ll describe in a future article). But every time we hike or backpack, we take our with us. We’ve tried many tents, but for us the Voyager 2EX is the tent with the best combination of size, weight and comfort which we’ve ever slept in.
To us the most important aspects of any tent are its size, weight, water resistance, ease of setting up and tearing down, wind resistance, the quality of materials and workmanship, and finally its price. And of those, water resistance is paramount, so let’s start there.
Water Resistance (WR)
Like all products in the Voyager 2EX has taped seams and is built from an outer material with 5 000 mm WR and a bottom material with 10 000 mm WR. These values are much higher than those from competing manufacturers, and we’ve never had any problems with getting moisture, let alone rain, in our Robens tents.
The Robend 2EX has an extra-large entrance area (Robens calls it “porch”), which is great for storing two large backpacks, your day-clothes, hiking boots, etc. especially when it’s raining outside! In this case you enter your tent with your wet backpack, clothes and shoes and close the “door” behind you. The porch is large enough for two people to undress, spread out their things a bit and then enter the “dry bedroom” in their comfortable PJs.
Even with the extra bit of added size and weight (compared to the non-porch Robens Voyager), the 2EX remains highly portable, and we recommend it specifically for hiking trips where you carry your tent in your backpack.
The Voyager 2EX features very good ventilation, which reduces condensation from your breath and body heat on the inside and transports any bad smells to the outside. It also has and four inside pockets which are perfect for storing head-lamps, maps, reading material, car keys, a wallet, etc.).
The materials are of very high quality. The mesh of the insect screens is very fine, and keeps even the tiny Scottish midges securely outside of the sleeping area.
The tent is very easy to put up and there is no way to mix up the metal poles because they are color coded (silver poles in the front and back openings, red pole in the red opening in the middle). We’ve used the tent in freezing temperatures, in rain and snow (Iceland), on the beach, on festivals and in the national parks of Norway and Scotland (carrying it in our backpack several days in a row). It performed flawlessly every time, and we won’t hesitate to buy it again or to recommend it to anyone who is looking for a small, lightweight and comfortable tent for two people.
Is It Perfect?
Almost. We can think of only a few shortcomings:
- Its inner or outer material should be darker — on summer mornings too much sunlight comes through and wakes you up too early. But this problem is easy to solve by putting on a small blindfold when the light gets too bright.
- Having a tunnel construction the poles of the tent do not cross, so the tent always needs at least 3 pegs in the ground to stay up. But this is a small price to pay, since the alternative is a geodesic design which would make the tent higher and poles much longer. And both of those would lead to extra size and weight.
Similar Robens Products
- if you are looking to reduce your weight to a bare minimum and are willing to give up the extra-large entrance area.
- if you want to travel with a child or a third adult.