Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 Tent Review

Product Rating: 
Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 Tent - In Box
Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 Tent - Carry Bag
Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 Tent - Tent, Pole, Stakes, Guylines
Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 Tent - Back
Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 Tent - Front
Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 Tent - Side
Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 Tent - Water Puddle


The Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 is a lightweight 2-person backpacking tent featuring simple one pole setup for 3 season use. A trekking pole can be substituted to cut down on weight. This single wall tent features two zippered mesh vents in the roof, a mesh vent at the feet, and a mesh door. There are also inner mesh storage pockets and a vestibule to store gear. It is seam sealed and coated for weather resistance.


Size: 5' W x 7'3" L x 46" H
Vestibule: 3' x 3'
Body Material: 190T Polyester, 800 mm
Floor Material: 190T Polyester, 1500 mm
Stakes: Steel x10
Pole: Steel x1
Weight: 3 lbs. 9 oz. (1.6 kg)
Min. Weight: 2 lbs. 13 oz. (1.3 kg)

In The Field:

The phrase, "You get what you pay for" is an understatement with the Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 backpacking tent. Its inexpensive price equates to poor quality, poor design, and poor function. The concept is great, but Hi-Tec was not able to deliver a usable tent with the V-Lite 2.

The V-Lite 2 setup is straightforward. The instructions clearly describe the process. After unrolling the tent, it gets staked down in six locations. Then four guylines get attached and staked out. Finally the included steel pole (or your own trekking pole) is put in place. There is enough room for two people, but their sleeping bags will touch the tent walls.

I setup the tent in my backyard the day before a light rainstorm came through. There were light winds, but the tent stayed put. The real test came after the rain started. About a quarter inch of rain fell overnight and into the next morning. Unfortunately the tent let in enough water to create several puddles. The largest was in the back of the tent where its design does not allow for a taught pitch. Instead, the tent fabric sags and water pools up on the outside of the fabric. Rain also pooled up to a lesser extent on the exterior sides (also not taught enough). The pooling water creates too much static pressure for the waterproof coating and water leaks in. Due to the amount of water inside, I suspect the seams may leak as well. Additional waterproof coatings and seam sealer may help, but the flawed design will ultimately lead to wet nights.

Final Thoughts:

I am extremely disappointed in the Hi-Tec V-Lite 2 tent. I cannot recommend it to anyone. Its saggy design just begs rain to pool up and leak inside. If you plan to experience zero rain while backpacking this tent might work for you, but there are many better options. I recommend steering clear of this tent despite the attractive price tag. It's available from Big 5 Sporting Goods.



gg4scouts, Mon, 04/11/2011 - 16:01

In response to the earlier review, I also purchased this tent at Big 5 Sporting Goods for $34.99 - however I was looking for this type tent for awhile and most that have a tent pole you can exchange with hiking stick are very expensive. I wasn't expecting high quality to begin with. I have another light weight tent by Swiss Gear that sets up similarly, but doesn't have the height this one has and you can't use a substituted pole.

I agree this tent would not be great in heavy rain, but it is a reasonable light weight, low cost option for summer, light wind and light moisture outings. We used it for 3 nights on a camping trip recently and were very satisfied. It was comfortable protection on chilly nights. Additionally, we noticed if the vents were not velcroed open properly the condensation was really bad inside, but with the vents open it was not an issue.

jloomis, Mon, 04/18/2011 - 09:13

Thanks for your comments. I agree that this is a reasonably light weight and inexpensive tent for good weather backpacking.

Ryan, Tue, 06/07/2011 - 12:11

I purchased this tent from Big-5 as well and have found it to be pretty decent. We used it a couple of weekends back and it served us well. The temperature got down to about 45 degrees Fahrenheit and it stayed considerably less chilly inside. We also had about 1/4" of rain drop on us and had no problem with water getting in. I had to make sure that the guy wires (ties) were pulled extremely tight and I secured them with some rocks near our campsite and we didn't have too much problem with sagging. The structure is almost entirely dependent on this. Not bad for a weekend backpacking trip, though.

jloomis, Fri, 06/10/2011 - 09:16

Thanks for your insight. I imagine there is some variation in in manufacturing of these inexpensive tents. It sounds like you have a better one than I tested. No matter how tight I had the guy lines, I was unable to get the tent taught enough to not sag and collect water.

Anonymous, Wed, 05/14/2014 - 14:48

The worst tent I've ever owned. Gave up setting it up. Froze all night at 12,000 ft looking for another kind of tent now.

Michael, Thu, 04/05/2012 - 16:23

I just spent three nights in NorCal with this tent and it did great. Honestly, it probably did great only because of my standard modification. I cover all my tents with an 8x6 tarp and this tent, with it's spikey centerpiece, makes it easier than most backpacking tents to get a properly secured tarp through it's grommet. I wasn't to fond of the sagging as well. Tightened the ropes in every direction possible, but there would always be a little droop or some odd fold somewhere. Luckily my old tent has a 4 foot collapsable and flexible pole it used to create a forward awning. I took it and shoved into the tent as deep as it would go to get taut. The ends of that pole are a little pointy so I padded them w/ bandanas to protect the edge of the floors. Now the tent is a fully realized ONE MAN backpacking tent. I would never want to share the space in this tent with another soul unless she was my soulmate. And then, she better not tussle around too much.

P.S. All tents' waterproofing sucks. Tarps are the only way to go. $10 a piece. They even make camouflage ones now. I'll bring 3 tarps 8x6 with me on all trips. One's my footprint, another the tent cover, and the last one's an awning over the fire or double coverage in stormy storms. I hate being wet.

Jason, Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:48

I used this tent for a week long backpacking trip in the mountains. It sets up easily provided the ground is soft enough to set stakes. The center pole did not fit--any closer than 9 inches from the zipper and it would pull the stakes out. I really liked the vestibule as it kept the inside of the tent clean and helped keep out some really aggressive bugs.

The weather was dry so I did not experience the tent's ability to keep out the rain. I'm glad about this because the tent never got really tight and I could picture water pooling at the foot.

I liked the size--it's very roomy for one person.

jloomis, Mon, 08/06/2012 - 14:50

Well said. I agree the V-Lite is a fine inexpensive lightweight backpacking tent for good weather trips. It just depends on your needs.

I think a good option for an upgrade would be The North Face Asylum Bivy. It's a one person hybrid bivy/tent that weights under 2 lbs! Eventually I will post a review on it. I have seen it on sale online for $130 - 140.

g bains, Sat, 12/01/2012 - 18:20

took this tent to the cucamonga wilderness third stream campground. On a 20° night stayed very warm with 0° sleeping bag. easy setup, very light. if pitched correctly very good tent.

cabman82, Thu, 05/09/2013 - 20:38

I bought this tent because it's light and priced very affordably, and i liked the footprint and 1 pole basic design. I replace the provided pole with one of my treking poles. After setting it up the first time I found it sagged near the back and at the sides as others have mentioned. The first overnight trial was a fail for the design. My 11yr old son and I tried it out overnight in the front yard...it was a little cramped for two people but fine for sleeping. The night was damp and chilly -mid 40's and a light rain fell. I didn't notice any leaking but the condensation buildup was so terrible our bags got very wet from touching the sides and from sagging in the foot area.
My solution for the sagging is attaching a small plastic clamp with a guyline to each side and staking the guylines. For the foot area I attach another clamp with guyline to the tent top about 20" up from the back vent wall, then using a treking pole positioned about a foot behind the tent, I pull the guyline up and around the treking pole and then down to another stake. These three additional tension points make a huge improvement. I've used the tent twice since and been very happy with it. I didn't get the condensation inside either of those times, probably due to leaving the vestable unzipped so air could circulate inside better.
i'm planning to carry and use this tent on a 7 day backpacking trip in Yosemite this summer. I believe it will perform just fine, but i will seal the seams before i leave to ensure no leaks during the anticipated rain storms. Also, I plan to sew nylon webbing loops onto the tent at the three additional tension points to cut out the plastic clamps.

skycall, Wed, 05/22/2013 - 10:01

I have this tent. I do a lot of backpacking and saw this inexpensive tent and purchased it at Big-5. It has major sag problems. I have a Northface Tadpole 23. I took the 2 gold poles that run front to rear cross corner to corner. I fit the ends with rubber automotive tubing that was formed at a 90 degree bend. I put those on the ends of the poles and after staking only the front corners at the door line, I put the poles inside corner to corner with the rear tubing up and outside of the small post that is sewn into the back end of the tent. The front tubes go outside but point rear and the tent partially stands up. Place the hiking pole set at 115 mm in the center handle up and it stands up all the way. Stake out the front vestibule and stake the guy lines at a 45 degree angle front and rear and it's a tight tent. I put 2 velcro strips around where the poles cross. It just floats there but adds a place to hang stuff. The poles inside makes for a great clothes hanger.

cabman82, Thu, 05/30/2013 - 20:27

Hey Skycall, what do the two extra poles add to the tent weight? The 3 guylines I add in my mod require 3 extra stakes and some lightweight cord...less than 2 oz more.

Post new comment

Disclaimer: You are responsible for informing yourself of the hazards of backcountry travel and taking the necessary precautions. Loomis Adventures may not be held liable.