The Bottom Line: The Trail Ridge 2 is Kelty's tw- person tent with spaciousness in mind. With nearly vertical walls, a floor stretching nearly 7.5 feet by 5 feet, and three aluminum poles to help pitch the tent into a position of maximized interior space, the Trail Ridge 2 opts to be the Cadillac of two-person camping tents. The Kelty Trail Ridge 2 is a competitively priced two-person tent that is great for those whose camping habits focus more on comfort and relaxation.
Right away, what's noticeable is that Kelty's Trail Ridge 2 is making no attempts to be a backcountry or backpacking tent. Coming packed into a rectangular case, it's solid bulk is meant to be overlooked by those looking for the most efficient use of weight and space, but leaped upon by those who are looking for a more comfortable and spacious two-person sleeping situation.
Straight out of the bag, the Trail Ridge 2 includes 3 aluminum poles, stakes and guy lines, footprint, tent and rain fly. The body of the tent itself is mostly mesh, so the Trail Ridge 2 is not for the serious winter camper either.
It sets up quickly with aluminum poles that are color-coordinated with the corners of the tent into which they fit. This leaves no guessing as to where the poles go, and it saves you the time of wondering whether or not you're holding the front or the back. From here, small clips twist into place on the tent poles with a snug locking fit, and I've yet to experience any issues at all with these. The exposed pole design allows for a fast set-up and take-down. Once the tent is up, a third, short aluminum pole fits through a nylon sleeve near the top of the tent, clipping on to help spread the crown of the tent wide and providing the greatest use for interior space.
I was able to lay my large sleeping bag completely across the tent floor, and there was no feeling of being cramped or tight in anyway. I could fully sit up inside the tent.
Nothing about the Trail Ridge 2 feels like it is using state-of-the-art materials. In fact, the materials feel like they could place the tent on shelves next to standard outdoor camping gear, or fit them on the floor beside much more sleek and lightweight high end co-op type stores. Though not lightweight, the mesh - which makes up the majority of the surface area of the tent walls - feels strong.
I'm not likely to throw this into a bag with limited room on a hike where I'm worried about shaving off weight. But to pull up to a camp site, pull this from the back of my car, set it up, and fit two people comfortably inside, that's what this was designed for.
Everything packs down pretty small, except for the rain fly, which is impossible to refold smoothly. Two large doors - one on each side - allow for each person to come and go easily. And if stuck in the rain at all, the rain fly stakes down with some space from the tent doors, allowing you to cover some gear with the fly in addition to the tent.