Hey folks. This week on the blog, we’re taking a look at one of Naturehike’s 4-season tents: The Naturehike Star River 2. The Star River looks capable of keeping you dry and warm in most conditions, so we thought it was about time to give our two cents. Let’s dive in and take a look at the specs.
Design & Materials
The Naturehike Star River 2 is a freestanding, 4-season 2-man tent. It comes in 3 colors – grey, green and orange – with the option of an attached ‘snow skirt’. It has a cross beam construction similar to the Cloud Up, but with 2 side entrances rather than a single front. These 2 entrances introduce extra airflow into the tent, and there’s a velcro strap window to get even more. In short, you’re not going to have to worry about condensation in this tent!
The outer fly is made from 20D Nylon, with a hydrostatic head rating of 4000mm. Although this is better than the more standard 2000mm, it’s still a little short of the 5000mm that some other 4-season tents offer. Still, it should be enough for all but the very wettest weather.
The specs above both apply to the green and grey versions of the tent. The orange version is made of 210T Polyester, with a 3000mm head. The poles and pegs are both made of Aluminium.
Size & Weight
The pack size for the Star River 2 is 45 x 15 cm. There’s 215 x 135 cm of internal floor space, which should be enough to comfortably accommodate 2 people. That’s assuming you’re using the vestibule for gear storage of course. The headroom inside the tent is 110 cm, so you should be able to sit up comfortably.
When it comes to weight, this is going to depend on which version of the tent you go for. The green and grey versions both weigh in at 2.1 kg. If you want the version with the snow skirt, that bumps the weight to 2.25kg. The orange, with its 210T Polyester design, weighs in at 2.35kg. 2.35kg grams is a little on the heavy side for my liking – even for a 2-man, 4-season tent. 2.1kg grams seems pretty reasonable though – we’ve certainly seen less capable tents that weigh a lot more. So you might be best served by ditching the snow skirt, unless you really need it.
To pitch this tent, you lay the groundsheet out first and then clip the poles in at the corners. You then bring the groundsheet up and clip it onto the poles at the attachment points. Next comes the cross-beam: a short pole that comes across the short side of the tent to help with stability. Once it’s attached, you drape the outer fly over the top of the tent and clip it in at the corners. There are some adjustable straps to help tension the fly if needed.
But the Star River also allows you to reverse the pitching process a little. If it’s raining then you can pitch ‘outer first’, get under cover, then attach the inner tent from inside.
Space & Storage
The Star River is a rare example of a 2-man tent that’s actually realistic about space. Most ‘2-man’ tents tend to be 1-man plus gear, at best. But the Star River actually seems well-proportioned – 2 people should have plenty of room lying side by side. It doesn’t leave much room for gear storage inside the tent, but this brings us neatly onto our next point: the vestibules.
Given that this thing has two separate entrances – and that each has a vestibule – it’s possible for you and a buddy to each have their own entrance and gear storage area. The vestibule space on each side isn’t huge, but it should be enough to accommodate most 65-liter packs without any condensation issues. This makes the Star River a lot closer to a ‘true’ 2-man offering than most other tents I’ve seen!
Wallet & Weight Impact
The base price and weight of the Naturehike Star River are a little higher than that of the Cloud Up, which seems to be its closest analog. The main thing you seem to be getting for that trade-off is 2 entrances and 2 vestibules, along with slightly more stability and weatherproofing. If you’re camping with a buddy and want to split the weight between you, then the extra few hundred grams is probably a non-issue anyway.
And let’s face it: when it comes to 4-season tents, big-name western brands are still orders of magnitude more expensive than even the priciest offerings from brands such as Naturehike.
Naturehike Star River: Verdict
If all you’re after is a decent 1-2 man tent that can cope with moderate conditions, then The Natutrehike Star River may actually be overkill for you. In that case, you’d probably better off with the Cloud Up, which can save you some money as it has a lower price point. But if you’re hitting the trail with a friend, and/or expecting trickier weather, then that’s where we can see the Star River becoming a preferable shelter option. Most of all, this tent is designed to be able to stand up to the elements. A little bit of extra weight trade-off is certainly worth it if that is your priority.
That’s all for now folks -I hope you enjoyed this Naturehike Star River 2 review. What are your thoughts on this tent? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more tips, tricks, and gear reviews from the trail. Until next time!