Howdy folks. This week on the blog, we’re taking a look at an interesting 4-season tent: the Naturehike Star River 2. As the weather here is turning a little cold and wet, so our attention turns to all-weather tents that can keep you warm and dry in bitter conditions. The Star River looks capable of doing just that, so we thought we’d better get around to giving it a look. Let’s take a gander at the specs.
Design & Materials
The Star River 2 is a freestanding, 4-season 2-man tent. It comes in 3 colours – grey, green and orange – with the option of an attached ‘snow skirt’. It has a cross beam construction similar to that of the Cloud Up, but with 2 side – rather than front – entrances. The dual entrances introduce some good airflow into the tent, and there’s also a standard velcro strap window to augment this even further. Basically, condensation will not be an issue in this tent!
The 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 4-season tents offer. Still, it should be enough for all but the wettest conditions.
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 for Star River are made of Aluminium.
Size & Weight
The pack size for the Star River 2 is 45 x 15 cm. In terms of internal floor space, there’s 215 x 135 cm to play with. This should be enough to comfortably accommodate 2 people, assuming you’re using the vestibule for gear storage. The headroom inside the tent is 110 cm, meaning you should be able to sit up comfortably without your head touching the ceiling.
When it comes to weight, this is going to depend on which version of the tent you plump for. The green and grey versions both weigh in at 2100 grams. If you want the version with the snow skirt, that bumps it to 2250 grams. The orange, with its 210T Polyester design, weighs in at 2350 grams. 2350 grams is a little on the heavy side for my liking – even for a 2-man, 4-season tent. 2100 grams seems pretty reasonable though – we’ve certainly seen less capable tents that weigh a lot more.
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 this is attached, the outer fly is draped over the top of the tent and clipped in at the corners of the groundsheet. There are also adjustable straps that help to tension the fly if needed.
But the Star River also allows you to reverse the process a little. If it’s raining, you could clip the outer fly onto a ground mat, get under the cover, then attach the inner tent from inside your dry shelter.
Space & Storage
The Star River is a refreshing 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 when it comes to 2 people sleeping side by side. This won’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 litre 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 is 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 generous entrances and 2 vestibules, along with slightly better 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.
If you’re after a decent 1-2 man tent that can cope with moderate conditions, then the Star River may actually be overkill for you. You’re probably better off with a Cloud Up, which can save you some pennies.
But if you’re going hiking with a friend, and / or expecting trickier weather, then that’s where the Star River seems to come into its own. With the weather starting to turn nasty, it’s a great addition to your gear closet!
Well folks, that’s all for now -I hope you enjoyed this Naturehike Star River 2 review. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more tips, tricks and gear reviews from the trail. Until next time!