Sea to Summit Telos TR2 Review – Is This the Perfect Backpacking Tent?

Discover the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 tent: lightweight, spacious, and perfect for backpacking adventures with innovative design and superior ventilation.
Sea to Summit Telos TR2

Sea to Summit Telos TR2

Unveil the Spacious, Lightweight, and High-Performing Features of the Sea to Summit Telos TR2
The Sea to Summit Telos TR2 is an exceptional backpacking tent that combines innovative design, superior ventilation, and spacious comfort, making it a top choice for outdoor enthusiasts.


Weather Resistance
Space & Livability
Weight & Packability
Durability & Build Quality
Ventilation & Condensation Management


  • Spacious interior
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Superior ventilation
  • Durable materials
  • Easy setup
  • Multiple access points
  • Weather resistance


  • Price
  • Narrow footprint at foot end
  • Complexity for new users
  • Limited color options


Brief Overview

The Sea to Summit Telos TR2 is a lightweight, two-person tent designed for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts who value both comfort and functionality. This tent is a part of Sea to Summit’s high-performance tent lineup, crafted to provide reliable shelter in a variety of conditions without compromising on weight or packability. Ideal for backpacking trips, weekend hikes, and even multi-day trekking adventures, the Telos TR2 is engineered to meet the demands of serious outdoor adventurers.

Initial Impressions and Context of Testing

Upon first encountering the Sea to Summit Telos TR2, its sleek design and thoughtful features immediately stand out. The tent’s unique Tension Ridge system, which optimizes interior space and improves ventilation, is a notable highlight. Unpacking the tent reveals high-quality materials and components, indicating a well-engineered product.

Testing the Telos TR2 took place over several weeks in diverse environments, ranging from the humid forests of the Pacific Northwest to the windy alpine zones of the Rockies. This variety of settings provided a comprehensive understanding of the tent’s performance under different weather conditions and terrain types. Initial setup was intuitive, thanks to the color-coded poles and straightforward instructions, making it accessible even for less experienced campers.

The first impression of the Telos TR2 is that it successfully balances lightweight construction with robust performance features, positioning it as a versatile and dependable choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enhance their camping experience.

Technical Specifications

Key Features and Technology

The Sea to Summit Telos TR2 is packed with advanced features and innovative technology designed to enhance the backpacking experience. Key features include:

  • Tension Ridge System: This proprietary system increases the tent’s interior height and volume, providing a more comfortable living space without adding extra weight.
  • DAC Featherlite NSL Poles: High-strength, lightweight aluminum poles that are both durable and easy to set up.
  • Quick-Connect Foot System: Simplifies the pitching process and ensures the tent remains secure and stable in various conditions.
  • FairShare Storage System: Allows the tent components to be divided into two separate storage bags, enabling shared carrying among hikers and easier packing.

Design and Materials

The design of the Telos TR2 reflects Sea to Summit’s commitment to creating functional, user-friendly gear.

  • Tent Body: Made from durable 15D polyester mesh and 20D ripstop nylon, the body balances breathability and strength.
  • Fly Fabric: Crafted from 15D ripstop nylon with a silicone/PU coating, the fly offers excellent waterproofing and UV resistance.
  • Floor Material: The floor is constructed from 20D ripstop nylon with a PU coating, ensuring durability and water resistance.

Dimensions and Weight

The Telos TR2 is designed to be lightweight yet spacious enough for two people.

  • Floor Dimensions: 84 inches (length) x 52 inches (width at head) x 42 inches (width at foot)
  • Peak Height: 43 inches, thanks to the Tension Ridge System
  • Packed Size: 18.5 inches x 5.5 inches
  • Weight:
    • Minimum trail weight: 3 lbs 10 oz (1.64 kg)
    • Packed weight: 3 lbs 14 oz (1.76 kg)

Ventilation and Weather Resistance

The Telos TR2 excels in both ventilation and weather resistance.

  • Ventilation: Features multiple vents, including the unique Apex Vent at the top of the Tension Ridge, ensuring optimal airflow and reducing condensation.
  • Weather Resistance: The tent’s fly and floor materials are designed to withstand heavy rain and strong winds, providing reliable protection in various weather conditions.

The Sea to Summit Telos TR2 is a testament to thoughtful engineering and high-quality materials, making it a top choice for backpackers seeking a balance of lightweight design, spacious comfort, and reliable performance in the backcountry.

Performance Evaluation

Fabric Performance

  • Breathability: The Sea to Summit Telos TR2 excels in breathability, thanks to its extensive use of 15D polyester mesh in the tent body. This material allows for excellent airflow, reducing the buildup of condensation inside the tent, even in humid conditions. The unique Apex Vent, located at the top of the Tension Ridge, further enhances ventilation by allowing warm, moist air to escape efficiently.
  • Waterproofing: The Telos TR2 features a 15D ripstop nylon fly with a silicone/PU coating, offering robust waterproofing capabilities. During testing, the tent performed admirably in heavy rain, keeping the interior dry and comfortable. The 20D ripstop nylon floor with PU coating provides additional waterproofing, ensuring no moisture seeps through from the ground.
  • Durability: Despite its lightweight design, the Telos TR2 is remarkably durable. The 20D ripstop nylon used for the floor and the reinforced seams contribute to its resilience against abrasion and wear. The DAC Featherlite NSL poles add to the tent’s sturdiness, maintaining structural integrity in windy conditions.

Weather Resistance

  • Wind Resistance: The tent’s structure, supported by the DAC Featherlite NSL poles and the Tension Ridge system, provides excellent stability in windy conditions. During testing in alpine zones with strong gusts, the Telos TR2 remained secure and intact, offering reliable shelter.
  • Rain Protection: The waterproof fly and floor materials ensure comprehensive protection against rain. The tent’s design includes well-placed guy lines and a robust rainfly that prevents water from entering, even during prolonged downpours.

Practical Features

  • Pockets and Storage: The Telos TR2 includes multiple interior pockets and gear lofts, providing ample storage for personal items. The FairShare Storage System allows the tent components to be divided into two storage bags, facilitating easier packing and distribution of weight among hikers.
  • Zippers: The zippers on the Telos TR2 are high-quality and easy to operate, even with gloves on. They are designed to resist snagging and provide smooth operation, enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Adjustments for Comfort and Utility: The tent features multiple adjustment points, including tensioners on the fly and adjustable stakeout points, allowing users to customize the setup for optimal stability and comfort. The quick-connect foot system simplifies the pitching process, making setup and takedown efficient and hassle-free.

Ease of Setup

Setting up the Telos TR2 is straightforward, thanks to the color-coded poles and intuitive design. The Quick-Connect Foot System and simple clip-on attachments streamline the process, making it accessible for both seasoned hikers and beginners. The tent can be pitched quickly, allowing users to focus more on their outdoor adventure rather than struggling with complicated setup procedures.

Overall, the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 demonstrates outstanding performance across various metrics, making it a reliable and practical choice for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Fit and Comfort

Sizing and Fit

The Sea to Summit Telos TR2 is designed to accommodate two people comfortably, offering a balance of space and weight. With floor dimensions of 84 inches in length, 52 inches at the head, and 42 inches at the foot, the tent provides ample room for most users. The Tension Ridge system significantly enhances interior space, creating vertical walls that maximize headroom and shoulder space. This feature is particularly beneficial for taller individuals, allowing them to sit up comfortably without feeling cramped.

Comfort During Various Activities

  • Sleeping: The spacious interior and thoughtful design make the Telos TR2 an excellent choice for a restful night’s sleep in the backcountry. The generous headroom allows users to move around without feeling restricted, and the vertical sidewalls prevent the claustrophobic sensation often experienced in other two-person tents.
  • Relaxing and Gear Management: The tent’s interior is well-equipped with multiple storage pockets and gear lofts, making it easy to keep essential items organized and within reach. This organization enhances the overall comfort by reducing clutter and making the living space more functional. Additionally, the large vestibules created by the rainfly provide extra storage for gear and boots, keeping the sleeping area clean and dry.
  • Ventilation and Temperature Control: Comfort in the Telos TR2 is further enhanced by its superior ventilation system. The extensive use of mesh and the strategically placed vents ensure excellent airflow, preventing the buildup of condensation and maintaining a comfortable temperature inside the tent. During testing in warm, humid conditions, the tent remained well-ventilated and comfortable, even with two occupants.

Accessibility and Convenience

  • Entry and Exit: The Telos TR2 features two large doors, one on each side of the tent, providing easy access and minimizing disturbance to your tent mate when entering or exiting. The doors are designed to open wide, making it simple to get in and out of the tent, even with bulky gear.
  • Setup and Adjustments: The intuitive setup process and adjustable features contribute to the overall comfort of the Telos TR2. The color-coded poles and Quick-Connect Foot System simplify pitching, while the multiple adjustment points allow users to fine-tune the setup for maximum stability and comfort. These features ensure that the tent can be quickly and easily set up, allowing more time for relaxation and enjoyment of the outdoors.

The Sea to Summit Telos TR2 excels in providing a comfortable and spacious shelter for two people, with thoughtful design elements that enhance the overall camping experience. Whether you’re sleeping, relaxing, or organizing your gear, the Telos TR2 offers a level of comfort that makes it a standout choice for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Pros and Cons


  • Spacious Interior: The Tension Ridge system provides vertical walls and ample headroom, making the tent feel roomy and comfortable for two people.
  • Lightweight and Packable: Weighing only 3 lbs 10 oz for the minimum trail weight, the Telos TR2 is easy to carry, making it ideal for backpacking and long hikes. The FairShare Storage System allows for convenient weight distribution.
  • Superior Ventilation: Extensive mesh panels and the Apex Vent ensure excellent airflow, reducing condensation and keeping the interior comfortable in various climates.
  • Durable Materials: High-quality 20D ripstop nylon for the floor and 15D ripstop nylon for the fly provide excellent waterproofing and durability without adding unnecessary weight.
  • Easy Setup: The color-coded poles, Quick-Connect Foot System, and simple clip-on attachments make setting up the tent quick and hassle-free, even for beginners.
  • Multiple Access Points: Dual doors and large vestibules provide easy access and ample storage space for gear, enhancing the overall convenience and livability of the tent.
  • Weather Resistance: The robust design, reinforced seams, and high-quality materials ensure the tent performs well in adverse weather conditions, providing reliable protection from rain and wind.


  • Price: The Telos TR2 is priced higher than some other two-person tents on the market, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious buyers.
  • Footprint: The tent floor might feel a bit narrow for larger individuals or those who prefer more personal space, especially towards the foot end of the tent.
  • Complexity in Pitching for New Users: While the tent is designed for easy setup, the first-time user might find the Quick-Connect Foot System and Tension Ridge a bit complex initially.
  • Limited Color Options: The tent comes in limited color options, which might not appeal to all users looking for more variety or specific color preferences.

Overall, the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 offers a robust set of features that enhance comfort, durability, and ease of use, making it an excellent choice for serious backpackers. However, potential buyers should consider the higher price point and evaluate if the advanced features justify the investment for their specific needs.

Comparative Analysis

Sea to Summit Telos TR2 vs. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3

The Sea to Summit Telos TR2 and the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 are both highly regarded for their innovative designs and lightweight construction, making them excellent choices for backpackers. The Telos TR2, with its Tension Ridge system, offers superior headroom and vertical walls, providing a spacious interior that feels larger than its footprint suggests. This feature is particularly beneficial for taller hikers or those who appreciate extra room to move around.

In contrast, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 is a three-person tent that offers more space for an additional person or extra gear. It features a high-volume design with pre-bent poles, creating steeper walls and maximizing interior space. While both tents excel in ventilation, the Copper Spur HV UL3 also stands out for its ease of setup with TipLok Tent Buckle technology and the versatility of its dual vestibules for gear storage. However, the Copper Spur HV UL3, being a three-person tent, is slightly heavier, making the Telos TR2 a better option for those prioritizing weight savings on solo or duo backpacking trips.

Sea to Summit Telos TR2 vs. NEMO Dragonfly Osmo 2

Comparing the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 with the NEMO Dragonfly Osmo 2 highlights the differences in design focus and user experience. The Telos TR2’s standout feature is its Tension Ridge system, which increases interior volume and headroom, providing a more comfortable living space. This design also enhances ventilation with the Apex Vent, making it an excellent choice for humid environments.

The NEMO Dragonfly Osmo 2, on the other hand, emphasizes a balance of lightweight construction and durability. The Dragonfly Osmo 2 uses NEMO’s proprietary OSMO fabric, which is designed to be more sustainable and offers better water resistance and stretch than traditional fabrics. The tent’s aggressive arch pole structure creates a stable and roomy interior, and it includes features like multiple gear pockets and a gear loft, adding to its practicality for long-distance backpacking trips.

Both tents perform well in various weather conditions, but the Telos TR2 offers a slight edge in interior space and innovative ventilation, making it ideal for those who prioritize comfort and airflow. Meanwhile, the Dragonfly Osmo 2’s lightweight and durable design make it a strong contender for minimalist backpackers who also value sustainable materials.


The Sea to Summit Telos TR2 is a top-tier choice for backpackers seeking a blend of comfort, innovative design, and reliable performance. Its standout features, such as the Tension Ridge system, offer unmatched interior space and ventilation, making it a superior option for those who prioritize comfort in their outdoor shelter. The lightweight yet durable materials ensure it stands up to various weather conditions, from heavy rain to strong winds, providing dependable protection.

While the Telos TR2 is priced higher than some competitors, its advanced features and thoughtful design justify the investment for serious backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts. Ideal for two-person expeditions, this tent excels in both ease of setup and practical features, such as ample storage and dual access points.

Overall, the Telos TR2 is best suited for those who value a spacious, well-ventilated tent that doesn’t compromise on weight or durability, making it an excellent addition to any backpacking gear collection.

Further reading