The Takeaway: The European budget gear brand has created a tent that lives up to the promise in its name—it’s easy to set up and easy to break down.
- The fly is great at blocking out light, which helped us sleep better.
- We appreciated the headroom and interior pockets, even if the tent felt a little narrow.
- Given its construction, the 2 Seconds Easy is heavy and best used for car camping.
Disclaimer: Whenever I test a new car-camping tent for the first time, I like to attempt to erect it without referencing the instructions. Ease of use is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to a tent’s value, of course, but it’s nice to know that when I roll up to a campsite, usually toward the end of the day, I won’t have to spend much time or brainpower setting up.
That kind of accessibility is Decathlon’s thing. The European outdoor and sports gear manufacturer is known for making equipment and apparel at prices within reach for many people, but that still performs. (That’s especially relevant now, as more people—many who may not have outdoors experience—are looking to get outside for socially distanced adventures.) And so, last month, Decathlon released its 2 Seconds Easy tent. As I found during testing, the name is appropriate.
The tent had been in development for a while before 2020, and it works via a system of poles. That’s nothing out of the ordinary, but in the 2 Seconds Easy, the poles are hinged (as opposed to slotting into one another). They come together in two hubs, and connected to these hubs are cords and handles, which lead out through ports in the tent’s fly. Pull the handles, and the tent pops up.
The 2 Seconds Easy rolled out of the stuff sack. And it’s all assembled right out of the bag, with the tent body connected to the poles via hooks and loops, and the fly secured to the poles via Velcro straps. No, it didn’t exactly take two seconds for my wife and me to get the tent up when we first tried. But it was still very easy. We did run into one snag when a hinge on one of the poles kept buckling even as we pulled the handle to pop the tent up, but it cooperated after a few tries and we staked down the corners of the tent.
Second to the ease of setup, my favorite aspect of the 2 Seconds Easy is how dark it is inside. (On its site, Decathlon claims 99 percent darkness.) The fly blocks out almost all light, which helped me get a restful sleep past dawn, when I usually can’t help but wake up in other tents.
The thick polyester fly and heavy construction had me worrying about how hot the inside of the tent would get—even despite the fly having two small vents at the top, and the body having plenty of mesh. We were camping on an early August day, with the temperature in the 70s, and the tent felt stuffy soon after we set it up. So we rolled up one of the fly doors until we were ready to turn in, and I was comfortable with my sleeping bag unzipped as the temperature dropped after dark. If the day were much hotter, who knows. But this also means that the 2 Seconds Easy’s warmth trapping could make this tent well-suited to late-fall, early-spring camping. Decathlon rates the tent as waterproof, though (for better or worse) it didn’t rain while we camped, so I couldn’t evaluate how well it holds up under a downpour.
Inside, headroom was ample. I’m 6-foot-2 and could sit up with plenty of clearance. That said, the tent does fit two people but is a tad narrow: We had enough room to wedge our sleeping pads right up against each other and the walls of the tent, less when the dog tried to shimmy between us.
Four mesh pockets provided storage space for phones and other things we needed close at hand, while a cord across the peak of the tent provided the ideal spot from which to hang a lantern.
When it can time to pack up camp, all we had to do was remove the stakes and guy lines, push the buttons (really the tops of the pole hubs) through the ports so the poles collapsed, fold the corners of the tent in, and tuck everything back into the stuff sack.
That sack has the cinch cord and wide opening on the side instead of the top—a small detail but one I appreciated, since it made it easier to put the tent away at the end of our trip, requiring little folding.
Taking all that into account, along with the sub-$200 price, the 2 Seconds Easy is well worth considering if you want a tent that requires minimal fuss to set up. You won’t be schlepping it into the backcountry, given its weight. But it’s in line with the rest of Decathlon’s products: not intimidating to use for people who may just be getting into camping without making too much of a dent in their bank account.
Decathlon 2 Seconds Easy Tent
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