There are a lot of cool things out there that make us wonder — do they really work? In our I Tried It series, we set out to use them in the real world and have determined that, in fact, they really do.
On Trial: Fatboy Miasun Tent
Tester: Bridget Clegg, sunburn avoider and fair-weather outdoorsman
The Brief: As a New York City resident, I can't really call myself an "outdoors girl," but I do love a park hang and occasional beach trip. One of the major things holding me back from the great outdoors is the exposure to direct sunlight, and the cycle of sweat and sunscreen that ensues. With Fatboy's Miasun tent, I no longer need to haul an umbrella to the beach or vie for that one good spot under the tree.
I've never considered lugging a typical beach umbrella on my commute to Fort Tilden or Rockaway Beach, but this foldable tent is so portable! At the weight and dimensions of a picnic blanket, the Miasun fits into a beach bag or a bike basket, and just as easily tucks away into storage at home. This means it's a piece of gear I'll actually use.
I enlisted my boyfriend to help me set it up during our first beach trip this summer. It was helpful to have an extra hand setting up the stakes the first time in the sand so you can get the opposing force right to keep the fabric taught. Much like a camping tent, there are rods that snap into line for the base, and stakes that hold the fabric down over it. There are three set of grommet holes so you can pitch it in different positions, depending on your sun preference. It was much easier to set up on my own in the park where the stakes went into grass.
Two people fit comfortably underneath, where it feels like a breezy pillow fort. I even felt a little more at ease in my sunscreen application loop knowing that the canvas blocks 96% of UVA and UVB rays.
Packing up the tent takes only a couple of minutes. The segmented rods and corded stakes tuck into the built-in pocket, and the canvas folds and snaps neatly into its original envelope shape. Toss it into your bag and you're good to go.
Closing Argument: I've never been able to lay out in the sun for long periods of time, but the Miasun tent keeps me comfortable for hours without the closed-in feeling of an actual tent. The price point is a bit steep, but I know it's going to be making my time outside infinitely more comfortable for many sweaty seasons to come.
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