Ounces count when you’re stuffing a backpack full of everything you need to survive in the wilderness for days on end. It’s easy enough to cut weight on the margins: to get rid of your extra accessories, ditch the unnecessary T-shirts, consolidate your fuel canisters , or leave behind a few beers.
Where it’s harder to save yourself trail ounces is in the equipment itself: the backpack, stove, sleeping bag, and tent. If those items are heavy to begin with, well, there’s no way to make them any lighter.
This is why ultralight backpacking tents like those made by Sea to Summit are a must-have when taking to the backcountry on a multiday trip. They’re designed with the latest and greatest featherweight (pole) materials. They’re engineered to be as light as possible so that you don’t have to leave the accessories, the clothes, or (thank God) the beverages at home.
And this season, Sea to Summit is adding a brand-new backpacking tent to its lineup, in two different sizes: The Ikos TR2 (two-person) and TR3 (three-person). The brand still has a few details to announce concerning these tents, and we’ll update this article with them as soon as we can.
The Ikos TR Series From Sea to Summit
Ikos TR Tent
- Inner Ultra-lightweight 20D polyester mesh
- Rainfly 68D polyester ripstop
- Waterhead 1,800 mm
- Poles DAC MX
Like other Sea to Summit lightweight tents, the Ikos TR tent sports an inner made from an ultralight 20D polyester mesh. The 68D polyester ripstop rainfly is coated with polyether polyurethane (PeU). PeU is a durable plastic substance that can withstand sudden and dramatic temperature drops without weakening. It also allows the seams to be fully tape-sealed and waterproof.
Environmentally minded backpackers will appreciate the sustainable components Sea to Summit built into the new Ikos TR tents. The brand used chemical-free, flame-resistant fabric and a PFC-free water-repellent finish for the inner. And its anodized aluminum alloy DAC MX poles are “first-to-market,” according to the brand.
Tension Ridge Design: More Headspace
The “TR” in the Ikos TR2 and TR3 tents stands for “Tension Ridge.” Sea to Summit featured the same technology in both its Alto and Telos ultralight tents. Tension Ridge is the brainchild of Jake Lah, the founder and head designer at DAC, a global leader in tent pole manufacturing. It uses an inverted “brow pole” to provide extra interior tent volume.
The Ikos will join those other two tents in utilizing DAC Tension Ridge design . And backpackers who use it will notice the difference. Essentially this pole design and configuration changes the shape of your shelter. It changes it from a conventional slanted wall tent to a boxier, more room-like space.
Sea to Summit describes it like this: “Tension Ridge raises the tent’s shape upward for more usable head-and-shoulder space and creates truly higher doors for easier entry and more vestibule storage.”
Our Telos testers vouch that the added headspace is really nice. It’s easy to sit up, unpack or repack a bag, change your clothes, or organize your gear. The expanded storage space overhead is also a nice addition.
The Telos and the Alto from Sea to Summit utilize DAC poles, while the Ikos will feature DAC MX. They’re both made from ultralight black anodized aluminum. The difference, and the reason the brand is calling these poles “first-to-market,” is that the new DAC MX poles are anodized with a process that is “greener” and more environmentally conscious.
The best part? Unlike the Telos series (TR2), this isn’t a $599 tent. The Ikos can be yours for $399.
Available This Spring
If you go onto the Sea to Summit website right now you cannot purchase an Ikos TR2 or TR3. But come March (or early April) 2023, they will be available on the brand’s website . And check back with GearJunkie for a full review when they finally hit the shelves.
For now, though, you’ll just have to sit on all that excitement.