ProView – Mountainsmith Bear Creek 2 Tent
The Mountainsmith Bear Creek 2 tent is a highly breathable, fully-covered tent that gives ample room for two sleepers. For once, a 2-person tent that’s actually made for two people! Whether you are camping in the desert or hanging out at the Bonnaroo music festival this tent will not weigh you down or take up prime real estate in the trunk.
Fit and Size
I am 6’2” and sleeping in a tent can be, at times, a miserable experience. I have had too many “two-person” tents that would only comfortably fit 1.5 people or people under 6″ tall. I would not be surprised if the head designer of the Bear Creek 2 was someone my size. The length of the tent is 92 inches and width of 56 inches. This means that I could sleep comfortably in this tent without getting cold feet from touching the end of the tent or pushing my tentmate to the wall. All this (plus a supplied ground tarp) fits in a 17”x7” stuff sack and weighs only 4lbs 3oz. The tent has one door and one vestibule which was just big enough for a 40L duffle bag – not a huge vestibule but it still boasts 5 square feet.
The Bear Creek 2 is a versatile warm weather tent that provides ample room for the 2 residents. I became a tarp user while camping primarily because of my height and my disinterest in carrying the weight of a tent that I did not fit in. When I started using the Bear Creek 2 I was pleased to find out that there are tents made for people who want to (or have to) have a roomier sleeping experience. With 30.5 sq. ft. of floor space, the Bear Creek 2 will make sure you do not force your tentmate up the wall and will keep both your head and your feet off the tent (as long as you are shorter than 92 inches).
Another huge plus of the Bear Creek 2 is the supplied ground tarp and fast-fly set up opportunity. This means the rain fly clips directly to the four corners of the ground tarp and while utilizing the poles, the fly can be raised without the use of the actual tent body. So, if you aren’t terribly worried about bugs and you just want a little protection from the elements then this set up is crucial. I thoroughly enjoyed the fast fly set up while camping at Indian Creek because it gave the added protection from the wind and sand without needing to pack or carry the tent body.
The tent is quick and easy to set up and has 3 additional guy lines for those high wind/inclement weather trips. The great feature of these guy lines are the included tension lock mechanisms that make tightening these guy lines a breeze: simply pull the cord to tighten and the mechanism locks the cord in place. The downside was the two stake-down points on the long sides of the tent did not come with guy lines and I had a hard time getting the loops close enough to the ground to get them properly staked. I went ahead and added my own accessory cord to the loops and this allowed the tent to have proper tautness, thus keeping the fly off the sides of the tent.
What I love about the Mountainsmith Bear Creek 2 Tent
- Ample interior square footage and length means you will not feel overly cramped in this two-person tent
- Quick fly set up means you can cut your trail weight significantly without sacrificing protection from the elements
- Low weight and low volume means you do not need to give up too much space in the trunk or duffle bag
Room for Improvement
- No ceiling storage: the tent does have two corner mesh pockets but I have always felt the ceiling compartment is the best way to organize loose items and keep them out of the way
- As with most tents, the provided stakes are cheap and flimsy. Best to upgrade your stakes to the Mountainsmith V-stakes for increased durability
The Final Word
This tent won over my heart when it comes to simple, lightweight camping. No need to lug around a tent that takes up too much space and never fits back into its supplied stuff sack. The Bear Creek 2 will keep you covered as you enjoy its ample interior space.
About the Gear Tester
Patrick Betts is the Technical Director at Front Range Climbing Company and is based in Moab, Utah. He has been in the Outdoor Industry since 2009 and guides year-round in Colorado, Utah, and beyond. When he is not guiding, you will find him traveling to climbing destinations around the world. Patrick is an experienced adventure photographer who enjoys taking photos of people pushing their own limits and capturing the landscapes of the areas that rock climbing takes you. Follow along @adventurethrulens