ProView – Seek Outside Guardian 2p xl With Stove Jack

Seek Outside makes light but dependable equipment for year-round use, and the Guardian 2P XL is a testament to those values. It offers a huge living space for poor weather, a modular system useful for all seasons, and even a stove jack to heat the tent with one of their tent stoves. Combined with some clever hardware the Guardian is a trekking pole tent for anyone who doesn’t like being cramped up in a small tent.

Seek Outside Guardian 2p xl With Stove Jack

Product Name: Seek Outside Guardian 2p xl With Stove Jack

Product Description: The Guardian is an ultralight two person tent that is lightweight enough for solo trips. With patented zipperless vestibules and dual trekking pole pitch, the Guardian is a spacious and low profile two person backpacking tent. The sewn in stove jack makes this tent stove compatible.

Offer price: MSRP: $314.00

Currency: USD

  • Quality
  • Features
  • Fit
  • Durability
  • Eco-Friendly


The Seek Outside Guardian 2P XL is about the biggest shelter you can get for its low weight and compact size. For those who think size matters most, like modular tarp tents, or want a hot tent, the Guardian is a good option to consider. 



  • Massive footprint 
  • Good ventilation
  • Option for a wood stove
  • Brilliant door design


  • Okay wind resistance
  • Extra features have to be purchased separately
  • Hard to set up in rocky terrain

I’ve used a multitude of tents during my time guiding backpacking, mountaineering, and ski touring in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. As trips get longer, my gear gets lighter which has led me to love trekking pole tents. The weight and space savings are more than appreciated when planning a long trip out. The Guardian packs into a pretty small package but offers a huge amount of room. The first time I set up the Guardian, I realized that it would make an excellent emergency shelter, even capable of larger groups. The second thing I noticed was that there were no obvious doors. My initial confusion was replaced with a fascination for the zipperless doors, which proved to be one of my favorite features of the Guardian. 


The Guardian 2P XL seems like much more than a two-person tent when used without the nest. With its nearly 9’x12’ interior, you could easily keep a small team out of the rain or snow, or in my case, keep gear dry and organized with more than enough room to spread out. I even took a while to realize Seek Outside had intended for users to sleep in between the trekking poles, which means you are less likely to knock it over. 


When it comes to appearance, I prefer my shelter to blend into the environment. The Guardian does quite well at disappearing just enough in snowy environments or even resembling a granite block in the alpine. Inside the tent, the dull blue-grey color is less annoying than some other colors when trying to read or work on gear.


On its own, the Guardian doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. If you want a floor, a bug net, a stove, or dedicated poles, you have to buy them separately. I personally rarely use a footprint or a bug net in the winter so I was happy with it, but I would have appreciated it if I had a floor in the snow. One of the features that I really liked though was the peak tensioning system as well as the zipperless doors. There’s two line locks in opposition connected to the peak ends, along with a few rings attaching the fly to the tensioning line. This allows you to slide the door up and down the ridge of the tent. They seem a little odd at first, but they allow for amazing ventilation while sacrificing less weather resistance than other designs. Furthermore, they seem much easier to fix than a zipper and can operate without waking up your partner. With the Nest addition, they offer a huge amount of room for gear storage. 


The Guardian comes in at 33oz when used with stakes, bag, and stovejack. Add the floor for another 12oz, or the Nest, which provides a bug net, and a floor for 29oz. While it’s not the lightest option for two, it certainly is one of the most comfortable. To me, modularity means you can always choose whether you want to prioritize comfort or weight. Most of all, I appreciated the small packed size, taking up about the size of a Nalgene. The small size has led me to carry the Guardian as an emergency shelter any time I have poles handy. 


For the colder months, I like a simple tarp-style tent that’s easy to pitch and good at controlling condensation so the Guardian was great for me. The one downside I did find of the large living space was the larger-than-average surface area being struck by the wind. I found that keeping the doors pointed in the direction of the wind felt almost necessary during any weather. Guying the tent out wasn’t too hard to do and kept wind noise low, but I can imagine the small tie-off points might leave a bit to be desired when pinning the tent down with rocks in shallow alpine soil. Many trekking pole tents can be rigged to keep the fly off the ground, whereas the Guardian prefers to be close to, or on the ground as a result of the tie-off points on the wide ends. While that might be an issue for some designs, I found that the doors made ventilation more than adequate and I didn’t have to worry about water pooling on the ends despite my worries. You could also change the tie-off points if you prefer the fly to be higher off the ground. 


The simplicity of the Guardian should provide an extremely reliable tent. Most of all, I worry about zippers on taught fabrics, however, the zipperless doors avoid this issue, making me wonder why Seek Outside is the only one with such a clever design. There’s not a whole lot on the Guardian that can’t be fixed with some tape, glue, cord, and cord locks, which I appreciate. While lightweight fabrics will always sacrifice some durability, I don’t see the Guardian having many issues here.

Did it hold up in areas of different terrain better than others?

The Guardian when purchased as a stand-alone canopy is best used as a mid-style winter shelter. The addition of a net would feel necessary in the buggy months which might put the Guardian into a different weight class. I also worry about any trekking pole tent anywhere ground stakes are hard to use, and the tie-off points on the Guardian may exacerbate this issue (however they would be easy to modify).

Did the product meet your expectations? 

While I would have appreciated a floor for winter or a net for summer, the size alone was appreciated. For whatever reason the Guardian also has never given me much trouble during setup, which has been nice.

Did the product meet the product description? 

The only thing I disagree with from Seek Outside is the claim that the Guardian fits into tight spots. While it feels like an impressive amount of space, Its large footprint has pros and cons. Fitting into a small spot might not be its specialty, but thats more than okay.

Are there other products that complement or work well with that specific piece of gear?

I would love to try one of the Seek Outside wood-burning stoves with the Guardian. While it might take away the ultralight nature of this shelter, it would make for an awesome road trip tent when spending a rainy day resting or reading. I found a piece of Tyvek or Silnylon was a nice thing to keep around to stay off wet snow or dirt when lounging inside. 

What sets the product apart?

The Guardian seems to be one of the best options for people who value having a lot of space. On top of that, it seems easy to repair and hard to break, making it one of the more durable options I’ve used. 

Who is the product for?

Tall campers will really appreciate all the extra room in the Guardian. While some tents might just fit taller folk, the guardian actually provides enough roof to stretch out and sprawl. I could reorganize all my gear, play a game of chess, and cook dinner all at the same time in this behemoth. 

There’s probably only a few people in the world too tall for this shelter. The only things to be known would be to acknowledge what a trekking pole tent is and isn’t. This tent seems closer to a mid-style tent in that it doesn’t come with a floor or net on its own, but you can get them separately. Furthermore, It does in fact have the best doors ive used on a trekking pole tent. 

Friendliness to the Earth

Seek Outside is a small company based in Colorado, and they have a strong commitment to conservation and stewardship. All of the design and manufacturing happens in Colorado which avoids a heavy carbon footprint. Combined with great durability, Seek Outside makes a product that lasts. None of this is surprising coming from a company that supports grassroots conservation efforts and has won the Larry Fischer Award from Backcountry Fishers and Anglers.

The Final Word

When it comes to comfort the Guardian 2P XL is king. With its modular concept and brilliant design, its a sturdy shelter for two or more the can keep weight at a minimum. While there are lighter and smaller trekking pole tents on the market, the Guardian is a reliable shelter that fits even the tallest of campers. Those who hate condensation and worry about durability will appreciate the zipperless doors that would take some real effort to break. While it takes on a bit more wind than some other options, it makes up for it as one of the only shelters you could stay in for more than just sleeping. 

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Forrest Smith
Mountain Guide

Forrest is a long-time gear junkie, with half a decade at Mammoth Mountaineering Supply, a new career as a Mountain Guide, and over a dozen years of backcountry skiing, rock climbing, and backpacking. Forrest is also Dynafits North American “Skimo Hero” competing in skimo race and skiing some of America's steepest descents. Keep up with his adventures on Instagram at @Ski_Smith.

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