Camping has always been a social experience, a place to disconnect from the everyday and reconnect with family and friends. That's truer than ever today, as youths look at camping and outdoor recreation as social activities to be happily enjoyed with friends, old and new. Outdoor companies and designers have responded with more social equipment, including community tent systems like the Crazy X and Pod Tents. The all-new RhinoWolf is a light, all-in-one tent that links up to create a community camping experience of its own. Small enough to take backpacking, this tent, inflatable sleeping pad and sleeping bag system can sleep a single person or zip together with other RhinoWolfs to create a multi-person tunnel tent.
Some other modular tent brands define their tents largely or entirely by their ability to merge together to create a tent community. Zipping into a cool, little tent commune seems to be the only reason you might opt for a giant, broadsided Qube instead of a smaller, more aerodynamic dome, for instance.
The RhinoWolf folks, on the other hand, have developed a sleeping system that offers advantages whether used alone or in a group. As a standalone product, each RhinoWolf is a lightweight, versatile sleeping system that includes a freestanding single-person tent, Klymit sleeping pad and zip-in down quilt. Those three pieces of gear weigh as little as 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) packed, so the RhinoWolf carries as a light, backpack-friendly option.
While the three pieces of the RhinoWolf could be used alone, they're designed to work together as a system. The nylon ripstop tent fabric pitches with a single, central aluminum I-pole structure and six pegs, and the Klymit pad fits neatly on the floor, after inflating with about 10 to 15 breaths. The sleeping top quilt zips in, offering a freer night of sleep than a traditional sleeping bag.
Ordinarily, two mesh doors would be unnecessary on a lightweight tent designed for one person, but the RhinoWolf's modular design uses the doors for creating multi-person tents. Each tent can zip together with another RhinoWolf at each side, allowing you to camp together with a single partner or an entire group. This capability appears to be limited only by the amount of open space on the ground, though folks out at the ends might have trouble hearing each other if you get too carried away.
While we think the Israeli-based RhinoWolf team has come up with a compelling system, they've embellished a bit with some of their claims. For instance, they say the 5.5-lb system weight is "at least 2 lb (0.9 kg) less than carrying a sleeping bag, mattress and tent separately" (they do give the weight as 5 lb for that particular claim, but list it as 5.5 everywhere else). Either way, any weight savings number depends on what equipment you're carrying separately.
The Klymit sleeping pad will weigh the same whether you're using it in the RhinoWolf system or not, and there are plenty of other lightweight pads out there. We're talking single-person tents, so it's not difficult to find one under 2 lb. Sleeping bag weights vary based on temperature rating, fill type and price, but you can definitely find one at 2.5 lb (1.1 kg) or less, creating a three-piece system that weighs the same as or less than the RhinoWolf. The idea that three individual items will weigh 2 lb or more than the RhinoWolf is just not true.
Now maybe they mean to say that you won't find such a lightweight set-up for US$269, which is the Indiegogo entry price point for the main RhinoWolf set-up. And that's probably more accurate, as you could easily spend well more than $269 on an ultralight tent or sleeping bag alone. But RhinoWolf's is a crowdfunding figure, and the $539 estimated retail price opens up a lot more wiggle room in finding a similar tent/sleeping bag/pad set-up at a comparable price.
The $269 Indiegogo pledge gets you the aforementioned tent, Klymit pad and a 40 F/10 C-rated down quilt. Pledgers can also go for just the 2.8-lb (1.3-kg) tent without the sleeping pad or quilt for $179, or opt for heavier 25 F/-4 C- ($279) or 14 F/-10 C-rated down quilts ($329). RhinoWolf has also added a lightweight $169 summer option, which uses lighter polyester tent fabric and a light, synthetic quilt.
Note that the 14 F quilt model is described as the four-seasons version because of the temperature rating, but nothing about it appears to be a winter-ready, four-season camping system. Without a heavier tent construction and insulated sleeping pad, we're thinking that the RhinoWolf would leave you quite cold, buried in snow, or without a tent, period, when it's shredded by winter wind.
We do think the RhinoWolf folks should tighten up their marketing claims (and maybe opt for a less over-the-top video), but they do have what looks to be an interesting and well-thought-out product regardless. If all goes according to plan, shipping will begin in November.
You can watch that over-the-top promo video below.
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