Slingfin CrossBow 2 R/S

The Slingfin CrossBow 2 R/S four season, two person tent is a relatively new offering. Slingfin was kind enough to loan me one for testing and review. After carrying the tent in my pack, I think the CrossBow 2 R/S is a well-made tent. The knowledge that went into the design is obvious, and the materials used are extremely lightweight, yet the tent is strong and comfortable.

The Slingfin CrossBow 2 tent lineup uses what Slingfin calls a web truss. The web truss houses the poles of the tent and forms the supporting structure. The two main tent poles slide into separate sleeves that form an X. A third pole, which can be replaced with trekking poles, slides into a loop atop the web truss and is captured at either end by pockets. The bow pole is used to hold the side walls of the tent more vertical. If you carry trekking poles, they can be used instead of the bow pole to drop four ounces. My poles don’t collapse down to the 42 inch height recommended by Slingfin. I just slid the bottom to the side a bit and setup the tent. I didn’t have any issues but I made sure that the trekking pole tips were dug into the ground. Check out the setup video here to see how it is done.

A lot of two person tents are a bit tight for two. There isn’t an excess of space in the CrossBow 2 R/S, but the tent does offer more room than many. On my outing with a group, people commented that the CrossBow 2 looks like a two person tent. Two guys my size would be too tight in this tent. I am 6’1” tall and weigh 220. My wife and I fit fine, but me and another dude, not so much. Smaller folks should do better of course. The tent provides a door and large vestibule for each person. These vestibules can be unzipped and rolled up to form small awnings over the doors, giving a bit of protection from the rain. The walls of the vestibules are more vertical. This makes reaching for the zipper easy and keeps your back from bumping into a possibly wet rainfly.

Slingfin CrossBow 2 R/S, no fly

Slingfin CrossBow 2 R/S, no fly

Inside the Slingfin CrossBow 2 are two large gear pockets on either end of the tent. These pockets are really nice and offer plenty of storage. Internal guy line points are provided which can also be used to hang gear or lofts.

Construction of the Slingfin CrossBow 2 R/S is excellent. Stitching is even and solid and there were no water leaks in the tent even after 36 hour rainy period with high wind. On my first overnight trip with the CrossBow 2, I snagged the tent body on a rock and pulled a hole in the tent. Thinking a tent pole was hung, I gave the tent a tug and tore the hole. The tent material is pretty tough and the hole did not progress far. Tenacious Tape was used that to cover the hole on both sides and the damage was fixed.

Setup of the Slingfin CrossBow 2 R/S gave me some troubles. The web truss system is strong but it is prone to tangling. I tried setup with the web tress attached and with it separate and struggled both ways. Carefully laying the truss flat with the right side up is key to fast setup. A high wind situation could be problematic for a single person, so your partner may have to help keep everything under control. A second setup issue is that the bow pole fits very tightly into the web truss. I’ve set the tent up a few times now without causing damage but a lot of pressure is needed to insert the bow pole.

Slingfin CrossBow 2 R/S

Slingfin CrossBow 2 R/S

Sturdy tent stakes and nice thin reflective guy lines are provided with the tent. None of the stakes bent when pounding them into the rocky ground here, but they aren’t unnecessarily heavy either. An optional footprint is available. Carabiners occupy the four corners of the footprint to hold it in place if needed.

The Slingfin CrossBow 2 R/S weighs in at 76.2 ounces or about 4.75 pounds. For a four season, 2 person tent, this weight may be a bit heavy, but not much. Of course you can leave the bow pole at home and save 4 ounces if you carry trekking poles to use in the setup. Personally, I’ll carry a bit more weight for comfort and the CrossBow 2 R/S delivers there. The footprint weighs in at 6 ounces or 0.4 pounds. The tent packs down to about 14 by 6 inches. Many three season tents don’t pack down much smaller.

All in all, the Slingfin Crossbow 2 is a great shelter and has a lot to offer. The tent is well made and provides good comfort and space. Once setting the tent up was mastered, I enjoyed this tent a lot. MSRP on the Slingfin CrossBow 2 R/S is $580, so it’s not an inexpensive tent, but the tent quality and comfort are very high.  Click here to check it out.

– Mark

I’d like to thank Slingfin for loaning me a tent to test. Like everyone else, our budgets are limited and it is nice to be able to provide useful information to everyone and help in the decision making process when choosing gear. Having an excuse to go camping is always good as well.