Kelty Salida 2 review

There are endless choices for your outdoor overnight shelters and choosing only one can be quite difficult. If you are a casual camper and outdoor enthusiast looking for a quality and versatile tent that will work well for short backpacking trips or car camping, then the Kelty Salida 2 tent might just be what you’re looking for!

Kelty Salida 2 Review: Lightweight Tent For The Budget

Kelty Salida 2 Review

Kelty Salida 2 Technical Specs

Best Use: Backpacking
Sleeping Capacity: 2-person
Seasons: 3-season
Minimum Trail Weight: 3 pounds 14 ounces (1.76 kg)
Packaged Weight: 4 pounds 9 ounces(2.07 kg)
Packed Size: 13 x 15 inches
Floor Area: 30.5 square feet
Floor Dimension: 88 x 55/45 inches
Peak Height: 43 inches
Vestibule Area: 10 square feet
Number of Poles: 2 Poles
Number of Doors: 1 Door
Pole Diameter: 9 mm
Pole Material: Aluminum
Floor Fabric: 68-denier nylon
Canopy Fabric: 68-denier polyester / 40-denier mesh
Rainfly Fabric: 68-denier polyester
Footprint: No
Design: Freestanding

Tent Setup

The free-standing tents of this modern world are super easy to assemble, and the Kelty Salida 2 is definitely not an exception. Once the cloth is laid out, with only 2 foldable and compact DAC PressFit aluminum poles, it is only a matter of inserting these 2 poles and lifting them. And pitching can be done all by yourself.

Shock cords that attached to the poles lift the tent fabric in quick, efficient way. Another thing that makes it easier to pitch is that the fabric snaps to the sturdy poles without cloth tunnels threading through and adding an unnecessary level of difficulty.

When the inner tent has been raised, you can simply drape the rainfly over the tent frame and connect it to the inner clips. Meanwhile, the color-coded fly attachments and clip eliminated guessing on how to align the fly with the 4 guy points make it easy to guy out during windy weather.

Free-standing design tents are great for use in smaller spaces outdoors like in between boulders or trees. Although it has a significant weight, it is great for those who need a straightforward and easy tent pitching.

Inner Tent

Probably the most important part of any tent is the inner shelter. And the Kelty Salida 2 Tent has an inner tent that is spacious for two people with all their sleeping bags and mats.

The tent is long enough to allow larger 6–foot long sleeping bags and mats without touching the walls. This is an important detail for comfort inside.

The inner tent space has an impressive 30.5 square feet with an extra vestibule space of 10 square feet.

Meanwhile, the large mesh panels on the inner tent mean that you can stargaze in good weather conditions or allow the comfortable night breeze while keeping the coziness of a shelter in the wild.

The zipper pulls are made of lightweight rubber, which may seem insignificant, but helps prevent noise and damage to the tent on a windy day.

Another amazing feature of the Kelty Salida 2 is the included gear loft. Although it is often seen only in higher-end, premium tents, the gear loft in the Salida 2 tent ensures more stuff can be stored or even allow the drying of wet gears and clothes. Also, it is strong enough to hold large lanterns during the night.

Furthermore, the inner tent also features sewn side pockets on the inside and placed right below the mesh. These tiny side pockets are perfect for storing smaller items and essentials such as earplugs, snacks, phone, headlamps and more.

While most tents on this category don’t include these simple pockets, it definitely makes a world difference to have these pockets for easy access to essential personal items. Not only that, extra gear loops and a flashlight holder are efficient and thoughtful additions to the inner tent.

Rain Fly

Rainfly is something you should never forget when buying tents. And the rain fly included in this tent is a good mid-quality choice. It certainly provides a waterproof layer that keeps you comfortable and dry in wet weather while providing ventilation at the same time.

However, with its close-fitting rainfly, the tent may struggle to efficiently move air and can lead condensation on the interior.

The rainfly is in light color, so it reflects sunlight while preventing the inside of the tent from having an unbearable temperature during a hot day. In addition,Kelty used UV resistant material on the rainfly, increasing the life span and durability of the tent.

Removing the rain fly during windy conditions bring stability while increasing ventilation in order to prevent condensation inside. The problem is that the rain fly of the Salida 2 is the heaviest component of the tent.

Weight and Packed Sized

Although lightweight, the stuff pack of the Kelty Salida 2 was a total disappointment. It is awkward and bulky, offering no compression and making it look far more like it is designed for the casual car-campers.

With a packaged weight of 3 pounds 9 ounces, it may be heavy for a single person to carry on long backpacking trips, however the weight can be divided with 2 persons.

Tent Value

At $150, the Kelty Salida offers reasonable features for a beginner or entry-level tent. However, we would still like to see some improved waterproofing features and better circulation with the rain fly deployed. Still, for the amateur camper during fair weather, the Kelty Salida 2 is a fair value.


  • Very easy to pitch
  • Lots of mesh ventilation
  • Gear loft included
  • Noiseless zipper system
  • Plenty of mesh ventilation
  • Price much lower than tents of the same category
  • Plenty of pockets and loops for storage


  • Not enough vestibule storage
  • Lots of internal condensation due to rainfly that is close-fitting
  • Rainfly is heavy


All in all, the Kelty Salida 2 is a feature-rich 3-season backpacking, free-standing tent made for two people, with a nice price tag for all that it can give.

At $150, this tent is definitely one of the budget-friendly and lightweight backpacking tents on the market that can be pitched in just a matter of seconds.