The Naturehike Cloud UP 2 is a very promising proposition, offering great weight and packed size at a very attractive price. It’s not all good news though, and we believe that some concessions have been made to hit this spec.
Pros / Reasons to Buy
- Very keenly priced given its features
- Fantastic weight and packed size – comparable to much more expensive rivals
- Included footprint adds to an already great value package
Cons / Reasons to Avoid
- Single entrance and vestibule limits storage space
- Interior design is limited
- Fiddly setup would benefit from color coding
We didn’t quite know what to think of the Nature Hike Cloud UP. The specification is very impressive on paper, but in practice, it’s clear to us that certain concessions have been made to achieve the published specification. But then you look at the price. With this context, the Cloud UP offers exceptional value, and its shortcomings are maybe both understandable and easier to forgive. The fact is that we think there are better tents out there. But they also tend to be a lot more expensive! For those who simply don’t want to spend so much money on a tent – then the Cloud UP is a well worth it.
Compare to Similar Products
- Kelty Discovery Trail
- Kelty Far Out
- Wandelen Appalachian Trail
- Compare to All Other Reviewed Products: 25 Best Small 2 Person Backpacking Tents
Analysis and Test Results
On the surface of it, the Naturehike Cloud UP present some very impressive specifications in terms of weight, packed size, material used and above all else cost. It seems too good to be true, and it seems that concessions have been made to meet the spec and price point. None of these are necessarily deal-breakers, provided you’re aware of them, but we can’t help but feel that if you can stretch to a higher budget there are better overall options out there. That said, we absolutely don’t think the Cloud UP is a bad tent and if you don’t, or can’t spend the money on a pricier alternative, we believe it would make a fine companion on the trail.
The Nature Hike Cloud UP utilises a tapered design and only has a single entrance which is placed above where the occupant’s heads would be when sleeping. These choices all likely help the Cloud UP achieve its low claimed weight, but they also introduce compromise into the design. The tapered floor plan – coupled with a ceiling that gets lower towards the narrow end, will limit the sense of space inside as occupants either have to sit side by side or one has to have reduced head and shoulder room if they want to sit facing each other. The single entrance is also, in our opinion, awkwardly positioned. Another consequence of the single entrance is that there’s only one storage vestibule and if you store two large backpacks and pairs of hiking boots in there, you’ll have no choice but to clamber over these when entering or exiting the tent. None of these points are a deal breaker in our opinion, and as mentioned previously they are certainly all design decisions that help keep the weight of the tent down, but none the less the tent does not feel as well thought out as some of the other (admittedly more expensive) alternatives.
The Naturehike Cloud UP is available in two materials: 20D Nylon – which we assessed – and cheaper, but heavier and less weather resistant 210T Polyester. In truth, the weatherproof characteristics of each material are unlikely to make much real difference, and the key factors buyers you really want to consider are weight and price. 20D Nylon is used extensively by tents – including many that are substantially more costly than the Cloud UP – and it’s a well-proven material that will offer a good degree of weather resistance. Of note, Naturehike also include a matched footprint to sit beneath the tent in the Cloud UP package. This is an optional extra – sometimes quite a costly one – on most of the other tents we assessed and it’s good to see it included. In terms of weather resistance, this will add a little more insulation and will also help protect the floor of the tent from rips and tears, which in turn will help keep out leaks.
Naturehike claim a packed weight of 1.7kg or 3lb 7oz for this tent. That’s seriously impressive given the cost and puts the tent not far behind competitors costing several times its price.
With a packed size of 40x13cm/16x5in, the Naturehike also impresses and puts several much more expensive tests in our round up to shame. The low volume of the packed tent is a real bonus when it comes to packing for a trip as it can allow you to choose a smaller and lighter backpack – or simply bring more stuff. Either way, it’s a positive.
The tent generally felt well made and well finished – maybe not to the same standards of some of the more expensive models we assessed, but also, not so far off either and certainly not as far off as some of the price differences might suggest. Of note, Naturehike also includes a matched footprint in the package. This is normally an extra that can be quite pricey. The footprint sits under the tent and helps protect the base when setting up on rough ground. It’s great to see it included as it not only improves durability but also, in our opinion, adds to the value proposition of this tent.
Ease of Setup
Sadly, we were disappointed by the Naturehike Cloud UP in terms of ease of setup. To be clear, it uses a very similar structure to many of the other tents in this round up, and on a fundamental level, it’s no more difficult to setup than these, but none the less, we hit problems: the written instructions and diagrams provided with the tent were very scant and, in fact, we found the diagrams confused matters at points. As mentioned above, the tent is asymmetric in form, but there’s no coding that we could see to help correctly orient the frame over the body or the fly over the top. You’d surely get used to this if you used the tent regularly, but from the perspective of a user who is either new to camping or only camps occasionally, none of this is helpful and indeed it could cause some serious delays if you’re trying to setup the tent whilst tired or in poor weather. One thing we’d suggest any owner of the Cloud UP do is to add some colour coding to the poles and fasteners on the tent body and fly sheet to speed up the pitching process.
We always advise a few test runs with pitching a new tent before heading out on the trail and we think that’s especially important with this tent.
The Naturehike Cloud UP is offered in a few different configurations: the version we tested used 20D Nylon as its main material, but a cheaper, heavier version with slightly lower rated water resistance is also offered that uses 210T Polyester as its main material. The 2UP comes in currently at $119/£165. Whichever way you look at it, you get a lot of tent for your money and we think the keen pricing goes a long way towards addressing the tents short comings. To make things even better on the value front, Nature Hike also include a matched footprint with the Cloud UP – this is normally an optional accessory and on some tents, matched footprints can be quite pricey, so it’s a definite plus to see one included here!
We’ve picked a lot of faults with the Cloud UP in this review: we’re not too keen on some of the design choices, and the pitching process is not as straight forward as we think it could be. However, the Cloud UP is far from a bad tent. The weight and packed size are very appealing; the build quality looks good and its great value too. We could see this tent being a great choice for backpackers who only camp occasionally or those who’s budget does not stretch to the pricier options we’ve assessed.
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