M AntiGravityGear O2 Tent Review
by Will Rietveld
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The new AntiGravityGear (AGG) O2 tent evolved from the AGG Tarptent. The footprint and canopy are basically the same, but the front entry and back of the tent have been substantially revised. While the AGG Tarptent (which is still available), at 23 ounces, is a lightweight and roomy shelter for one person and plenty big for two, its major shortcoming is excessive interior condensation due to inadequate ventilation. The O2 is designed to overcome that problem and add some convenience features; how well does it succeed?
As mentioned, the footprint and canopy of the AGG Tarptent and O2 are virtually identical. The canopy is one piece of fabric, so there is no ridge seam to seam seal (or leak). However, the lack of canopy seams creates a tent with a lot of loose fabric that needs to be pulled outward with back and side pullouts in order to maximize interior volume.
The design changes in the O2 are at the front and rear. The front has a large zippered vestibule and a mesh entry wall with large zippered entry door. The rear has a large mesh panel for extra ventilation, with a zippered closure on the inside and large overhang on the outside.
The front of the tent has a PVC plastic cap that a trekking pole tip inserts into, which is safer protecting against slippage compared to a grommet, especially with worn tips. There are four front vestibule positions: it can be fully open (first photo), it can be completely closed (second photo, top left), one side can be tied back (second photo, bottom left), or half of each side can be tied up (below) for more ventilation.
I tested the AGG O2 tent on a number of summer trips in mountain and desert country. As a solo tent, the O2 is luxurious, with loads of room in both the tent and vestibule. Because of the side entry and lower headroom in the back, the O2 requires some logistical plannng for two sleepers. It works best if the person sleeping in the back of the tent gets settled in before the second person enters. For midnight relief, the person in the rear has to climb over the person in the front to exit the tent. Also, headroom is more limited in the rear of the tent, so it is more cumbersome to enter and exit a sleeping bag, especially if the tent walls are wet. Keeping the back and side pullouts taut is vital to maximize the volume inside the tent.
While two people can adjust to sharing the O2 tent, a side entry tent is simply more convenient if it has two doors and two vestibules. Alternatively, a couple can choose a tent with an entry at one end. In either case, one person can exit the tent without disturbing the other. Considering this, the best use for the AGG O2 is as a one-plus-person tent, providing plenty of room for one person plus gear, and only used occasionally two people.
In rainy weather or buggy conditions, the AGG O2 provides a lot of security for minimal weight. The tent completely seals up to exclude bugs. The vestibule on the front and the rear overhang provide plenty of protection so the tent can be ventilated to the max during a rainstorm. If wind and bugs permit, opening the front mesh door really helps to increase ventilation and minimize condensation.
In windy conditions, it helps a lot to orient the back of the O2 tent into the wind. The back vent has a zippered closure, so the amount of breeze passing through the tent can be regulated. However, the O2 is not particularly wind stable. Because of its loose canopy, secured by three pullouts, the tent flaps a lot in the wind and even buzzes during stronger gusts. The front vestibule helps to deflect wind from the front, and fully zipping the mesh entry door and back vent closure helps to reduce the amount of air flowing through the tent.
For comparison, the AGG O2 is similar to the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (25.4 ounces trail weight, US$235). It has an extra 10 square feet of floor space and weighs about 2.6 ounces more. However, (in my opinion) the Lunar Solo is better ventilated, more wind stable, in addition to having a floating bathtub floor.
Overall, the AGG O2 provides a lot more room for its weight than most other single wall tents, and is reliable shelter from storms and bugs. Its condensation resistance is average for a single wall tent, but it is not particularly wind stable.
- Specifications: Manufacturer:, Year/Model:, Shelter Type:, Poles:, Stakes:, Fabrics:, Dimensions: , Protected Area: , Features: , Weight: , MSRP: , Options:
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