MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review

Two-person single wall tent with a twist: one side is double wall, so the fly can be rolled up in good weather for extra views and ventilation.

Overall Rating: Above Average

The Crescent 2 wasn't designed to smash lightweight barriers; its target audience seems to be lightweight hikers who want a durable, storm-worthy tent with extra room and features. In that context, it's a mixed bag. On the one hand, it's very easy to set up, has lots of floor space, is very storm-worthy, and its unique double wall side allows hikers to open it up in good weather. However, despite its ample floor dimensions, the monopole design creates a tent with limited head and elbow room inside. Also, the tent has a small, minimally protected entry. Its sub-3 pound trail weight isn't bad, but other tents provide more elbow room and vestibules for the same weight. My rating is based on an overall weighing of the tent's pros and cons.

About This Rating

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by Will Rietveld |

Overview

MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review - 1
The two-person MontBell Crescent 2 is a "hybrid tent" - one side is double wall and the other side is single wall. It's supported by a single longitudinal pole.

Montbell's new hybrid Crescent 2 tent is supported by a single length-wise pole similar to their now discontinued Hexagon two-person double wall tent. However, the Crescent 2 is a single wall tent, with a twist: one side of the tent is double wall (with a mesh body and a waterproof fly on that side) and the other side is single wall. Technically, it's a hybrid tent, since part of it is double wall.

MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review - 2
Views of the Montbell Crescent 2. In the head end view (top left), the right side of the tent is double wall. The entry is through a zippered opening in the fly on the right side of the pole. The foot end of the tent (top right) has a high vent. A side view of the single wall side of the tent (bottom left) shows how the canopy extends the drip line out away from the tent. The top view (bottom right) puts all this into perspective; the top of the photo is the double wall side of the tent.

MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review - 3
The unique feature of the MontBell Crescent 2 (besides its monopole design) is that the fly on one side of the tent can be rolled up in good weather to provide abundant ventilation and views. The left photo shows the tent with the fly staked out, and the right photo shows the fly rolled up.

By the numbers, the Crescent 2 is a roomy tent. The floor is 96 inches long and 59 inches wide, and headroom is 43 inches at the center. Area is 34 square feet. However, usable space is another matter. Since the tent hangs from a single length-wise pole, the side walls drape inward substantially, greatly reducing inside volume. With two people inside the tent, the occupants are constantly brushing against the tent walls with their heads and shoulders. The limited elbow room is not a real problem in good weather, but is not pleasant in rainy weather when the inside tent walls are wet with condensation.

MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review - 4
Entry is through a small zippered mesh door on one end of the tent (left). The door is barely shoulder width and is accessed through a zippered opening in the tent's fly on the right side. Seen from the inside (right), the door has a wrap-around zipper so it can be completely opened and pushed to the side out of the way.

For a better viewing experience, please download the Flash Player. You may also download the MontBell Crescent Moon 2 Tent


Video: A tour of the inside of the Montbell Crescent 2 during a rainstorm.

During southern Colorado's summer monsoon season, I had the opportunity to test the Crescent 2 in both wind and rain. In 20 + mph winds accompanying a thunderstorm, I found the tent to be quite stable, especially with either end of the tent facing the wind. The Crescent 2 comes with nine 7-inch long Y-stakes which secure the tent very well.

MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review - 5
I found the Crescent 2 to be an effective sanctuary in mountain showers and an overnight rain (left), but it is not exempt from condensation on the inside walls (right).

When condensation forms on the inside walls, we found it prudent to sleep in the center of the tent or toward the mesh wall to avoid contacting the wet walls with our sleeping bags. However, while dressing in the morning, it was nearly impossible to avoid brushing against the wet interior walls.

Some further comments on the Crescent 2, both pro and con:

  • The tent sets up very quickly
  • The footprint available for the Crescent 2 is heavy: 10.2 ounces with stuff sack.
  • The tent's canopy extends the drip line well away from the tent
  • Rain falls directly into the tent when the door is open.
  • There is only one inside storage pocket, in the rear of the tent.
  • The tent is a stealth green color, which matches the forest color very well.
  • The tent has a very small entry "vestibule" but there is some storage space under the double wall side of the tent.

Overall during the test period we found that the Montbell Crescent 2 tent grew on us somewhat. Set-up is very simple and fast. It endures wind and storms well. In good weather, rolling up one side gives excellent ventilation and views. However, its limited headroom is inconvenient, and the tent's trail weight is slightly under 3 pounds, which is heavy compared to the competition. In comparison, the Tarptent Double Rainbow weighs 2 pounds, 7.7 ounces and has two doors and two vestibules, as well as more elbow room inside.

Specifications

  Manufacturer:

MontBell (http://www.montbell.com/)

  Year/Model:

2008 Crescent 2

  Shelter Type:

Hybrid two-person single wall tent (one side is double wall)

  Poles:

8.8 mm DAC Featherlight NSL

  Stakes:

Nine 7-inch aluminum alloy Y-stakes

  Fabrics:

Canopy is 30d polyurethane coated nylon rip-stop, 1500 mm; floor is 40d PU coated nylon rip-stop, 2000 mm; 20d nylon mesh

  Dimensions
(length x width x height):

96 x 59 x 45 in (inside headroom is 43 in)

  Protected Area:

Floor 33.9 ft2, vestibule 2.2 ft2

  Features:

Single longitudinal pole, tent clips to pole, wrap-around zipper on entry door, one side of tent has a mesh wall and separate fly that rolls up, small mesh storage pocket in rear, bathtub floor

  Weight:

Total weight 3 lb, 1.4 oz (includes tent, pole, nine stakes, two guylines, repair sleeve, three stuff sacks); trail weight (includes tent, pole, stakes) 2 lb, 15.3 oz; manufacturer specification 3 lb total weight

  MSRP:

US$279

  Options:

Footprint US$35, 10.3 oz with stuff sack

Citation

"MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/montbell_crescent_2_tent_review.html, 2008-11-18 00:00:00-07.

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MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review on 11/18/2008 19:01:18 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review on 11/19/2008 11:36:44 MST Print View

Nicely done review, Will. I particularly liked that video. Now you've spoiled me! This should be done on every tent review IMO. Of course, you would need to figure out how to make it rain, on demand :-)

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Storage Pocket on 11/20/2008 08:36:11 MST Print View

I must have a newer version than the one reviewed. Mine has a storage pocket at both ends of the tent.

stevie

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Montbell Crescent Review on 11/20/2008 08:43:21 MST Print View

I really liked the quick video of the tent. More of those please!!!!

Edited by Creachen on 11/20/2008 08:43:56 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
MontBell Crescent 2 Tent Review on 11/28/2008 12:24:01 MST Print View

Well written Will.

Question: with respect to headroom, how is it right in the centre? Sufficient for a 6 plus foot person? Also, are the side guylines pre-attached to the peg out points? Thanks,

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Montbell Crescent 2 on 12/01/2008 15:12:03 MST Print View

> with respect to headroom, how is it right in the centre?
> Sufficient for a 6 plus foot person?

I am 6' and I have enough headroom, but not enough for two people side by side. Two facing each other would be fine.
I use it as a solo tent so the headroom isn't and issue.

> Also, are the side guylines pre-attached to the peg out
> points?

Yes. All the standard guylines are attached.

stevie