The First Ascent Stamina Hiking Tent is a light-weight and compact one-person tent ideal for hiking and bikepacking writes Seamus Allardice.

What initially caught my eye when I first took note of the First Ascent Stamina Hiking Tent was its compact size and 2-kilogram weight. I’ve had First Ascent’s Starlight II tent for 3 years now and it has served me exceptionally well. The only complaint I have with it is its size and weight, when the time comes to strap it to a bike. For camping when there are two of you it’s fantastic. Especially if you can divide it up between you to make carrying it easier. But with the Stamina there would hypothetically be no such problems!

A look at the First Ascent Stamina Tent from a couple of angles and on the handlebars of a mountain bike.

And the Stamina Hiking Tent more than met those expectations. It packs down to an amazingly compact 32cm x 15cm x 15cm and tips the scales at 2.04kg. The light weight is thanks to 2 aluminium poles and 13 aluminium tent pegs. The flysheet is polyester and has a 2 000mm water column; while the groundsheet boasts a 3 000mm water column. Pitched it measures 230cm long and 105cm wide at the widest point, from which it tapers down to 45cm wide at the foot-end of the tent. At its highest point it’s a comfortable 87cm tall. It’s 45cm tall where the second tent pole crosses over.

The Stamina Hiking Tent relies upon the tension created by the tent pegs to keep it upright. As the tent poles don’t cross over, as they do in a dome tent, but rather run parallel to each other. It’s however possible to erect the tent without stretching the flysheet over it or hammering home the guy ropes.

Some hikers and bikepackers may be disappointed by the fact that it’s not possible to pitch just the flysheet and tent poles of the Stamina Hiking Tent. But for South African conditions I believe it’s a better compromise to pitch just the mesh and groundsheet. With our favourable climate and abundance of mosquitoes I’d rather save weight in summer and not pack the flysheet than attempt to save weight in winter by not packing the body of the tent. If you’re that intent on going ultra-light there are better options than a tent, like the First Ascent Hammock Flysheet.

All the First Ascent Stamina Tents on a bikepacking trip.

Having spent a few nights in the Stamina Hiking Tent I can attest that it is easy to pitch (I’m guessing it takes me under 5 minutes from in the bag to on the ground with the flysheet on). There’s no trick to it and the only issue I had the very first time, without reading the instructions mind you (because who reads instructions?!), was not looping the poles through the sleeves in the tent’s mesh. It’s worthwhile to point out that the low profile and aluminium poles ensure that the Stamina Hiking Tent is sturdy enough to withstand strong winds and live up to its billing as a 3-season tent.

The Stamina Hiking Tent is available from the First Ascent website and retails for R1 999, at the time of writing (in March 2021).

Camping under the African moon.

Stamina Hiking Tent Specifications

Weight 2.04kg
Dimensions 230 x (45+105/70+45) x 87/45cm
Packed Size 32 x 15 x 15cm
Capacity 1 person
Doors 2
Flysheet Water Column 2000mm
Floor Water Column 3000mm
Guy Ropes Reflective Ropes

On the road to adventure.

Its possible to pitch the First Ascent Stamina Hiking Tent without its flysheet.