How many times have you broken your tent poles? Yeah you’re probably rolling your eyes right now because you know once that happens (and it does) that your prized shelter is almost useless. Of course you can duct tape it or splint it up, but it’ll never be the same. Kelty has now solved that problem, and ingeniously I might add. Available in January 2012, the Kelty Mach 6 Air Pitch tent has inflatable air chambers that serve as tent poles, allowing a very speedy set-up while maintaining the all-important rigidity needed for adverse weather conditions. We first saw this insta-house at the Outdoor Retailer show this past summer in Salt Lake City. They did a masterful job at an in-show PR campaign by offering $1000 in cold hard cash to the one male and female who could pump it up the fastest. Low and behold, Mountain Life’s very own Jon Burak (being the ex-raft guide that he is) pumped it up in only 23.68 seconds flat and took home the loot.
The Mach 6 (they also make a four-person Mach 4) has two separate rooms with 49 sq. ft. of space each and a centrally-located area that reaches 39 square feet. This isn’t a backpacking tent thoough. It weights more than two flats of beer so probably relegated to car camping only, but who cares. The tent includes a rainfly, so no separate attachment process and you can set the tent up from inside if it starts pissing down hard.