I purchased the Lichfield Treklite 200 tent in 2008 and have spent over 230 nights in it (as of 04/05/2014], 10 of which were consecutive as well as many 2-nighter’s. I have camped in various weather conditions through all seasons and in different countries using this tent and this is my simple review based on my experiences so far.
Here is how Lichfield describe the Treklite 200
A lightweight technical tent ideal for backpacking and trekking. 1 room. 1 door. 4 air vents. Groundsheet attached. Colour coded poles. 3000mm hydrostatic head. Taped seams. Quick clips. Tension adjusters. Ripstop fabric. Durable and strong alloy poles. Fire retardant. Size of overall tent (H)90, (W)195, (D)230cm. Packed size (L)43, (Diameter)9cm. Weight 1.9kg. Manufacturer’s 3 years guarantee.
So how does the spec add up?
The ’200′ in the name Lichfield Treklite 200 stands for 2 person tent as Lichfield also marketed a Treklite 100 for the solo camper. However unless you are on intimate terms with whoever you want to share this shelter with I suggest it really be considered as a fairly roomy one person shelter. The Treklite 100 was a disaster as it wasn’t that much lighter than this 200, yet was tiny inside. That said I have spent a few overnighters in this tent with both male and female hiking companions and had no real issues – there is a small porch which I used to store our packs and boots which freed up space inside the tent I normally use for my pack when camping solo. And the porch is rather small. It is fine for putting dirty boots in and ones pack, but I wouldn’t recommend cooking in it – if you need to cook under shelter I suggest cooking inside the tent proper and only then with great care! However, with the porch door open it is nice to look to the east in a morning through the side netting of the inner tent and watch the sun rise or with the inner door unzipped
too (depending on midges really). This tent is inner pitch first which, whilst not ideal erecting in the rain (the inbuilt ground sheet pools water due to the netting of the inner!), can at least be done quickly. The inner can also be used without the outer which I have done on many occasion when the nights have been mild and dry as it is half solid half netting. The netting is at both sides affording views as well as a netted panel on top placed perfectly for star gazing. With the built in ground sheet, solid lower walls and solid front and rear panels and well situated netting, the inner tent is ideal to keep out bugs and drafts whilst still allowing good all round visibility.
Below is a short video showing only the inner tent.
When pitching the complete tent there is plenty of room between the inner and outer as well as plenty of vents in the outer- both front and rear – which, added to the ample netting of the inner, makes this tent excellent at combating condensation. In fact the only times I suffer from condensation at all is if I have wet garments inside the tent on a warm day. The tent pitches low and taught and it’s steepish sides make it excellent for shedding snow and allowing the wind to flow nicely over it. I have camped in 60+ mile winds with gusts of 75mph and the tent barely noticed – as long as pitched rear into the wind. If the wind changes direction and comes at you from the front then the front of the outer does flap against the inner and the shelter does ‘close in’ on you. However it really is a solid tent and I have had no rips, tears or bent poles. There are 11 pegs – 8 of which secure the inner whilst 2 of the other three are to peg the front and rear guys and the final peg is used to secure the outer door. The outer tent clips to the inner using quick clips which have tensioning straps to ensure a taught pitch. When erected properly there is about an inch gap between the outer and the ground aiding ventilation. There are 2 poles which are segmented and open up to form 2 pre-shaped poles – one for the front and one for the rear of the inner and which slide into sheathes outside the inner. The outer then simply goes over the inner and is secured by the quick clips near the pegging points of the inner. There are also 4 small velcro loops which – 2 front and rear which help secure the outer to the poles providing more stability. The inner also has 2 ‘C’ clips which attatch to the front poles pulling the inner taught.
Below is a video showing the tent fully pitched
The main downsides, for me at least, are:
- The lack of head room inside the tent. If you are over 5’8″ you will either need to sit cross-legged with your head bowed or lie on your side to cook, sort your gear out etc.
- Inner pitch first. Not a major issue though unless pitching in the rain.
- Small, single porch/vestibule
- The ‘sponge’ that helps keep the front of the outer away from the inner – see videos
However, the plus sides far outweigh the downsides. This tent started life as a £199 offering from Lichfield, but quickly became £130. Argos took to stocking it and the price fell to £99. I picked the tent up new from Argos for £39 five years ago and although it is no longer sold by Lichfield or Argos, you can still pick a new one up for under £40 on ebay and on Amazon too! This makes it a great starting tent for the solo camper or a cheap second tent for back-up. It is easy to pitch, packs down well and in four years I haven’t had to waterproof it. I like this tent a lot and although I am now looking for a new shelter, I will always have fond memories of the nights spent in the Lichfield Treklite 200 and will not part with it.