Wallet friendly+ performance= Highlands
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 2p/4s
We recently wanted to get a 4 season, the AM highlands 2 jumped out for the price and options. After some research we decided to jump on it and try it. We just came back from a 5 day hike which included everything from blue bird 70° days to "seek inside shelter " extreme weather. The coldest night was 41° at 4am and the hottest day was 87° on the dunes in direct sunlight with the grand finale on our last day. We had zero cell service and saw black clouds rolling in on lake Michigan, we turned on the walkies to get a NOAA weather report which was warning "seek inside shelter, heavy to severe thunderstorms, 2-4" of rain, 4-6' waves shoreline with 9'+ on open water, hail possible, sustained 39knot winds, 58knot gusts" let's just say it was absolutely correct, it sounded like a jet engine in our tent, the wind was violent and constant. The rain was so heavy and loud I couldn't hear my wife speaking to me. Aside from some frame wiggle here and there and some slight shaking it did surprisingly well. This storm showed it's ugly little face around 1030p and didn't shut it mouth and leave us alone till around 545a. It made us confident enough to do some other locations we frequent that are known for erratic and violent weather and is now our preferred tent. This is only the second outing with it currently so I can't speak on durability, but I'm sure as with anything if you take care of it, it will last. It certainly looks and feels like a quality build.
let's start with the negatives, while spacious enough to store me and my wife's gear in the smaller vestibule with a good amount of space inside, it can feel cramped at times with the sagging tent walls and shorter peak height. We are accustom to a larger door and vestibule door, this one is smaller but works well, it's a crawl on all fours type of entry and exit.
The pros- at less than 8lbs it's not "heavy" for a 4 season with such a large fly and the set up is a breeze. It performed flawlessly user torrential downpour and HEAVY winds. It stayed warm when cold (although we have not have it in sub 40°, yet) and cool enough to mid day nap in when hot
*The gear loft doubles excellent as an "entertainment center" yeah we pack a tablet and watch a movie a night, hangs in the loft perfectly for late night viewing.... we are closing in on 900 miles hiked, we earned that right lol ;)