Legendary homegrown outdoor brand Sea to Summit is getting into the backcountry tent game with their Alto and Telos lightweight tents.
You’ve probably come across Sea to Summit. The Aussie company had its beginnings in Perth back in 1983 and has grown into a major international gear brand, making everything from drybags to sleeping mats, but they’ve never really got around tents until now.
This news has us pretty frothy. Sea to Summit are well known for their innovative approach to gear that balances function with form, along with durability and fair pricing. But with technical backcountry tents starting to look pretty much the same, how did they hit the idea fresh?
‘The core areas we looked to tackle are common pain-points – space, climate and adaptability.’ says Founder and Head of Design Roland Tyson. But nailing this meant changing up the way the poles worked. STS didn’t muck around, they teamed up with Jake Lah, Founder and Head of Design at DAC (basically the best tent pole manufacturer in the world) to come up with the solution.
Heaps of modern backcountry tents have a ‘brow pole’ that runs perpendicular to the length of the tent, increasing space, headroom and ventilation, but they all sag down as they extend from the tent’s middle.
Tension Ridge manages to invert this pole to drastically increase space with vertical walls, a higher ceiling and bigger doors. Combined with adjustable venting higher up at the peak of the tent (and at the base in the bigger Telos), STS reckon the tents will improve airflow and reduce condensation better than anything else out there.
Engineering Tension Ridge was a ‘significant challenge’ according to Jake Lah, while Roland Tyson described it as the most complicated product STS had ever made.
Beyond a fancy brow pole (the big sell) what else is making the Sea to Summit tents a worthy consideration for your next big backcountry investment? The Alto (1 & 2 person) and Telos (2 & 3 person) have a few tricks up their sleeve and some nice looking numbers, here are our faves.
‘FairShare’ Storage System
Provides an easy way to split weight evenly between your hiking crew.
The pole storage case turns your headtorch into a lightsaber, kinda!
The Rainfly Opens Up for Stargazing
And can ‘rapidly deploy’ if a storm rolls in.
The Telos tent can turn into a shelter for the crew.
Alto: 1,094g (1P) / 1,352g (2P) Telos: 1,649g (2P) / 2,158g (3P)
Alto: $399 / Telos $499 (USD)
How Can I Get One?
The Alto and Telos tents from Sea to Summit will be landing in 2021, head over to their website for the latest updates!