T3 Awards 2020: Wild Country's updated Zephyros tent is a lightweight winner

The small but mighty Zephyros Compact 2 bags the award for Best Tent 2020

Wild Country Zephyros Compact
(Image credit: Wild Country)

Packable, lightweight and with a great pedigree, the Wild Country Zephyros Compact 2 is a worthy winner of the T3 Award 2020 in the best tent category. 

There are tents with every possible feature. There are tents larger and more comfortable than your house. Then there are tents that you'll automatically reach for every time you pack a rucksack. You know they'll shelter you from the worst weather you'll encounter, whatever the adventure, and give you a peaceful night's sleep when you need it most – this is one of those latter tents. 

Zephyros Compact 2

(Image credit: Wild Country)
  • Buy the Zephyros Compact 2 now

The Zephyros Compact 2 lives up to its name, packing down to a meagre 30cm long, quite a feat for a full-sized two man tent, making it perfect for stuffing into rucksacks and panniers without having to repack everything around the usually-ungainly poles. Surprisingly quick to pitch with a single main hoop and two short end poles, the inner and flysheet sandwiched as one makes even pitching in the dark and rain a rapid and relatively dry process. This is aided by the reflective pole trim, which also lights up the tent nicely in the dark so you can find it again by torchlight. 

Accommodation for two is snug, but well-appointed, with two separate doors (either side of the central hoop) really adding convenience and maximising the space. This gives each person a small porch area for boots and bags, as well as an easy exit when night-time requirements strike. 

A particularly neat touch are the end vent panels, which can be sealed in colder moments, but give a good flow of air through the inside otherwise. These combine neatly with the part-mesh inner to maintain breathability – a vital element of a good night's sleep. 

It's a relative joy to strike in a hurry too, rolling into the side opening tarp-style tent bag in very short order indeed. The Zephyros comes with four guylines, which you'll need in strong winds, but you'll get away with two in more sheltered spots. Materials are all tried and tested, from the Stormex P4000 FR flysheet and Aqua Stop P5000 floor to the Superflex Alloy poles, this is all solid quality stuff, without compromising on durability or getting too heavyweight. 

Packed weight is a solid 1.95kg, but that's including all the bags and a pole repair tool, so real-world weight is well under a kilo per person, which is good for a three-season shelter. 

Overall this is a brilliant tent for the adventurer. Whether on a cycle tour or a multi-day hike, this is a tent you want on your back. 

Full shortlist: Wild Country Zephyros 2, Vango F10 Xenon UL 2, Decathlon Quechua 2 seconds 3XL fresh and black, Coleman OctaGo, Tensile Safari Connect 2.

Mark Mayne

Mark Mayne has been covering tech, gadgets and outdoor innovation for longer than he can remember. A keen climber, mountaineer and scuba diver, he is also a dedicated weather enthusiast and flapjack consumption expert.