Gossamer Gear’s The Two and The DCF Two offer an excellent balance of low weight and spacious interior at a great value price. When compared to other ultralight tents, few come close to the generous headroom of The Two thanks to its slanted pole structure.
The standard Silnylon model is incredibly light, packs down super small, and costs a good amount less than The DCF Two. But if superior weather protection, increased durability, and shaving every ounce possible is your priority, the DCF model is the better option.
WEIGHT: 23.5 oz.
FLOOR DIMENSIONS (LxWxH): 84 x 48/42 (wider at head) x 43 in.
MEASURED WEIGHT: 20.8 oz.
FLOOR DIMENSIONS (LxWxH): 81 x 48/42 (wider at head) x 43 in.
ULTRALIGHT – The standard version of The Two is ridiculously light for a Silnylon tent – and really it’s not even that much heavier than dyneema tents with comparable interior space (the Zpacks Duplex weighs only 4.5 oz. less). Still, if saving every ounce is important to you, The DCF Two weighs nearly 3 oz. less than the standard Silnylon version.
EXCELLENT VALUE – Both the Silnylon and dyneema versions of The Two are an excellent value compared to other ultralight tents. The standard version is one of the lightest two-person Silnylon tents available, and it doesn’t sacrifice interior space to achieve that weight. The DCF version – while a little spendy – is more affordable than other leading dyneema tents, like the Zpacks Duplex ($699), but has comparable size and weight specs.
SPACIOUS, ESPECIALLY FOR THE WEIGHT – The standard version of The Two is a bit more spacious than the DCF version, but both have plenty of room for two hikers and their gear. The Silnylon model feels particularly spacious though, especially when compared to other tents in its weight class. It’s even lighter and (expectedly) far more spacious than several of the one-person tents on our Best Ultralight Tents list, like the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (26 oz.) and Tarptent Notch (28.3 oz.). That means a solo hiker could get The Two or The DCF Two and have a ton more space and still have a tent that’s lighter than many of the top one-person tents.
SMALL PACKED SIZE – Both models of The Two pack down very small, but the Silnylon version is a bit more compact than the DCF version when packed away. This is because DCF doesn’t compress down the same way that Silnylon does. You’ll need to spend a little more time in camp rolling The DCF Two if you want it to take up less space in your pack.
LARGE VESTIBULES – A few of us at CleverHiker typically prefer to keep our gear in our tent because it stays drier and cleaner when inside (and one member of our team is very concerned about spiders crawling in her gear at night…). But if you’re the type who would rather have more interior space to sleep like a starfish, there’s plenty of room in the vestibule for storing gear outside
EXCELLENT HEADROOM – Just glancing at the specs, you may think that the peak height on The Two is pretty average for an ultralight non-freestanding tent. And you wouldn’t be wrong, but your trekking poles (or appropriately sized accessory tent poles) that are providing The Two’s structure are set at an angle pulling the peak out beyond the floor. In short, you end up having a wider space for your head than you do at the floor level.
COMES SEAM SEALED & GUYLINES ARE PRE-ATTACHED – It’s pretty common for ultralight tent makers to charge an additional fee for in-house seam sealing, however all Gossamer Gear tents come fully seam sealed. Having to attach your own guylines is another common DIY project with new ultralight tents, but both versions of The Two come with guylines and tensioners pre-attached (except for the optional wall tie-outs). Not the biggest deal either way, but it’s always nice when your tent arrives to you all ready to hit the trail.
VERY THIN MATERIAL – Our biggest concern with The Two (especially the standard model) is the thin material. The floor and body are made with 10 denier Silnylon, which is thinner than many other ultralight tents. By comparison, the popular Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo and Tarptent Stratospire 2 both have a 30 denier floor. That thin material makes The Two less durable than others, but more frustrating to us is how saggy it gets when wet. The thinner Silnylon is, the more it will stretch when exposed to moisture. Seeing as we do a lot of adventuring in our rainy home state of Oregon, this was a particular issue for us.
The DCF Two solves the sag issue, since dyneema doesn’t absorb moisture or stretch. And we think this feature alone makes it worth the upgrade to the DCF version if you often backpack in wet conditions. But this version comes with an even thinner 7 denier Silnylon floor, which means you may need to add a groundsheet or you could end up with a worn out floor and a perfectly fine tent body after a few seasons of use.
VENTILATION IS LACKING – Interior condensation management is necessary for all single-wall tents. But with no apex vent, no dual zippers for venting the fly, and no exposed mesh when the fly is completely closed, ventilation becomes particularly challenging in The Two on nights when it’s not possible to sleep with the tarp flaps open. We’ve spent a couple of soggy nights getting dripped on inside the tent, which is just plain uncomfortable. For this reason, we wouldn’t really recommend The Two (especially the Silnylon model) for those who do a majority of their adventuring in a wet climate.
NON-FREESTANDING DESIGN CAN BE CHALLENGING TO PITCH IN SOME CONDITIONS – This isn’t necessarily a knock on The Two, but rather just a general difficulty with tents that aren’t freestanding. Because the structure of non-freestanding tents relies on the ability to get tent stakes solidly into the ground, there may be some types of terrain where that’s just not possible. In these cases, you have to get creative by tying off to logs or rocks or some other such alternative way to secure the guylines. Not a huge deal, but just be prepared to do some extra scouting for a perfect site and know how to secure your tent without stakes just in case.
You’d be hard-pressed to find an ultralight two-person tent that offers a better balance of weight, space, and price than the Gossamer Gear The Two and The DCF Two. The standard Silnylon version is lighter and more packable than most tents with a comparable price and amount of interior space, but it falls a little short in wet weather. If you often backpack in a soggy climate, it’s worth springing for the DCF model. It’s a similarly excellent value compared to the competition, but it offers better wet weather performance than the Silnylon version.
We hope this review helps you determine if the Gossamer Gear The Two or The DCF Two are right for you. As always, please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions or visit our Facebook page and Instagram to join the community conversation. If you found this review helpful, please share on social media and click the little heart button below to give us a digital high five!
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