Featherlight and four-season are two words that don’t usually go together. Combined they form an oxymoron – it just doesn’t add up, right? If something is ultra-light, it’s usually for spring or summer only; and if an item of gear is four-season rated, it’ll usually be robust, bulky and heavy as hell. But not according to French start-up Samaya, who claim to have perfectly combined featherlight and four-season with their Assaut2 Ultra – a two-person tent that weighs just 980g but can stand up to extreme conditions. Is it all too good to be true? Here’s the lowdown below.
The Assaut2 Ultra has certainly been making waves in the outdoor industry. It bagged a gold award in the tents category of the prestigious ISPO 2021 awards, with the judges commenting: “The Samaya Assaut2 tent is an ultra lightweight tent for high altitudes. The wall fabric is Dyneema material and has a waterproofness from 20,000mm and a breathability of 40,000g/m2/24hr which are great rates and which make a single-wall-construction possible. So you get a solid but lightweight tent for expedition experts.”
French climbing guru and mountaineer Symon Welfringer, who field tested the Assaut2 Ultra in Norway and Pakistan, is certainly impressed too. He says: “I had the chance to test this product in many conditions, often very rough, and I could notice the efficiency of it. The Samaya Assaut2 Ultra manages to combine performance and lightness. For my part, it is the lightest tent I have ever used on an expedition. It remains very well accessorised and can be suitable for many uses for all high-level practices that require light material. Among my most memorable memories, during our last expedition to Pakistan, we spent two bivouacs in a clogged crevasse with night temperatures between -20 and -30 degrees: the Samaya Assaut2 Ultra once again proved to be perfect for this kind of situation.”
The tent weighs 980g (or 1,050g when packed), has a whopping 20,000mm hydrostatic head (in both the floor and walls) and a superb breathability rating of 40,000g/m2/24hr. Those stats are as high as we’ve ever seen and, if accurate, are incredibly impressive. Sadly the price is sky-high too, at an eye-watering £1,600.
The tent is made from a range of materials, mostly Dyneema (one of the world’s strongest materials). You get a Dyneema composite fabric in the groundsheet, a two-layer Dyneema and ePTFE membrane combo in the wall, and Cordura and Dyneema reinforcements in the floor corners. The zips at the door and vents are water-repellent YKK Aquaguard zippers, the three poles are an Easton carbon ion (guaranteeing “unfailing strength and unbeatable lightness of your structure”) and you also get eight Swiss Piranha pegs. The internal space is 2.2m (length) x 1.1m (width) x 1m (height), while packed down the tent is a super-compact 20cm x 15cm. Optional extras include a footprint (£90) and vestibule (£450). Blimey, this is getting expensive.