The Virga 2 is a smaller version of the Squall 2, which received a 2005 Backpacking Light Lightitude award for superior innovation and performance in lightweight gear. Updated for 2005, it is now rated as a 1+ person tent. Headroom has been increased 3 inches and width increased 6 inches, providing enough room for one person plus gear or two people who like to snuggle.
The most obvious change is the addition of an 18-inch carbon fiber strut to the front, which flattens the front peak. There are now two seams on top of the tent. The result is more headroom, usable volume, and pitch options.
The extended front beak is split in the middle and has a Velcro closure to provide ease of entry and ventilation/storm protection options. With the optional sewn-in floor ($35/6 ounces), there is a second zipper at the front of the floor to seal out creepy crawlers.
The front strut allows several pitching options. As before, a trekking pole can be used at the front, saving 2 ounces. Alternatively, the tent can be pitched with 2 trekking poles for more wind resistance (and no center pole to get in the way), one center pole, or two center poles.
The Tarptent has always been a popular shelter for lightweight backpacking because of its lightweight and functionality. The upgraded Virga 2 adds 6 ounces of weight and is a bit more complex, compared to its predecessor. Do the improvements justify the weight increase? Look for a complete review this fall.
My first night in the Virga 2 was at 12, 250 feet (photo), and it provided luxurious accommodations for one person. It doesn’t get any better than this!
Specifications and Features
- Capacity: 1+
- Dimensions: 45 in high, covered area is 60/42 inches wide, 94 inches long; the sewn-in floor is 46/32 inches wide, 86 inches long
- Floor area: 23 square feet (sewn-in floor)
- Weight: manufacturer specification (with one front pole) is 24 ounces, sewn-in floor adds 6 ounces; measured weight is 30.25 ounces with sewn-in floor
- Included: tent, rear pole, 4 titanium stakes, stake sack, tent stuff sack
- Options: one or two front poles, sewn-in floor
- Catenary top and rear ridgelines
- Extended front beak, split in the middle with Velcro closure
- No-see-um netting on all sides, zippered netting entry
- Reflective Spectra cord guylines
- Fast setup with only 4 stakes (2 optional side tieouts, stakes not provided)
- MSRP: Tent $170, front poles are $5 for 1 and $9 for 2, sewn-in floor adds $35