- 3 poles creates a very storm worthy design - Can be used with 2 poles to save weight - Double wall construction to prevent condensation inside - Pole clip design for very fast and easy setup and take down - Interior buckles to outer shell for one piece setup/take down - Two top vents on vestibules for cross ventilation - Large no claustrophobic interior with high ceiling - Large side doors for easy entry and exit - 2 interior options: -- Mesh Netting interior for extra ventilation -- Breathable Fabric interior for more warmth and to keep spindrift and sand from blowing in Note: Breathable Fabric interior has mesh netting window on each door with zippered flap - Four interior pockets - Two large vestibules; each with a zippered door 0.86 sq m + 0.86 sq m (9.2 sq ft + 9.2 sq ft) - Want even lighter weight? Leave the 3rd pole at home - Highest quality components - World class quality - Ready to go out of the box; seam sealed where necessary at the factory
- 4 season - double wall tent - exoskeleton design (3 poles on outside) - high strength to weight ratio - weight: 1.823kg (64.3oz / 4lb 0.3oz) for SuprSilTM outer, Breathable Fabric inner, non-slip, seam taped floor, and 3 x 4-Seasons DAC NSL 9mm aluminum poles (rev. A-5)
Ratings with different poles: 2 x 4-Seasons 9mm poles + 3rd 4-Seasons 9mm pole = 4 seasons rated 2 x UL poles + 3rd 4-Seasons 9mm pole = 3+ seasons rated 2 x poles = 3-seasons rated
I have two tents from Big Sky, the Revolution 2P (w/porch), which I bought directly from Big Sky, and the Chinook 2P which I bought second hand. Both are excellent tents -- the quality and workmanship is top notch, and each have their own unique and desirable features, but since I tend to do more cold weather hiking & camping, I've used the Chinook more -- and after I purchased the mesh inner for it, I've found that I like it for warmer temperatures just as well.
Just like the Revolution, the Chinook is easy and quick to set up -- even for someone as klutzy and uncoordinated as I am. I can be inside and out of foul weather in 4 minutes. When set up with all three poles, it is rock. solid. I have had it out in 35-40mph winds, with higher gusts, and have hardly noticed -- no flapping at all despite the relatively high steep sides. In long heavy rains I have stayed bone dry, and have noticed only the slightest amount of sag in the sil-nylon. The most snow I've had on it has been 3-4 wet, heavy inches, which slid easily off the sides. It did collect a bit on top, but it was easy enough to poke at the roof and pop it off.
The full fabric inner will make you feel as though you are in an absolute fortress -- it's basically a tent within a tent, and it will easily be 5 or more degrees warmer inside than it is outside (which may not sound like much, but it's surprisingly noticeable.)
As cozy as the fabric inner is, it is also the only feature of the tent that I dislike. For me, it feels somewhat claustrophobic -- when the doors are zipped, it feels very tight inside (even though the mesh inner has exactly the same dimensions, it just feels more roomy.) This is just personal preference.
I have found condensation & frosting to be an issue. Camping in the cold is always going to present condensation challenges in any tent -- happiness comes from skill at mitigating it -- but the solid fabric inner is SO solid that it makes this difficult...it is basically like a single wall tent.
If I could make any change at all to the Chinook, it would be to add a larger area of "zippable" mesh to the fabric inner's doors. The current mesh areas are just too small to adequately vent when the doors are closed. I would consider making the very top roof panels mesh as well, as the fabric roof seems unnecessary and it would help improve the ventilation (and perhaps even save a few grams.)
Although this might have sounded negative, I truly do love this tent and think it is superior to any competition; I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys winter camping. I am a big Big Sky fan; I have found their customer service and support to be prompt, honest, and hugely helpful. You will not regret this purchase.
Excellent first impression, (partly) suitable also for very tall persons
Bought the tent recently, so this is only a “first impression” review, based on use on one weekend-trip. In Mid-Norway, where I live, we are usually abundantly blessed with opportunities to test tents in bad weather, but the weather on this trip was actually pretty nice (except for some fairly strong wind), so no review on water resistance and use in very cold weather.
The first impression of the tent is great. Easy to set up and take down (also when windy), good height and somewhat thin, but non-slippery floor. The tent can be completely open when using only two poles (to enjoy the scenery when the weather is nice), while the third pole can be added if more wind is expected. This is a brilliant solution, I’ve been searching for years for a tent that is both fairly light, can be opened completely in nice weather, while being robust enough for the rough weather conditions. Seems that I have found one, can easily torn out to be my favourite tent. Heck, even the colour is great (I bought grey). The tent is tall and does take a bit of beating when the wind is blowing on the broad side of it, but with all of the guy-lines on and three poles, my impression is that tent stood firmly.
I am 197 cm tall, and struggle to find tents that are big enough. The Chinook is definitely tall enough, but bit on a short side for my 203 cm long sleeping mat and 230 cm long sleeping bag. When I place the mat diagonally in the tent, it is just about long enough that the sleeping bag do not touch the inner walls too much, so I think it’ll be fine for solo use. A few more centimetres in length would make it perfect.
Negative sides so far: Only major thing I see is that it will rain in the tent when the door is open due to vestibule roof being narrower than the bottom of the tent. I’m not sure whether this is to be considered a design flaw or a decision made to maximise space while holding weight down, but entering the tent in strong rain will demand care. Apart from that, I only have a few small picks: There’s no repair kit (you want one if you want to use the tent mid-winter), no pole-sacks and 3000 mm hydrostatic pressure for the floor means you’ll have to use footprint if you want to use the tent on marshes or wet snow.
All in all, excellent impression so far, will try to post additional review when I’ve been using the tent more.
Oh, one last thing, tent arrived quickly to Norway, from a warehouse in UK and customer service of Big Sky was very helpful with changing the order when I forgot to order footprint together with the tent.
The Chinook's Breathable Fabric inner has Mesh Netting windows each side than can be opened... so almost like half mesh. Thank you for your review.
Big Sky Chinook 2 (red) for mountaineering
I had looked for years for a 4 season tent with an exoskeleton with side of the tent access instead of end of the tent access, eureka made a exo tent with side access but it was not 4 season, lately only hill berg made them, until big sky designed the chinook. So i researched all info on it and purchased to review and keep. I am a mountain climber based out of portland oregon , so i was going to take it up on our volcanoes in the pacific northwest and everyone who has ever climbed mt rainier, mt hood, mt adams, etc. knows that this is a world class testing environment for equipment. I took this tent up mt hood in the late winter/spring and camped at 10,000 ft on the hogsback, weather was teens at night with a wind forecast of 30-40mph at night, w clearing in the morning. I figured i would take it up to test it out. Forecast was accurate, wind started to blow before sunset and blew all night until 4am, i had set up tent with all 3 poles and packed snow on the snow flaps, set up all guy lines and orientated the tent as instructed to the right direction for wind, and waited. What a bomb shelter, after the 1st hour of 40 mph wind, and nothing happened, i slept thru the night and woke as wind calmed. there had been 4 other tents when i got there at 1pm the day before and when i looked out at 4 am , 2 must have left, and 2 were still there, with one that had bent poles and some torn fabric , right then this tent was worth every penny, i have since used it on other climbs and same result, and it always is a conversation starter as its not the typical tent that the guides use on the volcanoes and that are end of the tent access , like the eurekas, mt hardware, north face, etc. and its red, i love the color and it is easy to see far away, when on mountain. 4 season-4lbs- 2 doors-2 vestibules, try to find another on the planet for $600, i dare you!