Kelty Late Start 2 Person Dome Tent Review

When we created this review for the Late Start 2, we studied the data against two hundred and fourty other 2 person dome tents, evaluating more than sixty different data points. We also checked the total cost including shipping & discounts at thirteen various sellers stores, to find the best bargain for you.

The Late Start Fly Open
Kelty's Late Start 2 With the Fly Open
In this report, we will present to you:
  • A summary of the reviews we found.
  • A thorough examination of the features, materials and dimensions.
  • The Pros and Cons about the tent.
  • The Best Value that we Found!

At all our reviews are created with the aid of our particular dataset of more than 1,000 tents, that are sold in the United States. Our aim is to give you an impartial review and our own unique rating based on the statistics, along with the lowest price and best value we found.

Best Value & Low Price

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  • Kelty Logo
  • Manufacturer: Kelty
  • Model: Late Start
  • MPN: 40820719
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2 Persons
  • Designed For: 3 Seasons
  • Best Use: Backpacking
  • Type: Dome Tent
  • Available in: Other Sizes
  • MSRP: $159.95

Late Start 2 Pictures and Videos

Click on an image or video to enlarge them!

The Late Start With the Fly Off

Kelty Late Start 2 With the Fly Off
Fly Closed on the Late Start 2

Fly Closed Late Start 2

A video about the Late Start 2 tent.

Another video about Kelty's tents.


Logo Representing the Features Section


  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Color: Gray, Blue
  • Number of Rooms: 1
  • Number of Windows: None
  • Number of Doors: 1
  • Zippers: Noiseless pulls
  • Storage Pockets & Gear Loft: No, No
  • Mesh Roof & Walls: Yes, Yes
  • Footprint: Not Included, Available Separately
  • Late Start 2 floor saver
Logo Representing the Materials Section

Materials and Extras

  • Inner Walls: No-See-Um Mesh
  • Full Fly: 68D Polyester
    Fly Waterproof Ratings: 1800 mm
  • Floor Materials: 68D Polyester
    Floor Waterproof Ratings: 1800 mm
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Number Of Poles: 2
  • Pole Dimensions: N/A
  • Guy Lines & Guy Outs: Yes, Yes
  • Stakes: Aluminium
Logo Representing the Dimensions Section


  • Floor Area: 30 sq. ft.
  • Center Height: 3 foot. 4 inches.
  • Packed Weight: 4 Lbs 8 Oz
    Trail Weight: 4 Lbs. 0 Oz.
  • Packed Size: 16 x 7 inches.
  • Number of Vestibules: 1
    Total Vestibule Area: 7.85 sq. ft.
  • Screened Areas: None
  • Awnings: None

Tent Set Up

Lightning fast/easy set up with Kelty Quick-Corner Technology

Green Thumbs Up Logo

Summary: Favorable Reviews

Campers who bought the tent mentioned: It was light and easily packed out how I wanted it. When the rain finally ended later that day, my tent was still dry on the inside. Great for summer/warm weather camping when you need to get out of the mosquitos, and you still want to see the night sky! Kept my kids dry in camp on a wetter than expected week-long canoe trip.

Teal Thumbs Down Logo

Summary: Unfavorable Reviews

People who purchased the tent said: This tent is not the lightest option on the market. The design of the fly made it quite loud in strong winds. The lack of a vent in the rain fly made it quite hot inside. The vestibule created by the rain cover is a little too small.


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The Late Start 2 has one door and a peak center height of 3' 4, which is 11 inches less than the average height of the 211 various 2 person tents we have studied. With 30 square feet of space inside, it is considerably smaller than some other 2-person tents, and it would be quite tight for you and, another camper during the 3-seasons, this tent is recommended for use in, smaller tents like this one can make a superb choice for campers that prefer spending loads of time outside exploring the great outdoors.

Many of the fantastic things about dome tents are, that they are generally speaking lightweight, making them simple to carry. In near all cases, tents used for backpacking are of the dome type. They are usually, freestanding and very simple to set up. In calm weather, you could do without guy lines and stakes, not that this is recommended.

Dome tents are easily the most common of all the other sorts of tents you will see when camping. They tend to do better in bad weather than other types, allowing rain to roll off the sloped sides, unlike cabin tents that have flat roofs, allowing the rain to pool on the top. The most straightforward dome tent should have a rectangular floor, slanted sides a couple of poles which converge in the middle of the roof. Because of their construction, it is generally considered that they are ideal for up to a maximum of 6 campers.

Underneath you can find an account of the tent's pros and cons.

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  1. Freestanding. The Late Start can support its own weight on any terrain. It does not even have to be staked down in most cases. But in case of strong winds, it is always best to secure it to the ground with the included steel stakes and guylines.
  2. Vestibule. Having one vestibule. Affords you a place to store shoes and other items that can get dirty, muddy, this is a big plus.
  3. Internal storage. It is nice to see Kelty has added a gear loft and pockets in the interior to store some of your gear.
  4. Breathable. The Late Start's interior uses a mesh fabric on the inside of the tent, and this helps maximize the flow of air. With the extra ventilation, and this tent is great for use in the summer.
  5. The rainfly completely covers the tent body. The rainfly covers the entire body of the tent from the top to the bottom and has a waterproof rating of 1800mm. Meaning it will easily protect you against heavy downpours.
  6. Tons of Positive Reviews The Late Start 2 has Lots of excellent Reviews
  7. Available in other sizes. Kelty has also made this model available in Other Sizes.
  8. Low price. It is a great purchase for a 2 person dome tent providing this much room. Not a lot of tents available on the market give this level of quality for only $159.95


  1. Not spacious. With a floor area of 30 square feet, the Late Start 2 is smaller than quite a lot of the 211 other 2 person tents we have looked at.
  2. Lacking in Headroom. With 11% less headroom than similar sized tents, one can see how this could be a negative thing for some campers.
  3. Footprint not Included. There is no included footprint, there is one available separately designed for the Late Start 2 footprint Even though the floor may be made of 68D Polyester, it is still better to protect it further with a footprint, especially on rough terrain.
  4. Out of Stock. Unfortunately this particular tent is not currently in stock. It is still on the manufactures website the last time we checked.
  5. Sloping walls. Even though Dome tents have lots of things to be positive about. The sloping sides do tend to make it all the more smaller inside.


4.6 Stars Logo

Our Ratings: 4.6 STARS

Kelty's Late Start 2 tent is great for backpacking. There are a few other cool things not mentioned above which, we found and liked, while reviewing the model: The Late Start does not care if you worked late or got stuck in traffic it knows your goal is aFAST setup, Big-time interior living space created with pre-bent poles and Full coverage waterproof rain fly.

With superb ratings, quite a lot of reviews and a peak height of 3' and 30 square feet of space to enjoy, this tent is like your very own miniature studio. This will allow you to enjoy some delightful moments camping. We found a decent amount of pros about the tent that you can look at above.

If you came to this page looking for recommendations about this particular tent, we think, it should make for a very good buy. In case you simply happened to arrive on this website while browsing for a brand new tent having not heard of this manufacurer or this tent before, it is possibly a good thing to look at some other comparable tents.

Value for money: As far as value for money, this tent is undoubtedly cheaper than the normal cost of all the two hundred and ninety-two, two-person tents we have looked at, this just by itself does not make it excellent value for money. We also need to think about other things in-depth, as we do with every tent.

When we determine the overall score of a single tent, we scrutinize a lot of areas, searching for areas where the tent could beat out other similar tents and where it is coming up short. In this case, with an overall score of 4.6 and the price data above, we can spot that with a price of $159.95 Kelty's Late Start 2 is a superb purchase and incredibly competitively priced when compared with comparable tents.

Its ratings show that the build and space the tent offers were not in any way compromised to finish up with a price undoubtedly below the average price for comparable tents. It is also worth thinking about the fact that it is marked down by 0% from the manufactures suggested price. It could make an awesome choice for nearly all campers looking for a comfortable three-season backpacking tent to camp in, that should serve you well for years to come.

Best Value & Low Price

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$159.95 info_outline
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Other Sizes and Variations of the Kelty Late Start Model

Model Headroom Sleeping Area

Kelty Late Start 1
Late Start 1

3' 1"21 sq ft

Kelty Late Start 2
Late Start 2

3' 4"30 sq ft

Kelty Late Start 4
Late Start 4

4' 8"56 sq ft
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