Every tent is a compromise. The Catoma series of tents are targeted to the rider who wants a tent to set up NOW. The key to quick set up of this tent is the central hub and the folding pole sections which remain attached to the tent when packed.
To test the claim of easy setup, I took the tent to the Falling Leaf Rally. If I was able to set up the tent, without looking at the instructions, in a reasonable period of time, I considered it to meet my expectations. I had previously opened the carrying bag at home in order to insure that all of the parts were in the bag. This included the tent, stakes and ground sheet.
Upon arrival at the Lions Park in Potosi, Missouri, I picked out a site and unloaded my bike. Within two minutes, I had figured out how the joints worked, had all four poles extended and locked and had the ground sheet attached to the bottom of the tent. A few more minutes pounding the Easton aluminum stakes into the four corners, four more for the corner guys, a few more for the fly and I was done.
I'm sure that with a little practice, I could have all four poles extended and locked in the advertised "30 second setup" time. There have been times when being able to get into shelter would have looked very attractive.
The tent is well assembled. In effect, it is a net tent, which is then protected by the integrated fly. The fly can not be removed. There is a small mesh gear shelf at the top which could store things you wanted near at hand. Two doors would make for good flow thru ventilation in warm weather. The tub floor in combination with the waterproof ground sheet should keep moisture out of the tent. The poles are contained in sleeves sewn onto the fly. I noticed that they are lighter in color than the tent and the contrast makes it easy to locate your tent at night.
The Catoma line has three sizes: Lone rider, 2 UP and Switchback. Both the 2 UP and the Switchback have generous vestibules on the end. The Lone Rider vestibule is on the side.
Since none of the tents pack down small enough to fit in a side or top case, I would lean towards the Switchback for comfort. Of course, weight may be a factor which would influence your choice.
Lone Rider (reviewed)
Size: 8'4" X 4' 7" X 41"
Pack Size: 26.5" X 6"
Weight: 7 LBS 4 OZ
Size: 7' X 6' 6" X 48"
Pack Size: 29.5" X 6.5"
Weight: 9 LBS 4 OZ
Size: 7' 4" X 6' X 59"
Pack Size: 33.5" X 8.5"
Weight: 15 LBS 2 OZ
For more information, current availability and pricing, visit the Catoma Web site at http://www.catomaoutdoor.com/store/Catalog/CategoryInfo.aspx?CID=112.