The Blacks Octane 2 is a two-poled tunnel tent which pitches flysheet first, with the inner attaching via a series of colour-coded hooks and loops. Putting up the tent was fairly easy, but there was no colour coordination of the poles to help you out and the attachment loops look a little fragile. I’d be interested to see how they stand up to long-term use.
The porch can hold two expedition packs with space for cooking. There’s a large transparent window on the front of it, but I’m not too keen on this plastic panel: while it lets a good amount of light in, it also allows passers by to see into your porch and the gear you have.
The tent features two mesh ventilation points on the flysheet, both covered by effective rain guards, and they allow for a good cross-flow of air. But there’s a lack of ventilation points on the inside: the inner ventilation comes through an insect net that covers about a third of the door. While this would be OK if the inner had other ventilation areas, I feel the tent will get very stuffy in warm weather.
There’s plenty of storage inside the tent, with four inner pockets providing space to keep your kit close to hand. One thing I really liked about the Octane 2 was the hanging hook – I can see it being a lot more useful than the fabric loops seen in other tents.
There was plenty of room inside for a six-footer to stretch out and a nice width for a comfortable night, however the roof was slightly low. Surprisingly, the Octane 2 was one of the smallest tents in this test when packed, but out of the stuff sack it’s pleasantly big.