Argos Pro Action Hike Lite Tent Review

I used the Argos Pro Action Hike Lite 1 person tent that I bought a couple of months ago on a two-day walk on Dartmoor.  This tent has had plenty of exposure on outdoors forums and blogs for quite a while, with mainly positive reviews.  I was keen to see for myself if it really does present a cheap, viable option to more exotic and vastly more expensive offerings.  The first thing you notice is the weight in comparison to the packed size.  It's a small tent, it packs reasonably small in it's compression sack but it weighs around 2kg.  That is heavy for a 1-man tent by most standards, but it's not really surprising.  You won't find any exotic lightweight materials here.  Just good old pu coated polyester, but for a price anywhere from £50 (rrp) to £17.99 depending on what the latest Argos offer is, there isn't much to complain about.

What you get is a well-made piece of kit with two shock cord linked alloy poles and 7 (1 spare) round wire alloy pegs.  The inner is suspended by plastic clips to the poles and webbing and buckle straps connect inner tent and fly.  I have described the contsruction and pitching earlier on my blog and the images show how the tent pitches.  Pitching is easy, there is nothing fiddly to annoy you it's possible to get a reasonably taut fly apart from the door which would benefit from an extra pegging point.

  There are some mesh panels in the inner.  The mesh is a tight weave and should keep out Scottish midges.  The downside is that in cold weather the tent can feel a little draughty, but not as bad as my old MSR Microzoid which had more mesh. 

Ventilation is good with a front vent that is propped open by a reinforced stay.  It can be closed by a velcro strip if not needed.
There is a useful hanging loop at the apex of the inner, I like to carry a candle lantern when winter camping as it frees me up from having to constantly use a headtorch.  The candle gives off a surprising amount of heat and light and the warm glow is good for morale! 

Three guying points give some stability, but the guys and plastic sliders could do with upgrading to something better.  The strap and buckle arrangement works well to link and tension the inner and fly.

I'm 6' tall and can sit up in the tent without my head touching the inner, headroom is commendably good.  There was room in the tent for my 65 litre Macpac Ascent when the cooking gear, food and water was stowed under the fly.  The downside is that my 2 litre Platypus froze solid overnight and my Innov8 Terrocs were also frozen solid.  The only way I could thaw and soften them enough to get them on my feet was to dunk them in the stream next to my tent.  I wouldn't want to do that with Goretex-lined boots!

The porch is very small and not at all practical or safe for cooking in without unclipping the inner and rolling it back.  It is impossible to use an alcohol stove in this tent with the fly zipped up without seriously risking a fire.

I used a White Box Solo alcohol stove and the flame spread would easily have caught the fly, even with a windshield in place.  Be warned!

So having used the Pro Action Hike Lite in early winter on Dartmoor, what are my thoughts?  It's a good, cheap, well-made tent that works well within it's limitations.  It's not a tent I would want to use for full-on UK winter conditions.  For the weight, I would take something bigger and stronger with more room to move around inside during those long winter nights.  It's a tent I would use on commercial sites and for wild camping during summer when the weather is more suitable for cooking and sitting outside, but at the price, who's complaining?


Hendrik M said…
Beautiful photos, Steve. The tent itself is great for beginners or the occasional backpacker, and also can be "misused" for festivals and the like. If one is more often outside and weight is a matter, then there's lighter alternatives, but with up to 4 times the price on needs to think twice.
Steve Walton said…
Thanks, Hendrik. It's very good value for money at the last offer price of £17.99 and I agree with you.
John Hee said…
Such good value I bought one at the Argos summer clearance just to store away.

Having had one before it'll either be used for any newbie friends who fancy a intro to wildamping, or else I may sell it on.

Must be the first thing I've ever bought that has stayed in its original wrapping.

Over the years I've gone from a cheap light(ish) 2 man tent..onto the Argos model...and finally stopped with my Akto.

So the Argos model definitely fits the bill as a cheap and sensible intro for wildcamping
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the review, alway nice to read what people say about their equipment.
Nice pictures too.

Anonymous said…
I bought mine for 15 quid in 2011 and have used it twice for wild cycle camping in summer - once atop a hill, once on a beach - and it was fine both times. On a bike, weight is less of an issue. Plenty of space inside for me and my panniers! My 'New Year's Resolution' is to get out on my bike more often with the tent!