Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

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Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby Petew » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 1:14 pm

Bonfus Duos initial review

Background

I had been on the hunt for a trekking pole supported 2 person tent for quite a while and had eventually decided on a Camo Duplex from Zpacks as the one for me.
As well as the Duplex I had considered the Tarptent Stratosphire Li as well as The Two by Gossamer Gear. After getting the required funds together I went to order one only to find that the camo version was no longer being produced!

back to the drawing board....

After much more searching I came across the Duos made by a new company called Bonfus. The Duos was of a similar design to the Duplex/Gossamer Gear The Two and as a bonus it was available in Camo. Yay!

Bonfus is a small UL company founded by siblings Niccolo and Stefana. Their gear manufacturing is based in Mexico City (stefana) and Niccolo is based in Norway.

Their website:https://bonfus.com/ and the Duos: https://bonfus.com/product/duos-2p-2/

After a few emails with the very helpful and informative Niccolo I decided to buy one. The cost was USD$629 and shipping was free on the agreement that I write up this first impressions review. The Duos is available in three different weights of DCF, .51 Oz white, .67Oz camo and .74Oz spruce green. I went for the camo one.
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Camped at Erskine creek

Bonfus Duos


The Basics

The Duos is a two person, side entry trekking pole supported shelter. It was designed to be a little more robust in heavier weather for a tent this type. With that in mind the tent body sits a little closer to the ground and extends further away from the tent floor. There are four extra guy out points on the corners and two sealable vents at the top of the doors. The floor is sewn to the body in such a way that it is impossible for it to creep out from under the edge of the fly if camped on a slope.

The Camo version I have weighs 620G on my scale (tent only)

The tent body is .67Oz camo DCF

The Floor is 1Oz white DCF

The door is zipless to save weight. It closes with velcro tabs and has an elastic toggle mid way up for securing in bad weather.

Reinforcement Patches are 2.92Oz hybrid DCF

Noseeum netting with rainbow doors (#3YKK zips)

Guy lines are all 2mm UHMWPE core braided with polyester and reflective.

It comes with a square flat DCF stuff sack, some extra line locks and guylines (4 of each) and 30cm of DCF camo repair tape. No pegs or poles are included.

There are two vents at the top of the doors.

There are four extra optional guy out points.

There are two little stash pockets inside the tent and two hooks to string up a line inside

The optimal pole length is around 130cm.
Dimensions.png
Dimensions Bonfus Duos



In Use

I have so far only used the Duos on three trips. Each time I have tried to use it in challenging conditions where possible (condensation wise) to see how it would perform. Each campsite was situated next to water in a valley bottom.

Trip one was to Canoe creek on the Colo river. I decided to make life difficult for myself by camping on deep soft sand by the edge of the water in perfect condensation generating conditions. Pitching was a little tricky in soft sand but long sticks (instead of pegs) and some flat rocks buried under the pole bases sorted everything out. I slept with the doors sealed. It was a cool night with heavy dew. In the morning there was a reasonable amount of condensation on the inside but none of it made it to the floor or got my gear wet. After opening both doors and eating breakfast it had all gone.

Trip two I was camped on long wet grass beside the Grose river. Pitching was much easier on firmer ground and again I slept with the doors sealed. The night was not as cool and there was a light breeze. This time there was much less condensation inside the tent.
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Grose river


Trip three was to Erskine creek. This time I was still camped near water but on leaf litter. The night was still and pleasant and I slept with the doors half open. There was zero condensation inside in the morning.


The Duos is easy to pitch once familiar with it. I can get it pitched in around two minutes.


The things I like about it:

Light!
rps20201122_140901.jpg
Dappled morning light


Roomy: The Duos has a surprising amount of room in it. There is a lot of head space and plenty of vestibule room. There is good airflow in this tent. it dosent feel stuffy and claustrophobic. It actually feels much more like a tarp than a tent.

Well made: The stitching is of high quality and there is a lot of attention to detail. Little things like the reinforcements on the side tie outs being attached with the DCF threads at a 45 degree angle to the threads in the tent body(increasing tear resistance). I feel like I got value for money in this department.

Vents: These give some extra ventilation at the peaks. They are particularly useful when the tent is hunkered down for bad weather.
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Vents at the top of doors

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Detail of the vent from inside


Floor: I really like the way the floor is attached to the tent body. The noseeum mesh keeps it firmly in place. It is impossible for the floor to creep out from under the fly even if camping on sloping ground. I did have my concerns about the mesh sloping towards the floor (condensation run off) but in reality this has been a non issue.
rps20201122_141036_484.jpg
Floor detail


Extra guy out points: These have not been used in anger but I really like the fact that they are there.

Flat stuff sack: Initially I didn't like the flat stuff sack it comes with. I thought surely a smaller more compact one would be better. In practice its been much easier to get the tent into than a smaller one and it fits perfectly in the mesh pocket on the outside of my pack.

Camo: I love the dappled light inside in the morning. The camo also gives a lot more privacy than the other variants (if you care about such things). It also blends in very nicely with the Australian bush.

Dries quickly: DCF absorbs no water and drys super fast


Things that I am not so keen on


I'm struggling a little here as I really like the duos but here goes...

Its a small thing but the Duos comes with the doors rigged in such a way that one half of the vestibule is always shut. this is easily fixed by cutting the continuous cord at the base and tying an extra loop in the cord making the doors independent from each other. I asked Niccolo about this and they are considering doing this as standard. I can also see a point in the future where the elastic used on the door closure will need replacing.
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Door closure apparatus


Door zips: I wish J type doors were used instead of rainbow doors. easier to keep the bugs out, harder to accidentally damage and easier to tuck out of the way but not a deal breaker

White DCF tie out reinforcements: all the reinforcements are white. This is because Bonfus mainly sell white DCF tents and reinforcements are laser cut.

Would I buy a Duos again?


Absolutely! I felt like I was taking a bit of a risk buying such an expensive item from an unknown(to me) manufacturer but I am glad I did. I might try out one of their packs next.

There is a review of it in German on youtube if you are interested :

https://youtu.be/wmjM3n1lbpw
Attachments
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Roomy vestibules
Last edited by Petew on Fri 27 Nov, 2020 5:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby Eric » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 2:07 pm

Hi there. I liked the camo Zpacks stuff. I contacted Zpacks to ask why they deleted the camo, Zpacks said the material had failed in some cases so they discontinued using it... camo is great for stealth camping
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby Petew » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 2:20 pm

Weird response from zpacks. When I asked them it was because they had run out:). It's the same DCF thread content as .51 Oz DCF with an extra printed film on it. Same stuff as they use now and also used by tarptent. I do love the Camo and I'm not generally a Camo guy.
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby Lamont » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 2:23 pm

Thanks Pete. Thumbs up on a really good initial use report.
Ta for taking the time and effort and adding the pics as well. If you had the time, another report after 15-20 nights use would be great.
I see your door closure potential issue being resolved in your manner. I reckon they wait for some feedback and go from there.


Edit -you are a Camo guy now :D plus I have heard positive things around their ruckies.
Last edited by Lamont on Sun 22 Nov, 2020 2:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby Petew » Sun 22 Nov, 2020 2:27 pm

For sure I'll update with a bit more use. Yeah, their packs look pretty good.
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 25 Nov, 2020 10:06 am

Great review Pete,

I like the idea of Camo but I'd be worried I'd wander off at night to go to the loo and not be able to find the tent again :lol:


When you say rainbow doors do you mean the mesh lays down on the ground if you open the door fully?
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby Petew » Wed 25 Nov, 2020 10:32 am

Yes, the door lays down on the floor. Night time not an issue :)
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby crollsurf » Wed 25 Nov, 2020 3:27 pm

Good review Petew,
That last photo shows that finding your tent in the dark is not an issue for those who like to enjoy a Sunset before heading back to camp.
The Bonfus site now has pricing at $814USD and the Zpacks is $614USD, so a big price difference! Be nice to understand what the differences are between these 2 tents (other than camo) to try and justify buying a Bonfus over a Zpacks.

Also not sure only being able to open one half of the vestibule is a an issue, having both sides half open would give a ton of ventilation.
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby Petew » Wed 25 Nov, 2020 6:32 pm

I think the Bonfus website at the moment is showing the price in Europe. I think once the international side of it is sorted out it will be cheaper (no VAT). For us it's priced the same ad the duplex in Camo was $629usd. I think you have to email Niccolo directly at the moment to get that price. Apparently the duo's is still cheaper in Europe than the duplex once the various import fees and taxes are taken into account.
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby Petew » Wed 25 Nov, 2020 7:20 pm

I'll email him and ask about the prices
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby Petew » Wed 25 Nov, 2020 7:30 pm

As far as the differences between a Duo's and a Duplex...

Duo's is a little higher, floor is shorter and wider, four more guy out points on the Duo's, more headroom, more fly overlap with the floor, vents and Velcro toggle door closure rather than double metal hook. Vestibules at a bit bigger. The Duos is slightly heavier than a Duplex because it's a bit bigger. Phew!

As for the vestibule thing, you are right, it's a non issue. I was just looking for some negatives to balance out the positives:)
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Re: Bonfus Duos DCF Tent Initial review

Postby Petew » Wed 25 Nov, 2020 7:51 pm

I contacted Niccolo via DM on Instagram, he replied almost instantly. His response...

We previously were selling the 0.51 at 599usd, the 0.74 at 619usd, and the camo at 629usd. We will most probably add 10usd to these prices. Reason being that our tents are much bigger than our competitors so it is not realistic to keep the same prices as we use more DCF. Also they are a bit more elaborate with vents etc


He also said that if anyone is interested in a Duo's to mail him via their website for a quote with shipping. Their website is currently not set up to remove the various euro taxes yet.

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