What does “2-season tent” mean? Summer use only, in practical terms.
A 2-season tent is designed to keep you cosy in mild weather conditions – a little bit of rain, a little bit of wind – but no more.
Festival tents, pop-up tents and cheap tents are usually around the 2-season mark.
2-season tents will sometimes be single-skin tents and rely on the waterproof coating of their outer layer to keep rain out. However, they will suffer from condensation overnight, and will probably leak in wet weather if you touch the edges.
2-season tents will often have flimsy, light-weight poles and minimal guy-lines for pegging down.
A 2-season tent isn’t always a poor purchase. If you need a tent for summer use, lightweight touring or even kids in the garden then a 2-season tent may well suffice.
If you need more than very basic waterproofing, look for a a tent described as 2/3 season. This crossover is where tents start to incorporate inner-tents and waterproof seams, proper guy-lines and more weather-sensitive design.