I originally got the Naturehike Cloud Up 2 as a backpacking tent for me and my daughter. I wanted something lightweight (I’m the one who carries most of our gear!) but didn’t want to spend a fortune. It’s been five years since I got it and it’s been used on many backcountry trips, including in bad weather. Here’s my honest review of the Naturehike Cloud Up so you can figure out whether it will work for your style of backpacking.
What is Naturehike?
Naturehike is a brand that makes affordable lightweight backpacking gear. Compared to other cheap Chinese brands, Naturehike gear is actually pretty good. They’ve developed a bit of a cult following amongst backpackers. I have four of their tents now (the Cloud Up 3, Vik 1P and P Series 4P) and am pleased with them. They sometimes lack extra features which high-end brands have, but they hold up, are light and don’t cost a fortune.
Naturehike Cloud Up 2 Specs:
- Max headroom: 41″/105cm
- Sleeping area footprint: 83×49″/210x125cm
- Available at: Amazon, Naturehike.com
The Naturehike Cloud Up is a freestanding 2-layer tent meant for 3-season use. It is available in 1P, 2P and 3P sizes.
- Pros: Affordable, lightweight, easy setup
- Cons: Droopy sides, sleep with head towards door
- Best For: Solo backpacking, backpacking with a kid, two skinny friends, or family backpacking in two tents
When it comes to weight, price and quality, you really can’t do much better than the Naturehike Cloud Up 2. However, the tent is definitely cramped inside. If you want something roomier but which is still this light, then get the Cloud Up 3P – or be prepared to spend a lot more.
Not sure? Check out these other cheap ultralight tents.
Cloud Up 2 Weight
The Cloud Up 2 only weighs 3.4lbs (that’s 1.56kg). This weight includes everything: the tent, rain fly, pegs, rope, and ground sheet. I tested it on my scale when it arrived. The weight clocked in at 1.61kg, so it’s on point.
Note that this weight is for the GRAY version of the tent. There are other versions of the tent made from a different material and weigh more! The newer version of the tent also has an extra pole, which adds a bit of weight.
Note: Naturehike also makes an even lighter version of the Cloud Up 2. The materials are really thin though: 10D compared to 20D with this version. It’s also slightly pricier. Check it out here.
The Cloud Up 2 is really easy to set up. I can set it up by myself in under 5 minutes (and that includes staking down!). I particularly love that the tent uses clips instead of sleeves. It’s a heck of a lot easier to get clips on the poles than shove poles through sleeves. There are also adjustable buckle clips for getting the fly tension perfect.
There are 4 stakes for the corners and 2 stakes for the vestibule. You also have to stake out the sides and back middle. Otherwise the walls will sag a lot. That comes to 9 stakes total. In bad weather, there are multiple other places you can stake out.
The video below shows how quickly you can set it up.
As a general rule, 2-person tents are for 1 person. The Cloud Up 2 is no exception. It is going to be a tight fit for two adults. However, my tween daughter and I fit in the tent fine, even with gear. It’s also very roomy for two kids.
I have used the Cloud Up 2 when backpacking with a friend. But I’m a really small woman and he’s skinny. During summer backpacking trips, we both managed to fit – but it was definitely tight. Our packs barely fit in the vestibule. So, if you want to use this tent for two adults though, I’d recommend getting the Cloud Up 3P.
Note: The Cloud Up 2 will not fit two adult winter sleeping bags! Take a look at the picture below. My winter bag is so poofy that it takes up almost the entire width of the tent.
Can Tall People Use the Cloud Up 2?
At 83″ long, the Cloud Up 2 can theoretically fit tall people. But it’s going to be a tight fit. You’ll likely need to sleep at a diagonal to avoid hitting your head. Also don’t expect to sit up comfortably in this tent if you are tall. It’s only 41″ at the highest point — and most of the tent is lower than this!
The way that the tent is designed means that the walls droop a lot. The first time I set it up, I had to re-peg the sides to get it more taut. This made it droop less, but the walls still caved in a bit. If you are trying to get 2 people into the 2-person tent, then the walls will hit your heads.
Note: I have the older version of the Cloud Up 2. It only has 3 poles. The newer version has two poles which fork in the back, so it shouldn’t be as droopy. If you want a lightweight tent which isn’t as droopy, you can check out the Mongar 2P or Star River 2P by Naturehike. They are a bit heavier though.
One thing that I really don’t like about the Naturehike Cloud Up is that the back is narrower than the front. So, you are supposed to sleep with your head towards the door. This simply does not work for me. I like to have my feet towards the door so I can easily get my boots on/off at the vestibule entrance.
Because of this, I actually always sleep with my head towards the back in the tent. It works well enough but you end up with the drooping walls pretty close to your head while sleeping.
The newer version of the Cloud Up 2 tent has a vent to help reduce condensation. My older version does not have this vent. Despite this, condensation isn’t too bad of an issue in the tent because there is a sizable gap between the fly and inner tent.
I did get some serious condensation on a recent trip (it was raining like crazy, 40F at night and there were two of us adults in the tent, so condensation was pretty much inevitable). Yet, the condensation managed to stay on the fly of the tent and not drip into the tent. But my backpacking partner and I are skinny, so we didn’t accidentally touch the tent walls.
I’m a firm believer that backpacking doesn’t have to be expensive — but most ultralight tents are incredibly pricy. Yet Naturehike manages to make some really cheap tents that are still good quality. The Cloud Up 2 costs approximately 1/3 of the price of the Big Agnes Flycreek UL2 — and the tents are almost identical.
I’ve spent a numerous nights in the Cloud Up 2 tent while it rained, including a few thunderstorms and one HAIL storm. The tent itself held up surprisingly well. There was never any leaking from the seams or the floor. The bathtub floor only goes up about 2 inches, so don’t put this tent anywhere you think it might flood! And definitely use the groundsheet.
The only annoying thing about the Cloud Up 2 in bad weather is the noise. Because of the pole structure, a lot of the rain fly isn’t attached to anything. It will flap around a lot in the wind.
It’s also really important to completely stake out the sides of the tent during bad weather. Otherwise the rain fly will stick to the inner mesh, causing condensation issues.
The video below shows the Naturehike Cloud Up 2 in really high winds. It’s not my video, but it gives you a good idea.
Also read: camping in a thunderstorm
As you’d expect with an ultralight tent, the Cloud Up 2 material is really thin. Mine hasn’t punctured or ripped yet, but I’m always very careful about clearing the pitch space of sharps before setting it up. And definitely use the ground sheet with the Cloud Up 2! The lightweight stakes included with the Cloud Up 2 are decent enough, but did eventually bend over time.
I honestly expected a pole to break by now (my kids are not gentle with tents!). But the poles are actually quite strong and have withstood my kids leaning on them, gear piled on the tent and some serious winds.
The Naturehike Cloud Up 2 has a decent-sized vestibule which easily fits my 55L pack plus two pairs of boots. There is a lantern hook inside as well as one small pocket over the door. However, there are no side pockets in the tent.
I was surprised how much this annoyed me. I had nowhere to keep TP, my glasses case, and other items we need to access quickly. The overhead pocket is annoying to reach from outside — you have to crouch into the tent to grab anything from it.
Can You Use the Cloud Up 2 in Winter?
I have yet to use the Cloud Up 2 in or on top of snow. However, I have slept in it multiple times in sub-freezing weather. The fly goes down low enough that you don’t feel wind. Condensation definitely forms on the fly, but I never had any issues with it dripping on me.
My only concern would be if you are tall. Then your feet or head might touch the walls and you’d end up wet from condensation. And, as mentioned before, the Cloud Up 2 is definitely not big enough to fit two poofy winter sleeping bags!
Cloud Up 2 vs. Cloud Up 3
I’ve been doing more cold-weather camping recently and two adult winter sleeping bags won’t fit in the Cloud Up 2. I spend a lot of time looking at lightweight 3p tents and couldn’t find anything else that I liked and was affordable. So, I ended up getting the Cloud Up 3p too.
The biggest differences between the Cloud Up 2 and Cloud Up 3 are:
- Cloud Up 3p has a crossbar on top. This gives you a LOT more interior space because the walls don’t droop as much. You also get much more headroom.
- More Vents on the Cloud Up 3. I never had condensation issues even with my old version of the Cloud Up 2, so this feature probably only matters if you are winter camping.
- Heavier: The official weight of the Cloud Up 3 is 5.2lbs (2.4kg). When I put mine on the scale, it was actually closer to 5.4lbs. That’s 2lbs heavier than the Cloud Up 2p! It’s still lighter than pretty much any other cheap 3P tent you’ll find though.
Cloud Up 2 vs. FlyCreek HV UL2
The CloudUp 2 is a clone of the FlyCreek HV UL2 tent by Big Agnes. I personally have never slept in the FlyCreek HV UL2. However, other people (like in this forum) have tried out both of these tents and say that they are comparable in terms of quality and construction.
When comparing the weights of these two tents, you’ve got to consider that the FlyCreek HV UL doesn’t come with a ground sheet (which you will need to use because of the thin floor).
The FlyCreek UL2 claims to weigh just 1lb 15oz, but this is without the stakes and a ground sheet. The ground sheet (aka footprint) that they recommend costs nearly half as much as the Naturehike CloudUp 2 and weighs 5oz. That brings the total weight of the 2.9lbs.
- CloudUp 2: 3.4lbs total weight
- FlyCreek HV UL2: 2.9lbs total weight
A 5oz difference is huge if you are doing serious backpacking. But I personally am not willing to spend a fortune just to save 5oz (I’d rather cut weight from my pack in these cheap ways)
Materials and Construction:
The materials used to make the FlyCreek tent are definitely of a better quality than those of the CloudUp 2. However, according to what people are saying online, the difference is really negligible (again, I personally haven’t tried out the FlyCreek).
There are some other differences, like that the CloudUp 2 uses seven clips instead of six, doesn’t have guylines attached to the tent body, and has 14 stakes instead of 11.
The FlyCreek does have 3 interior mesh pockets. And, while I really wish the CloudUp tent had side pockets, I’m not willing to pay an extra $200+ for these.
Still not sure which tent to get? Check out these cheap ultralight tents for backpacking.
5 Year Update
It’s now been over 5 years since I bought the Naturehike Cloud Up 2. It’s been on a lot of adventures with me. 🙂 Even after all of this use (and some abuse!), the Cloud Up 2 is holding up well. The zippers haven’t broken, it isn’t leaking (and I haven’t resealed the seams) and the poles are fine.
The only issue is that the walls are sagging even more than before. No amount of tensioning will get the walls to sag less. Instead, I have to shove something like a waterbottle along each side to hold the walls outwards. If the problem gets worse, I’ll probably get another Cloud Up 2. Since the newer design has V poles in the back, the sagging should be less of an issue anyway.