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Backpacker Magazine – March 2008

March 2008 Tents Review: Mountaineering Tents

by: The Backpacker Editors

PAGE 1 2
NEMO Moki, Setthughes.com
NEMO Moki, Setthughes.com
Marmot Alpinist 2P, Setthughes.com
Marmot Alpinist 2P, Setthughes.com
Sierra Designs Stretch Tiros 2, Setthughes.com
Sierra Designs Stretch Tiros 2, Setthughes.com
Hilleberg Allak, Setthughes.com
Hilleberg Allak, Setthughes.com
Mountain Hardwear EV2, Setthughes.com
Mountain Hardwear EV2, Setthughes.com
Exped Polaris, Setthughes.com
Exped Polaris, Setthughes.com

Greener Poles (*): Standard anodizing processes use hazardous acids. DAC Featherlite NSL poles are made with an eco-friendly anodizing process.
Dye-free fabric (*): White, dye-free tent canopies both brighten interiors and minimize pollutants during manufacturing.
Fly-only fastpitch (FP): In mild, bug-free conditions, you can pitch these tents with just the rainfly and poles, cutting down on bulk and weight.

Hilleberg Allak *
Ride out nasty weather in luxe style with this light-and-roomy shelter. With its burly three-pole construction and abundant pre-attached guylines, the two-person dome easily repelled a late-September storm that dropped several inches of heavy snow at 9,100 feet in Idaho's Smoky Mountains. Condensation was next to nil thanks to four zip-open vents. With a 42-inch peak height, 91-inch-long floor plan, steep walls, and twin 10-square-foot vestibules big enough for bulky cold-weather gear, the Allak has elbowroom to spare. Bottom line: Big guys headed for big mountains and big weather will be big-time satisfied. $670; 5 lbs. 8 oz.

Top Ultralight
Marmot Alpinist 2P
True to the alpine spirit of fast-and-light, the single-wall Alpinist couldn't be quicker to pitch: Two crossing poles attach externally to double-hook clips that are both efficient and sturdy. A third short pole bends over the top, tightening a bat wing of fabric that conceals two half-moon ventilation zips in the ceiling. Best of all, Marmot dramatically increases the usability of its 30 square feet of floor space and 40-inch ceiling by making the first foot of each pole dead-vertical. Translation: "No more tent wall pressing in on my face!" exclaimed one tester after a trip to the Tetons. The vestibule has a plastic window useful for weather-checking, but the vestibule itself is on the small side. $495; 4 lbs. 14 oz.; 2-person

Mountain Hardwear EV2
With design input from 8,000-meter specialist Ed Viesturs, the single-wall EV2 is made with one goal in mind: provide fast-to-pitch, rock-solid protection in crappy conditions. Our Rocky Mountain editor, who used the tent on a 23-day solo ascent of Mount McKinley, reports it didn't so much as flap during "a rage-fest blizzard with 40-mph winds near Kahiltna Pass." Like all of the best four-season tents today, the EV2 uses external pole clips (rather than sleeves or internal poles) for fast setup. The basic X-frame design has a third, full-length pole for the integral vestibule, which is big enough to hold two stacked packs. The two-person EV2 is long and high enough to accommodate six-and-a-half footers, but it's narrow, so it can fit on ledges where wider tents won't. $625; 5 lbs. 6 oz.

Exped Polaris
This long and narrow single-wall combines some of the best features of several mountain tents. It has vestibules with bug netting at both ends (unfortunately, only one is a door) for good flow-through ventilation, ceiling tunnel vents that drawcord shut, and a low-profile aerodynamic shape. Three color-coded hoop poles–two external, one internal–form the body of the tent, and an end-to-end ridge pole creates the vestibule, which easily holds two packs. The four poles–plus a relatively complex sidewall guyline system–make the freestanding Polaris "kind of tricky to pitch, but impervious to even the nastiest tempest," said one tester who used it in Wyoming's Big Horns. With 30 square feet of living space and a 35-inch ceiling, the Polaris appears roomy, but the foot end is far too low for sitting. Still, if you want a winter bunker that's light and long (fits campers up to about 6'3"), this is a good option. $675; 5 lbs. 4 oz.; 2-person


PAGE 1 2

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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
niles
Mar 26, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmyUc3XT8i0&feature=share&list=UUeWKaLsk9Z6TwWgPv3VGPnA

Ravi
Jul 02, 2010

I bought this "expedition tent" Alpinst 2P to keep us warm and dry. It failed on both those requirements. It was quick & easy to set up under wet conditions. Last month in June, I went camping on the Temperance river in the North Shore, Minnesota. The tent sides got everything wet even after using waterproof ground sheet as the sides at the bottom leaks.

We were freezing all night even with Thermarest mats and down bags. We finally slept after first sunlight as we had stayed awake all night.

No more Marmot tents for me! I am really surprised at the poor quality of this tent after spending 500 dollars and I trusted the market name of Marmot.

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