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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2009
This solo Mountain Hardwear tent is great when the temperature dips.
In the past year, we've hammered more than a dozen solo shelters, and when temperatures dropped, the Sprite was consistently the first one missing from the gear closet. The rainfly is made from a 75-denier, PU-coated polyester–the same weight of fabric that Mountain Hardwear uses as canopy reinforcements in its Trango series of mountaineering tents. Translation: It's bomber. "There were no signs of wear after nine months of abuse," says one New Hampshire tester.
"And the steep-angled walls and taut pitch shed snow easily; just make sure to orient it with the foot toward the wind." After an early-spring snowshoe trip in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, a Colorado tester returned crowing about the storage space: "A five-square-foot vestibule doesn't sound like enough on paper, but it easily stored my pack, boots, and wet shell. Plus, there's room for a hat, gloves, water, a book, and a headlamp in an expanded interior storage space near your head." Length and headroom, though, is adequate only for short hikers (less than 6'). The vestibule's drip line kept the interior dry when we got in and out in the rain, and a window brightened the interior and made it easy to monitor weather. Small sacrifice: The weight is high for a solo tent. $170; 3 lbs. 7 oz.; mountainhardwear.com