Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear EV Direct 2-Person Tent

This Mountain Hardwear alpine tent is easy to set up, yet sturdy in strong winds.

Minimalist

If you're graduating from winter camping to mountaineering, your tent better graduate, too. This specialist shelter is all about no-frills alpine performance: solid protection, low weight, easy pitch. With only two poles and carabiner-style external clips, the single-wall EV Direct is a cinch to set up, even in a squall and when wearing bulky gloves. Simply anchor the tent, insert the pole-ends into the grommets, and clip. Our testers encountered knee-buckling winds that couldn't shake the EV 2, thanks to four guy-out points and a smart tensioning system. "The webbing tabs at the corners of the tent tension from the pole to the tent body, rather than from the pole to the anchor," says our Colorado tester.

"This stretches the fabric taut beneath the two arching poles." The waterproof/breathable Conduit fabric, plus three vents (one low and two high), made condensation a nonissue–impressive on a single-wall. Super-tough, un-stretchable sailcloth reinforces stress points, and the translucent fabric lets light in, brightening the white interior on gloomy days. Reality check: Dimensions and features are extremely utilitarian. There's no vestibule, a scant 30 square feet of living space, adequate (but not excess) length, and the 49-inch width is good for squeezing onto narrow ledges, bad for squeezing in two big guys. $550; 4 lbs. 13 oz.; mountainhardwear.com