Mountain Hardwear Optic 6

The six-person version of the 2014 Editors’ Choice Award-winning Optic 2.5 tent, this palace features a rollaway fly and adjoining doors for 180-degree views.
Optic 6 Tent
Price $399.00

Specs

Ease of Setup 3 / 5
Weatherproofing 3.7 / 5
Ventilation 4 / 5
Living Space 4.9 / 5
Durability 5 / 5
Free Standing
Capacity 4
Number of Poles 3

 

Diameter of Poles (mm) 1
Floor Space (sq ft) 50
Length (inches) 137
Width (inches) 90
Interior Height (inches) 77
Vestibule Type standard
Vestibule Front Area (sq ft) 17
Vestibule Back Area (sq ft) 9
Weight 15 lbs, 2 oz

Livability

With an 86-square-foot floor and 75-inch peak height, this freestanding double-wall is huge in every way. Six-footers can stand up inside without ducking, and six sleepers enjoy plenty of elbow room. Doors on adjoining (rather than opposite) sides create fantastic views when the fly’s rolled back. “Sitting inside on a drizzly night, we watched the sunset over Lake Dinosaur,” says a Colorado tester.

Vestibules

Two vestibules (17 and 9 square feet) are just big enough for packs and boots (one group stored all gear in one, keeping the other door free for exits). Parallel zippers on the smaller vestibule let it convert to a porch-style awning supported by trekking poles.

Setup

Two crossing poles make for straightforward setup, but short folks can’t do it alone: Clipping the top of the canopy to the poles requires someone 5’6” or taller.

Packability

Weighty and bulky when packed (think carry-on suitcase), this shelter is best for basecamping, paddling, and short-mileage trips. However, by divvying the fly, poles, and tent body, we found it a realistic substitute for three two-person shelters.

Downside

Fully guyed, the Optic 6 proved stable in 20-mph winds, but it flapped loudly. Sheltered sites suit this tall, broad-sided tent best.