Get lightweight, ballroom-size shelter with this spin on the classic pyramid, says our tester, who used it while backpacking in canyon country and as an emergency shelter for seven during a thunderstorm in the Rockies. Instead of four sides, like a typical pyramid, the Pentalite uses five walls to create more interior space and also has a vestibule/canopy option: Zip in the Wedge ($140; 2 lbs. 1 oz.; pictured above), a mesh insert with a zippered door, and you get 69 square feet of bug-protected space and an eight-square-foot vestibule.
Without the Wedge, the tarp provides 77 square feet of shelter suited to snowy sites or bug-free conditions. Four people sleep comfortably around the included DAC pole. Three vents on the tarp walls prevent the interior from steaming up. And the 72-inch peak height makes the Pentalite a comfy place for sorting gear and even playing charades—campers 5’5” and shorter can stand up inside. Extending the monopole and planting the eight stakes (for the corners and vent guy-outs) takes just a few minutes. The steep walls effectively shed snow during an early-winter snowstorm in Colorado. Our only wish: a tauter pitch—the walls tended to sag slightly without retensioning. $370; 3 lbs. 5 oz.
Winner of Backpacker's Best All-Around Mountaineering tent in 2008, Moki has become a trusted shelter for the most demanding expeditions. When we say four season, we mean it. Our ambassadors take Moki to the Himalayas, and we use it for surf trips on the coast. With half of Moki's single-wall exterior convertible to mesh, you have the flexibility and comfort you need in any climate. With an optional,additional vestibule for extra gear and the ability to link together, Moki is the perfect base camp for all of your adventures.