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Little Big Houses: Three-Season, Double-Occupancy Shelters

At right around two pounds per person, these three-season, double-occupancy shelters do everything but weigh you down.

Best All-Around | Storm Ready | Top Single-Wall | Big-Guy Favorite | Customizable | Lightest

Mountain Hardwear Helion 2

If you want an ultralight shelter that disappears in your pack, this is your tent. Stuffed, it’s no bigger than a bike helmet. The double-wall Helion trims ounces with a fly made of superlight (and super-strong) hollow-core ripstop nylon. But the Helion’s dimensions are Spartan: Placed side by side, two 20-inch-wide, standard-length sleeping pads overlap at the foot. ("If you use this as a tent for two, one of you better be tiny," said a tester.) If the size works for you, you’ll love the performance. The sturdy three-pole frame held strong against stormy winds and easily shed the worst rain we experienced, and the ultralight fabrics were unscathed after encounters with sandstone and volcanic rock. The all-mesh interior provided outstanding ventilation in all conditions, and the forward-angled pole around the head area kept the entryway dry even when the vestibule was unzipped. Besides the cramped quarters and hefty price, the only other downside is a fussy pitch: feeding poles through tiny weight-saving rings (in lieu of clips) is slow. Reader service #106

  • Floor space 28 sq. ft.
  • Vestibules One (8.5 sq. ft.)
  • Weight 3 lbs. 6 oz.
  • Price $395
  • Info
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