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Four Field-Tested Two-Person Tents

Check out these four two-person tents, all under $300 and 5 pounds.
REI Quartzdome_445x260REI Quarter Dome T2 (Courtesy Photo)

[luxurious space]
L.L. Bean Mountain Light XT 2
“Finally, a tent that doesn’t force us to curl up to avoid wall-bump,” raves a very tall tester who shared this 7.5-foot-long tent with her 6’1” son and a dog—and still had plenty of room. It shed heavy Utah rain and hail, but struggled in 40-mph winds. $269; 4 lbs. 12 oz.; llbean.com


[light and tough]
REI Quarter Dome T2
The lightest tent in the test stayed rock-solid in winds that flattened lesser shelters in Wyoming’s foothills, thanks to plenty of guy-out loops and reinforcing fabric ribs on tent seams. Two 6.5-square-foot vestibules house soggy boots and packs, but interior space is slightly tight. $299; 4 lbs.; rei.com


[bargain]
Kelty Trail Ridge 2
“High marks for the affordability-to-space ratio,” reports one tester, who notes that “two people can sit up and get dressed with no elbow-to-eyeball issues.” It stayed dry through muggy nights on the Olympic Coast, and a taut pitch shed rain. Downside: It’s heavy for the space. $170; 5 lbs.; kelty.com


[great airflow]
MEC Volt A/C 2
This primarily mesh tent kept testers comfortable during naps on 100°F Sierra days and dry on 40°F nights in Mt. Rainier National Park (while condensation soaked another shelter). Living space is adequate for two, but setup is tricky and it’s tough to get a supertaut pitch. $289 CDN; 4 lbs. 5 oz.; mec.ca

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