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Gear Guide 2009: GoLite Valhalla 2+ Tent Review

This all-conditions champ can handle any weather in any season.
GoLite_ValhallaGoLite Valhalla 2+ (SethHughes).

All-Conditions Champ
Not many shelters excel at summer, shoulder-season, and winter trips. This one manages the feat because it’s tough, stable, roomy, and light. It easily deflected wind and snow on Mt. Rainier and absorbed extra cold-weather gear for two. But it’s also warm-weather light, thanks to single-wall construction, and it doesn’t suffer from the associated condensation problems because two enormous mesh doors and two vents facilitate cross-ventilation. (Fabric panels zip over the mesh to increase insulation in subfreezing temps.)

A 42-inch-high ceiling and 37-square-foot floor, plus two 9.5-square-foot vestibules, provide lavish elbowroom for two big testers. Downsides: Pitching the internal pole setup is awkward and requires leaving the large door open, which exposes the interior to weather. The awesome weight-to-space ratio ain’t cheap–unless you buy the Valhalla in lieu of one tent for three-season use and another for winter. $525; 4 lbs. 14 oz. GoLite.com

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