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Gear Guide 2012: Mountain Hardwear SuperMega UL2 Tent

This three-season, ultralight tent offers durability in some of the most foul-weather.
gg12_Mtn Hardwear_SuperMegaUL2_445x260Mountain Hardwear SuperMega UL2 (Michael Clark)

[foul-weather featherweight]

Our tester felt like a true guinea pig taking this two-pound shelter to Canada. But after a month-long epic through northern Ontario, he says this three-season double-wall easily handles big weather. “The bathtub floor* was waterproof enough to ‘waterbed’ during several Canadian deluges, and the well-designed overlap between floor sidewalls and rainfly kept out the howliest 30-mph winds,” he reports.

One hubbed pole with forks at both ends creates a freestanding structure with a single door, and the overhanging, dry-entry design prevents rain from dripping into the tent when the vestibule is unzipped. With a 27-square-foot interior and six-square-foot vestibule, space is lavish for one and workable for two not-tall occupants. “Getting dressed or packing up at the same time requires some choreography,” says one tester.

Ventilation proved outstanding: The all-mesh canopy releases interior moisture, and the fly’s taut pitch shunts condensation to the perimeter, rather than letting it collect and drip onto the mesh canopy. The ultralight fabrics—gauzy, 10-denier nylon fly and 30-denier floor—proved more durable than they look, and held up well with careful use.

Downsides: In windy conditions, the fly rubs noisily on the poles and sent testers groping for earplugs. And the thin nylon fly-tensioners are flimsier than conventional webbing-grommet fittings (carry spares for extended trips). $430; 2 lbs. 2 oz.; mountainhardwear.com

*BATHTUB FLOOR Waterproof fabric band around the base of the canopy; keeps out bouncing rain

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