We thought three pounds was the lightest weight for a legit two-person tent, but the Mirage makes a strong case that two pounds will soon be the new benchmark. At 56 inches wide, the interior floor fits two large sleeping pads with space to spare. And the headroom and layout–with two doors and two vestibules, each large enough for a weeklong pack–is surprisingly luxurious (like Big Sky’s Evolution 2P, which won a 2007 Editors’ Choice Award for its amazing space-to-weight ratio).
The hybrid double-wall/single-wall design hangs from two exterior poles, making the pitch both fast and protective; the integrated fly kept the interior dry during setup in a Rockies rainstorm. The canopy material is seam-sealed silnylon, which collected only a bit of condensation on the walls (but didn’t drip) after a 40°F night next to a roaring creek in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. Caution: The tent needs careful staking in high winds. Annoying: Stakes and guyline are sold separately ($12).
Floor space 42 sq. ft.
Vestibule 2 (7 sq. ft. each)
Weight 2 lbs. 6 oz.
REI’s Ace SW2 has the same basic design as the Mirage (single-wall, two doors, two vestibules) but uses pole sleeves instead of clips and a waterproof/breathable canopy fabric. $299; 3 lbs. 14 oz.; rei.com.