I’ve used many single-wall mountain tents in the course of my outdoor career (because they pack lots of protection into a lightweight package), and this is one of my favorites, thanks to its superior space-to-weight ratio and ventilation. With its steep sides and 42 inches of headroom, it feels roomier than its compact (27-square-foot) footprint suggests. It’s a cozy fit for two, but a palace for one (and plenty light for solo use).
The interior pole design proved a bit tricky at first, since you have to climb inside to insert the poles into corner pockets. But after some practice, I could do it in about four minutes by myself—which meant the interior stayed dry on a stormy Cascades trip. Once pitched, it fended off heavy precipitation and 30-mph wind. And though I didn’t always need the optional 13-square-foot vestibule ($135, 15 oz.), it sure came in handy when I wanted extra storage or sheltered cooking space.
Condensation was minimal (even with two campers), thanks to the breathable NanoShield fabric and the two mesh window vents. Bummer: Seams must be hand-sealed with Silnet (provided with the tent). $370; 3 lbs. 1 oz.; blackdiamondequipment.com.