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March 2008 Tents Review: Mountaineering Tents

Best Buy
Sierra Designs Stretch Tiros 2 *FP

This legendary tent was introduced in 1991, and the basic design has not changed in 17 years. For good reason. With four poles that cross at both the top and on the sides, the two-person Tiros has proven itself against gale-force beatings. The strength and features–large doors at both ends and two vestibules–make this double-wall classic ideal for expedition abuse. Jake’s Corners–short two-part poles that buttress the main pole structure–increase strength in heinous high-altitude winds, but leave them behind (save weight and hassle) unless you expect extreme weather. With 38 square feet of living space and a 45-inch ceiling, two climbers have more than enough room to stretch out during extended stays–especially with extra gear stowed in the vestibules. Heavy snow loads and condensation are no problem, but there’s a price for the protection: This is the heaviest tent here. $479; 8 lbs. 13 oz.

Best All-Around

Consider this your modern yurt: spacious, portable shelter for any weather, year-round. It accommodates three people (not two, like the other four-season tents here), handles the worst winter storms, and provides enough ventilation for summer use. The single-wall tent has huge doors at both ends, a spacious, zip-off vestibule (that can double as a hallway connecting to another Moki), and two enormous V-shaped windows. With a 43-square-foot floor and a 48-inch ceiling, the Moki is capacious and, with openings on four sides, hyperventilated–you’ll never get condensation. Through two plastic ceiling windows and one in the vestibule door, testers could see stars and oncoming storms. Setup starts with two external poles on clips, which then makes it easy to insert the two internal poles. The pitch is so stable that four testers played cards right through a blasting storm. $695; 7 lbs. 8 oz. (without vestibule)

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