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March 2008 Tents Review: Three-Person Tents

Top Ultralight
GoLite Shangri-La 3

The “circus tent,” as one tester called this floorless shelter, is a classic pyramid tent with a twist. A structured vent at the top effectively minimizes condensation, an impressive feat for pyramids. The sil-nylon tarp pitches in an instant using an extendable central pole and six stakes, though it takes some practice to achieve maximum interior space. It’s palatial for two parallel people and gear; three hikers must sleep along the perimeter, around the central pole, in which case people taller than 5’9″ will need to curl up. The Shangri-La is so light it pinch-hits as an emergency group bivy; it sheltered six hikers and a dog during a sudden Rocky Mountain hailstorm. An optional no-see-um mesh “nest” ($125; 2 lbs. 4 oz.; pictured) clips inside the shelter to provide bug protection and a floor. $225; 2 lbs. 12 oz.

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