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March 2008 Tents Review: Two-Person Tents

Top Ultralight
Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo

Tent geeks will love this hybrid shelter, which delivers incredible space for the weight. Setup requires some futzing, but the payoff is a lavish floorplan that sleeps three in a pinch. Pitching the twin-door, twin-vestibule single-wall tent requires two trekking poles and a minimum of six stakes. Pre-bent spacer poles on either side create the tent’s arched peak. Despite this minimalist skeleton, the tent stood up to hail, rain, and strong gusts. But beware of severe, sustained wind: On our most recent test trip–at 11,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies–howling gales ripped the lightweight fabric and fasteners. During good weather, roll the fabric back on the roomy vestibules for increased pass-through ventilation. Our testers reported minimal condensation, even in the worst conditions. Seams are not taped; plan on spending an afternoon hand-sealing them. $275; 2 lbs. 8 oz.

Best All-Around
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2 *FP

No housing crunch here. This sub-4-pound tent is luxuriously spacious, full of upgrades, and, yes, expensive. A hubbed pole system and a short, crossing “eyebrow” pole give this freestanding dome steep walls and an airy 42-inch peak height. Two 11-square-foot vestibules accept a boatload of gear, while extra-wide doors let you climb in and out without pulling a muscle. Ventilation and weather protection are equally high-end. The taut pitch easily shed heavy, wet snow in Idaho’s Pioneer Mountains. In the face of the fast-approaching tempest, our tester had the tent up and fully battened down in minutes. $400; 3 lbs. 13 oz.

Best Buy
Sierra Designs Anu 2 *FP

Get a lot of tent for a little money with this freestanding, single-door model. The Anu’s quick-pitching hubbed poles, combined with a short brow pole over the doorway, create near vertical walls and plenty of floor space for two. “I could even do yoga stretches without bumping into my partner,” said one tester. Other notable features include an ample 43.5-inch peak height, loads of mesh for good ventilation and stargazing, and an 11-square-foot vestibule large enough for two loaded packs. Weatherproofing is impeccable, reported a tester after a soggy trip in Idaho’s Smoky Mountains. If you’re willing to forgo the luxury of two doors and vestibules, this tent is a steal. $199; 5 lbs. 4 oz.

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