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March 2008 Tents Review: Two-Person Tents

NEMO Morpho AR
You’ll never break a pole in this tent because there aren’t any. Instead, it has inflatable air beams, which, when guyed out correctly, are incredibly strong. The sleek profile easily shrugged off gusting winds that topped 50 mph on an 8,000-foot pass in Idaho’s Hells Canyon country. After more than a year of off-and-on testing, we still haven’t popped a tube. This year’s redesigned Morpho sports a proprietary fabric that’s significantly more breathable than its predecessor’s, and three vents provide good cross-ventilation in breezy conditions, eliminating the condensation problems we experienced with last year’s version (though droplets did collect on the ceiling during a September snowstorm in Idaho’s Boulder Mountains). The headroom on this single-wall, non-freestanding tent peaks at 42 inches, and the length is a luxurious 112 inches. Two doors are a bonus, but the vestibule is tiny; only boots fit. Bummer: The Morpho is bulky when packed. $385; 4 lbs. 13 oz.

REI Quarter Dome 2 TT *FP
Welcome to Extreme Makeover: Tent Edition. This year’s Quarter Dome has a new pole configuration that creates more elbowroom and a higher ceiling than last year’s version. Lots of mesh and two adjustable fly vents minimize condensation, dual vestibules each hold a week’s worth of gear, and weather resistance is as good as ever. Setup is simple the first time out: “I was able to assemble it alone, with a fading headlamp, in about six minutes,” one tester said. Length is best for sub-six-footers. Bummer: The teardrop-shaped doors hang in the middle when open and can’t be tied out of the way. $259; 3 lbs. 12 oz.

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