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Backpacker Magazine – January 2013

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Archer 2 Tent

A tent that can handle any and all weather conditions.

by: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Mountain Hardware Archer 2 (Courtesy Photo)
Photo by BP0113GEAR_MH_ARCHER_S12_445x260
Mountain Hardware Archer 2 (Courtesy Photo)

More Tents & Upgrades
See all the reviews from our January 2013 issue
Best Weatherproofing
Neither rain, nor wind, nor cold, nor 90-percent humidity fazed this bomber shelter, says a Channel Islands National Park tester who used it for 28 nights. One reason: The small pole at the foot end adds extra tension along the tent sides. Staking out the vestibules adds a third point of stability, creating “pyramids” that secure both ends of the shelter. The fly attaches securely to the pole structure via plastic clips (not fumbly Velcro tabs) and the three guy-out loops sit directly atop those clips, creating rigidity and a supertaut pitch. The result: “It held tight during steady 40-mph winds on the California coast,” reports one tester.

Rain protection is equally dialed, with a drip line that steers clear of the interior when the fly door is open. Two 9-square-foot vestibules allow ample space for gear and cooking, and plentiful mesh provides ventilation. An extended brow pole pulls walls nearly vertical, maximizing the 41 inches of headroom and the volume of the 30-square-foot floor plan. Light-but-strong DAC Featherlite NSL poles (see "Tech Talk") and ultralight buckles and webbing help keep weight low, and the whole thing packs down small (6.5 x 19 inches). Downside: The interior lacks a ceiling loop for rigging a tent light or clothes-drying line. $300; 4 lbs. 10 oz.; mountainhardwear.com

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