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Backpacker Magazine – November 2008

Little Big Houses: Three-Season, Double-Occupancy Shelters

At right around two pounds per person, these three-season, double-occupancy shelters do everything but weigh you down.

by: Kelly Bastone, Photos by Brooks Freehill

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6
Black Diamond Mirage
Black Diamond Mirage
Kelty Corrie 2
Kelty Corrie 2
The North Face Vario 23
The North Face Vario 23
Nemo Nano
Nemo Nano
Big Sky International Convertible 2P Shelter
Big Sky International Convertible 2P Shelter
Mountain Hardwear Helion 2
Mountain Hardwear Helion 2

Best All-Around | Storm Ready | Top Single-Wall | Big-Guy Favorite | Customizable | Lightest

Mountain Hardwear Helion 2




If you want an ultralight shelter that disappears in your pack, this is your tent. Stuffed, it's no bigger than a bike helmet. The double-wall Helion trims ounces with a fly made of superlight (and super-strong) hollow-core ripstop nylon. But the Helion's dimensions are Spartan: Placed side by side, two 20-inch-wide, standard-length sleeping pads overlap at the foot. ("If you use this as a tent for two, one of you better be tiny," said a tester.) If the size works for you, you'll love the performance. The sturdy three-pole frame held strong against stormy winds and easily shed the worst rain we experienced, and the ultralight fabrics were unscathed after encounters with sandstone and volcanic rock. The all-mesh interior provided outstanding ventilation in all conditions, and the forward-angled pole around the head area kept the entryway dry even when the vestibule was unzipped. Besides the cramped quarters and hefty price, the only other downside is a fussy pitch: feeding poles through tiny weight-saving rings (in lieu of clips) is slow. Reader service #106


  • Floor space 28 sq. ft.
  • Vestibules One (8.5 sq. ft.)
  • Weight 3 lbs. 6 oz.
  • Price $395
  • Info

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6

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Clven Troy
Jan 27, 2009

hi to all of you... i am clven troy.. a local guide to the highest peak in the philippines.. MT.APO!!! if ever you want to come and experience the Majestic Mt.Apo this APRIL-MAY season climb, just contact me... take care!!!

Jan 26, 2009

Hi, Although i'm a gear nut i think that there are far lighter and better tent out there for the same or less money that where not included in this survey- also better versions- The North Face Spectru 23 is far superior and lighter than the Vario- Just a thought-

Being able to travel far and fast doesn't mean you have to sleep on the cold, damp earth. Weighing just over four pounds, the Spectrum 23's lightweight design allows outdoor enthusiasts to remain unencumbered by bulky equipment but retain the comfort of protection against harsh elements. Withstanding winds of 130.2 mph, you'll be blown away by how resilient this tent just is.

Features Wind-tunnel-tested for those on the move
DAC Featherlite™ NSL aluminum poles using reverse-combi technology
Two Nano-Knuckle™ swivels
Fusion pitch with ultralight MicroClip™
Fully seam sealed canopy
Fully taped ultralight floor
Freestanding design with pull-out vestibule
High-low venting with overhead vents and zip closure
Ultralight 1' pole sleeve
D-shaped door
Color-coded poles
Reflective guyline and zipper cording
Compression stuffsack included

skip shephard
Jan 25, 2009

Hi, I just wanted to say that I really enjoy the Backpacker Magazine on line. I am 64, love the outdoors and have learned a lot from your many informative departments. I live in Tucson,Az and enjoy the dessert climate and learning about all of the different aspects of this area.


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