Gear Reviews

2015 Editors' Choice: Big Agnes mtnGLO

These mini LED lights are the best thing to happen to tents since aluminum poles.

Brand: Big Agnes

Model: mtnGLO




A tent with a built-in disco ball might get more buzz, but only just. With mtnGLO, your tent-bound nights are guaranteed to be a whole lot more fun. It’s equal parts party and practical. Stuck in a storm? Play cards and kick back beneath mini LED lights that cast a glow throughout the tent—instead of a partner who keeps shining a headlamp in your eyes. Adding virtually no weight or bulk, mtnGLO integrates strings of tiny LED bulbs into tents’ overhead seams to offer soft, consistent light. The system uses a business-card-size switch that holds three AAA batteries (according to Big Agnes, battery life is about 90 hours, depending on tent size). The LEDs are sewn into 14 BA tents, from family basecampers to ultralight models. You can also retrofit the mtnGLO Tent Light Accessory Kit ($40; 3 oz.) to any tent you already have, and, if you’re going deluxe, the mtnGLO PowerCase/Loft with Joey T55 ($200) adds a battery pack to charge electronics. Two settings—high and low—cover the range of lighting needs (most testers found full brightness adequate for reading, while dim is perfect for hang-out sessions). And, best of all, it makes every night feel like Christmas Eve.