Big Agnes Picket Mountain
Stronger and lighter fabrics make this tent great for any adventure and can handle any weather condition.
Brand: Big Agnes
Model: Picket Mountain
“It’s as sturdy as much heavier expedition tents,” raved one tester after hunkering down in the Saivo through snowstorms at 10,000 feet in Colorado’s Park Range. The weight savings come primarily from Kerlon 1800 fabric, a high-quality nylon that’s coated with three layers of silicone for consistent strength (ultralight silnylons sometimes use one or two layers, which can leave gaps or weak spots).
Result: Kerlon is stronger than typical winter-tent fabrics, but also lighter (and yes, more expensive). The freestanding geometry also achieves impressive strength: Seven pole crossings make the Saivo rigid enough to withstand crushing wind and snow loads. “It stayed blissfully quiet through 40-mph gusts,” says our tester.
Ventilation is outstanding, thanks to closeable vents on the vestibules and the crown of the tent. And dimensions are generous: The 46-inch peak height and 91-inch length lets tall campers (up to 6’6”) sit and sprawl. Two 14-square-foot vestibules offer lavish storage space—enough for winter gear with room to spare for cooking. The integrated fly and body speeds pitching and keeps the interior dry during foul-weather setup. Interior storage also earned props, since 12 pockets enabled three campers to locate headlamps and snacks quickly. Downside? It’s a big investment. $995; 8 lbs. 13 oz.; hilleberg.com