Brand: Big Sky International
Model: Evolution 2P
With a carry weight and compressed size that are comparable to many two-person tents, this double-wall shelter is supremely packable—perfect for high-mileage ultralighters or hero parents with monster loads. “Stuffed, it’s barely bigger than a fireplace log,” says one tester.
While it’s the smallest of the tents tested, the 51-square-foot floor and 49-inch peak height still allow four adults to sit up without pressing against the walls. The space-to-weight ratio is made possible by ultralight materials, like 30-denier siliconized ripstop nylon, and an innovative design: One long pole arches over the tent’s midsection, while two carbon-fiber struts on each corner square off the perimeter to improve interior space. Setup is straightforward, but it’s not quite fuss-free; you’ll need solid staking ground and a couple rounds of guyline-tensioning to achieve a taut pitch.
On bug-free trips, use only the fly and save 22 ounces. Ventilation is adequate, but condensation accumulated in breeze-free weather. Testers in Colorado’s Book Cliffs found it a dry refuge during prolonged rain, and 25-mph winds caused only moderate flapping. For stronger winds or snow, an optional cross pole ($18) strengthens the structure. Tradeoffs: Tall testers (over 6’) felt pinched by the 86” x 86” floor, and the two tiny vestibules don’t adequately hold four packs.
> Floor 51 square feet
> Weight 3 lbs. 14 oz.
> Price $375
> Info tarptent.comAvailable with AL or DuraLite(TM) ultra light composite poles. Available in different colors, fabrics, stakes, etc.