Black Diamond Mega Light

The most versatile tent of 2021.

Photo: Courtesy

Updated for this year, this longtime-favorite tarp shelter (we gave it an Editors’ Choice Gold Award in 2017) is now even more adaptable. Formerly constructed of nylon, the new Mega Light is now made of 30-denier polyester, which absorbs less water, stretches less when wet, and dries faster. Designers also reinforced it with pre-sealed seams that enhance durability. “The center-pole pitch takes practice for one person to set up, but it held taut in 25-mph gusts without sagging thanks to midpanel guy lines,” one tester said after a trip in Colorado’s Uncompahgre National Forest. The Mega Light packs down to the size of a small watermelon, yet it shelters a sprawling 51 square feet of living space. You can use it on its own as a floorless, ultralight shelter, or pair it with another Black Diamond product, the entirely mesh Mega Bug ($300, 3 lbs. 10 oz.), to form a fully enclosed tent. The Mega Bug adds a seam-taped, 70-denier nylon bathtub floor to the mix and has been redesigned so that its stake-out points are identical to those of the Mega Light. Caveat: Buying the entire setup is expensive.


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