Brand: Brooks-Range Mountaineering Equipment
Model: UltraLite Alpini Shelter
We don’t know why this three-pound tent is called the Kilo. No matter. Here’s the math that counts: one pound per person for a three-person shelter. And unlike some ultralights, which employ futzy trekking-pole setups or wispy fabrics, this three-season dome achieves its low weight by using innovative carbon-fiber poles with connectors that use short monofilament tethers rather than one long piece of elastic cord. Ergo, best-in-weight-class stability.
Pitching the Kilo takes two minutes, and even without guying, it withstood 30-mph gusts in the Sierra. Headroom is adequate, with a 40-inch peak height that lets campers play cards without crouching, but the 43-square-foot floor was a snug fit for three thru-hikers on the John Muir Trail.
Downsides: The 4.5-square-foot vestibule shelters little more than three pairs of boots. Condensation dampened testers’ bags with just two campers inside, and in rainy conditions, the fly sagged onto the mesh, further compromising airflow. (Update: Easton says Velcro attachment loops have been added to the inside of the fly to improve stability and reduce sag. We didn’t test the new version.) $499; 3 lbs.; eastonmountainproducts.comThe UltraLite Alpini Shelter, made of high tenacity ripstop nylon, is a simple concept: effectively a frameless tent that is supported by the people in the shelter and/or trekking poles. The fabric structure provides protection from the elements, trapping and retaining the body heat from one to two people. The UltraLite Alpini Shelter is an attractive alternative to the standard bivy bag as it weighs less, packs smaller and is more versatile.