Model: Apex solo
Here’s a rare find: a two-person tent at this price and weight that still delivers freestanding, double-wall performance. It’s a bit small—no surprise—but the ounce-saving dimensions (best for sleeping, not lounging) worked just fine for our long-distance-hiking testers, who used the Imogene during a 400-mile Appalachian Trail trek through Maine and New Hampshire. The shelter held firm in roaring rainstorms that forced hikers in lesser tents to flee for the lean-to, and the weight-saving, 10-denier fabrics (20-denier for the floor) survived the journey intact.
The Imogene packs down small—the size of a 1-liter bottle—and setup is speedy, using one hubbed pole. There’s just one door (at the head end), which requires careful exits to avoid disturbing a companion. The 39-inch peak height allows even 6’4” campers to sit upright. But the length and width proved “cramped for two big guys,” reports one tester, who calls the 30 square feet “just big enough for sleeping.” And we wished for better ventilation in humid conditions, when condensation collected. $300; 2 lbs. 7 oz.; golite.com
The Apex Solo is a 2-pole fiberglass tent with a fly design that offers added protection in poor weather conditions. This side entry tent features a large vestibule for added storage capacity.