Model: Gemini IV
Like to sit under cover and see more than nylon walls? During windless rain in Vermont’s Green Mountains, one tester rolled back the Pulsar’s vestibule and stayed dry while enjoying a pleasant river view, thanks to a drip line that extends well beyond the tent’s single side door. In bigger weather, just batten down the hatches and it’s “bombproof,” as one tester declared after an unusually stormy week in California’s Eastern Sierras. Assaulted by icy rain with temps in the mid-30s, he found this freestanding double-wall to be a dry, stable refuge with sufficient elbow room.
Although the 53-inch width isn’t overly generous, steep walls provide spacious headroom. Even the corners feel roomy (which testers appreciated when lying down), thanks to poles that push the walls to near-vertical. The 8-square-foot vestibule just fits two packs. Ventilation is good—no condensation collected during soggy nights—thanks to all-mesh walls. But testers griped about setup, which is fussier than most: Color-coding guides the orientation of the poles, but a bevy of fly connectors makes achieving a taut pitch a tedious process. $349; 3 lbs. 6 oz.; marmot.com
Backpacking tent for four with a monster front vestibule.
Four identical poles for the main body plus one pole for the front vestibule. Two central pole connectors for rapid one person set-up. Rear zippered vestibule. Two doors. Guylines attach directly to poles at both ends of tent. Fits 4 Exped LW mats. 30 denier ripstop-polyester fly, factory seam taped. 70 denier nylon floor – 5,000 mm water column. DAC poles.