Gear Reviews

Gear Guide 2012: Easton Mountain Products Hat-Trick 2 Tent

Mesh walls create outstanding ventilation in this four-season tent for two.

[four-season featherweight]

Many lightweight winter shelters save ounces by trimming space, making occupants feel like sardines, but the cavernous Hat-Trick offers genuine comfort for two. Even our 6’6” editor-in-chief found its 40 square feet roomy enough for some morning yoga.

Credit: 1) the lightweight carbon poles, which Easton says are 59 percent lighter than standard aluminum, and 2) an innovative geometry (using an angled hoop design) that requires less pole material overall but still delivers impressive stability and headroom. And the weight-saving poles let Easton use sleeves as well as clips, which adds a little weight but makes tension more even in key places. It can be pitched with the fly attached to the tent body, so the interior remains dry during stormy setups.

Ventilation is outstanding, thanks to mostly mesh walls; testers didn’t experience condensation on snowy, 25°F nights. And the Hat-Trick stayed as stable as a rock through 25-mph sustained winds in Colorado’s Park Range. There’s just one door, but its eight-square-foot vestibule proved large enough for cooking when cleared of most gear.

Caveat: While the Hat-Trick is billed as a winter-worthy shelter, we deem it best for moderate fourth-season conditions; those mesh walls limit insulation in frigid temps, and snow blew in beneath the vestibule unless its edges were buried. $525; 4 lbs.;