Gear Reviews

Gear Guide 2012: Exped Gemini III Tent

Ample cooking and storage space along with a durable construction make this tent a champ in handling foul-weather.

[foul-weather champ]

“It’s one of the sturdiest freestanding tents I’ve ever used,” raves our veteran tester, reporting that the three-season Gemini withstood near-40-mph gusts in Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness and barely shuddered—even without full guyouts. That’s because its four equal-length poles cross at both ends and plug into connectors above the doors to create a winter-strength geometry, as well as a drip line that keeps water from rolling inside the open door.

Two 11-square-foot vestibules provide ample cooking and storage space, making the Gemini a convenient foul-weather refuge. Two huge, teardrop-shaped doors unzip almost completely to make access easier-than-average. Ventilation is excellent, thanks to broad swaths of mesh and two fly vents. And durable fabrics withstood careless treatment from a 68-pound yellow Lab.

The 86-inch length let two six-footers sleep comfortably with the dog at their feet, and the wall-spreading pole structure (together with a soaring, 45-inch ceiling) creates excellent headroom. But it’s tight for three (the 63-inch width barely accommodates three pads), and setup requires muscling the poles into connectors above the doors. $499; 5 lbs. 9 oz.;