Gear Guide 2012: Exped Mira II Tent

This spacious, two-person tent uses durable fabrics to provide sturdy weather protection in a lightweight package.

[best all-around]

Comfortable living space, sturdy weather protection, low weight: We’ve seen other shelters hit this trifecta in recent years, but few do it as well as the Mira, which comes in under four pounds without sacrificing durability—or going over $400. The trick? By reducing support at the foot end—with no loss in stability as long as the reinforced end is angled into the wind—Exped designers eliminated 3.5 ounces of pole. That lets Exped use tough fabrics like 70-denier* nylon for the floor and 30-denier for the fly, which are heavier than average for this weight class.

And space is adequate: A 30-square-foot floor and 43-inch peak height let our six-footers pack up simultaneously without swatting each other. Seven-square-foot vestibules shelter packs and boots, while a dry-entry design prevents water from rolling off the fly and dripping inside through the door during stormy comings and goings.

The Mira kept our Washington testers cozy through an epic, only-in-the-Olympics deluge. And while the pole sleeves are a hair slower to set up than clips, the payoff is a taut and strong pitch. Testers called the Mira “heavy-storm protection in a lightweight package.” $379; 3 lbs. 14 oz.;

*DENIER A unit of measurement for the thickness (and therefore durability) of individual threads used in making cloth. Higher numbers denote heavier, more durable fabrics.

When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Read more about our policy.

Trending on Backpacker