Brand: L.L. Bean
Model: Mountain Light Tent XT 2
Want to make that summit push, don’t want to risk a cold night in a snow cave? This tent is so small and light, you’ll barely notice it in your pack—until you need it. The trick? Single-wall construction and a pole design that delivers excellent stability for the weight. The wispy, 10-denier silnylon fabric held up to general wear-and-tear, even on the floor. And the three-pole set-up (a spine pole and two ribs, which click together intuitively enough to pitch the tent in the dark while wearing thick gloves) barely shook in Tetons snow and gusty winds at treeline in New Hampshire’s Presidential Range. Not surprisingly given the weight, the 30-square-foot floor is merely adequate.
Two peakbagging testers (6’2” and 5’10”) spent the night in -10°F bags, which practically filled the entire tent. But use it solo, like another tester did, and “you’ll feel like a king.” The single 6.6-square-foot front vestibule was big enough for food bags and boots, but packs had to go outside and entering/exiting the squat door isn’t easy. “You have to commando-crawl in,” one tester says. Tip: Dig out a snow well in the vestibule if you want to cook there (otherwise, flames gets scary-close to the nylon). Downside: Six zip-close ceiling vents weren’t enough to prevent condensation from building up in most conditions. $570; 3 lbs. 7 oz.; brooks-range.com