Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL2

Light-and-Tight Freestander

Brand: Mountain Hardwear

Model: Ghost UL 2

Why we like it: This is the shelter for people who want the lightest freestanding tent, full stop.

Livability: At barely a pound a person, smaller campers and couples who don’t mind sharing tight spaces (and a single door) will love this easy-packing shelter. But check fit before buying. Testers over 5’9″ had to crawl through the 37-inch-high entrance. And the footprint tapers from 56 inches at the front to just 35 inches at the foot, so a pair of standard 20-inch pads will overlap at the feet.

Setup: The single-hubbed pole makes for a quick-and-easy pitch. Our tester had it up on the first try in less than four minutes, by himself and in the dark.

Ventilation: The lack of fly venting led to condensation issues for several testers. “On cold, still nights, I always woke up with a wet sleeping bag,” said one tester after a trip to Yosemite Valley’s North Rim. Another tester adds: “There was more condensation than I expected, even when I slept alone.”

Durability: This is often the Achilles heel of ultralights, but thanks to stronger nylon and a more robust weave, the Ghost’s 10-denier fly and 20-denier floor and walls endured rigorous testing without damage. “We slept in it for two weeks straight and I didn’t see a single weak point,” says our California tester.

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