NEMO Equipment, Inc. Espri LE 3P

This three-person tent handles challenging weather well and the freestanding dome is lightweight and easy to setup.

Brand: NEMO Equipment, Inc.

Model: Espri LE 3P

[most versatile]

At a tick under five pounds, this freestanding dome is already lighter than most three-person tents. And the removable, 15-square-foot vestibule lets hikers go even lighter by leaving three ounces at home: Just zip off the vesti and zip in the waterproof door panel (included) when rain is unlikely or mileage high. Or turn the entrance into a full-blown front porch with the optional Trekking Pole Vestibule ($130, 1 lb.), which uses a staff to support the ceiling of a 24-square-foot vestibule that’s big enough to seat four people or stash a pair of bikes (with front wheels removed).

Setup is straightforward: “The color coding made it easy to pitch, even in blowing, miserable sleet,” reports one tester. Hammered by rain and snowstorms in Colorado’s Gore Range, the three-season Espri held firm—and stayed quiet, reports our tester. “We slept soundly as others were kept awake by rattling tents,” she notes.

Ventilation is better than most, thanks to big mesh panels and a rear fly vent that enhances airflow: Testers only saw condensation in subfreezing temps when seven people lounged inside. The 89-inch length and 40-inch height made it comfy for campers up to 6’1”, the width accommodates three sleepers, and the large door provides easy exits from anywhere in the tent. $390; 4 lbs. 15 oz.; nemoequipment.comThe Espri LE series is an ultralight shelter that still meets the NEMO standard for comfort, setup, features and dependable protection from the elements. The award-winning Espri series has been improved for 2012. With new pre-bent pole segments in the front and an added front brow pole, interior volume and vestibule space is increased by making the walls more vertical. Waterproof fabric has also been added to the front mesh wall to offer a completely dry entry. Comes with a Standard Vestibule and Ultralight Fly Door. A 24 sq.ft. Trekking Pole Vestibule can also be purchased.

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