Our take Way light, and also affordable—that’s a combination we can get behind. Black Diamond uses a single-wall design and trekking-pole support to shave ounces. The tent pitches in two ways: with Z Poles (Black Diamond’s trekking poles that can screw directly into the tent’s brow pole; $150 extra) or with your own poles using the adapter (included). The pitch is intuitive thanks to the integrated spreader bar: “I put it up in less than five minutes by myself on my first try,” said one tester after an evening on Virginia’s 5,729-foot Mt. Rogers.
The details The Distance’s 30-denier polyester fabric remains taught in rainy conditions, but the 41-inch peak height and steep walls aren’t exactly aerodynamic. (The walls flapped in 30-mph wind, but three guylines held the tent up.) A 26-square-foot floor is below-average for this category, but the 95-inch length helps for gear storage. Two sleepers have a snug fit, and a single door (with no vestibule) can make entry and exit a game of Twister. The tent has two vents, but condensation was a constant problem.
Trail cred “I spent a rain-filled evening cooped up inside with my dog, and the tent’s materials held up well to his pacing and scratching,” our Virginia tester says.