Buggy climes can send campers fleeing to their tents, but the Bugout lets you congregate for blissfully insect-free meals and card games within mesh walls that don’t obscure scenic views. “Through clouds of mosquitoes and persistent drizzle, it was a relief to retreat inside so we could look over maps, plan our day, and cook,” declares our tester, who used this 81-square-foot party room for a week in the mosquito-filled Boundary Waters.
Watermelon-sized when packed, the floorless, four-sided shelter pitches with NEMO’s optional accessory poles ($45 and 15 oz. each) or just lashed to trees, using the 15-foot guylines (included). The 75-denier polyester “roof” funnels rain into smartly designed gutters that send runoff to the corners (so it doesn’t sheet down the walls). The superfine, DWR-treated mesh repelled precipitation in all but the windiest conditions. Six people can mingle comfortably inside, the 72-inch peak height lets most campers stand up fully, and two-way zippers at two corners facilitate easy exits. Prefer a hammock to a camp chair? Open the zippers to accommodate hammock straps, and you can swing and doze in bug-free bliss. $250; 4 lbs. 1 oz.; nemoequipment.com
The UltraLite Alpini Shelter, made of high tenacity ripstop nylon, is a simple concept: effectively a frameless tent that is supported by the people in the shelter and/or trekking poles. The fabric structure provides protection from the elements, trapping and retaining the body heat from one to two people. The UltraLite Alpini Shelter is an attractive alternative to the standard bivy bag as it weighs less, packs smaller and is more versatile.