Like to sit under cover and see more than nylon walls? During windless rain in Vermont’s Green Mountains, one tester rolled back the Pulsar’s vestibule and stayed dry while enjoying a pleasant river view, thanks to a drip line that extends well beyond the tent’s single side door. In bigger weather, just batten down the hatches and it’s “bombproof,” as one tester declared after an unusually stormy week in California’s Eastern Sierras. Assaulted by icy rain with temps in the mid-30s, he found this freestanding double-wall to be a dry, stable refuge with sufficient elbow room.
Although the 53-inch width isn’t overly generous, steep walls provide spacious headroom. Even the corners feel roomy (which testers appreciated when lying down), thanks to poles that push the walls to near-vertical. The 8-square-foot vestibule just fits two packs. Ventilation is good—no condensation collected during soggy nights—thanks to all-mesh walls. But testers griped about setup, which is fussier than most: Color-coding guides the orientation of the poles, but a bevy of fly connectors makes achieving a taut pitch a tedious process. $349; 3 lbs. 6 oz.; marmot.com
An ultra-light water-resistant rip-stop nylon 2-person tent, specially designed for quick and easy set-up with a single ski or trekking pole. This two-person, stand-alone tent features a reinforced pole cap that holds the pole in place, with a second pole prop-point at the rear of the tent. There are 21 webbing tie outs, including one on top of the pole cup for overhead suspension. The front entrance flaps can be left open for ventilation or overlapped and staked closed for added protection from weather conditions. Dimensions: 5 x 9; Packed size: 8 x 4; Colors: red, yellow.