Gear Review: Black Diamond Mega Ultralight Tent

This 2 lbs. 5 oz. update to Black Diamond's Megamid promises to be a new classic.


When we heard that BD's venerable Megamid (a standard-issue teepee on Outward Bound courses and a favorite ultralight shelter among mountain guides) was going out of production after nearly 25 years, we were downright upset. But when we found out it would be replaced with the Mega Light and weigh more than a pound less, we started planning test trips. What made the Megamid a classic was its ability to shelter up to four people for a low weight and price, thanks to a floor-less, pitch-anywhere design that's rock-solid when properly staked out. That hasn't changed. But now it's made with 30-denier silnylon, which reduced packed size by 50 percent (and requires seam-sealing); it also features a superlight carbon-fiber center pole.

The always-open vent at the top minimizes condensation, always a weakness in teepees. And the 50 square feet of shelter is plenty for four. Our testers have pitched the Mega Light in Wyoming's Cirque of the Towers, West Virginia's Dolly Sods Wilderness, and on Mt. Rainier, and they report the new version "is the same, only lighter." Cut 10 more ounces by using BD's Pole-Converter, which lets you use trekking or ski poles in place of the center pole. Just remember: There's no protection against bugs; use this shelter in mosquito-free zones and seasons. $260; 2 lbs. 5 oz.;