You don’t need a palace like this on every trip, but when the group is big and the weather bad, it sure is nice to have one—for gear storage, group dinners, or a communal crash pad. It sleeps up to eight and can seat 12 around the perimeter, which is why our testers—from Alaska Mountain Guides and Climbing School—raved about it after 24-day outings in Great Basin and Glacier Bay National Parks.
It’s floorless, with one giant door, and the center peak height is 79 inches (so standing up is no problem). Setup requires four hands, but it’s sturdy in wind (we encountered up to 40-mph gusts) and can handle a few inches of snow thanks to eight vertical side poles and webbing straps across the floor, which increase stability. The single-wall Kerlon fabric is super tough: “It’s a true expedition-ready shelter,” says a tester. $645; 11 lbs.; hilleberg.com