Before testing the Microlight 2, we figured L.L.Bean's catalog was full of typos. The listed weight was clearly too low for a tent under $200. And a floor eight feet long? Not a chance. Um, actually, yes, said our testers, a couple of six-footers who slept comfortably during five days on the Colorado Trail. "We even had extra floor space to store gear." At just over two pounds per person, this double-wall tent has an amazing space-to-weight-to-price ratio.
The fly is made of silnylon, but four vents kept the all-mesh canopy condensation-free in all conditions–even during a muggy night of summer rain in Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest. Setup is easy, though the tent requires 12 stakes for a taut pitch. And early wear, the downfall of most budget gear, was not an issue. Our only real complaint: The single vestibule is barely large enough for two pairs of boots.
Floor space 28 sq. ft.
Vestibule 1 (5 sq. ft.)
Weight 4 lbs. 6 oz.
We've seen T-shirts that cost more than Coleman's Xponent Cadence 2, which kept a 6'2'' tester and his dog dry during days of drizzle in Pennsylvania's Ohiopyle State Park. Watch for early wear, though. $60; 4 lbs. 13 oz.; coleman.com.