Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 2.1 Tent

Best All-Around

This three-season workhorse just got even better: It dropped three-quarters of a pound for 2010. It’s the perfect choice for hikers who want serious weight savings, durability, and unflappable storm protection. The floor is a bomber 70-denier nylon, and in Idaho’s City of Rocks the wind-shedding design stood strong through violent thunderstorms. Testers also praised the new corner attachments, which secure the poles, fly, and stake-down loop—all in one piece, which improves convenience and shaves weight.

The 50-inch width (tapering to 40 inches at the foot) just fits two sleeping pads, but the near-vertical walls provide ample headroom; the 85-inch-long floor is adequate for all but the tallest campers. Two doors and vestibules are generously sized, and the brow pole creates a drip-free door, since it holds the fly away from the opening. Large swaths of mesh enhance ventilation and “made this tent a joy, even during steamy Adirondack nights in black-fly season,” reports one tester.

Bonus: six pockets, a generous number for such a light tent. Nitpicks: The drab fly color gives the interior a gloomy tint (but blends into scenery), and testers wished the brow pole ends attached more securely to the fly to keep them from inconveniently slipping out of place during setup. $350; 3 lbs. 7 oz.