Gear Review: MSR Asgard Tent

Spacious for two, the "bow frame" geometry of this tent stands up to the toughest conditions.

Mountaineering 2-Person

In violent, late-winter winds at the base of Colorado's 14,265-foot Quandary Peak–gusts that snapped two poles on a competing tent pitched 10 feet away–the Asgard remained rock-solid. It has five 10.2mm DAC poles and "bow-frame" geometry that proved to be the toughest in the test. "I set my 45-pound pack on top of the tent, and the poles didn't even bend," said one tester.

He added, "And it's downright spacious for two, with plenty of headroom for sitting up, and you could easily shoehorn a third in here." Two storage attics, four pockets, and two vestibules tame clutter on gear-intensive alpine trips, and two-way zippers on the vestibules let you vent for storm-cooking. Color-coded poles make it a cinch to pitch even in a whiteout; just anchor the corners and slide the poles in the corresponding sleeves. Downside: It's heavy.

Floor space 33 sq. ft.

Vestibule 2 (6 sq. ft. each)

Weight 8 lbs. 11 oz.

Price $580


The minimalist Mountain Hardwear EV2 Direct has a tiny footprint and is easy to set up even in strong winds. Warning: It lacks a vestibule. $550; 3 lbs. 15 oz.;