Many four-season mountain tents are either cramped (using weight-trimming dimensions to counterbalance heavier materials) or so specialized that they’re overkill for anything but winter use. The single-wall DragonTail breaks the mold with a roomy interior and true all-season performance—without a weight penalty. Credit its spaciousness to the three-pole, hoop-style geometry—which, while not freestanding, pitches easily and creates vertical walls with an airy, 41-inch peak.
The 90-inch length ensures ample space for tall hikers, and the enormous, 14-square-foot vestibule allows plenty of room for cold-weather gear and cooking. “It feels more like a three-person tent,” says one tester. And it ably handled standard winter conditions: “During a Sierra snowstorm with 30-mph gusts that dislodged tree branches, it stood firm and shed wet snow,” reports our tester. (Caveat for gear abusers: While we experienced no durability problems, the DragonTail’s 40-denier fabrics are not as heavy-duty as the 70-denier stuff typically used in expedition tents.)
Ventilation is good; only slight condensation built up on nights below 30°F. Drawback: It has just one door. $480; 4 lbs. 12 oz.The lightest double wall MSR tent available, achieved by carbon fiber poles and an efficient pole design. Comparable to the best-selling MSR Hubba tent in volume but more than half a pound lighter, this non-freestanding solo tent offers maximum interior space, with a roomy front vestibule. The tent is quick and easy to set up, and can be pitched with just the fly and footprint for a compact, fly-weight shelter to save even more weight.
Livable Volume (body + vestibule): 595 + 240 L / 21 + 8.5 cu. ft.