Buggy climes can send campers fleeing to their tents, but the Bugout lets you congregate for blissfully insect-free meals and card games within mesh walls that don’t obscure scenic views. “Through clouds of mosquitoes and persistent drizzle, it was a relief to retreat inside so we could look over maps, plan our day, and cook,” declares our tester, who used this 81-square-foot party room for a week in the mosquito-filled Boundary Waters.
Watermelon-sized when packed, the floorless, four-sided shelter pitches with NEMO’s optional accessory poles ($45 and 15 oz. each) or just lashed to trees, using the 15-foot guylines (included). The 75-denier polyester “roof” funnels rain into smartly designed gutters that send runoff to the corners (so it doesn’t sheet down the walls). The superfine, DWR-treated mesh repelled precipitation in all but the windiest conditions. Six people can mingle comfortably inside, the 72-inch peak height lets most campers stand up fully, and two-way zippers at two corners facilitate easy exits. Prefer a hammock to a camp chair? Open the zippers to accommodate hammock straps, and you can swing and doze in bug-free bliss. $250; 4 lbs. 1 oz.; nemoequipment.com
The Espri LE series is an ultralight shelter that still meets the NEMO standard for comfort, setup, features and dependable protection from the elements. The award-winning Espri series has been improved for 2012. With new pre-bent pole segments in the front and an added front brow pole, interior volume and vestibule space is increased by making the walls more vertical. Waterproof fabric has also been added to the front mesh wall to offer a completely dry entry. Comes with a Standard Vestibule and Ultralight Fly Door. A 24 sq.ft. Trekking Pole Vestibule can also be purchased.