[lightweight expedition palace]
Stable. Light. Livable. “This is the best four-season tent I’ve ever used,” said one tester after his 2012 Everest expedition. Even at 26,000 feet, with winds routinely topping 50 mph, he proclaimed this six-pole dome (plus a pole for the fly) quick to pitch and solid as a rock.
“It’s so taut that I could set my 40-pound pack on top without any sagging,” said another tester after a weekend in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness. “And the pre-rigged guylines self-equalize, making it a breeze to guy out at nearly any angle.” Of course, there are other bomber tents out there. What sets the Katabatic apart is low weight paired with high marks for livability. The shelter is cavernous for two winter-equipped mountaineers and adequate for a trio; it fits three pads with no overlap, thanks to two side poles that draw out walls to near-vertical.
Two vestibules provide enough space for three expedition duffels, while 14 large interior pockets let testers organize gear; smart vertical panels help with drying layers. Other features are equally dialed: Two vents in the canopy limited condensation when nearby tents frosted up; door and vestibule zipper pulls glow in the dark for easy access; and both vestibule doors allow venting at the top so you can cook safely. Bonus: “In stormy weather, the green and white walls are downright cheery compared to darker flies.” $599; 10 lbs. 5 oz.; firstascent .com
The Isopod series of tents are the culmination of NEMOâ€™s experience designing for extreme conditions. Isopod, which takes its name from the pill bug, order Isopoda, has a unique pole configuration that has
been wind tunnel tested and computer-optimized to withstand extreme winds, resisting pole breakage by allowing pole flex. The fabrics of Isopodâ„¢ are custom designed for this tent series, with additional UV
and abrasion resistance. The removable inner canopy of Isopod is composed largely of our APRIâ„¢ (Air Permeable Reflective Insulation), a metallic fabric that increases interior warmth considerably. A large
snow skirt, or valence, around the perimeter of Isopod can be covered with snow or extra equipment to seal out wind and weather. Over 60 guy-out points and 10 primary ground anchors lock Isopod to the ground. Numerous internally deployable vents and mesh pockets, including specialized radio pockets, ensure livability.