Get lightweight, ballroom-size shelter with this spin on the classic pyramid, says our tester, who used it while backpacking in canyon country and as an emergency shelter for seven during a thunderstorm in the Rockies. Instead of four sides, like a typical pyramid, the Pentalite uses five walls to create more interior space and also has a vestibule/canopy option: Zip in the Wedge ($140; 2 lbs. 1 oz.; pictured above), a mesh insert with a zippered door, and you get 69 square feet of bug-protected space and an eight-square-foot vestibule.
Without the Wedge, the tarp provides 77 square feet of shelter suited to snowy sites or bug-free conditions. Four people sleep comfortably around the included DAC pole. Three vents on the tarp walls prevent the interior from steaming up. And the 72-inch peak height makes the Pentalite a comfy place for sorting gear and even playing charades—campers 5’5” and shorter can stand up inside. Extending the monopole and planting the eight stakes (for the corners and vent guy-outs) takes just a few minutes. The steep walls effectively shed snow during an early-winter snowstorm in Colorado. Our only wish: a tauter pitch—the walls tended to sag slightly without retensioning. $370; 3 lbs. 5 oz.
Winner of Backpacker's Best All-Around 3 Person Tent as well as Gear of the Year from both Outside and Men's Journal in 2009, Losi 3P is your home away from home. Looking for maximum space to weight? Losi 3P's got it. The unique pole configuration provides exceptional strength and nearly vertical walls to increase interior space. Two doors and vestibules eliminate jostling for position and gear storage. Set Losi 3P up on the fly with just the footprint, fly and poles for an ultralight tent or sun shelter.