All the tents reviewed here stand up to unruly three-season storms, but few deliver the rough-weather comforts of the Compact Light, which is ideal for regions that see plenty of rain and wintry weather year-round. Because the tent body stays clipped to the fly, this non-freestanding hoop design pitches fast and preserves a dry interior during rainy setups. Loops inside the tent make stringing clotheslines easy, and two pockets (by the door) keep doodads organized during weather delays.
The huge, 28.4-square-foot vestibule holds a trio’s wet gear, and its side-zip entry keeps those items from cluttering access to the single, large front door. The steep walls and high ceiling (41 inches) create a roomy feel, and the 34.4-square-foot floor and 90-inch length let testers of all sizes spread out in comfort. And when storms struck, the Compact Light “never rippled in wind that flattened other nearby tents,” one tester declared after howling storms hit Utah’s Green River. Ventilation is outstanding in breezy conditions, and even damp, chilly nights produced scant condensation. But the integrated fly makes it too warm for hot-weather use, and sand sticks to the siliconized nylon. $549; 7 lbs. 1 oz.; bergans.com
Alpine-style ascents require your gear to be as versatile as your abilities. Use Tenshi at base camp with all the comfortable features, and cache them as you move up the mountain. Start with a cavernous vestibule and a condensation curtain, and reach high camp with a 4 lb. shelter that fits on the smallest of ledges. Beefed up guy points, reinforced pole pockets, and DAC Featherlite poles make Tenshi all but indestructible. The recipient of several awards, including Editors' Choice from Backcountry and Climbing, and Best In Gear from Rock and Ice, Tenshi is the clear choice for high altitude adventure.