This versatile, two-person shelter handles high-altitude summers and winters with equal aplomb. The lightweight, freestanding dome pitches with two crossing poles that feed through sleeves for a sub-two-minute setup. For summer objectives, our tester carried just the tent body, which pairs waterproof, PU-coated fabric on the head and foot ends with breathable, DWR-treated polyester on the sidewalls; for winter use, she attached the optional 10-ounce fly, which adds big-storm protection. Thirty-mph winds on Wyoming’s Crystal Butte couldn’t nudge it.
The internal vestibule works with either configuration: Peeling back the tent floor exposes four square feet of ground for stashing muddy boots. “Compared to most mountaineering tents, it’s wonderfully roomy,” she reports: The 32-square-foot floor and 40-inch ceiling let six-footers sleep and sit up comfortably. Ventilation is better than most single-walls, thanks to mesh vents that eliminate condensation in most conditions (the walls dampened during prolonged rain). The steep walls shed snow, and the small footprint lets it squeeze onto narrow ledges. Gripes: The door is small, and doesn’t extend to the ground (it opens above a 6-inch fabric panel that routinely tripped our tester). $450; 2 lbs. 10 oz.; snowpeak.com
The versatile Transform Tarp easily converts from a 12 foot square tarp to a triangular weatherproof floorless shelter that sleeps three with extra room inside for gear. A clever system allows you to gather extra fabric and zip two sides of the tarp together to form the 3D pyramid shape. A reinforced pole pocket secures a monopole are lashed together trekking poles in place. Tiebacks for both sides of the zippered entry allow you to ventilate the interior and fall asleep underneath the stars. When the skies are clear and the breeze is gentle, convert the shelter back into a tarp so you can spend more time admiring your nighttime surroundings.