Why we like it As luxurious as a portable shade tree and open to welcome breezes, it offers cool refuge for four in hot conditions.
Protection Secure staking is a must, but once pegged, guylines on the pole and tarp kept the Refugio standing through 20-mph desert gusts. Two triangular panels (instead of one conventional rectangle) create a multitude of shade options that can adapt to shifting sun and rain (water beads right off the polyurethane-coated polyester). Tradeoff: The extra versatility and the included pole make it heavy for a tarp.
Livability “Blessed coolness at high noon,” raved one tester when the sculpted rock hoodoos at Colorado's Hartman Rocks Recreation Area offered minimal respite. She employed multiple configurations, and even positioned the Refugio over a hammock strung between two car racks.
Fave feature An extendable (87 to 99 inches; 1 pound, 12 ounces) aluminum pole simplifies setup and let testers rig the Refugio in barren areas lacking natural anchors like trees or boulders. Or use an extendable trekking pole and just one panel (pictured) for a weight-saving, lower-ceilinged setup that sleeps two to three.
$150; 3 lbs. 15 oz.; ticla.com