Backpacking shelters take many shapes and forms. Big and heavy gives you plenty of room, but weighs you down as you hike to the next camp. Ultralight saves your legs from burning, but won’t give you much space in bad weather. These are the best new products from both camps.
MSR Hubba Tour 2 – $749
When your tent is your home for a week- or even year-long trip, it better be comfortable. The new Hubba Tour series from MSR is redefining the backpacking tent label. Inside is a roomy 32 square feet so you can stretch out and avoid snoring in your tent mates ear. Outside, an enormous 25-square-foot vestibule shed with a protected floor can house all your gear. The waterproof rainfly with a new Xtreme Shield coating is attached to the tent body, so even when it’s raining sideways, the inside stays dry. The two-person Hubba Tour 2 is 4.81 pounds, but you can also find a one-person and three-person option.
Mountainsmith Vasquez Peak 2P – $280
If you don’t extra space (and weight), try the two-person Vasquez Peak from Mountainsmith. Two poles keep the tent tall and the sides steep for 42 inches of headroom inside. Reflective tie-down points and guide lines show you the danger spots in the dark. Hit the trail with a weight of 4.44 pounds, or just 3.13 pounds without the mesh body in the Fast Fly setup.
Mountain Hardwear Vision 3 Tent – $349
The Vision 3 is a new 5.44-pound tent from Mountain Hardwear. Two poles and two doors wrap 37.5 square feet inside. Four mesh pockets store your gear. Set-up is fast with color-coded poles and webbing. The Vision gets it’s name from the great views you’ll see. The fly rolls back half-way to give you uninhibited views of the stars and mountains. If the weather rolls in, it’s quick to roll back down to full waterproof mode.
Tarptent Notch Li – $599
With a super-strong, light dyneema fly and space for one person inside, the Notch Li weighs only 20 oz. Saving weight everywhere, the Notch Li doesn’t come with poles, opting for a setup with trekking poles instead. Two doors with vestibules give you lots of gear storage close at hand. Set up the mesh body under the fly in bad weather and hop into the waterproof bathtub bottom. Fun fact: the Notch Li could fit entirely inside our next heavy-duty option, the Nemo Chogori.
Nemo Chogori Mountaineering Tent – $850
Nemo likes to do things differently. They’re not content with making new products the same way as everyone else. The burly four-season Chogori will take whatever wind or snow you throw at it. Set up in half the time and save 25 percent of the weight due to the integrated fly and external pole structure. Great ventilation and fabrics completely free of toxic fire retardants let you breath easy if you’re holed up during a storm. Forty square feet inside the tent and 11.7 in the vestibule let you move around. If that’s not enough room, link two together to make a mega-snow-shelter.