Welcome to the beginning of a lot of chatter about backpacking gear. The first thread is about tents. Specifically, MY tent, the Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 2. I can’t recommend this tent highly enough.
1 – it’s reasonably light. Any 2 person tent that comes to close to 4lbs is light, IMO.
2 – it’s super-easy to set up and take down. Ridiculously easy.
3 – the 2 door design with 2 vestibules is great.
4 – Sturdy. I’ve had it in some big winds, and the tent, when staked out and set up correctly, is the bomb. The guy lines are well placed, and easy to use with the system Mountain Hardwear have installed.
5 – The clip on poles, rather than sleeves, mean I can take the entire tent down from the inside, if I need to (such as in bad weather). I stick it in my backpack, hop out from under the rainfly, and pull down the fly and pack up the poles, strap them on the outside of my pack, and off we go. Packing up in the rain couldn’t be easier. I’m reasonably sure I cold do something similar in setting the Skyledge 2 up in the rain as well, but it sets up so quick and easily I’ve never needed to.
6. The stakes that come with the tent are great, far better than some of the stakes I’ve seen come out of the bag when someone buys a tent.
The bathtub floor rocks, keeps me dry and warm in the rain. The seams come taped, meaning I don’t have to deal with sealing the seams for a good while – always a big plus!
The Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 2small. It’s a pretty tight fit for 2 people. It’s even a little short. I’m 5’9 or so, and it’s fine for me. But for someone over, say, 6′ I think this tent would be a little too short. Such is life. I also wish they had 2 more little guy lines to attach to the bottom of the fly at either end of the tent, just to pull the rainfly out a little more from the tent wall. I attached 2 simple 3′ long, ultra-light cords, one at either end, and it’s well worth it for staking the tent out.
I haven’t found a 3 season backpacking tent I’d rather own than the Skyledge 2. In general, I’ve found Mountain Hardwear tents to be pretty sweet. This is the 3rd one I own. Not ‘have owned’, but “still” own. I’ve used it as a comfy one-person tent, or even a nice lightweight backpacking tent for 2. I’ve carried the tent and used it from arctic Alaska to Southern Patagonia, Chile, and it rocks.
Visit the mountain hardwear site for all the details, but here’s a brief look at the Specs:
Capacity — 2
Minimum Weight — 4 lbs, 1 oz / 1.87 kg
Packaged Weight — 4 lbs, 8 oz / 2.04 kg
Floor Area — 26.05 sq ft / 2.42 sq m
Vestibule area — 10.98 sq ft / 1.02 sq m
Number of vestibules — 2
2nd vestibule area — 10.98 sq ft / 1.02 sq m
Number of doors — 2
Number of poles — 2 / Strut Pole
Here’s another photo of this tent after a solid dumping of late-June snow in Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Alaska.