Mountain Equipment AR Ultralight II

This 2-person tent is very light, and you can save a further 156g by ditching the pole set and using a pair of trekking poles instead. It pitches outer-first with two vertical poles supporting the outer, and then the inner is suspended from the inside. The wedge-shaped ridge design creates a reasonable amount of space to sit up in under the ridge, and it tapers to the foot steeply. A real bonus is that there are two porches and two entrances, so two campers can each have their own half of the tent. Both porches have space for two rucksacks, while the outer doors roll upwards and can be secured. You can also vent the top of the outer doors, which is very useful. So it’s ideal for backpackers wanting plenty of space and minimal weight.  But this is not the most stable design (the large, flat surface of the wedge shape very easily catches the wind), so care is needed to find relatively sheltered sites. The outer doors aren’t held open as securely as some others either and would benefit from an additional tie-back.

 

Design: 2-pole ridge
Poles: shock-corded alloy (or pair of trekking poles)
Inner: 40D ripstop nylon
Flysheet: 40D ripstop nylon, 3500mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet: 30D nylon, 8000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions: length 220cm; width 120cm; height 90cm
Packed size: 38x16cm
Weight: 1570g
Made in: China
Stores in the UK: 50

Verdict: A lightweight tent with two porches and two entrances, meaning it’s ideal for backpacking, but it is not the most stable.

 

First published in Trail magazine, May 2008