Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 2010

The Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 is a classic winter mountaineering tent that is based on the tried and trusted four-pole geodesic design that has proved itself in the world’s most extreme weather conditions. So this is a tent for the outdoor family that wants to push the limits, camping wild whatever the weather, and yet remain safe and comfortable.

Design
The four-pole geodesic design has been the mainstay of mountain tents for decades. Like similar designs, the Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 is pitched inner-first with the poles being attached to a system of clips to form a stable movable inner. The fly is then tossed over the top and the structure is secured to the ground. Pitching is very easy thanks to the use of quality components. So you get a great pole set plus well-designed clips and ladder-lock adjustment. There is a large main inner that can sleep four in comfort in a head-to-toe configuration. At each end there is a small porch and entrance. The porch at the main entrance is larger than the tail, and the best option for cooking out of the rain. The headroom is enough to allow the occupants to sit up easily, while the domed profile means the headroom extends throughout much of the inner living space. This is a well-designed tent for mountaineering and expeditions among the wildest landscapes on the planet.

On the hill
Mountain walkers will love the techy, hard-edged appeal of the Mountain Hardwear Trango 4. It feels like a ‘proper’ tent, something you can be proud of if you’re used to lightweight backpacking tents and roughing it on the hill. But less adventurous groups may feel it does not offer enough living space or headroom. The porches are tiny compared to others and barely big enough to accommodate four people’s kit. Equally you cannot stand up inside this tent. As with many tents of this style the inner mesh doors are on the inside of the inner door, so you have to open the mesh door to vent the tent, which can let midges in. So you may think you are not getting a lot for your £750 and 5.88kg weight. But that would be to miss the point of this tent. Take it out of the valley, wild camp in the mountains, and it is a clear winner. It might be smaller than the others – but in terms of withstanding wild weather, given the choice I’d want
my loved ones inside this tent.

Design 4-pole geodesic
Poles shock-corded alloy
Inner nylon
Outer nylon, 1500mm hydrostatic head   
Groundsheet nylon, 3000mm hydrostatic head  
Internal footprint length 429cm; width 252cm; height 138cm
Packed size 60x25cm
Weight 5.88kg
Made in China
Stores in the UK 8
Stockist details – tel. (01572) 724499; www.mountainhardwear.com

The Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 has a good weight and packed size; extremely stable design. But it has a smaller living space than comparable tents. It’s the perfect high mountain tent where stability in all weathers is the priority rather than living space.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2010