Mountain Equipment has only added tents to its product range in recent years, but models such as the Dragonfly three-pole geodesic are already competing with the best. The latest addition is the Tundra 2, a two-person, two-pole tunnel. It weighs in at a very respectable 2400g, pitches outer-first and appears to offer a very functional blend of features for mountain and valley backpacking.
The Tundra comes in a smaller stuff sack than others with compression straps to reduce volume still further. Its poles are made from shorter sections than most tents, which makes it better for packing onto bikes for example. The tent pitches outer first with two colour coded poles being provided that slide through two sleeves on the outer. These sleeves have only one open end so the poles simply bottom out when they reach the end and ladder lock webbing adjusters lock them in place. Pegs at the tail and front plus some guylines complete the pitch. The main pegging points are elasticated but they do not get ladder lock webbing adjustment. The inner can be removed first when striking the tent in wet weather too. The front door is particularly well designed with options to open the central section from either side, top or bottom. Inside there is a spacious porch and bright inner.
On the hill
It’s easy to pitch, spacious and stable, and everything is very intuitive to use. The external door is very well-designed and there is plenty of porch space to stash gear. The inner gets a complete midge door that can be fully covered by a zip-out panel. The result is plenty of airflow when needed, which allows air to be drawn through the tent from the tail to the front door vent. The inner feels as if it is larger than some other s, which may in part be due to the white inner material but also the near-vertical sides and minimal taper to the rear. Whatever, it felt more spacious than the stats suggest. Stability is good too: with the tail and front pegs in place the tent feels very solid. The guys add stability but are not essential. A slight niggle is that the tent pegs can cut into your hands more easily than some others. But details are all good, with reflective guylines and glow-in-the-dark zip pulls. It’s not the lightest tent here, but the price is very competitive and the complete package is ideal for backpackers whose budgets cannot stretch to the highest price tags.
Poles shock-corded alloy
Inner 40D rip-stop nylon inner tent
Outer 40D ripstop nylon; 3500mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet 30D nylon 6.6, 8000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 220cm; width 135cm; height 95cm
Packed size 42 x 21cm
Packed weight 2350g
Made in China
Stores in UK 40
Stockist details – tel. (0161) 366 5020; www.mountainequipment.co.uk
Verdict: The Mountain Equipment Tundra 2 two-person two-pole tunnel tent pitches outer-first; very easy to pitch; very spacious inner; huge porch; good ventilation; price good for performance; shorter packed length than most. But pegs are sore on hands; others are lighter for similar size. Overall, perfect features for backpacking but more money does bring a lighter tent.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2009