Are looking to buy a new tent this year? Check out Explore Magazine's review of three essential summer shelters, including tents from Kelty, Mountain Hardware and Nemo:
Nemo Bugout 9X9 — $290Weight: 1.8 kg (4 lbs)
Footprint: 7.5 sq-m (81 sq-ft)
Best For: A bug-proof shelter.
Landing firmly in the “why didn’t someone think of this before?” department, the Bugout combines a tarp, with a bug mesh that drapes to the floor, with two full-length zips. Not only does the no-see-um-proof mesh keep out the bugs, but with a water-repellent treatment, it deflects sideways rain too. It’s an ideal kitchen in buggy country and can even replace a four-person tent on canoe trips in the summer. Keep in mind: solo setup can be pretty tricky, especially if you’re not using a ridgeline.
Bottom Line: A base-camp buddy that will earn its place at the first sign of rain.
Kelty Mach 4 — $400Weight: 9 kg (20 lbs)
Footprint: 4.6 sq-m (50 sq-ft)
Vestibule: 4.6 sq-m (50 sq-ft)
Best For: No-hassle car-camping.
Normally, setting up a spacious car-camping tent means wrestling with 20-foot poles and parachute-sized flies. The Mach 4 blows all that away with two air-filled poles. Lay the integrated tent and vestibule on the ground, attach a pump and put a little back into it — after a couple minutes of pumping, the tent is ready to live in. Literally. There is enough room in the six-foot-high vestibule for a dining room fit for four adults, all of whom can comfortably sleep in the screened-in tent.
Bottom Line: The easiest to set-up (but far from light or compact) palatial abode we’ve seen. Kelty
Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 2 DP — $480Weight: 1.9 kg (4.1 lbs)
Footprint: 3.3 sq-m (36 sq-ft)
Best For: When weight and durability are key factors.
Take most lightweight shelters into nasty weather and they bow under the pressure. Not this burly, if snug, two-man. While other tents flattened under 15 centimetres of slush the Skyledge barely slouched. Impressive. The to-the-ground fly and a sturdy, two-pole and hub design helped, but waiting out the storm proved tough; there’s barely enough shoulder room for two adults. With two doors and two vestibules, we were impressed with the weight and packed-size.
Bottom Line: Probably best as one-man tent, unless you’re intimate.
Mountain Hard Wear