I recently had a camping story published in USA Today https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/advice/2021/08/30/camping-why-fall-best-time-go-and-where-pitch-tent/5620831001/. A few readers have asked about tents. I use several. But if you’re looking for a lightweight, dry and darn near indestructible tent the Hyperlite UltaMid (available in two sizes) would be a good choice.
Here’s what you need to know about it:
The Hyperlight Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 tent https://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/collections/ultralight-backpacking-shelters-tents/products/ultamid-2-ultralight-pyramid-tent and UltaMid 2 Insert with floor https://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/collections/ultralight-backpacking-shelters-tents/products/ultamid-2-insert-with-dcf11-floor weighs less than a Sunday print edition of the New York Times. That’s a big deal if you’re backpacking but the rig also works well for car campers.
The UltaMid 2 is a pyramid-style tent made of a Dyneema composite fabric. This stuff is superlight (the tent weighs 1.17 pounds) and tough. A knife could pierce it. But it would be almost impossible to tear by hand. It’s touted on the Hyperlight website as “100% waterproof.” That’s a bold claim but after a 36-hour backyard test including nearly 12 hours of rain (steady rainfall with little to no wind) the tent and its contents remained dry.
The insert is made of No-See-Um mesh and a DCF11 Dyneema floor, which has a double tough feel to it. Set up takes a little practice but is simple and quick once you do it a few times. The tent can be used without the insert.
The UltaMid 2 has a 6-11 x 8×11 footprint. The center height is 64 inches. Trekking poles can be used for the center pole (you’ll need the UltaMid pole straps; $15 pair). The company also offers a collapsible carbon fiber tent pole ($100). You’ll need stakes, too. A Hyperlite stake kit, which, like the rest of the company’s gear, are super lightweight, costs $30. Campers can also cut their own tent stakes (and/or center pole), of course, or anchor the rig with rocks.
Of the 45 or so million campers in the United States, the majority are tent campers. If that’s you, Hyperlite is worth a look. It’s good gear, but it doesn’t come cheap. The UltaMid 2, available in white or green, starts at $735 (the green model is $800). The full size insert with floor is $405. More at https://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com.