Outdoor Retailer: Four-Season Backpacking Tents
Although Outdoor Retailer Summer Market is generally a showcase of spring/summer products, I saw several new four-season backpacking tents being unveiled. That is, tents build to withstand cold temperatures and winter snow loads, but not necessarily the high winds or cramped conditions associated with high-altitude mountaineering. These spring 2009 tents were designed more with the average winter backpacker in mind:
Mountain Hardwear’s new Taurine 2 anchors the manufacturer’s
“Mountain Performance” line of tents. Designed to fill the niche
between the company’s expedition tents and 3-season “all mountain”
tents, the four-season Taurine 2 combines high-end features like an
internal guy system and lightweight webbing and buckles with creature
comforts such as dual doors and vestibules and mesh storage pockets.
The 33 square foot Taurine 2 weighs 7 lbs. 15 oz. and will retail at
||Hilleberg’s Kaitum 2 GT and Kaitum 3 GT build on the company’s
lightweight, four-season Kaitum tunnel tents. The GT models feature
extended vestibules, adding 12 square feet of full-height vestibule
space to the 2-person model and 17 square feet to the 3-person version.
The $845 Kaitum 2 GT provides 31 square feet of interior space and 38
of vestibule at 6 lbs. 4 oz., while the $895 Kaitum 4 GT provides 44
square feet (plus 45 square feet of vestibule) at 7 lbs 4 oz.
||The Kelty Foxhole 2 and Foxhole 3 feature welded, waterproof seams, two
doors and two vestibules. Both tents include ample ventilation options,
including mesh doors with solid panels that can be opened or closed to
control airflow, and several hooded vents in the fly. The $380 Foxhole
2 offers 35 square feet of living space at 7 lbs. while the $420
Foxhole 3 is 45 sq. ft. and 9 lbs 4 oz.
On the lightweight end of the spectrum, British tentmaker Terra Nova
is bringing its full line of tents to the U.S., including several
two-person, four-season backpacking models weighing less than five
pounds. The 4 lb. 15 oz. Superlight Quasar is a lightened version of
Terra Nova’s Quasar four-pole mountaineering tents. The 4 lb. 10 oz.
Voyager features a minimalist 3-pole design, while the 4 lb. 15 oz.
Voyager XL adds a sizable vestibule with a dedicated hoop-style fourth
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