Mountain Hardwear Approach
The Approach is a great lightweight two-person backpacking…
Price Paid: $300
The Approach is a great lightweight two-person backpacking tent that sheds wind and water quite well. I have used this tent for four years in a variety of climates, including the Rockies, Alaska, and the southwest. Despite extended periods of heavy rain I have not experienced any leaks whatsoever, and the low profile does a great job in strong winds.
At 6'3" I find the length of the tent to be fantastic, but the ceiling height is too low for me to sit up completely. The tent can also feel a bit cramped with two people, but as long as you aren't holed up in it for days it's perfectly adequate. My only other issue with the design is the rather small door, which can make it a bit of a nuisance to enter and exit (particularly in wet weather).
I have had some issues with the lightweight poles, bending or splitting sections on three separate occasions. Fortunately a pole repair sleeve saved the day on each occasion, and Mountain Hardwear has replaced the bent or broken section under warranty each time. Nevertheless, it has been a bit of a hassle and I now take exceedingly great care in handling the poles during setup and take-down.
Despite the pole issues I have been very happy with the tent as a three-season backpacking shelter. Given the small size and light weight I would probably not recommend the tent for very cold or harsh weather where you may be spending extended periods of time in the tent, but for typical backpacking conditions the Approach gets the job done nicely.
I bought this tent for solo backpacking, and I am…
Design: three season
Ease of Setup: Easy even for one person
Weight: 4 lbs
Price Paid: $315 list
I bought this tent for solo backpacking, and I am very impressed. I spent a very windy, wet night on an exposed bald mountain and stayed perfectly dry and comfortable. I had one small, slow leak in the vestibule around a piece of velcro, but that was my fault for using the water-based seam grip on that area when I ran out of the smelly stuff. The water-based seam sealer works great on the zipper fabric material, but I wouldn't use it on any other part of the tent or fly.
I really like all of the pockets and the UVX windows on the fly at the vestibule door and the ceiling sloping down to allow a rear window view also.
My only small complaint about the tent is that it has no brow pole at the door so the vestibule slopes away from the tent at such an extreme angle that you need quite a stretch to reach the closed zipper on the vestibule door. This also makes the usable room in the vestibule less since the height around the front edge is not sufficient for anything other than the toes of your boots. That would add additional weight though.
This is a 2-person tent, but it would be a cozy situation. But hey, at 4 lbs. for a great weatherproof tent, what you want? If you want a great 3-season tent with plenty of room for 2 people, I highly recommend the Mountain Hardwear Room with a View. I had a small problem with one of the poles on my tent, and Mountain Hardwear's customer service was great in quickly replacing the pole. The poles do have a lifetime warranty.