Mountain Hardwear EV 2
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $600
Strong single walled winter tent. Lightweight, easy to set up, with good "livability" features.
- Pole design/strength/strength
- Bright interior
My wife and I have the EV2 and use it for multi-night winter ski touring in the Washington Cascades. I generally agree with other reviews and share these comments.
This tent is strong. High winds and snow loads have not been a problem.
The striped gray panels under the poles are magical in that they are translucent and let starlight in. In the dead of night you can “see” inside the tent by the light coming in through the gray panels. In a fullish moon, the tent is almost too bright to sleep. This feature makes a 12 hour winter night somewhat more tolerable.
Great tent choice if you are tall. The tent is long enough for me (6’2”), my empty pack at my head, and my ski touring shells at my feet; all inside the tent.
The tent is easy to set up, even in the dark and in the wind.
The interior pockets are small. They are big enough for your headlamp but not much else. Winter nights are long (we recently spent 13 hours in the tent) and the pockets always seemed overflowing with stuff. The pockets would be more useful if twice the size or perhaps if there were more of them. The tent would also benefit from a gear loft (like MSR Fury).
The fabric is not breathable. After a cold, 5 deg. F, but calm night, with all the vents open, 3 on top, 2 lower, by morning the interior of the tent is covered with frost. Flip open your down bag and make contact with the tent walls and your sleeping bag is immediately wet. Tap the wall of the tent and the “snow” from the ceiling falls over everything inside the tent. After 2 or 3 nights this moisture build up becomes a significant winter hazard. Using the tent for a single night assault, or in a windy location (which might increase ventilation) may minimize condensation issue.
It is difficult to cook inside this tent. We have opened to front door a bit (for extra ventilation) and suspended the Jetboil from the center ceiling loop, but in temps below 10 deg. F the Jetboil is not very effective. Because the vestibule has a floor, it is not conducive to white gas stoves. In foul weather you will likely have to choose between cooking/melting snow outside or trying to cook inside. Tents with vestibules (without floors) are better for cooking in stormy conditions.
The stuff sack that comes with the tent is way too large. I think it they made it so long so that you can get the poles in the bag too. Forget that idea. Get one 75% of the size or cut down the original one. The poles have their own appropriately sized bag.
The side panel tension tabs (right under the “Hard Wear” logo) are much more effective at applying even wall tension if pulled out horizontally rather than down to the ground. Tie the cord to your ski, ski pole, or ice axe and the tent wall will behave a lot better than in some photos.
Bring 4 – 6 snow tent stakes; the kind with holes you can bury like a dead man. The tent stakes that come with the tent are fairly useless in the snow.
The waterproof floor zipper near the door is a good place to empty your pee bottle.
This is a one-season tent; winter only.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $535
Good in wind and snow, but horrible failure in windless rain.
- Lots of space
- Fabric not taut
After lots of research, I decided to dish out the cash and buy what sounded like a great tent. In wind and snow it behaved well, but on one night when it rained and when the wind was absent, the condensation was so bad that all my clothing and gear (inclding my sleeping bag!!!) were wet. I had to leave the tent to sleep in a friend's.
DO NOT BUY THIS TENT!!!!!! I could have spend less money for a 2 wall, adding a pound more, but staying dry. Once again, DO NOT BUY THIS TENT!!!!!
Price Paid: $600
I originally bought this tent based on its weight and thought this would be the perfect bit of kit for winter alpine adventures in Alaska. I soon discovered that the overall floor area just isn't enough for two individuals and all their stuff in the winter. It was too crowded and cramped once we brought in all of our gear. The built-in vestibule was also a letdown.
Maybe I am too set in my ways, but I need a place to leave my pack and brush off snow. I was always making a huge puddle in the hooch. The door is small and it is difficult to get inside with loads of warmers kit on your body. It was a great 1 man tent, but not recommended for 2.
I can't say I give it a thumbs up for winter activities, either, especially here in Alaska or similar areas. It is light, though, and is a breeze to set up alone.
Ease of Setup: ok
Price Paid: $560
Spent 48 hrs. at the base of Mt. Rainier in this tent in cold wet weather. Tent was vented at night and condensation from its 2 occupants showered down on us whenever it rained, soaking our gear, (bags and pads) sufficiently to make a summit attempt miserable!
Next year I will bring my Eureka High Camp tent as the fly will allow the tent to breathe and make for a more enjoyable climb. Maybe this tent is intended for cold, dry, high altitude climbing?????
I feel bad that my son paid for something that is not as advertised. He had used it while climbing some of the 14ers. in Colorado with the same results. Wet, wet,wet...
Ease of Setup: Very easy
Price Paid: $625
Weight, Ventilation, and Ease of Set-Up are all great points for the EV2. Here was my concern about the tent, the integrated vestibule. Yes it does add a few extra inches to the one-man tent (two-man in a pinch) but here was my problem...
I am from New England and had set it up in some of the worst weather New Hampshire can throw at it. High winds, driving snow, and freezing temperatures. It lived up to the expectations of Mountain Hardwear in that sense, but I noticed that when it snowed more than a couple of inches, the integrated vestibule would start to collapse. No matter how many pickets or poles I had on the front loops, it would still collapse. The snow would just build up and up and I would have to knock it back or get out and dig, but when I got out of the tent, the snow would just fall in, covering anything in the front of the tent.
The other problem was getting into the tent when it was windy and/or snowing, the snow would always get in through the door of the tent. There is no real vestibule; it’s just an extension of the floor.
The same problem happened on a recent trip to Mt. Shasta, and I was so frustrated with the tent I almost left it there!!!
If they had an “add-on” vestibule I probably would have kept it. It’s funny because I am so impressed with my Trango 2 and all my other gear by Mountain Hardwear and I didn’t know if I was just being picky.
So I guess the snow load factor isn’t the greatest point of the EV2 and that is why I can’t recommend it.
Design: Sping, Fall, Winter 3 season (no summer or at leat south of Alaska)
Ease of Setup: outstanding
Weight: The best
As you would expect a tent sanctioned by Mr. Viesturs is not going to let you down even in the highest winds or worst conditions (hey anchors are a personal issue mofo) but the single wall ventilation always makes me sleep light if snow is heavy. Don’t even think you can share this with a partner (even with minimal gear) unless extreme intimacy is not a problem (did I include my cell# here?!?). Set up was super fast but what do you expect from Mountain Hardwear and the incredible Mr. Viesturs. (This is not considered kissing up!!! Unless it helps in some way!)
Uses: Absolutely not a four but a three-season tent for sure as the summer is not a time you want to be in this boy. Promise!
Pros: Super light, super small. Good colors (hey this can be REAL important), fairly (hey I don’t need to name names but she would object as well if she could) good ventilation. Super easy set up. Ultra stable, lots of room for me and my six cousins (not!). Do design a few inches and make this the only tent to own. Oh, don't forget it gets hot in the summer.
Price Paid: 600$
I just came home from a twenty-day hike in the mountains of Norway with this tent. During the summer. Big mistake.
Pros first! It pitches beautifully in a heartbeat, even when you're alone, and the wind is grabbing every inch of the tent it possibly can. It stays upright and secure in winds from every direction (the wind turned 90 degrees during the night — not the slightest problem!).
I'm a small person, and for me and my boyfriend, the tent was perfect size for us and our gear. We were prepared to leave our packs outside the tent, and had no trouble storing our shoes in the integrated vestibule. As I am a rather small person, the light weight is of great importance to me. It weighs next to nothing, and I have no trouble keeping up with my (much bigger and stonger) friends with this tent in my pack.
Cons: It leaks. In rain, we got most of our gear soaked. In bright sunshine, the condensation was unbelievable. After 23 days, I thought I'd figure out how to keep dry in it (it is after all an expensive and high-performance tent!), but no. And we really tried everything: all vents open, some closed and some open, pitching it loosely and tight, closing vents that were in direct exposure of the wind... The only weather that we actually could stay dry in, was no rain, with a good breeze coming in to keep the condensation out.
I really hope something is wrong with my tent, or that it might work better in the dry and cold winter I'll be able to test it in a few months from now.