I begin by simply echoing what the other reviewers…
Ease of Setup: Very Easy
Price Paid: $350
I begin by simply echoing what the other reviewers have already stipulated: this tent is resilient and will essentially stand up to nearly anything that is thrown its way (rain, wind, snow - maybe the occasional cow via "Twister"). However, I must say that if you intend to use the Muir Trail during humid summer months, you may very well lack sufficient ventilation as the tent's 3.5 season design limits airflow.
In short, I have used this tent for nearly 8 years with countless camping trips and I simply will not leave home without it. It can be a little cramped at times with two adults and two dogs (vestibule area), but the sheer reliability/versatility of this 3.5 season tent makes you sleep Oh So Well at night knowing that no matter what type of weather you may encounter - You're Good.
Cheers and Happy Camping.
My wife and I live in Florida, so what to others might…
Design: 3-4 season, free-standing
Ease of Setup: Easy, less than 10 minutes
Weight: around 6 lbs.
Price Paid: $220
My wife and I live in Florida, so what to others might seem a "cool" night probably seems like a "cold" night to us. I was looking for a tent that would be highly-adjustable in response to the anticipated overnight temperature; but able to be sealed up pretty tight in the event the temperature dropped to or below freezing.
The Muir Trail seemed to be the only one we could find that met our criteria. I suppose the Sierra Designs Omega would be in the same genre; but it was heavier than the Muir Trail by about a pound, and the Muir Trail was really pushing the weight limit.
Anyway, we are delighted with the Muir Trail. If it's super chilly, you can seal off the door and the overhead vent, making it into a Winter tent; but if it's warm, you can open both and get pretty good ventilation, especially if you roll up the bottom end of the rainfly, to permit cross ventilation down the length of the tent. We have had no condensation problems under any conditions, and the tent is bomber in both rain and windy conditions.
There are a few of these tents still available, and I'd recommend you seriously consider grabbing one if you camp out in a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions.
Extremely solid. I have used the Mountain Hardwear…
Ease of Setup: Quick. Straightforward. Very practical.
Weight: 5 lb 10 oz
Price Paid: $300
Extremely solid. I have used the Mountain Hardwear Muir Trail in the Smokey Mountains in winter. On exposed ridges with winds averaging 35 mph and gusting at well over 50 mph, this tent is rock solid. In summer, it is as breathable as any comparable competitor.
Astonishingly, according to both manufacturer and retail specs, the Muir Trail is slightly lighter than its 3-season equivalent Thru-Hiker. This is most likely because the Muir Trail has a Silnylon fly, whereas the Thru Hiker is coated nylon.
The low, aerodynamic design means that two people cannot face one another, but must sit side by side. This can make it feel a bit cramped, but the alternative is to compromise sturdiness for space--something you must decide before buying. No lighter, roomier tent will be as stable in high wind from all directions.
Quick, simple set-up. The one central stake at the back allows you to immediately secure the body if setting up in a high wind--the wind direction then keeps the tent aligned as it should be!
As with other Mountain Hardwear tents, the rainfly is attached to the poles with a hook at EACH GUY LINE ATTACHMENT, so that the tent frame--not the fly--bears the stress of the wind. This attention to design is rare amongst tent manufacturers--and if included at all, is often simply a token velcro ring, rather than a solid hook to transfer the stress from the guy line to the pole.