Mountain Hardwear Spire 2
Design: 4-Season Expedition
Ease of Setup: Very Easy
Weight: 2.32 kg
This tent was purchased as a high strength mountaineering tent with the intention of taking it on an expedition to the Andes later this year. In order to try the tent out we took it up into our local hills (we live in NZ) and pitched the tent at about 1200 meters.
In reasonably windy conditions it was impossible to sleep because of the excessive movement of the tent. In fact we found it necessary to sit against the side of the tent to stop it from bending flat. In the morning the poles were bent. I feel if we hadn't provided the extra support the tent would have been even more badly damaged.
I have owned and used a number of "expedition" tents over the years and camped in a lot higher and more arduous conditions than those I describe above. In comparison this tent performed very poorly to other types of tents I have used and in my opinion should not be marketed as an expedition quality tent.
The Spire 2 is not necessarily a bad tent. It is is well made and it is very light (2.32kg). The problem is that it is just not up to the job that its being sold to do and that is my main complaint.
I would not take this tent on any expedition/trip where you will expect to encounter strong winds. I certainly won't be taking it to the Andes this Christmas.
Design: 4 season, freestanding.
Ease of Setup: Easy
Weight: 4-5 lb. without or with footprint
Price Paid: $300
When I first got this tent and set it up in the living room to check it out, I thought I made a mistake on the purchase but, found out on the first trip out, I bought something good.
I don't know why the other user would have issues but the tent I bought has been BOMBPROOF. I've used it on backpack hunting trips here in Alaska for 4 years now and it has held up to blowing rain, snow and winds up to around 50MPH without any issues.
As with any tent, use the guy lines and stake the tent properly when you expect winds and the tent will be SOLID.
This tent is compact, it's perfect for one average sized guy and all his hunting gear he would be carrying with him. As being compact, it is just that, and two guys are a bit cramped and have to put the gear in the vestibules.
I also purchased an Integral Designs 5'x8' Sil-Tarp to cover extra gear two persons would have outside of the tent. The vesibule could be a bit bigger but that's what you get in small lightweight backpacking tents. Stop whining and complaining, if you want a big backpacking tent, get a 4 person and bear carrying a ten pound tent, see how you like that over carrying a 4 pound tent. I will sacrifice some creature comforts for a lighter weight.
Condensation is a bit of an issue, but as is with any tents in cooler temps. I leave the mesh doors closed and leave the solid panel open to help cut some condensation back.
The vestibule size gives this minus one star from 5 stars with me. It's a solid tent and when pitched properly, gives you a stable shelter from high winds. I am going to check out the Skyledge tents now and see how those hold up, being they are the exact same design as the Spire but with more mesh, I am sure they will breath better and keep more condensation off.
With all lightweight backpacking tents, you have to give a little to get a little. Comfort, weight, strength, materials, types of use, overall size, all those things have to be taken into consideration.
There is no one perfect all season tent.
Where to Buy
The Mountain Hardwear Spire 2 is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
The Spire 2 tent from Mountain Hardwear is a bomber shelter for high altitude mountaineering and rugged conditions and when carried in the Pitch Light configuration, it is extremely light at only 1.5 pounds.
- Mountain Gear
Mountain Hardwears Spire 2 is a lightweight, expedition tent with a high strength to weight ratio and trim footprint for placement on ledges.This compact, two-person shelter is designed for rugged winter conditions.Strong Scandium XL poles and their Evolution Tension Arch rebuff gale-force winds and snow.Two dry entry vestibules keep gear sheltered.Superlight option: pitch with fly and Pitch Light footprint to shave pounds.Footprint sold separately.
Description The Spire is a lightweight, expedition tent with a high strength to weight ratio and trim footprint for placement on ledges. This compact, two-person shelter is designed for rugged winter conditions. Strong Scandium XL poles and our Evolution Tension Arch rebuff gale-force winds and snow. Two dry entry vestibules keep gear sheltered. Superlight option: pitch with fly and Pitch Light footprint to shave pounds. Footprint sold separately. Features Mesh pockets for interior storage Reflective guy-out loops, starter point and zipper pulls for easy set-up at night Superlight buckles and webbing reduce tent weight Waterproof polyether urethane floor has the most durable waterproof coating available Proprietary Evolution Tension Arch stabilizes tent using fewer poles Guaranteed watertight construction with fully taped, strong 40-denier siliconized fly, taped perimeter seam, welded corners and welded guy clip anchors. Rain room tested with 1200" of rain in 24 hours. Atlas Scandium XL pole system is superlight and super-strong, with cold-resistant shock cord; can be serviced by hand in the field Internal guy system for stabilizing tent during strong winds SVX window on fly for view without heat loss Specifications Body 40D Nylon Ripstop Capacity 2 Fly Fabric Superlight 40D Nylon Ripstop Minimum Weight 4 lbs, 8 oz / 2.07 kg Packaged Weight 5 lbs, 1 oz / 2.32 kg Tent Floor Superlight 2000 Nylon Floor Area 26.05 sq ft / 2.42 sq m Vestibule area 10.98 sq ft / 1.02 sq m 2nd vestibule area 10.98 sq ft / 1.02 sq m Number of doors 2 Number of poles 2 / Strut Pole Number of vestibules 2 Interior height 3.74 ft / 114.00 cm Packed diameter 5.51 in / 14.00 cm Packed length 18.11 in / 46.00 cm Type Winter/Mountaineering Pitch Light Weight 1.49 Kg
- Massey's Outfitters
High-altitude mountaineering requires a stable, wind-worthy shelter. The Mountain Hardwear Spire combines these attributes in a simple, lightweight design. Spire boasts Evolution Tension Arch™ technology, dual doors and vestibules, and a trail weight less than 5 lbs. For strength, a system of non-stretch panels map the tent's main tension lines along the poles and down the side panels to the main guyout points. These panels act as a fabric truss structure that resists deformation by holding the poles in a stable arch. Compared to traditional tent fabrics that stretch and allow poles to bend, this truss structure reinforces the poles with the tent body structure. Atlas Scandium XL™ poles are very light, superstrong and completely field serviceable without tools. Additionally, these tough XL poles come with subzero Shok™ cord and heat-treated aluminum threaded pole tips. Dry-entry vestibule design prevents water from dripping inside tent when vestibule is open, improving livability. Trim floor design fits well on narrow ledges and snow platforms. Internal guy system provides additional rigidity to the structure to resist frame flex and deformation. All exposed seams are welded or taped for waterproofness—there is no need for seam sealing! Water-resistant, inverted, double rainfly zippers allow easy ventilation. Gated Power Clips at all pole intersections increase structural strength. Large stake out loops accept both skis and snow pickets. Bar-tacked stress points add strength and durability; bias-bound zippers allow ease of use and extended zipper life. Welded mesh storage pockets keep things organized inside. Other technical features include reflective guyout loops and zipper pulls, welded guy-clip anchors and lightweight buckles and webbing. Reflective starter points make setup in the dark a breeze.