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Integral Designs MK1 XL

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

Integral Designs is no longer in business, and the MK1 XL has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best four-season tents for 2023.

photo: Integral Designs MK1 XL four-season tent

I bought this tent for my mountain expeditions. It is in event and I use the vestibule too. I bought it because of the low weight of the tent. In fact, the tent is really well made and the condensation is minimal (except in very cold weather where the walls of the tent froze like in a double wall tent).

This tent is superb for one person in winter. Not more. I can't imagine beiin tent bound in this with a partner for two days. In fact, I spent eight nights on a winter trip with a friend in there and it was impossible to do our sleeping setup together, one has to wait outside till the other is over. So the weight factor here seems less interesting... it is about six pounds with the vestibule and the pickets (which are useless in snow). Some will say, "yeah, but leave the vestibule"... in snowy and windy conditions, you can't live without a vestibule or be prepared to enter a lot of snow with your wet shell and wet boots in you tent.

I own some Hilleberg tents (nammatj gt, keron gt), I tried Kelty, Mountain Hardwear, MSR, MEC, Mountain 25, VE25 winters tents... and my conclusion is: The MK1 XL is super for one person. It is well made, easy to set up, "breathes well", performs well in high winds, etc. But if you are looking for an expedition tent for you and your partner, buy a large tent and split it and you'll be around six lbs too. The MK1 XL can "accomodate" two people, but there is no way you'll spend a stormy expedition in this tent without breaking friendship :)

By the way, I swear by Integral Designs.... I own two XPD3 sleeping bags, event coat, dolomitti, denali pants, etc and they makes GREAT gear.

Design: Single wall, mountaineering tent
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Easy
Weight: about 6lbs

What's nice about Integral Designs is that they will customize their tents with features that match the customer's needs such as extra door, awnings, eyebrow peak, extra pullouts, snow flaps, light or heavy-duty floor, extra vents, zip-on vestibule and a choice of 5 colors. This company in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is small and great to deal with since they bend over backwards to please the customer by answering all letters and making sure you get what you ask for when ordering.

I really like the MK1XL I ordered with 2 doors and awnings which give excellent ventilation in warmer weather. This tent was designed for the toughest high altitude conditions so is perfect for all year-round use for backpacking or climbing. It's bombproof and takes only seconds to set up. It looks very similar to the Bibler I-tent but I would say the quality is just as good or better....(really! I've owned Bibler as well as Garuda tents) and the price beats them all.

Design: 4 season mountaineering
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Extremely fast and easy set up
Weight: 4 lbs. 6 oz.
Price Paid: $440 (base)

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Price Historic Range: $439.96-$549.95
Reviewers Paid: $440.00

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