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L.L.Bean Microlight UL 2P

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: L.L.Bean Microlight UL 2P three-season tent

Very lightweight, freestanding tent for two (-ish). Easily fits two Klymit Static V's with about a foot to spare in length. I measured interior head space and get 40 inches. LL Bean's website says 36 inches, so I was happy to have the extra 4 inches.

Glad to finally make a trek to Southern Utah to put this to the test! Tent went through a wet night with 20+ MPH winds with no issues. Then a night in the 20's with no condensation issues. Then several nights in the 40's where it performed very well.

This tent is quickly becoming a favorite. It has resisted many nights and days in the rain, with 20+ mile per hour winds. I keep looking for the ultimate UL tent and keep coming back to this.

Pros

  • Very light, 3lbs 2 oz on my scale for everything.
  • 30 sq ft—bigger than many other UL's in its weight class.
  • Stitching is very even and well done
  • Freestanding—only the fly vestibules would need to be staked out
  • 90" long provides extra space for packs at our feet
  • 52" wide at the top also provides space for shoes at the door, ready to go
  • Excellent netting keeps mosquitoes at bay (unfortunately I tested this capability fully)

Cons

  • Small size for two—could use an extra 6 inches in width
  • No gear loft attachments
  • No ventilation in the fly
  • Walls are not as vertical as some, reducing interior space
  • Fly is a few inches from the ground, so there is potential for splash back. But the bathtub bottom does go up pretty high and when guyed out appropriately, there is separation between the two, so no dripping into the tub.

Continuing to use the tent for longer jaunts. The weight and interior are great for longer trips. Tent now has 30 some odd nights in it, without issues. There are a few spots on the mesh that have become irregular, but a few minutes with a needle will sort the threads back into position. Our last two trips have been filled with mosquitoes and we have yet to find any blood suckers in the tent.

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Full moon in Canyonlands

Both doors roll back on both sides to allow breezes to flow in on warm nights and allow for decent photography when rolling over deciding if you want to get out of bed yet. 

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Obligatory out the door shot 

Livability in the tent is decent for two due to the spreader pole at the top. However you can see the walls are not 100% vertical. This is about 35" at the very top and the width at the base here is around 50" (it's a tapered design). 

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Width of the top spreader bar
Height of the top spreader bar. This is higher than LL Bean specs states!
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The walls at the foot taper in dramatically. This does reduce the interior space, but it's not at the shoulder part so it's less noticeable.

 

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Relaxing in Bears Ears

  

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All staked out after a gusty night. I HATE loud tents that flap in the wind. With lots of guy points and tighteners at each end of the fly, this is pretty easy to get taut and not flap. Winds this night were 15-20 and I slept well. No rain was forecast, so I was pretty lazy with a footprint/tarp

 

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I'm 5'10" (plus an inch or two of hair) and could sit up in the tent with a few inches to spare. Two 23"x72" Klymit Static V's lie side by side without issue and several inches to spare.

 

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It's hard to see in this pic, but the only storage pockets are located at the head area in the section right by the first hook to the pole. These pockets are maybe 4" wide by 5" deep. They work great for glasses and lip balm, but that's about it. There is a hook at the top and it's great for clipping in a headlamp. But storage is definitely not this tent's strong point.

 

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Total packed weight is where this tent really shines—3 lbs 2 oz for everything, All stakes, bags, you name it. The stuff sack is somewhat generous, so when we roll it up, it's not a giant feat getting it back into the stuff sack, something I appreciate after owning several tents where I struggle to stuff the tent in the bag.

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Packed weight

 

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There is ample headroom for two, but it could be a bit longer. I prefer to keep my packs inside the tent to keep creepy crawlers off and out. Ever had a scorpion in your backpack? Ever lost a boot due to a possum?

I have. It's not something I want to relive.

I had hoped that the length of the tent would allow the packs to be stored at our feet. And it is very close to working, but won't be 100 percent. My wife is a bit shorter, so the packs go on her side.

Background

I have a Cabela's XPG 3 that is super nice, but a tad too big, and with a 1lb 8oz weight penalty I wanted something lighter.

Have had this tent out several times now, with 0 issues. Condensation has been no worse than my Mountainsmith Morrison tent with vents. At 3lbs 2 oz for everything this has been a serious weight saver. It has survived rain and winds with no problem.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $290

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Specs

Price MSRP: $349.00
Reviewers Paid: $290.00
Dimensions 7'6" x 4'6"
Floor space 30.5 sq ft
Minimum weight 2 lb 11 oz
Packed size 16.5 x 7 in
Peak height 36 in
Total Weight 3 lb 2 oz
Vestibule area 6.8 sq ft each
Product Details from L.L.Bean »

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