Mountain Hardwear Skyview 1.5
The Skyview 1.5 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best 3-4 season convertible tents for 2020.
Reviewers Paid: $210.00-$310.00
This is a versatile tent, good for use in most conditions, clear or stormy. While heavy for backpacking by today's standards (this text updated in early 2013), it makes a great car camping tent. As a "1.5", it would be cramped for 2 people, but is roomy for one person. I'd recommend this tent for those not concerned about pack weight.
- Versatile due to zip-out panels
- Weather resistant
- Suitable for moderate 4-season use due to closing panels on tent body (not all mesh)
- Water drips inside tent when opening door flaps while wet
I bought this tent new in 2000 or so. I compared it to others, like Sierra Designs, but liked the feel of the Mountain Hardwear product. I used it a few times, and then had a break from doing much camping. Over the past two years, though, I've used it regularly. I've camped with it in conditions ranging from hot and dry to 15 degrees and snowing. I haven't done a lot of camping in rainy weather, but have a few times.
Overall I like the tent. The zip-out panels make for a versatile tent usable in 3 seasons+. In dry weather, going without the fly makes for a nice open airy feeling (and great view of the surroundings and the sky). It's a bit claustrophobic at one end with the fly on, though the door end is still OK due to the dual door flaps.
The tent has been pretty stable in some fairly windy conditions, including one stormy night on a ridge above Lake Tahoe, with snow blowing horizontally all night (that wasn't a great night for sleeping:).
The only real complaint I have with the tent is the way the door flaps are designed. If the fly is wet, either with rain, or dew (or with snow), when you open the flap, the water streams in through the door screen and into the tent. If there's snow on the fly, it falls right into the tent too.
Of course, as a 1.5, it would be very cozy with two people. I find it comfortable for myself, without any gear stashed inside.
Other than the door/water dripping issue, this tent has served me well. Due to that issue, which is an issue during wet or snowy weather, I might consider purchasing a different tent at some point, at least for winter/rainy-season use. In the warm, dry, Sierra summers, I like the openness of the Skyview.
Update: December 4, 2011
This is an update to my previous review. The tent actually weighs 8 lbs 4.8 oz including the footprint.
Also two photos are added.
Ease of Setup: about 10 minutes to set up or take down
Weight: 8 lbs, 4.8 oz, including footprint
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $310
Very versatile tent. It works well in warmer weather (can be pitched with just footprint and rain fly) and cold. Able to handle heavy rain and snow. The two vestibules are a little small and cannot completely shield gear.
Acceptable weight-for-shelter value. Plenty of headroom. Venting options are great, and allow for stargazing.
A perfect tent for a two-person trip any time of year!
Ease of Setup: Easy (1 person
Weight: 7 lbs
Price Paid: $350-220
This tent is wonderfully made, as are all of the Mountain Hardwear products I have seen. The side walls have a steep angle to the ground so it will shed snow readily. The zip-out panels will probably turn this tent into a nice summer shelter. I used it in the rain with no leaks.
The interior layout may make it a bit cramped for taller people, you need to look at the specs to determine if it is right for you. The rainfly fits snugly over the tent frame with no sagging.
The ONLY fault I find with this tent is the dual vestibules are too small to do anything but put your boots in and a few other items. Unless you have a very low profile stove, cooking in them could be a disaster!
Design: 3-4 season convertible
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 7+ lbs.
Price Paid: $210 @ REI.com