The Thru Hiker has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2020.
Historic Range: $169.95-$200.00
Reviewers Paid: $150.00-$290.00
I bought this tent on clearance in 2000. I used it for a week long cycling trip. We had sags, so we didn't need to carry it. However, I have used it many times since, including backpacking and car camping.
It is rated as a 3-season, but I have used it in winter with no problems. Ventilates well with lots of mesh. I did buy the footprint which helps protect the floor. I have noticed a few drips from the fly's windows recently. I plan on seam sealing those soon. I did seam seal the floor of the tent and haven't had any problems.
I rarely stake it unless the winds are wild. It has slept two adults, but it's a squeeze. Very roomy for one at 6'1". My terrier likes the rear access zip too!
Design: three-season plus ++, freestading backpacker
Ease of Setup: Easy
Weight: 5lbs Max, 3lbs on the trail
Price Paid: $160 ?
I bought this in 1999, and have used it on many trips since, mostly flying then car-camping (Mayalsia, South Africa, California, New Zealand, Mexico), but also in UK/France; probably about 100 nights total.
The light weight/small size is good when you need to get it in your luggage allowance on the plane, and is the reason we bought it. In summary it's a great tent and we've been very pleased with it.
Almost perfect compromise in that you can use one tent everywhere - ventilation is good enough for hot countries/nights, waterproofing is good enough for very wet conditions/thunderstorms, and its adequate even in cold conditions. We've ended up camped in a puddle and not get wet yet. (I did re-seal the seams/groundsheet after about 3 years).
The relatively high level of ventilation makes it best in relatively warm/pleasant conditions, but we've used it well below freezing in a few places and not been too cold. The mesh keeps bugs out really well. The side-pockets are a very nice touch for things you want to keep handy like glasses.
Being able to adjust the ventilation from inside by pulling the fly back at the foot end is a feature we've used a few times too. We've only dared pitch it entirely without the fly a couple of times - it's rarely guaranteed not to rain all night :-)
The colour-coded pole/clip design is very quick and easy to assemble. Pegs are good (light+strong). The no-guys design is a bit disturbing but even in terrible weather in Skye it's stood up OK and kept us dry. The fact that you can move it after assembly is very handy, and also means it work's fine on sand/beach or somewhere too hard to put pegs in.
We are two small people (165cm/5'4") and find it just the right size - big enough, but not excessive. The porch is sufficient for gear the way we use it (car based), but this wouldn't be a good backpacking tent in soggy places - not enough vestibule for big sacks/cooking.
The window seems rather pointless as you can't actually see through it, and adds a bit of weight, but it hasn't UV degraded as I expected, or leaked, so it's not done any harm.
All in all very versatile, and there really isn't anything I have to complain about, except that after 9 years one of the poles cracked.
Design: three-season freestanding tadpole type
Ease of Setup: Easy
Price Paid: £189
Bought this tent on clearance. I have put this tent through everything. My first camping trip in it was in Huntsville Alabama during January 07. Its semi hilly there and got down to about 10 degrees during the first night and the tent kept the wind of of me. The second night it warmed up to the high twenties and it snowed a couple inches. The snow did blow into the vestibule a little but I stayed dry and the tent did not collapse under the weight of the wet snow. I have also camped in it in south Alabama when it was warm and it was well ventilated, but did have some condensation on the inside with two people in it. I love this tent for weekend pack trips!
Design: Three season free standing
Ease of Setup: Fairly easy
Weight: 5 and a half or so
Price Paid: 175$
Good tent as long as it can be staked out. Easy setup as poles are pre-bent and rear pole has a sleeve. Just enough room for one person and a canine companion. Would be very tight for two people. Small vestibule but big enough for a medium pack and pair of boots.
No condensation problems as there is a roof vent that runs the lenght of the tent. A tad bit heavy for a shelter to be used on any long hike (PCT/AT). I have used this tent in the bush and on the beach. Carried it thru the brush, on trails, flat and steep from Washington state to Alaska. A good tent, just wish it was lighter and more spacious. Recommended for one person or two very close friends.
Design: 3 season free standing hoop dome
Ease of Setup: Fairly simple 4 poles with only 2 of the same length.
Weight: 5 pounds 10 ounces (mfg weight)
Price Paid: $150
Tent worked well for two years with all sorts of weather conditions. In November I camped with the tent and that night we got freezing rain. The weight completely collapsed the tent. One pole broke and the tent has never been the same. I used it again this summer and it rained again. Just the rain broke another pole. It seems to puddle on top of the tent in between the poles. It is a great tent for nice clear nights, but for more extreme conditions it does not work well.
This is a great tent. I've owned and used it for years with minimal wear and tear. I've also used it in all kinds of conditions, from temps ranging from the mid 20s to the upper 90s. Never noticed much condensation except in very high humidity. The tent has also never leaked on me, even through tropical downpours, or midwest 3 day thunderstorms. It also packs down easy and travels well, living in the Midwest I've taken it to Alaska, Florida, Australia, and Texas. It was worth the price. While it's rated as a 2-person, I've only used it as a single person tent.
Design: 3-season freestanding
Ease of Setup: Easy, color coded
Weight: Can't remember excatly, about 6lbs with everything
Price Paid: $280
A great tent so far, I have not had any problems with it. I have not had any problems with setting it up. I read the instructions and practiced setting it up a few times before going camping with it. I did not like having to seal the seams. It seems very stable, but I haven't been through any major storms yet. No problem sleeping two people, although it would be nice to have a little more head room. I would hate to be stuck inside for a long period time. Air moves well through the large mesh windows. It is a little heavy but what do you expect from a three season tent. Overall I have been very pleased with the Thru Hiker.
Design: three season
Ease of Setup: easy
Price Paid: $190
My thru-hiker has been with me to Canada, Bear Island (NC), Shenandoah National Park, and Costa Rica. I had a coati rip into the tent in one of the parks in Costa Rica and the tent dealer sent it back to the Mountain Hardwear Company for me -- they repaired it perfectly -- quickly, and at no cost to me. I am a devoted fan of Mountain Hardwear products and the Thru-Hiker is my favorite. It provides excellent ventilation with the large window areas. The quality of material and workmanship is excellent.
Design: three-season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: extremely easy and fast to set-up
Weight: 5.3 lbs
The Thru Hiker tent is an awesome tent for the experienced camper. Laying on your back you can watch the stars all night long thanks to the full-length mesh. The tent is extremely strong and resists wind with an impressive stance. The rain fly is completely waterproof and the plastic windows are a nice touch. The only problem is you need the fly on for any privacy at all, which by the way you’ll want because the tent is small enough that you had better like your hiking partner or at least like to get to know them...
Ease of Setup: Requires a little practice but is easy
Weight: 5lb 12oz
Price Paid: $290
When I bought the tent Mtn Hardwear was new in my country, but I liked it because it looked like the North Face Tadpole, which was a kind of tent I was looking for. The windows are nice for looking outside but can be bothersome when you, like me, are travelling in the midsummernight sun areas like Scandinavia or Canada.
Overall I liked it, and I've used it continuously during a year long trek. I still enjoyed sleeping in that tent after a year. But now it's gone: small holes in the floor and foot print, a fly that has scratches near the poles and has been mauled by a dog... so I'm searching for another tent. Either the same, or the slightly larger Muir Trail... or perhaps someone can convince me into yet another tent.
I've had trouble contacting Mtn Hardwear by e-mail in the past, but have no complaints about service from importer(s) when the front pole broke.
Design: freestanding tent with 3 large and 1 short pole at the rear
Ease of Setup: When you get the hang of it, there is no difficulty .. easiest when you start with the short rear pole
Weight: 2,5 kg
Utter rubbish. The tent doesn't even come with guy ropes or any where to attach them. The guys at MH reckon that it's such a stable design it doesn't need them. how ridiculous! As soon as it gets wet and windy you've had it. It might only be '3 season' but you can encounter some pretty awful conditions in the summer. It's also not easy to pitch. There are just too many over engineered adjustable straps which complicates getting an even tension over the whole tent.
Ease of Setup: fiddly
Weight: 2.5 kg??
The Thru Hiker is awesome. It's very light and reliable. My only concern is setting it up in the rain. The mesh tent body could easily get wet. The only problem was sealing the seams, no biggy though.
The first time it rained, I stayed real dry. All the mesh let the summer air circulate and keep me cool. Even though this is a two person tent, i think sleeping two big people in it could be a problem. The two windows are a nice touch. overall 9.5 out of 10 (because i had to seal the seams)
Design: 3 season light weight
Ease of Setup: Very very easy to setup
Weight: about 6 w/stakes
Price Paid: $225 on sale
I was very disappointed with this tent. I took it to WI on a car camping trip...knew it was going to rain so I sealed the seams (a pain). First night was wonderful, great ventilation. Second night the storm hit. Rain was normal and there was a strong wind. I had to retreat to my car and wait for the wind to die down. The tent was about laying flat in the wind. When the wind calmed I went to bed and and it was leaking. This was after it had stormed one hour. I had to get a room. Returning the tent wasn't easy. Didn't get much help from Mtn Hardwear and the store manager was rude about it. I finally got a store credit.
Design: 3 season
Ease of Setup: very easy
Weight: Just under 6
Price Paid: $265