Mountain Hardwear Tri-Light 2
The Tri-Light 2 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best warm weather tents for 2020.
Reviewers Paid: $250.00
We bought this tent when it was still being made by Mountain Hardwear. It is the best tent we have ever owned, and is better than the newer designs by North Face, Sierra Designs, Big Agnes, etc. and even better than the new replacement models that are single walled by Mountain Hardwear.
It is free standing, weighs a bit over 4 pounds with poles, tent, fly and stakes. BUT ... it stands by itself with the fly on for rainy cover in a pinch or sleeping in and is best when used without the fly to provide bug free, warm weather and even cooler fall and spring weather camping at 4,000 to 6,000 + feet elevation here near Mt. Lassen, Calif., where we live, hike camp, and car camp.
We like it so much that if someone has one they want to get rid of contact us. I love it in the snow in between trees.
Design: three (even four season) freestanding two person tent, separate fly.
Ease of Setup: AA++ the best and easiest we have ever owned
Weight: 4+ with everything, 1 lb. for poles, 1 1/2 for tent, bit more than 1 1/2 for rain/snow/weather fly
Price Paid: $250
Note: This tent has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
Despite that the manufacturer categorized this as a three-season tent and despite that I use it as a three-season tent, I categorize it most formally as a warm-weather tent. Conceptually, it's a freestanding rain fly with mesh walls suspended beneath. The walls lead to a bathtub floor. Near the peak, the mesh walls adjoin a section of fabric featuring mesh pockets. The fabric (rather than mesh) at the peak isolates occupants from condensation droplets in cool, still weather.
The pole configuration is unconventional but easy to work with. I keep the rain fly zip-tied to the tent body to ensure that the inside is protected if I'm pitching in wet weather.
In fact, convenience in non-snow conditions is the hallmark of this tent. I can pitch on rocky or sandy ground, rain or shine, without regard to mosquito population or snake burrows. That site flexibility allows me to set up at night in an unfamiliar location in a downpour. And I have. My schedule isn't flexible enough to reschedule a catch-as-catch-can one- to five-night trip due to inclement weather.
This is a durable, minimalist freestanding shelter, despite the seeming contradiction of those adjectives. It easily accommodates two skinny people and luxuriantly accommodates one person. The vestibule accommodates a pack. Opening the zipper on the fly does not cause a miniature rainstorm to fall into the tent (unlike the circa 2000 Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight).
To decrease pack weight by over two pounds, I might eventually go with a single-wall silnylon shelter like Tarptent Squall, but Trilight 2 suits my needs for now.
Enjoy and preserve wilderness.
Design: two-person freestanding minimalist
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 4.1 lbs