MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR WAYPOINT 2 TENT
BY TOM CALLAHAN
September 27, 2007
tcallahanbgt AT yahoo DOT com
Seattle, Washington, USA
5' 10" (1.78 m)
170 lb (77.10 kg)
I started backpacking as a kid in eastern Pennsylvania, using a heavy cloth pack, canvas tent, cotton sleeping bag. Oh how gear has changed. I now live in WA and get out regularly in the nearby Cascade Mountains. I do a variety of day hikes and overnight trips. Usually I try to include a good off trail scramble with these trips. During the winter I do a good bit of snowshoeing. I also enjoy getting out and doing some glacier climbing, summiting prominent peaks like Mt. Rainier (14K ft/4K m) and Mt. Baker (10K ft/3K m).
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.mountainhardwear.com/
Size: 2 person
Listed weight 3.4 lbs (1.54 kg); measured weight 3.5 lbs (1.59 kg)
Listed hex dimensions, 88.2 in (224 cm) x 54.3 in (138 cm)
Measured hex dimensions; 86 in (218 cm) x 56 in (142 cm)
Listed height 42 in (107 cm), measured height 42 in (107 cm)
Listed area 32.5 sq ft (3.0 sq m), measured area 33.4 sq ft (3.1 sq m)
Measured widest point 65.2 in (166 cm), measured length 92.0 in (234 cm)
Stuff size listed, 18.1 in (46.0 cm) x 5.9 in (15.0 cm)
Stuff size measured, 18 in (45.7 cm) x 6 in (15.2 cm)
This is a light weight, single wall, non-free standing tent. The upper is made of 30-denier silicone coated rip-stop nylon. The floor is made of 200-denier nylon finished with a non-hydrolyzing polyether urethane coating. The tent is relatively low profile. It has a peak which provides enough room to sit upright. It has a bathtub style floor with 360 degree mesh netting between the canopy and the floor. A larger area of mesh forms the wall at the foot of the tent. These mesh areas are always open with no means to close. The tent also has three small vents up near the peak of the tent, which may be propped open with a small, stitched in rod or closed with hook-and-loop strips. Two small see through UVX panes are built into the canopy. This UVX material is proprietary to Mountain Hardware and stated to be tear-proof, non-yellowing, and cold resistant.
There are two doors, one on each side of the peak, which open with two zippers. Pull tabs on both sides enabled me to operate these zippers from inside or outside the tent. The vertical zipper, which runs from near the top of the peak down to the floor, is waterproof and is covered by a storm flap that seals with hook and loop strips. The horizontal zipper runs between the canopy and the floor, from the point where it meets the bottom of the vertical zipper to nearly the foot of the tent. This vertical zipper is non-waterproof nylon. It is completely protected by the canopy and not exposed, therefore does not need to be waterproof. Each door may be held open by means of a thin strip of nylon webbing stitched into the bottom edge of the door which attaches to a loop on the tent exterior by means of a plastic clip. There are no mesh doors.
I have used this on many overnight trips in a variety of conditions in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, USA, including:
- dense forest, elevation 3,000 ft (900 m), no wind, rain, high humidity, night temp 65 F (18 C)
- open forest, elevation 4,000 ft (1,200 m), light wind, clear, low humidity, night temp 55 F (13 C)
- open forest, elevation 4,000 ft (1,200 m), moderate wind, rain, high humidity, night temp 50 F (10 C)
- boulder field, elevation 5,000 ft (1,500 m), no wind, clear, low humidity, night temp 35 F (2 C)
- granite slab basin above tree line, elevation 6,000 ft (1,800 m), light wind, clear, moderate humidity, temps 45 F (7 C)
Since it is a lightweight 3-season tent I have not attempted any winter camping with this product.
The tent is relatively easy to set up and I can do it alone in less than 15 minutes. The tent is staked down at 9 points and uses only two poles. The main hoop pole is sectioned, connected by bungee cord and slides into sleeves in the canopy to create the peak. The other pole is a single rod and holds up the foot end of the tent. Because it is not a free standing tent it does take a little tweaking and adjusting to get it just right. This often includes pulling and repositioning a couple stakes. But the tent is cut well and has a good shape once it is adjusted properly.
As noted above the mesh netting goes all the way around the tent, between the canopy and the floor. This 360 degree mesh design is important to ensure good ventilation since this is a single wall tent. The upper canopy extends well past the floor and the mesh panels and I have never had any issue with rain getting blown into the tent through the mesh.
Because this is a single wall tent, it is prone to having condensation build up on the inside of the canopy. This is really true when it is warm, rainy, with high humidity. When it is drier and there is good airflow, condensation is minimal to none. But even when I've had all 3 of the canopy vents open, if the wind is calm and there is not much airflow through the tent, condensation will build up, sometimes considerably. This has surprised me because it I would think the all around mesh would provide ample ventilation. Ideally by tensioning the canopy so it is not sagging anywhere and being careful not to bump the inside of the tent canopy I could stay perfectly dry even if there is some condensation build-up.
The low profile at the foot of the tent caused the canopy to slope very close to my feet. If I left any sag in that end of the tent and there was any condensation on the canopy, my sleeping bag would invariably get a little damp at the foot from touching the canopy when I rolled over during the night.
|Notice the wrinkles, the tent still needs adjusting.
The tent provides adequate room for two people, boots and some gear. The tapered design saves weight and gave me nice room at the shoulder, extra room at the head of the tent for items that I wanted close at hand, and is long enough so that my feet were not poking out of the end of the tent. It is a real squeeze to put two packs into the tent, though. I tried it and the packs must be stacked on top of each other. In this configuration it is difficult to get things out of them and the top pack presses against the canopy. So it's doable but I've found it more comfortable to keep the packs outside the tent with a raincover on them at night, and to just put needed items at the head of the tent.
The two see through windows are not completely transparent. They are clear enough to let in light and enabled me to see if it was cloudy or not. This material has stayed flexible, has not shown any sign of cracking, and has not yellowed.
Having two doors, one on each side is a nice feature. It enabled me to access the tent without disturbing my partner. During inclement weather I would pick the lee side to use to go in and out in order to minimize rain entering the tent. The door openings were of sufficient size to access the tent easily. Both door zippers operated smoothly and would not snag on the storm flap or canopy. On occasion the horizontal zipper would snag on the nylon webbing used to tie back the door. This was caused by the strip of nylon webbing having the tendency to flip to the outside, lying across the zipper track whenever the door was pulled back to enter or exit the tent. If I didn't notice this, when zipping the horizontal zipper it would invariably snag on the webbing. So I just had to remember to check that this webbing was fully inside the tent before zipping.
The peak does provide enough clearance to sit up in the tent without hitting the canopy, but only for one person at a time. The canopy and floor are sufficiently waterproof and I have not had any water soak through even when out in heavy rain.
I have encountered winds up to 20 mph (32 km/h) and the tent performed fine. I did not have any concerns about the seams or tie down loops failing. In strong winds the tent must be tensioned properly so there is no strain on the mesh between the canopy and the floor to keep the mesh from ripping. This is easy to do, just something to be aware of. The canopy is a lightweight nylon though, so am sure it has its limits in terms of the winds it could withstand. It is not a mountaineering tent and is not advertised as such.
Overall the Mountain Hardwear Waypoint 2 makes for a good lightweight, 3 season tent. At 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) it provides a spacious shelter with plenty of room for 2 for sleeping plus some gear. As a single person tent there is more than ample room for sleeping plus a pack. But with the weight savings come some trade offs. Being a single walled tent it is prone to condensation build up, despite all the built-in mesh and 3 canopy vents. It might be helpful to have mesh doors to increase ventilation and airflow. But that would be of limited use since you would need to fully close the doors when it rains, and that's generally when the humidity is high.
This tent does not have a vestibule and that is part of the weight savings. I thought I would miss having a vestibule but with the option to enter the tent from either side, plus enough room inside for your boots and other gear, this tent very workable.
It would be nice if the tent had a couple gear pockets. I always find them so convenient and they would add only a negligible amount of weight.
Pros & Cons
Pros: light weight, 2 doors, ample room for sleeping and gear
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
Cons: condensation build up, careful adjustments needed during set up, no gear pockets
Read more reviews of Mountain Hardwear gear
Read more gear reviews by Tom Callahan