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Rugged as they come.
If "compact and strong" brings up images of one of those half-pint 1880s bodybuilders in a silly bathing costume, that's totally cool, but don't forget that those words also apply to other, more rugged and radical things like Mountain Hardwear's EV 3 Three-Person Four-Season Tent. You could toss "superlight" into the mix as well, seeing as the EV weighs under 6.5 pounds, virtually the same as some of Mountain Hardwear's all-mesh 3-season tents. Unlike those glorified mosquito nets, the EV is built to endure the raging winds and hammering snow you encounter on high-alpine expeditions and winter camping trips, with four DAC Featherlite NSL aluminum poles that stabilize your shelter without being unnecessarily heavy. In the same vein, the integrated vestibule cuts down on material while increasing strength and giving you enough room to store gear and de-boot without trampling your partners and tracking snow all over your living space.
If you do get some snow inside (and let's be real, you will), the EV has you covered with a watertight drainage port in the floor so you don't have to sleep in a puddle. You can let some sunshine and fresh air into your life, too, courtesy of several SVX windows and four welded, adjustable mesh vents that'll keep you from feeling too claustrophobic on your fifth day of being stuck inside. The zippers are welded, their pulls are reflective, and the corner webbing is color-coded to make setup as easy as can be, even if the wind's howling. Good luck finding a body builder than can do all that.
- Nylon ripstop fabrics with waterproof PU coatings and welded zippers
- Three DAC Featherlite NSL aluminum poles
- Evolution Tension Arch design for more stability with fewer poles
- Integrated vestibule
- Weighs just 4lb 10oz
- Five welded, adjustable, zippered mesh vents and SVX windows
- Watertight floor port to drain water
- Reflective zipper pulls and color-coded webbing
- Item #MHW004H
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This tent out performs many in regards to stability in high winds. When guy'd out properly, you can barely tell the wind is blowing aside from hearing it. It is extremely stable in the wind and stays in place. For three people, it had plenty of room for gear in the integrated vestibule as well as for sleeping. The multitude of pockets made it nice for storage and organization of the small items and the floor zipper made it easy to sweep out the snow and condensation. It was a wet tent as expected from the condensation when used at lower elevations and warmer temperatures, but at 10,000' and low temperatures, it performed exactly as it should have. There was no condensation whatsoever at altitude and below freezing temperatures. As far as setup, it is extremely easy to set up and quick for that matter. For more information or advice on a 4 season tent, my inside guy at backcountry.com is great. Shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the general and he can get you set up for that next epic adventure.
December '12 near Carson Pass
On a Round Top climb late December 2012. Bit of a storm gave it a break just as we got into camp. This was most appreciated as we got things all setup for a long evening melting dry powder snow.
More than expected...
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Had the EV3 out multiple times in the Canadian Rockies for winter camping this past season, absolutely no complaints. Easy setup, very light, tight in high (30-50k) winds. Minimal condensation at -25c, plenty of room for 2 plus gear. Dug out the "drain port" in the vestibule to store snowy boots. Tough to beat this tent!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Have been super impressed with this tent, using all over the PNW and BC. It's light and incredibly easy to set up in any conditions. Two guys familiar with the parts can have it up and be in it within 2 or 3mins. It's very long so fits all your gear inside and the water drain port in the entrance is genius. The vents work well and it doesn't condense nearly as bad as I expected, especially being a single wall. Is great for summer camping with two people and dog or for expedition missions and fits three 6' + men and gear quite comfortably. Would highly recommend also buying the footprint, fits perfectly under the tent and held together with the same pole and peg holes, nice extra layer of protection and insulation. The double front door is also a nice feature as people don't have to clamber over each other to get in and out. Very cool tent indeed.
Mountain Hardwear EV 3 Tent
Pitching instructional video for EV 3 tent
What are the packed dimensions?
Length 20 in / 51 cm
Diameter 6 in / 15 cm
what about the rain? waterproof?
I have been in two rain storms without any water leakage.
Totally waterproof, but condensation can be a problem in the winter, though this is a problem that I'd rather have condensation then have the wind blowing through the walls in the winter. I haven't had trouble with condensation except when it is <30 degrees with 3 people in the tent. I have not tried to crack the doors because I have been afraid snow will blow in (this is with the vents in the ceiling all open). I don't cook in the tent, but I am a big time mouth breather and I haven't been able to be consistent about shoving the snow we track in through the floor so that certainly impacts the condensation.
this was before I had opened up the vents, we had just finished setting it up. (I promise)