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If the Trango can't handle it, you shouldn't be there.
Unless you're Reinhold Messner, the Mountain Hardwear Trango 4 Four-Person Four-Season Tent is tougher than you. It's definitely been to more places than you, and spent more nights outside in the most rugged weather on the planet. To rub it in even more, you should know it was only born in 1995. That's getting old for a tent, but luckily Mountain Hardwear makes 'em new every year, and they just keep getting better. The new features on this iteration include an updated bathtub-style floor, burly DirectConnect guy-out points and pole clips, mesh doors with a zip-away nylon cover, and snow flaps along the bottom of the vestibule to keep drafts and spindrift from creeping into your shelter. If that all sounds pretty sweet, it's because it is, but that's just a sampling of the delicious buffet of rugged features found on the Trango.
You'd expect an alpine basecamp-style tent to be able to stand up to high winds and heavy snow, and the Trango doesn't disappoint. It uses four DAC Featherlite NSL aluminum poles to pitch up as solidly as you could ever want, and even has a fifth pole that supports the vestibule, giving you tons of weatherproof space for gear-storing and booting up. The poles, tent body, and fly clip together at every guy-out point to create a bombproof shelter that won't get rattled to bits during an all-time storm, and all the seams are fully taped to lock out moisture—in fact, the Trango's been through a rain room test in which it was subjected to 1200in of rain in 24 hours, just to make sure it would stay dry. Good luck finding a storm that bad.
There are plenty of options to make the Trango cozy when you're trapped inside waiting out the storm, too, like several small windows in the fly, mesh storage pockets, and a separately-sold gear loft. You can even take the fly out on the trail with just the footprint (sold here) for a shelter that weighs in at just 8.5lbs. Just make sure you save a spot for Reinhold—he doesn't like sleeping outside.
- Nylon ripstop fabrics with DWR, PU, and silicone coatings
- Four DAC Featherlite NSL aluminum poles (Plus one vestibule pole)
- Two mesh doors with nylon covers and dual vestibules
- Fully-taped seams and watertight zippers with welded storm flaps
- Pitchlight option using footprint and fly (sold separately)
- Welded guy-out points, DirectConnect points, and corners
- Two fly windows
- Internal mesh pockets
- Item #MHW005H
- Q & A
Great Tent. Poor MH customer service
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The tent is great. Sets up and breaks down easily. My gripe is the same as some of the other reviews, the Mountain Hardwear customer support absolutely sucks. I had three tent stakes break, snapped at the narrow part of the neck when hammering them into dirt with no rocks or roots, on the third time ever setting it up. I contacted Backcountry who sent me to Mountain Hardwear. I emailed MH and got a reply from Columbia telling me to contact one of their licensees, Torg, as it was a product contracted through them. I contacted Torg and they told me it wasn't their product and to contact Columbia. I called Columbia back and they told me to contact MH. I contacted MH and they said all they could do was pull some tent stakes out of their recycling bin and mail them to me. WTF!! They may offer a good warranty but it is only good if they can deliver on it in a manner that isn't a pain for the customer.
The tent would get 5 stars but the poor MH customer service dropped it to 3.
so much room for activities
room with a view
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This is my second Trango 4. The first one lasted 9-10 years and hundreds of nights. It was still going when I sent it is for some zipper repair and MH offered me a fantastic deal on a new one. The new version is of even higher quality. Set up is a breeze once you get the hang of it. 5 minutes, including fly. Super quiet in high winds. Withstands a heavy snow load. Breathes pretty well, but can be a bit stuffy in hot, rainy climates if you need to use the fly. Without the fly it works great for summer camping in dry climates and is plenty cool.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The Trango 4 is a great design and representative of MH at its best. My Trango has stood up to several years of steady use. The tent itself has lasted and the fly is in pretty good shape. One drawback was that the original poles eventually cracked. When they did MH referred me to a third party rather than fix them or replace them in house. Apparently its easily a 6 to 8 week wait to get product service so it has become easier to farm the work out. If someone offers you this tent for a song you should grab it. If you are looking to get good customer service down the road you should get a tent from anyone else that makes a decent product.