What are the lightest tents and tarps currently in existence? Ones made from cuben fiber. For all the gory details on this megalight super fabric (including its outrageous cost), you can check out my recent post What Is Cuben Fiber? To find out which cuben fiber shelters are currently available (or will be soon), read on.
Easton Cuben Si2
This two-person, single-wall mountaineering tent is made entirely from cuben fiber; features two doors, two vestibules, and a free-standing carbon pole system; and weighs a mere 2.1 pounds. Unveiled this January at Winter Outdoor Retailer, it earned a Best in Show Award from Gear Junkie and was also recently profiled in Outside Magazine. Designed for severe wind and weather—and the millionaire mountaineer. Available fall 2013 (not yet listed on the Easton Mountain Products web site). $2,000.
Sierra Designs Mojo UFO
A two-person, three-season tent that utilizes cuben fiber for the rain fly and floor, as well as a limited amount of 20-denier silnylon for elements in the tent body (it features a hybrid single- and double-wall design). See the Mojo UFO in action in this video. Trail weight is listed at 27 ounces; packed weight at 31 ounces. (Learn more about trail weight vs. packed weight.) $1,799.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Shelters
I profiled this company as part of my ongoing series on Northeast-based gear companies. They offer a selection of floorless cuben fiber shelters, including the 27-ounce Echo II ($595, pictured). The company also offers cuben fiber tarps, including the 7.1-ounce, two-person Echo II tarp ($295).
Zpacks Hexamid Tents
These are the most intriguing (and affordable) of the lot, a range of six-sided floorless pyramid designs that use trekking poles for support. Pyramid designs are generally bomber in heavy wind and weather, though the front of these tents doesn’t extend all the way to the ground, which is a drawback. The solo Hexamid tent ($360, pictured) weighs all of 10.7 ounces (including guy lines and stuff sack, but not stakes), the two-person Hexamid Twin Tent ($415) weighs 12.6 ounces.
Mountain Laurel Designs Shelters
This small company offers a range of excellent ultralight floorless designs, all of which can be ordered with cuben fiber instead of the standard silnylon. The 14-ounce, two-person Duomid ($415, silnylon version pictured) in particular catches my attention.
Any other cuben fiber tents or shelters that I’ve missed? Please let me know!
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.