During my solo backpacking adventures this summer, the Exped Mira 1 HL served as my lightweight protection of choice–surviving through absolute downpours in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana to cool crisp nights in Yosemite and the Desolation Wilderness around Tahoe. Weighing just over two pounds all in, this three season solo tent didn’t add much to my overall pack weight or take up much room (16.5 in x 4.7 in) inside.
The largely mesh canopy offers 16.1-square-feet of living space with a further 7.5-square-feet of gear storage between two vestibules–you can access the second vestibule via a small zippered window inside the canopy. With a single pole running the length of the canopy, the sidewalls slant quite dramatically, making things feel a bit cramped. But a center ridge pole gives you a bit more room in the middle of the tent where you are able to sit up and get in and out of the door easily.
A small pole at the foot of the canopy makes the tent somewhat freestanding, but it stands up best when fully staked first. As the rainfly is not attached to the canopy, it is inevitable that the inside of your tent is going to get pretty wet when you set it up in the middle of a thunderstorm.
Although the floor is made from a 20D ripstop nylon, Exped recommends using a footprint (o.3 pounds, $59) to prolong the life of your tent. I have yet to use a footprint and have not noticed any visible wear or tear on the bottom of the canopy.
There are plenty of venting options in the fly so condensation buildup is not a problem unless you have to fully batten down the hatches at night. The guylines include clever sliders and smart hooks that enable you to quickly tie them off around objects then pull them tight.
When you are ready to pack up in the morning, forget about carefully rolling and folding the tent in a small stuff sack. Instead, the Mira 1 HL comes with a duffel-like stuff sack with two separate compartments for the fly and the canopy–brilliant idea as your fly is usually soaking wet in the morning. Stuff them in, cinch up the sack, and throw it in your pack.
The Exped Mira 1 HL retails for $329 and is available now.