How many times have you set up your tent in the most beautiful spot only to be stuck inside because of bugs or weather, not able to enjoy the view? Both Mountain Hardwear and Sierra Designs set out to fix this problem using some unique tent designs to unveil the scenery, regardless of the conditions outside.
When designing the new Optic 2.5 ($240) and Optic 3.5 ($285) freestanding tents, Mountain Hardwear was originally looking to find a better way for people to get in and out of the tent at night without crawling over one another or gear. Deciding to create two large doors adjacent instead of opposite each other, the design team inadvertently opened up the possibility for a wide angle, panoramic view of your surroundings.
The rain fly doors roll back completely, offering easy access to the two mesh doors inside and giving you 180 degrees of visibility. When closed, dual vestibules offer plenty of room for extra gear storage. Numerous internal pockets will keep you organized, with the option to purchase a rectangular or triangular gear loft for even more hanging space.
The Optic 2.5 weighs 5 lb. 13 oz. with the Optic 3.5 coming in at 6 lb. 5 oz. Both tents will be available in time for your Spring 2014 adventures.
Completely redesigned for Spring 2014, the Sierra Designs Lightning tent is a freestanding, fully-equipped shelter. Featuring a single, extra wide front door, the tent enables two people to sit side by side to either enjoy the view or cook while sheltered from the rain.
A large covered foot vent creates an air tunnel between the back of the tent and the door for extra ventilation and condensation management. Uniquely designed gear closets on either side of the tent eliminate the vestibule (helping with the view), while keeping your gear accessible from inside or outside the tent.
The Sierra Designs Lightning is available as the standard Lightning 2 (3 lb. 14 oz.; $259) and the ultralight Lightning 2 UL (3 lb., 7oz.; $359) version.