by Ryan Jordan | 2005-08-13 03:00:00-06
The Englightened Malcontent, sitting quietly in a corner and surrounded by more than a hundred other shelters at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2005 Tent City, stands out as one of the most beautiful new shelters introduced this week.
A three season tent system built around the shell of a twin-(trekking)-pole-supported catenary tarp offering more than 90 square feet of usable sleeping area, the Enlightened Malcontent is one of the few true "systems" on the market that extends its use into four seasons with elegance, style, and good use of weight.
A roomy, catenary-cut fly features zip-out doors to block wind and rain with virtual vestibules large enough to store large backpacks and easily cook, protected from the rain, even without the protection of the doors. An interior mesh bug canopy - with floor - adds tent-like security from biting insects without losing significant floor space, as happens with most bug canopy/tarp systems.
A winter upgrade kit that includes zip out storm doors with integrated high and low vents and a fully sealed "spindrift room" to keep out wind and snow, creates a massively roomy winter tent for only four and a half pounds.
Enlightened Gear, a new company, is based on the philosophy of taking "ultralight" mainstream. From the pages of their spec sheet on the tent system:
"...we defy the convention that going light means suffering, that comfortable gear is heavy. A more enlightened approach is to own a few clever, durable, lightweight items that can take you anywhere..."
That philosophy certainly comes through in the Malcontent Tent System. It's a well executed, and aesthetic, design.
"Enlightened Malcontent Tent System (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2005)," by Ryan Jordan. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/enlightened_malcontent_tent_system_1.html, 2005-08-13 03:00:00-06.