M Mandatory Gear Puppy Pile Tent REVIEW
by Ryan Jordan
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The Mandatory Gear Puppy Pile tent is the lightest freestanding single wall tent available: 1 pound 10 ounces (0.74 kg) with silicone nylon skin and a carbon fiber pole set. Such lightness-of-being is very attractive to the adventure racing crowd, the target market for the Puppy Pile. Adventure racers I talk to think the Puppy Pile is the best thing since, well, a puppy pile (a bunch of adventure racers spooning to try to stay warm without sleeping bags).
However, more traditional backpackers pay a price. Low interior volume satisfies nobody but trolls and midgets (and of course, adventure racers, who find the interior volume palace-like), and weathering a long storm in the non-breathable, poorly ventilated skin results in an interior condensation rainstorm of such ferocity as to warrant wearing raingear inside the tent.
But the bottom line is simple and attractive: for less than 2 pounds you can have a fully enclosed tent that takes up scant space in your ultralight backpack.
This review discusses the highs and lows of the Mandatory Gear Puppy Pile Tent, including its sizing, ease of setup, usable features, and field performance in wind, heavy rain, and snow, as well as field observations related to stability, condensation resistance, and waterproofness.
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