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Mountain Hardwear Tri-Lite 2

in Shelters - Double Wall Tents

Average Rating
4.33 / 5 (3 reviews)

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b d
( bdavis )

Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Mountain Hardwear Tri-Lite 2 on 11/28/2006 20:09:48 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is our (my SO's and my) standard tent for overnighting in the wilderness areas here in the Lassen - Shasta area, at between 4,000 and 7,500 feet. We love it -- she really loves it for size, comfort, and ease of use.

It has the standard bug netting tent body (like the newer light weight tents), but it has some pockets and extra solid material areas to strengthen it which surpass those newer tent designs IMO. Here is a picture of a Tri-Lite mesh body and pole set up, I believe it is the 2, it may be the 1 person:

MH Tri-Lite 2 in Lassen Wilderness

The poles are easy to put up and the tent fits perfectly with them -- plastic type hooks connect the tent to the poles, it is self standing requiring no stakes if you want to leave them home in the proper conditions.

The space at the shoulders is good for two in width (with enough room to store some items beside the bags), and is as good as the presently available tents we tried out -- like the Big Agnes versions of a 2 person lite tent.

It came with the floor in. We have never had any problems with leaks or rain water getting in. My partner loves it because she hates to have dirt, pine needles, and bugs, etc. on all of our stuff in the morning. We also get lots of mosquitos and such, so it is just plain comfortable under bug and wet conditions.

The fly has a clear plastic window feature that is great so you can peak through it when there is a weird noise at night or you just want to take a peek at the world when the fly is on. The front vestibule is big enough, when the fly is on, to protect the interior from rain and wind and keep the entry area dry.

Using the pole/frame with just the fly is something we have talked about doing, but the tent body is light enough we never get around to using only the fly. When I weighed the tent it was about 1.25 lbs. or a bit more. The poles and stakes are about 1 lb. The fly weighs about 1.25 lb. or a bit more. (I really need to reweigh it to be more accurate.)

Since we use it in weather that doesn't require the fly most of the time it works great, weight and quality wise. I would guess, since I don't have the original packaging and papers that it weighs something a bit over 4 lbs. with everything: stakes, poles, tent body and fly, spinnaker material groundcloth.

So the whole rig is, between us, about 2 lbs. and less if we split it, with the fly, and a bit more than 1 lb. each w/o the fly. In a pinch we take the single wall Squall tarptent at about 1.5 lbs. total in my pack if we want a lightweight alternative.

What really sells me on the Tri-Lite is that the poles are light, easy to set up and they are extremely sturdy. I have used it under snow loads here on the mountain and it is great (with the sides staked out and edges buried), without condensation problems in any weather. And, the tent itself is strong ... really strong compared to the lighter tarptent fabric in the Squall.

The only problem is they stopped making it. Given the quality and materials I tend to think it would be way to pricey to manufacture today to be competitive.

I bought it some 3 years ago ... took one look when I first saw, got in it at the mountaineering store ... and it was all over. I had never seen or used what was at that time considered to be an ultralight tent. It has been a love affair with that tent ever since. My impression is that it was innovative for the time, but I may be wrong. Thus, if anyone has a Tri-Lite 2 and wants to get rid of it ... please let me know -- I would love a backup/replacement for the future.

Update: I talked to Mountain Hardwear and they stopped making because they have "market cycles" and just like car models they change designs for the market. Interestingly, the person I talked to knew their tent guy and said that they were in the process of creating UL tents.

PS 2nd Update: I bought John's tent (review below) and when it arrived my partner claimed it as her own ... now we are fighting over who gets the footprint, but ... as usual ... I will lose that one because if I use a groundcloth for the tent it is the Gossamer Gear Polycryo and I don't want the extra weight. (In truth, she loves this tent without the fly for ease of putting it up and for the bug season here in the southern Cascades / Northern Sierra ranges, and I love the pole and fly version without the bug netting if I were to be going solo. So the entire tent, for both of us without the fly and MH footprint is about 2.2 or 3 lbs., plus or minus about 5 oz. for the largest GG groundcloth if we take it (the tent floor is so solid I don't really worry about a groundcloth other than to keep it cleaner in mud or such. Not bad weight for the best quick to put up self-standing, convenient, comfortable tent I have ever used (otherwise its TarpTents, so far for me, all the way).

The second comment below is entirely accurate, it is sad they do not make it anymore because the design and features have never been reduplicated in a lighter model.

Edited by bdavis on 01/10/2007 16:04:44 MST.

John Wolfgang
( scout005 )
just not my style on 12/11/2006 17:15:56 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

i've used the tri light 2 about 6 times in all kinds of weather since purchasing it a couple years back. it has held up well but i just dislike having to crawl into the thing boots first or spinning around if i go in headfirst. also, the tent and fly has to be staked out to get the full interior space, it seems. not wild about the green color having spent a full day weathering a sleet storm in it. not very cheery. it is a bombproof, very light, freestanding tent. i just prefer a dome or half dome. i'd like to sell it and get something like a bd lighthouse. any offers, email

Winfred Chan
( briantse )

Hong Kong
very well tent on 01/10/2007 15:08:41 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have use the Trilight 2 for few years(start at 2001)and selling it at last year, it is waterpoof, quick dry, stable in wind, light weight tent at year 2001. however it stop to product, those new light weight tent make by MHW have no longer have his good design and material those years.
I use it for solo, i put everythink in my tent, my friends tent get wet in heavy rain and only trilight2 keep me dry. only problem is little bit difficult to go out and in at rainning day.
very missing this tent.
I selling it due to i need a bigger tent for my family after marry~

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