For those backpackers that like to travel light, but still have a bit of comfort, the Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter LT tent should be on your list of new gear to check out in 2013. With a pack weight of only two pounds, one ounce, this 142″ x 54″ x 84″ tent offers room for two, with 54 square feet of floor space. The 40D sil-nylon makes it suitable as a simple three season tent, as long as you’ve brought a couple of trekking poles for support. Of course, that makes it a snap to set up. Features are minimal, in keeping with the price and weight, so it offers a single door as well as a single window out back for some airflow. We like it for its low suggested retail ($130), and the fact that it packs down to 16.5″ x 5″, making it compact and light enough for most shorter trips.
In keeping with the traveling light theme, Mountainsmith will also be offering their Haze 50 ultra light backpack. This pack comes in two sizes, with the smaller having a fit range of 15″- 18″, and weighing one pound, 13 ounces. Stepping up to the 18″ – 22″ model incurs a two ounce weight penalty. To keep that load of up to 35 pounds in place comfortably, Mountainsmith added their Iliac Crest ShelfÔ (ICSÔ) hip belts and Lumbar Control PointÔ (LCP) padding. These suspension features, both of which are trademarked, work with the shape of the user’s body, distributing weight evenly so it’s borne more by the hips, and less by the shoulders. Combined with the Breezeway™ back panel, for staying cool in the heat, the Haze is great choice when light and cool count more than capacity. Speaking of cool, the waistbelts and shoulder straps have a DWR (Durable Water Repellant) finish, to keep them from getting damp and stinky with sweat. There’s also the usual hydration bladder sleeve, and host of straps and loops for compression as well as mounting your trekking poles. Also priced around $130, the combination gets you a pack and tent weighing about four pounds combined and should probably only set you back about $250, if you shop around.
Look for them at Mountainsmith.com