Posts Tagged ‘tent review’

Mountain Hardwear Skyledge 3

Posted: March 12, 2014 by Jeff Fabiszewski in blog, Gear Reviews, Tents
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One of my oldest pieces of gear is my 1997 Mountain Hardwear Skylight” tent. I love that tent, it has been my best companion on epic backpacking, and kayaking adventures; my five-year-old son loves the headroom and pockets. My only gripe about the “Skylight” it only has one door. Surprisingly it also still looks new, so it was difficult to convince my wife that I needed to upgrade it.

1997 Mountain Hardwear “Skylight” tent

1997 Mountain Hardwear “Skylight” tent

Luckily, I upgraded my tent in 2011 with the purchase of the “Skyledge 3”. It is seven ounces lighter and does fit three people (two adults, and a five year old). Over the past three years I have found that the tent offers plenty of ventilation during humid Florida rain, excellent headroom, pockets, and extra space due to the two large vestibules.  This free standing tent design is easy to set up by myself on sleeping platforms, sand, on hard terrain, and during a rain storm.  During the hot buggy Florida nights the mesh kept the breeze moving and the  ripstop canopy did shed a light drizzle one night.

I discovered during some strong winds on unprotected spoil island that this tent held its shape.  Mountain Hardwear uses Atlas UL poles reinforced by Evolution Tension Arches to provide outstanding strength in stormy conditions. And the super-light details like molded grommet tabs, fly hook attachments and 1/4″ webbing further reduce weight yet maintain strength in strong winds.

With strong winds comes strong rain.  Rain some times moves sideways.  With many tents, no mater how low the fly is puled down water finds a way into the tent.  This is not the case in the Skyledge.  This tent has a tubbed floor that kept rain, pooling water, and blowing sand out during a heavy storm.

It is easy to see why this tent has become my new favorite companion.  In time, I suspect that the 58 inch by 88 in floor will become small as my son grows. With past success of the “Skylight” the “Skyledge 3” should easily survive fifteen to twenty years of adventures. More than likely when it is time for my son to move out of the “Sky Ledge 3” he will happily travel with my old “Skylight”.

tarp 1a

My last thought is if a person wants one tent that will survive sand, saltwater, rock, high winds, heavy rains, mud, and et cetera then they should buy a Mountain Hardwear tent.

– Jeff

“How long does gear last?”  I am asked this a lot.  I have spent more money on constantly replacing cheep stuff than I have replacing expensive stuff.  Granted I have to maintain the expensive stuff.  And maintaining expensive stuff takes about 20 minutes.

One of my oldest pieces of gear is my Mountain Hardwear Skylight tent.  Backpacker magazine wrote a tent review of this tent in May of 1997 (pages 118, 120).

http://books.google.com/books?id=dd4DAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA118&ots=eBUHhi4QPH&dq=Mountain%20Hardwear%20Skylight%20tent&pg=PA119#v=onepage&q=&f=true

I love this tent, it is a great kayaking and backpacking tent; moreover, my two year old son loves the head room and pockets.  My only gripe about it is that Mountain Hardwear has some new tents that are lighter, roomer, and has two doors.  I am actually trying to wear out my old tent so I can up grade it.  O woe is me.  So remember when you buy the expensive stuff be prepared to have that item for several years…focus on floor space, head room, pockets, and a large vestibule.  These are all things that the Skylight has.  If you cannot find an old Skylight for sale think of buying the Mountain Hardwear Hammerhead 2, or the Skyledge 2.1 .

…Who knows maybe someone from Mountain Hardwear will read this post and take pity on me and sponsor me with a new tent!  Now that would be a gift that will last! – Jeff

UPDATE:  I upgraded my Skylight tent for the Skyledge 3 Mountain Hardwear tent.  I am gaining 6 square feet of floor space and reducing the weight by almost half a pound (7 ounces).  tent review