Gear Review: My Trail Co UL Tent 2
Includes: Tent body, rain fly, hoop-front pole system, stakes, guy lines, stuff sack
Weight: 2lbs, 11 ounces
MSRP: $350 (Can be purchased direct for $279)
My Trail Co (formerly GoLite) makes streamlined, lightweight backpacking gear. Their direct-to-consumer model cuts out the middle man, which lets them price their gear lower. This UL 2-person tent sets up in a flash, vents well, and has a smart design that allows for tent site flexibility.
Maximum Height: 39 inches
Total Size: 34 square feet
Doors and vestibules: One, located at the head of the tent
Tent Size: 28 square feet
Vestibule Size: 6 square feet
Tent Specs: 15 ounces; seam-taped PU-coated floor, 15 denier nylon walls, 15-denier polyester mesh
Fly Specs: 11 ounces; 10-denier ripstop nylon, PU-coated interior, seam-taped
Pole Specs: 12 ounces; dual-hub, 8.3mm aluminum
Circumstances of Use
Multiple overnight and multi-day trips, mostly in terrible weather in Montana.
Assembly and Use
The tent pops up in a jiffy, thanks to the smart pole system and intuitive loop placement. I had some trouble figuring out how to connect the fly to the tent itself, as My Trail Co doesn’t use the Jake’s Feet system I’m used to. I would recommend utilizing the guy lines to pull the fly away from the tent—this is a smaller, lighter-weight two-person tent, and you’ll want to maximize the living space. The shape of the tent is long, tapering down to the bottom end, and includes one horizontal spreader by your feet. It’s pretty low profile, which means you can set it up with low-hanging branches, and you don’t need an ideal tenting space or a ton of room to make it work. The stakes weigh in at 3.5 ounces total, and are hardy as hell. I staked this tent out in some pretty stupid spots, and couldn’t bend them. The pole attachments for the fly and tent body are also super durable. I’ve had issues with the popular Jake’s Feet attachments breaking, and I don’t think I could snap these metal ones if I tried. The tent and fly tightens with nifty drawcords, making it easy to achieve ideal tension.
This tent is lower profile, which mean it was a bit of a squeeze for myself and my hiking partner. Unless you stake as tight as possible and use all of your guy lines, someone’s sleeping bag is going to be touching the tent walls, especially towards the footbox. There is no horizontal spreader for shoulder space, a common tradeoff with lighter weight options. This means the pitch of the walls is steeper, head and shoulder room for getting dressed. The tent is great length—we had space to keep essentials inside the tent at our feet with no problem. There’s a decent overhang over the entrance, which prevents water from dripping down into the tent, but also means you look like a baby bird hatching from an egg as you pitch forward out of the tent. Is there a solution for this? I don’t know. Work on coordination maybe? There is only one door and vestibule, but it’s at the front which means no one is battling for the Side Next to the Door. The interior pockets kept my headlamp, Kindle, and bear spray (a Montana must-have) handy, and I could also tuck necessary gear right by my head outside the door. I felt super secure in high winds and rain, and the seam sealing is A+. No water came in from the ground, and none from the rain.
The length of this tent is luxurious, and the pitch is among the fastest I’ve ever used—everything slots together perfectly. Once it’s staked and the guylines are in place, the tent/fly holds taught against wind thanks to the low profile. The tent vents well and shakes off the majority of the water, and it was entirely dry within 10 minutes in direct sunlight.
The main roof pole doesn’t have a spreader, which means the walls are steeper with less shoulder room. The single entry might be a turnoff for some pairs of hikers.
This is a great tent that can be pitched pretty much anywhere, with a smart, space-saving design and intuitive setup. It’s sleek, holds up well in lousy weather, and is light enough to justify for those waffling between a freestanding vs. tarp tent. Everything fits together well, the zippers are smooth, the lines tighten easily, and the workmanship comes from people who really know what life is like on the trail.
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