Here you'll find strong, stable mountain tents suitable for all but the most extreme expedition use. If you're looking for something really serious for high altitude expeditions, try the Extreme Expedition section. If you want to perch on a mountain any other time, you're in the right place.
The one of the best known standard mountain tents (in the UK at least) is Terra Nova's Quasar, which has been lightened to produce the Ultra Quasar. The architecture is well proven and at just over 3kg, it is a great option for many people.
For a lighter option (2.94kg all in), the Crux X2 Storm is an awesomely lightweight mountain tent. It only has a front entrance, though it does have a small external area for storage at the rear, accessed from the inside. We think it's great- stable, tough and bright.
Lightwave's f2 Ultra is lighter still (approaching 2.5kg) to the extent that it would be equally at home in our ultralightweight section, but it uses a strong 4 pole geodesic construction that can take mountain conditions. The Lightwave g2 Mountain is also a superb mountain tent, with a generous porch for cooking. It weighs in at a very respectable 3.07kg.
For those after the very best of the best, Hilleberg's range are the connoisseur's mountain tents- beautifully designed and constructed for light weight, spaciousness and mountain hardiness.
There are a number of things to look for when choosing your home in the mountains. Geodesic architecture tents are the strongest of the lot as they use crossed poles, which make for an aerodynamic resiliant structure combined with an evenly tensioned inner and fly. Most mountain tents pitch inner first. This means that the strength and stability of the tent comes from the poles, inner and outer tent all working together (rather than just the poles and fly in the case of outer first pitching tents where the inner just tends to hang inside). They come in 2, 3, 4 and more pole options. For 2, 3 and 4 man use in a mountain environment the 4 pole option is probably the strongest without adding excess weight.
Symmetric 4 pole Geodesic tents are the most common mountain tents. This gives the classic Quasar-Ultra Quasar shape. Tents like these have a high degree of resilience against gales from any direction and can stand up to a significant weight of snow collecting against the sides. There should be limited space where snow can collect upon the top of the tent.
Tents with this type of architecture are quite heavy, especially in the case of mountain tents which usually use high strength poles. If you need to save weight then you will need to look at slightly different tent architectures. The three most popular are to use asymmetric 4 pole, 3 pole geodesic or tunnel designs.
Asymetric 4 pole Geodesic tents have a reduced pole length at the rear making them lighter for a negligable reduction in strength. The main result of this is that you loose storage space at the end with the shorter pole (but less weight again) and that the central roof area is larger and therefore slightly more prone to snow collection. The side-on profile is smaller and therefore catches the wind less than a symmetric shape. The best examples of such tents are the Crux X2 Storm and f2 Ultra.
Assymetric 3 pole Geodesic tents lose the rear pole entirely. This reduces the strength of the tent in certain directions- pitch carefully, taking note of the prevalent wind direction- and more attention needs to be paid when pegging out the fly. You are also liable to lose storage space. The Mountain Equipment Torres 2 follows this design but has a removable fourth pole with sits across the middle of the tent to beef it up for mountain travel. The Lightwave g2 Mountain uses the 3 pole geodesic design but adds a fourth pole at the front to make a porch for all the extra kit you take on long mountain trips. This pole is attched to the normal front pole of the tent for stability and in order to keep the tents footprint as small as possible for pitching in difficult terrain.
Poles should be made from strong yet light alloy's from people such as DAC (Terra Nova use 8.55mm in the Ultra Quasar, Crux use 8.88mm and Lightwave use 8.84mm) and Yunan poles and should be colour coded to match coloured continuous pole sleeves which make for strength and easy, rapid pitching.
Groundsheets should be able to stand up to pitching on snow and ice and thus need plenty of water-resistance (heavy weights on top of the sheet force the water through) and at the same time be able to cope with pitching on glacial moraine with its gravel and rock texture. Crux use a minimum of 7000mm hydrostatic head 6.6 denier high tenacity nylon (also used in the Terra Nova Quasar) whilst Light Wave use 6000mm and Terra Nova 5000mm in the Ultra Quasar. They are all of a high wall bathtub construction with sealed seams.
Fly sheets should be UV resistant, durable, strong, highly waterproof and lightweight. A lot to ask? Yes, but not too much as all of our manufacturers hit the mark. Specifications for both fly and groundsheets can be found under each manufacturer's section. Using fire retardant material or treaments is also sensible as you will spend plenty of time cooking indoors.
Inner tents should be light and have an emphasis on warmth and durability. Making them water-repellant is useful as mountain tents need to deal with a lot of condensation, which forms on the inside of the fly and can drop onto the inner. Fire retardant inner material is also sensible.
And you need plenty of space, because you'll be carrying a lot more gear than you would under milder conditions. There needs to be enough space for 2 people with plenty of kit and bulky sleeping bags to live in comfort, or to squeeze a third person in in emergencies. A good amount of storage space in the porch is useful for all your climbing hardwear in the porch too. The 4 pole symmetric geodesics gives more headroom throughout the length of the tent as well.
Other features to look for include plenty of strong guying points, closable vents, and the option of a snow valance and drying loft. If you need a snow valance, let us know and we'll find the right one for you.
The Crux X2 Bomb is an incredible tent- with an amazingly robust 50 denier flysheet, it can withstand phenomenally harsh stormy weather.People: 2 Total weight: 3.40 kg (complete) Flysheet: 72 g/m², 50 denier, high-tenacity nylon 6.6 ripstop, 7,000 mm hydrostatic head, double-sided, silicon coating Groundsheet: 92 g/m², 70 denier, ripstop nylon, 7,000 mm hydrostatic head, TPU coating Inner canopy: 35 g/m², 30 denier, ripstop, high-tenacity nylon 6.6 Poles: 4 x 10.0 mm Ø DAC Featherlite Guylines: 6 x 2.00 mm Dyneema with mini-Linelok adjusters Pegs: 16 x 7001-T6 square-section alloy pegs,12 g each Packed size: 55 cm x 18 cm Ø Made In China Extended, spacious porch with a door on each side Strong asymmetric design Internal storage pockets Sixteen guy points (4 x 3-way attachment and 2 x 2-way) Two vents in the porch of the flysheet Inner length: 215 cm Inner width: 120 cm Inner height: 100 cm Porch: 150 cm