I put in a request after spending a few nights in the backcountry with my girlfriend's tent. First, we find an option that is lighter. The tent she has is not a boat anchor, but there are lighter options available that would make for a more enjoyable experience. The second request was that we find a shelter that is not a space hog. The tent she has is great for car camping or short distance trips; but the bulk of the tent was too much for my taste. Naturally (since I was spending her money) she had some request. In no way was she onboard with anything less then a legitimate tent. There went my visions of using an ultralight tarp. Second she wanted a free standing setup. Her past exposure to these styles of tents had been negative and in her opinion free standing was the better option.
After doing a fair amount of research and trying to work within the means of a strict budget I pinpointed a few options. The most appealing setup came from a surprise company, Mountain Hardware. Honestly I had never given the companies gear much time, but somehow they managed to produce one of the lightest two person tents on the market, without having to shell out massive amounts of cash. The tent that caught our eye was the Mountain Hardware Supermega UL 2. Yeah, I know, a terrible name....
Initial Impressions- The Supermega UL (ultralight) 2 is an extremely light two person tent. The tent weighs in at 2lbs 7 ounces and uses a combination of lightweight materials and a narrow cut to achieve the weight. Mountain Hardware dropped more weight by designing the tent with one large front entry door. DAC featherlight poles are used to further reduce the weight. The standard bathtub floor extends up the sides of the tent, while the entire upper portion of the tent is made of mesh. The bright green poles stand out against the subdued grey tent body. Luckily the fly is made tan/grey color which hides the obnoxious tent pole color.
After setting up the tent in the house for the first time I noticed some things. The floor of the tent aggressively tapers from the gigantic entry to a narrow foot area. Previous reviews mentioned this being a problem with two full size pads not fitting. Fortunately one of us prefers a full length pad and the other uses a 3/4 length. I immediately laid the pads in the tent and the overlap would not be an issue for us. The tent clip system uses a unique style that keeps the fly tensioned above the inner tent, allowing for more airflow. The vestibule are at the front of the tent is small but sufficient enough to stash to backpacks if needed. Although these would probably need to be moved to exit the tent midnight. Overall I was satisfied with the build quality and design of the tent.
Use- Our first trip using the Supermega UL was an overnighter with Rocco dog. The tent was easy to set up and could easily be done with one person. The design is self explanatory in how to set up and there is no learning curve. Because of the tapered floor the tent has a small footprint and is easy to find a spot for it. With the fly staked out the material gives substantial space in between the mesh tent body and the fly. On this trip we did find some issues. The major issue was what to do with Rocco. We tried convincing him to sleep in the vestibule area, but he found that unsuitable. Quite honestly we were asking too much of this tent. With both our sleeping setups in the tent we had little available space for gear, better yet a 35lb dog. We concluded that there was no option but to have him sleep in between us, half on pads. This worked, and would be better with a dog that didn't take up two times his body size in space. Overall the tent preformed well in the clear skied, 50 degree evening. We saw no condensation and slept relatively comfortable.
It isn't often we get to test out gear in rainy conditions, especially not prolonged periods. Looking for a silver lining, our recent trip to Colorado provided an excellent proving ground for this. The weather was raining from the beginning and last two days. On the trip one pair from our group had a catastrophic tent failure and ended up having to cancel their trip after their tent leaked. The Supermega UL2 held up excellent in the rainy and windy conditions. The first night we saw minimum condensation and there were no leaks, even though it had effectively rained all night. The vestibule was locked down and kept everything dry. On this trip we discovered that the bathtub had a clip on each side that attached to the fly. This spread the floor out and gave a more substantial living area. The combination of the rear foot venting and spreader clips really helped to allow air flow. Even after our second night of rain (and starting the night with a damp tent body) we saw minimal condensation. The front vestibule zipper has a two way zipper that allows for you to have it closed but still vent. We found that by opening this zipper slightly you can get a breeze that runs from the top of the tent, down to the exit at the foot box. This further reduced the condensation.
Final Thoughts- It has its limitations but the Mountain Hardware Supermega UL 2 is a great investment for the weight conscious pair. Best suited for short to average height individuals the ten would be a squeeze for taller people. Although possible I would not recommend two people and a dog in this tent. For the cost you are getting a well designed, low condensation, ultralight tent; without having to take a loan. Due to the lightweight materials used, you will need to care for you gear (but this is a given with lightweight stuff). The Mountain Hardware Supermega UL 2 is an excellent tent for the money and I would highly recommend it.
*This tent was purchased with someone else's hard earned money.