Mobile Homes

Expd Andromeda, The North Face Mountain Marathon, and Mountain Hardwear's Hammerhead 2

Aug 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

Thanks in part to its Quonset-hut shape, the EXPED ANDROMEDA ($469) yields a garage of a vestibule that houses up to two bicycles. Surprisingly for its size, the tent went up—after rehearsing—in four minutes flat. Stake out the rear, insert the three poles into their sleeves, peg down the front, and you're left with a low-profile design that shrugs off howling crosswinds. Inside, two people share 38 square feet of play room with bright yellow walls. But air moves only via the screen door and two peak vents in the fly, so save this eight-pound, 15-ounce tent for wherever wind and rain protection come first. (888-609-7187,

Want to travel swift and solo? Carry THE NORTH FACE MAOUNTAIN MARATHON ($199). .It provides all-mountain weather protection and just enough headroom to thwart claustrophobia The Lilliputian shelter (24 square feet; three pounds, ten ounces) comes with a screen canopy and a polyester fly complete with a tiny vestibule. The low profile sheds wind so effectively that, were it not for the screen canopy, this baby would qualify for winter duty. Minimalists, listen up: Haul just the tent for simple protection from pests, pack only the fly for a two-pound rain shelter. (800-719-6678,

For a two-person backpacking tent, the MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR HAMMERHEAD 2 ($255) is darn near perfect. Size: 36 square feet. Weight: seven pounds, ten ounces. Fly: factory-sealed seams, polyester, with a skylight to boot. Ventilation: a roll-back ceiling panel that lets you feel the breeze (though with the fly staked down, that airflow stops). Pitch time: less than five minutes. When staked, the Hammerhead sheds wind like a stalwart, high-elevation assault tent. We rate it a three-season-plus: brilliant for those sketchy late-fall trips when rain turns to snow. (800-499-8696,

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