Women's gear, up first
I'm from Colorado but living for a short while in the UK. I'd like to buy a two-person tent that can withstand the rain and has excellent venting because I love my down sleeping bag. Can you recommend one? Jie Oxford, UK
I'm smitten with the Nemo Losi 2P, the petite sibling of Outside's 2009 Gear of the Year winner, the Nemo Losi 3P. I fell in love with Nemo last fall when the Outside gear-testing staff set up a tent city at a mountain campground outside of Santa Fe. The instant I grabbed the Nemo stuff sack-generally a utilitarian and ubiquitous item, but in this case a well-designed vessel of beauty--I knew the Nemo was different. But I like the Nemo the most for exactly the reason you mention above: venting.
The 4.9-pound Losi 2P ($339; nemoequipment.com) has a full mesh canopy for breezy summer evenings and two large side vents that allow for continuous airflow on those damp and drizzly British days. With two doors and two vestibules, it's easy to share the 32-square-foot space, and the ultralight four-pole design makes it extra spacious and sturdy. As one online reviewer put it: "When guyed out, the two-door Losi was as unflappable as Tiger Woods." My bet is that the tent's unflappability will outlast Tiger's.
If you're looking to shave a few dollars off the Losi's price tag, Big Agnes's Gore Pass 2 ($280; bigagnes.com) is a great alternative. At five pounds, 14 ounces, it may be a pound heavier, but it's also a half-square-foot larger, has four generous gear pockets for Type-A campers, and a mesh body for primo ventilation. So, snug into that down sleeping bag.