On the other hand, the Epic fabric is more breathable than the completely sealed stuff used by the Waypoint 2 ($250; www.mountainhardwear.com), in itself a very good tent that's both much cheaper and lighter (at three pounds two ounces). The Lighthousea big two-person tent patterned after the Bibler Ahwahneeweighs a couple ounces more.
The Black Diamond people put it pretty well: The Lighthouse is for people for whom a combination of roominess and light weight is essentialor at least, more important to them than the risk of getting a little damp once in a while. It's a fair tradeoff, in my view. I mean, I've certainly camped in the rain, but let's face it, most people go backpacking in the relatively dry summer months. The risk of a thunderstorm and shower always exists, but a day or two of steady rain? Not likely. So I think the Lighthouse represents an intriguing proposition. Myself, I'm leaning strongly toward taking one on a weeklong bike tour in Montana this September.
More of the year's best tents reviewed in Outside's 2004 Buyer's Guide.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.