NOTE: The SuperMegaUL 2 has been discontinued and replaced by the Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2.
I have used the Mountain Hardwear SuperMegaUL 1 (review) – the single person version of the UL 2 – for a long time now (including the entirety of the Pacific Crest Trail). The UL 1 has been great, but I wanted something that allowed me to bring my gear into the tent with me (since I've taken to only sleeping in my tent when the weather doesn't allow for cowboy camping).
Being only 4 oz / 113 g lighter than the UL 1, I decided to give the SuperMegaUL 2 a shot.
I've used this tent both alone (as I originally intended) and with others (pesky freeloaders) across a variety of terrain, elevations, and weather conditions. Until now, the SuperMegaUL 2 has impressed, and I have, for the time being, made the UL 2 a permanent addition to my pack.
- Weight Packed: 2 lb 7 oz / 1.11 kg
- Weight Minimum: 2 lb 2 oz / 0.98 kg
- Weight Pitch Light: 1 lb 10 oz / 733 g
- Capacity: 2
- Freestanding: Yes
- Poles: 2 (but they're connected)
- Doors: 1
- Vestibules: 1
- Height Interior: 36 in / 91 cm
- Length Packed: 22 in / 56 cm
- Diameter Packed: 5 in / 13 cm
- Floor Area: 27 sq ft / 2.5 sq m
- Vestibule Area: 6 sq ft / 0.6 sq m
- MSRP: $450 US
- Pole Type: Paleria DAC Featherlight NSL
- Fabric Fly: 10D Nylon 800-1200mm PU
- Fabric Canopy: 15D Nylon Ripstop FR;15D Poly Knit Mesh
- Fabric Tent Floor: 30D Nylon Ripstop 2000 mm Ether Type PU/SIL FR
- Watertight construction – taped fly and perimeter seam with welded corners and guy clip anchors.
- Welded zipper flap (lighter and drier than a sewn flap)
- Two mesh pockets for interior storage
WHAT WE LIKE
THE WEIGHT | This is an ultralight tent, but its 2 lb 7 oz / 1.11 kg is far from being the lightest shelter around (you could always just get a cuben fiber tarp). However, as far as freestanding two-person tents go, the SuperMegaUL 2 is at the top of its class. The floor space is impressive for such a light tent (I was actually a bit shocked at first since I was so used to the UL 1), and if you're using the UL 2 as a single person tent (because you need to be pampered), then you will have plenty of space for you and your gear.
THE SETUP | The SuperMegaUL 2 employs a single pole with nine contact points which make setting up and breaking down this tent incredibly simple. It sets up in three minutes or less if you know what you're doing, and taking it down is just as quick. If the weather is cooperating and you don't need the fly or to stake yourself down, you could probably get this tent up in just over a minute. Just make sure you've got the crossbar facing the correct way before setting it up (you'll see what I mean).
THE WEATHERPROOFNESS | As I said earlier, I got this tent primarily for use in the rain or equally horrible weather conditions. Being an ultralight tent, I worried that it wouldn't hold up to the elements as well as a heavier and more rugged alternative. Literally my first night out with the UL 2, I found myself in borderline typhoon conditions 10,000 ft / 3,050 m in the Japanese Alps. Despite relentless winds and my having picked a horrible campsite – which resulted in water pooling beneath the tent – both my person and my equipment remained dry.
THE POCKETS | When I found the mesh pocket inside the UL 1, I got unreasonably excited. When I found the two mesh pockets inside of the UL 2 I nearly wet myself. Both the pockets have room for a surprising amount of your junk and are stretchy enough to accommodate larger items as well. I can't precisely explain the reason, but I love these pockets.
WHAT'S JUST OKAY
THE FOOTPRINT | The footprint (sold separately) falls into the “okay” category for three reasons: 1) It's sold separately (wouldn't it be nice if companies just threw in their footprints with the tents? 2) It adds a bit of weight to the tent – 6.5 oz / 184 g. 3) It's fucking $55. It's made of tyvek which is awesome, and if it holds up as well as my UL 1's footprint, then it's basically indestructible and will do a fantastic job of ensuring the UL 2's floor doesn't fall victim to debilitating damage.
THE SECOND PERSON | This tent is really more a tent for one person and their gear than it is a tent for two people. That being said, you can cozily fit two large people into the tent. I know because I have slept in it with a 6'3″ / 191 cm friend and we managed to make it through the night. However, since the tent tapers off towards your feet, if you have two full-size sleeping pads inside, then you may experience some overlap towards the bottom. Also, there will be little room for packs if you've got company.
WHAT WE NO LIKE
THE STAKES | These stakes are the same that are included with the UL1, and I still feel the same way about them: they're pretty “meh”. They are light, but not the lightest stakes out there, and I sometimes find them a bit difficult to remove from (frozen) ground (not the bead heads for pulling out). They're fairly easily bent, and I have a history of damaging them beyond repair whilst attempting to hammer them into unwilling terrain.
THE COST | Obviously nothing to be done about this, but at $450 US, the SuperMegaUL 2 can be a serious investment. It's no more or less expensive than similarly specced tents on the market, but it gets a bit suspicious when you're paying more for less, don't you think?
If you want a lightweight freestanding shelter that's going to hold up to the elements and allow you plenty of space for yourself and your gear, then you may have a friend in Mountain Hardwear's SuperMegaUL 2.
For anyone looking for a two-person tent for daily use with another person, you may want to consider going for something a bit larger (and probably heavier) if you think that extremely close quarters may not be wise for an extended amount of time.
Regardless, the SuperMegaUL 2 is impressively large for how much it weighs, and with its apparent affinity for keeping users comfortable and dry, it's a welcome addition to my pack. Check out Mountain Hardwear's SuperMegaUL 2 tent here.
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