The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 is a lightweight (28 oz / 794 g) two-person shelter designed to be used with two trekking poles and eight stakes. It's a fully seam-sealed, single-wall tent made with Dyneema Composite Fabric that pitches as a single unit (there is no separate fly).
Don't use trekking poles? You have the option to purchase (at a cost of $160), two carbon fiber poles from Ruta Locura. These two poles weigh a combined 8.5 oz / 241 g which brings the weight of the Dirigo 2 up to 36.5 oz / 1.034 kg. But if you're going to add that much weight to the tent, justifying the cost may be difficult. UPDATE: these poles are now also available directly from Hyperlite Mountain Gear.
That said, if you want a high-performance, lightweight tent that's ready to stand up to the elements (and you have some money to invest), then the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 might be the choice for you.
I used the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 for 1,000 mi / 1,600 km of the Pacific Crest Trail. I used this shelter primarily by myself although I did share it for a couple of nights. I have used it in dry, wet, snowy, and buggy conditions on a wide variety of terrains (more on this below).
- Weight: 28 oz / 794 g
- Capacity: 2 people
- Seasons: 3-season
- Doors: 2
- Vestibules: 2
- Freestanding: No
- Poles required: 2 trekking poles (or 2 custom poles)
- Stakes required: 8
- Floor material: DCF11
- Exterior wall material: DCF8 / DCF-WPB
- Vestibule material: DCF8
- Interior door material: No-See-Um Mesh
- Trekking pole grommet material: DCH50
- Peak trekking pole cup material: DCHW
- Packed Size: 12 x 8 x 6 in / 30.4 x 20.3 x 15.2 cm
- Interior Peak Height: 45 in / 114.5 cm
- Pitched Dimensions: 92 x 95 in / 2.34 x 2.41 m
- Pole Length: 49 in / 125cm
- Floor Area: 52 x 90 in (32.5 ft2) / 132 x 229 cm (3.02 m2)
- Vestibule Area: 6.25 ft2 (each) / 0.58 m2 (each)
- Number of Pockets: One Interior hanging mesh
- Color: White
- MSRP: $795
- Country of Origin: USA
- Pitches with two trekking poles and eight stakes
- Easy entry/exit for two with dual entry
- Breathable panels at head and foot to combat condensation
- Two vestibules for exterior gear storage with #5 YKK Aquaguard Zippers
- Two large mesh walls for ventilation
- Carbon Fiber ‘Ridge Bar' for strength and stability
- Reflective guy-out points
- Internal mesh hanging stow pocket
- Internal D-rings for a clothesline
- Two sidewall guy-out points
- Fully seam-sealed
- Line-locs on all guy-out points
- Includes X-Large Drawstring Stuff Sack
What We Like
THE WEIGHT | The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 is one of the lightest two-person (although I would argue this is a 1.5-person shelter) shelters available. Because it uses trekking poles to be set up it comes in at just 28 oz / 794 g. That said, you also need eight stakes to pitch the shelter (not included in this number). The weight includes the perimeter guy lines only (those required to pitch the tent). However, if you do not use two trekking poles when hiking, you can also get two custom carbon fiber poles from Ruta Locura or from Hyperlite. These weigh 4.25 oz / 120 g each, bringing the total weight of the shelter to 36.5 oz / 1.034 kg.
THE WATERPROOFNESS | I've used the Dirigo 2 in rain and snow – not once have I been worried about myself (or my things) getting wet inside. The bathtub floor is adequate for keeping out pooling water (for when you don't have the greatest campsite selection) and the DCF exterior keeps the rain (and snow) at bay. The only thing is that if you want the interior to remain dry after a night of precipitation, you need to be careful about rolling it up in the morning (since it's all one piece). For the record, I have never used a groundsheet with the Dirigo 2; I've found the floor to be adequately tough despite this being a lightweight shelter.
What's Just Okay
THE PITCH | The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 is not freestanding. This means that you are required to stake it out. I pitched this tent on a lot of different grounds – sandy desert, rocky alpine, dirt-covered forest, and I rarely was happy with my pitch. Unless I had a perfectly flat campsite with solid ground for my stakes (one of which broke and was then promptly replaced by Hyperlite Mountain Gear), I was always disappointed with the way this tent ended up pitching. That said, it has a rectangular floor plan and isn't as tricky to stake out as other, more oddly shaped, shelters.
THE WALLS | The high point of this tent is in the middle, and it's supported by two straight poles within either vestibule. This means that the walls of the tent along the shorter side (not the side where the poles/doors are) slope up from the ground. I am 5'10” / 178 cm and was using a NeoAir Uberlite sleeping pad which is 2.5 in / 6.35 cm thick. It was incredibly difficult for me to position myself within the tent without either my head or my sleeping bag's footbox against the side of the tent.
THE POLES | You know what's not cool? Selling a shelter that is designed to be pitched with trekking poles and then not providing an alternative to anyone not using trekking poles. If you want to use this shelter and do not use trekking poles, you will need to purchase a set of custom carbon fiber poles (8.5 oz / 241 g) for pitching the Dirigo 2. The cost of these poles? $160.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear, get on this. Get these poles on your website, please. UPDATE: These poles are now available from Hyperlite Mountain Gear.
What We No Like
THE BULK | Dyneema Composite Fabrics might be the cool kid on the block right now, but they come with a drawback; Dyneema is bulky. Every time I look at the stuff sack for the Dirigo 2 (which comes with the tent), I think to myself, “How am I going to get this thing in there?” I get it in every time (this is annoying if the tent is wet since you'll also end up wet by the time you get the tent in), but the result is a stuff sack that rivals my sleeping bag in size. It takes up a significant amount of space in my pack – more than similarly sized silnylon tents I have.
THE POCKET | There is a single interior pocket in the Dirigo 2 and it hangs from the “Ridge Bar” which serves as a support at the top of the tent. I'm a big fan of tent pockets and the Dirigo 2 falls short here. The single pocket doesn't allow for much more than a small wallet or a headlamp. On top of that, it's not super easy to access (just regularly easy).
THE STAKES | I used Dirigo/Ultamid Ultralight Stake Kit from Hyperlite Mountain Gear with the Dirigo 2. A stake kit that is not included with the tent. You would think that for $800 you would at least get some stakes for your tent that requires stakes to be set up. I guess not? Maybe Hyperlite figures that people spending this much on a tent will be particular about their stakes and that if they include any they'll just be thrown away. Or maybe their margins are so small that they would have to increase the price of this tent to be over $800 if they included stakes.
Who is it for?
BEGINNER BACKPACKERS | Literally zero reason you should be considering a Dirigo 2 if you're just getting into backpacking. If the phrase, “The line-locs on my non-freestanding DCF shelter are busted” doesn't mean anything to you, then you might not be ready to spend $800 on a shelter.
WEEKEND WARRIORS | I would probably invest your money elsewhere if you're a casual weekend backpacker. However, if money isn't an issue and you're looking to cut weight because you also want to bring along that chair, then sure, get yourself a Dirigo 2.
THRU-HIKERS | Arguably the best-suited audience for a lightweight $795 shelter for sleeping outdoors, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 is a great investment for a thru-hike if you're into the latest and greatest applications of DCF and want to wow all of your non-hiker friends with your super-expensive spaceship tent. As far as fully-enclosed, two-person shelters go, the Tarptent Stratospire Li is the only thing comparable in terms of weight at 26 oz / 738 g.
|Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2||18.85 oz / 534 g||$715||63 ft² / 5.85 m²||1/0||Outside only – no mesh interior (requires two trekking poles)|
|Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 Carbon||27 oz / 765 g||$1000||27 ft² / 2.5 m²||2/2||Semi-freestanding (no trekking poles required)|
|Big Agnes Fly Creek HV Carbon 2||23 oz / 652 g||$850||28 ft² / 2.6 m²||1/1||Semi-freestanding (no trekking poles required)|
|NEMO Hornet Elite 2||33 oz / 936 g||$500||27 ft² / 2.5 m²||2/2||Semi-freestanding (no trekking poles required)|
|Tarptent StratoSpire Li||26 oz / 738 g||$709||27 ft² / 2.5 m²||2/2||Requires two trekking poles|
The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 is an excellent shelter that, if you're using trekking poles, is one of the lightest fully-enclosed, two-person shelters available right now. If you're not a fan of trekking poles, you can throw down an additional $160 for custom carbon fiber poles (adding 8.49 oz / 241 g to the shelter's weight).
Check out the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 here.
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