Hyperlite Mountain Gear Tents: A Comparison Review

I tested Hyperlite Mountain Gear tents and this is my verdict.

June 28, 2024
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I’m the proud owner of several Hyperlite Mountain Gear shelters, and my love for this brand is unmatched. Their motto is something like, “nothing more and nothing less than exactly what you need,” and honestly, how can you argue with that? Minimal and lightweight, but detail-oriented and durable AF.

Tents I Tested:

The product comparison table below is sortable. Click the arrow in the heading cell to sort the models by preferred spec.

MODEL Price Capacity Packed Weight Stakes Type
MID 1 $599 1 person 16.8oz | 476g 6 Single-wall, 3-season
UNBOUND 2 $699 1-2 person 22.5oz | 638g 8 Single-wall, 3-season
ULTAMID 2 $699-$729 1-2 person Tent: 19.1oz | 541g Full Insert: 22.0oz | 624g 8 Double-wall, 4-season

Product Overview

KEY SPECS

  • Capacity: 1 person
  • Packed Weight: 16.8oz | 476g
  • Type: Tarp, single-wall, 3-season
  • Materials: DCF5, DCF10, No-See-Um Mesh
  • Trekking pole set up: 1 pole needed, set up at 135cm
  • Vestibules/Doors: 1 large crescent door with vestibule
  • Dimensions: Area: 21 sq ft Exterior: 54” x 107” Interior: 32” x 96” Height: 54”
  • Other Features: Waterproof, bathtub floor, magnetic door-keepers, storage pocket

    I rocked the Mid 1 last year on the Colorado Trail. I absolutely ADORE this tent for my solo adventures. It’s the perfect balance of minimal & ultralight, but also surprisingly spacious & really easy to set up. The Mid 1 is a 1-person tent, and the interior is 8 feet long, which should be big enough to get a comfy night’s sleep for even the vertically blessed folks out there.


    KEY SPECS

    • Capacity: 1-2 person
    • Packed Weight: 22.5oz | 638g
    • Type: Tarp, single-wall, 3-season
    • Materials: DCF5, DCF10, No-See-Um Mesh
    • Trekking pole set up: 2 poles needed, set up at 120cm
    • Vestibules/Doors: 2 vestibules/doors
    • Dimensions: Area: 28 sq ft Exterior Including
    • Vestibules: 96" x 108" Interior: 90" x 48” Height: 48’
    • Other Features: Waterproof, bathtub floor, two mesh gear pockets, fully taped seams

      I love using the Hyperlite Unbound 2P when I’m backpacking with my husband. It’s marketed as a 1-2 person tent so I guess you could say it’s a nice minimal option for a couple, or a fairly luxurious tent if you’re flying solo. It strikes a perfect balance between weight and space. I’ve only put about a hundred miles on this tent so far, but there’s absolutely no wear or tear on it yet. I can definitely see myself using the Unbound 2P for years to come.


      KEY SPECS

      • Capacity: 1-2 person
      • Packed Weight: Tent: 19.1oz | 541g Full Insert: 22.0oz | 624g
      • Type: Tarp, double-wall, 4-season
      • Materials: DCF8, DCF11, No-See-Um Mesh
      • Trekking pole set up: 2 poles needed, comes with straps to put them together to elongate
      • Vestibules/Doors: With the full insert, there's a small amount of space between insert/door. With half insert, you’d have a very large vestibule.
      • Dimensions: Area: 63 sq ft Exterior: 83” x 107” Interior: 76” x 96 Height: 64”
      • Other Features: Waterproof, optional half, full, or mesh-only inserts

        My husband and I used the UltaMid 2 when we thru-hiked the Vermont Long Trail in 2021. At a whopping 63 sq ft area and 64” height, this shelter is so big, it feels like a castle while backpacking, putting your neighbor’s tents to absolute shame. Despite its large size, the UltaMid 2 is still impressively lightweight and packable. With a combined price tag for the tarp & full insert of over $1000, this setup is a bit of an investment… but boy does it stand the test of time.


        My Conclusion:

        Hyperlite Mountain Gear is such a well-respected brand in the thru-hiking community because of their innovative designs, attention to detail, top-notch quality, and amazing customer service. Each of their shelters offers unique features and benefits to satisfy the different needs of different hikers, environments, or situations.

        If you’re a solo hiker looking for a minimalist option that’s ultralight & easy to set, but still has enough space for all of your gear and dependable durability against the elements, then the Mid 1 is for you. If you’re a solo hiker who wants more space to sprawl out at camp or a couple who wants to snuggle up, go with the Unbound 2P. If you’re a single or couple who either wants a 4 season bombproof shelter, customizable interior options, or just MORE space, then the UltaMid 2 is gonna be your answer.

        In my opinion, when it comes to gear, there’s no “right or wrong” or “better or worse”… it's just finding the right gear for YOU. For me? I’m a minimalist so I’m most fond of my Mid 1, but honestly, if it's got a Hyperlite logo on it, its pretty much a given that I use it & love it.

        For reviews on other great ultralight tents on the market, read our post on the best ultralight tents.


        Performance Test Results

        How I Tested:

        I’ve put my HMG gear to the test on my thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail, the Long Trail, and the Colorado Trail, plus the usual backpacking in my home territory of the White Mountains.

        Design

        MID 1

        The Mid 1 is a 1-person tent, and the interior is 8 feet long, which should be big enough to get a comfy night’s sleep for even the vertically blessed folks out there. I found that there was enough floor space inside for my whole sleeping set up, my pack, and to lay out all my stuff— I like being able to have everything organized and easy to find while I’m making a home for the night. There’s even a little mesh pocket inside where I can stash my phone and headlamp so I can quickly locate them when it’s dark out.

        a hiker with hyperlite mountain gear mid 1 tent

        There’s also a fairly roomy vestibule area where I like to keep my shoes and especially my pack, in the event that it got wet during the day, plus any wet gear, allowing that stuff to potentially dry out, while still keeping the rest of my stuff separate in my cozy & dry living space. The pyramid design is insanely sturdy, even in windy/intense conditions.

        The outer doors zip in the middle and you can switch the clip to stake out one side or the other, or you can even roll back both doors (and secure them with quick & easy magnetic toggles) on a nice weather night. The inside mesh has a large crescent door that’s easy to get in and out of.

        UNBOUND 2P

        Probably my favorite part: the dual-entry doors with large vestibules on both sides. This is a fantastic feature when somebody’s gotta go in the middle of the night, as you won't disturb each other at all when getting in and out of the tent. And then on a nice day, you can fully open up both sides for maximum views and breezes… truly paradise.

        hiker with hyperlite mountain gear unbound 2p

        ULTAMID 2

        Kind of a little quirk about this tent is that the tent pole is directly in the center of the tent… between my husband and me. I mean, it does prevent him from hogging more floor space and taking over my side, which is nice, but if you’re trying to get your snuggle on, the tent pole is right there in between you, just so you know.

        But even still, the center pole doesn’t take away from the size of this thing. For an ultralight backpacking tent, it’s really big. Seriously, I feel like I’m practically car-camping in the backcountry. Plenty of room for all of our packs and gear, and probably our neighbors and their gear as well.

        hyperlite mountain gear ultamid 2 interior

        Durability & Weather resistance

        MID 1

        The super-durable bathtub floor is clutch for keeping dry on a rainy night— you can even cinch the floor up higher for extra splash-up protection, or let it down low for extra airflow. There are dual vents at the top to help with airflow too.

        UNBOUND 2P

        Single-wall tents that are fully waterproof, like the Unbound 2, can still get damp inside from condensation, depending on precipitation, temperature, dew point, etc. I found that this tent actually performed really well in this department, probably since it’s so roomy inside and it’s well-ventilated with the vestibules and upper vents on both sides.

        I’ve only put about a hundred miles on this tent so far, but there’s absolutely no wear or tear on it yet. I can definitely see myself using the Unbound 2P for years to come.

        hyperlite mountain gear unbound 2p interior

        ULTAMID 2

        With the full insert though, you don’t have much of a vestibule. Which isn’t really a factor unless it’s really raining all day & night, like it did for us on the Long Trail. I didn’t want my wet pack in the interior with me, but I also didn’t want to leave it outside, so I unclipped the front corners of the insert to give us a little more of a vestibule… problem solved.

        Of course, if you were using the half insert, you’d have a gigantic vestibule and this would be a non-issue. Either way, this double-wall shelter kept us totally dry, even in the crappiest conditions.

        hyperlite mountain gear ultamid 2

        Material

        MID 1

        The Dyneema material of the tent is 100% waterproof, but it is a single-wall tent, so if everything is shut in tight on a cold rainy night, condensation inside is kind of inevitable. I endured a few of those nights on the trail, but it was mostly fine and honestly just part of the experience.

        hyperlite mountain gear mid 1 close-up feature

        UNBOUND 2P

        Like all of Hyperlite’s shelters, it’s made with Dyneema material which is 100% waterproof, durable AF, and extremely light. The Unbound 2 only weighs 22.5 ounces, and it features a bathtub floor, magnetic door closures, and adjustable hi-vis orange guy lines.

        ULTAMID 2

        Some other features of this tent include its sturdy pyramid design and 100% waterproof Dyneema material. 4-season capability, dual-peak vents, and two-way waterproof zipper.

        hiker setting up hyperlite mountain gear ultamid 2

        Ease of use

        MID 1

        The setup is a piece of cake— I stake out the four corners and then slide my trekking pole under the vestibule door, putting the trekking pole handle up into the cone-shaped top and the tip through a little loop at the base of the tent and onto the ground. Two more stakes pull out the middle back and the front doors.

        In addition to the easy setup, I also love that this size tent makes it easy to find a spot to set up. This little thing can fit in just about anywhere— whether that’s at crowded campsites, or the total opposite: little stealth spots off the trail that aren’t exactly intended for a big ole tent.

        hyperlite mountain gear mid 1 interior

        I also love that this tent only requires one pole to set it up. Not only is it quicker & easier, but it also allows the user to only hike with one pole if they want, or if you’re like me, to keep your second pole free to double as a “weapon” to fight off hungry bears in the middle of the night. (No, that’s never happened, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared!)

        UNBOUND 2P

        The setup is really simple—I just stake out the 4 corners, then slide a trekking pole handle ender each vestibule and the tip through a loop at the bottom of the bathtub floor, then stake the doors out and adjust the lines as needed. Once you’re square, there are two additional guy lines you can stake out on the other sides for added stability and a little extra headspace. It only takes 2 trekking poles, 8 stakes, and about 3 minutes to build your house for the night.

        hyperlite mountain gear unbound 2p interior

        ULTAMID 2

        To set up a tent, start by staking out the corners and connecting two trekking poles with rubber straps. Adjust the height of the center pole to suit weather conditions. Slide the pole under the tent and adjust the guy lines for stability. Stake out additional guy lines on each side for added stability.

        Add the insert, which holds the tent, by opening the doors and dragging it inside the shelter. Remove the pole, slide it under the insert, and reestablish it under the tent apex. Pull out the insert corners and guide the center pole back in place on top of the insert floor. Clip the interior corners to the tent corners.

        Setting up the tent takes only a few minutes and may seem confusing, but it's easy once you get the hang of it. Half and mesh inserts may work similarly, but I don’t own them.

        hyperlite mountain gear ultamid 2 close up

        Price & Packability

        MID 1

        The tent’s take down takes about two whole seconds and then it folds down to a nice & compact 8.5” x 5.5” x 5.5” size that barely takes up space in my pack… and it only weighs a pound! Between its ultralight status, the Dyneema waterproof material, and the thoughtful design, I think that the $599 price tag is totally worth it.

        UNBOUND 2P

        All of Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s designs are durable, quality, and made to last. This is a stand-up shelter (get it?)… its size/capacity and different door configurations make it so versatile and honestly just a great choice, regardless of the situation.

        hiker setting up hyperlite mountain gear unbound 2p tent

        I know that this tent was designed with thru-hikers in mind, and I think they nailed it. The price tag is $699, but I mean, you’re easily saving way more than in rent while on trail, right?

        ULTAMID 2

        Despite its large size, the Ultamid 2 is still impressively lightweight and packable. The tarp is 19.1oz and the full insert is 22oz, and since it’s two separate pieces, my husband and I can each carry half of the shelter, making it just as light as competing options. With a combined price tag for the tarp & full insert of over $1000, this setup is a bit of an investment… but boy does it stand the test of time.

        hyperlite mountain gear ultamid 2 packed

        Other features

        MID 1

        There’s also the option to buy the tent and the insert separately, which is going to cost a little more and add a couple of ounces, but then you’ve got a double-wall version that tends to fare better in those intense weather conditions.

        If you take this route, then you’ve also got the option to just opt for the outer tarp in nice conditions, to save a little weight and make it convenient for befriending the bugs & critters. I like a single wall tent because it’s just quicker & easier to set up, but it really just depends on your budget, personal preferences, and weather conditions.

        a hiker inside hyperlite mountain gear mid 1 tent

        UNBOUND 2P

        We aren’t a very tall couple (I’m 5’5” and my husband is 5’6”), so in addition the the generous headroom, we found that the 28 sq. ft. area was plenty of space for ourselves and all of our gear. At over 7.5 ft long, we can easily stretch out to get a good night’s sleep!

        We each have our own mesh pockets on either side for keeping our important gear items (for me, it’s for my phone & headlamp) and there are a few loops inside that you can use to hang small things from as well.

        hyperlite mountain gear unbound 2p

        ULTAMID 2

        I think one of the cool things about this tent is the different pairing options for the interior— you can practically build your own tent depending on what you want to use it for.

        You can get a full-size insert with the bathtub floor, a half insert with the bathtub floor (which would give you a large vestibule), a full mesh insert without the floor (just for bug protection) or you can opt for just the outer tarp and no insert if you want to save weight in nice conditions.

        hyperlite mountain gear ultamid 2 interior

        Shop Here

        MID 1
        UNBOUND 2
        ULTAMID 2
        Stoveless Backpacking Meals
        • 650-Calorie Fuel
        • No Cooking
        • No Cleaning