If I have a bad habit with regards to my outdoor pursuits – it’s rucksacks and tents – I buy too many.
But I’ve tried to rein in this vice in recent months and the credit crunch has helped me to spend my pennies wisely.
I’ve even gone as far as purchasing “budget” gear to see how they perform – not too bad in the main but thats for another post.
This one is about a new tent I purchased at the weekend for £150.
It’s a Mountain Hardwear Stiletto 1.
It’s old hat really – been around a couple of years – but not taken off sales-wise.
I can see why to a degree. The price is too high compared to other tents in it’s class and it can be a bit fiddly to pitch. Furthermore, it’s a pitch inner first tent – not ideal for the UK what with the rain and everything.
But as it happens I get by fine with inner pitch first tents. They can be put up in next to no time and any water ingress I soon wipe off with a small camping towel I always take with me.
I even use the towel for all-in-one pitching tents just to get rid of the previous night’s condensation.
This habit has never caused me or my tents any harm and really is no big deal.
Anyway, the Stiletto – it’s a one man tent and weighs not much over 1 kilo. It packs very, very small once you stash the small poles elsewhere (strapped to my pack usually). Y pegs are standard and appear robust without being too heavy – though I will change some for lighter ones and besides so many Y pegs is overkill, really.
The porch is large with room to cook and stash gear and furthermore the main inner is huge compared to a Laser Competition and taller, too. I have a good couple of inches above my head sat upright and I’m just shy of six foot.
What I do like about the tent, though is it’s stability.
Pitched without the guy ropes ( you have to attach them to numerous handy guy-points around the tent) the Stiletto is taught and solid. Sure, it be wise to peg out the corners of the groundsheet in inclement weather – and the guys, too in high winds.
But there is no flapping or loose material at all.
Tight as a drum this tent with no effort whatsoever.
Aye, there are some foot and end poles and these add to the weight – but the stability and resulting internal volume make up for this small compromise.
Being an all mesh inner tent it could be breezy and cold come the winter – but I’m not planning on using this tent for the colder months. The Stiletto is intended to be a 2/3 season shelter in my book.
Nice and cool in the summer months – bit chilly in the autumn and maybe early winter – but nothing a warmer sleep bag and clothing couldn’t sort out.
It’s worth noting that the flysheet as default is quite high from the ground once attached. Of course, this helps with free-flowing any breeze through the tent but it could also mean any spindrift can hit the inner mesh tent – you don’t want any side-rain splashing through onto your kit or worst still your down bag without knowing.
Thankfully, you can tighten the fly with strategic ladder locking belts. These can take the fly down to about an inch off the ground as opposed to around 3 inches or so.
On the whole, I’m really happy with the tent.
So, if you see any about – keep note. Because despite some short-comings you are unlikely to find a better tent for it’s purpose and weight if picked up at a bargain price.
I understand Mountain Hardwear are not producing this tent anymore – therefore some end of line pricing is on the cards?
But overall it is not too dissimilar to the highly-rated GoLite Eden 1 – this tent appearing to answer any concerns or criticisms of the Stiletto in my opinion. I can see why some may not rate this tent highly – but I think they’re being unfair in all honesty. Most of us get into a certain habit with tents and tend to choose one that fits us and not us to the tent.
In that respect, tents can say a lot about the owner! But I’m open to all shapes and designs. For me it’s about function and purpose.
I’ve used the Laser Competition (LC) in conditions it’s clearly not designed for – I’ve even tried variation’s of pitching it into the wind to study it’s affects. And I talk about the LC because out of the several tents I own – it is the one I use the most and of course there aren’t many lighter.
The LC can be a fiddly bugger to pitch but this tent has always been about a compromise for the weight.
Either way, I’ll be giving my Laser Competition a rest for a few months and using my new toy – we’ll see how it goes. Then come the winter months? Who knows? I may well get my Wild Country Sololite dusted down or even own another tent by then!