Some initial thoughts on the Mountain Hardwear Stiletto 1 tent I picked up a few weeks back.
I used the tent only recently on a wild camp in the Yorkshire Dales National Park – the weather was a real mixed bag. It was humid, air pressure was up and down, winds came and went along with rain of all types.
So, how did it perform?
It passed the test on first use. I do have some concerns with regards to this tent but this depends on your perspective and intended use – as with all gear.
Pitching the tent is not as difficult or fiddly as some reviews would have you believe in my opinion. I’ve pitched worst but this tent goes up in next to no time. Sure, one of the end poles requires a little force to insert the ends into the brass eyelets – but it’s certainly nothing to be worried about.
This inner tent is all mesh – great for airflow and keeping you cool inside and keeping the bugs out. But it’s not ideal when pitching in the rain as you need to with this shelter. But given how quickly you can pitch and then throw the flysheet over this doesn’t present itself as too much of a problem.
Besides, I always take a small sports towel for mopping up and water that sneaks it’s way into the tent. Even all nylon inners need a wipe from time to time even if it’s for soaking up condensation.
Of course, an all mesh inner is not ideal for use in colder temperatures.
The flysheet goes over easy enough and clips on quickly to fixtures attached to the brass eyelets where you slot the end of the tent poles.
However, once thrown over the fly can be a bit difficult to get taught in the right place – I suppose what I’m trying to say is – is the flysheet can be tightened over the inner with webbing and ladder locking but if you tighten one strap too much – the fly sheet then rises too high from the ground on the opposite side and so on.
But you’ll learn this with a practice pitch in the garden at home and it’s only something you have to be mindful of.
The stability of this tent is excellent – even without the numerous and well positioned guy attachments it’s pretty stable in a breeze. So, this is not the sort of tent that’s going to flap about and wake you in the night should the wind pick up speed.
Saying that – I do think the fly doesn’t quite reach the floor low enough. It’s just that inch or two too high and on my first night’s pitch I soon learned how this can be a problem. A little spindrift had sneaked in onto the inner mesh in places. This may in part be down to how my tent was positioned – side on into the wind – but nevertheless in the UK this is a design “fault” to be mindful of. Of course, in warmer climes this isn’t a problem and is in fact a benefit.
But given our mixed weather conditions on any given day? Well, that’s down to you and how you feel, really.
Inside the tent, the inner is surprisingly spacious on first glance but once you have your mattress and sleeping bag set up – you soon realise there’s not much room to maneuver. But the tent is high enough inside (I’m 5’11”) and the porch is big enough to accommodate your kit and for cooking.
The flysheet door and be unzipped and closed at both ends – handy for venting when cooking etc – but the inner door is shaped and positioned such that you can only enter it one way. ie, you can’t decide to lay your head at one end of the tent and then perhaps another night the other.
Having said that, the tent is designed with weight saving in mind to be used in such a way – given that one end of the tent is wider at the head and narrower at the foot.
At little over 1kg the tent packs down very small and overall is a good bit of kit. Even the line-loks and pegs are good! The pegs perhaps a bit of overkill, mind being X shaped – but they will do nicely towards my vast collection of pegs in the garage!
It’s doesn’t belong in the “excellent” category – there are better – especially given the RRP of £250 for this tent. But if it is going online for much less and with that in mind – it’s a bargain. So, whereas I would normally say this is a solid performer and rank it as ‘average’ – I’d be happy to say if it were picked up as a bargain then it’s an ‘excellent’ tent.
I personally prefer my Terra Nova Laser Competition for space and general comfort – even if it’s less stable in comparison – so you see, it can be a matter of perspective!
But this is a well thought out tent with all the best intentions in mind – it’s just not necessarily ideal for year round UK use – certainly not winter. Fine weather or just plain spring/summer use and this tent is spot on.