8.9 $249.99

Pros

  • Huge view
  • Loads of space
  • Easy pitch

Cons

  • Pack size is big
Quality: 9.4
Weight: 8.5
Room: 9.9
Packability: 7.8

Not another tent review, sigh. In the end aren’t they all the same? Some are heavier, some are lighter, some are yellow and some are blue. Some are bigger and some are smaller. I’ll pitch it, I’ll sit in it and be happy that my non-permanent home is indeed waterproof.

Then I got to fool around with the Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5 tent. It is like other tents but different. Different in that it offers up some serious ocular pleasure.

But let’s look at the technical stuff first, shall we?

IMG 3039 The Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5 tent

Setting up this tent is like stealing candy from a baby: easy. Out of the bag it took me 2 minutes to pitch this tent. The 2 X pole configuration (the .5 being the tiny pole across the roof) is simple and easy to do every time. Maybe I’m biased but I do love the clip system as it takes a split second to have your tent up even in the dark.

Or maybe this tent was easy to set up because it came with instructions with pictures and a link to a video. Almost no one does this, but I think more should start (or maybe I’m the only one who has scratched their head putting up complicated tents before?).

IMG 3043 The Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5 tent

Compromise plays a big role in camping equipment, and this is made evident by the Optic. If ‘ultralight’ is your favourite buzzword (and your tooth brush doubles as a tent peg), then maybe forgo this tent. It is slightly bigger than other 2 person tents on the market, weighing in at 6 lb. 3 oz.  but…

The room, sweet Jesus, the room.  The high ceiling on the Optic makes it perfect for getting changed, without being a yogi. Combine that with numerous stow pockets in the walls, and you have an extremely practical tent for getting stuck in the pouring rain for days on ends.

And then there is the view.

IMG 3051 The Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5 tent

The two doors are not on opposing sides of the tent, but connecting.  Open up both doors and you can give yourself the view of a lifetime (*ahem* depending on where you pitch your tent).  If you are lucky and can head to Zion National Park in Utah, then you may be rewarded.

P4210246 The Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5 tent

Photo by our friend Kelly Caccamo

The Optic 2.5 tent from Mountain Hardwear, which also comes in a 3 person version, is a room AND a view. If you like hiding from the bugs and sipping wine from your tent while watching a calm lake, a desert gorge or your family play in a field, the Optic 2.5 may be at the head of your list.

IMG 3061 The Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5 tent

 

 

IMG 3041 The Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5 tent

 

IMG 3050 The Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5 tent