Mountain Hardwear Hylo 2
- Fast pitch with integrated fly and body
- Simple pole set up
- Storm proof design
- Only one small door
- Condensation issues with single wall roof
- Water drips inside when vestibule open
Despite being one of the easiest tents we’ve tested to set up, this hybrid design has a few flaws. The small single door and single vestibule design work best as a palatial home for one. The single wall design is too warm for hot summer camping and too breezy for close to freezing. It has a storm proof feel that can be depended on in a highly packable package.
At 27 square feet of interior room the Hylo is a couple feet smaller than many two-person tents, but area does not tell all. The interior height is generous and a central truss pulls the walls out to nearly vertical. The tent doesn’t feel smaller than the competition.
At four pounds it’s not especially lightweight for this category, particularly considering it’s partially a single wall tent—i.e. instead of a tent body and separate fly, the two are combined for most of the tent. It is a burly design that withstood solid winds and precipitation without sagging or flapping. The single wall design cuts down on bulk, making this one of the trimmest tents. It was always easy to find room for it in a pack.
Like the Kuiu, the poles clip onto the exterior of the tent, pitching it all in one go. This is great for keeping the tent out of the dirt and the interior dry when it’s raining. The asymmetric pole structure is simple and easy to figure out. With only one vestibule it was the fastest tent in the test to take from bag to moving in.
The single wall design and steep walls helped this tent shed rain and even a few inches of snow. Winds caused a bit of flap when the two large vents were open. But our main complaint was that the fly doesn’t project far enough over the door to prevent drips from landing inside. When I opened the fly in a steady rain the drops landed on the tent door and dripped into the interior.
Single-wall tents are notoriously steamy—without the tent body all the condensation collects inside the tent. To combat this MH gave the Hylo two big vents and skirted the side of the tent opposite the door. This did a better than average job of venting the tent, but also exposed it to winds. In a breezy mountain campsite, testers had to choose between a cold sleep and a wet tent. The single door, single vestibule design means one of the tent mates has to climb over the other to get in and out. And the door itself felt cramped, like we were squeezing through a cave.
How We Tested It
The tents in this test were used in the backcountry on rainy overnight trips in Utah, sea kayaking on Vancouver Island, and backpacking the B.C. Coast Range, along with some other forays. With over more than a month of nights in theses tents, we got to know them like they were our own bedroom.
For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our Best 1 Person Backpacking Tents of 2017, Best 3 Person Backpacking Tents of 2017, Best Weekend Backpacks of 2017, along with other hiking and camping related gear tests.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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