I don’t know what it is, but I just love tents. That being said, I’m also incredibly picky. I’ve been through many tents in my years, and so far I’ve only managed to hold onto two of them. Can the Mountain Light XT become my third?
About the Tent:
The idea driving the L.L. Bean Mountain Light XT 2 tent one of comfort, and livable space. This isn’t your ultra light tent, this is your hunker down in the storm tent. Wide, tall and spacious, the Mountain Light offers ample room to move around inside, and enjoy those long rainy evenings on the trail. Large vestibules and a near vertical set of side walls provides the most usable space possible. Packed up, you’re portable fortress weigh chime in at around 5 pounds, proving you with 33.75 square feet or interior room, and 7.5 feet in each of the vestibules. Current list price is $269.
What I liked:
The Mountain Light XT is roomy. This is great for shorter trips, overnighters, or when you know the weather is going to be particularly foul. This tent would also be perfect for those who demand more room. The vestibules are large and spacious as well, easily allowing me to store my pack and boots outside on one side, and cook with the fly open on the other. The Mountain Light is very rigid, and pitches great. It stands with a firm, taut pitch that doesn’t wince in the wind. The poles are well built and rugged. Ventilation is adequate. The meshy body allows for plenty of airflow around the tent. The horizontal strut across the tops widens the tent body out, allowing both parties to sit straight up without rubbing the tent. Several pockets inside allow for a little extra storage. The overall build quality is great, and it looks nice to boot. Despite the large size the tent is pretty light for what it is. The tent deals with condensation well enough. Setup is easy and straight forward. It pitches like a salesman.
What I didn’t like:
Some nit picking is always fun eh? The included tent stakes…yeah they’re pretty pitiful as usual. This isn’t surprising. I recommend swapping these out if you’re doing any serious trips, or deal with bad weather. You’re going to need a minimum of 6 stakes, but I recommend 8 as guying out the ends makes the tent more taut and greatly improved ventilation. You could use as many as 12 if you’re really in some rough weather (guy outs). No upper vents means more condensation. Although condensation isn’t much of an issue here, vents would have helped a lot. Minor quibble, no included gear loft, but there are mounts for them.
With it’s long, voluptuous curves, the Mountain Light XT 2 tent is one your can certainly take home to mother. It looks great, pitches easily, and is surprisingly light for it’s size. Although I do wish it was just a tad bit lighter, I’ll take the build quality over cheapening the structure. It’s roomy, comfortable, and reliable. It really hits all the majors marks. The only real complaint I have against the tent is a lack of air vents in the top, but proper staking out took care of most of my condensation problems in all but the soggiest of conditions. Burn the stakes, or give them to that cousin you hate. Otherwise, a great tent.