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Mountain Hardwear EV2 Review

   
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  • Currently 5.0/5
Overall avg rating 5.0 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: March 8, 2015
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Pros:  Second strongest two person single wall tent, most comfortable two person single wall tent, pitches quick and easy from outside, great for tall people.
Cons:  Poor ventilation in calm conditions, poor ccondensation management heavier than ultralight bivy tents.
Best Uses:  High altitude and general mountaineering.
User Rating:       (0.0 of 5) based on 1 reviews
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
Review by: Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ November 3, 2014  
Overview
The EV 2 was conceived of by Mountain Hardwear designers and Ed Viesturs, the first American to climb the world's 14 8000-meter peaks. This is our second highest rated single wall tent. It strikes a fine balance between low weight, superior strength and above average comfort among single wall tents. This is a stellar expedition tent for bold winter pursuits, namely high altitude mountaineering. The EV 2's primary advantage over other single wall tents is its longer length and increased strength from a third pole. With the exception of low-lying vents that can collect spindrift, the tent performs very well in severe winter conditions. We recommend this only for use in below freezing temperatures.

Check out our complete Four Season Tent Review to compare all 24 tents tested. Also consider a floorless tent our testers' favorite type of shelter for 99 percent of fast and light trips found in our Ultralight Tent Review.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Performance Comparison


Ease of Setup


The EV2 uses three DAC Featherlite NSL poles that pitch from the outside with 38 locking and non-locking plastic clips. Pitching the tent from the outside is easy and quick. We prefer this design to tents that pitch from the inside because it's much easier in high winds and the interior remains drier. We give the EV2 a 9 out of 10 points in this category.

The caveat is that the tent is designed for use on snow and is hard to tension properly when pitched on dirt. We find that it's best to tie the mid level side panels out at an angle that's close to horizontal. Use lots of cord on these points.

Weather Resistance


This is the second strongest single wall tent we've tested, being only marginally less wind resistant than the Black Diamond Fitzroy. Like on the Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2 the EV2 uses Dimension Polyant X-PAC TX07 fabric to reinforce all of the seams. This increases strength and lets light in, thereby reducing claustrophobia. The tent is bomber in high winds.

Like many expedition style mountaineers, Ed Veisters likes to establish a high camp and leave gear inside a tent, then sleep down low and return later. Similarly, he also likes to leave a tent pitched while he rockets off (read: slogs very slowly) on a 8,000m summit attempt. On such occasions it's very important that a tent remain in place in the side of the mountain. If it doesn't, a climber might die. This is what the EV2 is designed for. It's super bomber yet still respectably light.

Unfortunately, the tent's lower vents can let in a considerable amount of spindrift in if you aren't careful. For this reason we recommend pitching the tent with the rear end into the wind. When the wind changes direction, like it often does, we often rush to close the low vents to stymie the incoming spindrift.

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Mountain Hardwear EV2. Notice the burly 3 pole design with locking clips at pole intersections and reinforced translucent panels.
Credit: Max Neale

Livability


The EV2's integrated vestibule is a key feature that separates it from the competition. By incorporating the vestibule into the main tent body, the EV2 shaves off a few ounces and makes the interior much more spacious. Thirty-one square feet of floor space provide ample room for two people. The integrated vestibule also adds crucial length that makes the tent more comfortable for tall people and provides a space to store boots and other gear items. (The EV2 is 105 in. long and most other single wall tents are around 90 in. long)

So, too, is the tent reasonably tall. A near horizontal roofline allows two people to sit up and face each other. The EV2 feels much larger than other tents with the same floor area. Four pockets provide ample storage and a watertight port in the floor can be used to remove frozen condensation and snow. Two windows and the translucent TX07 panels let in a tremendous amount of light and allow you to check up on the weather. The EV2 is the cheeriest, most livable single wall tent we've tested. This is by far our favorite single wall tent for tall people.

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The Mountain Hardwear EV2 is one of the cheeriest single wall tent we've tested. The Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite, our Best Buy sleeping pad, is also pictured.
Credit: Max Neale

Durability


The EV 2 is super tough. We give it an 8 out of 10 in this category. It us much more durable than superlight tents like the Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2. Our comparative scoring includes double wall bomb shelters that that are tougher than the EV2 and take the 9 and 10 point scores in this category; The EV2 is tougher than average among single wall tents but not as tough as any of the Bibler/Black Diamond tents like the Fitzroy, Eldorado or Ahwahnee.

Weight/Packed Size


A 2013 update to poles and fabrics reduced weight slightly. The tent now weighs 4 lb. 14 oz. without the stakes. This is very light considering the tent's abundant space and bomber weather protection.

Weight is generally the number one priority for climbers and it's becoming more common to use an even lighter and less durable tent for climbing exploits, particularly those done alpine style. For this reason, our testers much prefer the Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2 over the EV2.

We find that a lot of people purchase a single wall climbing tent for backpacking but we do not recommend this. Instead, consider one of the tents found in our Backpacking Tent Review or, if saving weight is your top priority, even for winter ski trips, consider a model in our Ultralight Tent Review.

Adaptability


The tent is not adaptable, i.e. it must be pitched the same way every time. The EV2 is not designed to be nor is a good option for moist low elevation three season camping because of its poor condensation management. While more adaptable than the similar bomber Black Diamond Fitzroy, we didn't think it handled a variety of conditions as well as the Ahwahnee or many of the single wall tents. It does kick ass in most mountain and winter environments, which is what most folks who are looking at this tent will do with it.

Features


This tent is dialed in and has fantastic features. Some might complain about insufficient ventilation but we've found that when the tent is used in alpine conditions the "pumping" effect of wind hitting the tent serves to circulate air well. Condensation might only be a problem in still, calm conditions. Then, we suggest opening the door part way so moisture vapor from your breath can escape. The EV2 is not intended to be used in above freezing conditions.

Some other single wall tents are more versatile because they have a removable vestibule that can increase comfort (see Nemo Tenshi and Sierra Designs Convert, etc.). We find that feature to be useful in some situations, but for actually getting down to the business the climbing the vestibule is the first thing to be left at home.

Some other tents have points for you to tie into the wall and sleep in your harness inside the tent. If you're after a techy high-risk route that feature is likely worthwhile. See the Nemo Tenshi and Rab Latok Ultra.

Best Application


High altitude and general mountaineering with solid general alpine climbing performance.

Value


The tent performs very well at one activity and relatively poorly at all others. Due to its limited versatility, we feel that other tents are a better value than the EV2. However, if you're going after some seriously high peaks then this tent could be the bomb.

Conclusion


One of the strongest single wall tents for high altitude mountaineering.

Other Versions and Accessories


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Mountain Hardwear EV 3
  • Three person version of the EV Series
  • One additional pole also makes for more sturdy design
  • $850

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Mountain Hardwear Trango 2
  • Best Buy Award Winner!
  • Super strong double wall expedition tent
  • Large front and rear vestibules
  • $600

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Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2
  • Top Pick Award Winner!
  • Two person, single wall alpine climbing tent
  • Lightweight and compressible but tight on space
  • $550

EV 2 Footprint - $55

Ian Nicholson, Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 8, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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Write a Review on this Gear

Mar 8, 2015 - 04:52pm
 
Ascender4S · Skier · Seattle, WA
This is a supplement to the OGL review. I owned the newer version of this tent that is significantly improved over the prior one. The new version is much tauter-basically drum tight, the windows are in a better position, and overall, the tent just feels more secure. Its an excellent tent.

However, when all is said and done, the design of the entrance to this tent is, for me, one glaring weakness. (I am not one of the detractors from the "integrated" vestibule design used in the EV tents, though, not having a barrier between the interior of the tent and the outside when entering or exiting the tent has its downsides). Be that as it may, the problem is that the way the vestibule panel opens, its basically impossible to set a stove up in the area of the open floor panel built into the vestibule area and try to cook without putting the tent fabric above at risk of melting/catching fire. (I certainly would not recommend trying to cook with a jetboil or reactor stove hanging from the ceiling of this tent - there simply is no margin for error with the material used in this tent.)

I liked the tent so much, I tried to figure out how to jigger things around in order to be able to safely operate a jetboil from inside the vestibule, but it simply cannot practically be accomplished without taking an unacceptable level of risk of catastrophe. In fact, its easier to cook out of the Marmot Alpinist, which was born with vestibule envy.

On that basis, I reluctantly sold the EV2. The EV3 has a much better vestibule, is more spacious, is stronger and is overall more livable. But, it comes with a 2 lb weight penalty over the EV2. Its a close call, but worth it on trips where a bivy tent (a la the Direkt2) is not enough shelter.

Still, if cooking in the shelter of a vestibule is not an important consideration, the EV2 is a terrific tent for alpine wilderness trips where conditions are predictably cold and/or arid.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Mountain Hardwear EV2
Credit: Mountain Hardwear
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