The New EV 2 vs. the Previous Version
We contacted the manufacturer, and they informed us that the EV 2 has been updated for 2017. The changes lie in the materials of the canopy and floor. While the materials are meant to improve their strength, the weight has also increased several ounces. Check out the side-by-side comparison below, with the latest EV 2 pictured on the left and its predecessor pictured on the right.
Here's a summary of the key differences between the new 2017 EV 2 and the previous version.
- New canopy material — The canopy now consists of a 30D Nylon Ripstop 1200mm PU fabric, intended to make it stronger.
- New floor material — The floor material is now 70D Nylon 190T Taffeta 10000mm Ether type PU/SIL, increasing in density and potentially strength from the previous canopy of 40D nylon.
- Increased Weight — Mountain Hardwear claims the new weight of this model is five ounces more than the older model.
- Guylines — Mountain Hardwear has changed the attachment of the side guylines to the wall of the tent. They now attach to the side wall of the tent in two places before joining together in a "Y" shape. The attachment points are also higher up on the tent wall than in the older model.
As we test all products in hand, the assessments below reflect the older version of the EV 2 until we have a chance to fully test this new version.
Hands-On Review of the EV 2
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.
The EV2 sets up extremely easily using plastic clips located on the outside of the tent to hold the poles: because this is a single wall tent and there is no fly to put on the EV2 is one of the straight-up easiest tents to set up in our review.
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.
The EV2 very pretty well for its overall weather resistance and storm worthiness. Its steep sides shed snow well, its 3 pole design was plenty strong for most trips into the greater ranges and with the exception of the Hilleberg Jannu it out preformed all the other 2 and 3-pole models for weather resistance. That said if pure storm protection is your primary concern for extended expedition climbing we'd still likely go with The North Face Mountain 25, Mountain Hardwear Trango 2, Hilleberg Tarra, or Black Diamond Fitzroy.
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.
Notice the burly three pole design of this product with locking clips at pole intersections and reinforced translucent panels.
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)
Due to its integrated vestibule design and relatively high internal peak hight; the EV2 was easily among the most livable single wall models we tested and even felt slightly more spacious than the award winning Jannu. We'd certainly rather be forced to spend time in this tent over a Dirkt 2, an Black Diamond Eldorado, or BD Firstlight. the only thing we didn't like as much about the EV for livability is it's fabric didn't breath or handle condensation as well as other single wall models like the ones from Black Diamond Fitzroy, Ahwahnee, and Eldorado.
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.
The EV2 offers respectable durability. It is on the lighter side and in our experience don't think it holds up as well against UV damage and overall cut resistance as several heavier models but think this is only a small difference.
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.
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.
As single wall 4-season tents go the EV2 is certainly on the more versatile side featuring respectable ventilation compared to many models like the Black Diamond I-Tent. While this tent is at home high in the mountains whether climbing or ski touring, it is just okay for warmer 3-season use. It works but something like the Black Diamond Ahwahnee is better.
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.
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.
The EV 2 sports a pretty unique design in that the vestibule is connected to the main body of the tent. This is cool because it makes the tent feel a fair amount more spacious by adding a respectable amount of length. If you want the vestibule open to dig out; a zipper allows you to do this, but in reality our testers just appreciated the additional internal space.
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.
Tall people will especially love this tent particularly when compared to most other single wall models which tend to be a lot shorter.
High altitude and general mountaineering with solid general alpine climbing performance.
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.
The Mountain Hadwear EV 2 pitches using external plastic. We found this to be one of the easiest single wall models to pitch in our review. The external clips mean to you odn't have to crawl into the tent to pitch it from the inside saving you time and keep snow out. They also make the tent less vulnerable to strong winds while pitching it where pole sleeves an briefly turn your shelter into a huge kite.
One of the strongest single wall tents for high altitude mountaineering.