Mountain Hardwear Outpost 2 Review
Cons: Not strong enough for expedition use in the greater ranges
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mountain Hardwear Outpost is a relatively light model geared towards summertime mountaineering, multi-day ski tours, and casual snow camping trips. It offers excellent headroom, but does sacrifice some strength for these attributes; as such, it isn't a shelter we'd want to use in fierce winds, heavy snow loads, or extreme conditions.
This tent provides modest strength. This strength is adequate for summertime mountaineering or shorter multi-day ski trips in the lower-48 or Southern Canada. It isn't strong enough for expedition use on peaks like Denali or Mt. Logan, nor is it a great basecamp tent for use in places like the Ruth Gorge or on higher peaks like Aconcagua.
It offers decent headroom, which makes it more susceptible to damage from higher winds. It also has fewer guy points than most similar-sized tents, and very few of the guyline attachment points were very high, minimizing their effectiveness.
The Outpost is mediocre at dealing with heavier snow loads and is truly a softer 4-season design. It's effective at keeping its occupants dry in the pouring rain, but if it snows more than six inches and there are significant winds, you'll want to frequently knock off access snow. It will also be beneficial to spend extra time ensuring the guylines are taught.
While the Outpost isn't one of the stronger 4-season models, it does offer nice headroom. With a 42" peak internal ceiling, it's unique in that it keeps its peak height for the majority of its length.
We felt the livability was a major advantage over the MSR Access 2, which is slightly lighter but far less roomy feeling.
The Outpost 2 is one of the more comfortable models to hang out in. Its peak height traverses the length of the tent, making it feel roomier than its dimensions might lead you to believe.
Ease of Set-up
The Outpost uses a combination of sleeves and pole clips. Its two cross-length poles have to be inserted in a specific direction so the third pole can clip to a junction point with a snap/clip for strength. There's a slight learning curve in making sure the cross-length poles are inserted in a specific direction, but overall, it was pretty straightforward.
The Outpost is respectably durable, offering a coating that helps its fly stand up to the alpine sun. It also has a floor that is thick enough to resist puncturing.
The Outpost is extremely versatile and can be used for most backcountry trips. It's ideal for lighter duty 4-season trips, such as summertime mountaineering in the Cascades, Tetons, Sierra, or the Canadian Rockies (or other similar ranges). It performs well for summertime mountaineering objectives, and is light and comfortable enough for most 3-season backpacking trips — a combination that many outdoor enthusiasts are looking for.
We like how compact and light it is, and enjoyed using it on multi-day ski tours. It's okay for casual snow camping, but it isn't strong enough that we'd want to endure a true midwinter storm in a place exposed to higher winds or deeper drifts. It also isn't strong enough to use on higher peaks such as Denali or Mt. Logan, nor would it be our first choice for use even as a base camp tent while trying to climb the lower peaks in Alaska.
The Outpost is on par with similar lighter-duty 4-season tents. Its versatility for use across three and four seasons applications adds to its value, and its price reflects that.
Perfect for modest four season adventures, the Outpost is lightweight and worthy of above treeline camps, as long as conditions aren't too burly. It gives up some strength for improved weight and packed size, and has a taller internal height with lots of headroom across the length of the tent. It has the ability to cross over for use on backpacking trips and is a roommy four season shelter.
— Ian Nicholson