Review: Mountain Hardwear Skyview 2 [ 2-man, 3 season convertible Tent ]

Product Description
It's no accident these tents are so popular: the simple, three-pole design makes for a surprisingly spacious interior without sacrificing the wind-shedding profile. This season, we changed the pole configuration (one of them now arches in a sleeve) to make the roof steeper, shedding snow and rain more easily. A really large overhead window provides excellent ventilation, and, just above it, a clear UVX window in the fly lets in light and a view. Zipping in the removable, ripstop cover converts the tent to four-season use. Two full-size doors allow unfettered entry/exit. Both have mesh or fabric options - choose between ventilation or weather protection/privacy.

Retail: $349. pad


Reviewed by: Manny E., a Backpacker from Austin,Texas
Date Reviewed: 7/17/2001 1:23:51 PM
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
BEST tent I've used...and I've pitched many a tent!
SKYVIEW 2- 1997 model(No Archway pole;only one UVX window -at the vestibule).
This is an awesome tent! It is really versatile;extremely well built; user friendly; almost BOMBPROOF.
Multi-functional plan: With the optional Skyview 2 footprint,you can use the rainfly and the tent poles to make a 'summer hut'!The poles attach to the rainfly,and the poles go into the footprint holes. Voila!! It's perfect for hot summers,summer thunderstorms,and lighter carry weight.
Plus- Mountain Hardwear warranties their Easton Aluminum poles,for life!!! That's good,if one of your poles bends due to use -not abuse.
I like the vestibule space;Two entry doorways;Ventilation;and zip-out skyview panel. It's awesome!!

These tents are made to last. As
far as I'm concerned,I'll never buy another manufacturer's tent!!

Customer Service:
I was hesitant to go with Mountain Hardwear --especially after owning a great NorthFace tent. And Mountain Hardwear was a newer company. But after seeing "Everest" at the IMAX theater,I noticed that all of the other tents,after a severe blizzard,were all broken,and torn-up! ....EXCEPT the Mountain Hardwear tents. That made a difference when it came time to buy a reppacement for my beloved (stolen) North Face 'Cicada'.

It was the best choice.

Similar Products Tried:
NorthFace Cicada. Too bad;it was one of the coolest designs!
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jeff, a Climber from CA
Date Reviewed: 6/20/2001 11:56:21 AM
 
 

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Summary:
What a great tent! More like a home away from home. It's perfect for two but could easily fit three. I'm totally hooked on vestibules now, especially when they are as spacious as this one is.
It's easy to set up and take down, but it helps to have two people to get it back in the bag. Even then it's a bit hard to get packed tight while out on the dirt. I usually wait until I get home and repack it nicely for the next trip.
I should mention that I only use this tent for car camping as it is rather heavy(9+lbs) If you split it up between two people it'd be a fine backpacking tent, though.
It really feels durable when you are inside and the wind is blowing. There are enough tie-down points, it could survive a tornado.
It is expensive, but I looked around and found it for $100 off but I think it's worth every penny of the retail price if you are anywhere where you want the best protection!

Customer Service:
I've only dealt with them once and they were great!

Similar Products Tried:
A few friend's tents of various quality, but none of them compare with the Skyview!
 

 
  Reviewed by: chris, a Paddler from manassas va
Date Reviewed: 5/11/2001 10:10:33 PM
 
 

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Summary:
What an amazing tent! I'm severely impressed with all the toys. The zip-out roof panel is a godsend for ventilation, and the fact that MH purposely uses BLACK mesh for vision is a nice touch. The vestibule is huge, big enough in fact to sit up in with headroom to spare. Nice windows as well, but I noticed fogging/condensation is a problem. Is this hotel really listed as a 2 person? More like 2 plus 2 dogs and gear. Definitely not a tent for light backpacking being close to 10 pounds, but throw it in the wagon and head for the hills!

A couple of hints...remember this is a LARGE tent which takes up a lot of floor space, so plan accordingly when pitching. The footprint is recommended too to save the floor from holes. Plan to spend about 20 minutes setting up at first until you get the hang of all those poles and where they go in the dark.

Customer Service:
I emailed a question about the fly, and I got a prompt reply that I could send it in for free modification. Wow!

Similar Products Tried:
Eureka, cheapo Wal-Mart tents
 

 
  Reviewed by: Dan, a Backpacker from Tampa
Date Reviewed: 3/19/2001 1:36:01 PM
 
 

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Summary:
Great buy. Have had very good luck in good and bad weather. I pack alone and love the space and ability to stay dry and still cook a full meal under the huge vestibule. Plenty of circulation with all the windows. Have not been caught in a huge storm but have confidence that it will handle it well, even heavy snow. Only thing is the weight, but it is worth the trade to have my own hotel on my back and know I will be confortable if i am hold up for a day or two. Recomend it to anyone who can carry it.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jeff, a Mountaineer from California
Date Reviewed: 2/26/2001 11:57:01 AM
 
 

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Summary:
Although I haven't used this tent for anything other than light backbacking it will be my tent of choice on Mt Shasta in May. I do have to say something about their customer service though. Here's the story:
I put up the tent in the Emmigrant Wilderness and realized that they had only put in 4 guy line tensioners and about 30 peices of guy line. I came home shopped around for just the tensioners with no luck. Nobody carried them. I called MH and told my story to them. They asked me for my Name, address, and the store that I bought it from. He replied that he was sending 8 to my house that day!! I couldn't believe it.

Customer Service:
It was GREAT!!!!

Similar Products Tried:
North Face VE-25
Sierra Designs Stretch
 

 
  Reviewed by: Bryan, a Backpacker from MN
Date Reviewed: 1/20/2001 1:15:29 AM
 
 

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Summary:
Damn good tent. I have taken my Skyview 2 all over the Olympics and love it. I easily fit 3 people (myself and 2 other large males) and gear without a problem. Never been wet, never had wind problems, always had great ventilation. The only drawback is the weight, not very significant. I'll gladly take an extra pound or two for the room and bombproof MH construction. The 3-4 season convertability is definitely true to form. Factory sealed seams are great. Quick, easy setup/takedown is really appreciated when you're getting soaked.
Bottom Line: worth the $$, worth the weight.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Brandon, a Backpacker from Salt Lake City, Utah
Date Reviewed: 1/19/2001 11:22:20 PM
 
 

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Summary:
I have had this tent for about three and a half years and I have loved everything about it....well almost everything. It is sealed tight from the elements. This became very apparent to me when I spent five stormy days in the High Uinta Mountains here in Utah. We spent a lot of time waiting out down pours in the tent and we did not get a single drop on us. It was amazing. I also like the versatility it offers. Adding the rain fly converts the tent into a sturdy winter tent (again I can vouch for this) and in warm months it breathes really well with all of the mesh vents. My only complaint is the weight of the tent. It weighs in at somewhere near ten pounds. This can be heavy, depending on the type of terrain you hike. However, it is well worth it if you get caught in bad weather.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Bill Berens, a Paddler from St. Louis, MO
Date Reviewed: 9/25/2000 7:40:24 AM
 
 

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Summary:
I love this tent. We do quite a bit of hot weather camping paddle trips. One vital point for I was looking for when picking out a tent was ventilation. I have asthma, and in hot weather, even a little breeze at night makes all the difference.
The circulation in the skyview was great. Plus there is plenty of room for my wife and dog (a Lab).
With the rain fly on, you are more than protected and dry from any storm, at least any that we have faced.
It fits well into our kayaks and is easily put up in no time flat. It does take some adjusting to get the rain fly on snug, but it's huge vestibule is worth it.
Definetly worth the money to be able to get a good nights sleep without feeling like there is no air.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Bill, a Backpacker from Dallas, Tx, USA
Date Reviewed: 5/26/2000 11:45:38 PM
 
 

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Summary:
I just bought it for a trip to the Sierra Nevada in June...more later...this in response to brents points below.
Why would you need to close the netting if the doors are closed? With the netting on the inside, it is easy to tuck it away, neatly, with the doors closed. Why would snow build up on the roof vent ( it is on the main tent body)...if it is cold and snowy? You would have the rain fly on. Now, this tent is not meant for high-altitude mountaineering, like Everest (eh-hum!) but based on actual user experience it is great for bad weather while camping in the mountains. As far as weight? This is going to be my house for 2 weeks at a time, I don't care.

Customer Service:
None, yet.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Brent, a Backpacker from Dallas, Texas USA
Date Reviewed: 5/18/2000 7:21:56 PM
 
 

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Summary:
I did not buy this tent for the following reason. Before you buy it, note that the doors have the no-see-um mesh on the INSIDE. This means you cant adjust venting without opening the mesh to get to the nylon door. MH says it is to keep snow from collecting on the mesh and melting into the zipper, but I think it will collect on the big roof vent and leak in that way anyway. Also the mesh and the nylon on the doors do not zip together so you will have to deal with two zippers to get in/out unless you tie one or the other back.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Lyman Kiser, a Backpacker from Raleigh, NC, USA
Date Reviewed: 3/21/2000 5:30:41 PM
 
 

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Summary:
I recently spent a stormy night in this tent with a friend and two large wet dogs. The spacious vestibule was very nice, we were dry and warm. The wind was sustanined 30 mph w/temp. 17 F. I got whacked in the head about 5 times by the tent poles while lying in my bag when wind gusts flattened the tent, but to MHW's credit, it stood back up every time. Better have bomber anchors on the vestibule though b/c it really catches air. This tent is heavy, but incredibly spacious. If you get the footprint, you can set it up w/just the rain-fly and shed some pounds. The set up is difficult though, and there are scant attachment points to the pole. seems a little sketchy for windy situations.
Overall, this is a very adaptable tent that goes up easy, is truly convertible, and an all around great shelter for someone who likes solid comfort on the trail or at the trail head.

Customer Service:
I have sent stuff back to MHW for repairs. No questions, great work, and no charges.

Similar Products Tried:
Eureka tent
REI Tent
Wal-mart tent
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jonathan, a Backpacker from Oregon
Date Reviewed: 3/6/2000 7:07:00 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
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Summary:
This is the ideal tent for both winter and summer camping. I really wanted a four season tent that could be used in the summer, and this is it. It's roomy, has excellent ventilation, is well-made, and quick to set up.
Best of all are its doors and vestibule. With two doors on the vestibule and one on the tent, you can have one door open and be protected from the wind - and still use the third one.
This is an incredibly versatile design. We searched many a tent before finding this one, and after a weekend in the snow on Mt Rainier - we have nothing but good things to say.

Similar Products Tried:
Eureka, North Face
 

 
  Reviewed by: Britt Byrd, a Backpacker from Charlotte, NC USA
Date Reviewed: 1/5/2000 4:20:00 PM
 
 

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ValueRating:

Summary:
This tent is great except for its weight. It easily holds my sons and myself. It is a large two person tent. Quality is excellent like all Mountain Hardware products. I purchased after covering the other reviews here and finding it on sale. I might later get the SkyView 1.5 or ThruHiker!
 

 
  Reviewed by: Tommy, a Backpacker from Sacramento, CA USA
Date Reviewed: 1/5/2000 12:27:35 PM
 
 

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Summary:
I got this tent for myself and a "princess" that had never been camping before. I knew I needed luxury, and MH seems to be a company for yuppies who want to play "backpacker." I must say, I was schooled. This tent is SO comfortable for extended rainy periods, and yet SO airy for dry trips that the weight (the only drawback) can be easily overlooked. The fly and poles weigh about as much as the tent body, so it's easy to split between two. And what MH doesn't tell you: you can take the tent down from the inside while the fly is still freestanding!!! The bells and whistles continue to amaze me. Oh, and this tent has stood up to 50 mph winds, sideways (the worst direction for a tent), and without the fly, which provides much better wind shear.

Similar Products Tried:
Compared with TexSport (Wal-Mart kind of stuff) and higher end Euraka, MH walks away. Pricy, though.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Maxx, a Backpacker from North Shore, Mass
Date Reviewed: 12/20/1999 2:17:09 PM
 
 

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Summary:
This tent is an incredible 3 and some season tent! Held up in strong winds, and kept us dry in New Jersey's monsoon-like showers. A little heavy for my small frame, but worth it. Roomy for 2, enough for 3, nice large vestibule too! Its the perfect tent, and worth the price.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Guido Panduri, a Climber from Italy
Date Reviewed: 12/1/1999
 
 

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Summary:
Tried in Patagonia for a month: great stability in very strong winds, great capacity for two persons plus gear (you can store it inside), great ventilation (never had condensation). The windows is for me unnecessary since it get dirty quite soon and you can't see much from inside. The top is a little bit too flat and allow snow to stay. Quite expensive. It is a little bit too expensive but I don't regret any dollar spent on this tent!
 

 
  Reviewed by: Ian, a Backpacker from Wisconsin
Date Reviewed: 10/22/1999
 
 

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Summary:
I looked all over for the same features in a comparably priced tent and could not find one. I really love mine. pitched in winter the first time and held up great. I have used it several times since and never fails me. quick one person set-up (primary reason for buying) and easy take down are great. Weight is a penalty but excels in it's versatility, I also was looking for year round usage and it works great for that too.

Similar Products Tried:
Looked at an assembled moss titan and didn't like the pole sleeves for one-person set-up.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jon, a Backpacker from MO
Date Reviewed: 10/7/1999
 
 

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ValueRating:

Summary:
Great 3 season tent, especially summer. I bit pricy, but you get what you pay for usually.

Similar Products Tried:
Jansport 4season
 

 
  Reviewed by: Mike, a Backpacker from Springfield, Il
Date Reviewed: 10/4/1999
 
 

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Summary:
This tent is roomy, almost too roomy for 2 people, but the space is great. It's a little on the heavy side for a backpacking tent. The vestibule is very spacious, but wish I could leave it home sometimes. A little pricey but holds up well in storms, holds up in heavy winds, and no leaks. Overall rating A-

Customer Service:
Very good people to work with.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Danny Nathan, a Climber from Clayton MO USA
Date Reviewed: 9/13/1999
 
 

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ValueRating:

Summary:
This is a superb tent, especially for three season and then a little bit use. The huge ""skylight"" is a great feature, especially on those clear starry nights. The tent is extremely roomy. I would venture to say that the two person design could hold three quite comfortably. If you can afford this tent, buy it! You will not be sorry.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Ron, a Backpacker from Broomall, PA
Date Reviewed: 6/23/1999
 
 

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Summary:
Excellent tent that adapts well to many conditions. Ventilates extremely well, very large vestibule. Pitches very taut. Only complaint was with the fly, which prior to 99 wasn't glued and taped at the factory, and required seam sealing. 99 model is factory glued and taped.

Similar Products Tried:
TNF VE25 Walrus Windshear
 

 
  Reviewed by: Chuck, a Backpacker from New Haven, CT, USA
Date Reviewed: 6/22/1999
 
 

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Summary:
A fantastic 3-4 season tent!! Set-up is easy (less than five minutes singlehanded) and once up, this tent is VERY stable. Doesn't budge at all in winds. Unlike other nylon clip tents I've used, the canopy remains very taught after the tent is set. The inside is very spacious and is luxuriously large for 2 adults and a large German short-haired pointer (75 lbs.) Could hold three adults but they'd have to be close friends. The vestibule is truly HUGE and the UVX window adds a nice touch. It provides many entrace options, is a good place for storing gear and a great place to cook in bad weather. Plenty of organizer pockets and hang loops. But the best part is the sky panel during fair weather. The view of the night sky is BREATHTAKING! And theventilation, especially without the fly is phenomenal. Construction is MH bulletproof. I got a '98 at a close-out steal. Otherwqise, this tent is a little pricey, a little heavy but will take you anywhere you wanna go, at any time. Deinitely a keeper!

Similar Products Tried:
Eureka, White Stag
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jeff Hylok, a Climber from Stevensville, MI
Date Reviewed: 1/13/1999
 
 

Overall Rating:
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Summary:
The Skyview 2 is excellent all around tent for three season use in the mountains or light winter use. Routinely, I fit two medium sized adults (5'10"") and myself (6'3"", 210lbs) without a problem. For two people there is plenty of interior room to store gear inside the tent. The vestibule is huge, which allows for gear storage along with cooking space during bad weather. Ventilation is as good as you'll ever find, with two large doors, a zip-out roof panel and a small rear vent window. My only three drawbacks are: the footprint size (not for alpine ledges), weight(the bells and whistles are nice, but have a price), and the tent has a flat spot on top looking to collect snow. All of these are all minor though, compared to the function and comfort of the tent. In all, the quality is excellent and I would definitly recomend this and other Mountain hardware tents to friends.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Rock, a Backpacker from Littleton, Colorado, USA
Date Reviewed: 1/11/1999
 
 

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Summary:
This tent is the most versitile thing I own. It stands up to wind, rain, blizzards, you name it. It's got room enough for two big guys with some room to spare for gear, as well as a very large, nicely designed vestibule. The tent has two doors, as does the vestibule. The thing's expensive, but you don't need another tent unless your going to nepal.


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