Part of an ongoing series on Northeast-based gear companies. I first profiled this fledgling company in 2011 and wanted to provide a quick update on their latest offerings, which continue to push the ultralight world of packs and shelters into hyperlight (and sometimes hyper-expensive) territory.
Case in point is the company's newest shelter: the UltaMid (pictured), a drool-worthy cuben fiber pyramid tent that weighs a mere 16.6 ounces (17.6 ounces with guylines) for the two-person version and 20.8 ounces (21.8 ounces with guylines) for the four-person style. (Like other floorless pyramid designs, you use a trekking pole for the center support.)
I'm a big fan of pyramid tents and am always excited to see new options come on the market. Now the UltaMid has set a new ultralight standard for this style of shelter, besting its nearest competitors (including the Mountain Hardwear Hoopla and Black Diamond Mega Light) by nearly a half pound or more.
How do they do it? Like all Hyperlite Mountain Gear shelters, the UltaMid is made from cuben fiber, a waterproof, ultralight, ultra-strong, and ultra-expensive fabric. How ultra-expensive? The UltaMid 2 retails for $650, the 4 sells for $800. That works out to roughly $40 per ounce of tent! Or, to put it another way, to gain the 6 ounces of weight savings over the Mountain Hardwear Hoopla (retail price: $350), you'll need to shell out an additional $300.
While it's unlikely that I'll fork over that kind of cash anytime soon, I am much more intrigued by the company's line of ultralight packs, which use a much less pricey cuben fiber/polyester hybrid material. The 28-ounce 2400 Windrider ($260) was awarded "Best Ultralight Pack" by Backpacker Magazine in 2011, but I'm more interested in the more recently released 30-ounce 3400 Windrider ($295, pictured), which offers substantially more capacity for minimal additional weight.
Other packs of note include the featherweight, ultra-simple 5.7-ounce daypack-sized Metro Pack ($128) and 3.2-ounce Stuff Pack ($96), which is essentially an ultralight stuff sack with shoulder straps.
Now five years old, the company has set up shop in a turn-of-the-century textile mill in Biddeford, where it manufactures all of its products.
And support your Northeast gear companies! Here are the 23 other companies I've profiled to date:
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.
- Peterboro Baskets (Peterborough, N.H.)
- Princeton Tec (Bordentown, N.J.)
- Worksman Cycles (Queens, N.Y.)
- Wild Things (North Conway, N.H.)
- Hubbard Blueberry Rakes (Jonesport, Maine)
- Vargo Outdoors (Lewisburg, Pa.)
- Evelo Electric Bicycles (New York, N.Y.)
- We-Flashy (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
- Equinox Gear (Williamsport, Pa.)
- Crazeeheads (Port Washington, N.Y.)
- Stephenson's Warmlite (Gilford, N.H.)
- Sterling Rope (Biddeford, Maine)
- New Balance (Boston, Mass.)
- Noble Biomaterials (Scranton, Pa.)
- STABILicers (Biddeford, Maine)
- Darn Tough Socks (Northfield, Vt.)
- Dermatone Sunscreen (Windsor, Ct.)
- Orion Signal and Survival Products (Easton, Md.)
- Nemo Equipment (Manchester, N.H.)
- New England Ropes (Fall River, Mass.)
- Jetboil (Manchester, N.H.)
- Ibex Outdoor Clothing (White River Junction, Vt.)
- Delorme (Yarmouth, Maine)
Labels: Backpacks, Shelters, Tents, Ultralight