Gear Review: Mountain Ultra 4 Tent from Teton Sports

Finding a backpacking tent that’s suitable for a family is just about has hard as finding a needle in a haystack.

I should know – we looked for one for years and came up empty.  Sure, there are a handful of tents out there that could technically fit a family, but with a $400 price tag, well suddenly they became a whole lot less family friendly, ya know?  So for years, we smashed three of us in a two man tent.  Then we put four of us in that same tent.  Finally, when there were five of us, we gave up on backpacking tents altogether and started hammock backpacking.  Well our most recent trip was five days long, so a tent was no longer optional – it was a necessity.

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Well, mother nature wasn’t agreeing with us much on that trip and the weather was horrible.  Great for gear testing, but tragic for a family with four kids under eight who were backpacking.  So, more than any other piece of gear we took, the Mountain Ultra 4 tent got put to the test.  Honestly, after all the abuse it went through, it gets our stamp of approval even though we had a few glitches with it during testing.

 Mountain Ultra 4 Tent from Teton Sports

The first night of our trip we had torrential rain.  Honestly, it rained so much that the pot and bowls we left sitting outside were overflowing when we awoke.  I was terrified that we were going to be soaked, because that’s a ton of rain for a tent to keep out.  Thankfully, although it wasn’t perfect, we only had one spot on the tent that leaked.  Yes, we had a sleeping bag with a wet spot, but honestly with the rain we encountered, I thought we’d wake up in a flood.
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Technical Specs:

  • Dimensions: 98″ x 83″ x 59″
  • Packed Dimensions: 25″ x 7.5″ x 7.5″
  • Total Pack Weight: 3.3 kg
  • Trail Pack Weight: 3.1 kg
  • Rainfly: 75D 3mm Ripstop 3000mm
  • Inner Tent Shell: Micro Mesh
  • Capacity: 4 person
  • Doors and Vestibule(s): 2
    Retail price $200

Other great features:

– Two pole dome design is strengthened with a cross pole at the top making the tent more stable.
–  Footprint is included.
–  Fantastic pockets in the doors for keeping stuff organized and off the ground.
–  Two vestibules for gear storage.
–  Large enough to actually sleep four adults, or in our case 2 adults and 4 kids (we put two kids end to end).  For a family, it’s actually a very spacious backpacking tent (especially compared to the days that we had four people in a two man tent…)

Things to improve:

–  Although the bathtub floor works well for rain, we wished the sides were a little higher to stop wind from coming through the rest of the mesh.

We did run into one other problem.  On the last night of our trip…well, I honestly don’t remember that much of it because I was SO. DEAD. TIRED.  Yes, that’s what a vacation with four kids will do to you.  All I know was that a few times during the night, I woke up to the tent being blown flat and onto my head for a few seconds (something that’s pretty common with dome tents in the wind).  We were so tired that all we did was stake the corners out, and when we woke up, we realized that the wind had bend two of our tent poles.Having never had tent poles bend before, I contacted Teton Sports.

Immediately they asked for my address so they could send me a replacement set.

Yes, you read that right.  No DIY repair, no hoops to jump through, no nasty customer service.  Just a company trying to make the best products possible, and truly wanting their customers to have the best experiences they can with their gear.  They build things so well, that they can offer a lifetime warranty as well.  So, did those bent tent poles create much of a problem?  Not really.  However, the fantastic response of Teton Sports will now make me want to always recommend their products.

So whether you’re looking for a backpacking tent, or a new sleeping bag we’d recommend Teton Sports (and you’re wallet will be thankful you did).

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