Mountain Hardwear Lightwedge 3 Review
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As we get busier and busier these days, getting away for a good camp trip has become more and more important to many of us. In this review, I’ll be talking about the Mountain Hardwear Lightwedge 3 person tent that I generally use for 2 people and 2 dogs. As I have added a few years to my age card which is still not that old, I have started appreciate the finer things in life such as having a little extra space in my tent, so, don’t judge me!
The Mountain Hardwear Lightwedge is a 3 person tent weighing in at 6 lb’s 13 oz including all the accessories. The tent comes with 2 pole systems, one that expands out including all 4 legs that go to the corners of the tent and a smaller pole system that connects near the opening to provide added height and shape. There are 6 regular tent stakes, 4 of which go in the corners and two that go up front to spread out the vestibule. This tent comes with a separate rain fly like most tents these days in case you want to carry only the tent and no fly, want to take off the fly when you want to get a little extra air or see the stars when you go to sleep, or only use the fly, tent poles, and footprint for more of a minimalist way of camping.
I tested this tent out a recent trip to the Grand Canyon where we stayed at the Mather Campground above the rim as well as a trip to Moab where we stayed at a campground near the river. My typical camp trips over the course of the season including a backpacking trip or two, a few campground outings, and many more primitive camping trips.
Room in the tent
The Mountain Hardwear Lightwedge 3 is 73 inches wide at the head of the tent and 58 inches wide at the foot of the tent. It sits at 92 inches long from head to toe. I found this to be comfortable for 2 people, but it would be a tight squeeze if you try to fit 3 regular sized males in the tent. I am 6’0 and my wife is 5’9 and we fit two sleeping bags, larger comfort style Thermarest, and a little bit of gear. We ended up putting some of our extra gear in our car as the tent became a little small once we stuffed our packs and clothes in. If you’re using smaller sleeping pads, this will help clear up some room for that extra 3rd person, dog, or gear.
If you find yourself wanting extra headroom in a tent, I found the tent to provide enough room to sit up in, but the tent can be a little difficult at times to get in and out of due to the zippered opening. I found that it wasn’t super easy to get in and out of when trying to crouch down and I am 6’0 , 173lbs.
The Lightwedge 3 was pretty easy to setup as far as putting up the tent goes. The tent pole construction is easy to understand, but if you plan on setting up for the first time in the dark, it might be good to do a trial setup in the daylight. I set it up in the daylight my first time, but having setup tents for the first time in the dark can be a pain, trust me I speak from experience!
Staking down the tent
One of the most noticeable features on the Mountain Hardwear Lightwedge 3 person tent is that the seems on the floor of the tent are lifted off the ground vs a traditional tent where the floor seems are closer to or sitting on the ground. This helps keep water from seeping in, in case you end up in a heavy rain storm or are in an area where the ground is saturated. With the first use, I became a little frustrated by this as I typically like to pound in all my tent stakes and use all tent stake loops. Since the floor goes up the side of the tent slightly, the tent stake loops on the side of the tent don’t work unless you attach a guy line. If no guy lines are used, the stake loops are too high and the stakes won’t make it into the ground. You typically only need these tent stakes in super harsh and windy weather, but it is good to know.
As far as stability goes with this tent, I found that it holds up very well for the conditions I tested this tent in. During my camping trips, I only ran into a small amount of rain and marginal wind, so I honestly wasn’t able to test this tent out in a heavy wind storm.
Tent comes with footprint
One of the nice things about this tent is that it includes a footprint that helps protect the tent floor from getting torn up by sticks, stones, and other small items that might poke through the tent floor. Typically a tent footprint needs to be purchased separately so consider this when looking at the price of the tent.
Overall, I have found the Mountain Hardwear Lightwedge 3 tent to have solid construction, but there are a few setbacks with this tent in my personal opinion that make it a top rated tent. For more information on the Lightwedge 3 and other Mountain Hardwear gear, please visit www.mountainhardwear.com