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Lightweight and Big Floor Space: the Black Diamond Mega Light and Mega Bug 4 Person Tents

Two of the best summer shelters that you'll find on the market

Large footprint shelters tend to be heavy and supported by strong, but heavy and complex pole systems required by cold-weather, expeditionary settings. But sometimes, enough room for three or four people and protection from rain and insects are needed when extreme weather conditions aren’t in the forecast, or lightweight shelters are needed.

Most summer alpinism and even tenting for cragging fits into this category. Tarps, however, leave you vulnerable to the ubiquitous Canadian problem of mosquitoes and black flies.

The Black Diamond Mega Light floorless tent
The Black Diamond Mega Light

The Black Diamond Mega Light floorless tent, (1.280 kg), paired with the Mega Bug tent, (1.68 kg), (sold separately), fit the bill. Fast set-up with a single extendable carbon fibre or aluminum pole, depending on which tent’s pole you bring, and stakes.

One of the set-up’s few limitations is that on open rock, you’ll have to tie it to rocks, but that’s the price of a lightweight  4.7 square metres of floor space and 1.7 metres of headroom at the high-point. Reflective adjustable guylines minimize stretch, prevent tripping and keep the whole rig stable.

The Mega Bug is a no-see-um mesh shelter with a bathtub floor, double-zip door and mesh light pocket. It comes with an extendable aluminum pole so you can use it alone as a bug shelter on clear nights, but for protection against the rain, you’ll want to add the Mega Light.

To minimize stakes needed, the stakeout points of the two tents match. A mesh pocket at the peak holds a light to illuminate the space. We found the set-up both on open rock and on earth fast and stable. The weight and compactness of the system are also amazing for such a large tent.

The Mega Bug