This article first appeared on TheTrek.The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 2P Tent is an ultralight and durable shelter designed for hikers seeking lightweight reliability. HMG is known for producing high-quality gear using cutting-edge materials and construction techniques, and the Unbound 2P is no exception.
This tent is similar to other two-person shelters in terms of its A-frame shape, DCF construction, and dual trekking pole support system, and it is natural to compare the Unbound 2P with the Zpacks Duplex Zip. However, it distinguishes itself by incorporating premium features and design elements. The tent aims to provide a stripped-down, high-performance option tailored precisely to meet the needs of minimalist outdoor enthusiasts and lightweight thru-hikers.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 2P At-a-Glance
Weight: 24 ounces | 680 grams (stakes required, not included in weight)
Materials: DCF5 on walls (0.5oz/sqyd), DCF8 on floor (0.8oz/sqyd), no-see-um mesh
Floor Dimensions: 48″ x 90″
Peak Height: 48″
Area: 28 sqft
Country of Origin: Mexico
Circumstances of Use
I shared this shelter with a friend during a traverse of the Appalachian Trail’s 100-Mile Wilderness in Maine in July. We experienced both sunshine and heavy rain during the trip, allowing us to fully test out the waterproofness, spaciousness, and ventilation of the shelter.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 2P Features
- Water protection: Fully taped seams combined with the impermeability of DCF keep this shelter waterproof, at least when new.
- Bathtub floor: The enclosed single-wall design and bathtub floor protect from rain from above as well as wind-blown rain.
- Zippered vestibules: Two #3 YKK Aquaguard zippers securely close the vestibule doors, and magnetic door toggles keep them furled in nice conditions.
- Bug protection: Opposing walls of no-see-um mesh open with #3 YKK zippers. Other mesh panels at the head and foot ensure that the living area is completely enclosed.
- Stake requirement: Staking is possible at 10 reinforced tie-outs, and 6 are needed at a minimum. It pitches with two 125cm trekking poles.
- Organization: Three internal ridgeline gear attachment loops, and two mesh pockets.
- Ventilation: Two peak vents provide some ventilation even when the vestibule doors are completely zipped closed. Temperature differential and high humidity can lead to condensation forming on a shelter’s inner walls, and single-wall tents are particularly prone to this issue. Without adequate airflow, vapor exhausted from sleepers raises the interior humidity, and HMD aimed to mitigate this effect by including vents.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 2P Pros
Spaciousness: The Unbound 2P tent offers 28 sqft of interior space, accommodating two adults with full-sized sleeping pads and providing room to sit up comfortably. It also includes two large vestibules for gear storage totaling more than 15 sqft. Interior pockets and gear loops offer additional organizational options. For a single hiker, it’s a palace.
Durability: The Unbound 2P utilizes DCF, a strong, tear-resistant, and highly water-resistant material. It is strategically constructed with heavier laminate on the bathtub floor for durability and lighter-weight DCF on the canopy to reduce weight. This design should ensure the tent’s longevity over the course of a full thru-hike when used properly and given reasonable care. Although the Unbound 2P is a new model, the DCF material has been utilized to great success for years by HMD and other popular UL brands.
Ventilation: During my testing during humid and wet weather in Maine, I found that the Unbound 2P tent handled condensation exceptionally well. By selecting suitable campsites, keeping the vestibule doors open for airflow when possible, and taking advantage of well-placed vents near the peaks of the shelter, we experienced no condensation, even during heavy overnight rain. This impressive performance speaks to the tent’s design and effectiveness in managing moisture.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 2P Cons
Price: A $700 price tag for a tent is difficult to accept, no matter what. Though price often reflects an item’s quality and performance, the cost of a shelter is influenced by other factors as well. Materials used, design complexity, brand reputation, durability, weight, and weather resistance all play an important role and contribute to the Unbound 2p’s high price. This tent utilizes premium materials and innovative technology, providing superior performance and durability — as well as a profit margin.
Although it may be the most expensive item in a backpacking kit, investing in a high-quality tent can offer significant weight savings and long-term satisfaction over the course of a thru-hike despite its steep initial investment. Still, it hurts the wallet.
Semi-Translucent: The Unbound 2P tent features light gray walls made of DCF5, which is semi-translucent. While this can provide natural lighting during the day, it can also create a greenhouse effect, trapping heat and causing higher temperatures inside the tent. While avoiding direct sunlight can mitigate this issue, that may not always be feasible.
The Unbound 2P shelter stands out as a purpose-built solution for three-season thru-hiking, directly competing with the popular Zpacks Duplex. HMG differentiates itself from that original design by incorporating premium features such as zippered doors, magnetic toggles, and peak vents. The deliberate exclusion of nonessential features, trendy colors, and unnecessary embellishments underscores HMG’s commitment to simplicity and durability.
Having tested the Unbound 2P on the Appalachian Trail in harsh weather conditions, I can confidently attest to its reliability and suitability for thru-hikes and/or casual use. It performed admirably, leaving me with no reservations about its performance or durability. Whether you are already a loyal HMG customer or new to the brand, the Unbound 2P is a reliable choice that won’t disappoint.
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Brandon Chase is a writer, endurance athlete, and guide based in Maine. He is a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and spent nearly a decade overseas serving at embassies in Egypt, Cyprus, and Pakistan.
Along with a 98-day thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, he has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked the West Highland Way, fastpacked in the Himalayas, and trekked around New Zealand and South Africa. He also regularly competes in ultramarathons at the 50k, 50-mile, and 100-mile distances. He is a Lead Guide for Andrew Skurka Adventures and the New England Outdoor Center.