Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2 Tent Review

Will it rain or won't it? It rained. We stayed dry in the tent.

Will it rain or won’t it? It rained. We stayed dry in the tent.

Bottom Line:

The Ghost UL 2 Tent by Mountain Hardwear is an amazing two-person, free standing shelter perfect for individuals looking to move fast and light on adventures in the backcountry. It has achieved a fine balance between being durable enough to last for years while also being light enough to not weigh you down.

Cinching open the mesh door on the Ghost UL 2 Tent

Cinching open the mesh door on the Ghost UL 2 Tent

Observations:

It would be hard for me to review the Ghost UL 2 Tent without at least referencing the SuperMega UL 2 Tent, also by Mountain Hardwear (Link: Our SuperMega UL 2 Review).

Back then, the only two aspects I could find wrong with that tent were, 1) The materials did not feel durable, 2) The front pole was under a lot of tension.

With the Ghost UL 2, which appears to be a revamp of the SuperMega UL 2 in my opinion, they have effectively fixed both of these concerns! Not even just that, but they have also managed to not allow the weight to go up much. All in the Ghost UL 2 tent only weighs a scant 2 lb 9 oz (1.16 kg).

The pole and stake kit with the Ghost UL 2 Tent. I love those tent stakes!

The pole and stake kit with the Ghost UL 2 Tent. I love those tent stakes!

They’ve managed to make this tent burlier and more durable while not allowing the weight to go up by innovating some really interesting design features. The number of clips between the canopy and the tent poles have been reduced to an absolute minimum. My first thought when I clipped the poles to the canopy was “Is that it?”, I searched for clips that I might have missed, but nope, that was all there was, and you know what, the tent felt just as solid as other tents I’ve used.

The front door shape of the Ghost UL 2 Tent

The front door shape of the Ghost UL 2 Tent

The clips that attach to the poles have been made significantly more secure than other clips I’ve used. They require a good bit of pressure to make them clip on and come off. The reasoning behind doing this makes sense, as there are less clip points between the canopy and poles there is less redundancy in the tent should a clip break or pull loose in a storm, so the clips that are attached need to be bomb proof and they are.

The brow pole that allows more interior space and headroom.

The brow pole that allows more interior space and headroom.

The other innovation in this tent is that the fly doesn’t cover the entire canopy of the tent, you will notice this at the back of the tent in the pictures where the fly appears to be riding up. This was done on purpose. A smaller fly means less weight. Personally I prefer a smaller, burlier fly than the option of a larger, weaker fly for the same weight. The fly is pretty much my main barrier to the elements outside. If the fly rips in a storm then I might as well be sleeping outside.

Side Profile of the Ghost UL 2 Tent

Side Profile of the Ghost UL 2 Tent

As this is an Ultralight tent the space inside is definitely kept to a minimum. Myself and my partner slept in it with mummy shaped sleeping bags and pads, which are an absolute must. You will not be able to fit two rectangular sleeping pads in this tent.

There was just enough space for our needs. This is not a tent that you would be hanging out inside of playing card games. This is a lightweight tent that lets you go further and higher in the backcountry by being lighter and smaller. It’s designed for sleeping in safely out of the elements and that’s about it. In saying that we both noticed that there was a good amount of space at our feet. The main canopy floor is 7.2 feet long (220cm’s). We’re both around 6 feet long so that leaves over a foot for storing gear, spare clothes and packs. Not bad considering you also have 7 sq ft of usable space outside under the vestibule.

Overall I really enjoyed using this tent, highly recommended.

Cozy. Space is definitely at a premium inside. A good amount of space at the feet for packs and gear.

Cozy. Space is definitely at a premium inside. A good amount of space at the feet for packs and gear.

Pros:

Weight: Your entire shelter for two people in the backcountry will weigh about the same or less than 1L of water in a Nalgene bottle. Think about that.

Features: Large entry door, Weather protected vestibule, Two mesh pockets for interior storage, free standing.

Durable: Hits a fine balance between weight and durability.

Like a Ghost!

Like a Ghost!

Cons:

Rain Fly: While I love that the fly is more durable, the fact that it doesn’t fully cover the rear of the tent means it is effectively a single wall tent in that section. This will largely be a non-issue but wind driven rain will work it’s way under the fly at this point. If you plan to experience conditions like that a lot then consider a heavier tent with a larger fly.

The unique fly and canopy design at the rear of the tent

The unique fly and canopy design at the rear of the tent

Buy It If:

You want to go fast and light in the backcountry and are looking for ways to reduce the weight on your shoulders but still want the convenience of a freestanding tent and outside vestibule covered space for your pack and gear.

Ghost UL 2 with out tarp kitchen for cooking in the rain nearby

Ghost UL 2 with out tarp kitchen for cooking in the rain nearby

Info:

Cost: $450

Manufacturers Website: Mountain Hardwear

More Pictures:

Toggle Fly attachment. Put it through the hole.

Toggle Fly attachment. Put it through the hole.

 

Toggle fly attachment held in place. So beautifully simple!

Toggle fly attachment held in place. So beautifully simple!

 

Easy and simply fly tensioning

Easy and simply fly tensioning

 

Staking out the fly and canopy at the mid-section of the tent

Staking out the fly and canopy at the mid-section of the tent

 

In case you forget the name of the tent, it's right at the door.

In case you forget the name of the tent, it’s right at the door.

 

Printed name of the tent on the bathtub floor of the canopy.

Printed name of the tent on the bathtub floor of the canopy.

 

Mesh pockets on either side of the door for a few items

Mesh pockets on either side of the door for a few items.

 

Simply pull tabs for the canopy zipper

Simple pull tabs for the canopy zipper

 

Easy and light solution to cinch open the vestibule door

Easy and light solution to cinch open the vestibule door

Author: Leigh McClurg

I grew up in County Dublin, Ireland and moved to British Columbia, Canada with my wife in 2010. I fell in love with being in the Backcountry and Mountains that are all around me here and try to spend all of my free time exploring those wild places. My main goals are to chase happiness, see as much of this planet and its cultures as possible and grow every day through knowledge and experiences.

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