Mountain Hardwear OpticVue 2.5 Tent Review

Bottom Line:

A spacious and feature rich 2 person, 3 season tent. The OpticVue 2.5 has a really interesting design that allows for 180 degree views. A bit heavy for backpacking, but still manageable. Perfect for car camping or kayak/canoe trips!

Two tone colouring on the OpticVue 2.5

Two tone colouring on the OpticVue 2.5

Observations:

I got to use this on a number of multi-day trips, mainly a week long sea kayaking adventure as well as several road-trips. I’ve come to love this tent so much that it is now my go-to tent for car camping.

It’s just a very simple tent that works and allows for panoramic views of your surroundings. It’s feature rich so it has all the pockets and extras you’d imagine.

OpticVue with an optic view!

OpticVue with an optic view!

Setup:

With new tents I always like to see how quickly I can set up the tent without looking at the instructions on the first try. I can easily say that I was able to easily set up this tent without any issues. The only part that really slowed me down was the fact that with two doors there are two vestibules so at first I was puzzled how to line them up with the fly. Once I had the tent pitched I could see that Mountain Hardwear had predicted this quandary and has colour coded the fly accordingly (as well as matched a reflective tab on the canopy and fly that lines up). The fly is blue and grey and the grey side faces the vestibules. Once I knew this, the second time I pitched the tent was a breeze!

There are also clips that make connecting the fly to the tent at the corners really easy and fast. The fly can be cinched down also to tension it to stop it flapping in the wind and allowing it to more effectively shed any rain or moisture.

Convenient and fast design to cinch down the rain fly

Convenient and fast design to cinch down the rain fly

 

Utilizing the ventilation options in a hot Joshua Tree National Park

Utilizing the ventilation options in a hot Joshua Tree National Park

Dual Entrances:

An interesting feature of this tent is also the fact that the dual entrances on the tent canopy have two options for doors. You can either use a mesh door for allowing air in but keeping the bugs out or use solid material doors made out of the same material as the tent canopy itself. This allows for a lot of options regarding privacy but also airflow and general warmth inside the tent.

The inclusion of these solid doors would make this a 3+ Season tent in my opinion. During those colder Fall nights heading in to winter you can seal up the tent like a standard winter tent to limit heat loss getting out and also cold air getting in.

But, the main feature of this tent, and likely the reason you might be interested in it, is the view through both of the doors when they are cinched open. Wow! It makes you feel like you are fully immersed in the natural world around you while also being protected from the possibility of rain or critters outside. I can’t gush enough about how much I love the panoramic views afforded by the design of the OpticVue 2.5 tent.

Camping with the OpticVue 2.5 tent

Camping with the OpticVue 2.5 tent

Spacious:

As the name of the tent, OpticVue 2.5 hints at, this is a 2 person tent plus. If you’re used to cramming inside a mountaineering tent then you could likely fit three people in the OpticVue. It’s roomy enough for everything you’d want to bring camping with you from larger sleeping mattresses, full size pillows, clothes, books, you name it! When you are lying down there are pockets behind your head for a headlamp and maybe your phone/wallet. There is also an overhead pocket for any other extras you can think of.

Overall I was very happy with my experiences in this tent. I’ve set it up and slept in it for about 15 nights in the last few months and continue to love it. Definitely recommended.

Sea Kayaking with the OpticVue 2.5 Tent

Sea Kayaking with the OpticVue 2.5 Tent

Pros:

Design: Expertly designed to allow for wide, expansive views out of the dual, side-by-side entrances

Spacious: Accommodates 2 people plus your pet, bags, pillows, bags… etc.

Affordable: Currently listed for only US$240 on the Mountain Hardwear site.

Feature Rich: It has all the bells and whistles you could dream for. All those extra little features make setting it up and sleeping in it a breeze!

Camping with the OpticVue 2.5 in Joshua Tree National Park

Camping with the OpticVue 2.5 in Joshua Tree National Park

Cons:

Weight: At 2.8kg (6lb 3oz) it is far from the lightest 2 person tent out there, but that extra weight goes towards creating a tent that is feature rich, spacious and with a lot of headroom to make it liveable.

Car camping with the OpticVue 2.5 in Joshua Tree National Park

Car camping with the OpticVue 2.5 in Joshua Tree National Park

Buy it if:

You want a feature rich tent for car camping, multi-day kayak/canoe trips or short backpacking trips that won’t break the bank.

Price:

Mountain Hardwear: $240.00

Links:

Mountain Hardwear

More Pics:

Rear and backside of the Mountain Hardwear OpticVue 2.5

Rear and backside of the Mountain Hardwear OpticVue 2.5

 

Two walls in the OpticVue 2.5 almost completely zip open. Awesome!

Two walls in the OpticVue 2.5 almost completely zip open. Awesome!

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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