Home / Gear Reviews / Mountain Hardware SuperMegaUL 1 Tent Review

Mountain Hardware SuperMegaUL 1 Tent Review

manufactured by :
Philip Werner
Version:
2015
Price:
261.99

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On March 28, 2016
Last modified:September 18, 2016

Summary:

The Mountain Hardware SuperMega UL 1 Tent is a lightweight double-walled tent with a front-vestibule. Weighing just xx ounces (without stakes), it's easy to pitch and has excellent internal ventilation with steeply pitched walls that provide excellent livability. A deep bathtub floor, taped seams, and polyurethane coated floor provide good waterproofing and durability, but you do need to be careful with the rain fly which is made of much thiner 10 denier nylon and can be easily punctured and abraded.

Mountain Hardwear SuperMega UL 1 Tent
Mountain Hardwear SuperMega UL 1 Tent

The Mountain Hardware SuperMegaUL 1 Tent is an ultralight 1 person double-walled tent that weighs 1 pounds 14 ounces, not including tent stakes and stuff sacks. With a tunnel style design and front vestibule, it has a long bivy style feel to it. Still the interior headroom and foot clearance are quite good,  it has a front vestibule to store your backpack, and the space between the inner tent and the rain fly provides excellent ventilation. High side walls also help mitigate drafts, making this a very good single person backpacking tent if you prefer double walled tents and want to push your gear weight as low as possible.

A high bathtub floor keeps water out
A high bathtub floor with taped seams keeps water out.

Inner Tent

The inner tent is freestanding with two permanently connected poles and two hubs, one above the door and one above the foot area. The hubs help pull the inner tent “up,” providing a good deal of space above your head and feet.The inner tent is suspended by plastic hooks and can be used as a standalone bug shelter by itself, since the ends of the poles fit into modified jakes foot corners.

The inner tent can be pitched by itself as a bug shelter and provides excellent visibility
The inner tent can be pitched by itself as a bug shelter and provides excellent visibility

The floor of the tent is tapered and widest at the door end, narrowing toward the feet. However, the shape of the poles keeps the walls of the inner tent nearly vertical, so it’s far more spacious than other 1 person tunnel style tents I’ve used in the past. You still have to crawl feet first to get into this tent, but its narrow footprint makes it easy to pitch in tight spots between trees.

The inner tent is made using a 30D Nylon Ripstop 2000 mm Ether Type PU/SIL FR which is durable for use without a footprint as long are you’re careful where pitch the tent – for example, on forest duff, as shown here, which is soft and drains well.

Rain Fly

The SuperMegaUL 1 rain fly is made using very thin 10D Nylon 800-1200mm PU. Colored a pleasant sage green, this is fabric is delicate and should be handled with care. Translucent, it provides a nice amount of interior light during the day but the tent can be quite bright when there’s a full moon outside at night.

The Rain Fly connects to the corners of the inner tent, only requiring one stake to hold down. Lineloc adjusters are provided to increase the tention of the rain fly. The tent stakes provided with the tent are pretty lame and that's my MSR needle stake which is perfect for securing a cord-based guyline like this .
The rain fly connects to the corners of the inner tent. Lineloc adjusters are provided to increase the tension of the rain fly. The tent stakes provided with the tent are pretty lame and that’s my MSR needle stake which is perfect for securing a cord-based guyline like this. While stakes are not technically required in the corners, I’d advise using them for better wind resistance.

The rain fly connects to the corners of the inner tent, using a toggle which slips through a hole in the corner connector. Line loc adjusters let you easily tension the fly once the inner has been staked out. The is the way to outfit a corner tensioning system. Nice job Mountain Hardware!

Notice how the sides of the tent flare out at the guy out points
Notice how the sides of the tent flare out at the guy out points.

The middle of the fly also has guylines which help increase airflow through the tent and provide excellent ventilation. Notice how the sides of the tent flare out at the side guy out points, above. The side stakes outs also help pull out the side walls of the tent, increasing internal livability while eliminating the need for two stakes.

The side guylines serve double duty, increasing ventilation while pulling the side walls of the inner tent out increasing interior space and livability.
The side guylines serve double duty, increasing ventilation while pulling the side walls of the inner tent out increasing interior space and livability.

While snug, the front vestibule provides added covered storage in front and wind resistance as long as you pitch it into the prevailing wind. The vestibule has a single zipper, which allows you to pitch the vestibule with one side rolled back for more airflow. Extended overhead coverage also helps keep rain off you and away from the inner tent when the door is open. While you can open and roll back both sides of the door, there are only tie-outs for one half, so you’d have to rig up something custom to keep the second side open.

The Front Vestibule can be rolled back to provide better airflow. While small, the vestibule is large enough to store a medium sized backpack out of the weather
The Front Vestibule can be rolled back to provide better airflow. While small, the vestibule is large enough to store a medium-sized backpack out of the weather

While the vestibule is large enough to store your backpack, there’s no way you can get in and out of the tent without moving it out-of-the-way. I’m a medium size fellow and I found that I had to crawl into the SuperMegaUL 1 feet first since it is too tight to turn around inside the doorway. That’s just the price you pay for a design like this in a single person size. At least there isn’t a trekking pole in the way, which is what you find on UL trekking-pole tents like this with a front vestibule.

The front vestibule is large enough to store your pack and shoes, but you do have to crawl on your hands and knees to enter and exit the tent
The front vestibule is large enough to store your pack and shoes, but you do have to crawl on your hands and knees to enter and exit the tent

Dimensions

The Mountain Hardware SuperMega UL 1 Tent is compact, but not as cramped as you might expect. I can comfortably sit up at the head of the tent and completely stretch out without touching the side walls or ends. More importantly, there’s also room at the head of the tent beyond the top of my mummy bag where I can arrange the smaller items I like to keep close by at night, in addition to an overhead hang loop and side mesh pocket. While I wouldn’t want to spend more than one rainy day inside the SuperMegaUL 1, it’s a perfectly nice shelter to sleep in as long as you don’t try to do yoga at night.

Mountain Hardwear SuperMegaUL 1 Tent Dimensions
Mountain Hardwear SuperMegaUL 1 Tent Dimensions
  • Component Weights
    • Stuff Sack: 0.8 ounces
    • Rain fly: 8.0 ounces
    • Inner tent: 11.2 ounces
    • Poles: 10 ounces
    • Pole stuff sack: 0.5 ounces
    • Pole repair sleeve: 0.3 ounces
    • 8 Tent stakes: 3.5 ounces
    • Stake stuff sack: 0.3 ounces

Recommendation

The Mountain Hardware SuperMega UL 1 Tent is a lightweight double-walled tent with a front-vestibule. Weighing just 30 ounces (without stakes and stuff sacks), it’s easy to pitch and has excellent internal ventilation with steeply pitched walls that provide excellent livability. A deep bathtub floor, taped seams, and polyurethane coated floor provide good waterproofing and durability, but you do need to be careful with the rain fly which is made of much thinner 10 denier nylon and can be easily punctured and abraded.

Contrary to the claims of the manufacturer, the SuperMegaUL 1 is not a “truly freestanding” tent. While the inner tent is freestanding and can be used by itself as a bug bivy, you do need to stake out the outer rain fly. While that’s a bit disappointing, the SuperMegaUL 1 Tent is still a quite livable lightweight shelter if you’re looking for a compact double walled backpacking tent.

Likes

  • Corner jakes foot connectors and line loc tensioners
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Good headroom and livability
  • High bathtub floor
  • Inner tent can be used as standalone bug bivy

Dislikes

  • Cramped vestibule entrance
  • Not truly freestanding as claimed by manufacturer
  • Best used in warmer weather; a bit too cool for shoulder season use
  • Mediocre tent stakes included – recommend you replace

Disclosure: Philip Werner purchased this tent with his own funds. 

16 comments

  1. Nice tent, like the weight and the vestibule but not the $300.00 price. When they get down to a reasonable price of $125. I might be interested. That’s what my Snug Pac Bivy cost which is very similar cost and has about the same features minus the Vestibule which I make up for with a Silnylon tarp….

    • I believe I paid $225. No one pays full MSRP anymore. You can always count on sales and year end clearance. That’s still perhaps much but the most expensive gear is gear that’s never used.

  2. It does seem a bit expensive given the materials used but 125 would not cover costs on such a tent. It will be interesting to see if Mountain Hardware change to a decent set of pegs given your comments. I always measure vendors by such responsiveness. My Zpacks tent for example has been repeatedly upgraded based on user feedback.

  3. I have been using the Mountain Hardwear SuperMegaUL 2 Tent for a couple of years now and am quite pleased with it. It is very similar in design to the UL 1, but it is heavier (42 oz. on my scale) and allows me to keep my pack inside. I liked the simple set up and zero condensation problems. I would love another inch in headroom and width at the foot. You would have to be very close friends with a very small person to makes this a 2 person shelter. I had no problems with my stakes, but did replace them with a combination of Easton Full Metal Jackets and Titanium Shepherd’s hooks to shave grams. I also might have more money than brains. I can’t say enough about the overall quality of Mountain Hardware products in general. MH is owned by Columbia Sportswear which allows them economy of scale while still designing for backpackers. You can always find their products on sale. Years ago you reviewed the Mountain Hardwear Kanza 55. I purchased one at less than half price. It is not the best backpack, but is darn good for $100.

  4. If we look at the weight of the main components, the poles take a good 30%.

    It says a lot why lots of ultralight tents would use the trekking poles as support. Not a bad idea, albeit it gives some costraints.

    • Poles do take space and weight and cost. Regular poles are as you say 30% of the packed weight m if you get Easton carbon fiber poles you can save weight but they are expensive. Easier to lose a couple of hundred grams from the belly for some of us. Better yet is food planning where it is easier to reduce weight.

      • I have and love a Sierra Designs Ultra Lightyear with Easton carbon fiber poles. Very light, but the carbon fiber poles are not strong enough, which is why SD pulled the Ultra Lightyear after the first year. I replaced the bottom section of each pole leg with Easton aluminum and now am satisfied it will stand up to a serious storm. I am not satisfied that the Easton CF poles are a reasonable upgrade.

  5. This looks similar to a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 which also has front entry. The Fly Creek is a nice enough tent, but the front entry means that you have to back up into the tent on hands and knees – a PITA.

  6. Nice weight, but man that’s a tight fit! Great review, as always.

  7. Any comparison to the Tarptent Moment DW? https://www.tarptent.com/momentdw.html

  8. Friar Rodney Burnap

    I can get a Mid for this price . . .

  9. I think that side entry has become the norm but that is a matter of preference. The price is actually good compared to a cuben equivalent. Overall it looks very good value. The new MSR ultralight tents will be worth watching as well. It seems we are now into a world where there are many superb UL tents available. Weights are down to sub one Kg. And technologies very well thought out. So it becomes more of a,price point issue as to what you can get on sale as one poster mentioned.

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