If your summer mantra has become “gimme shelter,” then we might have a solution for you. Writer Matt Coté takes the new Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2 tent for a spin and proves a man’s tent can, indeed, be his castle.

At 1.16 kilograms, Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost UL 2 Tent weighs only marginally more than a bivy sack and packs down nearly as small. Made with the same quality and care that the brand is synonymous with in the field of expedition equipment, this beauty will work just as well for car camping as it will for month-long trips. It’s small enough to fit inside your pack, and if you take the poles out of the stuff sack and pack them separately, you can compress the rest down to almost nothing.

Mountain Hardwear Shifter 3 Tent compared to the Ghost UL 2, and a standard jar of natural, crunchy peanut butte. The Ghost UL 2 weighs less than the peanut butter.
Standard size three-person tent,  Ghost UL 2, and a standard jar of natural, crunchy peanut butter. The Ghost UL 2 weighs less than the peanut butter.

Ghost UL 2 in a compression sack with poles and pegs separate. All told the tent takes up about four litres worth of volume.


Body and fly in a compression sack.

Poles and pegs.

What do you sacrifice? Not much. As a two-person tent it’s a little tight, but good for making new friends or taking a date out in the woods. If it’s dew-y out and two of you are in there you might find your sleeping bag rubs against the walls and gets a little damp.

Otherwise it’s double walled with a removable fly and even has a vestibule. I’ve been using it since the spring, even in winter camping conditions, and the tent is actually quite tough. I did manage to put a small tear in the stuff sack brushing up against some trees with it on the outside of my pack (another case for putting it in), but the tent itself was fine.

The vestibule is a good size for storage.

The tent with the fly staked out.

Set up is easy and fast.

The exoskeleton poles are easy to clip.

Make sure to stake out the fly to reduce sag.

Comfy for 1. Tight for 2.

Setup takes a minute to figure out, but once you do you can pitch it in about three minutes.

You need to peg it out to make it as big as it gets or it’s a little saggy, so it’s maybe not ideal for alpinism scenarios where you’re on rock (unless you can find stones to use as pegs and bring a little extra accessory chord), but anywhere there’s dirt this tent is your ticket.

It’s amongst the lightest on the market and provides more space than most of the competition. It is one of the few products Mountain Hardwear charges a premium for, but it’s because this is a realm they rule. It’s worth it.

MSRP: $600 CAD


  • Industry leading DAC Featherlight® NSL poles
  • Super lightweight fabrics designed in every aspect to be as lightweight as possible but to still deliver solid protection from the elements
  • Guaranteed watertight construction with fully taped fly, taped perimeter seam, welded corners and welded guy clip anchors
  • Dry entry vestibule for added storage and convenience
  • Truly free standing light weight geometry and design
  • Welded zipper flap construction is lighter and drier than a sewn flap
  • Mesh pockets for interior storage
  • Super-light buckles and webbing reduce tent weight


  • Pole Type: DAC Featherlight™ NSL
  • Fabric Fly: 20D Nylon Ripstop 1200mm PU/SIL
  • Fabric Canopy: 10D Nylon Ripstop 800mm PU/SIL


  • Weight Packed: 2 lb 9 oz / 1.16 kg
  • Weight Minimum: 2 lb 2 oz / 0.97 kg
  • Tent Capacity: 2
  • Number of Poles: 1
  • Number of Doors: 1
  • Number of Vestibules: 1
  • Height Interior: 37 in / 94 cm
  • Length Packed: 20 in / 50 cm
  • Diameter Packed: 6 in / 15 cm
  • Tent Floor Area: 27 sq ft / 2.6 sq m
  • Tent Vestibule Area: 7 sq ft / 0.6 sq m

For more info, log on to www.mountainhardwear.com.