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Why It’s Okay to Buy an Older Tent, and One That’s on Sale

Tents that were released years ago still hold their own against what’s new today.


Unlike sleeping bags, backpacks, headlamps, jackets, skis — every piece of outdoor equipment really — tents don’t adhere to the same seasonal schedule of innovation and updates. It’s because even tents from years ago were built with high-quality materials that expertly blend durability with low weight — there’s not a ton of room for improvement (although a handful of companies are indeed producing creative new designs). But it’s also a result of the fact that tents are big purchases that generally last a long time, a characteristic that’s bolstered by the fact that tents are also easy to repair. A casual outdoorsy type might replace a ski jacket after two years, but use the same tent for 10. Before I bought my own tent, which I’ve had for four years, I borrowed one from my dad that he purchased more than 25 years ago.

All this is to say that you shouldn’t have any misgivings about purchasing a tent that a company has had in its catalog for a while. With tents, the latest and greatest isn’t always the best, and that’s why Mountain Hardwear’s Optic 2.5, which the company released in 2014, is still a good purchase. The tent is more for casual campers than die-hard backpackers; it weighs over five pounds but has a roomy interior that fits two people plus gear (or a dog) and a unique door arrangement that provides 180-degree views from inside. Right now, it’s also 50-percent off, which drops its price down to just $120.

Buy Now: $240 $120

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