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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.

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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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