Gear Review: Mountainsmith Celestial Tent

Let me begin by simply saying, I love this tent. I've been adventuring with it for almost two years now, and it hasn't let me down yet. I was lucky enough to snag this tent during a winter sale on The Clymb, making it incredibly affordable, but the regular price of $179.95 is actually reasonable for what you're getting out of it.

PRO'S

1. Hearty 3-Season Capabilities

This tent is listed as a 3-season tent, but it's kept me dry and warm in a number of situations that would stretch the term "3-season." For instance, a windy, snowy night on a rocky outcropping with little shelter in the Enchantments Wilderness Area tucked into the Washington Cascade Range. And the very windy, freezing next morning. It also kept us safe during a winter storm warning in Glacier National Park. Granted that was in June, but crazy things can happen in those mountains!

The tent also stays very dry during a downpour, or while camping in the incredibly foggy woods of the Pacific Northwest. Just make sure that the rainfly is tautly staked down or condensation will leak through into the tent!

2. Leg Room Galore

While this is certainly only a two person tent (unless you want to get real cozy), my boyfriend and I have always been able to fit our backpacks at the feet of our sleeping pads without sacrificing legroom. This has held true even on week-long trips where our packs were more heavily loaded than usual!

4. Dual Doors & Vestibules

The dual doors have come in handy so many times. You can get up in the middle of the night to pee without climbing over a sleeping body and inevitably kneeing them in the stomach. I can fall asleep early without worrying about getting woken up when my boyfriend finally gets tired. Each person can sit on their sleeping pad to take on/off muddy shoes and leave them under their own vestibule. You can roll down the windows to talk to people on both sides of the tent. It's a small detail, but I'm a big fan.

3. Pockets & Mesh Storage Canopy

This is another extra I could live without... but is just so darn convenient. The mesh storage canopy at the top of the tent is removable, and held up by being looped through little plastic toggles. Its main purpose for us has been to hold my little solar powered inflatable Luci lantern. My boyfriend and I play a lot of card games and board games while backpacking & camping, and both do a lot of reading, so a hands free light source is a must. Plus, I love the fact that we can stick the rechargeable Luci in the canopy and save headlamp batteries!

CON'S

1. Zipper Woes

Sadly, after another summer of heavy use, we've started to notice that the zipper on one door is unzipping by itself. So far, our quick fix of keeping that zipper in the middle of the trouble area has worked well, but it's definitely not 100% mosquito safe anymore. I'm not too upset about this, though, as we can use the rainfly for back-up protection. We noticed the zipper issue during our last week of a five week roadtrip where we slept in the tent almost every night, so I'm not too surprised that it took a little hit after that use!

That's it! I honestly tried to think of more negatives but the truth is, this is a great tent. It's definitely not what you want for ultralight backpacking (it clocks in at 5 lb. 3 oz.) or for snow camping, but it'll keep you well protected for everything else less extreme.

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