According to experts, The North Face Mountain 25 (Est. $430) can't be surpassed when it comes to sheer strength. A four-season tent, the Mountain 25 can stand up to the most extreme weather.
The Sierra Designs Lightning HT 2 ($300 ) is also a durable choice, but its walls are made almost entirely of mesh and must be covered with the rainfly for most weather conditions. The Mountain 25, on the other hand, only has vents on the roof. With rainflys on -- despite significantly less mesh -- reviewers find the Mountain 25 offers better ventilation than its counterpart.
The Lightning HT 2 gets a leg up on The North Face with its ultra-low weight of only 3 pounds, 14 ounces. The Mountain 25 weighs in at approximately 9 pounds, but campers say they are willing to trade the weight for durability.
Both tents are designed for backpacking trips when space is especially tight. The narrow design of The North Face is a hit with campers who say it offers adequate room for two, plus space for packs and supplies in the tent's vestibule. However, the vestibules are not as large as other tents, and they protrude from the long sides, widening the footprint.
While both tents present excellent value and performance, The North Face Mountain 25's superior four-season performance tips the scale in its favor as the Best Reviewed ultralight backpacking tent.