Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 1 Tent ReviewApril 29, 2017
- Less than two pounds
- Easy to set up quickly
- Packs small
- Least floor space
- Tied for lowest internal peak height
- Fly and vestibule must be staked down
The Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL1 scored well in the packability category, because it is third lightest and among the most compact tents. Its biggest turn-off is its small amount of living space—the door is hard to get through and the peak is lower than any of the other tents in this set.
The hardest part of using the Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL1 is getting through the door. It’s positioned at the front, making the opening quite small, and it’s not clear whether it’s more efficient to go head first or try to take your shoes off and go feet-first, shuffling like a crab. The body itself is narrow, particularly if the user hasn’t done a good job of staking out both the side wall of the body and the side of the fly. In this test set, the Ghost tied for lowest peak. Tall hikers will appreciate the Ghost’s narrow but long body.
This is the category in which the Ghost shines. It is the fourth lightest, with a trail weight of 1 lb 11 oz. The tent uses lightweight materials and it rolls into a small cylinder, the third most compact in the test set behind the MSR and the ZPacks. The bundle of poles is quite compact, allowing for packing options.
First time setup for our tester was 4:00. The Mountain Hardwear Ghost uses an H-style pole system, which features a single pole that connects to form a high ridgeline and branching forks on either ends to attach to the corners of the rectangular body. This is a weight-efficient structure, but it leaves wide swaths of the tent’s sides unsupported, and if they’re not staked out the tent will be quite narrow and will not be able to stand up to much wind. The tent body’s feet, where the poles connect, are durable plastic.
The H-style pole structure adds some vulnerability to the sides of the tent, which must be staked out to provide proper weatherproofness. These exposed flanks may be a problem for wind, but we had the Ghost out in a pelting hailstorm in the Evolution Basin of the Sierra Nevada at 10,000 feet and it maintained its composure. One cause of backcountry annoyance are the tent’s small-gauge zippers, which can get snagged more easily thanks to the extremely thin lightweight mesh.
As a lightweight solo backpacking tent, the Ghost is free of frills. There is one small mesh cargo pocket on the interior of the body’s netting, which will have to be enough for weight-purists.
Additional Product Specifications
Minimum Trail Weight: 1 lb 11 oz
Max / Packaged Weight: 2 lbs 1 oz
Interior Floor Area: 16 sq ft
Vestibule Area: 4 sq ft
Peak Interior Height: 34 in
Scott Morris guides backpacking expeditions and hiking trips for Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. He is a writer, traveler, and runner. Scott tests backpacking equipment.