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  • Naturehike Mongar Two-Person Tent

    Posted on October 7th, 2017 admin No comments

    Continuing my exploration of lightweight tents suitable for bike touring, I picked up the Naturehike Mongar2 for $163 CAD from AliExpress [as of 2017/10/07 it had gone up to $190 CAD].

    Naturehike Mongar 2 Specifications

    The  Naturehike Mongar2,  Model NH17T006-T, comes in three colors:  Purple, Green (a kind of yellow-lime), and Gray.  Mine is green.
    • Tent fly material:  20D ripstop nylon
    • Tent fly waterproof index:  PU coating 4000mm
    • Inner tent materiatl:  20D nylon
    • Mesh material:  B3 breathable mesh
    • Tent bottom material:    20D  nylon
    • Tent bottom waterproof index:  4000mm
    • Tent poles material:  7001 Aviation aluminum alloy
    • Package size:  500*?150mm
    • Tent size:  210 cm long x 125 cm wide x 100cm high (about 83" x 49" x 39")
    • Vestibule size:  two equilateral triangles each of base 210 cm, width 65 cm (0.27 sq m)
    • Mass: about 1850 g (including guy lines, gear loft, and guy lines, but not the footprint)
    • Accessories: Aluminium tent pegs (10pcs), guy lines (4 sets), gear loft, footprint & bag

    Roomy for one, probably cozy for two, this ultralight tent is an interesting compromise.  The poles are surprisingly sturdy.  The tent itself is minimal:  a bathtub floor with 10 cm (4") sides, topped entirely with fine mesh.  The fly sheet, while waterproof, is almost translucent.

    Top: pegs & bag; gear loft; footprint in bag Bottom:  fly with guylines attached; tent; poles & bag; storage bag Missing:  containment strap

    Top: pegs & bag; gear loft; footprint in bag
    Bottom: fly with guylines attached; tent; poles & bag; storage bag.  Missing: containment strap  Photo courtesy naturehike.com

     

     What I Like About the Mongar2

    I liked this tent for many reasons

    • its appearance - it looked like it would suit my needs
    • the brand - I've had a few Naturehike products and have found them to be of reasonable quality for the price
    • light weight, only 300 grams more than my 1-man cycling tent (despite packing to roughly the same volume!)
    • two roomy vestibules for gear storage
    • a roomy gear pocket at each end, plus an included gear loft
    • a roof peak pole that extends the fly over the doorways

      The Mongar 2 without fly, showing pole structure and roof peak poles

      The Mongar 2 without fly, showing pole structure and roof peak poles

    I consider this roof overhang particularly desirable during the rainy weather that I so often seem to camp in, because it helps shelter the doorway and keep the tent itself drier.  I say drier because chez moi, rain and wind usually go together so some moisture always blows into the tent when the vestibule is unzipped in the rain.

    Mongar2 set up with one vestibule door tied back

    Mongar2 set up with one vestibule door tied back

    According to my scale, this weighed in at under 1750 grams all-in, plus another 240 grams for the footprint.  Naturehike says the tent, pegs, and guylines are 1900 grams and the footprint only 120 grams.  Not sure how that works, but our total mass measurements (2100 for NH and 1985 for mine) are reasonably close.  My 1985 grams is  70 ounces (4 lbs 6 oz).  For comparison, the MSR Elixer2, a sturdier and arguably better quality tent at almost twice the price, weighs in at 4 lbs 10 oz (2100 grams)

    Less than 1800 grams all-in

    Less than 1800 grams all-in

    20171007_105253

    What I Don't Like About the Naturehike Mongar2

    The pole attachment is peg-in-hole, using tiny aluminum tabs, similar to many MSR tents.  While they do cut down on mass, I found these clips a bit awkward with cold wet hands, and impossible with gloves.  As a result, it took me an average of 9 minutes to get this tent erected, compared to about half that for my smaller tent; roughly the same to take it down.  That's based on only three setups, so I may get faster with practice.

    The ridge cross-pole, showing strap and tab attachment used to anchor all poles

    The ridge cross-pole, showing strap and tab attachment used to anchor all poles

    When I first settled into the tent, my thought was that there was better ventilation than in my 1-person tent with storm flaps.  Later, when the wind started blowing under the fly and through the tent, I snuggled deeper into my sleeping bag and wondered if I should wake up enough to close the vents.  No snow seemed to be coming in, so I didn't bother.   But I came to have a greater appreciation for storm flaps and for tents with higher sidewalls.  The Mongar2 might not be a great tent for inclement weather, when you most need a tent.

    Although it takes 12 pegs to completely fasten down the Mongar2, for some reason it comes with only 10.  They're tiny 10 cm (4") aluminum tri-fin pegs, but I guess they're adequate for the job.

    I was surprised to note that the hooks for attaching the tent to the poles are considerably heavier than those in the other NH tents I've had.  Presumably, they are properly sized for the weight they bear.

    Heavy-duty hooks attach the Mongar2 tent to the poles

    Heavy-duty hooks attach the Mongar2 tent to the poles. Note the heavily reinforced corner.

    The vestibule flaps are double thickness or even triple.  Not sure why.  The result is that they're thick and heavy and the bottom velcro doesn't seem to hold.  When you're outside, you can stick it down, but when you're inside it's hard to reach around under the flap and pull it sealed.  Not sure that's a big deal.

    Nylon fly sheets always stretch when wet, but this one seemed to be particularly saggy.  Sure, there are tension straps at each corner, but who gets up in the middle of a rainy night to snug them up? I plan to get some heavy elastic bands so that the vestibule and end ties are stretched out.

    Life in the Mongar2: Snow Load

    I did a test run in the back yard.  It was cold, forecast low of  +2C  with wind, rain and possibly snow, but I had planned for that and was warmly bagged.   The expected storm came in around 10:30 pm,  with rain and high wind.   Even though I'd staked out all four guylines and snugged up the corners, the fly flapped and banged....until the snow came.  The wet, heavy snow settled down the flapping fly.

    20171002_082730

    The Mongar2 is not a four-season tent, and as the snow built up -- five centimeters (about 2") in all -- I was concerned about the snow load.  The tent's relatively flat roof does not shed snow well, so I woke up every hour or so and pounded the snow off the tent from inside.  Not a good night's sleep.  I've had tents with fibreglass poles completely flatten out under similar snow conditions (leaving the Scouts inside sleeping on, blissfully unaware) but I was not sure how the aluminum poles would fare.

    Mongar2 from Naturehike:  Keep it or Sell it?

    The tent seems to be well-constructed and the price was excellent.  It's certainly roomy for one. Packed up, it's the same size as the Ultralight Cycling Tent, and weighs only slightly more, so I'll probably keep it for a couple of trips at least.  Late September is pretty much the end of the season, but we might have another warm spell before winter sets in.  I hope to test the tent in more pleasant weather with a couple of modifications.

    Surely I can get in at least one more overnight tour!

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