MEC Gothic Arch Tent

Author: [ hawke_gh ]  Dave Falkins   Contact Author: hawke_ghMon May 24 21:55:19 UTC 2004

MEC Gothic Arch (tunnel style) Tent

Three “Gothic Arch”-shaped poles shape the tent to provide headroom and slough off rain or snow. The inner canopy remains attached to the inside of the fly while in the field, and the pole sleeves are on the outside of the fly - both features keep the canopy drier during set-ups or take-downs in the rain (they also make for faster set-ups). Only three to five pegs are needed for basic set-up - still fewer than most freestanding tents under usual field conditions. Additional peg loops and external and internal guypoints allow you to rig the Gothic Arch increasingly securely as the weather worsens.

Specs: Fits two people.

  • Floor - made of Navy 210-thread count 70-denier nylon - polyurethane-coated, waterproof to 2000mm.
  • Fly - Gold with green trim (only option), made of 75-denier ripstop polyester - polyurethane-coated, waterproof to 2000mm.
  • Canopy - Tensilk-HT, a high-tenacity 30-denier 280-thread count ripstop polyester - coated with a "50 washings" DWR treatment to minimize moisture absorption.
  • Poles - sturdy 8.6mm and 9.6mm diameter Easton® 7075-T9 aluminum.
  • Weight is 2.92kg, packed.
  • 2.87 sq. meter floor space.
  • Packed size is 22 x 51cm.

I liked this tent... we spent 6 nights out on the Bowron Lakes circuit with it and never got wet. It rained every night and some afternoons. Of course we were extra careful and tarped over every time we set up, but then we had to, there wasn’t enough room in the tent or vestibule for our gear – we leaned our external frame packs together at the side of the tent under the tarp. So as a 2-man tent I would have to say this doesn’t quite cut the mustard... It has fairly low headroom as well (you will be getting your pants on/off while lying down). For one man with gear there would be plenty of room (just not head room). There is a small but adequate eave over the “back” door that keeps it quite dry & allows you to vent from that entrance. Both doors are protected with bug mesh. There’s enough room side by side for 2 six-foot guys with a small amount of space at either your head or feet. We didn’t have any problems with condensation.

It went up easy, 3-5 min setup by one person. The vestibule however is one of those “crawl in” (almost on your belly) types and has about enough room for 2 pairs of boots & a couple jackets or you could if VERY careful use it to cook in if you were storm bound. Due to the inverted “V” door everything would get wet when going in or out if you didn’t tarp over. It is a low key gold/green color, stays dry during heavy rain (I’ve seen my buddy’s daughter wake up dry after an all day & night deluge) and it's reasonably light to backpack. With it’s small footprint it can fit in a small area if necessary.

Due to the low headroom & “crawl-in” vestibule/main door I have to give this only a 7/10.

Copyright © 2001 - 2018