I got myself two new Mountain Hardwear tents to try out for this camping season: one for backcountry canoe trips (Meridian 3) and one for front country camping (Bridger 4). Both are brand new designs for 2023.
Now, after completing multiple trips with both, it’s time for a review.
Meridian 3 Tent
I ordered this tent for the colour—Teton Blue. It seems quite silly (and a tad unprofessional) to initially choose a tent just for its colour, but I love how the soft blue show up in pictures and video. I gotta say though, after my third trip out, when it rained for six of the eight days, there were things beyond the colour I admired about this tent.
First off, this is a very spacious three-person tent. The symmetrical and rectangular design gives plenty of sleeping and head room. Even the zippered doors are oversized—both provide entry and have vented vestibules that roll back to add more ventilation if needed. The fly rolls back and secures halfway along, making it perfect for stargazing or humid nights.
I love having lots of storage pockets. The Meridian 3 has a grand total of five. I would, however, prefer the ceiling storage compartment to be a tad bigger.
I kept dry during the worst of downpours and was really pleased with how waterproof the tent was. The Meridian has a “bathtub” floor design, taped seams and comes with a sizeable footprint. The fly fits snug around the entire tent, but there is a full mesh upper canopy to help with ventilation.
The pre-bent poles are solid aluminum, providing a quick and easy set up that creates more head room. I would have liked a couple of extra stakes and a few extra guy lines to help hold the tent down, but that wasn’t a major issue. I generally add my own extra guy lines and toss in a few extra stakes.
Weight: 5 lbs 7 oz / 2467 g
Tent floor area: 41.6 sq. ft. / 3.9 m2
Price: $410 CAD
Buy it here: mountainhardwear.ca
Bridger 4 Tent
I am spoiled now after using the new Mountain Hardwear's Bridger 4. My partner, Kristine, and I have always used our smaller backcountry models for campground camping. That's what we owned, so that’s what we used. However, after giving the Bridger 4 three-season tent a try for multiple campground tours this season, I doubt we could ever go back to the days of crawling into something smaller. This voluminous tent is pure luxury.
The main body of the tent is definitely roomy, but it’s the massive front vestibule that’s the main drawing card. With an external pole and extended guy lines, it creates a great place for storage—but with the front opened you’ve got yourself a fantastic outdoor porch. There were a few days, and nights, when Kristine and I would cozy up under the vestibule, sit in our camp chairs to read our books and watch the rain pour down outside. Safe and secure.
There are plenty of storage compartments. Again, I love storage compartments. It helps keep everything organized and clutter-free. First, there are two large removable “gear locker” type storage areas that attach to both sides of the vestibule, making a total of six compartments. Inside are eight gear pockets and a removable gear loft for even more storage.
The tent’s entrance is awesome. There’s an extended footprint for the outside vestibule porch and an entry tarp sewn into the tent body to create a doormat. You've also got two very large canopies and mesh swing-open “saloon doors” that makes walking in and out of the tent a breeze. Pre-bend poles greatly improve interior living space as well.
The Bridger is absolutely waterproof. Kristine and I can attest to that. It rained a lot on our trips. The tent has a “bathtub” floor design and taped seams. There’s also an adjustable guy line rigged up as a dry line in the vestibule to help air out those wet socks. The tent is also airy with a full mesh upper canopy, greatly increasing ventilation.
There are plenty of guy lines on the outside to make the tent taut. Just make sure you know how to use them. I can never figure this type of design out and end up using the Trucker’s Hitch to tighten the guy lines.
Weight: 14 lb 12.7 oz / 6710 g
Tent floor area: 62.5 sq ft / 5.8 sq m
Height interior: 66 in / 168 cm
Tent vestibule area: 69 sq ft / 6.4 sq m
Price: $1,000 CAD
Buy it here: mountainhardwear.ca