When we asked guides what tent we should make next, the overwhelming consensus was, "Make a lightweight 2P alpine bivy tent that actually works." So, we set off to make a tent with the following parameters: Lightweight, waterproof, handles condensation well, and fully freestanding with a small footprint so it can be wedged into rocky alpine bivy spots or dug into the side of snow fields. Finally, knowing that summit windows can take days to materialize, it had to be livable enough to spend more than a couple hours in without getting totally stir crazy.
We went with a double wall design because even the most breathable single-wall tents can't match the condensation management and versatility of a tried and true double-wall. We also added a WebTruss to boost the HotBox's strength-to-weight ratio, a whole bunch of pockets, and some functional ventilation.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the HotBox is its novel gear storage system. The large drawstring vents on the sides of the tent body combined with the full-length snow flaps provide dry gear storage without obstructing the door or requiring any stake points. Toggle the point of the snow flap to the tent body, shove your pack out the vent, and you have a sheltered alcove for your gear that doesn't get in the way of the door, increase the tent's footprint, or require a stake.
Our integrated pitch design lets you connect the tent body to the flysheet via the WebTruss, allowing the tent to be pitched as a single unit, like a single-wall tent.
Add a through-vent, a mesh panel on the door, a rain gutter on the flysheet zipper, internal guylines, and our industry-leading build quality and fabrics, and you get a tent that's suitable for the approach as well as the summit push. Its ventilation and double-wall design mean it's even serviceable as a year-round backpacking tent.
Pick up a footprint to prolong the life of your HotBox's floor or set up the tent without the body.
- 2-person tent for minimalist alpine climbs and ski tours
- Large side vents for access to gear storage area along sides of tent
- Fully freestanding
- Breathable ripstop body blocks wind, spindrift, dust, and sand
- Through-vents on fly and tent body facilitate airflow
- Tent body through-vent has separate mesh and ripstop layers for buggy conditions
- 8 internal pockets for ample internal organization
- WebTruss adds strength and makes high-wind setup a breeze
- Rain gutter on fly zipper flap reduces drips during ingress and egress
- Internal guyline compatible (one set pre-installed)
- Mesh door vent for venting even when it's buggy
- Toggles connect fly to poles at guy points for stability
- Integrated pitch design allows the fly and tent to be pitched simultaneously
- Internal ceiling o-rings for gear hanging
- Eight internal pockets for endless organizational potential
- WebTruss can be replaced with DAC twist clips (included) for additional weight savings
- 14 external guy points
- 4 perimeter pull-out loops
- 2 snow flaps with stake points
- No added FR chemicals
- Pre-installed spare zipper sliders prolong zipper lifespan
- Designed and tested with help from Blackbird Mountain Guides
|Minimum Weight (with WebTruss)||3lbs 7.2oz|
|Minimum Weight (with included DAC Twist Clips)||3lbs 4oz|
|Packaged Weight||4lbs 2oz|
|Floor Area||26.8 sq ft|
|6" x 19"|
|Pole Package Length||17"|
|Floor Width||52"/42" (head/ foot)|
|Number of poles||2|
|Number of doors||1|
|Tent Body Fabric||
15D Nylon Ripstop DWR
|Floor Fabric||20D Nylon Ripstop PE 1800mm|
|Fly Fabric||20D Nylon Ripstop SIL/SIL 1500mm|
|20D Nylon Ripstop SIL/SIL 1500mm|
|Poles||2 DAC NFL 9.3mm|
|Zippers||YKK #5 reverse coil (flysheet/tent body door), YKK #4.5 coil (door vent)|
|14 DAC J-Stakes||5.4oz|
|14 orange reflective 2.5mm guylines (80" with tensioners)||6.2oz|
|DAC Twist clips* (to replace WebTruss)||1.6oz|
|Pole Repair Splint ( 13.2mm x 130mm)||0.4oz|
*not necessary for normal use of the tent
Spent my first night on a Scottish mountain in typical windy wet conditions to try out. It works really well, with tons of space for one and the big side vestibules swallowed my excess gear. Stable in wind, great condensation control which is a first in an assault tent. Love the plethora of pockets and storage options for livability. The inner side walls billowed a bit in gusts but I found a hack: if you thread the port hole toggle thru the ring on the inside of the fly then back into the inner tent it pulls the porthole fabric out towards the fly and increases the volume of the inner tent. Two things I'd change. Change the storage portholes to rainbow zip openings, simpler and easier to access your gear and/or cook. On the rear vent remove the upper half solid semi circle. It encourages rain to run off into the sleeve part and pool in the sleeve. The weight of water will eventually force it to dribble down the inner tent unless you have the pull cord cinched nearly closed. Change it to a simple tubular sleeve that can sit outside the tent or be pulled in and cinched closed. See Rab designs. Other than that loved the weight/stability/space ratio. A go to option for this winter and beyond!
Thanks for the review, Andrew! Glad you're liking the HotBox! The reason we went with portholes instead of rainbow zips is that the zippers would be heavier and introduce another failure point; zippers are often the first thing to fail on a tent so we like to avoid using them when we can. Since we designed this for the alpine climbing set, the tent is extremely weight-sensitive and this was an area where we could both save weight and make the tent more durable. You really nailed all of our design goals in your review. We wanted to make an alpine assault-style tent with better condensation management and storage than what's currently out there.