Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid 1 Review
The best HMG tent solution for long distance hiking
August 20, 2023 – New for 2023, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid 1 Tent (shop now) is a fully enclosed, ultralight, single-wall, pyramid shelter intended for thru-hiking and/or high-mileage solo endeavors. HMG loyalists will love this tent as the brand’s best yet for trail-based applications, and gram counters will be glad to see another great option enter the marketplace. Mid 1 is a killer solo shelter for ultralight backpackers and immediately joins a small and elite group of options in consideration for best-in-class solo shelters.
You might also be interested in the Mid 1 Tarp, which is an 8.8 oz bug-mesh-less version of the exact same solo pyramid shelter covered in this review. Shop tarp version.
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- Price: $599
- Weight: 16.8 oz
- Material: Dyneema Composite Fabric
- Interior: 21 ft² | Vestibule: 12 ft² (our estimate) | Area/Pound: 31 ft²
- Interior Length: 96″ Interior Width: 32″ Peak Height: 54″
- Pros: Ultralight. Long. Easy 1-pole setup. Large vestibule. Bug-proof. Good headroom at center. Vents. Magnetic door roll-ups. Sturdy in wind. Also available as meshless tarp.
- Cons: Expensive. Low ceiling at exterior side wall head end, foot end. Small zipper pulls. Zippers bear tension. Bathtub floor walls sag.
Compare this to more great options in our guide to the best ultralight backpacking tent.
HMG Mid 1 Construction
For starters, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid 1 is a pyramid design that is symmetrical length-wise, but asymmetrical width-wise because of the addition of its vestibule.
Mid 1 sets up with a single trekking pole at ~135 cm with a peak height of 54″. Though its use-able peak height is closer to 48″ and all of the side walls lose significant height as they get farther from the center, we would still describe it as having decent headroom where you actually sit up. Shorter hikers will still appreciate the extra space, and HMG even throws them a bone with a rubber tipped trekking pole jack height increaser.
The floor plan with an 8′ interior length is also very spacious, about as long as any tents get. We love long tents with extra room to stretch out or store gear at your feet/head, cater to the needs of tall hikers, and/or allow the camper to stay in the middle where the lowest parts of the head/foot end ceiling are least likely to brush against you. The width too is reasonably generous at 32″. Note, that the average 2P tent allots roughly 22-26″ inches of width per camper, so here you’re getting nearly an extra foot.
However the interior sidewall is very low ceilinged directly above where it meets the ground, which reduces the usable width of the area significantly (compared to 2P tents which have vertical mesh walls plus an additional vestibule). That side wall is the surface you have to watch out for brushing against the most.
I’m 6′ tall, and was able to mostly avoid contact with this side by taking advantage of the side wall guy-out lines and making a conscious effort to avoid it when it was covered in condensation. Hikers with broad shoulders and/or large torso may find contact with the sidewall to be unavoidable. As such, you will probably want to situate your sleeping pad directly next to the trekking pole and as centrally as possible within the pyramid.
A bathtub floor with a 6″ surrounding wall rests between you and the ground. The bathtub floor as adjuster lines which when pulled up, reduces wind draft and prevents splash up in heavy rain. Drop the lines and more air will pass through on warm nights.
Like all of their shelters, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid 1 is constructed with DCF fabric, a best-in-class material that is waterproof, static, does not sag/stretch, and is extremely durable.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid 1 Features
For an ultralight shelter, HMG Mid 1 has all of the bells and whistles, including two large peak vents to reduce condensation. This is extra important in 1P shelters that don’t have two doors to let air pass through. The vents are structured too, keeping gaps open to gulp big hits of fresh air and dump humidity. But we won’t sugar coat it. Condensation is always the biggest challenge with single-wall 1P tents, and though the vents help, they definitely do not solve it. Sleeping with the vestibule open is recommended when conditions allow.
We also love the magnetic door roll-up for the vestibule. The jury is in, and pretty much everyone agrees they’re strictly better than toggles.
Despite the pyramid structure itself being symmetrical, the no-see-um bug mesh entry on one side of the pole means this tent does have a head end and foot end. Pitch accordingly. The head end is opposite from the door end, allowing you to crawl through head first. By offsetting the door, you also get a full half length of the tent to use as a vestibule without stored gear getting in your way.
Four bonus tie out points are available to pull the side walls, head end, and foot end out and away from the camper, somewhat reducing the likelihood of brushing against condensation covered walls. When camping in damp air, we recommend setting up with all four of the tie outs in-use, even if it’s not windy. Extra guylines are not included. At base, the tent sets up with six stakes, 10 if you add all 4 guylines. Or nine , as you can have the two side wall guylines connecting to the same stake.
An interesting note about these is that each guyout point is reinforced, and then a shock cord loop is attached. Use a bowline to connect you guyline to the shock cord loop. This system prevents you from over-tensioning the guyout points and damaging the tent. The shock cord absorbs excess tension.
Lastly, we love the loop that connects the vestibule-side of the bathtub floor to the trekking pole to prevent it from blowing inward or moving about in the wind. It’s the little touches.
What Could Be Better?
There’s lots to love about the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid 1 Tent because it is a legitimately good ultralight solo shelter. However, there are a few things that could be better.
For starters and perhaps more than anything else, we wish there was more usable ceiling space over the head end, foot end, and interior side wall. Taller and larger hikers will find it all too common to brush against the surface. And when it’s cold and condensation is present, that means dampening the down in your sleeping bag’s foot box, the shoulders or hood of your puffy jacket, etc. Twin-pole-setup solo shelters tend to do better in this regard.
We also note the presence of tension-bearing zippers on the primary storm door/vestibule. That is, lengthwise tension pulls at the zipper teeth when the tent is pitched at maximum tautness. While not a massive issue, it does decrease the life span of the zipper. Separating the ridgeline guyline from the zipper can help solve for this while also allowing both doors to be opened at once, which the Mid 1 cannot. A static closure, like a buckle or snap can also prevent the zipper from being over tensioned.
One last minor nitpick is that while the vestibule storm door has a magnetic roll up, the interior mesh door has a traditional toggle. Why not magnets on both?
Mid 1 vs Mid 1 Tarp
Shortly after releasing Mid 1, HMG also launched the Mid 1 Tarp, a floor-less, bug-mesh-less version of the exact same pyramid shelter you’ve been reading about. It weighs an astoundingly light 8.8 oz, and comes with all of the same features and construction as the fly of the Mid 1. This is preferable for backpacking outside of bug season, as it saves weight on unnecessary bug mesh. We still recommend caring a modular ground pad floor. HMG’s ground cloth is high quality dyneema, but expensive. You might also consider the Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ground Cloth.
Between the two, HMG Mid 1 is a better and more versatile buy than the Mid 1 Tarp, since you can use it all summer long. But Super Ultralighters might consider the Mid 1 Tarp for maximum weight savings.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Mid 1 Review Verdict
The HMG Mid 1 is a seriously legit solo shelter, and the best 1P option from Hyperlite. It’s well-made, fully featured, ultralight, sturdy and has a spacious floor plan. Its central headroom is excellent, but low ceilings over the head end, foot end, and side walls are the biggest drawback. Nonetheless, Mid 1 is a premium 1p tent and one of the best options on the entire market. We do recommend it, and especially to HMG fans and loyalists. This is a really nice ultralight tent!