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Sierra Designs high-tech, $1,800 tent

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July 28, 2012

A cuben fiber shell and carbon fiber poles make the Sierra Designs Mojo UFO one of the lig...

A cuben fiber shell and carbon fiber poles make the Sierra Designs Mojo UFO one of the lightest tents ever

Part of the new line of ExoFusion fast-and-light tents, the new Mojo UFO is truly not of this world. The two-person backpacking tent weighs less than 2 lbs. (0.9 kg), pitches in minutes and costs as much as a vacation for two.

Sierra Designs introduces the tent in its press release, "For those who are truly obsessed with ultralight gear, space-age materials, and technical designs, we offer the Mojo UFO." The tent is certainly a pièce de résistance of modern tent technology and design. Instead of the standard nylon or polyester, cuben fiber, an ultralight, highly durable fabric used in sailcloth, is used to create the tent body and integrated rain fly. Cuben fiber has been showing up more and more in the outdoors market over the past few years, appearing in other tents like the Brooks-Range Rocket Tent and Terra Nova Laser Ultra 1.

Neither of those other two tents complement their cuben fiber construction with pure carbon fiber poles, however. The Mojo UFO does. The payoff for the expensive materials is a weight of 1 lb. 11 oz. or 0.76 kg (tent, integrated rain fly and poles), which is among the lightest, if not the lightest, on the market for a fully packaged freestanding two-person tent.

The Mojo UFO's ExoFusion system includes an external pole set-up that pitches quickly. Its integrated rain fly sets up more simply than a separate rain fly while offering more ventilation than a single-wall tent.

Nothing about cuben or carbon fiber is cheap, and the Mojo UFO definitely hits super-stratospheric pricing. The tent will retail for US$1,799. Undoubtedly realizing that not many backpackers are willing to spend nearly $2,000 on a tent, Sierra Designs plans to manufacture it in limited quantities.

Thanks to sprawling, heavy-duty mountaineering tents, the $1,799 Mojo UFO won't be able to claim the title of "world's most expensive tent." However, it is much more expensive than any backpacking tent we've ever seen - $400 to $600 will buy you some of the lightest, most advanced tents on the market.

While the Mojo UFO's material list and low weight are impressive, other tents deliver even lower weight for less than a third the price. For instance, the Sea to Summit Specialist Duo weighs just 1 lb. 6 oz. (0.62 kg) when pitched with hiking poles and 1 lb. 13 oz. (0.82 kg) with the manufacturer's tent poles. Its retail price is around $500. The extra $1,300 could buy a lot of additional gear - and maybe rent a llama to carry it for you!

"When we created the Mojo UFO, we weren’t trying to make the lightest tent possible," Scott Kaier, marketing manager for Sierra Designs' parent company American Rec told us when we inquired about the price vs. weight compared to similar tents. "We wanted to make our tent as light as possible. We wanted a full-size, two-person tent that is comfortable and fully-featured. Two adults can sleep comfortably side by side and sit up at the same time."

The Mojo UFO should indeed prove roomier than the Specialist Duo. Kaier told us that the tent is 50 inches (127 cm) wide at the head, tapered to 41 inches (104 cm) at the feet. The Specialist Duo is listed at 37 inches (94 cm) wide.

Gizmag will be on hand at next week's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, where the Mojo UFO will debut. We hope to get a closer look at and additional details on this ultralight, ultra-priced tent.

Source: Sierra Designs

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
3 Comments

Tyvek is much cheaper, almost as light, and breathable. Oh, and backpackers have been using it for years.

MBadgero
30th July, 2012 @ 11:06 am PDT

I don't care if it has to be staked down to keep if from floating away. At that price, I wouldn't even think about it.

kellory
30th July, 2012 @ 04:51 pm PDT

I own a lot of cuben fiber gear, including tents and backpacks. As well, I own a few carbon fiber poles (My GG LT4's are carbon fiber and I absolutely love them!) But there is no way I could pay that much for a tent... It is nice to see more mainstream companies finally using cuben fiber in this manner though...

And IMO, there is no comparison between Tyvek and Cuben Fiber... Cuben is lightyears ahead of Tyvek... Tyvek is way heavier, but it definitely is much cheaper...However, in a heavy downpour, I would rather be inside a cuben shelter than a Tyvek shelter. Here is a bit of Q&A straight from HS TarpTents site on his Tyvek Sublite:

Q: Can I use this in heavy rain?

A: The Sublite is water resistant and performs well in medium intensity and moderate duration rains. It is not intended for heavy, long duration rains.

Chad Poindexter
31st August, 2012 @ 06:53 pm PDT
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