Hotcore Products took the wraps off their new line of tents this year, offering 2 and 3 person tents for hiking/backpacking/camping and 3, 4 and 6 person tents for families. We've been testing the lightweight Mantis 3 all year and it has been a very versatile tent.
The entire tent fits into a stuff sack that is about the same size and length as the blade of an Ottertail paddle and weighs 3.1 kg. The name of the tent comes from the pole design which looks a little insectoid when fully assembled. The 9.5 mm aluminum poles are strung together by shock cord (which also means no lost poles) and all pretty much click into place on their own around three hubs which provide the structural integrity to keep the Mantis' shape, even during blustery nights.
Clip the tent to the frame with the crossbar tucking into two small webbing pockets and your tent is ready to go. If you're nimble it can be set up solo and even without help from a friend it can be assembled in a few minutes.
If you aren't sleeping under the stars or if you want wind protection, the 70D Polyester (which resists sagging when wet and stands up better to the Sun's UV rays) rainfly attaches with buckles and secures with fabric ties. Guy ropes help ground the tent and provide with venting. The rainfly has a Polyurethane 1500mm waterproof coating and stood up to all of the rainstorms without leaking.
Each step of the way is described (in English and French) with photos printed on a water and rip proof page sewn into the stuff sack.
Since it is a three person tent, it provided ample room for two people and a dog as well as our knapsacks. What was really nice was the each person had their own door and vestibule which allowed for more gear storage and a comfortable way to enter/exit the tent without climbing over the other person (or dog).
My only thing to note was that you really have to make sure you stake out the tent to provide enough tension for the guitar-pick shaped door to open and close smoothly. Thankfully the zipper doesn't bind, but it won't flow smoothly if you're doing it single handed and the tension isn't there.
One nice surprise was the included gear loft which I didn't even notice until I laid down for a nap. Stash extra gear up here or lay out clothing to dry.
The six pockets are plentiful and large in the Mantis 3 with plenty of room to store things. They were also taut enough that they didn't sag into the tent even with large items inside.
The tent floor is 180cm wide by 220cm long and is made from 70D polyester with a 2000mm coating and has taped seams. It also comes up very high (as you can see in the photo above) which should stop any torrents of rain from getting in to your tent.
This lightweight tent is a great buy at a great price offering room and versatility all while only taking a small space in your pack.
The Mantis 3 has a suggested retail price of $194.99 Canadian and you can check out their interactive map to find a dealer near you.
Full disclosure: At the time of review, Hotcore Sleeping bags supports Traversing by purchasing banner ads. We try to remain impartial while writing this review and hope to bring you an unbiased look at this piece of gear.