Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s Unbound 2 tent is a fresh take on a tried-and-true ultralight design. It’s the details that set this tent apart from other gram-saving shelters. Waterproof rainfly zippers, magnetic vestibule clasps, and extra interior space make the Unbound 2 a little slice of luxury that barely tips the scales at just 24 oz. We’ve put ours through the wringer over hundreds of miles in the Sonoran Desert, and we found it to be a spacious retreat after hard days of hiking.
WEIGHT: 24 oz.
DIMENSIONS (LxWxH): 90 x 48 x 48 in.
Ultralight – The HMG Unbound2 weighs in at exactly 1.5 lbs – making it the second lightest tent compared to those on our Best Backpacking Tents list (beaten out only by the ZPacks Duplex & Triplex). This is especially impressive when looking at how much interior space the Unbound has.
Even if you’re a solo hiker, the Unbound 2 should still make your list of considerations, as it’s even lighter than a few of our favorite one-person tents from our Best Ultralight Tents list, like the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (26 oz.) and Tarptent Notch (28.3 oz.).
Spacious – There are several similarly designed tents on the market, but the livable space of the Unbound 2 is greater than that of most of the major two-person tent competition. It has three more inches of width than the industry-leading ZPacks Duplex and significantly more floor and head space than Gossamer Gear’s The Two. The Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo beats the Unbound by six inches of width, but it weighs almost double.
We find the interior space of the Unbound 2 plenty comfortable enough for two hikers and their gear.
Durable, especially for the weight – We’ve always viewed HMG products as striking an excellent balance between weight and durability, and the Unbound 2 certainly lives up to that reputation. This tent is constructed with DCF5 on the walls, DCF8 on the floor, and high-quality, waterproof YKK zippers.
Dyneema (DCF) is highly regarded for its strength and offers a surprising amount of abrasion resistance for its weight. All that said, the Unbound is still an ultralight tent and some care will need to be taken with campsite selection to ensure this tent lasts as long as possible.
Packable – Dyneema tents can be a bit bulky since the fabric doesn’t stuff easily. But when it’s rolled up, the Unbound 2 packs down to a very manageable size. Since this tent uses trekking poles for the structure instead of tent poles, the overall packed size isn’t as long and bulky as most traditional freestanding tents.
As an added bonus, the Unbound comes with an extra large Dyneema stuff sack (about a $50 value) – a great size for easily packing the tent away.
Excellent weather protection – DCF fabric is waterproof by nature, and the Unbound 2 comes fully seam-taped and has a significant bathtub floor to keep you dry when rain hits. The waterproof zippers are also much more confidence-inspiring than traditional zippers with rain flaps when the weather turns nasty.
We’ve endured some high winds in exposed desert washes in our Unbound, and this tent is rock-solid when pitched taut with the side panel ties guyed out.
Excellent headroom – At 48 in., the peak height of the Unbound 2 is taller than most other 2P backpacking tents. The extra headroom makes the Unbound feel very spacious, and makes it more comfortable for two hikers to sit up inside.
Comes seam-taped & guylines are pre-attached – It’s pretty common for ultralight tent makers to require an added fee for in-house seam-sealing/taping, but the Unbound 2 comes fully seam-taped and waterproof. Having to attach your own guylines is another common DIY project with new ultralight tents, but guylines and tensioners are pre-attached on the Unbound.
Expensive – At practically $700, this is not a cheap tent. But, while the initial upfront cost may be daunting, we say it’s very much worth it for hikers who are looking for an exceptional balance between weight and interior space. As long as you treat it with a little care, the Unbound 2 will be a worthwhile investment that lasts for several years.
Ventilation is lacking – The Unbound 2 has vent ports on both vestibules, but there aren’t any struts to hold them open and we find that they’re not very effective. We’ve been using our Unbound 2 in the dry Southwest desert, and we’ve had some mornings with considerable interior condensation. We wish the vestibules sat up a little higher – like that of ZPacks Plex tents and Six Moon Designs Lunar Tents – to allow a cross breeze to cut down on condensation.
On the bright side, you can fully open and tie back the vestibule doors when there’s no rain in the forecast to let a breeze in through the mesh doors on the tent body.
Rainfly zippers are a bit tough to use – While we appreciate that HMG used waterproof zippers which are much more weather-worthy than the more common vestibule zipper rainflap, we find that the zippers are hard to close fully when the tent is pitched tight. It’s definitely a two-hand job from top to bottom, but more often than not we end up leaving the zipper open by about three inches to avoid pulling out a stake on accident or using too much force on the zipper.
White DCF allows a lot of light & heat through – Using the Unbound 2 in the hot and sunny desert, we’ve noticed that it gets very bright and toasty inside shortly after the sun rises. You’ll deal with some light and warmth coming through in pretty much any tent, but we thought it was especially noticeable in this one.
This won’t be an issue if you mostly backpack in areas with a ton of tree cover or you’re the type that rises before the sun, but be prepared to vacate the tent right around sunrise if you’re backpacking in an exposed area.
Non-freestanding design can be challenging to pitch in some conditions – Tents that aren’t freestanding can be a bit of challenge to set up if the ground is too hard, the site is uneven, or when it’s very windy out. Because the structure of non-freestanding tents relies on stakes and guylines, you may end up needing to tie off to logs or rocks to secure the Unbound in areas where you can’t easily get tent stakes in the ground.
There are similar tents on the market, but you should choose the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 2P tent if your main priority is getting an exceptional balance between interior space and weight. We’ve trusted HMG products for years, and this tent – along with the rest of the Unbound line of ultralight gear – is another win in a long line of successes from this brand. This durable DCF shelter will provide a comfortable, waterproof space for two hikers for hundreds – if not thousands – of trail miles if treated with care.
We hope this review helps you determine if the HMG Unbound 2 is right for you. As always, please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions or visit our Facebook page and Instagram to join the community conversation. If you found this review helpful, please share on social media and click the little heart button below to give us a digital high five!
If you liked this list, you’ll love the CleverHiker Gear Guide where we test and recommend tons of outdoor adventure gear from a variety of categories. here are some links to popular articles:
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a modest commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.