Fitzroy $699 ($125.95 for optional vestibule)
Weight: 6 pounds 4 ounces
Center Height: 40”
Spacious for 2; tight for 3
The Fitzroy hasn’t changed over the years, and remains the classic single-wall high-altitude tent. Bibler claims that you can hop in the tent and set it up from the inside out, keeping you out of the raging weather. Erecting it, however, generated more cursing than setting up all the other tents combined. That said, it was also the favorite for extreme winds and snow. Once up it was tight and quiet.
The Fitzroy is a cheerful yellow and the “ToddTex” waterproof-breathable fabric breathes well. The Fitzroy had no noticeable condensation in rain and minimal condensation in snow. There are no top vents but a large front door and a smaller back door allow good ventilation. Protected eaves over each door stay partially open in snow or rain. Three-point side-equalizing guy lines strengthened the tent in lateral winds and increased interior room.
The 45-square-foot Fitzroy comfortably sleeps two and sardines in three. An optional aerodynamic vestibule adds 10 square feet of storage space. This was the favorite tent for the Himalaya, Alaska and Aconcagua. When the inevitable high-mountain storm struck, we slept soundly. One night I measured winds of over 60 mph. The Bibler didn’t budge, while other tents flapped, tore and suffered broken poles.
Pros: Great strength-to-weight ratio. The strongest tent for high winds. Best choice for high altitude.
Cons: Tricky to pitch, small vestibule and pricy.