Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 Tent Review

Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 Tent Review

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #3589598
    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    Companion forum thread to: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 Tent Review

    The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2 is a two-person, hybrid single/double wall, two-vestibule Dyneema Composite Fabrics (DCF) tent that can be pitched with two trekking poles. This review assesses wind loading, snow loading, rain, condensation resistance, ease of setup, livability.



    Locale: The Cascades

    One thing I wish you had done in your video (unless I missed it, I was jumping ahead a number of times, but usually not by much) was to have both you and your partner sit up together in the tent, not just you sitting up with her laying down. It seems that to do so, you both would have had to have had one shoulder pushing well against the mesh, but it would have been nice to actually see.

    This looks like a nice, spacious single-person shelter, not really a two-person shelter. But it’s heavy, and it’s really expensive. Other than fit and finish and a bit better wind performance, I’m still struggling to see what it has over the Duplex, which is lighter and much less expensive. And I’m struggling to see what it has over the Aeon Li, also much less expensive and lighter, at all, other than a wider floor and two doors.

    Of course, I don’t have a Li or this shelter, only the Duplex, which has served me well in a variety of conditions over the last few years.

    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    Great point Doug. Yes, our heads hit on the canopy when sitting side by side. It’s pretty tight in there with two people, and we’re little ones (5-6 and 5-7).

    Hanz B
    BPL Member


    Nice review. Thanks! As always, it got me thinking about my kit. how to make it safer instead of lighter.

    I wonder where the optimal locations would be to add guy line attachments to a few of these structures to makes them more wind worthy?

    I imagine somewhere along the seams. I’d like to think there are smart Guyline enhancements to my 0.74 dcf duplex that might lead to lower decibels and more Rigidity.  But I wound not know optimal angles and heights up the ridge lines, that make the most sense for appropriate tension vrs angles against the wind, etc, after a lower pitch. Though this might be drift and perhaps it merits its own topic.

    This helped me understand the limits of my ul tents. Appreciate the review. Hanz.


    William Chilton
    BPL Member


    Locale: Antakya

    @idester At 5’10” with a wife who’s several inches shorter, we can both sit up comfortably, but with one shoulder touching the mesh and it’s too tight to do any moving around when you’re both sitting. And neither of us is bulky in build. However, at the risk of being called silly again, this is a good size tent for two people if like us you never both sit up at the same time.

    Also, I wonder how it works if you sleep head to toe? The door system seems to suggest it’s intended to be used like this.

    “This looks like a nice, spacious single-person shelter, not really a two-person shelter. But it’s heavy, and it’s really expensive. Other than fit and finish and a bit better wind performance, I’m still struggling to see what it has over the Duplex, which is lighter and much less expensive.”

    We also have a Duplex. We added the Dirigo partly because we expect it to be better and quieter in the wind but also because of the pole set up. Not having apex guys means it’s easier to fit into small places and the apex guys on the Duplex really need to be in firm as they take a lot of strain. We’ll still keep the Duplex for some trips – after all, it is lighter.

    “I’d like to think there are smart Guyline enhancements to my 0.74 dcf duplex that might lead to lower decibels and more Rigidity. ”

    Half way along the bottom edge at the head and foot end is a good place to start. We got our Duplex with them added as custom, back in the days when Zpacks did custom. We’ve added the same to the Dirigo with a stick on 1.3 oz cuben patch for reinforcement and a stick on loop.

    If you like to keep the doors open, they can be noisy in wind so we added stick on loops and toggles so each door can be fastened up in two places (and have done the same to the Dirigo). I saw someone who added magnet tie backs – that would be cool.

    But for getting the Duplex quieter in wind, I think there are two problems. Firstly, the ridgeline vibrates in strong wind coming at the head or foot end. No matter how tight the apex guys (and we pitch the Duplex tight, not like some of the flappy pitches you see in some photos), it still happens. The second problem is that closing the doors seems to skew the geometry of the rest of the tent and leads to some slackness in the main side seams of the fly. Perhaps tie outs here would help? I’ve seen somewhere about someone who guys out from the door toggles.

    Edited to add: Yes, it’s expensive but have you looked at the cost of any of the 2-person mids in cuben with cuben floored inners?



    Locale: The Cascades

    “The second problem is that closing the doors seems to skew the geometry of the rest of the tent and leads to some slackness in the main side seams of the fly.”

    I’ve noticed this as well. If I get a good tight pitch with the Duplex, I can’t close the doors. If I set it up so that I have a fairly tight pitch with the doors closed, when I open them the pitch immediately slackens. Nice to know I’m not the only one. :-)

    If the Dirigo was about 5 ozs. lighter and about $200 less expensive, I’d seriously consider it. As it is, I’m just not the customer base for this particular shelter. But thanks for a different view William, I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on it after you’ve had it for awhile.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Laniakea

    Thank you Ryan for your review of the Dirigo. I have great respect for HMG, and use and am highly satisfied with a number of their products. But as I observe in several posts on the separate thread on your video of the Dirigo in extremis, in my opinion this product has a serious structural flaw. Like most ‘mids, the structural system of the Dirigo consists of a tensile skin that stresses a compression frame, somewhat akin to using a Duomid or a Khufu with a two-pole arrangement, e.g. using a Locus DPTE to pin-joint two poles at the apex, together with a tensile tie at the base at ground level. In that Duomid/Khufu + DPTE + base tie, the compression frame is in effect triangulated – the slopes of the two poles mean that their bases are not going to collapse inwards.
    In the effort to provide more headspace, the Dirigo introduces the CF ridge bar that separates and connects the tops of the two poles. This assembly is structurally equivalent to a truncated triangular 3-pole structure that again, functions as a compression member. It is pretty obvious that if the two joints between long poles and the short horizontal ridge “pole” were pin joints, the structure would quickly collapse under applied stress. The structural integrity depends upon the two joints being rigid, as in the elbows of a portal frame (common in factory structures). In the 3-pole Dirigo structure, those two joints need to provide rigidity firstly in the plane of the poles (that vertically slices the ‘mid space into two); and secondly in torsion about the long axis of the ridge pole, so that one joint will not rotate relative to the other. I.e., the 3-pole compression structure needs to not deflect, and also not twist (rotate), so that it no longer forms a planar structure.
    If the first rigidity constraint is not met, the frame will distort in the 3-pole plane, with one joint angle increasing while the other decreases – in effect, swaying side to side as the ridge pole rotates within that vertical plane (so the apex moves forward and backward relative to the front and back (other front) of the mid).
    If the second rigidity constraint is not met, the ridge pole will rotate in the horizontal plane as one joint moves to the left (looking at a front of the tent) while the other moves to the right. So the top of the frame twists back and forth, as the (tops of the) long poles sway side to side.
    I find hard to imagine that the handles of the long trekking poles can be adequately secured in that system to offer satisfactory rigidity under strong and blustery wind loads.
    Contrast this with the stable triangulation provided in the 2-pole system using a single pin-joint at the apex (Duomid/Khufu with DPTE,  presupposing that the DPTE makes an adequate junction with the pole tips (poles are inverted in that case), and not a sloppy junction).
    While the Dirigo 3-pole structural system will work – provided always that conditions don’t get too bad – it is rather like developing a one-legged chair. Yes, it will work, but… only until the cat jumps on your lap, spilling your hot tea and causing your to drop your laptop and knitting, shortly before striking the floor head-first. Four legs good, one leg bad.
    How then can better headroom be provided in ‘mids, while still providing structural integrity? My suggestion for a rectangular ‘mid is to have a short pole some distance below the apex, which is horizontal, and at right-angles to the long axis of the rectangle. Messner designed a number of dome tents that have such a feature, and they work well (I have several). In those domes, the short pole is not curved, and just takes compression. But for a rectangular ‘mid, the short cross-pole will have to avoid the two main poles, while having its ends in their plane. So it might consist of two gently bowed sections, joined at both ends, and passing either side of the long poles. In such a case, the short compound pole would not touch either long pole, making a form of tensegrity structure. Or it could consist of two separate straight short poles that do not touch, are parallel, and pass either side of the long poles (another tensegrity).
    I think also, as others have pointed out, the lack of a solid base for one pole in Ryan’s storm video contributed to that structural failure. The (long) pole takes compression; if it does not have satisfactory resistance from the ground (being on snow), it will slide down, allowing the other long pole to slope more as the apex moves to the front of the ‘mid (the long side having the faulty base condition). This will contribute to the tent “rolling” about the long axis of the ‘mid, which effect can be seen in the video.
    Just my thoughts, kindly forgive my ramblings, and God bless HMG.

    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern Indiana

    You’ve hit another homerun with this video Ryan. You’re on your way to becoming a YouTube star. You may never be as endearing as Dixie of Homemade Wanderlust, but you’re doing well..

    One of the great things about this video is the way you show how to properly setup and tension a mid. It’s explained in a way that’s very understandable. The fundamentals are what people need more of.

    I really hoped the Dirigo 2 would perform better in moderate winds. I guess Robert is right in his structural analysis. Maybe if there was a way the stop the rotation among the poles and ridge bar, rigidity would improve.

    But the triangular end panels are what impress me most. I don’t know if anyone has done it before, but it appears to be a fantastic idea. The way the triangular seams all come together to  make things more solid . I’m  cautious about most panel tieouts, always putting shock cord on them and not tensioning very tight, in fear of ripping out a panel. But the pullouts on the Dirigo are attached to where the seams are sewn together…way better.

    Turns out the WPB material wasn’t just a gimmick after all. And the added space, less snow loading and the overall strengthening with the triangular end panels makes it a real advancement IMO.

    William Chilton
    BPL Member


    Locale: Antakya

    Great video and thorough review. .I like it when BPL really gets into things. More please.

    I don’t have enough time in the Dirigo in bad weather to add significantly to your judgements but watching the video,a few comments and questions came to mind. In random order:

    What do you think was the causing the line to slip in the linelocs? Would a different line have held better or was it because of the strain being put on them? The line is about the same diameter as the line that MLD uses, for example. Switching out the line would be easy to do if it were going to make a difference.

    Would using poles on the mid-panel end guys have helped in the storm? In the video it looks as if the wind is able to push the guy downwards. Using poles here also flattens the Event panel (less concave) and slightly steepens the slope of the side triangular panels.

    I think the main reason for the mitten hook is so that you can unfasten the door without having to reach out to the stake. One solution to it’s weakness would be to use it on the door you wish to use for entry/exit and have just a guyline through a lineloc on the other door panel (easy to mod yourself with a lineloc on a loop). Then you can unhook the mitten hook when you need to use the door, but the strain is also taken by the other guy. It also lessens stress on the zip. The old style Zpacks double hooks also work (but not the new style), but I don’t know how strong they would be.

    How much strain would apex guys need to take? Stick on loops from Zpacks would make an easy way to attach them. I don’t know how much strain they’d be able to take but presumably they’d be able to some help to the shell.

    Edited to add a gratuitous photo of the Dirigo under the excuse that it shows it pitched with an end pole.


    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    Hi Ryan,

    Great review, especially liked your detailed design critiques, and your attempt to distinguish between summer tents (or two-season tents) and three-season tents.

    Except generalizations are still generalizations. Where I backpack most often in coastal California, light snowfall is a rare event between December and February. So your summer tent works for me in four seasons.

    And despite being in the “dry west,” condensation is a serious problem year-round within ~50 miles of the Pacific Ocean. [condensation rant dropped during editing]

    Other BPL threads have pointed out that each region and user can have very specific tent requirements. Trying to characterize a tent as summer, three-season, or expedition is fuzzy at best and potentially harmful.

    We need better descriptions for tent weather capabilities.

    Maybe simple icons for high wind, condensation, light snowfall, and heavy snowfall?

    Probably need to define the testing conditions for each term, too.

    — Rex

    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    Excellent video.

    On side note, I think you should do a video trip report of some of the BPL Trekking courses.

    Hanz B
    BPL Member


    Regarding the seamed triangles vs a mid panel tie out… why wouldn’t the middle panel tie outs (aka duplex) without seams simply conform to the same geometry?

    When I set up my duplex with zpacks guy line hats on the mid panel sections it creates a similar geometry to the structured D2 shown above.

    It’s odd to assume the seams are better structures since it’s an engineered failure point by the fact that you are cutting dyneema fibers. Is it because the tension is on the long axis of the seam which I a few overlapping sections?. It’s hard to imagine seams along stress lines would be stronger then uncut dyneema fibers. They are dyneema fibers after all. Do sails on sailboats which are under tremendous stress conform to this concept?

    i am starting to think that a 0.74 dcf duplex (double the dyneema fibers of the duplex compared in this review) + the flex upgrade (4oz more weight) then D2 with 4 extra tie outs and some ear plugs is more versatile and structurally equivalent. RJ says in his post that there are benefits of the 0.8 vs 0.51 dcf in weather, I think we aight to compare the 0.74 duplex to the D2 in reality maybe.

    Thanks for the advice. I’ve just ordered tape tie outs and extra inside patches  and I will be adding these at your rec locations.

    Your comments regarding the ridge line are well taken. I wonder, if similar to an airplane wing the slightly curved middle surface of the duplex ridge line creates minimal upward lift when set up in a lower pitch – that would explain the vibrations.

    Regarding set up, I’ve found the doors toggled closed and ridge-line set up first before the four corners provided a tight pitch and no door distortion which I struggled with year one.

    This is a bit of an aside but I feel the geometry of my solplex ridge line is more refined, and the extra angle toward the non door side helps.

    And for whoever is reading this – I am not suggesting you take your dcf tent or duplex above the tree line – i am simply trying to understand the safe limits of my tents.

    Gunnar H
    BPL Member


    Regarding set up, I’ve found the doors toggled closed and ridge-line set up first before the four corners provided a tight pitch and no door distortion which I struggled with year one.

    I would find it very difficult to set a Duplex up corners last in windy conditions. Have you tried to set it up the “new” way z-packs recommends? I changed to this way to get a less wind sensible way to set it up. Doors can be closed during setup but it is the last step to tension them.

    The vestibules pitches quite a bit higher from the ground than the rest of the tent though, and that is one of the problems with Duplex when it is windy. But it can help on uneven ground. I still use it above the treeline but it is not the tent I would buy today for that.

    YouTube video


    Max Neale
    BPL Member


    Locale: Anchorage, AK

    Ryan, awesome review! Thanks for doing the condensation humidity tests. I took my Dirigo out in the snow for a night and a couple things broke. I agree with you that there is good potential with future refinement.

    Ken Larson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Michigan

    Many at this point are saying to themselves…. “Hyperlight should have done more R &D  testing/usage like what you, Ryan Jordan and others did prior to the Dirigo 2 – Ultralights introduction.

    Big thanks for your posting.

    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    Thanks Ryan. Your gear reviews are much better than 99% of the Youtube reviews I’ve seen. You know what is important and clearly point out both strengths and weaknesses of the tents in real conditions. Maybe HMG will take you up on making an eVent walled tent!

    The only UL tent I’ve found to be suitable in high winds and heavy snow is my Tarptent Moment DW with the  3/4 ripstop inner tent and an optional crossing pole and 4 guy lines rigged and properly staked. Yeah, I do have to dig out the side walls during a heavy snow but that’s the case with most 4 season tents.


Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!