Notes on the HardShell

The HardShell™ is unlike any big mountain tent you have used before.  The HardShell™ tent system consists of a WebTruss™, pole set, tent body, fly, and HiWind™ Kit. The WebTruss™ provides the framework and helps make this tent much stronger that other tents in this size and weight range. The four main poles are the same length allowing the WebTruss™ to be set-up very quickly in high winds. The WebTruss™ effectively locks the poles in place, independently of the tent and fly, so the structure is at maximum strength with or without the tent body. You can chose to leave the tent body at home and use the HardShell with just the fly, saving 3 lb 12 oz in weight.

This tent has another trick up its sleeve with the HiWind™ Kit. The HiWind™ Kit consists of two equal length poles which can be added to the WebTruss™ to significantly increase the tent’s strength. If you are not expecting extreme weather, the HiWind™ Kit may be left at home to save weight. Without the tent body or HiWind ™ Kit the weight of the structure is only 8 lbs 4 ounces (7 lbs 13 oz for the HardShell Carbon).


The fly has oversized snow flaps which overlap, nearly eliminating spindrift.  When property guyed out, this shelter is rock solid in all weather conditions. The HardShell™ is a versatile mountaineering tent that will set the standard for extreme weather shelters.

Aconcagua and the HardShell.

A big heartfelt congratulations and thanks to our friend and guide J.J Justman, who just returned from Aconcagua where he safely guided a team of 9 climbers to summit and back using the HardShell tent.

The HardShell at our base camp in Berkeley.


Here are Robert Links Comments!

The team arrives in Mendoza Argentina after a long flight from North America or Europe. Everyone’s body clock is just starting to engage to the difference in time zone. Some of the team seek a beer and some pool time at the hotel while others prefer to explore the beauty and tranquility of Mendoza. One of the most substantial differences about this South American oasis is dinner time. Locals in Mendoza typically enjoy a “Lomo” dinner accompanied by a Malbec wine at anywhere from 10:00pm to 1:00am. JJ calls a meeting in the evening to form the group into a team by discussing the tentative itinerary and doing a final equipmemt check.

The team picks up the climbing permits in town before taking the three and a half hour journey to Las Pentitentes. Las Pentitentes is located deep in the Andes. The group crosses the Cordelliera del Plata to the ski resort Las Pentitentes(8,800ft) located near the border of Chile and Argentina.

Mule loads of 60 kilos each are packed which consist of a combination of food fuel and personal equipment for the team members. The climbing team carrys only the bare essentials for the next three days on the 36 kilometer trek to basecamp Plaza Argentina (13,850ft).

(Trek Day One Jan 6)The team departs Las Pentitentes to Punta de Vacas a 20 min car ride and a 2000 ft. descent to the trail head. The team is headed for a four to five hour hike along the glacial Vacas River which is too silty to refill water bottles even with the best filter.

It is a a windy hike where green lizards and spiney flora abound.

Beware that soft spongy looking plant which would appear to make a great place to sit, it has two inch spines just below the surface.The first camp Pampa de Lenas (Camp of Firewood 8,500ft) is located near a fresh water inlet to the Vacas. Even though no fires are allowed anymore, It is a one of the best places in the world for star gazing and to see the Southern Cross maybe for the first time.

(Trek Day Two Jan7). The team arises well before sunrise to beat the high desert heat  The route continues along the Vacas River to the next camp Casa Piedras (House of Stone 9,800 ft.). Just before the camp the team gets their first view of Aconcagua which is both enticing and intimidating.

HardShell on Mt McKinley.

Setting up camp on a bluebird day. Mt McKinley.

Setting up camp on a bluebird day. Mt McKinley.

Hunkered down HardShell ready for the night.

Our good friend and Guide Brook Barnes, came off Mt McKinley with some great reviews for the HardShell.

She said that during some severe winds the tent didn't budge all night long.