Page Type Gear Review
Object Title eVENT MK1Lite
Manufacturer Integral Designs
Page By Alpinist
Page Type Jan 24, 2005 / Jan 28, 2007
Object ID 1240
Hits 6774
Note that the MK1Lite tent is no longer available with the eVENT membrane. You can still purchase it without the eVENT lining.

The eVENT MK1Lite received the 2004 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award.

The original "no frills" tent made even lighter with eVENT fabric. The perfect tent for moving fast and light in the mountains or for solo backpacking forays. Ideal for one person plus gear or for two in a squeeze. Options and features are kept to a minimum to eliminate weight and bulk. The door is only 26" high with an outside integrated half-zip no-see-um mesh screen. The door zipper is completely protected by an elasticized weather flap. The floor is made from a 70 denier, 1.9oz taffeta nylon, 1/2oz urethane coating. There are two tunnel vents, one on each of the upper side walls. Extra tie points are located at the top of the tent and midway up each of the pole seams.

The MK 1’s perfect parabolic shape provides the optimum amount of internal space for the minimum amount of material usage. It can be set up in under two minutes in just about any spot where you choose to make camp. The 46" x 82" floor will fit onto the tiniest of campsites. With 42" of headroom at the apex, this is a comfortable tent to hang out in during bad weather. Due to the angle between floor to apex, the usable floor space is not long enough for people over 6ft tall. There is no vestibule attachment on this model.

The eVENT fabric used is a 3.1oz triple grid ripstop waterproof breathable nylon with a tricot backing, which is lighter and more breathable than traditional ePTFE laminate. The secret to eVENT fabric's unmatched performance lies in a patented technology that allows ePTFE membrane to be used without the need of a layer of polyurethane. This allows eVENT fabric to avoid the moisture retention and breathability inhibiting effects of polyurethane. Caution: lightweight materials such as eVENT are not as durable as heavier ones and need to be treated with more care.

Comes with six Easton 8" long light weight tubular aluminum stakes and four 10-foot lengths of 2.2mm cord.


US retail cost: $500

Optional accessories:
Gear loft................................. $20
Belay slots.............................$19.99
Extra pole set....................... $50
Carbon poles....................... $99
Pole repair kit........................$19.99
Extra Easton tent stakes.... $2.25 ea



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Alpinist - Mar 6, 2005 5:35 pm - Voted 5/5

Excellent 4-season solo tent!
I used this this tent while camping for 5 days on Pico de Orizaba in March 2005 under extremely windy conditions. Winds were gusting to 70 MPH during the entire trip. At times the tent was shaking so violently I thought it would either rip apart or blow away. Many lessor tents would have. Fortunately for me, it held up perfectly. The poles are set up inside the tent, which makes set-up easier in windy conditions. With only the 4 corners and 2 side guy-outs staked, the eVENT MK1Lite definitely passed the wind test. The stakes are tubular shaped that are easy to place and remove, yet hold quite well under stress.

It did not rain or snow during this trip, so I cannot comment on its ability to keep out water. I will update this aspect of my review when appropriate. It definitely did not have any condensation problem on the inside, as most single wall tents do. Night time temps were just a few degrees below freezing. The high winds may have helped, but I also have to credit their propietary eVENT fabric which does seem to work well. There are also 2 tunnel vents and half screen on the door that help with ventilation.

The tent is the best trade off that I've seen so far for weight to space ratio. At under 4 lbs, there is plenty of room inside for me as well as my pack and all other gear. There is no extra room lying down from head to toe however, so anyone over 6ft tall should think twice (or try it first) before purchasing it. Vertical height is quite good. At 42", you can sit up or kneel in it comfortably. The doorway is angled slightly so that you can stand up on the tent floor (with your body outside) to step into your boots. It is easy to get in and out of the tent.

I've been looking for the perfect solo tent for several years and I am extremely happy with this one. Pricy - yes. But well worth the cost. The great features of the eVENT MK1Lite are:

    It's a 4-season, mountaineering tent under 4lbs
    It's roomy inside (width and height)
    It's very stable/durable in high winds
    It has excellent breathability/ventillation for a single wall tent, with the eVENT fabric, tunnel vents and screen door
    It's free-standing
    It's easy to set up
    It's asthethically appealing

In my opinion, this is the ultimate solo 4-season mountaineering tent!

Corax - Aug 14, 2005 5:56 pm - Voted 5/5

Excellent light alternative
I can't add much to what Alpinist has already said, but here are some points.

  • I used it in the high Karakorams and camped on elevations up to 6900m. It performed extremely well even up there. Very little condensation and when the frost melted in the mornings there was no problem with the normal dripping. The "hairy" inside of the fabric held and transported out the humidity in a great way.
  • The tent looks a bit weak, but it stood very strong even in the hard gales up there.
  • It catches very little snow when the heavy stuff is coming down.
  • Some people don't like the "pitching-from-the-inside-solution", but I have very little negative to say about this. When you have done it a couple of times, it's no problem.
  • Very light.
  • The tunnel type vents looks...hmmm, cheap, but works great.

  • The door is a bit low.
  • The way you attach the poles to the fabric is not optimal. If it's cold there is a risk of frostbite fiddling with the velcro, as it's very difficult to manage this with gloves on. The only thing Integral Designs should try to find another solution for.

    Overall, it's a great tent and by far the best I've tried in the category. Five stars - no question.
  • ExcitableBoy - Feb 3, 2008 8:56 pm - Hasn't voted

    Good for cold, dry climates
    I had a MK1Lite and used it in Alaska. Loved the tent, easy to pitch, light weight, large enough to sleep two big shouldered fellas head to foot. The color, however, was awful. Made me feel like I was buried alive. Whoever decided to use red fabric should be forced to wait out a week long storm in it.

    markhallam - Feb 15, 2017 1:50 am - Voted 4/5

    Great, but...
    By way of an update: Integral Designs (Canada) after (apparently) 24 years independent status has been incorporated by Rab and the MK1 Lite has been re-born as Rab Latock Summit. Look to have been one or two modifications in shape, but now more expensive. I don't know whether they have sorted the annoyance Corax refers to of the finger-freezing problem of the Velcro ties for the internal poles...

    As for the original MK1 Lite agree superb tent. Fantastic sturdy and simple design, with the huge advantage of swift pitch - apart from fiddling with the Velcro ties in minus 25 and the further disadvantage of having no porch - but then it is 'no frills' tent and you know what you are getting...

    Some might say lack of valences a problem for additional stability, but with just one occupent, there is enough space to stick a few rocks inside in the corners - the groundsheet could take it.

    I purchased mine early in 2010 and it defended me from a summer midge attack in the Scottish Highlands - until I came to taking it down and trying to make a swift exit - and I was impeded by the Velcro ties (which I forgot unfasten, before opening the door!)... then I camped comfortably in it with temps in minus 20's in an exceptional Scottish December followed by solo ascent Aconcagua February 2011, where night time temps were minus 25C (-13F) at 5900m and where (at 5000m and minus 15C) it stayed up in a 3 day storm with winds of over 100kph (which sadly killed 3 higher up the mountain). The only issues were the lack of a porch meant 15 minutes brushing up snow every time I had to open the tent during the storm and I did find internal icing a mild annoyance when it was very cold both in Scotland and on Aconcagua - mostly it all stuck to the slightly hairy (as Corax describes it) surface - but an appreciable amount did drop off onto me every time I made contact with tent wall (being aged over 50 and unbendy that happened quite a lot)

    This is probably the strongest tent I have ever owned and I expect it to be still useable long after I am (now 56) - but I don't use it so much now since although it packs down very small it actually weighs slightly more than a larger more comfortable (not quite so sturdy but sturdy enough) tent I now mostly use - which has space for another person.

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