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Optic™ 3.5

Details OU9661


For backpackers and campers who appreciate extra square footage and open, airy architecture. The Optic offers a new twist on traditional tents with full-size doors on adjacent sides that zip away to create an open vista. Various tie-backs for the vestibule allow you to customize your view up to 180 degrees. With more space than a standard 3-person tent, the Optic 3.5 easily fits two of you plus whatever else you want to bring along.
Style# 1545181
product.components.activity: Backpacking / Hiking


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Features & Specs

  • Weight: - 6 lb. 11 oz. / 3.02 kg. -
  • Reviewers rated this product: - -
  • Tent Capacity: - 3 -
  • Good For: - Backpacking / Hiking -


For backpackers and campers who appreciate extra square footage and open, airy architecture. The Optic offers a new twist on traditional tents with full-size doors on adjacent sides that zip away to create an open vista. Various tie-backs for the vestibule allow you to customize your view up to 180 degrees. With more space than a standard 3-person tent, the Optic 3.5 easily fits two of you plus whatever else you want to bring along.


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  • Industry leading DAC Pressfit™ poles
  • Doors on adjoining sides roll back to offer huge view and easy access
  • Two mesh doors with dual-slider zipper for easy entry and exit
  • Dual vestibule design creates a dry entry into tent and room for gear storage
  • Internal pockets help keep you organized
  • Reflective color coded starter tab on the rainfly and canopy make pitching easy
  • Optional rectangular or triangular gear loft stows gear off the floor (sold separately)
  • Optional floor footprint available
  • Guy out line and line tensioners included
  • Imported


  • Pole Type: Paleria DAC Pressfit™
  • Fabric Fly: 75D Polyester Taffeta 1500mm PU
  • Fabric Canopy: 20D Poly Knit Mesh
  • Fabric Tent Floor: 70D Nylon Taffeta 3000mm PU


  • Apparel Fit: Equipment
  • Weight Packed: 6 lb. 11 oz. / 3.02 kg.
  • Weight Minimum: 6 lb. 5 oz. / 2.86 kg.
  • Tent Capacity: 3
  • Number of Poles: 3
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Number of Vestibules: 2
  • Height Interior: 48" / 122 cm
  • Length Packed: 23 in / 58 cm
  • Diameter Packed: 7 in / 18 cm
  • Tent Floor Area: 45 sq. ft. / 4.2 m2
  • Tent Vestibule Area: 12 sq. ft. 1.1 m2 / 7 sq. ft. 0.7 m2
Tent Pitching Instructions (Download PDF)


Optic™ 3.5 is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 12.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from go-to tent This tent has been the most used out of my arsenal of tents from 2P all the way to my 8P tent, even when camping solo. This tent is spacious and comfortable and includes 2 large vestibules for storing gear. i wish there were more pockets, but i also understand the limiting factors are due to the design in which two of the walls are doors, definitely not a deal breaker. The fly is solid and seals out moisture, however it also holds it in. I experienced moisture buildup on the inside of the fly/tent while camping solo in cold weather where the fly was sufficiently staked out. Opening the fly door allowed it to eventually evaporate off after the sun came out. With more than 1 body in the tent and less than pristine camping conditions, it may make for a slightly humid camping experience if good ventilation is difficult to achieve. The good! camping in Joshua Tree with the fly off and sleeping under the desert sky was phenomenal! you have a clear view of everything around you and above you. Easy to get in and out of, unpack and setup. Construction of the tent is solid, well built and easy to put together. Every tent i've put together has been in the dark and this one is exceptionally easy to unpack and have setup in under 10min under a headlamp. would purchase again.
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Bummed I bought this. First off the tent works great for car camping and dry weather camping. The mesh is great for seeing the stars and having cool winds breeze through. The fly works great in rain. Hopefufully the tent is setup before the rain. The bad: This tent is not designed for wet environments. The fly entrance overlaps the door entrance allowing for water to drip in. This goes for both entrances. When setting up in rain the all mesh body allows all rain drops to enter. Be fast on the setup and drape the fly over while setting up. With that said, the fly is very water resistant and covers the whole tent. Sorry, but I'm bummed that I bought this tent. Its still a good tent for dry weather but was frustrating and soggy in wet. That overlap of the fly and door is such a pain.
Date published: 2016-10-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great veiw/great doors Downsizing from the great Atrium 6, we went with this Optic 3.5. It fits only our 2 full size thermarests. It would be tight w/our 85lb dog. We are both 5'8,150 lbs. Sadly can't stand up in this one ,just crawl out of the tent each morning in Red Canyon, near Bryce Cyn. Very pleased with the ease of putting it up, in mere minutes, & the big beautiful view. Very small vestibules, useless to us. No directions on the extra pole- FYI-it goes on top to hold the fly off the tent. Quiet zippers. Love MTNHDWARE, just wish it was our Atrium 6, the very BEST tent ever, no longer in manufacture.
Date published: 2016-08-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tent x2 I purchased this tent before a trek into the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana. We experienced extreme heat, heavy rains and nearby forest fires. The tent function and design is excellent. Be sure to set it up once or twice before your trip, it's not intuitive, especially in the dark. I was impressed enough to order a second tent for a nonprofit group to give away. It's slightly small for three persons however.
Date published: 2016-08-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Patagonia Tested I bought this tent before a 10 week backpacking adventure in Patagonia. 8 other close friends and I embarked on this adventure, and this tent was used to house my supply group of 3. With 3 grown men, there was even a little room to spare. I can't tell you how valuable the two storage areas are outside of the doors when the rain fly is on. For how roomy the tent can be, the slight bump up in weight from not being a true "ultralight" tent is absolutely worth it if you are going to be sharing a tent with others on a backpacking trip. I used a paracord to tightly wrap around the bag of the packed tent, and it becomes the size of a normal 2person tent in your pack. In terms of how this tent fared with The Land of the Tempest, I would saw fairly well. Stake down the rainfly properly so that the only thing vulnerable to rain are the 4 inch bottom side walls of the tent, and you should be perfectly fine. The biggest element the tent faced was the gale force winds. I was surprised and very pleased with how well the tent held up, without ever buckling in to the extreme wind. HOWEVER, one of the two big problems I found out with the tent is its susceptibility to dust and dirt. With the way the rain fly stakes down, it never really touches the ground and leaves quite a bit of room for gusts to come through the bottom of it. If you are camping in a windy place around a fair amount of dust/dirt (such as the Southwest), expect to the inside of the tent to get covered in particles. I woke up with my face and bag covered in dust enough times for it to be a con of the tent. The only other con I have ran into with the tent is the rain fly zippers on the front of the tent. If you stake down the tent too tight, the zipper will tear the teeth of the zipper track off track quite easily. I ran into this problem one too many times where I've had to send my current rainfly into Mountain Hardwear to get the entire zipperline replaced. There were too many places along the line where the teeth separated to the point where neither of the bottom or top zippers moved. To go along with this rainfly zipper problem, the flap that overlaps the zippers is too large. When you are trying to zip up the fly quickly or without physically moving the flap out of the way as you're zipping, the flap often gets stuck under the zipper into the teeth of the zipperline. There are several spots on my flap that have torn holes in it because I ran into this problem so frequently. I've heard of this same complaint from others who own this tent. All in all, an incredible tent. It held up to the mecca of elements in Patagonia and stood its ground. There are just some rainfly constructing issues MH could have improved upon to make zippering the fly a lot less stressful.
Date published: 2016-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Optic™ 3.5 This tent is magic. Easy to setup & lightweight. The two doors make this tent's view incredible and there is quite a bit of room in the vestibule. It fit my boyfriend, our golden, and I pretty perfectly- with a little room for gear. I plan on taking this tent backpacking all summer long.
Date published: 2016-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Tent! After hundreds of nights in our Optic, I continue to be impressed by the ease of setup, durability, and comfort. With only two of us in the 3.5, we have plenty of room. We have been through heavy rain, gale-force wind, and quarter-size hail, and the Optic has held up to it all. And on beautiful nights, we can keep the panoramic doorways open to appreciate the view. I definitely recommend getting the footprint. Great tent!
Date published: 2015-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect for OBX Girlfriend and I did a 9 day road trip to OBX and Asheville NC and Shawnee National Forest. Bought the Optic 3.5 for the awesome view capabilities. Definitely live up to expectations. The doors where high enough that only a minimal amount of sand ever got into the tent on Cape Hatters OBX. Overall it was a good size for 2 people to live in for several days but I feel it would be pushing it to add a 3rd person into the mix. Moreover, on a recent overnight trip a sever thunderstorm came through with monsoon like rain and 70 mph winds, and the Optic 3.5 did an excellent job. One corner bent during a huge gust of wind but popped back out. Overall, I would recommend this tent to anyone going on a road trip.
Date published: 2015-07-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poor execution What I like: - quality of materials - panorama view What I don't like: - the tent comes with a qr code and link to pitching instructions, none of which work. - the sides are tight and several inches above the ground. - it's too small, way too small. At best a 2.5. I have no idea how it passes as 3.5 - the rain tarp does not completely over the tent. Note: purchased this tent for a road trip, and have used it in locations across the United States.
Date published: 2015-07-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Been loving this tent Picked this tent up primarily as a spacious option while car camping and using a large air mattress with my girlfriend and dog. Have only used it on three outings so far, here's my breakdown to date... Pros 1. Optic doors. I really love the 180 degree view from inside the tent with the side by side doors open. It's a unique and fun feature, you can lay down for nap in the shade of the tent while still feeling like you're outside and appreciate the fantastic view. 2. Quick setup. We've got it pretty dialed by now, takes less than 5 minutes to pitch. I do recommend purchasing the separate ground sheet. Poles assemble simply, everything clips in easily, and you can pull the corners tight to keep a rigid structure. You do lose some structural integrity if you choose to open the doors to full panorama without the vestibules staked down, but there's no reason to use this feature in windy conditions. 3. Well organized. The vestibules are plenty spacious for any gear you might want to store, I've been keeping my MH duffel bag in one vestibule and it only takes up half the space. There's more than enough pockets inside to store smaller items, no need for a gear loft at all. Cons 1. It's not really an ideal backpacking tent IMOP unless you really split it between 3 people and try to cut it to around 2 lbs each. As is the case with pretty much every tent on the market, they're a little generous with the 3.5 rating. You can do 3 people, but it will be tight. 3 people and a dog... you best all be very comfortable with one another. The Optic series is not Mountain Hardwear's most technical light weight tent option, but it also comes in at about half the price of tents in that category like the Skyledge 3. It's ideal for car camping, short back packing trips for two, or longer back packing trips for three. So far I love this tent and highly recommend it for its unique Optic doorways, simple setup, organization, and price point. I haven't used it in stormy conditions yet, or used it long enough to comment on durability, so I will update my review in time if my opinion changes on any of these points.
Date published: 2015-04-29
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