If you were a fan of GoLite back in the day, you probably know about My Trail Company. Like a phoenix from GoLite’s ashes, My Trail arose a few years back via owner, Demetri Coupounas. My Trail started with some of GoLite’s original designs – the Jam pack, for example – and now that they’re rolling, are branching out into more current and modern designs. The My Trail Pyramid 3 tent is one of the throwback pieces in My Trail’s lineup. And, while it’s still a solid, 4-season shelter, its age is starting to show.
My Trail Pyramid 3 Features
If you were to take a trip back in time to 2014 and spend a night in the backcountry in a GoLite Shangri-La 3 tent (or even the original Hex 3), you’d feel like you hadn’t gone anywhere. The My Trail Pyramid 3 tent is hard to distinguish from the original GoLite version. Which, in a sense, is fine: the Shangri-La 3 was a nice tent in 2008. The Pyramid 3 still a nice tent today.
The Pyramid 3 fly is 15d ripstop nylon, same as the Shangri-La. Fly fabric is silicone coated outside, PU coated inside, same as the Shangri-La. The Pyramid 3 nest uses 20d no-see-um mesh – say it with me – same as the Shangri-La. Tent body floor is a burly 70d nylon. Yup – same as the Shangri-La. There are three peak vents for ventilation, guy points centered on every fabric panel, and an aluminum center pole that adjusts from 4’10” to 5’10”, though the tent body is only 5’5″ tall. You better believe the Shangri-La was identical.
Zippers are huge and in no way ultralight. So, on the down side, they’re heavy. But, on the up side, they aren’t going to break on the trail. The zipper flap is likewise overdesigned, but is not going to fail. There is plenty of stitching all over the tent to reinforce weak points. Even the thread is thicker than it needs to be. The Pyramid 3 is a tough tent.
The fly, pole, and included stakes weigh in at 2.5 lbs. Yes, that’s the same as the Shangri-La. If you want to add the tent body, you’re looking at an additional 2 lbs, 2 oz. A winter shelter setup – fly, pole, stakes, and guys – will cost a bit over 2.5 lbs. Full winter tent mode is just under 5 lbs.
Did I mention that the Pyramid 3 is the same as the Shangri-La 3?
Review: My Trail Pyramid 3
I’ve been knocking My Trail for putting absolutely no thought into updating the Pyramid 3. While I think that derision is deserved, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the design is still entirely viable, even after all these years.
There isn’t much to change in a pyramid tent. Black Diamond has offered their Mega Light mid in the same form for years, only updating the pole to carbon fiber. So, while the Pyramid 3 may be an old design, it will keep rain off your head and keep bugs off your butt. And it does it in a relatively light, spacious package.
The Pyramid 3 package provides a versatile set of options for a camper/backpacker. You can bring only the fly and six stakes and hang the peak of the fly from a tree for a 1.5 lb, minimalist shelter. Or, you can bring the whole shebang and keep two-plus people comfortable, dry, and bug-free in just about any weather for south of 5 lbs. Split the carry between two people and it’s not a big ask.
My Trail still calls the Pyramid 3 a three-person tent. That has always been a generous description of the design. You can squeeze three people in, but it’s not a comfortable evening. Two people and gear is a more realistic fit, especially with a center pole in the way. Those two people will have to be careful how they’re positioned in the tent. Because the pyramid design results in sloping walls, it’s easy to brush against the tent body, which can result in a wet sleeping bag.
Because the fly is nylon, it relaxes when wet. That means that you may have to head out overnight to tighten up the stake-out points or risk fly-body contact. Once you crank things down, though, you’ll be good for the rest of the evening.
Ventilation is excellent. The space between the fly and body, combined with the three peak vents, keeps air moving and prevents much condensation buildup. I didn’t experience any despite perfect condensation conditions.
While I can say that the My Trail Pyramid 3 is entirely adequate, if not a bit dated, for 3-season use, unfortunately, I can’t recommend the tent in winter conditions. It collapsed under a snow load. I believe it was the pole’s fault. Frankly, the pole is crap. I felt much more comfortable using Black Diamond’s carbon fiber pyramid pole than the one that comes with the My Trail tent. To their credit, My Trail immediately replaced the pole.
My Trail’s Pyramid 3 tent is still a good tent, even if GoLite designed it almost 20 years ago. It’s unfortunate that My Trail didn’t update it, at all, from the GoLite design. There is plenty of room for improvement and weigh savings. I’d love to see the Pyramid 3 reexamined and reworked. Even though it’s still a viable tent, I think a few tweaks could make it much more competitive.
That said, part of why My Trail can offer the Pyramid 3 at $399 msrp is because they haven’t put any money into redesigning it. If that sounds steep, take a direct, apples-to-apples comparison between My Trail’s Pyramid 4 and the BD Mega Light with bug tent: the Pyramid 4 is $500 for everything; BD makes you spend $290 on the Mega Light and another $290 on the bug tent for $580, total. And, the My Trail setup weighs over half a pound less.
After two years of selling nothing but old, GoLite designs, My Trail is finally starting to come out with some brand new product at really good prices. The Pyramid 3 is buyable right now (especially when My Trail runs a sale), but here’s to hoping that they put some time and thought into tweaking the Pyramid 3 to make it even better.