Your shelter, and what you bring in your backpack is the key to a successful backpacking trip. Without these two elements your trip can be cut short, or full of setbacks. Having the right tent is important whether it is your first backpacking trip, or you’re a long time backpacker. Choosing the perfect tent based on its weight to carry, and its characteristics to withstand the elements that the great outdoors throws at us are key. Today we take a look at the best lightweight backpacking tents.
What Is a Lightweight Backpacking Tent
When choosing a tent a pound or two may not seem like a big deal at the time. When added to all the other belongings in your tent those few pounds can make a huge difference. Lightweight backpacking tents are essential to any successful backpacking trip, because your tent is usually one of the heaviest items in your pack. With a lightweight backpacking tent you can cover much more mileage each day with ease and proficiency. Lightweight backpacking tents will be smaller then your average tent, and made with thinner material. They require more care than an average tent because they are made slightly less durable, but with proper care they lead to the most successful backpacking trip.
Top 5 Backpacking Tent Reviews
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Tent
The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 is a two person lightweight backpacking tent. The tent includes a rain fly, dual doors, and a steep vertical wall. The tent body is made with ultra lightweight nylon and polyester mesh. The mesh body offers excellent ventilation for the summer months, and holds up under extreme winds and hail conditions. Setting up the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 is easy and can be done in fewer than 5 minuets even by those inexperienced with pitching a tent.
You can purchase the footprint sold separately, which will extend the life of the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 tent by protecting it from abrasive wear and tear.
This tent is great for beginners, or those looking for a middle of the line lightweight backpacking tent.
The Hilleberg Anjan 2 shines when looking for a backpacking tent with as little weight as possible. This two-person tent is designed for three weather seasons of the year, and has great airflow to keep you cool in the hot summer months. You can setup the fly and then attach the inner tent in case it is raining which is a feature rarely seen.
The size of the vestibule is great which can be opened halfway and crawled in, keeping rain from falling into the inner-tent. This tent withstands hours of rain and wind, but has been said to not have the easiest set up.
The Hilleberg Anjan would be best suited for those with experience backpacking.
The Nemo Hornet two person-backpacking tent is great for those backpackers who are tall and struggle to find a tent to fit in lengthwise. With a quick set up of five minuets this backpacking tent is the best buy for your buck. This 2lb freestanding backpacking tent has two doors and two vestibules, while still managing to offer the ultimate in livability and comfort among ultra light backpacking tents.
The Nemo Hornet packs down very small to fit in your backpack, has many pockets on the inside of the tent, and withstands wind and precipitation. For a two-person tent the Nemo Hornet comes on the smaller size, but when you’re searching for a lightweight tent that is bound to happen.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent is said to be one of the most livable lightweight backpacking tents around. The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 offers a vestibule, rainfly, and gear-loft. Able to fit two large sleeping pads, this tent is more spacious then most lightweight backpacking tents, and can keep you cozy during any storm.
This tent is perfect for three-season backpacking, plenty of venting options to aid in the war against condensation, and the mesh will protect you from pesky bugs. Unique to the Hubba Hubba is the rainfly-vestibule interaction. Instead of center zips on the fly, the zipper lies along the side, tucked beneath a rain gutter. Weighing in at 3 and a half pounds this tent has all elements to search for when choosing a lightweight backpacking tent.
Kelty TN2 Backpacking Tent
For its great price the Kelty TN2 is a great budget backpacking tent, and a perfect choice for beginners. Awarded the 2014 Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice Award the Kelty TN2 includes shorter poles with a lifetime warranty, two door vestibules (one large, and one smaller), and spacious enough for two adults and their backpacks.
The stargaze feature brings an out of this world view from the comfort of your tent. When it rains you’ll stay warm and dry thanks to the mesh design and excellent ventilation. The tent lacks when it comes to internal storage only containing two built in pockets, but makes up for spaciousness fitting two people easily at 6ft.
Overall this is a great tent, at a great price, especially for a cloudless night of stargazing.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Lightweight Backpacking Tent
When shopping for a lightweight backpacking tent there are a few key elements to make sure your tent has. Look for lightweight durable material, which will withstand any elements, but still thick enough to keep any moisture out of your tent. Find a backpacking tent with fewer poles as possible, or a tent that’s poles fold up easily into your backpack to leave more space for your other essential items.
Most importantly take your time when choosing a tent. Practice in your own backyard, and make sure the tent works for you!
When choosing the best lightweight backpacking tent it comes down to what your personal needs on the trail are. Each tent will specialize in one characteristic over another. Before purchasing a tent look to see what are your biggest obstacles on the trail and start with searching for your tent from there. Your tent will be your home for your trip, so take time to plan ahead, practice setting up your tent in different weather conditions, and invest in the tent that will last you for more than one season. In today’s technology backpacking tents have come far, and are helping hikers reach longer distances than ever before.