September 24, 2022

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The Finest Backpacking Tents of 2022

Whether or not you’re trying to spend 100 nights on the path or wish to persist with a decent funds, we’ve discovered the most effective backpacking tents of 2022.

From PCT hikers spending 6 months on the path to the nascent hiker spending 6 days on their first solo backpacking journey, tent is the cornerstone of out of doors preparedness. The correct tent could be a shelter from the weather and critters. Within the wild, it’s a house away from house.

Our crew of testers has spent a whole lot of nights in tents in climate circumstances that run the gamut from excruciating desert warmth to frigid winter nights at excessive elevation to convey you our choice of the most effective backpacking tents for this 12 months. In the case of selecting a tent, one fact stands out: no single tent will work properly for each scenario.

Typically you need a superlight bivy that simply retains the bugs away on an extended hike. Different occasions, you need a burly winter abode able to standing as much as gale-force winds and heavy snow. Perhaps you need that tent that may perform a little of all the things.

On the whole, selecting a tent largely comes all the way down to how you propose to make use of it. If you happen to need assistance deciding, try our purchaser’s information. And in the event you’re in search of one thing roomier for automotive tenting or household tenting, we’ve a separate assessment of the most effective tenting tents.

We thought-about six elements whereas evaluating for the most effective backpacking tents: ease of establishing, sturdiness and supplies, weight and packed dimension, inside area, climate resistance, and worth.

Flooring area and packed weight had been an important elements to our panel, whereas further options akin to pouches and pockets weighed much less closely in our analysis.

Every tent excels in a number of of those elements, and we’ve awarded excellent fashions “Better of Ranking” similar to their excellent qualities. So whether or not you might be pinching pennies, able to splurge on the tent of your goals, or simply wanting to switch your tattered gear, we’ve discovered a tent that may suit your funds and wishes.

Scroll via to see all of our really useful buys, or soar to the class you’re in search of. On the finish of our record, remember to try our purchaser’s information and FAQ part.

The Finest Backpacking Tents of 2022

Finest Total Backpacking Tent: Large Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

Searching for a three-season freestanding tent that ideas the scales at simply 3 kilos, 2 ounces? Enter the Large Agnes Copper Spur ($500). Though you could find lighter tents available on the market, this tent is gentle sufficient to make it a contender for the most effective backpacking tent, even for the gram-counters amongst us.

This tent boasts overlap between the tub flooring and the rainfly, guaranteeing a dry evening’s sleep. Above the ground materials, high quality mesh supplies a breathable, well-ventilated area that ought to maintain condensation low.

With so little weight in your pack, you get a extremely snug abode for the path. It has two doorways, two vestibules, 29 sq. ft of flooring area, and 18 sq. ft of mixed vestibule area. The vestibules remodel into awnings with trekking poles to cook dinner underneath or to permit airflow.

Simple-to-use tent buckles on the corners the place the fly attaches make for fast setup in a storm. We additionally appreciated the storage pockets on the ft and head for electronics, snacks, or layers. Plus, the ceiling pocket on the head has media pockets with cord-routing for electronics in case you are caught in unhealthy climate.

The Copper Spur is a light-weight tent, subsequently, the supplies are extra delicate to save lots of weight. The ripstop flooring and fly have 1,200mm polyurethane (PU) coating however are very skinny. The poles are a mixture of DAC’s NSL and NFL, and are the lightest the model affords. The four-way hub on the apex the place the poles be part of aids in a speedy setup.

Bear in mind, you will need to train warning when setting as much as keep away from ripping or breaking poles. At all times double-check to ensure poles are correctly seated earlier than flexing them into place.

Watch out when packing gentle tents into your pack, too. With conscientious care and upkeep, these tents can final a very long time.

Copper Spur Backpacking Tent Review
The Large Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 has glorious rain safety; (photograph/Eric Phillips)

This Large Agnes Copper Spur tent is right for light-weight backpacking as long as you’re taking excellent care to guard the supplies. Hikers who use electronics extra, or who assume they could take a relaxation day or two within the tent, will get pleasure from the additional options.

There are lighter tents accessible for ultralight hikers and beefier ones for individuals who shall be inside spitting distance of a automotive. Total, this tent is nice for summer season tenting, backpacking, and any multiday journey the place you’re in search of a stability of consolation and weight.

  • Weight: 3 lbs., 2 oz.
  • Top: 40 in.
  • Flooring area: 29 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Nylon, aluminum, and composite
  • Vestibule space: 18 sq. ft.
  • Mild
  • Secure
  • Roomier than anticipated
  • Glorious storage and vestibule design
  • Costly
  • Struggles in excessive winds (above 40 mph)
  • Considerably fragile

Examine Value at evo

Finest Finances Backpacking Tent: Marmot Catalyst 2P Tent

Marmot Catalyst 2P Tent

At $219, the Catalyst two-person tent is a wonderful worth for somebody in search of a strong backpacking tent that may additionally operate as a automotive tenting tent, all with out breaking the financial institution.

At a minimal path weight of 4 kilos, 11 ounces, it’s on the heavy facet, however it’ll do the job and packs down sufficiently small to suit comfortably in a backpack. It’s additionally fairly spacious, with 32.5 sq. ft of flooring area.

We love the color-coded poles for simple setup, which most say is a chunk of cake even for brand new campers. It additionally has two D-shaped doorways with vestibules, including room for gear storage.

The one drawbacks to this tent are its weight and bulk. A minor criticism is that the totally different size poles might be complicated in case you are in a rush. Practising your setup upfront (all the time really useful) is an efficient solution to shorten setup time.

The packed dimension is 21 by 7.5 inches, and the Catalyst weighs 5 kilos, 3 ounces. That is pretty heavy for a two-person tent, and it’s no simple process to hold up a steep move.

Nonetheless, for brand new hikers stepping into the sport, the Marmot Catalyst 2P Tent is a superb place to begin. Divide the elements of the tent between you and your mountain climbing accomplice and begin exploring. Anybody who’s uncertain about how a lot backpacking they are going to do is unlikely to have purchaser’s regret, making this among the best backpacking tents for the worth.

  • Weight: 4 lbs., 11 oz.
  • Top: 44 in.
  • Flooring area: 32.5 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Polyester and aluminum
  • Vestibule space: 11 sq. ft., 6.5 sq. ft.
  • Nice worth
  • Spacious
  • Simple setup with color-coded poles
  • Heavier than different backpacking tents
  • Cumbersome when packed
  • Totally different pole lengths

Examine Value at REI

Finest Ultralight Backpacking Tent: NEMO Hornet Elite

NEMO Hornet Elite

Our crew has spent dozens of nights backpacking with the NEMO Hornet Elite ($500), and the consensus amongst us is obvious. We completely love this tent! Largely, we love how a lot this tent saves each weight and pack area. It’s a marvel of engineering, and is really among the best backpacking tents ever designed.

The NEMO Hornet Elite weighs a scant 2 kilos, 1 ounce. And you may ditch some stakes and the stuff sack for a minimal path weight of 1 pound, 11 ounces. For gram-counters, that makes it a contender on weight alone.

This tent is greater than gentle. It’s additionally a really legit abode in unhealthy climate. On wet, stormy nights on the path, the NEMO Hornet Elite 2 saved our testing crew dry and cozy.

In contrast to many ultralight choices, which rely on trekking poles, it is a freestanding tent. It makes use of a intelligent three-pole design, has a mesh inside, and makes use of an built-in rainfly to maintain out bugs, rain, and wind.

Inside, a 27.3-square-foot flooring offers a small however acceptable area for 2 adults. That is actually not a big footprint, and you’ll be shoulder to shoulder along with your tentmate. Bear in mind, we’re ultralight backpacking right here, so snuggle up.

Luckily, there may be sufficient room underneath the 2 vestibules (serviced by two doorways) for a big pack, footwear, and another gear. We’ve used it many occasions within the rain, and it’s sufficient area to maintain your package dry, even in nasty climate.

Setup and takedown are additionally simple. As soon as acquainted with the tent, our testers had been in a position to set it up simply in lower than 5 minutes.

In fact, at $500, the Hornet Elite is a big funding. However we’ve used it for sufficient nights to be impressed with its sturdiness. That mentioned, it is a superlight silnylon tent. Which means it received’t maintain as much as abuse, and we don’t suggest it for automotive tenting, as that will put put on and tear on a really costly tent.

For many who need a light-weight tent to hold over huge miles, the NEMO Hornet Elite is our favourite ultralight backpacking tent available on the market proper now.

  • Weight: 2 lbs., 1 oz.
  • Top: 37 in.
  • Flooring area: 27.3 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Nylon and composite
  • Vestibule space: 12.4 sq. ft.
  • Ultralight
  • Packs small
  • Withstands climate
  • Costly
  • Fragile for automotive tenting or sharp rocks

Examine Value at NEMO Tools

Finest Worth Ultralight: REI Co-op Flash Air 2

REI Co-op Flash Air 2

The REI Flash Air 2 ($349) borrows the favored one-piece design from the Zpacks Duplex and affords up a reasonably priced different for the backpacker who’s trying to reduce weight with out parting with an excessive amount of of their hard-earned dough. Whereas not fairly as gentle or simple to arrange as its high-dollar competitors, these prepared to compromise will get pleasure from loads of lovely nights within the backcountry with out breaking their backs to get there.

Weighing in at simply over two kilos, this tent is gentle with out skimping on options. It has two doorways, every with a small vestibule, and several other pockets for gear storage so that you’ll all the time know the place your headlamp is at evening. Its hubbed pole design permits you to swap out the included vertical help poles with your individual trekking poles for much more weight financial savings.

The Flash 2 supplies nice climate safety, however it must be staked out because it’s not a freestanding tent. (photograph/Eric Phillips)

The Flash Air 2 isn’t a free-standing tent, that means you’ll must correctly stake it out at six factors to maintain it from falling over. For the skilled camper in a forest or meadow with gentle soil, it is a pretty simple process. Within the excessive desert exterior of Gunnison CO, our crew of seasoned testers needed to battle exhausting to pitch this tent in heavy winds on prime of a rock slab, the place they wanted further cordage to make use of boulders as anchors. In brief, somewhat apply and planning go a great distance when pitching the Flash Air 2.

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This tent employs ripstop nylon which is heavier and fewer sturdy than the Dyneema composite materials utilized by the Zpacks Duplex. However the Flash 2 is half the worth, and with cautious campsite choice, you’ll be able to maintain the Flash 2 rip-free and watertight. If you happen to’re an skilled backpacker who desires to go ultralight with out going ultra-expensive, this tent is the proper selection.

  • Packed weight: 2 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Top: 42 in.
  • Flooring area: 28.7 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Nylon, mesh, Aluminum
  • Vestibule space: 16.8 sq. ft.
  • Mild
  • 2 vestibules
  • Might be supported with trekking poles
  • Setup takes apply
  • Not freestanding

Examine Value at REI

Finest Minimalist Tent for Via-Hikers: Zpacks Duplex

Zpacks Duplex

For minimalist backpackers and thru-hikers that put weight financial savings on the prime of the record, it’s exhausting to beat the Zpacks Duplex ($699). This non-freestanding, trekking pole-supported design has been a long-time favourite on the AT and PCT due to its glorious mixture of minimal weight, ample area, and safety from the weather.

That includes a Dyneema Composite building (moderately than nylon or silnylon discovered on most backpacking fashions), the tent is legitimately ultralight at simply 1 pound, 3.4 ounces. However the distinctive material holds up properly to tough use and isn’t susceptible to sagging, even in heavy moisture.

The Duplex affords good all-around livability for 2 backpackers with a peak peak of 48 inches, two facet doorways and vestibules, and a symmetrical rectangular flooring.

What do you quit with the ultralight construct? For one, the setup course of is far more concerned than a typical, pole-supported backpacking tent. You’ll want a reasonably large space to stake out all of the guylines, and it takes fairly a little bit of apply to get a good pitch.

Additionally, condensation buildup might be a difficulty at evening, particularly alongside the cover peak. This mannequin makes use of single-wall building (and no mesh insert). Lastly, in significantly tough and windy climate, we did discover it to be fairly drafty as a result of mesh sidewalls.

As such, the Duplex possible isn’t the only option for informal backpackers, four-season adventurers, or these in search of an amazing worth. (It prices $699, and that doesn’t embrace stakes.)

This tent is right for the kind of one that cuts their toothbrush in half and takes satisfaction in general base weight. Total, the Duplex is a standout possibility for critical hikers who plan to log plenty of miles and aren’t shy about paying for high quality ultralight supplies.

  • Weight: 1 lb., 3.4 oz.
  • Top: 48 in.
  • Flooring area: 28.1 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Dyneema
  • Vestibule space: 11 sq. ft.
  • Costly
  • Arduous to arrange
  • Requires giant space, stakes, and guylines

Examine Value at Zpacks

The Better of the Relaxation

REI Arete ASL 2 Backpacking Tent

REI Arete ASL 2 Backpacking Tent

The Arete ASL 2 ($449) affords plenty of versatility in an reasonably priced package deal. With a minimal path weight of 5 kilos, 10 ounces, it’s not ultralight by any stretch, however it’s surprisingly gentle and fairly priced for a winter-ready four-season tent. It does properly in the summertime too, with loads of mesh.

We discovered the four-pole setup fast and straightforward, due to intuitive color-coding. The vestibule supplies sufficient room for 2 packs and mountain climbing footwear. The nook pockets and cling loops maintain necessities at hand. For higher sturdiness and luxury, we suggest including on the footprint, which is bought individually.

We don’t love the single-door design, however not less than the door is giant and straightforward to entry from both nook of the tent. Earlier fashions of this tent skilled points with the rainfly seam sealant, however it seems that REI has fastened that drawback with this latest replace.

Total, the Arete ASL 2 is a sturdy, all-season tent, and is available in at about half the worth as different four-season tents. This tent is nice for any winter fanatic not prepared to spend so much of money on a specialised winter tent, however it’s too heavy for many warm-weather backpackers.

  • Weight: 6 lbs., 5 oz.
  • Top: 43 in.
  • Flooring area: 32.9 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Nylon and aluminum
  • Vestibule space: 8.7 sq. ft.
  • Worth
  • Storm-ready
  • Light-weight for a four-season tent

Examine Value at REI



Nemo upgraded lots of its best-selling fashions this 12 months with its proprietary OSMO material. The Nemo Dagger OSMO 2P ($479) now advantages from the OSMO material’s elevated water repellency and decreased stretch, and all of us can profit from its use of 100% recycled yarns. 

Like earlier variations, the setup course of stays quick and straightforward, with one pole related by a collection of hubs. No guessing is required due to color-coded webbing and plastic inserts for the pole ends. As with earlier iterations, our testers are involved concerning the sturdiness of the crucial plastic elements, although none broke throughout our testing journey.

Candy and easy, we had no hassle pitching this tent due to its coloration coded pole system. (photograph/Eric Phillips).

With gear within the pockets, this tent affords good group. You possibly can cling a headlamp from the overhead mesh gentle pockets (one at every finish). Two doorways and two sizable vestibules make sure you and your tentmate have simple exits and area for gear, and in the event you occur to have this tent to your self, it seems like a palace.

The Dagger held up properly to sturdy winds as soon as we absolutely guyed it out and angled it into the wind. It was heat and condensation-free throughout a wet evening, and the brand new material considerably alleviates our earlier criticism about this tent sagging when moist.

Whereas this tent isn’t Nemo’s lightest mannequin, it’s cheaper and extra sturdy than the model’s ultralight tents, and can higher serve campers who spend equal time backcountry and entrance nation tenting.

  • Packed weight: 4 lbs., 2 oz.
  • Top: 42 in.
  • Flooring area: 31.3 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: OSMO Ripstop/Nylon mix, aluminum
  • Vestibule space: 11.4 sq. ft. x 2
  • Spacious for two folks
  • Sturdy sufficient for automotive tenting
  • Simple to arrange
  • Costly
  • Not the lightest

Examine Value at REI

Sea to Summit Telos TR2

Sea to Summit Telos TR2

Sea to Summit launched its first tents, the Alto and Telos ($559), for spring 2021. We examined each fashions and located that we most well-liked the free-standing Telos between the 2.

The Telos is a wonderful first try from the model on this crowded market. It undoubtedly stands other than different tents, with distinctive structure that creates very steep sidewalls and a excessive 43.5-inch peak peak.

This provides even tall customers (like our 6’4″ editor-in-chief) loads of headroom to put down or sit upright. It additionally proved to have sturdy structure. Our check confronted very sturdy winds, pushing 50 mph, and the Sea to Summit Telos didn’t collapse in any respect, even when receiving heavy gusts.

Nevertheless, our testers didn’t love all the things concerning the Telos. The most important complaints surrounded the tent’s distinctive storage system. Sea to Summit opted to make use of two luggage and a “gentle bar” tube (a separate slender stuff sack for the poles that has a lightweight diffusing materials to create an evening gentle when a headlamp is positioned in it).

We agreed that the sunshine bar thought was overly intelligent and that we’d in all probability by no means use it. Moreover, you stuff the tent physique into one bag, the fly into one other, and the poles into the tube. This enables customers to separate the load or drop parts of the tent from the journey (as you’ll be able to arrange the fly with out the physique for ultralight use).

Nevertheless, our testers discovered it pointless and complicated. All of us agreed that you just’d possible find yourself dropping elements this fashion. In brief, whereas Sea to Summit actually thought via this design, we would like a easy stuff sack and pole bag.

Sea To Summit Tent
The Sea to Summit Telos may be very breathable and sturdy; (photograph/Eric Phillips)

All that mentioned, the Telos is a wonderful backpacking tent that provides good air flow, glorious inside area, two doorways, and two vestibules.

We might not hesitate to purchase one primarily as a backpacking tent that might flex into automotive tenting, due to pretty sturdy supplies and an accessible footprint. For many who like versatility in setup, and are good at preserving monitor of stuff sacks, it is a strong selection.

  • Packed weight: 3 lbs., 10.7 oz.
  • Top: 43.5 in.
  • Flooring area: 23 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Polyester and aluminum
  • Vestibule space: 19.5 sq. ft.
  • Mild however pretty sturdy
  • Accommodating for folks over 6 ft tall
  • Steep partitions
  • Costly
  • Storage system overly sophisticated

Examine Value at REI

Kelty Late Begin 2

Kelty Late Start 2

If value is your major concern when shopping for a tent, however you continue to need good high quality, the Kelty Late Begin 2 is an efficient place to look. At $160, the Late Begin 2 is a modestly priced tent. And it has high quality building whereas hitting a value level that most individuals received’t balk at.

It units up tremendous quick with a easy two-pole design. As soon as up, the tub flooring affords a slight overlap with the rainfly, so splashback could possibly be a difficulty in heavy rain and wind.

The tent packs all the way down to 16 x 7 inches. Whereas actually not tiny, it is going to work in a backpack. Equally, at a minimal weight of 4 kilos, it’s not ultralight, however works for brief backpacking excursions.

The vestibules are barely sufficiently big for a single backpack, however they are going to suffice for hikers on a funds. Two small pockets supply area to stash a few necessary objects.

There are higher tents on the market, however you’ll pay extra for them. For $160, this one is a price that ought to final via numerous glad tenting.

  • Weight: 4 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Top: 40 in.
  • Flooring area: 29.5 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Polyester and aluminum
  • Vestibule space: 7.85 sq. ft.
  • Good worth
  • Simple setup
  • High quality building
  • Heavier
  • Not constructed for excessive climate circumstances

Examine Value at evoCheck Value at Backcountry

REI Quarter Dome SL 2

REI Quarter Dome SL 2

The REI Quarter Dome SL 2 ($379) is a very fashionable, reasonably priced tent. It’s well-rounded for automotive tenting and backpacking. With a minimal path weight of two kilos, 8 ounces, this tent hits a candy spot that ought to enchantment to a broad cross-section of hikers and campers.

The freestanding tent units up rapidly and simply. The primary tent physique has tons of mesh and a small bathtub flooring that extends barely above the overlapping rainfly. It stays dry in rainstorms however may see somewhat splash-over from runoff.

4 pockets within the mesh present ample storage for small objects, and the 2 giant doorways give every camper quick access to the inside or the vestibules on either side.

As for complaints, it’s a comfortable format for 2, however it ought to suffice so long as you and your accomplice don’t thoughts being cozy. Additionally, it’s in all probability not nice for heavy storms as a result of brief bathtub ring across the flooring.

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We appreciated the Quarter Dome SL 2, particularly on the cheap value level, as a flexible tent at a really gentle weight. Given the large quantity of mesh, it needs to be a robust performer in scorching, dry climates the place air flow and safety from bugs are prime priorities.

  • Weight: 2 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Top: 38 in.
  • Flooring area: 28.7 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Nylon and aluminum
  • Vestibule space: 21.5 sq. ft.
  • Worth
  • Light-weight
  • Loads of air flow
  • Tight match for 2 folks
  • Could not stand up to heavy storms

Examine Value at REI

Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 Dyneema Tent

Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 Dyneema Tent

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 is unbelievable, however it’s additionally tremendous costly. So whereas we do love this mannequin for a number of causes, it comes with a caveat of a $735 price ticket, plus one other $395 if you’d like the mesh insert to maintain bugs away! For critical hikers, the hefty funding could also be price it, because it’s undoubtedly among the best backpacking tents accessible.

Hyperlite builds the UltaMid 2 with Dyneema material, a very sturdy materials that withstands tons of abuse but stays extremely gentle. This tent, which makes use of trekking poles for help, weighs in at simply 1.19 kilos for the principle tent physique.

Add 1.3 kilos for a matched mesh insert, and it’s nonetheless tremendous gentle. It supplies a flooring space of over 50 sq. ft, sufficient area for 2 hikers and packs.

hyperlite mountain gear ultamid pyramid 2 tent
The UltaMid 2; (photograph/Andy Cochrane)

The one drawbacks are the worth and that you will need to have trekking poles. You are also going to want area to man out the traces, as it isn’t freestanding.

Whereas costly, it is a top-tier tent that may final a really very long time. If you happen to’re in search of an ultralight tent our tester referred to as a “marvel of engineering” that provides you with many seasons of use, this one is price contemplating. For extra, try our full assessment of the UltaMid 2.

  • Weight: 1 lb., 12 oz.
  • Top: 64 in.
  • Flooring area: 50 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Cuben fiber, your trekking poles
  • Costly
  • Trekking pole tents aren’t for everybody
  • Want area to arrange man traces

Examine Value at BackcountryCheck Value at Hyperlite Mountain Gear

Six Moon Designs Haven Bundle

six moon designs haven

The cottage model Six Moon Designs focuses on constructing very gentle tools with long-distance hikers in thoughts. Whereas fairly specialised, the Haven Bundle ($335) is an easy-to-use trekking pole tent that ideas the scales at simply 2 kilos, 2 ounces, together with a tarp and inside internet.

You should utilize the tarp alone on the path, which, for 17 ounces of packed weight, offers you a big 53 sq. ft of shelter. If you happen to’re in a buggy locale, add the Mesh Nest contained in the tarp for much more safety.

The nest is 48 inches extensive and 114 inches lengthy, offering 38 sq. ft of area for 2 adults. On this configuration, you find yourself with two giant vestibules and two doorways. At $335 for the package deal, it’s a reasonably priced ultralight tent.

Due to the power to be arrange as a tarp alone, the system packs plenty of versatility and may stretch from fast-and-light missions to extra leisurely base camps.

It’s held again principally by the ultralight 30-denier silicone-coated nylon. This lacks the sturdiness of bulkier materials. It’s somewhat trickier to arrange and requires good guyline attachments for stability and ample area as a result of it isn’t freestanding.

The Haven is probably the most versatile ultralight system we examined, because it is ready to be arrange as a easy tarp with out the insert. That is particularly good in stormy climate so that you just aren’t bringing water and detritus into the sleeping space. This tent is nice for any gram counter and is a steal in comparison with different tents in its class.

  • Weight: 2 lbs., 2 oz.
  • Top: 45 in.
  • Flooring area: 38 sq. ft.
  • Supplies: Nylon
  • Ultralight
  • Packs down small
  • Can operate as a tarp alone at simply 17 oz.
  • The 30-denier material is considerably fragile
  • Requires mountain climbing poles (or a pole package, bought individually for $30-80) to arrange

Examine Value at Amazon

Why You Ought to Belief Us

Ryan Baker lives within the Jap Sierra together with his spouse and enjoys mountain climbing, climbing, and snowboarding each likelihood he will get. Final summer season, he spent over a month backpacking on and off-trail following the Sierra excessive route.

He has a whole lot of nights spent within the backcountry from humble beginnings of sleeping underneath a ironmongery shop tarp guyed out with parachute wire to totally kitted-out backcountry ski excursions.

After 20 years of expertise, he has discovered the worth of a real tent. He nonetheless prefers to journey as gentle as potential, whether or not it’s with a summer season tent that matches within the palm of his hand or his zero-pound all-season tent for ski excursions within the lifeless of winter.

He believes each journey requires the best device for the job, and evening’s sleep in a succesful tent is crucial for fulfillment within the backcountry.

Purchaser’s Information: Select a Backpacking Tent

Do you propose to camp alone or with your loved ones? Are automotive tenting tents your jam, or do you frequently head out for weeks within the backcountry? Are you strictly a summer season camper, or do you sleep exterior all 12 months lengthy?

There’s no proper or improper reply, however being clear on the way you wish to camp will make selecting a tent simpler. The Zpacks Duplex may match for some customers who wish to go as gentle and minimalist as potential.

Alternatively, the Marmot Catalyst, whereas heavier, supplies a funds possibility for individuals who don’t plan to hike as far and need somewhat extra room. Utilizing the six elements we listed initially of this text as a information, discovering the most effective backpacking tent could be a easy errand of selecting which qualities are most necessary to you.

Ease of Setup

That is your first second along with your brand-new tent and possibly you’ll be able to intuitively determine the place all the things goes, or possibly it’s essential reference the handbook each step of the way in which. Some tents make setup simple with color-coded poles or poles which can be all the identical size.

Single-walled winter tents are infamous for barely making room for poles within the materials to carry a taut exterior. Nonetheless, different tents want quite a few man traces to carry in place and aren’t freestanding with out them.

Regardless of the case could also be, our choice is that the better a tent is to arrange, the higher. In fact, domes for alpine basecamps are going to be tougher than a two-person bug internet.

The Sea to Summit Telos has many hubs connecting totally different size poles, so it pays to attempt to set one of these tent up upfront. Nevertheless, the Hyperlite UltaMid merely calls for 2 trekking poles lashed collectively within the heart with equalized man traces. Desire is king and it doesn’t matter what design fits your expertise stage, all the time apply setting it up at house earlier than you go.

Sea to Summit Telos TR2 Tent
Sea to Summit Telos

Sturdiness and Supplies

Most tents for backpacking are constructed from nylon materials, cuben fiber, or polyester. Every of those supplies has its distinctive advantages, from decrease price to more durable climate resistance or ripstop qualities.

Cuben fiber has confirmed to be a superb materials that may be very light-weight and very weather-resistant. It additionally resists tearing — however it’s costly. Sadly, it could possibly puncture comparatively simply, however crosshatched reinforcement prevents additional tearing.

Nylon is a more cost effective materials however can also be much less sturdy. Usually it’s strengthened towards the weather with polyurethane, silicone, or acrylic coating. This makes it extra water resistant however much less breathable. Polyester is heavier than nylon and in addition not significantly breathable.

The thickness of the fabric is measured in denier items, that are mainly the density of fibers measured in grams over meters. The decrease the denier rely, the lighter the fabric. Decrease deniers are nice for lowering pack weight however require extra care to forestall rips and tears.

Light-weight tents will often have 15-20-denier fly and flooring. And a heavy automotive tenting or winter tent can have a score as excessive as 75 or extra.

At all times verify to ensure your tent website is obvious of sharp rocks and sticks. These hazards can shred even the hardest tents. (photograph/Eric Phillips)

Then there are the poles. In an effort to scale back weight, some tents such because the Zpacks Duplex or Hyperlite UltaMid forgo their very own poles and as an alternative depend on trekking poles to supply structural help. At all times remember to verify that your trekking poles are suitable along with your tent.

Tent-specific poles are comprised of carbon fiber, aluminum, composite, or a mixture. Aluminum is gentle however not practically as gentle as carbon fiber or a number of the proprietary composites supplied right this moment.

Aluminum poles are often discovered in additional reasonably priced fashions and may stand up to rougher dealing with. The NEMO Dagger and the REI Quarter Dome, as an example, each make use of aluminum poles.

For sturdiness, we like to make use of a footprint, which often must be purchased individually. You possibly can all the time style a customized footprint by reducing a chunk of Tyvek, which is accessible at most {hardware} shops however lacks the grommets and fastening factors of a manufactured footprint. Shopping for from the producer insures a correct match and often will snap, click on, or tie in to combine with the tent.

Tent stakes additionally are available a wide range of supplies. Carbon fiber tent stakes, akin to these supplied by Hyperlite, are gentle however have a thicker circumference in comparison with aluminum and are subsequently bulkier. Saving weight is a crucial aim, all of it simply depends upon how a lot you might be prepared to spend.

Weight and Packed Dimension

If you happen to solely plan to automotive camp, weight and packed dimension aren’t main considerations. However anybody planning to haul their tent into the backcountry ought to take a tough take a look at these issues.

An ultralight tent, such because the 2-pound, 1-ounce NEMO Hornet Elite, is a superb possibility for backpacking. It doesn’t take up plenty of area or weight in your pack, that means you’ll be able to justify bringing a favourite flask or just a few further snacks. However as a result of gentle supplies, it’s not as sturdy as heavier tents and requires extra care. The Kelty Late Begin 2 is over twice the burden at 4 kilos, 8 ounces, however it’s lower than one-third the worth.

So, it’s essential stability your wants for weight towards sturdiness and price. You could discover that some tents, just like the Zpacks Duplex, hit the most effective of each worlds by utilizing ultra-strong, super-light Dyneema (cuben fiber) material.

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The REI Arete can appear a like backbreaker in comparison with lighter tents, however it has a great deal of headroom and splendid area. In case you are splitting a tent between many individuals, the additional kilos get unfold out. In case you are planning a solo thru-hike, coughing up the money for a small, gentle tent can prevent plenty of again ache.

No matter your selection, be sincere with your self in contemplating your possible makes use of. If you happen to anticipate to do plenty of automotive tenting, it’s sensible to hold somewhat extra weight in trade for sturdiness.

There are giant books written on shaving weight for backpacking. The uninitiated might balk at tent costs earlier than a visit, solely to study the exhausting method that each gram actually does add up.

Inside Area

To avoid wasting weight, it’s a must to be prepared to snuggle right into a two-person tent and rub shoulders or scent your accomplice’s ft. Ceiling peak is a crucial consideration as properly.

Ultralight tents just like the Six Moons Designs Haven or the Hyperlite UltaMid nonetheless supply excessive ceilings, however they usually have extra roof angles and fewer general room in comparison with freestanding tents.

The UltaMid is among the roomiest tents, with over 50 sq. ft of flooring area and a 64-inch ceiling. The advantage of a conventional tent just like the REI Arete is that it doesn’t have a pole via the middle of it.

Inside area in a tent equals consolation. The primary issues to think about are flooring dimensions, size, and ceiling peak. Tents have a acknowledged variety of folks they sleep, however how roomy or cramped they are going to be at capability varies by model.

In case you are solely packing the tent for “simply in case” or to principally retailer gear, you’ll be able to downsize to a lighter, extra cramped mannequin. Take note of dimensions within the specs from a producer, as they may give you a good suggestion of what number of sleeping pads will slot in it.

Climate Resistance

Primary tents deal with nice climate like a champ and may even handle gentle rain and wind. However in the event you plan to camp throughout storms (which frequently roll in unexpectedly), it’s price it to save lots of up and purchase a sturdier tent. Within the occasion of a storm or condensation buildup, all tents want air flow to adequately take away moisture.

The Sea to Summit Telols excels on this class with a rollaway fly that may be left secured open on a heat day to permit your entire objects to dry if you are away.

Many four-season tents are single-wall fashions. The advantage of a single-wall design is that there is no such thing as a hole for wind or precipitation to sneak in. Take a look at our Winter Tent Overview for extra perception on this subject.

Double-wall designs are much more widespread for three-season or summer season tents. Detachable rain flies are a plus if all you want is a barrier from the mosquitos and also you wish to stargaze.

In case you are assured within the forecast, dropping the fly can convey you to what some name “path weight,” which refers to leaving out the additional elements to attain the naked minimal weight.

Vestibules are an necessary function to have in inclement climate. They act as a miniature mudroom and supply area for gear storage.

The Large Agnes Copper Spur provides a novel design with its awning vestibules. Sealed seams additionally assist buffer towards the weather and leakage.

If you happen to plan to make use of a tent in a moist, wet, or snowy setting, contemplate doing this your self, as seams are a weak level within the waterproof safety of a fly or single-wall tent. Conveniently, Six Moon Designs will seam-seal its tents for an additional price, however this can possible delay transport time.

Big Agnes Copper Spur
Large Agnes Copper Spur


It’s exhausting to place a price ticket on the nights of journey and luxury {that a} backpacking tent supplies. Value is instantly associated to the standard of the supplies and the packed weight.

The Marmot Catalyst is a living proof on the subject of worth for the funds hiker, because it’s gentle on the pockets however heavy on the again. A frugal hiker can get monetary savings on this piece of substances to spend extra on different requirements like a sleeping bag and backpack.

Producers understand that the entry price of this ardour is steep and supply economical choices to suit any funds. With correct care and upkeep, probably the most reasonably priced tent can final many seasons.

The Kelty Late Begin 2 is an instance of an entry-level tent that gives nice options for a fraction of the price of one thing just like the Hyperlite UltaMid. Alternatively, the UltaMid offers the savvy, devoted hiker what they’ve longed for on many arduous miles — a tent that weighs subsequent to nothing and is sturdy and straightforward to arrange.

The worth of a tent is admittedly the ratio of enjoyment versus price. The entire tents we examined have a excessive worth when paired with the best person. Sit down, and write out a funds that not solely contains how a lot you may have within the financial institution but in addition signifies how devoted you might be to the game. Plan to spend a couple of quarter to a 3rd of your funds on a tent.

The true backcountry addicts — and people who really feel the hook sinking of their lip after their first journey — will virtually actually personal a couple of tent for his or her lifetime of out of doors adventuring.

Not all tents can deal with each setting completely, however are as an alternative tailor-made to a variety of circumstances. An excellent rule for gear is to begin inside your funds with a flexible possibility. As your passions develop, your gear will turn into extra particular. Buying the most effective backpacking tent to your wants isn’t any small process, however it’s also thrilling and can open up many new doorways to the pure world.


How A lot Does a Backpacking Tent Value?

Costs of backpacking tents range significantly. Supplies and the burden of the tent trigger costs to vary from underneath $200 (such because the Kelty Late Begin 2) to over $1,000 out the door.

Specialised ultralight tents such because the Hyperlite UltaMid or burly all-weather mountaineering tents are often the most costly and are constructed from very sturdy and lightweight supplies.

Cheaper tents are priced for the start or occasional hiker. Count on to spend a 3rd of your funds on a tent, one other third in your sleeping bag, and the remainder in your cooking provides, and so on.

The quantity you might be prepared to spend depends upon your dedication to the game. Inexpensive choices are an amazing place to begin, as you’ll be able to then gauge your willingness to take a position.

What Ought to I Search for When Shopping for a Tent?

When shopping for a backpacking tent, take note of whether or not it’s freestanding, just like the REI Quarter Dome, or requires trekking poles, just like the Zpacks Duplex. Tents that use trekking poles are on common far lighter, however they take man traces and know-how to arrange.

Supplies are necessary to think about as properly. The costlier tents supply gentle rip-resistant supplies like cuben fiber (such because the Hyperlite UltaMid), whereas extra economical fashions are cumbersome and heavier (see the Marmot Catalyst). This impacts not solely weight but in addition packed dimension.

Make certain the tent has ample area to your wants, with flooring area, vestibules, and storage. Minimalist tents shall be lighter however often supply much less by way of further pockets and storage. Tents extra suited to automotive tenting can have these facilities however weigh significantly extra.

Zpacks Duplex
Zpacks Duplex

Ought to I Purchase an Ultralight Tent?

Ultralight tents are fragile, costly shelters uncovered to probably harsh circumstances within the wilderness. The most important advantage of a tent just like the Six Moon Designs Haven is available in little or no weight and quantity in your pack.

Having used a number of ultralight tents, I might say that the majority backpackers ought to avoid absolutely the lightest tents except they’re extraordinarily cautious with their gear.

And by that, I imply they put it away completely each time, and even go as far as to load their automotive and backpack with the care of their gear in thoughts. I’ve had holes worn in ultralight tents from nothing however friction and vibration throughout a 2-hour drive, so this isn’t an exaggeration.

How A lot Ought to a Backpacking Tent Weigh?

So, if ultralight is just too gentle for you, what’s an inexpensive weight for a backpacking tent? A well-established guideline is about 2.5 kilos per individual, that means a tent underneath 5 kilos for a 2-person tent is affordable.

The Large Agnes Copper Spur weighs in at 3 kilos, 2 ounces, which may be very gentle cut up between two folks, whereas the Zpacks Duplex is 1 pound, 3 ounces. Each tents are for 2 folks however are constructed from totally different supplies, and the Duplex depends upon your trekking poles to arrange.

What Is a Footprint, and Ought to I Use a Footprint for My Backpacking Tent?

Many tents supply footprints as an aftermarket add-on. A footprint is a chunk of material that matches the form of the tent flooring. It usually will clip into your tent poles or stake system to combine along with your setup underneath your tent.

The footprint affords safety towards sharp objects on the bottom and should enhance the lifespan of your tent. Nevertheless, carrying a footprint provides to the burden of your pack. So, it’s essential stability the necessity to shield your tent with the added weight of the footprint.

For ultralight tents such because the Hyperlite UltaMid or Zpacks Duplex, a footprint is commonly necessary to stopping harm. That’s considerably ironic, because the tent is supposed to be as gentle as potential.

For that motive, typically a barely heavier flooring construct, as on the REI Arete, makes extra sense, as you’ll be able to depart the footprint behind. For automotive tenting, a footprint is all the time a good suggestion, as it is going to enhance the lifetime of your tent.

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