There are many beautiful, well-designed tents around that are highly appealing to all those that love to go backpacking. They have the simple assembly, helpful features and pleasing design that makes travellers want to set them up night after night. The problem is that not all of these tents are that easy to carry around. Some of the best models aren’t that portable or light weight. The frames, with all their poles and components can weigh users down, as can the thick, weatherproof materials. The combined packages mean additional fabric and other elements that add to the weight even further. Then there are the carry bags, which aren’t always that easy to handle. This where an ultra-lightweight backpacking tent helps a lot.
The following models are all great examples of camping tents where the designers have cut down the weight. Most do so with the choice of materials. You will find that aluminum poles are the option of choice here, due to their lighter weight. There is also a lot of mesh and thinner nylons to reduce the weight further. Then there is the simple frame and assembly, which helps when setting them up day after day. These tents are also some of the best backpacking tents because of their features and protection. They mostly offer impressive weatherproofing – some over 3 or 4 seasons – and have helpful storage features. There are even some odd quirks along the way.
Best Lightweight Backpacking Tents That Won’t Put a Strain on Your Back or Wallet!
1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Tent
The number one aim here with this top ultra-lightweight tent was clearly to create the lightest, most convenient option possible for users. This starts with the simple aluminium frame and continues with the light nylon material and plenty of mesh. There is also the added bonus of lightweight clips on the frame. This makes for an easy way to attach the tent to the frame, for quick and easy assembly. This means that the whole pack comes to about 3lbs in weight, which is ideal for all those backpackers looking to set up in a different location each night. The tent is light but also tough enough to handle the elements. The nylon is 20% stronger than other brands and there are waterproof seams. It is also a decent size for two people, at 88’’ long and 40’’ high.
The great thing about this Big Agnes tent is that it is built for the camper that wants a lightweight tent, but nothing too minimalist. This is still functional and interesting, despite all the attempts to create a simple backpacker’s tent. This is especially true with the nice attention to detail with the storage. There are gear loft loops, interior mesh pockets and also media pockets. These media pockets are a little different to your average design. They store tablets and phones off the ground, away from the cold and wet conditions, but have simple routing for the cords of earbuds and headphones, so users can listen to music and other media in peace.
2. Bryce 2P Two Person Ultralight Tent
This Bryce model is designed for two people for backpacking, bikepacking and other explorations. Like all the top lightweight tents here, the pack weight and assembly are both minimal. In fact, this tent was recently adapted to ensure that it is even lighter than before. The pack weight is sold as 3lbs and 7oz, which is 7oz lighter than before. This can make all the difference when hiking with this thing on your back for long periods. There is also plenty to appeal to trekkers in the weatherproofing of this tent and security. It has vents and mesh for breathability, but also PU coating on the rain fly for waterproofing. There is also strength in the high quality aluminum poles and stakes. This means a promise of longevity and durability that matches much larger, heavier tents.
The weight of this pack during the trip all depends on the amount of components that users take with them. There is a lot in the package here. There are plenty of helpful items that buyers will appreciate, such as the kickstand, pole repair splint and all the stakes and guy lines. This offers peace of mind and improves the experience. However, this will add up when it comes to the weight . The suggestion from the manufacturers is to use the footprint, poles and fly on their own, which no other elements. This should lower the weight further for a minimalist shelter. This shows confidence in their different components – such as that protective rain fly. but this might not suit everyone.
3. Nemo Dagger Ultralight Backpacking Tent
As with the other models in this list of the best backpacking tents with an ultra-light weight, that weight is the best place to start here. There is a choice here, with either the 2 person model at a pack weight of 3 lb 12 oz or the 3 person model with a pack weight of 4lbs and 4 oz. Neither are especially heavy and both are easy to use. This is another system with simple poles and clips to reduce assembly time and minimize the weight of the construction. Even so, this is sold as a three season model with a clever use of space, so there is comfort and weatherproofing in this lighter model too. This two door model has two vestibules for gear storage, overhead pockets and mesh for ventilation.
There are also lots of neat extras to appeal to backpackers that go camping on a regular basis. This package should provide all the gear that users need in order to secure this tent in any given location. This include the fly, the guy ropes and the stakes. There is also a drawstring carry bag, for ease of transportation for all of these items, as well as a repair kit. The final benefit here, which is a little different to some of the other options, is the interesting addition of the light diffusing fabric. This should allow for great lighting and visibility in the tent. Still, it isn’t quite as bright as our next model.
4. WolfWise 2 Person Lightweight Backpacking Camping Tent
The sales pictures of this tent make it look like quite a substantial model for use in different situations. It definitely has the floor space and capacity to rival other 2-person tents. There is a width of 82.7 inches and length of 55.1 inches – so there should be enough room to move. There are also plenty of details to the construction and materials that make it durable and protective – hence the “4 season” tag. This includes the 190T embossed polyester, large rain fly. However,. the pack weighs just 5.07 pounds. This is more than some of the other models mentioned here so far, but still lighter than many would expect from this model. This light weight is party down to the aviation-grade aluminum poles.
The other selling point here that makes this model stand out from the crowd is the promise of the roof light. this USB LED lighting offers illumination in the dark, for reading and other activities. This is appealing as it should be more more convenient than a torch. This methods means hands-free lighting, so no more getting undressed in the dark, and should have a brighter, wider field than a basic torch. This isn’t the only part of the tent that glows either, as there are also florescent buckles on the doors for ease of use at night. It is the little details to a backpacking tent that can make all the difference.
5. Sierra Summer Moon 2
The sales pitch for this Sierra Tent is pretty simple. The designers claim that this is the lightest full free-standing dome tent around. This is appealing to backpackers that want the most convenient, simple process possible. Free-standing tents are much easier to set up, especially when there is only one person on the trip. Users can enjoy the advantages of the color coded attachments, the ultralight 7001 aluminum poles and 2-pole set-up. This all means less time fiddling with the construction and more time exploring. This simple approach also means a light weight of just 3lbs 7oz. This means that it really is comparable to some of the other options in this list.
The difference here is that this tent isn’t the tough, 3 season tent of some of these other designs for solo travelers. It lives up to its name of Summer Moon. There is a lot of light mesh for a great view and breathability in the summer months. There is some protection with the removable rain fly and taped seams, but not as much as on some other models. Still, there are plenty of other helpful features here that will appeal to those on long trips. There is a large D door for easy entry and exiting of the tent, as well as mesh storage pockets and night glow tech for added convenience. This door, plus the additional gear storage vestibule add to the sense that this is a good tent for couples. Users say it is roomy enough, with the 84’’ length and 50’’ width.
6. TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent; Backpacking Tent
This Teton model isn’t actually the most inconspicuous of tents, with its bright yellow full coverage rain fly. But, at least there is this large, protective structure to add a bit of security and durability to this mesh tent. This rain-fly is a one-piece model with cut away vents. This means that it is easy to set up, but also provide the ventilation that users will require in those hotter months. It is also made out of a tough, waterproof canvas, as it s the bath tub floor. Despite all of this, this is still an ultralight backpacking tent. The weight of the fly balances out next to the light weight of the aluminum poles and other materials. There is also only one pole to contend with, which helps a lot. This all means a pack weight of just 5 pounds.
When the sun is shining, and the rain fly isn’t required, there is a great view and comfortable living arrangement with this mesh tent. The micro mesh is secure and tough, but also provides a clear view of the countryside. Whatever the weather, users can enjoy the space provided by the additional vestibule. This is ideal for storing gear, especially as the tent is a little lacking in other features. This is a basic tent for basic needs. It will offer great security and protection for backpackers, and that’s about it.
7. Marmot Unisex Tungsten 2P Tent
So far, the majority of these top ultralight backpacking tents have been simple constructions. Some of the most appealing designs here are those that use a couple of poles and a basic dome structure. This Marmot Tent does things a little differently. It is still designed to provide the ideal structure with ease of use in the assembly. The unique selling point is that there is a zoning in the interior, with a “pre-bend” construction. This means designated sleeping areas and vertical walls without any fuss. This has its benefits for those looking for a secure space, but does limit configurations. The ease of use in the assembly continues with the color coded clips and simple attachments.
This is still a lightweight option, with the light no-see-um mesh on the canopy and the strong aluminum poles. It is a little bit more weighty than some competitors mode’s because it used polyester on the fly, rather than nylon. Still, many would prefer this and will handle an extra half a pound for the privilege. It is also great for different weather conditions. There are two vestibules – one for each door – where users can store wet gear, as well as taped seams and the additional rain fly. Other benefits to this tent include the interior pockets, simple zippers and the lampshade pocket – which is specifically for a headlamp.
7. Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite 2 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tent
The final model in this list of the best ultralight backpacking tents is this option from Featherstone. The reason that this is the last on the list is because it combines many of the great features seen across this range. The first benefit is the use of space for couples, no matter the weather. This is another tent that offers two doors and two vestibules. This means easier exit points and no confusion over the gear. Then there is the fact that this interior space, and the rest of the package, has plenty of helpful features for the week ahead. This includes all the storage areas, and gear hooks, as well as the repair kit and reflective elements to the guy ropes.
Then there is the fact that this tent is another lightweight tent that still provide comfort and protection across the seasons. This is a 3 season tent with ventilation and weatherproofing. There is a micro-mesh fabric, bath tub floor, taped seams and a strong rain fly. This is a tough option, but there is also a light approach to the materials. The aluminum poles once again keep the weight down. Finally, there is the ease of use in the assembly process. This means that this is a true backpacking tent for all occasions. It has simple structure and a well-designed carry bag. This mid-pole structure also allows for a little more headroom – something that other brands struggle with.