Last updated: July 10, 2018 at 12:26 pm

backpacking tent featured image

Backpacking is a great way for people to relax and get away from their daily obligations and exhausting schedules. Whether you’re a professional or an enthusiast, backpacking is always a good way to relieve some of the stress you’re facing in your everyday life. However, it requires quite a bit of equipment as well as some experience. In fact, it requires high-quality equipment or else you might end up jeopardizing your well-being due to having poorly designed and manufactured equipment.

In case you’re looking for a tent, we have a couple of reviews that might help you make the right decision. There are numerous different models of tents, including 2-person and 3-person ones, and finding the right one isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact, you should pay attention to several different features that can make or break a particular model. Therefore, if you don’t have any previous experience when it comes down to purchasing backpacking equipment, don’t hesitate to read some of our reviews and read through our buying guide in order to cover all possibilities.

If you’re in a hurry, check out the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

Product Image
Name
Main Feature
PriceRating
 
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent product imageALPS Mountaineering Lynx• 1 Person
• Resists water and UV damage
• Weight: 4 lbs
$9.9/10Check Price
ALPS Mountaineering Mystique 1-Person Tent product imageALPS Mountaineering Mystique• 1 Person
• Weatherproof and UV damage
• Weight: 4 lbs
$9.8/10Check Price
Nemo Dagger product imageNemo Dagger Ultralight• 2 Person
• Comfortable
• Weight: 3lbs 12oz


$$$9.9/10Check Price
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent product imageMSR Hubba Hubba NX• 2 Person
• Good for three seasons
• Weighs: 3.8 lbs


$$$9.8/10Check Price
Kelty TN 2 Person product imageKelty TN• 2 Person
• Good for three seasons
• Weight: 4lbs 9oz
$$9.7/10Check Price
Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent product imageColeman Sundome 2• 2 Person
• Handles rain well
• Affordable
$9.6/10Check Price
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Tent product imageMountainsmith Morrison 2• 2 Person
• Spacious
• Weight: 5lbs 9oz
$$9.6/10Check Price
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent product imageALPS Mountaineering Meramac• 2 Person
• Resists water and UV damage
• Weight: 7lbs 9 oz.
$9.5/10Check Price
Bryce 2P Two Person Ultralight Tent and Footprint product imageBryce 2P• 2 Person
• High-quality model
• Weight: 3lbs 7oz
$$9.4/10Check Price
Marmot Unisex Tungsten 2P product imageMarmot Unisex Tungsten• 2 Person
• Good quality
• Spacious
$$$9.4/10Check Price
HIGH PEAK South Col 4 Season Backpacking Tent 3 person product imageHIGH PEAK South Col 4 Season • 3 Person
• All-seasons model
• Weighs: 9.7 lbs
$$$9.3/10Check Price
Coleman Sundome 3 Person Tent product imageColeman Sundome 3• 3 Person
• Spacious and roomy
• Quick and easy to set up
$9.2/10Check Price
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent product imageALPS Mountaineering Zephyr• 3 Person
• Good quality
• Weight: 6 lbs 2oz
$$9.0/10Check Price

Top-Rated Tents for Backpackers

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent product image
Design
Quality
Price

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

One of the things that bother people is the time needed to set up a tent properly. However, thanks to the great and innovative design, the Lynx 1-Person tent doesn’t struggle with that predicament. In fact, the assembly is as simple as it can be meaning you won’t struggle with frustration and annoying design concepts. All you have to do is secure the included aluminum poles, clip the fabric on them, and that’s it!

This popular tent features eight zippers, gear loft, stakes, storage pockets, doorway, and guy ropes. It’s made of polyester meaning it can cope with both UV rays and water without breaking a sweat. What makes this tent so special is the fact that the walls are mostly made of mesh which is a great thing for ventilation improvements. As you may know, ventilation is one of the most important things for a good experience. As far as dimensions and free space go, there is more than enough space for one person to feel comfortable and protected. The overall weight of this tent is about 4-5 pounds which is more than acceptable, especially if you’re looking for somewhat lightweight equipment.

While the sheer quality of the zippers seems somewhat irrelevant, you can rest assured that it plays a major role in the overall experience. Needless to say, this tent features durable and trustworthy zippers which are designed to protect you from rough weather conditions as well as keep everything tight and in place. As far as the disadvantages go, there aren’t many. However, some things should be pointed out. For example, we wouldn’t recommend this tent in extremely rainy environments. It does cope well with water, but only up to a certain point. Once the rain gets consistent enough, you might face some leaks. It’s nothing major, but still worth mentioning.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Good materials
  • Durable zippers

Cons:

  • Can struggle to remain dry under heavy rain
  • Not great for tall people (over 6’5”)
ALPS Mountaineering Mystique 1-Person Tent product image
Design
Quality
Price

ALPS Mountaineering Mystique 1-Person Tent

ALPS is a well-respected company and as such it never fails to amaze us with their innovations, design, and most importantly – quality. This particular tent is a breeze to setup and it provides the necessary protection from UV rays as well as rough weather. It features eight zippers, guy ropes, and mesh storage pocket. The entrance is covered with mesh which provides both extra storage and weather protection.

What makes this particular model worth checking out is its ample space coupled with compactness and light weight. In other words, it’s ideal for backpacking trips because it weighs only a couple of pounds and is easily packed to a 5” x 18” size. As far as space goes, the tent has 21 square feet of floor area as well as 9.5 square feet of vestibule area. The door is quite large and made of mesh which significantly improves ventilation, especially during hot nights. The polyester fly features a 1500mm coating which is a great solution for rough weather. The poly taffeta floor features a 3000mm coating which should keep you dry at all times.

When it comes to downsides, there aren’t any critical ones, but you should keep some things in mind. For example, the vast majority of buyers didn’t get any instructions with this tent. While it might seem pretty simple to assemble, a user manual is always a good thing to have for reference. The included pols require quite a bit of force in order to bend in a proper manner. As you can imagine, it’s not a critical flaw, but you should make sure to apply enough force and not worry about damaging the poles. The price is more than acceptable, and in fact, it’s one of the biggest advantages of this particular model.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Trustworthy
  • Good weather protection

Cons:

  • No instructions included
  • The waterproof material gets saturated quickly under heavy rain

Perfect 2 Person Backpacking Tents

Nemo Dagger product image
Design
Quality
Price

Nemo Dagger Ultralight Backpacking Tent

The Nemo Dagger model offers everything you’ll ever need for a great backpacking and camping experience. It’s roomy, cozy, comfortable, features two doors, and it’s an ideal solution both for enthusiasts and professionals alike. The trapezoidal vestibule is what makes this tent somewhat unique, especially in this particular category and price range. Also, thanks to the high position of the hubs, the Dagger has more interior space than any other tent in its category.

The meshing and ventilation, in general, are supreme when it comes down to this particular model. The overhead area is mainly made of mesh and special light diffusing fabric which allows for an even glow of light throughout the whole tent. The weight of this 2-person tent is about 3 lb. 12 oz. when packed which is more than acceptable for backpacking. In fact, it’s one of the lightest 2-person tents around thanks to the innovative design and light but durable fabric.

The floor area is 31.1 square feet and the peak height is 42.2 inches. As you can tell, this tent offers more than enough space for two people. However, free space is just one of many features you should be looking for. Ventilation is also a thing you should keep an eye on, especially when it comes to models that are foreseen for multiple individuals.

Thankfully, the Dagger model features great ventilation capabilities and is designed to keep the space as ventilated as possible. The only thing most people argue over is the price. While it is a somewhat premium price, the tent itself is well worth investing in, especially if you’re planning on backpacking long routes. With a weight of four pounds, this tent will be the least of your worries, especially if you’re an experienced backpacker.

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • A lot of free space for this price range
  • Quality materials

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent product image
Design
Quality
Price

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

If you’re looking for a somewhat minimalistic solution for your backpacking endeavors, this model might be a good thing to consider. It’s a 2-person tent with plenty of useful features including two doors, mesh panels, feet area, solid panels, and more. When packed, this tent weighs a mere 3lbs. 7 oz. and the dimensions are 18 x 6 inches. As you can tell, it’s both pretty compact and lightweight.

The interior peak height is 39 inches. While it’s definitely not the highest one around, this model offers more than enough free space for two individuals. The floor area is about 29 square feet at the peak which is okay. It’s worth mentioning that there are two separate vestibule area with additional 8.75 (17.5 total) square feet of space for gear, boots, etcetera. The thing that separates this model from most others is the adjustable cross-ventilating rainfly. The color-coded clips and the unified hub-and-pole system make the mounting of this tent a piece of cake. In fact, anyone can mount this model perfectly even if they don’t have any previous experience.

As far as best seasons go, this unit will cope with every season except winter. That means you can set it up without worrying about whether it’s a good idea to do it during summer, fall, or spring. The combination of mesh and solid panels is great for breathability as well as privacy. As far as disadvantages go, some people complained about the mesh being very attractive to insects, but that isn’t a major concern in the first place as the mesh is made of pretty durable materials. The other concern people have is the price. It seems like some people think it’s slightly overpriced, but considering the overall quality, it isn’t an expensive piece of gear by any means.

Pros:

  • Good for three seasons
  • Quality materials
  • Good ventilation coupled with solid panels for privacy

Cons:

  • The bottom footprint is a must-have
  • Could use more internal pockets
Kelty TN 2 Person product image
Design
Quality
Price

Kelty TN 2 Person Tent

In case you’re looking for an all-around solution for your backpacking adventures, the Kelty TN is a pretty good solution. This tent has won multiple “gear of the year” awards which is a good indicator of both quality and usefulness. Nonetheless, the setup is fairly easy and the tent comes with several great features including shorter aluminum poles for easier packing, hug-clip technology, and roll-up stargazing fly.

This model is an ideal solution for three out of four seasons. It performs great during spring, summer, and fall. As far as winter goes, it’s not something we would strongly recommend for camping during cold days. The color-coded clip construction might not seem too impressive, but you can rest assured that it saves quite a bit of time and effort when it comes down to the initial setup.

The materials are pretty consistent and reliable. The floor is made of 70D nylon (3000mm) and the material used for fly manufacture is 40D Sil nylon (1800mm). As you can tell, it’s thick enough to withstand somewhat rough condition while being thin enough for easy packing and assembly. It features two doors and two vestibules meaning there is more than enough space for two individuals to rest and sleep.

The main selling points of this particular model are compactness and light weight. If you’re looking for a tent that can be packed into a relatively small bag and is sufficiently light for long routes, don’t hesitate to take a look at this particular one. There aren’t many downsides, to begin with, but some people didn’t like the user manual as it’s not the most comprehensive thing you’ll stumble upon. However, because it’s a pretty straightforward tent, the user manual is somewhat redundant. The price is good and reasonable.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Quality materials

Cons:

  • Poorly written instructions
  • Could have been a bit more spacious
Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent product image
Design
Quality
Price

Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent

The Sundome model is one of the most affordable tents on the market. As such, it’s definitely not the best possible solution you could find, but as far as the quality-to-price ratio goes, it’s well worth the investment; no question about that. It’s made of polyester which is an okay material to go with, but it does have certain limitations, especially when it comes to coping with rough weather.

The ease of setup is one of the main selling points of this model. In fact, anyone can mount it within 10-15 minutes which is an incredibly short time for this kind of gear. The WeatherTec system features a patented welded floor and inverted seams. In summary, it helps in keeping things as dry as possible. The ventilation aspect is acceptable, but far from impressive. The tent features a large window which is good for ventilation as well as a ground vent which helps with airflow. As mentioned, the ventilation is well-designed, but it can underperform in practice under certain conditions. The center height is about 4 feet which is more or less an average height of many other models. The dimensions are 7 x 5 feet.

The mesh pockets are a neat touch, especially if you consider the somewhat low price of this model. These pockets will help you to store small things instead of keeping them on the floor, but don’t expect a massive capacity. It can cope with a pair of glasses, wallets, and keys, but it probably won’t work well with larger stuff.

The only issue people have with this tent is the free space inside. In other words, it’s not as spacious as it seems. It may be rated for two individuals, but those people would have to be quite fit. In a “real world” situation, this is more of a one-person tent than it is a two-person one.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Good quality
  • Handles rain well

Cons:

  • Not as spacious as it may look
  • No instructions for first-time campers
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Tent product image
Design
Quality
Price

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Tent

If you’re looking for a good 3-season tent with a sufficient amount of features, this might be a good solution. While it definitely isn’t the best thing on the market, it does pack some pretty interesting features for a more than reasonable amount of money. Therefore, if you don’t have a massive budget but still want a tent of reasonable quality, make sure you check this one out. It’s made of polyester, has two doors and two vestibules, and pretty good ventilation overall.

The Clip-pole attachment mechanism allows for better breathability and lighter weight. The floor area of this model is 35 square feet coupled with vestibule area of 17 square feet. The peak height is 43 inches. While these dimensions may not seem as much to most people, they are pretty vast and spacious, especially if you consider the vast majority of other models that aren’t much bigger than this one but are significantly more expensive. However, the affordable price definitely comes with a few caveats. First of all, polyester isn’t as efficient as nylon. Even though it can withstand certain conditions, it isn’t as dominant and resistant as nylon.

The mesh wall panels are okay, but they seem somewhat fragile. However, as long as you handle it with care, there shouldn’t be any issues. The YKK zippers are ok, but we have seen better ones.

It is a good tent for an excellent price, but you should keep your expectations realistic. In case you’re planning on backpacking long routes far away from civilization, this probably isn’t the model you should be considering. There are too many variables that can go wrong regardless of the sheer quality and compactness of this model.

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Spacious
  • Easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Not recommended for serious trips
  • Can struggle with heavy rain
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent product image
Design
Quality
Price

ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent

This model comes with fiberglass poles and it’s one of the easiest to assemble. It’s made of polyester which resists both UV and water damage while also acting as an awning over both doors. Apart from that, this tent also has storage pockets, two windows, two doors, gear loft, stakes, and guy ropes. It’s a perfect all-around solution for both enthusiasts and professionals. It weighs 7 lbs. 9 oz. which is not particularly light, but it isn’t heavy either.

ALPS is a well-known company and they are famous for manufacturing reliable and trustworthy equipment. Needless to say, this tent isn’t an exception. It’s a great solution for backpacking because it’s lightweight and easy to setup within minutes. The ventilation is pretty solid, although it could have been designed a bit better. The center peak height of this model is 48 inches which is slightly more than most other models have. The floor area is 38 square feet which is enough for two people of average weight and height, but it’s not ideal for tall individuals. When packed, the dimensions are 6 x 20 inches which is quite compact and does not come off as a burden for most backpackers. As far as the overall quality goes, it’s acceptable and pretty solid.

There aren’t many downsides, but there are things that should be pointed out so that you know what to expect if you opt to purchase this model. The first thing most people don’t like is the fact that it isn’t an ideal model for two adults. It can shelter an adult and a child, but two grownups probably won’t have such a good experience. It also tends to leak around the stitching above the door during heavy rains. Therefore, it probably isn’t the best option for particularly rough weather.

Pros:

  • Good all-around solution
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to setup

Cons:

  • Occasional leaks
  • Underwhelming zipper quality
Bryce 2P Two Person Ultralight Tent and Footprint product image
Design
Quality
Price

Bryce 2P Two Person Ultralight Tent and Footprint

Good flexibility is one of the features that make this particular tent worth checking out. Naturally, there are other useful features included, but the flexibility is the one that stands out. As far as the other features go, there’s a two-way inner and outer zipper, mesh pockets, taped seams, 5000mm silicon waterproof coating, back vent with a kickstand, and more.

This is basically a somewhat high-end model for a fraction of the price. It’s made of nylon and the poles are made of 7000-series aluminum. In other words, you can rest assured that this model will last for years as long as you take good care of it. As for the ventilation, it’s pretty neat. In fact, once you remove the solid cover, the whole tent is almost covered in mesh. In other words, there is more than enough airflow once you remove the shroud. While it is rated for two people, you might find yourself struggling with free space along with your buddy. It’s not a massive concern by any means, but you should be aware of the fact that it isn’t the most comfortable thing out there as far as 2-person tents go.

Once packed, this tent comes to a size of about 17x 6 inches. As you can tell, it’s not a burden to carry around while backpacking. The overall weight of the model is a little over four pounds. The thing you should keep in mind is that this isn’t a four-season tent as it would struggle to keep its integrity during heavy snowfall.

The thing most people complained about is the ventilation concept, or rather, the shrouding method. It’s perfectly fine during good weather, but once the rain starts falling one must cover the tent with the included shroud which significantly limits the amount of ventilation.

Pros:

  • High-quality model
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Underwhelming ventilation
  • Can leak during heavy weather
Marmot Unisex Tungsten 2P product image
Design
Quality
Price

Marmot Unisex Tungsten 2P

Marmot is a pretty respected brand in this particular industry, and as such doesn’t fail to deliver when it comes to high-quality tents. This particular one is made of polyester and features two doors, and two vestibules to keep your equipment and footwear dry and protected. It isn’t the best thing on the market by any means, but it’s definitely a good opportunity for people who are on a somewhat limited budget and are looking for a quality tent.

The fact that it comes with straight floor edges means that there is a significant increase in free space in comparison to other concepts. The ventilation is good, although it could have been designed a bit better. It’s good while the weather is favorable, but as soon as one has to put the shroud over the tent, the ventilation suffers. In fact, it really does have ventilation issues as long as the shroud is on top of it. Therefore, if you’re looking for a highly ventilated tent, this might not be the best solution. Setting up the tent takes only a couple of minutes and can be done by anyone, regardless of their previous experience with this equipment. The fact that it’s highly user-friendly is a definite plus, especially for avid enthusiasts. The zippers are okay, but they can struggle under heavy rain. Quite a lot of people reported zipper issues during rough weather.

The things that make this tent worth checking out are the ease of setup and overall compactness. It’s good for backpacking, but some other models might offer more.

There aren’t any noteworthy shortcomings, except the few little things we already addressed. It’s a good tent for stargazing during clear nights, but if you end up in a situation with heavy rain, it might not meet your expectations. Not that it leaks everywhere, but it can struggle with heavy and rough weather conditions.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Spacious
  • Good quality

Cons:

  • Can underperform during rough weather

Best 3 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tent

HIGH PEAK South Col 4 Season Backpacking Tent 3 person product image
Design
Quality
Price

HIGH PEAK South Col 4 Season Backpacking Tent 3 person 9.7 lbs!

Quality 3-person tents are quite a rarity nowadays, especially because of the market saturation. There are dozens if not hundreds of different models, and most of them are simply not worth looking into due to poor quality or high price. However, this particular one is a great solution for three people who are looking to set up a camp and experience the perks of Mother Nature. On top of that, it’s a four-season tent meaning you can use it throughout the year without worrying about its integrity.

The thing that makes this tent somewhat special is the fact that it can withstand high winds and heavy snow. While it doesn’t sound too impressive, you can rest assured that it’s a great feature to have, especially if you’re an all-season backpacker. The peak height is about 53 inches, while the overall length is about 79 inches. In other words, it’s perfectly capable of housing three people through the night without a single issue. The weight is also something that stands out. With only 9.7 pounds, this is one of the lightest 3-person tents out there. On top of that, it’s only 21 inches long when packed. The polyester is coated with polyurethane which guarantees better water resistance. It also features two doors for improved convenience.

The thing people don’t like about this model is the ventilation. While it does have ventilation openings, they don’t yield good results. That consequently results in an increase in warmth as well as condensation. Both of these things are something one should avoid. Also, the stakes that come included with the tent are easily bent which can cause some unexpected issues. Overall, it’s a great tent for a reasonable price, and it’s capable of catering to three people without any major issues.

Pros:

  • All-seasons model
  • Durable
  • Trustworthy materials

Cons:

  • Subpar ventilation
  • Susceptible to condensation
Coleman Sundome 3 Person Tent product image
Design
Quality
Price

Coleman Sundome 3 Person Tent

The dome design is great, especially if you’re looking for a model that is relatively easy to setup and mount. As far as this particular model goes, it has more than enough space for comfort and room to move around a bit. It isn’t a replica of your living room by any means, but it definitely offers enough space for three people to enjoy their camping experience. It also features an awning for protection against both rain and sun.

The tent features a fairly large window which acts like the main ventilation source and also helps cool down the temperatures during hot summer days. The floor is a WeatherTec system which is a patented method consisting of welded floors and inverted seams. This system keeps the water out of your tent at all times. As far as the wind resistance goes, the InstaClip pole attachments come in handy because they can withstand relatively strong winds. The dimensions are 7 x 7 feet which is more than enough space for one queen airbed or three people. Bear in mind, the rating of three people refers to individuals of average height and weight. In other words, it’s not always possible to fit three people in because it mostly depends on their physique. The mesh pockets are a great addition to an already versatile tent as they allow you to keep the small and fragile stuff off the floor.

You shouldn’t expect an impressive capacity, but the pockets can hold sunglasses, wallets, keys, and phones without any issues. As far as disadvantages go, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.

The first one is that even though this model is rated for all four seasons, due to its high ceiling and large ventilation openings, it doesn’t perform well under cold conditions. The main reason behind this is the exceptional breathability which causes issues during winter because the tent cannot keep the heat in long enough.

Pros:

  • Dome design is easy to setup
  • Stays cool and dry
  • Spacious and roomy

Cons:

  • Doesn’t perform well under heavy snow
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent product image
Design
Quality
Price

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent

This is yet another great product from ALPS Mountaineering. The Zephyr model is a breeze to setup thanks to its aluminum two-pole design. It’s made of polyester meaning it’s quite good when it comes to resistance against both rain and UV rays. The ventilation on this model is supreme because almost all walls are mainly made of mesh. It does come with a shroud which significantly reduces the ventilation and airflow in general.

This tent is fully equipped with eight zippers, gear loft, mesh storage pockets, guy ropes, and aluminum stakes. It also has two additional vestibules for extra storage. The center peak height is 41 inches which is not the highest peak we’ve stumbled upon, but it’s definitely enough for convenience and comfort. The base size is 6’.2” x 7’.5” which is spacious enough for three individuals. However, the total weight is the thing that separates this model from the vast majority of others. With only about 6 lbs. 2 oz. it’s one of the lightest 3-person models around. This model is ideal for hot and muggy nights thanks to the amazing ventilation capabilities. However, on the other hand, it’s not something you would want to have during winter because too much ventilation yields detrimental results during winter because the tent isn’t able to hold the inner temperature consistent.

There aren’t many shortcomings, but a few people pointed out some pretty valid concerns. Firstly, even though it’s advertised as a 3-person tent, it’s highly unlikely that three people can sleep comfortably in this tent. It’s far from being impossible, but one of those three individuals would have to be below average as far as weight and height go. Therefore, it’s more of a “two people and one child” tent than it is a full experience for three adults. However, you can get a much better idea of free space by referencing the dimensions.

Pros:

  • Good quality
  • Easy to setup
  • Great ventilation

Cons:

  • Struggles to maintain temperature during cold days/nights
  • Not as spacious as one might expect
Image of Family on camping

Ultralight Tent for Backpacking – Buyer’s Guide

If you’re looking for a perfect tent, you will have to pay attention to several different things in order to find a good buy. Many people are either unaware or simply don’t care too much about the do’s and don’ts which consequently leads to poorly planned purchases. In order to avoid such unpleasant scenarios, take a moment and check our buyer’s guide. We tried to point out the most important things you should be looking for when buying a tent so that you don’t have to research yourself. These aren’t rules set in stone but rather a set of insightful guidelines designed to help the average Joe when it comes down to investing in backpacking equipment.

Weight

Even though a few ounces here and there don’t seem like much, avid backpackers would beg to differ. In fact, even the slightest increase in one’s backpack weight can make a massive difference. Therefore, lightweight tents make backpacking a much more enjoyable experience, especially if you’re planning on tackling longer routes. The rule of thumb here is to go with the lightest tent possible, as long as it meets your requirements and expectations. You could compromise between comfort and weight, but it’s usually recommended that you sacrifice a bit of comfort for less weight. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what kind of weight suits your backpacking capabilities, but it’s always recommended to go with the lighter models.

Protection

Protection from rough weather is often a thing most people oversee when purchasing a tent. It usually depends on where you’re planning to set up camp, but that doesn’t mean you should choose a poorly protected model just because you live in a sunny area. Needless to say, you also need protection from harmful UV rays. A backpacking tent that doesn’t offer protection is not only a bad choice, but it’s also quite dangerous. The most important thing you should be thinking of is how to remain dry, safe, and warm. If you find a model that you like, make sure it meets those three parameters at least.

The price

While it’s great to have a super-expensive tent with a lot of auxiliary features, it’s definitely not the best solution. On the other hand, you shouldn’t go with the cheapest one you can find either because poorly made tents are a safety hazard. So, the recipe for success here is to find a fine balance between the price and quality of the tent itself. Most renowned brands usually offer a variety of different models, some come at an affordable price while others don’t. Depending on your budget, you can go with whichever you feel like is fairly priced.

Ventilation

Good airflow is of utmost importance for a good night of sleep. The way of finding out whether a tent is properly ventilated is to pay attention to the amount of mesh it has on its walls, doors, windows, etcetera. The more mesh it features, the larger the surface is for airflow. It’s also important to look for water resistance coatings on the mesh because without them the mesh loses its point. The waterproof coating is also important for protecting the interior from getting wet and if the ventilation isn’t right, there is a high chance of condensation which consequently creates a pretty dewy interior.

Buying stuff online

Even though a tent is probably not your first online purchase, you should still keep some important things in mind. First of all, always check both the seller’s and manufacturer’s reputation. There aren’t that many reputable brands out there so it shouldn’t be particularly hard. On top of that, you should always read other people’s reviews in order to get a good idea of the advantages and shortcomings of a particular model. These reviews should be taken with a grain of salt because anyone can write them, but they can be a good representation of the general public’s opinion.

Durability

The “problem” with lightweight tents is the fact that most of them are made of thinner materials which are more vulnerable than thicker ones. The main thing to remember here is to take good care of your tent and maintain it in good condition at all times – by doing that you will have no issues with a backpacking tent for years.

Ease of use

Naturally, you would want to find a model that’s fairly easy to setup and doesn’t require too much hassle and effort. Luckily, most modern tents are quite user-friendly, even if you don’t have any previous experience. It’s important that you always read the instructions and follow the guide included with the tent in order to avoid unpleasant scenarios. Even if you’re an avid professional with years of experience, make sure to read the user manual and make sure to follow the instructions.

Raising a Freestanding Tent

Raising a Freestanding Tent – Tips and Instructions

Raising a tent might seem pretty simple and straightforward, but it actually requires quite a bit of planning, patience, effort, and experience. In case you’re not sure how to properly set up a tent, go ahead and read some of our tips and instructions, it might come in handy.

Pick a good spot

The first step in this process is finding a proper spot. Make sure it’s not rocky, wet, or full of debris that could jeopardize the integrity of your tent.

Start staking

The trick here is only loosely to stake the tent before raising the poles. It might seem counterintuitive, but it provides better stability and pitch. Now, when it comes to freestanding tents, you probably aren’t required to stake before raising, but it’s recommended because it only takes a slight gust of wind to shift the position of the tent which then jeopardizes the whole process.

Setting up the poles

After you secure the tent by loosely staking it to the ground, it’s time to set up the poles. It’s essential that you pay close attention to this step because plenty of things can go wrong. The first thing you should always do is make sure the poles are connected in a proper manner. Often time’s pole connectors can seem “clipped” while they aren’t. Consequently, the whole integrity of the tent may be jeopardized due to loosely connected poles.

Deploying the rainfly

This can be a tricky part of the process, but most modern tents have color-coded attachments to reduce the confusion. In case your tent doesn’t have color-coded clips, the easiest way to deploy the rainfly is by matching the door openings on both the rainfly and the tent. It may take a couple of minutes, but you should be perfectly fine. It’s a trial and error thing.

Tent Care and Maintenance

Tent Care and Maintenance

Maintenance is one of the most important elements for every tent’s condition. It seems pretty obvious and self-explanatory, but you would be amazed by the number of people who simply decide against the idea of keeping their tents in good condition. In fact, more often than not, a damaged tent is a result of user’s negligence in lieu of it being flawed or destroyed by rough weather conditions.

Cleaning

Setup the tent and clean it with mild soap and lukewarm water solution. It’s very important that you avoid using aggressive cleansers or agents because they can damage the material. This also implies that you shouldn’t put a tent into a washing machine or a dryer. Make sure the equipment is completely dry before folding and packing it because wet surfaces tend to turn into mold and mildew pretty quickly. Cleaning of the poles can be done with a simple dry cloth. Make sure you do this every time, especially after camping near the ocean or sea because salt tends to stick to metal surfaces and cause predicaments along the way.

General useful tips

Always store and pack your tent in a designated bag, especially if it was included with the product. It’s a matter of common sense, yet it’s still something that not many people do.

Try not to wear shoes inside because you risk damaging the thin floor. Most models nowadays have a designated place for your footwear and equipment – use them.

Sweep the floor on a daily basis to prevent damage from small stones, mud, pine needles and other potentially dangerous things. It only takes a minute of your time, but it can save your whole investment.

Try not to keep any food inside a tent. The reason is pretty simple – small animals and critters will chew through mesh and fabric in order to find a way to your food.

Conclusion

As you can tell, finding an appropriate tent isn’t the easiest thing. In fact, it’s quite a complex process with a lot of do’s and don’ts along the way. However, it’s not that hard to find a good model as long as you follow some guidelines and use common sense. Always make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller as well as reputable brand. On top of that, always make sure you get a proper warranty with your model.

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t fall for cheap copies because they will end up costing you more than you can imagine. After the purchase, make sure you try the model out in your backyard or inside your home just to make sure it’s in good condition. You don’t want to go backpacking for miles and find out you’ve packed a faulty tent.

If you’re not sure what to look for, don’t hesitate to take a look at our Buyer’s Guide and see if you can use some of the tips we have provided.

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