If you are planning to go backpacking, hiking and camping in 2019, you will benefit greatly from a lightweight but well-constructed tent that will provide shelter for you and your belongings while also being lightweight to carry on your back. Those couple of extra pounds really do make a big difference when traveling a far distance!
Read on to discover my top recommendations for the best backpacking and hiking tents that are lightweight (in order of lightest to heaviest, though none of these options are “heavy” at all!):
Lightest Backpacking Tents:
Packed weight: 1 lb 5 oz, Packed size: 7 x 5in
Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s UltaMid 2 Insert with DCF11 Floor shelters you from insects, snakes, and muddy grounds when you’re alpine climbing for the weekend. Weighing a little over a pound, this compact insert takes up little space in your pack, and you’ll barely notice its weight on steep ascents. No-see-um mesh allows plenty of airflow for summers in the alpine or shoulder seasons in the desert, and it makes sure you don’t wake up with a snake on your face.
The Dyneema bathtub floor is surprisingly durable for how light the tent weighs, and it’s very resilient against wet and muddy grounds. There’s a vertical two-way zipper that opens one of the walls completely. Hyperlite designed this mesh bivy to fit inside the UltaMid for rainy backpacking trips, and it requires one trekking pole (not included) for a proper setup.
- No-see-um mesh canopy
- Dyneema bathtup floor
- Top, center-pole point
- Vertical two-way zipper shelter door
- Sewn-in guyline
- Trekking pole required and not included
The Black Diamond Distance Tent with Adapter weighs less than two pounds and packs smaller than a water bottles so ultralight backpackers and minimalist thru-hikers can take it anywhere. This 2-person, 3-season tent’s nonfreestanding design includes a DAC pole that adapts to accommodate Black Diamond’s trekking poles for a simple setup, even in windy conditions. While packable and ultralight, the high-tenacity fabric boasts improved strength that doesn’t stretch when it gets wet. There are vents at the peak and foot to cross-ventilate and amplify airflow. Black Diamond reinforced the guylines with Dyneema to ensure long-lasting durability.
- Ultralight tent built for backpacking and thru-hiking
- 30D polyester packs down to the size of a water bottle
- Nonfreestanding design requires two trekking poles
- Vents at peak and foot allow for cross ventilation
- Dyneema-reinforced guylines and tension-adjustable stake points
- Headlamp pocket
Every ounce matters, which is why you packed the ultralight MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent. Constructed specifically for ultralight camping, this 2-person, 3-season tent features a zipper-free vestibule that minimizes unnecessary weight and a micro-mesh canopy that encourages optimal ventilation. The waterproof rainfly and bathtub-style floor are equipped with fully taped seams and reinforced stress points for maximum durability and protection in the face of unpleasant weather. The Carbon Reflex 2 is furnished with two carbon-fiber poles, ten MSR needle stakes, and guycords and adjusters that make setting up a breeze. When combined with a tent footprint (not included), the Carbon Reflex 2’s rainfly offers a Fast and Light setup option for even greater weight savings. So whether you’re enduring a rainstorm of the century or surviving sauna-like humidity, the Carbon Reflex 2 is light as a feather and tough as a tarp.
- Ultralight backpacking tent for adventurers who value protection
- Micromesh canopy promote constant air circulation
- Durashield rainfly and Xtreme Shield floor provide waterproofing
- Fast and light setup allows you to make a shelter out of fly
- Large doors provide easy entry and exit
- Unique pole geometry optimizes headroom for more space
- Carbon fiber poles are ultralight and super durable
Shave a few extra lbs from your pack when you bring the MSR Flylite 2-Person Tent on your next backpacking trip. With a trail weight of just 1lb 9oz, the Flylite is one of the lightest two person shelters on the market today, making it an excellent choice for ultralight backpackers and gram-counting thru-hikers alike.
Saving weight with a single-wall design, the fly is composed of a 10D ripstop nylon, which is treated with MSR’s Durashield PU coating for increased protection from unruly mountain weather. Fully taped seams and reinforced stress points prevent water from working through and ensure the tent holds up when the winds pick up. Mesh side windows keep the inside of the tent well ventilated, while a covered entryway gives you some space to get gear ready out of the rain. Setup requires two trekking poles, while the included two guy cords and the lightweight aluminum pole take care of the rest.
- 10D nylon ripstop fly with Durashield coating (1000mm)
- Single-wall design
- Fully taped seams
- Reinforced stress points
- Two-person sleeping capacity
- 1lb 9oz trail weight
- Mesh side windows
- Requires two trekking poles for setup
- Item #CAS003I
Packed weight: 2 lb 5 oz, Packed Size: 4 x 19 in
The Fly Creek HV UL Two-Person Tent still maintains the ultralight weight that minimalist backpackers look for, but Big Agnes redesigned it with a higher volume to give a comfier sleeping space. Unique to Fly Creek HV tents, DAC’s Angle SF Hub works with the Featherlite pole system to provide 25% more head space and 10% more foot space. Apart from a higher volume, the Fly Creek HV UL Tent still features the same waterproof fly and floor along with the same mesh canopy for three-season use.
The fly creates a dry space to protect your gear from wet weather, and it gives the door a dry entry so you don’t dampen your sleeping bag. Big Agnes included eleven superlight stakes, three internal mesh pockets, and gear loft loops that accommodate the Big Agnes Triangle or Entertainment Center lofts (both sold separately). This tent is also compatible for a lighter fast fly setup with the fly, poles, and footprint (sold separately).
- Ultralight tent for light and fast backpacking
- Waterproof fly and floor protects against summer storms
- High-volume design expands internal space
- Dry entry door and vestibule protect gear from rain
- Three mesh pockets, gear loft loops, and stakes included
Packed weight: 2 lbs 6oz, Packed Size: 19.5 x 5.5in
Nemo’s Hornet 2P Tent is an ultralight backpacker with personal features for you and your camping partner. Its no-see-um mesh canopy provides plenty of ventilated airflow, while PeU-coated ripstop helps the vestibule, fly, and floor resist abrasion, dirt, and rainfall. The one-piece DAC Featherlite NFL pole offers an easy setup as well as an expanded interior.
Unlike most ultralight tents, the Hornet 2P features two doors so your backpacking buddy doesn’t crawl over you in the middle of the night. The tent’s stuff sack can hold all the gear, or just the fabrics if you two are going to split the load. Nemo also included guy-out cords, a repair kit, and stakes for the utmost camping convenience.
- Ultralight backpacking tent with more interior space for comfort
- Three-season versatility includes a mesh canopy and rain fly
- Two-person capacity features two doors and vestibules
- DAC Featherlite NFL poles keep weight just over a pound
- Dual-stage stuff sack, guy-out cords, repair kit, and stakes included
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Found another lightweight tent that you love? Questions or comments about hiking and backpacking gear? Some other topics you’d like me to cover? I’d love to hear from you, just leave me a comment below!