A few ounces on your backpack might not seem to be a very big deal, although keeping it light is important to enjoying your backpacking trip. This is why it’s most critical for you to select a lightweight tent (some backpacking tents pack a lot of weight) and because your tent will be the one of the heaviest items, be sure to keep its weight to a minimum.
Now, selecting a lightweight backpacking tent is not an easy task considering that the market is saturated with all kinds of tent models. Even with the overwhelming selection, your aim should be selecting one that is lightweight but doesn’t compromise on quality, performance, and durability.
The Top 6 Best Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Since you’ve got no idea what is the best lightweight backpacking tent, here is a comprehensive list and review that will help you make a more informed decision.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Tent is a two-door backpacking tent for people who are looking for more space, comfort, and versatility. The tent weighs 52.6 oz and has an above average space-to-weight ratio. The tent performs extremely well in harsh wet and rainy conditions, keeping you and your gear completely dry. It can accommodate two people, letting you and your backpacking partner enjoy a hassle-free trip.
The tent features 2 doors and 2 vestibules that provide easy entrance and perfect gear storage for you and your friend. The storm flaps help to protect vestibule zippers. The double hub/pole design and DAC Twist Clips allow for quick and easy setup. The DAC H clip attaches to the tent body to the crossover pole. The light, tough, and durable DAC Featherlite NSL poles are anodized with the use of harmful acids. It features a crossover pole that adds plenty of headroom. The tent also features a lightweight, high-thread-count fabric that has a double twisted thread for added strength and durability. The ultralight silicone-treated ripstop nylon rainfly and floor features a 100% waterproof polyurethane coating. For added durability, all seams are completely sealed with waterproof, solvent-free polyurethane tape.
The interior mesh pockets of the Copper Spur UL2 tent help keep your stuff well organized and off the tent floor. You can use some built-in loops (sold separately) to accommodate a gear loft. The reflective guylines and webbing on the corners of the tent greatly enhance nighttime visibility so you won’t trip over your tent in the dark. The tent sports opposing mesh doors that provide cross ventilation. Included are some stuff sacks and 8 superlight aluminum J-stakes.
For an even lighter tent, you can leave the tent body and use a rainfly and footprint (both sold separately) with poles and stakes.
Don’t spoil the fun during your backpacking trip with excess weight. A versatile, lightweight tent such as the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Tent is an excellent choice.
The Black Diamond Mega Light Tarp Shelter packs down to the size of a small water bottle and yet provides enough room for up to 4 people and all of your gear. Basically, it sets the standard for lightweight and versatile tents. And thanks to its ultra versatility, this floorless tent pulls duty for nearly anything you can think of- from an emergency tarp shelter to a luxury glacier dining room, to an ultralight shelter for months-long backpacking and thru-hikes.
The floorless tent is extremely spacious and an incredible choice where weight, packability, and portability are important. Its construction and simple design allow it to accommodate 4 backpackers while adding less than 3 pounds to the group’s weight. It provides a whopping 81-square-feet of covered floor space and a roomy 57-inches of usable height.
The tent is constructed using rugged 30D SilNylon Cordura that offers durable waterproof protection, without adding any weight. Besides providing waterproof protection, the material is strong and tough and can therefore withstand repeated use and abuse in the outdoors, making it not only one of the lightest tents, but also one of the most durable. It also comes with a rugged carbon fiber pole that shaves about 10% off the pole weight. Optional floor and a bug netting are available, but sold separately. The tent requires firm seam sealing with McNett Sil-Net Sealer (sold separately). Also included is PoleLink, a nylon wrap that allows you to combine a pair of trekking/ski poles into a single, central support.
Pitch the Black Diamond Mega Light Tarp Shelter anywhere; on the snow or rocky terrain, on your lightweight backpacking trip and enjoy you nights knowing that you’re in a safe shelter free from bugs and comfortable for a quality sleep.
Featuring a unique pole design and constructed using new ultralight materials, this extremely lightweight 2-person three-season backpacking tent is spacious, strong, well-ventilated, and offers 2 vestibules for covered storage.
The REI Quarter Dome 2 Tent is made using new 15D ripstop nylon and a fly that significantly minimizes weight, yet retains strength for added durability and ability to withstand repeated use and abuse. The floor is constructed using lightweight yet robust 30D ripstop nylon. The REI’s exclusive tension-truss architecture helps to create stable vertical sidewalls for ample living space and generous headroom. The asymmetrical shape of the tent and pole angles also greatly enhance the tent’s living space, allowing you and your backpacking partner to sit up. The doors on the fly and tent are creatively aligned for easy access and exit. The roof sports a large zippered vent that helps to control condensation. The internal pockets and sturdy hang loops help to organize the interior of the tent, in that you can store your stuff in an organized manner.
The fly or footprint minimalist pitch option lets you shave off some weight by allowing you to leave the tent at behind and instead use the poles, fly, and footprint (sold separately) as an ultralight shelter. Included in the pack is a durable stuff sack, stakes, guylines, and tighteners, and also a pole repair tube, a pole bag, and a stake bag.
The REI Quarter Dome Tent is the ultimate lightweight tent choice for your backpacking trip. And with its durable construction and unique design, it meets and exceeds the needs of any backpacker and outdoor enthusiasts, and is a great value for money too.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent is an ultralight tent specifically designed for 3-season backpacking. It weighs a total of 3 pounds and 7 ounces, making it one of the lightest tents on the market. Even with its lightweight, the MSR does not in any way compromise on quality, comfort, and versatility. It packs down small, thanks to its ultracompact compression sack. It’s without a doubt an excellent choice for backpackers looking to shave some weight off their packs.
Set up and dismantling of the tent is extremely quick and easy, thanks to its unified and color-coded hub-and-pole-system. The unique pole configuration effectively maximizes the headroom and elbow space throughout the tent. The tent features two incredibly large StayDry doors that help ensure that water does not drip inside the tent while the doors are open, keeping you, your partner, and gear dry, warm, and comfortable. It also features two large vestibules for storing your gear.
The MSR sports venting vestibules and rainfly vents that help to create a dry and comfortable interior. The canopy features a durable construction of 15D nylon micromesh plus a 20D high-tenacity ripstop nylon. The floor is made of 30D high-tenacity ripstop nylon with Durashield polyurethane coating. The rainfly is constructed using 20D, high-tenacity ripstop nylon that is Durashield polyurethane and silicone-coated.
The Fast & Light setup option lets you use just the footprint, rainfly, and poles so as to greatly reduce the weight to only 2lbs, which is pretty incredible considering that what every backpacker wants is less weight on his pack. The tent comes with a super compact compression sack that allows it to fit into the backpack for portability.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 person tent is one incredible and reliable tent that will let you enjoy the full backcountry experience without worrying about anything. The next time you go out shopping for a backpacking tent, be sure to select the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 person tent.
As a backpacker, this ultimate lightweight minimalist tarp shelter is exactly what you need to enjoy your outdoor adventures without being weighed down by a super-heavy tent. The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Square Flat Tarp is one of the lightest backpacking tents available. Even with its light weight, it does not compromise on quality, durability, and even versatility. It features a durable construction and will offer you the best protection from dangerous wild animals and bugs. It’s designed to be used in a variety of weather conditions.
The tent features a highly durable and 100% waterproof CF8 Dyneema Composite Fabric (formerly Cuban fiber) for extra durability and ability to withstand repeated use and abuse in the outdoors. It’s reinforced with fully bonded seals, therefore greatly boosting their strength, performance, and versatility. The Echo inserts will keep the bugs and water at bay. Use the trekking poles for quick and easy set-up of your shelter. To set up multiple configurations depending on weather conditions, use trekking poles, ski poles, paddles or skis, to easily create a pyramid, a modified A-frame, an A-frame, or lean shape, among others. The tent features 16 perimeter tie-outs with 4 tie outs placed in the center of the tent, one-third, and two-thirds of the interior body.
Included is a medium CF8 Stuff Sack for storage and 10 ultralight 2.8mm UHMWPE core guy lines.
Without a doubt, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Square Flat Tarp Tent is one of the best tents in terms if weight, durability, and versatility. Enjoy your outdoor adventures without the interference of a heavy pack.
The ZPacka Hexamid Twin Tent is a lightweight, versatile, durable, and spacious tent designed for one or as a minimalist shelter for an average size couple plus gear. Setup is extremely easy as you only require two adjustable trekking poles and a minimum of six stakes (8 stakes are recommended). Set up instructions are included in the package. The tent features a pair of storm doors that help protect the front part of the tent from rain spray, allowing you to stay dry, warm, and comfortable. The doors are designed to overlap, so you never have to worry about a broken zipper. The doors clip down to the front center guy line or roll up out of the way. When the weather gets hot, you can even leave one or both doors open for air circulation. The Cuban Fiber bathtub floor is set back from the screen walls and works great.
The tent weighs 533 grams or 18.8 ounces and thus can be said to be one of the lightest tents on the market.
The tent has a fully enclosed screen floor which keeps all kinds of bugs at bay. The entire tent is constructed using Cuban Fiber material that has a very high strength to weight ratio, is completely waterproof, made from Dyneema threads which don’t stretch, tape sticks well, and the seams are stitched and taped water tight. A bright yellow strong, tangle resistant, and non-stretch Spectra-Z-line cord is included for guy lines. Yellow is highly visible so you won’t trip over the tent during the night. The side guy lines can be easily propped up with a second set of trekking poles for extra head room.
The ZPacks Hexamids Twin Tent has an expected lifespan of at least one full 2500+ mile thru-hike, or possibly many years of casual use with excellent care and maintenance. The tent is backed by a 1-year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.
The ZPack Hexamids Twin Tent is one of the best lightweight tents for backpacking which effectively balances weight and comfort so you can freely enjoy your backpacking trip. It’s the ultimate tent choice for 3-season backpacking, thru-hiking, and bicycle touring.
Packing a high performing tent is one of the best ways to increase comfort, enjoyment, and safety on backcountry trips. So if you’re looking for the best lightweight backpacking tent, this review will help you select one that best suits all your backpacking needs.