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The Best Backpacking Tents For Multi-Day Hikes & Fastpacking

Lightweight, ultralight and crazy-light tents, plus budget options.

It can be surprisingly hard to find the best backpacking tent to suit your needs. It obviously needs to be lightweight and waterproof, but there are a load of other features to consider, plus your overall budget – ultralight backpacking tents and other gear can get expensive.

In this tent buyer’s guide, we explain the key features to look for when choosing between tents for multi-day hikes, thru-hiking and fastpacking, which you can also use for more minimalist camping trips.

We also review and break down the pros and cons of each of the top tent models and brands that made this list, from the more budget tent options to the very best ultralight backpacking tents designed for when you want to carry the least amount possible on the trails.

Two-person backpacking tents as the main basis for comparison of sizes and pricing, and we’ve also included the best one-person backpacking tent options, and listed the different sizes offered for each tent model where they also offer 3- and 4-person models.

Click here to read our tent buyer’s guide, or read on to read the backpacking tent reviews. You can also use the jump links below to see tents by category:

Overall Best Backpacking Tents

All the ultralight tents in this category are freestanding options from quality tent brands, offering 3-season protection for two people, in a lightweight shelter package.

Their range of features and balance of functionality, durability and overall cost makes them our top recommendations when it comes to the best backpacking tents.

Nemo Dragonfly 2P Tent Best Backpacking Tents Trail and Kale

1. Nemo Dragonfly 2P

  • Tent Type: Freestanding
  • Packaged Weight: 3lb 2oz
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions: 88 x 50/45
  • Cost: $450
  • Size Options: 1-person, 2-person, 3-person
  • Pros: Plenty of mesh for ventilation, single-seam tub base construction, two doors and large vestibules
  • Cons: Hard to fault this one!
  • Review Verdict: Buy this tent if you like the design and added features. Also a great choice for solo backpackers with the 1-person size option.

If you’re a fan of Nemo tents or are looking for another alternative to the Big Agnes tent above, then the Nemo Dragonfly is another great choice when it comes to freestanding, 3-season ultralight backpacking tents.

It features some nice added features including poles that stretch it out to create more headroom at one end, large doors and plenty of mesh for ventilation.

The ‘divvy’ stuff sacks are designed to allow two people to divide the tent parts between you to spread the load when carrying them in your backpack. See Deal
Last Amazon price update was: June 22, 2024 1:31 am

MSR Hubba Hubba NX Best Backpacking Tents Trail and Kale

2. MSR Hubba Hubba NX

  • Tent Type: Freestanding
  • Packaged Weight: 3lb 14oz
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions: 84 x 50
  • Cost: $450
  • Size Options: 1-person, 2-person, 3-person
  • Pros: Spacious and comfortable 2-person tent with two doors, good ventilation and reliable weather-resistance even in heavy wind and rain
  • Cons: A few oz heavier than the Nemo Dragonfly and Big Agnes Copper Spur
  • Review Verdict: The floor material is slightly thicker (read: more durable) than the Big Agnes tent, so if you don’t mind a little extra weight this added durability makes it a great choice.

Another excellent brand when it comes to making great quality backpacking tents, MSR’s Hubba Hubba is very similar to the Big Agnes option in this category.

While it’s an ultralight tent, it still offers more durability than those truly fast-and-light options further down this list.

For the price you get an all-round great quality tent with two doors and vestibules for gear storage, a few more inches in width than the Copper Spur and steep walls offering good headroom, not to mention great weather-resistance. $382.46
out of stock
See Deal See Deal
Last Amazon price update was: June 22, 2024 1:31 am

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Best Backpacking Tents Trail and Kale

3. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

  • Tent Type: Freestanding
  • Packaged Weight: 3lb 2oz
  • Cost: $450
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions: 86 x 43
  • Size Options: 1-person, 2-person, 3-person, 4-person
  • Pros: 2 doors and vestibules, great interior space, easy to set up
  • Cons: You need to be careful with the rather delicate fabric on rougher ground in particular.
  • Review Verdict: Buy this tent if you’re looking for an all-round excellent quality, comfortable and lightweight backpacking tent.

There’s a reason Big Agnes is one of the most well-known names when it comes to lightweight tent brands.

Quite simply, the freestanding Big Agnes Copper Spur balances space, livability, durability, quality and price to provide an all-round great ultra-light tent that is perfect for backpacking across 3 seasons.

Its shape provides plenty of headroom with steep walls and holds its own well in wet and windy weather despite being lightweight.

In need of a backpack to carry your tent? Read this next: Best Backpacking Backpacks for Men and Women $599.95 See Deal See Deal
Last Amazon price update was: June 22, 2024 1:31 am

Best Value Backpacking Tents (under $300)

All the backpacking tents in this category are lightweight options offered for under $300.

While they weigh a pound or two more than the overall best backpacking tent options above, they’re great choices when it comes to more casual backpackers who want some comfort and don’t want to spend a fortune on a good quality three season tent to take on multi-day hiking trips.

REI Half Dome SL2 Tent Best Backpacking Tents Trail and Kale

4. REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+

  • Tent Type: Freestanding
  • Packaged Weight: 4lb 13.5oz
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions: 92 x 56
  • Cost: $280
  • Size Options: 2+ or 3+ person
  • Pros: Comfortable backpacking tent that includes a footprint in the price, a more affordable option than other tents on this list
  • Cons: On the bulkier side for carrying when backpacking multiple days
  • Review Verdict: For two people over a weekend or long weekend where you want a versatile tent on a budget, this REI tent is our pick when it comes to the best backpacking tent under $300.

This comfortable three-season backpacking tent from REI is reasonably lightweight (classed as ‘superlight’) and as it’s offered in a 2+ person (as well as 3+ person) option, it’s great for a couple wanting more space than the average 2-person tent, while still spending less than $300.

If you are backpacking with a dog then the extra space in this popular REI 2 person tent also allows you enough room to fit them in comfortably with you and it’s also more durable than lightweight tent options, which is great for camping in rougher terrain or if you are tough on your camping gear.

Exped Lyra II Tent Best Backpacking Tents Trail and Kale

5. Exped Lyra II

  • Tent Type: Freestanding
  • Packaged Weight: 4lb 9oz
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions: 84.6 x 51.2
  • Cost: $280
  • Size Options: 2-person, 3-person
  • Pros: Two doors and vestibules, plenty of ventilation and rainfly options allowing for stargazing and airflow while the mesh keeps bugs out
  • Cons: Plastic stakes may need replacing with more durable metal alternatives
  • Review Verdict: This Exped tent is a comfortable, light and packable backpacking and camping tent, quick to set up and take down and stows small for attaching to or stowing inside your pack.

Another great 2 person tent in the under $300 category, this Exped backpacking tent is a few lb lighter than the REI tent in this category, with slightly smaller floor dimensions but still a good amount of room for two people.

This is a good-looking tent that is easy to set up and pack down quickly, and offers a range of different rainfly setup options to take advantage of the tent’s mesh ventilation or the opportunity to stargaze on a clean night. This is a great option if you’re looking for a freestanding lightweight tent for backpacking across three seasons. See Deal
Last Amazon price update was: June 22, 2024 1:31 am

Best Ultralight Tents (under 3lb)

This is the most hotly-contested category on our best backpacking tents list as more players move into the sweet spot of quality, ultralight tents that come in under 3lb.

As the price in this category varies with overall weight and features, it’s worth reviewing the pros and cons of each tent to work out which combination works best for you.

Hyperlite Echo 2 Ultralight Shelter Best Backpacking Tents Trail and Kale

7. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo 2

  • Tent Type: Non-freestanding trekking pole tent (requires trekking poles to set up)
  • Packaged Weight: 1lb 13oz (tarp + insert + beak)
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions: 84 x 52/45
  • Cost: $695 (includes the tent’s tarp, insert, vestibule ‘beak’ and stuff sack)
  • Size Options: 2-person
  • Pros: Ultralight Dyneema tent with the option to use just the tarp as a shelter
  • Cons: Small for two people and not much headroom; expensive, requires trekking poles. Also consider a tent footprint for added protection for the floor
  • Review Verdict: This Hyperlite tent is for you if you’re looking for an ultralight, technical tent for fast-and-light adventures and don’t mind the cosy space for two people, the requirement to use trekking poles, and of course the comparatively high cost.

If you planning on thru-hiking, fastpacking or adventure-racing and want the lightest backpacking tent you can find that still offers some level of versatility and behaves more like a tent than a shelter, then consider the Echo 2 from Hyperlite.

This 2-person tent is made from Dyneema (the strongest, lightest and most weatherproof fabric for outdoor gear), is our pick for the best ultralight backpacking tent currently available as far as weight is concerned, although it comes at a price.

If you’re into seeking the absolute lightest possible tents money can buy (at the expense of fabric durability and budget), then also check out the ‘Crazylight’ Big Agnes tents – carbon and platinum versions of some of their popular tent styles, some of which weigh in at barely 1lb on the trail – like this Tiger Wall Carbon tent, for example.

You may also be interested to explore the other ultralight shelter and sleeping setup options in our fastpacking guide, which is equally relevant to thru-hikers looking to travel fast and light, as well as our dedicated guides to the best backpacking sleeping bags and lightweight sleeping pads.

rei co op flash air 2 tent

8. REI Co-op Flash Air 2

  • Tent Type: Non-freestanding – pitch with the included poles and lines, or use your own
  • Packaged Weight: 2lb 8oz
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions: 88 x 52/42
  • Cost: $300
  • Size Options: 1-person, 2-person
  • Pros: 2 doors, weighs less than 2lb on the trail, packs down to 16in so a good option for bikepacking
  • Cons: More prone to condensation than double-walled options so not the best option for humid climates
  • Review Verdict: A great ultralight backpacking tent particularly for drier climates if you’re on a budget but want to keep things lightweight for multi-day hiking adventures.

This 3-season ultralight 2 person tent from REI is our top pick when it comes to finding the best ultralight tent on a sub-$400 budget. At $300 and with a weight of less than 2lb on the trail (when pitching it using your own poles) this is an excellent choice for 2 people especially when you consider that it has two doors, two vestibules and is quick and easy to pitch.

The one caveat – as the Flash Air is not a double-walled tent, it will be less comfortable in inclement weather and may gather more condensation if it’s not adequately ventilated, but if you accept this then it’s one of the best ultra lightweight tents for the price.

Sea to Summit Alto TR2 Tent Best Backpacking Tents Trail and Kale

9. Sea to Summit Alto TR 2

  • Tent Type: Semi-freestanding
  • Packaged Weight: 2lb 9oz
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions:
  • Cost: $450
  • Size Options: 1-person, 2-person
  • Pros: Great ventilation, interior space and rainfly opening options, all in an ultralight shelter
  • Cons: A similar weight to the REI backpacking tent above, but at a significantly higher price point
  • Review Verdict: This Sea to Summit tent is perfect for weight-conscious backpackers who still want a high degree of livability in their shelter.

In 2021 Sea to Summit entered the ultralight backpacking tents market with two designs, the Alto and Telos. The Alto here is their lightest, semi-freestanding 2-person tent design which offers a spacious design with excellent ventilation – great for eliminating moisture or cooling in warmer climates.

This innovative tent’s poles’ ‘tension ridge’ design offers near-vertical walls, a higher door, and head/shoulder space with room to sit up inside. The rainfly options are versatile, too, so you can roll them up to stargaze or zip them back down in cold, windy or wet weather.

For around $40 more, this tent is also available in a 2-person-plus size, giving that extra space for added comfort (or a dog) for an extra 4lb in weight.

Best All-Season Backpacking Tent

Nemo Kunai 2P Tent Best Backpacking Tents Trail and Kale

10. Nemo Kunai 2P

  • Tent Type: Freestanding
  • Packaged Weight: 4lb 5oz
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions: 82 x 50/41
  • Cost: $500
  • Size Options: 2-person, 3-person
  • Pros: Tub floor helps guarantee water will be kept out, zip mesh windows for ventilation, wind-blocking construction helps keep you warm in cold, windy weather
  • Cons: One door, not the most spacious or lightest 2-person tent for the money if you don’t need it for all seasons
  • Review Verdict: This Nemo backpacking tent is a super versatile, technical tent designed for ‘3-4 seasons’ and ideal for ski touring and snowshoeing adventures as well as backpacking trips throughout the year.

For year-round backpacking and camping your tent needs to offer more than most three-season shelters available. It can be hard to find a lightweight 4-season backpacking tent that will also stand up to the job, but the Nemo Kunai ticks those boxes.

It’s able to handle everything from hot and humid days in the trees to frigid temps and exposure high in the mountains and so for a versatile, all-season, all-terrain backpacking tent option, this is the best lightweight tent for the job. $692.99
5 new from $692.99
See Deal
Last Amazon price update was: June 22, 2024 1:31 am

Budget Backpacking Tent (under $200)

REI Passage 2 Tent Best Backpacking Tents Trail and Kale

11. REI Co-Op Passage 2 Tent

  • Tent Type: Freestanding
  • Packaged Weight: 5 lbs. 10 oz.
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions: 88 x 52
  • Cost: $160
  • Size Options: 1-person, 2-person, 3-person
  • Pros: Simple design, two doors and vestibules, footprint included
  • Cons: Significantly more weight than an additional $100 will get you.
  • Review Verdict: A great tent for occasional backpacking, with room for two people or as a spacious one-person option for backpacking or car camping.

There’s a reason REI tents are popular – they offer great quality and features at very competitive price points. The REI Passage 2 tent is the best value backpacking tent if you’re not looking to spend hundreds, and therefore our top pick for the budget backpacking tent category.

Marmot Tungsten 2P Tent Best Backpacking Tents Trail and Kale

12. Marmot Tungsten 2P

  • Tent Type: Freestanding
  • Packaged Weight: 5 lbs 4 oz
  • 2-Person Floor Dimensions: 88 x 54/46
  • Cost: $214 (get it for effectively sub-$200 with a REI Member’s discount)
  • Size Options: 1-person, 2-person
  • Pros: Great value, easy to put up and some may prefer the color to the more muted REI Passage 2.
  • Cons: This is not as ultralight or spacious as the tents you can get for a slightly larger budget
  • Review Verdict: A budget backpacking tent that is great for traveling, long weekends for couples camping or solo car campers.

For 3 season backpacking tent on a tight budget, this Marmot tent is well-positioned, and while the retail price is just over $200 at $214, you can effectively buy this lightweight tent for less than $200 if you get it from REI and are a member – REI members get a 10% rebate at the end of each year – or in a Backcountry sale.

This 2-person tent is several ounces lighter than the REI tent in this category, with a similar size footprint.

Best 1-person Solo Backpacker Tents

If you’re traveling solo and are looking for the best ultralight 1-person backpacking tent then the following are our top picks:

Best all-round

NEMO Hornet Elite 1 ($450) – with a packaged weight of 1lb 14oz that you can cut down, this ultralight 1-person tent is spacious, livable and feature-packed.

Also look at the 1-person version of the Big Agnes Copper Spur and the one-person versions of the MSR Hubba Hubba and Nemo Dragonfly.

Premium ultralight choice

Big Agnes Fly Creek ($800) – if you have the budget this will get you an excellent 1-person ultralight tent with carbon poles with a packaged weight of 1lb 5oz (which you can get to under 1lb on the trail).

Budget pick

Marmot Tungsten – While 3lb 12oz is a good amount for one person to carry, for less than $200 this tent is a great budget pick for a solo backpacker.

Backpacking Tents Buyer’s Guide

Our ranking criteria for a tent to make this list of the best backpacking tents are that it must be suitable for at least 3 seasons across Spring, through Summer and into Fall and sufficiently light and portable enough to take backpacking – so no huge car camping family tents on this list!

We have focused our list on the best two person backpacking tents and highlighted in each tent review where different sizes are available, so altogether you’ll be able to find tents with a capacity from one-person (for solo backpackers) to larger three and four-person models.

Here are the key considerations to have in mind when choosing the best backpacking tent for you:

Backpacking tent weight and packed size

When it comes to backpacking, a tent is one of the most important pieces of gear for one or many nights camping in the wild – and one of the most expensive.

A tent, even one designed to be lightweight for backpacking, is also going to be one of the heaviest things you’ll carry with you in your backpack so it pays to minimize the weight in your pack by investing in the lightest tent you can afford.

With that said, when you start to consider ultralight tents they come at a cost aside from being more expensive – often they can be less durable or offer less weather protection and ventilation than other more budget-friendly options.

The less lightweight tent options also tend to offer more room – both in terms of footprint as well as height and headroom, so can be more comfortable and potentially more versatile if you may also use the tent for car camping or festivals, for example.

Tent weights are advertised by the brands using the term ‘packaged weight’, which is what shown in the reviews of each tent in this article.

However, it’s worth considering that if weight is important to you, you may be able to shave off a few grams by leaving non-essential parts such as the tent’s stuff sack at home, to get to a slightly lighter ‘trail weight’ in real life.

We find it helpful to categorize backpacking tents packaged weights into four weight ranges (based on the 2 person tent sizes):

  • Over 4.5lb – Usually cheaper backpacking tents for weekend or occasional use that are also great for car camping, festivals, parties etc
  • 3 to 4.5lb – Spacious lightweight options for the more budget-conscious backpackers wanting to retain an element of comfort when camping
  • 2 to 3lb – Minimal, ultralight tents for serious backpackers wanting to save on weight wherever possible
  • Less than 2lb – Ultralight tents for the die-hard minimalists, thru-hikers and fastpackers, often referred to as ‘crazylight’, using highly technical fabrics such as Dyneema and carbon rather than aluminum tent poles.

As well as weight, another consideration for backpacking is how small the tent packs down, and therefore how easily it will fit in your backpack to carry when hiking between campsites. If you’re planning to hike with a small pack, this could be an important factor in your tent buying decision.

Price and value for money

The main consideration when choosing which tent is best for your needs is to really think about your tolerance for carrying weight. If you don’t mind getting a tent that is a pound or two heavier than the most ultralight, expensive option, then you will save a lot of money and end up with a good quality, more durable, comfortable and versatile tent that should last you many years.

With that said, if you want to carry the smallest weight on your back possible and don’t need the space and added level of comfort overnight, then your tent is an area where you can shave off a reasonable amount of weight if you’re willing to spend the money.

In terms of tent budget, plan to spend between $150 for a budget two person backpacking tent and $500+ for a premium ultralight tent from a brand such as Hyperlite which specializes in ultralight backpacking gear.

Tent size considerations

Overall floor dimensions are often quoted when referencing tent size. This can help you understand how much room there will be inside the tent for you, anyone you’re sharing the tent with, and your stuff if you’re keeping your backpacks etc inside the tent with you at night.

When thinking about which size tent to buy, consider not just the floor dimensions but also the tent’s peak height and the slope angle, which affect:

  • How much usable interior floor space you will have – Some smaller tents, especially those designed to be small two-person tents or specifically for one person alone, are very small inside when you consider that the sides may slope at a steep angle (picture a simple pyramid tent with sloping sides) and not offer much useful space for the first few inches around the perimeter of the tent’s floor.
  • Whether you can sit up in your tent comfortably without touching the walls or peak and getting wet from condensation. This is especially a consideration with two and three person backpacking tents where you may want or need enough space for you all to sit up at the same time rather than taking turns to sit in the tallest part of the tent!

Should you choose a 1, 2, 3 or 4 person tent

While two-person tents are a popular choice for couples and pairs of people backpacking, they can also be a good choice for solo backpackers who want more space than you will get in a one-person tent.

Equally, while a 3 person tent is designed to be capable of sleeping three people, it may also be an option for two people backpacking together who want more space within the tent, whether that’s because you anticipate needing to sit out bad weather, want more sleeping room or more space to keep your gear inside the tent with you.

The same goes for three people sharing a 4-person tent – and there’s more of you to share the weight around in your backpacks.

A 1-person tent is likely to be the default option if you’re backpacking alone, but consider the limited difference in price and weight between a one-person and two-person tent model and you may decide you’re happy to spend and carry a little more to benefit greatly from the added buying options and added camping space you’ll gain.

Plus, it means that if you have a companion on your next backpacking trip you don’t need to go out and buy a new tent.

Freestanding vs. non-freestanding and semi-freestanding tents

A freestanding tent is what most people think of when they think of the pop-up or ‘dome’ tent they used to have for camping. It sets up using its own poles and just needs to be attached to the ground with guy-ropes usually optional.

A non-freestanding tent, however, may not come with its own poles (requiring use of your own trekking poles to put it up) and needs to be staked out using guy ropes to give it structure. These are sometimes referred to as ‘trekking pole tents’.

With these ultralight tents you can save on weight but it does make it harder to find a suitable spot to pitch them, especially in very uneven or hard, rocky terrain where getting stakes in the ground in just the right place can be more challenging.

A semi-freestanding tent, on the other hand, may come with some small poles but still needs the additional support of your poles and guy lines to set it up correctly and create that rigid three-dimensional frame. These offer a good compromise between completely non-freestanding options and the typically heavier freestanding backpacking tents.

The different components of a backpacking tent


Tent material that covers the tent body and protects the tent from the elements, whether wind, rain or cold. A quality tent will have a waterproof rainfly cover with taped seams to prevent water from entering the tent in bad weather. Most backpacking tents are double-wall tents – meaning the tent and its rainfly are separate, however some lightweight tents are single-wall tents, and do not have a separate rainfly.


The majority of tents come with aluminum poles that are collapsible or fold out to form the base structure of the tent, including creating the shape and pushing the walls outwards and upwards.

More expensive tents will generally have stronger poles that hold the tent structure better in strong winds, preventing it from collapsing or bowing when hit by gusts. It’s worth noting that some ultralight tents are not freestanding – and some do not come with their own poles (to save on weight) and rely on use of trekking poles.

Tents that are not freestanding require you to stake out ties with guy lines to create the tent’s structure, which can be more challenging in harder or rocker terrain.

Stakes and ties

Stakes are needed to secure your tent to the ground. Some (especially non-freestanding) tents need to be stabilized by staking out guy-lines which are cord that runs from the tent fly to stakes in the ground around the tent.


Backpacking tents will usually have either one or two doors. Generally, for two and three-person tents, a model with two doors is always the superior choice when it comes to tent access and comfort. A tent with two doors also means it should have two vestibules.


A vestibule is an important feature for most backpackers (except those chasing the most ultralight tent options) as it is a covered area under the rainfly for gear storage outside the tent door, and having two vestibules can be a great help when it comes to tent access and storage for your hiking boots, backpacks and other gear, especially if there are two or three of you camping together.

Interior pockets

Interior pockets help with organization and keeping smaller items close to hand while inside your tent, including your phone, a headlamp, water bottle, and any small warm layers you may need during the night.

As well as mesh pockets, some tents have loops for hanging gear or a headlamp, which is a useful feature.

Tent footprints

A footprint is basically an optional waterproof barrier that you place on the ground under your tent.

Its main purpose is to protect the floor of your tent from being damaged, which is more likely with the more delicate, ultralight two person tents in this list.

That said, if you are backpacking with an ultralight tent would you want to carry the additional weight of the footprint? If you’re careful, you may not need one but it may be worth it if you’ll be camping on rough ground. Learn more about what tent footprints are and when you may need one.

Ventilation and breathability vs waterproofing

Tent ventilation and breathability is important because it allows the moisture created by your breath, body and any damp gear to leave the tent rather than collecting as condensation on the inside of your tent’s walls. This condensation makes the tent walls wet and anything that touches it soaks – water can even gather inside your tent floor as a result!

A tent’s rainfly is designed to withstand the elements and be waterproof, which means that it is not a particularly breathable fabric and offers limited ventilation. This is where double-wall tents tend to have an advantage as the inside tent wall is usually made of a breathable mesh that allows condensation to escape at least onto the rainfly if not completely out of the tent.

Most tent manufacturers design vents on the top of the rainfly to allow this condensation to escape, and if you can open the rainfly to allow some air in as well then this allows you to create the necessary airflow to bring in fresh air and ventilate out the moisture rather than allowing it to accumulate inside the tent.

Tent fabrics and durability

Without getting too technical, a simple rule of thumb is generally that the thinner the tent fabric, the lighter but less durable it becomes – and assuming it’s made from a quality fabric, the more expensive it is.

Tent fabric thickness is measured in denier with a lower denier resulting in thinner fabric (due to thinner yarn being used in the weave) but it’s also worth considering the type of material used to make the tent.

Tents are usually made from either:

  • Ripstop Nylon – used for a lot of outdoor gear on account of its durability and water-resistant properties
  • Silnylon – the nylon is coated in silicone layers to enhance its waterproofing qualities
  • Dyneema – an ultralight technical fabric used in the more expensive ultralight tents such as those made by Hyperlite.

Is a hammock tent a better option for you?

Another increasingly popular option when it comes to backpacking sleep systems is to choose a lightweight camping hammock tent setup instead of a tent that you pitch on the ground.

Hammock tents can be ultra-lightweight and particularly good options for people who are backpacking or thru-hiking solo, as an alternative to a 1-person backpacking tent.

To learn more about lightweight backpacking hammock tents, click here to visit our buyer’s guide.

Find the best backpacking tent for you

Now you’ve read the guide, click here to jump up and see the list to find the best tent for your needs and preferences.

For each tent category we’ve picked a winner as our Editor’s Choice – and also selected a couple of worthy runners up as other considerations – being tents with similar specifications or offering similar functions that are worth looking at, especially if they’re on sale or the Editor’s Choice is unavailable.

When it comes to expensive backpacking gear like lightweight tents, it pays to consider a couple of options if you’re not loyal to a particular brand, as you may be able to get a great deal by shopping around different brands and stores to take advantage of tent sales and discounts – and some tents can go out of stock for long periods, meaning having alternative options is important.

As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.


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Trail & Kale's ultimate guide to improving your running cadence for a faster, safer, and more efficient running technique.

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The most thoughtful gift ideas for dads who run, whether it's his birthday, Father's Day or another special occasion, there's a cool gift for your run-loving dad on this list.

Training Plans
5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultramarathons

Training Plans [PDFs]