5 Best Ultralight Tent

Buying an Best Ultralight Tent – Deciding on Which Tent to Buy

Best Ultralight Tent

If you enjoy multi-day backpacking trips, you will be familiar with how much you do not enjoy having a heavy pack. An essential item for any backpacking trip, your shelter can be one of the heaviest items in your pack. Some prefer the minimalist shelters like bivy sacks or tents that are primarily supported by guy-lines because they are so light. Though these are lighter, they are not the best choices for enduring the wind and rain and keeping your gear dry.

There are many great ultralight freestanding tents available on the market today. Unless you are into braving some very extreme mountaineering conditions, a 3-season tent is likely your best choice. It can withstand most heavy rain and wind and is cheaper and lighter than its 4-season cousins. Here are some of the better selections of 3-season, ultralight, 2-person tents. Most of these tents come in a cheaper and smaller 1-person version.

Top 5 Best Ultralight Tent

Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 Tent

A roomy 1-Person, or cramped 2-person, the Big Agnes Seedhouse Superlight 2-person tent is a popular choice for the 1 or 2 backpacking trip minimalist. The mostly mesh body of the tent means great airflow while maintaining warmth (with the fly on). The downside of this design is that mesh tends to be more susceptible to damage from zipper pinches and random pokes from walking sticks, etc. The pole design is innovative, though some folks think it is more cumbersone to setup versus the traditional two-pole-crossing design. – Best Ultralight Tent

Pitch weight: 2 lbs. 2 oz.
Minimum weight: 2 lbs. 14 oz.
Packaged weight: 3 lbs. 6 oz.
Floor area: 28 sq feet
Vestibule area: 8 sq feet
Peak height: 38 in.
Pole material: DAC Aluminum Featherlite

Check Price: Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 Tent


MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent

Heavier, but also slightly roomier than the Big Agnes Seedhouse, the Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent is a popular lightweight tent by MSR. At about 4lbs, the Hubba Hubba NX can barely be classified as an ultralight tent by today’s standards. It is worth considering, however because of its durability and ease of setting up. Its dual entry points and overall design makes this tent a very usable and functional choice for a backpacker. It is a sturdy, well designed tent with two large vestibules for storing your gear from the elements. But keep in mind, after a day or two on the trail, every pound counts! – Best Ultralight Tent

Minimum weight: 3 lbs 7 oz
Packaged weight 4 lb. 4 oz.
Floor area: 29 sq feet
Vestibule volume: 19 (9.5 + 9.5) cu. ft
Peak height 40 in.
Pole material DAC Aluminum Featherlite

Check Price: MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent


Black Diamond Firstlight

The Firstlight by Black Diamond is a straight forward tent with a traditional design. It is lightweight, compact, and easy to setup. Its single-wall, 2-pole design allows you to pitch the tent easily. Its small 82 x 48 inch floor allows you to pitch it in smaller clearings. Like the Other ultralight tent it has a single door design. It is a very light, basic tent, that can be quickly setup and broken down, but keep in mind that it does not breath as well as some of the other tents, and moisture/condensation may be a problem. – Best Ultralight Tent


Minimum weight: 2lb 11oz
Floor area: 27.3 sq feet
Peak height: 42 in.
Pole material: DAC Aluminum Featherlite


Check Price: Black Diamond Firstlight Tent


Carbon Reflex by MSR

MSR’s true ultralight tent is comparable to the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL. It is a roomy, well designed tent with a single door entrance and two vestibule areas. Similar in design to the Hubba Hubba, the Carbon Reflex has carbon fiber poles, which helps make this tent a great lightweight option. – Best Ultralight Tent


Minimum weight 2 lbs 13 oz
Packaged weight 3 lb 4 oz.
Floor area 29 sq feet
Vestibule area 14 (9 + 5) sq. ft
Peak height 40 in.
Pole material Easton Carbon FX

Check Price: MSR Carbon Reflex


Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Tent

A classic double-walled 2-person tent, the Big Agnes Fly Creek Ultralight 2-person tent is another popular choice for the minimalist. Winner of the Backpacker 2010 Editors’ Choice Award: “At barely more than 2 lbs., Fly Creek stomps on bivy-sack turf when it comes to weight and bulk!” The main concern with this tent is the waterproof-ness of the floor – its thinner, lighter material weighs less but may be more easily soaked if pitched on wet ground – though this is merely a concern, not a fact.  The single hub pole design is innovative, and easy to setup. – Best Ultralight Tent


Pitch weight: 27 ounces
Minimum weight: 2 lbs. 2 oz.
Packaged weight: 2 lbs. 10 oz.
Floor area: 28 sq feet
Vestibule area: 7 sq feet
Peak height: 38 in.
Pole material: DAC Aluminum Featherlite NSL


Check Price: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Tent


Choosing An Best Ultralight Tent

Buying an best ultralight tent is not that easy and because they are quite costly you don’t really want to make a mistake and get the wrong one. It is important to consider a number of points so making your decision is easier and your hiking holiday will be more of a success.

Which Tent Is Best For You

Having a tent is like being a snail! Only you can settle down for the night on a hill top, by a river, in the woods, surrounded by wild game…location, location, location…find the right spot and pitch your tent!

However, before you race out and buy a tent there are a few things you might like to consider, which will make your purchase more fitting to your needs so you can have more joy from your hiking home.

Size Of The Tent

Size is important. Best ultralight tents normally come in one person or two person size tents and obviously the bigger the tent the heavier the tent. And if you are hiking or backpacking you will need to find the balance between how big you want your resting place to be contra how much you want to carry or how much space you have available.

Saving on space for a small gain in weight is not always a good bargain. If the living area is cramped you may find it unpleasant having to spend time inside the tent. In bad weather conditions living in a cramped area is not fun! If you are sharing the sleeping area with a partner or friend then you can also share the weight burden and size is even more crucial. If you have the convenience of a car the expense of a lightweight tent would be a waste and you should put your efforts into the living space, speed of pitching, simplicity of pitching and the creature comforts that are available.

Design Of The Tent

Tents come in three main designs. Geodesic, tunnel and dome designs. Domes are the least stable but are the most spacious. Geodesic tents are the most stable with poles that cross one another. Because of this stability this type of tent is ideal for mountain areas and in the winter.

Tunnel tents are the lightest in weight and at the same time they are quite spacious making them ideal as a hiking tent where you are watching your weight.

The Weight Of The Tent

The size of the tent and the material it is made up of will have a huge baring on the weight of the tent. When you are backpacking you are going to be thinking about weight…a lot! Study the different materials that the tents are made of, the poles that hold it up, what the inner tent is made of. Remember that a small gain in weight is not preferable to a cramped tent.

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