Ultra Lightweight Tents: What Kind Should You Buy And Where?
Ultra lightweight tents are a must have for people who love outdoor activities such as biking and backpacking. Why use ultra lightweight tents? Backpacking involves a lot of walking and even climbing. The more weight you save, the better. Another benefit of using ultra lightweight tents is that you have more room for the essentials like food and water. This will in turn allow you to go on longer trips and explore a lot more area. Lastly, the less weight you carry, the better it is for your back.
The backpacking trend over the past dozen years or so has been toward lighter and lighter pack weight. Less weight on your back means more enjoyment over more miles with less fatigue. Not everyone has the experience or the desire to go ultralight, with pack weights of 15 pounds or less, but everyone can find ways to pare ounces. One easy way to lighten up is with a Ultra lightweight tents.
Various factors affect how light your tent can be. Much of it depends on your own comfort while in camp — do you feel better if you have lots of room and are completely protected from the elements? Or are you willing to be cramped and put up with dampness and insects? Naturally, a two-person tent will be heavier than a solo tent, but remember that weight can be divided between partners.
Big Agnes Copper Spur Ultra Lightweight Tents
A popular tent from a quality manufacturer
The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 ultra lightweight tents is a very light 2-person, 3-season tent at just 3 pounds 6 ounces. The light weight is achieved through design and materials. First of all, weight is shaved by tapering the tent body. It is narrower at the foot, where you don’t need as much space. Then, most of the tent is mesh, with just enough nylon to block the wind around the bottom. Poles are aluminum, and the full-coverage rain fly is extremely light coated sil-nylon.
Even at this light weight, the Copper Spur doesn’t skimp on features. There are two doors, so hiking partners don’t have to crawl over each other to get out. The cross pole at the top holds the tent body wider for more headroom. And each door has a huge vestibule to store gear out of the weather. Thoughtful features, light weight, and Big Agnes quality — recommended by experienced backpackers!
MSR Hubba Ultra Lightweight Tents
Ultralight one person tent
For a solo hiker, the MSR Hubba is awesome for 3-season backpacking. Just under 3 pounds, this ultra lightweight tents is narrow, but long enough to store gear at one end. Lots of mesh allows ventilation, but ripstop nylon around the bottom keeps the wind from blowing on you while you’re sleeping.
The freestanding structural support for the Hubba is integrated into one piece. The pole components are fastened together with a hub and swivel design. Just open up the pieces and clip the ends to the corners of the tent. The attached cross pole at the top holds the tent ceiling open wide for more headroom. I like the full rain fly on the MSR Hubba. It creates a big vestibule and shields the door from rain when you crawl in and out.
Ultralight sleeping on the trail
If you’re really serious about shedding excess pack weight and you’re willing to make a few sacrifices, perhaps a bivy sack is for you. A bivy is generally just big enough for you to lie down in. You can’t sit up, and your gear has to stay outside. They are excellent for no-frills backpacking, when your main focus is hiking instead of camping, or when weight and pack space are of utmost importance.
Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy
The top-rated bivy sack is the Outdoor Research Advanced bivy. At 2 pounds, 7 ounces, it goes a long way toward lowering your pack weight. The top of the bivy is ripstop Gore-Tex Respiration fabric, a breathable fabric which keeps rain out, but allows your body moisture to escape. The floor is Hydroseal-coated nylon for absolute waterproofness.
Two Delrin rods slip through sleeves to hold the bivy fabric up off your face. You can adjust the mesh-covered opening according to the weather. The Advanced bivy has straps inside to keep your sleeping pad from sliding around and a small mesh pocket to hold your flashlight close at hand.
Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy (Mojo Blue, One Size)
Interior condensation is known to be an issue with most bivy sacks, but with the Gore-Tex fabric and a zipper vent at the foot, the Outdoor Research Advanced bivy stays drier than most, while keeping you snug and warm. Dampness is just the nature of the beast, and a trade-off you must decide if you’re willing to accept for the lightweight shelter.
Ultralight Tarp Tents
When a tent is not a tent
Another ultra lightweight tents option is not actually a tent, but a tarp configured in a tent shape. The advantages of a tarp tent are light weight to space ratio, simplicity, and versatility. The disadvantage is that it is not fully enclosed, so creepy crawlers can get in.
Tarp tents set up quickly, and you can pitch them anywhere. Uneven ground is no problem, since each tie-out point is independent of the others. There’s no worries about tracking dirt in because there’s no floor. Pitch the tarp tent high to let breezes in, or pitch it low to keep out splashing rain. And if you prefer bug protection, there is often a mesh bug shelter available separately that sets up under the tarp.
Sanctuary SilTarp Ultralight Tarp
Light and easy to set up
If you think stiff, square and heavy when you hear the word tarp, you’ll be glad to know that today’s tarp tents are entirely different. These days they are made of lightweight materials like silicon-coated nylon. The size and shape are cut to just what a hiker needs for protection, with no extra bulk. Sanctuary SilTarp’s ultralight tarp is light, easy to pack and carry, and quick to set up.
Sanctuary SilTarp Ultralight Tarp (10 foot x 8 foot)
This silicone ripstop tarp weighs just 20 ounces and has its own attached stuffsack. The edges are bound with a nylon webbing for durability…it also lets you stretch the tarp super taut with no worries from all eight tie-out points. Tarps can be tied to trees or to hiking poles. The Sanctuary SilTarp has web loops at each end to make it even easier to poles as supports. The reinforced ridgeline even has a hanging loop underneath to clip a flashlight to.
Hennessy Hammock Asym
An ultralight backpacking shelter that has really been making waves is the Hennessy Hammock. After sleeping in one of their hammocks, many backpackers say they will never go back to sleeping on the ground. Imagine the freedom of being able to set up camp anywhere, even the side of a hill.
The Hennessy Hammock Asym is constructed of sturdy nylon oxford with an attached mesh canopy to keep the bugs out. The detachable rain fly is polyurethane-coated ripstop nylon. Including the lines and the webbing straps that protect the bark on the trees, the whole package is just 2 pounds, 10 ounces.
The Asym serves campers up to 6 feet tall and 225 pounds. The asymmetrical shape is wider at the shoulders and narrower at the legs, cutting total weight while still providing a comfortable night’s sleep. Entry is through an opening at the foot end of the bottom, which is held closed by hook-and-loop fastener tape. The hammock can also be used in camp as a hanging chair or an open lounger.
Beginning hammockers often have concerns, like sleeping in a curved position every night. That’s not an issue with the Hennessy design, as you sleep on a diagonal, not lengthwise, so your back stays flat. It is advised that you use an insulating layer, such as a foam pad, in cooler weather to keep your underside warm. Other people worry about always having to find suitable trees to hang the hammock in. Not to worry. With a pair of trekking poles or a couple of long sticks as supports, the Hennessy hammock can be set up on the ground as a tent. In this case, you will need a ground cloth to protect the hammock from dampness because the bottom is not waterproof.
Hennessy Hammock Snakeskins
Keeps your hammock clean and makes packing up a breeze
One of the slickest additions you can get for the Hennessy are “Snakeskins.” These are sil-nylon tubes that you install on the ropes at each end of the hammock. When you’re ready to pack up, simply roll the hammock while it’s still hanging and pull the Snakeskin down over it.
In 30 seconds your hammock is packed inside a long tube, perfectly clean. Just untie from the tree, coil the tube, and go!
These are but a few types of ultra lightweight tents that you can choose from.(read review top 5 best ultralight tent) All have their good points and bad points as well. Again, when it comes to choosing the right tent for you, think about where you are going, how long will you go camping, and what will you do when you get there. This should help you narrow down your choices and pick the perfect tent for your perfect camping trip.