Ultralight tents are a good option for backpacking and hiking because they weigh far less than other tents and are a lot easier to carry—especially if you are walking great distances to reach your campsite. A lighter pack is better for your back, knees, hips, and shoulders and it also allows you to enjoy your hike and the beautiful outdoor scenery.
To have a backpack tent be considered lightweight without the inclusion of your other gear and essentials, you will want the tent to be between one pound and one and a half pounds per person tent. Altogether, you want to try to maintain everything under ten pounds to keep your pack as light as possible.
Double wall ultralight tents will offer you improved protection and are also suitable for rainy conditions. These tents are also a very viable option, especially if you do not plan on hiking with trekking poles.
Tarp tents are another ultralight option and the trekking poles are used to support the shelter which is typically a single layer of waterproof fabric. It is a very traditional option and is best for the early summer and spring seasons.
Pyramid tents also use trekking poles for support but you can also place a waterproof liner on the floor of the tent and they offer campers a bit more privacy. Along with rain protection, you will also have protection from the bugs.
If you want to be an ultralight backpacker on your next adventure, you need an seriously lightweight tent. The following are reviews of some of the best ultralight backpacking tents with a decent floor area that are currently available as two-person tents or more:
The Black Diamond Beta Light Shelter can accommodate up to two campers and weighs in at 1.3 pounds. It does require two adjustable trekking poles for setup which are not included with the shelter. You can also purchase a floor and bug netting separately as well. It is adaptable for four season use and also has room for gear in addition to the two campers. It is a single wall tent that offers plenty of space and protection.
|Product Dimensions||98x80x44 inches|
|Product Weight||1.3 pounds|
- Packs down smaller than other ultralight tents
- Has approximately 34.7 square feet of floor space
- Four-season tent that is adaptable for four seasons
- Fits two campers and their gear comfortably
- Simple and easy to set up and take down
- Trekking poles are not included
- Floor and bug netting are not included
- May have condensation problems
- Seams are not sealed
The Breeze Mesh Tent is ultralight and includes the line and stakes you need for setup. It can comfortably fit two people and includes a 30-denier ripstop nylon floor and has a silicone and polyurethane coating with fully taped seams for hydro-static resistance. The total weight for this tent comes in at 24 ounces and that includes the weight of the stakes and line.
|Product Dimensions||4x4x12 inches|
|Product Weight||1.5 pounds|
- Ripstop floor and fully taped seams for waterproofing
- Lightweight mesh helps keep bugs out
- Lightweight and compact
- Includes two 15-foot pieces of 1.5 mm reflective guyline and six aluminum stakes
- Includes two ripstop nylon stuff sacks
- Additional support is needed to pitch the tent. If trees are not available, then you will need trekking poles or adjustable tarp poles that are not included
The Hikingworld Lightweight Camping Tent can accommodate up to two people and is made from a high-density perspective net and has a polyester taffeta waterproof bottom. It also features two zippered doors and offers improved ventilation. The tent comes in at under two pounds and includes a mosquito net, two wind ropes, six high-strength aluminum nails and one packing organizer.
|Product Dimensions||78.7×47.2×43.3 inches|
|Product Weight||1.58 pounds|
- Includes two doors—the main entrance and side entrance
- Waterproof design
- Includes a high-density net to keep bugs out
- Suitable and large enough for two people
- Improved ventilation that keeps the tent cool
- Easy to install
- Can use mountaineering or other rods
- Bottom of the tent is thin
- Higher price point
The Kelty Salida 2 Tent is a lightweight tent that offers ten square feet of vestibule space and is feature rich. It allows for simple and easy setup, it is suitable for backpacking and includes everything you need to set up. It can fit up two people and has side entry. It also features a freestanding design and factory-taped seams.
|Product Dimensions||88x43x55 inches|
|Product Weight||4 pounds|
- 10 square foot vestibule for gear storage
- Mesh for ventilation
- Freestanding design with easy and quick setup
- Factory-taped seams for weather protection
- Included a UV-resistant polyester fly
- Lightweight and compact
- Noiseless zipper pulls
- Multiple mesh storage pockets
- Large mesh panels
- Fire retardant
- Does not come with enough stakes
- Vestibule may be smaller than expected
- May have a problem with condensation
When considering an ultralight tent, you will want to be sure that you will have everything you need for setup and support of the tent. Most of these tents require poles or trekking poles for support and they are not included with the purchase of the tent. Most of the tents are not freestanding, which is why the additional support is needed to assemble the tent.
The Kelty tent was one of the heavier tents that was reviewed but it was feature rich and is still suitable for backpacking and hiking because it is still a lightweight tent and includes everything you need to setup.
The Black Diamond tent is considered a pyramid tent and is easy to setup, lightweight, adaptable, and comes at a very affordable price. It all comes down to what kind of camper you are, the weather you expect to experience, and how much additional gear you will be carrying with you. Figuring all this out can help you narrow your choices down to find the best ultralight tent.