Having a light backpack is one of the important things to consider when planning for a stay out in the wild. A tent is one of the essential items to pack and below are some tips on how to get it right when picking the ideal tent that durable, light and comfortable.
A rule of thumb for when backpacking is to do your best to keep the weight down so that the trip can be enjoyable. For instance, consider packing lightweight tents that are also a firm, secure, easy setup. In retrospect, what you will pack in your backpack is shelter (the tent), a sleeping bag, and sleeping pad.
And if your account for the various backpacking gear you also have to pack, then it only makes sense to do your best to keep the weight to a minimum. What we recommend on this list are tents that offer the best of price, comfort, weight, and convenience. On the other hand, if you are keen on going even lighter, then you may want to consider our ultralight tents and tarps suggestions.
The solo hikers will benefit from the 1-person tents with are light and quick and easy to set up. Conversely, the 2-person tents are not a bad choice since they are a balance between having interior space and carrying a manageable weight. If the capacity goes higher, then getting a 3 or even 4-person tent would be impractical if its only two people who are going backpacking. And that also stands even if the objective is to have more space for backpacking gear or if the plans are for an extended stay out in the wild.
The characteristics can define great tent are ones that include a simple design, ventilation for keeping condensation at a minimum, adequate vestibule space, multiple doors, and interior storage pockets. Keep in mind that a single flaw in the design can ruin an otherwise functionally robust backpacking tent.
The 3-person tents are a popular choice and our primary focus on this guide. Most of them are built for summer, spring and fall expeditions that may see you want proper ventilation while keeping the bad weather out and the interior of your shelter at a minimum condensation. Most of these tents can suffice for the three seasons and even handle a bit of snow but not extreme winter conditions.
One of the design measures in the backpacking tents that help keep the weight to a minimum is the reduced interior space via the use of less material. For instance, a two-person tent should have enough space for two as well as a few stuff stored in the vestibules.
If you are keen on getting something with a bit more interior room, then consider bumping up the tent size to one that fits three people, but you will use it for two. Keep in mind that when thinking of the space inside the tent, you will be working with a tradeoff between weight and comfort. Also, remember that when you bump up one tent size, you also will have to accept that you will have more weight to carry.
Some hikers like the freestanding tents mostly because they are easy and quick to pitch. They often have a fixed pole system and allows them to be fixed almost anywhere. The other kinds of tents are pitched using stakes, trekking poles, and lines. With these, you will not have to bother with the extra weight of the tent poles. However, you will have to contend with spending more time setting up the tent. You also need to have mastered how to go about it.
Doors & Vestibules
Consider picking something with two door and vestibules if you are planning to have two people inside a tent. The doors should be on either end so that there are separate entrances to avoid having to climb over or stepping on your tentmate.
When spending your stay out in the wild, there is nothing as worse as having to spend in a tent that does not offer ample protection against the elements. Such is the quality to expect when getting budget tents, hence the need to exercise caution. Fortunately, the recommendations we give here for the budget tents offer excellent protection that ensures you are warm, dry, comfortable, and safe.
The double-wall tents have a mesh tent body that's separate from a rainfly. The mesh is on the interior serving as a buffer for condensation that will form on the inner surface of the outer rainfly. With the single-wall tent, you will not have the mesh thus it will have a reduced weight. However, this comes at the cost of having to ensure the wet and cold conditions that develop inside the tent due to the condensation. As such, we highly recommend the double-well tents which are ideal for the cold, wet areas. Consider the single-wall variants if you are backpacking in dry, arid climates.
It is common to find tents having a footprint thought most lightweight backpackers consider these as unnecessary. The footprint is mostly about adding some comfort to the tent's floor and preserving its durability. It protects the floor from abrasions and thus is well worth the extra weight when packing if you are keen on extending your tent's service tenure.
If you consider something light, then appreciate the fact that you will get shelters built from thin materials that are less durable than what's used for the heavy-duty tents. Fortunately, not all of the ultralight tents are frail. Some are built to last long if they are handled with care. Exercise caution when pitching to avoid sharp rocks or pointed sticks that can puncture the fabric. If you feel that you are the kind of hiker that lovers tough gear, then consider any of the recommendations we give for the durable, heavy-built tents.
Getting an excellent backpacking tent should not have to cost you an arm and foot. The market has an array of fantastic offers and options, and you only need to do a bit of research. Of importance is to spend more on quality especially if you backpack a lot so that you can get products that will serve you for years to come. It is possible also to find something suitable even if you are on a budget; check out our recommendations on budget backpacking options.
Always review the online merchant's return policy especially if you discover you receive something that does not meet your needs. Consider purchasing the tent from reputable sources, test the tent at home before heading out so that you can know if to exchange or return it if it does not meet your needs and expectations. Remember, to keep things lightweight and purchase something that will serve you for years to come without any issues.