Our Favorite Lightweight Backpacking Tents of 2016

NWT Top Rated Lightweight Backpacking Tents on the Market in 2016

If you want to make the most from your backpacking trips, picking a good quality tent is the first thing you’ll want to do. In the modern market, there’s more choice than ever before, so shoppers can quickly become overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available to them.

Today, we’ll go through some of our favorite lightweight tents that are currently on the market, and hopefully this information will help you narrow down your own selections and make the right purchase. When buying a tent, you need to consider a huge array of factors including your own budget, the weight of the tent, its resistance, capacity, design, features, and much more. The tents in our list have been chosen with these aspects in mind, so you should be able to find at least one to suit your needs.

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 - lightweight tentOne of the best tents on the market, the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 has been designed with a myriad of factors in mind. It blends convenience, comfort and functionality into one great overall package, and is perfect for many different types of backpacking and camping. At 2lb 12oz, it isn’t too heavy to carry around on extended trips, but it also able to provide adequate protection and interior space to please almost any camper. It even comes with lots of bonus features like doors, near-vertical walls, storage compartments and more.

Rei Quarter Dome 1

Rei Quarter Dome 1 - lightweight tentThe Rei Quarter Dome 1 might be the perfect choice for any solo-backpacker looking for a comfortable and spacious tent at a great price. It won’t cost too much and really offers great value for your money. It’s not entirely freestanding, so will need to be staked down at one end, but that’s a minor inconvenience and shouldn’t prevent you from considering a purchase. The asymmetric design of this tent maximizes space for the occupant while also cutting down on its overall weight.

ZPacks Duplex

ZPacks Duplex - lightweight backpackAt just 1lb 5oz, we’re looking at one of the most ultralight tents available in 2016. If speed and convenience are your primary concerns, this is the right tent for you. Made from cuben fiber, it can be set-up and folded back down in a matter of seconds and is ideal as a temporary shelter when you need it. If you want to travel light on your hikes, but need a bit of shelter to rest your head from time to time, ZPacks Duplex is certainly worth your consideration. This tent is a bit pricier than some of the others and doesn’t offer the same protection as a heavier tent. It’s also a non-freestanding tent, so bear that in mind.

Rei Quarter Dome 2

Rei Quarter Dome 2 - lightweight tentsThe incredibly light, freestanding Quarter Dome 2 doesn’t have a huge price tag, but does have a lot to offer. Its double-layered walls offer extra protection against condensation and the elements, while its design also features twin doors and vestibules for maximal comfort and convenience. It weighs a little more than some of the others at just over three pounds, but it still falls into the ultralight category and can be transported around with ease. If you’re on a limited budget but want to get as much for your money as possible, this is the tent to buy.

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 - lightweight tentsThis tent is semi-freestanding and weighs less than two pounds, despite having double-walls. The low weight of the HV UL2 makes it really easy to take with you on long backpacking trips, but it’s important to note that the interior space isn’t too big with this model. The tent is actually marketed as a 2-person design, but after testing we can say it’s better suited as a solo tent, especially as it only has a single door and vestibule. Still, it works perfectly fine for an individual backpacker.

Nemo Hornet 2P

Nemo Hornet 2P - lightweight tentsWeighing in at 2lb, the Hornet 2P is a semi-freestanding tent with double-layered walls for maximum durability. Like the HV UL2, it doesn’t have a huge amount of interior space and might be better-used as a solo model, but it does have a pair of doors and vestibules. It’s a very convenient shelter and will absolutely get the job done for people who aren’t too fussy about headroom and features.

MSR Hubba Hubba NX

MSR Hubba Hubba NX - lightweight tentsA lot of backpackers adore the Hubba Hubba NX for its nearly-vertical side walls and huge amount of interior space. This tent really does have a big capacity and will allow you and another camper to stretch out with ease. It also features high quality vents for plenty of circulation and lots of storage compartments on the inside. At around 3lb 7oz, it’s a bit heavier than some of its ultralight brethren, but if you don’t mind adding a pound or two to your pack, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of this excellent tent.

Tarptent Notch

MSR Hubba Hubba NX - lightweight backpacking tentsThis tent was designed with the individual in mind. It doesn’t weigh much at all and, even though you’ll need to use a few poles, it won’t take much setting up. If you’re the type of person who wants to travel quickly and lightly, the Tarptent Notch might be right for you. It’s quite a versatile model and can be set up in a variety of environments and situations.

Kelty TN2

Kelty TN2-lightweight-backpacking-tentThe Kelty TN2 does weight over 4lbs, so you might need to split the load with a partner, but it has an attractive price tag and a big convenience factor. With a couple of doors, a couple of vestibules, a solid durability rating and lots of inside space, the Kelty TN2 is ideal for people who want to maximize their comfort without spending too much cash.

Rei Half Dome 2 Plus

Rei Half Dome 2 Plus - lightweight backpack tentsAt 5lb 1oz, the Rei Half Dome 2 Plus is the heaviest item on our list today. However, we’re ready to prove that bigger can be better. This tent is actually one of the most affordable out of the ten we’ve talked about today. It’s also one of the comfiest and has an enormous amount of living space. A lack of headroom will not be one of your concerns with this model, thanks to its near-vertical walls. This tent is also very durable and strong, so if you don’t mind packing a bit of extra weight, then we really recommend this model.

About the author

Mike Paris

Mike is the editor of NWT Outfitters and as you may expect, an avid outdoorsman... When Mike isn't logged into the NWT backend, he's camping, climbing, hunting, fishing, or doing some combination of the four.

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