9 Best Ultralight Backpacking Tents: Your Buyer’s Guide (2019)

best tents for backpacking

Finding the right tent for your back country treks is no easy task. If you’re a serious backpacker then your backpack is almost always a work-in-progress masterpiece of weight reduction and space maximization. Owning highly compressible and packable gear like an ultralight camp stove, rain jacket, and sleeping bag and makes a big difference, but the real heavy hitter is your tent.

It’s the most important piece of gear in your pack for both safety and comfort if you’re trekking through landscapes that have the potential for nasty weather. You need somewhere to crash at the end of the day that will keep both you and your gear out of the elements and most important of all, dry.

We’ve put together a top list of the best tents for backpacking around. The units here have been selected for their superior weather proofing and for their ability to pack super tight and light.

We’ve included options mainly for solo hikers and backpacking pairs, but there are a few options here for groups of three as well. Whether you’re looking for a minimalist unit to protect you from midnight mosquitos or for a storm proof shelter that can hold fast through a violent downpour there’s an ideal option here for you.

What Are The Best Ultralight Backpacking Tents Available Right Now?

winterial tents for backpacking Amazon Customer Reviews
  • All season tent
  • Stands up to hardcore weather
  • Amazon's choice
Price: $84.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
weanas best tent for backpacking Amazon Customer Reviews
  • One, two and four person options
  • Great star-gazing tent
  • Simple and effective rain fly
Price: $99.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
big agnes backpacking tent Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Free standing rain fly
  • Vestibule can cover boots and other gear
  • Simple set up and break down
Price: $399.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kelty salida backpacking tent Amazon Customer Reviews
  • One, two and four person options
  • Excellent value
  • Two pole design
Price: $119.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
alps mountaineering mermac tent Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Highly affordable,
  • Two door system
  • Storage pockets and a gear loft
Price: $82.05 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kelty horizon 2 backpacking tent Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Under four pounds
  • Vestibule can be used as an awning
  • Mesh roof is great for star gazing
Price: $154.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
paria outdoors backpacking tent Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ventilates well in hot weather
  • Just 24 ounces
  • Minimalist option
Price: $64.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
alps mountaineering zephyr tent Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Aerodynamic, full coverage fly
  • Vestibule creates mud room
  • Four season tent
Price: $129.97 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
geertop backpacking tent Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fly/tent body can be set up separatly
  • Two doors and two windows
  • Two color options
Price: $99.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Winterial Personal Bivy Tent

    Pros:
    • This is an excellent tent for both hot summer camping and for intense, colder wind and rain conditions because of the option to use just the highly ventilated mesh body, or to add the weather proof rain fly
    • Low profile design stands up to intense wind and rain well — very well reviewed by lots of serious backpackers
    • Highly affordable for the quality - this is an awesome value tent
    • The assembly of this bivy tent is a total piece of cake - if you love simple units then definitely check this one out
    • Impressively light weight and portable at only 2.9 pounds and 18 by 4.5 by 4 inches packed
    Cons:
    • The floor of this tent is very thin to reduce weight - be careful where you set this unit up or make sure to pack a footprint or tarp for more rugged terrain
    • This is a solo tent that's really trimmed down on size - there's not a lot of space for gear
    • Cannot sit up all the way in this tent

    I really like this low profile, solo bivy option from Winterial. This unit employs a really neat, two hoop frame design that’s super fast and simple to set up. This is not a freestanding tent, but it erects in just moments none the less. You simply lay out the tent body, stake it, assemble the aluminum semi-circle hoop frame and clip it to the tent body.

    There’s only two hoops or poles involved in the design yet this bivy tent is rock solid when it comes to standing up to weather. At only 2.9 pounds and only 18 by 4.5 by 4 inches packed this is a super light weight option that occupies minimal space — if space saving is your game and you don’t mind a low ceiling then this could be the unit for you.

    The internal dimensions of this unit are 38 by 28 by 90 inches. Even backpackers well over six feet should be able to fit in here comfortably. This is considered a fairly spacious solo tent with a good amount of room to roll around in or to bring your backpack inside with you overnight. Some people even use this solo unit for camping with their significant other — it’s a matter of preference but you can fit two people in here.

    The low, ground hugging form of this unit won’t allow you to comfortably sit up, but the idea here is to be as wind resistant as possible. The design of this unit allows the tent to stay planted through even severe gusts. The tent body is totally mesh, so this is a wonderful backpacking tent for stargazing and for keeping cool during those hot summer nights.

    The included rain fly is highly reviewed for being exceptionally waterproof — this is definitely a tent that will keep you dry no matter what. It’s a simple design that essentially just throws over the tent body, but it’s super effective at combating even severe wind and rain.

    There’s 14 heavy duty stakes and 3 rope bundles included for really setting your camp structure in stone while in the field — you’ll be rock solid with this one. Excellent weather proofing, impressive weight and size dimensions and a totally reasonable price tag, Winterial has come up with an excellent product with this one.

    Bottom Line: One of the best value backpacking tents around for a unit in the $100 range. This is a highly versatile option that is great for both hot and cold weather and designed to be low profile for standing up to strong winds — just be mindful of the particularly thin floor.

  2. 2. Weanas Professional 3 Season Backpacking Tent

    Pros:
    • This is an excellent value buy - Weanas has made highly capable backpacking tent that contends with the best for less than $100
    • Attachable rain fly is truly water tight and retains great ventilation
    • Great star-gazing tent when you don’t require the rain fly
    • Stuffs effectively into a backpack bottom and also rolls easily into the carry case — no frustrating break down with this one
    • Double door system is ideal for camping pairs so nobody has to crawl over anyone in the middle of the night
    • 1-2, 2-3 and 3-4 person options available so you can choose just the right size for your backpacking needs
    • Various color options
    Cons:
    • At 4.6 pounds there’s definitely lighter options - but you gotta love the double door design and rugged durability of this unit that’s responsible for the added weight
    • The floor of this unit is quite thin - its effectively waterproof but does become real muddy when wet
    • If you use a thicker sleeping pad your head will be close to the tent walls

    I can personally attest that this tent by Weanas is a righteous choice for a two man tent that’s going to be heavily used and abused. I purchased this tent for myself in the fall of 2016 for a two month cross country road trip and it’s still going strong. This unit was set up and broken down from the Great Lakes to Death Valley and back almost every single night for 60 days without a single issue.

    For the cost, this tent performed exceptionally well and has persisted through a TON of heavy camping and backpacking. All the components from the aluminum poles to the polyester rain fly have held up beautifully — I’ve had no issues with my model through years of use and would absolutely purchase again.

    I’ve been using the two man version of this unit for myself as a solo camper because it still packs quite small and light at 4.6 pounds. This is my go to tent for all sorts of camping scenarios — backpacking treks included.

    There’s lots of space for someone my height (five feet ten inches) to sprawl out in this tent, but backpackers much taller than six feet might consider a tent with a bit more length on the footprint. The sidewalls are fairly steep on this tent as well so particularly thick sleeping pads might bring you a bit higher off the ground than you want to be — consider pairing this tent with an ultralight backpacking pad option.

    I really enjoy that this tent has two doors and also that the rain fly has two different configurations for each zippered door. One of the sides unzips to be modified into an awning while the other simply unzips through the center and rolls up to expose the door — it’s nice having a choice of entry style.

    This is a three season tent, but I stayed more than warm enough in temperatures as low as 10 degrees F. This unit fares well in high winds too — I’ve endured a few particularly gusty nights in this tent without issue. The magnetic-connecting aluminum poles can stand up to quite a bit of force.

    The high density mesh that makes up the tent walls and ceiling ensure you have a pleasant breeze and and insect free environment when the weather is warm out, and the 201T polyester with PU coating rain fly protects against the heaviest of rains.

    When the fly is secured and outside conditions are not in your favor, this tent does tend to accumulate some condensation — make sure to keep the incorporated vents open to minimize this issue. I’ve never experienced any real wetness as a result of this condensation, but I’ve been as mindful as possible to keep it at bay.

    Assembly of this tent is laughably simple, in just two or three minutes you can erect the two pole frame and snap on the main tent body — wha-lah! Weanas has crafted a reliable and super underrated tent that can endure heavy backpacking use through almost any climate with this one.

    Bottom Line: Another highly versatile and affordable option that performs great in all weather conditions. The rain fly effectively keeps the weather out and stands up to high winds while the tent body is still spacious enough for those backpackers who prefer some extra space. This is a tough as nails design that sets up SUPER easily.

  3. 3. Big Agnes Fly Creek UL Tent

    Pros:
    • Only two pounds and super packable!
    • Can fit your hiking pack under the vestibule in front of the door
    • Space to sit up and move around a bit within the tent which is a luxury for a unit this lightweight and packable
    • Set up and break down is super simple with this freestanding tent despite its high-tec appearance
    Cons:
    • This is a really expensive unit - it’s a top quality tent but if you’re on a budget there are better value options
    • Tent body has mesh near ground level
    • Only one color option

    This is a seriously cool tent design from Big Agnes. The Fly Creek UL Tent is a streamlined, tough as nails backpacking tent that you will no doubt be impressed with. The price tag is definitely a bit high on this one, so it’s not for the budget backpackers out there. That being said, the quality and craftsmenship of this unit is excellent — if you have the funds to spring for a unit like this you’ll hike with it for years of reliable use.

    The Fly Creek is a free standing tent that will come with you anywhere. It employs a single door and vestibule, so there’s only one point of entry. The vestibule when outstretched creates the perfect space to stash your backpack or for other gear you want to keep dry overnight. There’s also ample space within the tent for a backpack or other camping equipment so this unit has you and all your essential gear covered from the elements.

    You can even sit up comfortably which is always an appreciated feature — it’s quite a spacious tent for how small it packs! This unit is only two pounds and packs down really tight depending on how you prefer to store it. A lot of backpackers increase their pack space by sliding tent poles into a side sleeve and simply stuffing their tent body and fly into the bottom of the pack.

    This unit breaks down almost as small as a water bottle so it might not be necessary in this case, but if every square inch counts it’s something to consider. Furthermore, when you fold and roll your tent in the same configuration every time you pack it up you can increase the potential for damage along the seams you create when you fold it up — consider stuffing your tent rather than neatly packing it up if you have a different campsite every night!

    The design of this unit looks a bit complex at a glance, but it’s actually quite simple. It’s a free standing tent that you can have set up in under five minutes. The DAC ‘Featherlite NFL’ pole system erects with ease, and the tent body simply clips right to it. The clips that attach the tent body to the frame are DAC twist clips — they’re built solid and reliable so this unit won’t quit on you because of simple hardware wear and tear.

    As with almost all tents that are built this light weight, the floor is particularly thin and susceptible to tearing depending on where you’re camping — make sure to use a footprint or simple tarp if you’re going to be traversing rugged terrain!

    You pay for every ounce of quality with this one, but for backpackers with a more flexible budget this is an excellent tent that will keep the weather out and your pack load to a minimum — a righteous ultralight unit from Big Agnes.

    Bottom Line: One of the higher quality backpacking options available if you have the money to spend. Assembly of this rugged freestanding tent is easy and there’s more interior space than most other ultralight options.

  4. 4. Kelty Salida Tent

    Pros:
    • Great value tent for backpacking pairs (also one man and four man models available)
    • Super simple two pole design makes the set up and break down of this tent a breeze
    • For a two man tent this is impressively lightweight at 3 pounds 14 ounces
    • Rain fly is easy to attach, works flawlessly and also creates some nice exterior storage space through the vestibule
    Cons:
    • Does not pack very compact in the included stuff sack - you might be better off simply stuffing this unit into your backpack bottom and storing the tent poles separately
    • Although this tent is built rugged and the aluminum poles are rock solid, its dome shaped profile is not terribly aerodynamic.
    • One color option

    The Salida by Kelty is one of those plain and simple, reliable tents that you can’t go wrong with. This is a two person tent ideal for backpacking pairs, but there’s also a one person and four person model available through the same link.

    The two-pole design is something I’ve always been a fan of - it’s a piece of cake setting this one up on your own or with a partner. The shock-corded DAC Pressfit aluminum poles make this a very light weight unit for a two-person tent (3 pounds 14 ounces). The skeleton is as powerful as it is lightweight - you shouldn’t have any issues enduring strong winds in this unit despite its not so aerodynamic profile.

    The poles utilize Kelty’s hug pole clips - durable plastic clips that snap the main body of the tent directly to the poles rather than employing a frustrating and inferior sleeve system. This kind of post to grommet type assembly with locking pole tips is about as easy as it gets.

    The rain fly is designed to be non-stretch and UV resistant. The large mesh panels that surround the tent are my favorite feature about the Salida. When the weather is pleasant, the mesh sidewalls and ceiling are perfect for stargazing alone or with your camping partner and are crafted to keep even the tiniest insects out. This tent also breathes very well during hot camping conditions due to its mesh design.

    The fly is 68D polyester and provides full coverage - this tent can quickly turn from a stargazing, breezy lounge space to a weather proof, resilient dome. The Salida has a great array of storage pockets within the interior and gear loft loops on the ceiling that give you some solid storage space for stowing gear It’s nice to have some organizational potential within your tent - especially when camping with a partner.

    There are many advocates of the Salida 2 as a solo backpacking unit - it’s a two man unit but this tent is so easy to carry and pack that a lot of outdoorsmen appreciate the extra space for themselves. Don’t forget there is also a one man version of the Salida available through the same link if extra space isn’t your thing.

    My only complaint about the Salida for backpacking use is the way it packs. This unit stores into a rectangular carry case that’s kind of awkward for securing to a hiking pack. You might be better off stuffing the tent body and fly within your pack and slipping the aluminum poles somewhere safe in order to make this unit much more compressible.

    For a tent in this price range, the Salida by Kelty employs materials and craftsmenship comparable to some much more expensive units. For backpacking pairs who want to stay bone dry in the field and refrain from making a super expensive purchase, definitely check out the Salida by Kelty.

    Bottom Line: This is a great tent for those who appreciate some extra head and leg space - and there’s several sizes available to choose from. The Salida packs a little awkwardly into a rectangular shape when broken down, so consider just stuffing it into your backpack for enhanced packability. Exceptional quality is always to be expected with Kelty.

  5. 5. ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent

    Pros:
    • Highly affordable, great value tent for a unit under $100
    • Two door system makes this is a great option for backpacking pairs
    • The rain fly creates a slight awning over both doors
    • Equipped with storage pockets and a gear loft
    Cons:
    • This tent is too heavy for solo backpacking use - if you and a partner are sharing your essential gear load then this tent is acceptable for back country use
    • Not very aerodynamic for standing up to intense weather
    • One color option

    The Meramac by ALPS Mountaineering is an awesome affordable option for you and a backpacking partner. With interior dimensions of five feet by seven and a half feet, there’s plenty of legroom for campers of all sizes. The center height is four feet, this unit won’t generate too much wind resistance during intense weather while still maintaining some nice head space.

    The total weight of the tent, fly and poles is seven pounds nine ounces — the Meramac is the heaviest unit on this list. This tent is not really suitable as a solo backpacking unit due to its weight, but if you’re sharing the gear load with a partner and both using the same tent, camp stove and mess kit then this isn’t unreasonable to bring backpacking.

    The Meramac has two, single zip doors on either side of the tent which is always a great feature for smaller size tents. It’s a nice touch to have the option of entering/exiting from either side of your tent; especially when you are sharing a tent with a companion and don’t want to step all over each other.

    The Meramac is designed using a simple free standing two pole design, so there’s nothing to erecting this domed tent. It’s a super basic but durable design that should hold up to years of camping. The added weight is definitely a downside for backpacking use but it’s nice knowing this unit has been built a bit more heavy duty than a lot of traditional ultralight backpacking tents. The weather proof fly coupled with the ridge pole even creates an awning over each door so you can set yourself up for a bit of coverage from the weather while you kick off your boots.

    The Meramac also comes equipped with internal mesh storage pockets, a gear loft, 8 inch steel stakes and a set of guy ropes. The internal storage space is awesome when you’re sharing a tent with a partner for keeping things organized. The polyester fly with 1500 millimeter coating is rock solid and ensures the Meramac will hold up to UV exposure and keep you dry.

    The side walls have been left uncoated so the tent remains breathable while underneath the fly. It’s an awesome three season unit that can definitely stand up to some weather. For a tent in the $80 range, the Meramac is an excellent value buy that is both simple in construction and built to last. If you backpack with a partner then definitely don’t rule this unit out because of its weight — it’s a solid tent for back country consideration if you’re splitting your essential gear load.

    Bottom Line: This tent is likely a bit too heavy for solo use in the back country, but for backpacking pairs who are sharing the equipment load, this is a top notch tent option. Low price tag, easy set up and crafted from quality materials, the Mermac is a well rounded option for those who can handle the extra weight.

  6. 6. Kelty Horizon 2 Tent

    Pros:
    • The minimum pack weight is under four pounds - this is an ultralight option for backpacking pairs
    • Mesh roof allows for great star gazing while the tent walls provide adequate privacy for changing
    • With two trekking poles you can turn the vestibule into quite a large awning
    • The rain fly goes on really quick and easy - feel free to leave the mesh roof exposed until the moment rain strikes!
    Cons:
    • Although very well built and well reviewed for durability, a lot of the connecting hardware, zips and clips are unique and more complex in design than other simpler units — as a general rule more complexity means more potential pieces to malfunction
    • This is a pretty expensive backpacking unit - the quality and craftsmenship are on par with the price tag but there’s certainly comparable, more affordable units available
    • One color option

    Here’s a quality option for backpacking pairs who appreciate top notch gear. The Horizon 2 by Kelty is perhaps a step up from the Salida 2 depending on your preference. It’s mindfully designed to be a highly versatile and functional tent in the field rather than solely a safe space from the elements.

    The Horizon 2 packs a little bit lighter (3 pounds 10 ounces) and more compact (3 by 12 by 15 inches) than the Sailida 2 and also has a bit of a lower profile for resilience against intense wind and weather. The internal dimensions are 84 inches by 52 inches, so there’s plenty of room for you and a partner. The ceiling is 43 inches tall so there’s some good space for sitting up, changing, making lunch or whatever else you might some head room for.

    The Horizon 2 also packs down into an almost cube shaped stuff sack — it’s compact but not ideal for backpacking purposes. I would recommend stuffing this unit into your backpack bottom and storing the tent poles separately if space saving is an absolute necessity.

    The set up of this free standing tent is pretty freakin’ cool! It’s a unique, but simple design overall that makes a lot of sense in my book. There’s a few clips and connecting pieces that I think could have been engineered a bit simpler than how Kelty designed them, but the construction seems sound.

    I’m a personal advocate of simple being better — it’s a general rule that seems to be true in most scenarios in the sense that more moving parts equals more malfunction potential. That being said, Kelty has built all the components of the Horizon 2 to last — as long as you’re mindful not to damage anything you shouldn’t have any issues.

    The frame comes together super easy and the tent body secures tightly with the incorporated ‘hug-clips’. The 40D Nylon material of the lower tent body and rain fly make this unit impervious to wetness when properly secured. I love how the center of the ceiling on this tent is crafted from mesh so you and your camping partner can stargaze — but that the rain fly can be tossed over in a matter of moments.

    It’s a neat design that allows you to add the rain fly in a jiff if and when you need it. The two zipper design of the Horizon’s vestibule enable it to be turned into a BIG awning using two trekking poles. It’s a killer feature that gives you quite a bit of exterior dry space. Make sure to check out the attached video below for a run through of the Horizon’s set up and best features.

    Bottom Line: This is a very cool backpacking tent for those who love high-tec gear. The Horizon 2 is built with some really neat features that will make you the envy of all your fellow campers. If you can afford a top notch option like this then you’ll be impressed with it’s unique features and performance.

  7. 7. Paria Outdoor Products Ultralight 2 Person Mesh Tent

    Pros:
    • This is a seriously ultralight option at just 24 ounces and with packed dimensions of 12 by 4 by 4 inches
    • Mesh tent body is great for ventilation on hot summer nights and for viewing the stars
    • Highly affordable, minimalist option
    • Includes a limited lifetime warranty
    Cons:
    • This unit does not include a rain fly and has a mesh body - you’ll need to purchase the specially designed rain fly or utilize a regular camp tarp if you want to be weather proof
    • Because this tent is frameless, you’ll need to utilize a pair of trekking poles in order to erect it when there’s no trees available for supports
    • One color option

    Here’s a righteous, classic looking two man tent for the minimalist backpacker who really wants to trim their pack weight. This mesh bodied tent from Paria Outdoor Products is only 24 ounces (1.5 pounds) and packs down to an impressive 12 by 4 by 4 inches within its included stuff sack.

    That’s seriously packable — especially considering this is a two person unit! If you like some extra space while solo camping or want some added room for your dog this is an excellent option to provide you with that additional interior space. This ultralight unit also of course performs great for its intended purpose of two person use.

    The floor of this unit is built from 30 denier ripstop silicon/nylon material with a dual coating and furthermore fully taped seams. It’s a dam tough floor that should hold up to rugged gnarly ground and effectively defend against wetness. The waterproofing ability of the tent floor is defeated by the fact that the whole tent body is made of mesh — if you want this unit to be bone dry you’ll have to purchase the Sanctuary Siltarp from Paria Outdoor Products or simply pair it with a tarp.

    The Santuary Siltarp actually costs more than the tent itself, but considering the low cost of both units this is still an economic option if you want to spring for the specially designed rain fly rather than rigging up a tarp.

    For use as a tent for warmer, fair weather, the mesh body is exactly what you want. It’s perfect for getting a full breeze and for viewing the stars — it’s like you’re sleeping out but you’re safe from bug bites.

    Considering how lightweight and compact the tent is you should have plenty of pack space for a tarp or the intended rain fly. Once you cover yourself in case of rain events this unit will operate as a highly versatile unit for warm weather use.

    Set up of this tent will take a little practice if you’re not familiar with this type of tent. There’s no real frame so it’s all about utilizing guy lines, stakes and supports. There’s two 15 foot lengths of 1.5 millimeter reflective Dyneema guy line and six aluminum stakes included with this purchase.

    If there’s trees available for use as supports where you plan on backpacking then you have everything you need — if there’s not necessarily going to be any trees present then you’ll need to rig something up. Regular trekking poles work perfectly which is probably the easiest solution — if you’re a serious backpacker you might already own a compatible pair.

    All in all this is a highly affordable and versatile tent system that is exceptionally simple in design and therefore super lightweight and compact. Pairing this unit with the Sanctuary Siltarp or just utilizing a regular tarp will turn this stargazing bug shelter into a fully functional and weatherproof backpacking tent — a totally awesome buy from Paria Outdoor Products!

    Bottom Line: This is an excellent back country option for summer trekking due to its super light weight, packed dimensions and mesh body design. If you need something weatherproof, then you’ll have to spend some additional money in order to effectively stay dry in this unit. For minimalist campers this option is tough to beat in both price and performance.

  8. 8. ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2-Person Tent

    Pros:
    • Aerodynamic full coverage fly is capable of holding up to some powerful winds and weather
    • Vestibule design gives for a dry space at the entrance of the tent to stow gear
    • Two person tent that’s lightweight enough for solo use
    • This tent is suitable for four season use
    Cons:
    • Poor design of the overhead gear stash - complaints that it tends to spill items
    • Just light enough to be backpacked with (four pounds eleven ounces) - but that’s to be expected with a tent this durable and this low cost
    • One color option

    The Zephyr two man tent by ALPS Mountaineering is an awesome choice for a backpacking tent. Because of its lighter weight, the Zephyr can be used with a backpacking partner or on your own. At less than five pounds, this is not a back breaking unit and provides a TON of space for the solo backpacker.

    If you hike with a lot of cumbersome gear that needs to stay dry at night or like to backpack with your canine companion, this is an excellent option for extra space without extra weight. The Zephyr is of course a great option for backpacking pairs as well, but the point here is that this is a two man tent that’s light enough to hike with on your own if you choose to.

    With floor dimensions of 58 inches by 88 inches, the Zephyr does not sacrifice space for its light weight and still provides you with plenty of room to stretch out. Camper reviews insist this tent is suitable for all four seasons — it’s a seriously weather proof shelter than can handle the elements!

    The main tent body is built from mesh for providing plenty of ventilation on those warmer nights while the fly is crafted from a durable, wind and water proof polyester. This tent is designed to hold fast through some savage weather by utilizing a full coverage fly that is particularly aerodynamic on one of the sides. The vestibule on one side is extended and designed to sit at a lower angle to redirect high winds.

    This vestibule design also creates a small dry space for boots or other wet sensitive gear right at the tent entrance. There is a second door on the opposing side of the tent for when you’re camping with a partner. Between the exterior space created by the vestibule and the interior storage pouch and gear loft, this tent is a winner for stashing your equipment in an organized manner while on the trail.

    The Zephyr is erected using an easy as pie two-pole system despite the fact that it’s capable of standing up to strong weather. You gotta love the ease of simply clipping the tent body to the two aluminum poles and then securing your fly — it’s a beginner level piece of equipment suitable for back country veterans.

    For an impressively compact and light weight two man tent that’s sturdy as can be, there is very little involved with the assembly and break down of this unit. ALPS of course includes the required aluminum stakes and guy ropes with this model.

    The price is right on this one, there’s definitely cheaper two man tent options but the quality of construction, inherent design, space to sprawl out and most importantly high packability of the Zephyr make it an excellent value backpacking tent.

    Bottom Line: This is a rugged two man tent that can handle just about anything mother nature throws at it. It’s a bit on the heavy side for solo use but not unreasonable. If you and a partner need something wind and rain proof then the Zephyr is a top quality option you’ll own for years and years of camping.

  9. 9. Geertop 3-season 20D Ultralight Backpacking Tent

    Pros:
    • Versatile tent that can be used as just a mesh body, or set up to be weatherproof
    • Rain fly and tent body can be set up independently of each other
    • Exceptionally lightweight at just 2 pounds 10 ounces and super compact when packed at only 2.4 by 2.4 by 7.4 inches
    • Two doors and two windows further enhance this tent’s ventilation then the rain fly is secured
    Cons:
    • This tent requires trekking poles (not included) as a tent frame in order to be erected
    • Because of the frame design, I wouldn’t recommend this tent for truly windy camping conditions. It’s effectively weatherproof but not supported by a rigid and powerful frame
    • Guy lines can be frustrating to set up at first

    Here’s an awesome minimalist solo tent option for those really looking to cut down their pack weight. The 3-season 20D Ultralight Backpacking Tent from Geertop is only two pounds, ten ounces — now that’s lightweight. It packs super tight as well breaking down to 2.4 by 2.4 by 7.4 inches.

    It doesn’t get much lighter or compact than this — and the price is right! There is an included rain fly to defend against rain and wind, but if you’re looking for something truly rugged and impervious to the elements I would consider a different unit. This is a three season tent and it will certainly keep you dry and warm once properly set up, but its overall design makes it less of a rock solid, absolutely storm proof option compared to most of the other units included on this list.

    The floor dimensions of this model come in at 91 by 43 inches, that’s a lot of length for those particularly tall backpackers. The ceiling height is 41 inches, so there’s some pretty decent head space as well. For a solo, ultralight unit this tent provides better than average interior space.

    The main tent body is made of mesh, so this is an excellent option for fair weather, summer camping. If you’re looking for something to keep the bugs out but maintain full ventilation this is a great option. The 20D silicon coated nylon used to build the rain fly is on the other hand exceptionally waterproof.

    It’s a nicely designed, full coverage fly that incorporates some well thought out vents for maintaining breathability when you need to. Both the main tent body and the rain fly can be set up independently of each other which definitely adds some versatility to this unit.

    It’s not the design or quality of the rain fly that make this tent unsuitable for extreme weather, but the way this tent erects. The rain fly system is quite sound, but the main tent body is frameless and erects using trekking poles of at least 130 centimeters in length (not included). It’s a perfectly adequate tent design that reduces the overall weight immensely, but I personally wouldn’t want to count on trekking poles for a tent frame through severe winds and weather.

    If you’re camping above the tree line in savage environmental conditions you’ll probably want something more rugged, but if where you backpack has some natural cover to set up within or simply doesn’t experience nasty weather you’ll love the low weight and packability of this unit.

    It might take a little practice to learn how to properly utilize your trekking poles as a frame and master assembly, but the learning curve with this one is well worth the low cost. Perfect for backpacking during pleasant weather, and totally modifiable to endure light to medium intensity wind and rain, this three season, spacious solo unit from Geertop is a killer buy.

    Bottom Line: This is a great minimalist option that you will hardly remember you’re carrying. The tent design is great for ventilation and repelling water, but because this tent relies on trekking poles to stay erected it might be a bit shaky in particularly high winds.

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