The (Nearly) Complete List Of Lightweight Backpacking Tents And Shelters

Looking for a new lightweight backpacking tent or shelter? Here is a list of every backpacking shelter I could find (120+ so far) that weighs under 3 pounds, to help you narrow your search.

I’ve organized them by weight and included photos and links to online retailers so you can do an easy side by side comparison and find the best shelter for your needs. Tents, tarptents, tarps, hammocks and bivys are included, as long as they weigh 3 lbs or less.

If you know of a shelter that I’ve missed please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page…

Backpacking Shelters Under 3 Pounds

Brand Model Weight Type
MSR Carbon Reflex 2 48 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $349.97

REI.com – $499.95

Campsaver.com – $499.95

Easton Kilo 3P 48 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $498.95

Amazon.com – $499.00

Big Sky Evolution 2P 48 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Bigskyproducts.com – $374.95

NEMO Obi 2P 48 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $282.34

REI.com – $389.95

Campsaver.com – $389.95

Tarptent Scarp 1 48 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $315.00

Big Sky Revolution 2P 47 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Bigskyproducts.com – $349.95

Exped Mira 1 47 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $328.95

NEMO Meta 2P 47 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $259.98

REI.com – $399.95

Campsaver.com – $399.95

The North Face Mica 1 46 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Sierra Designs Vapor Light 1 46 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $216.71

Amazon.com – $269.97

NEMO Moto 1P 46 oz Super Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $349.95

Black Diamond Firstlight 45 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $299.95

Amazon.com – $359.95

MSR Hubba 45 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $249.95

Campsaver.com – $249.95

REI.com – $279.95

Mountain Hardware Sprite 1 45 oz Super Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $129.97

Campsaver.com – $189.95

Marmot Eos 1P 44 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $228.90

REI.com – $229.00

Eureka Spitfire 1 44 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $99.00

Campsaver.com – $103.99

Big Sky Mirage 2P 43 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Bigskyproducts.com – $329.95

Sierra Designs Light Year 1 43 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $139.95

Campsaver.com – $169.95

 

Sierra Designs Mojo 2 43 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $319.99

Campsaver.com – $339.96

Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 42 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $339.95

REI.com – $339.95

Campsaver.com – $339.95

Black Diamond HiLight 42 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $369.95

Amazon.com – $379.95

Tarptent Rainshadow 2 42 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $279.00

Hennessy Scout 42 oz Hammock

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $99.85

HennessyHammock.com – $99.95

Black Diamond Tripod Bivy 42 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $292.45

Campsaver.com – $299.95

Montbell Crescent 2 41 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $278.95

Hennessy Asym Classic 41 oz Hammock

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $140.00

Hennessyhammock.com – $159.95

NEMO Obi 1P 40 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $339.99

REI.com – $339.95

Campsaver.com – $339.95

Tarptent Double Rainbow 40 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $275.00

Tarptent Stratospire 2 40 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $325.00

NEMO Nano Elite 39 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $389.95

Sierra Designs Stash 1 39 oz Super Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $149.97

Campsaver.com – $151.96

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 1 38 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $349.95

REI.com – $349.95

Campsaver.com – $349.95

Outdoor Research Advanced Bivy 37 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $299.00

REI.com – $319.00

Campsaver.com – $319.95

MSR TWing 36 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $229.95

Amazon.com – $237.99

REI.com – $279.95

NEMO Gogo EX 36 oz Super Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $249.97

Campsaver.com – $329.95

 

Easton Kilo 2P 35 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $398.95

Campsaver.com – $398.95

 

Lightheart Gear Duo Wedge 35 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Lightheartgear.com – $350.00

 

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 34 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $295.96

Amazon.com – $369.95

REI.com – $369.95

REI Quarter Dome 1 34 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

REI.com – $219.00

MSR Carbon Reflex 1 34 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $399.95

REI.com – $399.95

Campsaver.com – $449.95

Mountain Hardware Super Mega UL2 34 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $428.95

Campsaver.com – $429.95

REI.com – $430.00

Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout 34 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Sixmoondesigns.com – $125.00

Antigravitygear.com – $125.00

Tarptent Rainbow 34 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $245.00

Tarptent Squall 2 34 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $249.00

NEMO Gogo LE 34 oz Super Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $329.95

Campsaver.com – $329.95

Hennessy Explorer Ultralight 34 oz Hammock

Available from these retailers:

Hennessyhammock.com – $249.95

Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 33 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $215.96

REI.com – $269.95

Big Sky Evolution 1P 33 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Bigskyproducts.com – $274.95

Montbell Crescent 1 33 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $228.95

Tarptent Stratospire 1 33 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $285.00

Lightheart Gear Duo 32 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Lightheartgear.com – $295.00

Backpacking Shelters Under 2 Pounds

Brand Model Weight Type
NEMO Obi Elite 31 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $419.95

NEMO Metal 1P 31 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $288.95

Campsaver.com – $329.95

Hennessy Ultralight Asym 31 oz Hammock

Available from these retailers:

HennessyHammock.com – $219.95

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 30 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $319.95

REI.com – $319.95

Campsaver.com – $319.95

Big Sky Revolution 1P 30 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Bigskyproducts.com – $299.95

Easton Kilo 1P 30 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $348.95

Campsaver.com – $348.95

Hyperlite Mtn Gear Echo II 30 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Hyperlitemountaingear.com – $595.00

Tarptent Moment 30 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $235.00

Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy 30 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $183.07

REI.com – $239.00

Campsaver.com – $239.95

Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum 29 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $499.95

REI.com – $499.95

Campsaver.com – $499.95

Lightheart Gear Solo Wedge 29 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Lightheartgear.com – $275

Black Diamond Bipod Bivy 29 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $269.95

Campsaver.com – $269.95

Big Agnes 3 Wire Bivy 28 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $299.95

REI.com – $339.95

Campsaver.com $339.95

Big Sky Mirage 1P 27 oz Tent

Available from these retailers:

Bigskyproducts.com – $274.95

Lightheart Gear Solo 27 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Lightheartgear.com – $245.00

Lightheart Gear Solong 6 27 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Lightheartgear.com – $295.00

 

Marmot Home Alone Bivy 27 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $228.95

Campsaver.com – $228.95

 

Tarptent Notch 26 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $259.00

 

The North Face Asylum Bivy 26 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

 

Sea to Summit Specialist Duo 25 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $498.95

 

Tarptent Contrail 25 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $199.00

 

Hennessy Hyperlight Asym 25 oz Hammock

Available from these retailers:

Hennessyhammock.com – $249.95

 

Sierra Designs Zagori Bivy 25 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $135.99

Campsaver.com – $143.16

Hyperlite Mtn Gear Echo I 24 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Hyperlitemountaingear.com – $495.00

Six Moon Designs Skyscape Trekker 24 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Sixmoondesigns.com – $225.00

Mountain Laurel Supermid 24 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Mountainlaureldesigns.com – $295.00

Outdoor Research Highland Bivy 24 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $159.00

REI.com – $159.00

Campsaver.com – $159.95

Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo 23 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Sixmoondesigns.com – $235.00

Granite Gear White Lightnin 10×12 23 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $175.96

Amazon.com – $189.26

NEMO Gogo Elite 23 oz Super Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $399.95

Campsaver.com – $399.95

Outdoor Research Aurora Bivy 22 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $167.75

REI.com – $199.00

Campsaver.com – $199.95

Equinox Myotis Tarp 10×10 21 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $118.00

Equinoxltd.com – $135.00

Granite Gear White Lightnin 10×10 21 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $147.96

Amazon.com – $161.66

Lightheart Gear Solo Cuben 20 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Lightheartgear.com – $475.00

Tarptent Sublite 20 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Tarptent.com – $199.00

Mountain Laurel Cricket Tent Sil 20 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Mountainlaureldesigns.com – $295.00

Equinox Globeskimmer 10×12 19 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Equinoxltd.com – $129.00

Amazon.com – $134.04

MSR E-Wing 19 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $144.49

Campsaver.com – $149.95

REI.com – $169.95

MSR AC-Bivy 19 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $199.95

REI.com – $199.95

Campsaver.com – $199.95

Gossamer Gear The One 18 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Gossamergear.com – $295.00

Sea to Summit Specialist Solo 18 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $428.95

Mountain Laurel Speedmid 18 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Mountainlaureldesigns.com – $185.00

Six Moon Designs Haven Tarp 18 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Sixmoondesigns.com – $200

Black Diamond Spotlight Bivy 18 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $194.12

Campsaver.com – $199.95

Sierra Designs Navassa Bivy 17 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Campsaver.com – $95.16

Amazon.com – $109.95

Mountain Laurel Duomid Sil 16 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Mountainlaureldesigns.com – $205.00

Big Sky Wisp 1P 16 oz Super Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Bigskyproducts.com – $199.95

Backpacking Shelters Under 1 Pound

Brand Model Weight Type
Six Moon Designs Skyscape X 15 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Sixmoondesigns.com – $450.00

Equinox Globeskimmer 8×10 15 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Equinoxltd.com – $92.00

Amazon.com – $96.04

REI Minimalist Bivy 15 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

REI.com – $99.50

Equinox Myotis Tarp 8×8 15 oz Bivy

Available from these retailers:

Amazon.com – $104.59

Equinoxltd.com – $115.00

Mountain Laurel Cricket Tent Cuben 15 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Mountainlaureldesigns.com – $500

Gossamer Gear SilTwinn 13 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Gossamergear.com – $140.00

Mountain Laurel Solomid Sil 13 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Mountainlaureldesigns.com – $170.00

Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis 13 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Sixmoondesigns.com – $175.00

Mountain Laurel Duomid Cuben 12 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Mountainlaureldesigns.com – $405.00

ZPacks Hexamid Solo+ Tent 11 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

ZPacks.com – $330.00

ZPacks Hexamid Twin Tent 11 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

Zpacks.com – $350.00

Gossamer Gear Spinnshelter 11 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Gossamergear.com – $195.00

Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape 11 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Sixmoondesigns.com – $135.00

Gossamer Gear SpinnTwinn 10 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Gossamergear.com – $175.00

Mountain Laurel Solomid Cuben 10 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Mountainlaureldesigns.com – $340.00

ZPacks Hexamid Solo Tent 9 oz Tarptent

Available from these retailers:

ZPacks.com – $295.00

Hyperlite Mtn Gear Echo 2 Tarp 9 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Hyperlitemountaingear.com – $295.00

Equinox Globe Skimmer 6×8 9 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Equinoxltd.com – $72.00

Amazon.com – $77.04

Hyperlite Mtn Gear Echo 1 Tarp 8 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Hyperlitemountaingear.com – $270.00

ZPacks Hexamid Solo+ Tarp 5 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

Zpacks.com – $215.00

ZPacks Hexamid Twin Tarp 5 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

ZPacks.com – $235.00

ZPacks Hexamid Solo Tarp 4 oz Tarp

Available from these retailers:

ZPacks.com – $195.00

If you know of a tent or shelter under 3 lbs that is not on this list please let me know in the comments section below.

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77 Responses to “The (Nearly) Complete List Of Lightweight Backpacking Tents And Shelters”

  1. Hi Erik, Thanks for this great resource. Your listed weights are somewhat lower than what I am seeing though. Are you listing the minimum weight which usually includes fly and footprint?

    I have both the Big Agnes SL1 and the Big Agnes FC1. With poles, stakes, body, and fly these weigh in at 42oz for the SL1 and 32.9oz for the FC1. Both handle superbly in heavy rain. Your listed weights on these are much less.

    • @LarryB: For tents I have listed the “trail weight” from the manufacturers website, which usually includes the tent body, rainfly, poles, guylines and stakes (the important stuff) but leaves out nonessential things like stuff sacks, stake bags, instruction manuals, etc. For tarptents and tarps I listed whatever weight is listed on the manufacturer’s website. Depending on the shelter this usually includes the weight of the shelter and guylines, but may or may not include the stakes (which sometimes are not included). I will check on those Big Agnes tents to make sure I didn’t get those wrong. I have been getting pretty cross-eyed from looking at all these numbers the last few days ;)

    • @LarryB: I checked the Big Agnes website and according to them the trail weight of the Seedhouse SL1 is 2lb, 1oz (33oz) and the Fly Creek SL1 is 1lb, 14oz (30 oz). I’m guessing they probably made some changes for 2012 that lightened them up a bit. Either way, they are both impressively light for double wall tent shelters. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Jim Keener ( J J ) Reply April 25, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Nice list, Erik. A good place to start. Thanks.

  3. A few more that I didn’t see on the list:

    GoLite Poncho Tarp
    http://www.golite.com/Poncho-Tarp-P885.aspx

    GoLite Shangri-La 1 Tent
    http://www.golite.com/Shangri-La-1-Tent-P46825.aspx

    Eureka Solitaire
    http://store.eurekatent.com/solitaire-tent

    • I don’t know if it counts but my Golite Shangri-La 5 also weighs in at under 3 lbs but that is before they sold it with the inner body.

  4. Hi Erik,
    I hiked from the border to Tehachapi last year and used a Terra Nova Laser Competition and found it excellent. I had never back packed before (Hauser canyon was the first night I have ever camped!) so it was a bit of a shot in the dark. It isn’t roomy but survived the storm a day north of Warner Springs with no trouble and I had little trouble with condensation. It is a double skin tent and weighs about 34 ozs although I took a few stronger tent pegs which would add a little. It is British, so I don’t know if it available in the USA. I paid £208, so a bit over $300 I suppose.
    There is a smaller version now that is only 19 ozs, but it has no storage space at all and is meant for fell runners. It might not be suitable for long distance back packing.

    And thanks for all the notes on the web site – they have given me a lot to think about – very useful.

    Robin

  5. Hi Eric,
    take a look at this tarp

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004RVHBLO/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i01

    I’ve got one, super light, packs small

  6. Awesome job, Erik, thanks! I like Joe Valesko’s intelligent ZPacks designs: for my Hexamid Solo Tent, since I don’t use hiking poles, the lightweight external frame-poles in my Blast 36 backpack remove and combine to serve as the Hexamid’s single support pole. Very multipurpose ultralight!

  7. Hi Eric,
    I have recently ordered a Trailstar shaped tarp by Mountain Laurel Designs. There is a Cuben and Silnylon version which I was unable to see on your list….Unless I’m being thick!
    Regards,
    Gary
    South Wales.

  8. You may want to look at the Blackbird Hammock from Warbonnet Outdoors. I have both the Hennesy asym and the Blackbird. I prefer the Blackbird becuase of the foot box, superfly, and yeti underquilt.

  9. I’ve been enjoying your posts. Informative. Inviting. Interesting that it goes from heaviest to lightest. I love my Zpacks hexamid and would put them on top! :) great job though and comprehensive … Including additions in comments.

  10. I didn’t see the tent I use; six moon designs Lunar Duo. A huge(54″x90″) 2 person tent with 2 x 12sqft vestibules at 41oz. With my Ti stakes I am about 45oz.

  11. This is a great list. I did not see Kelty
    Noah Tarps, all have good size to weight ratios and are inexpessive.

  12. Love me Big Agnes solo. Great value. Can sit up in it and fit my whole pack if needed – with vestibule for muddy boots.

  13. Thumper aka dofdear Reply April 25, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Eric, Check out TNF Simple Bivy. It comes in at 16ozs and is a better bivy option than say the REI Minimalist Bivy as the TNF bivy is a complete enclosure where the REI is open with bug netting. See http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/simple-bivy.html?parent_category_rn=&cm_vc=Search

  14. hey eric
    thanks for sending a new gear list.
    on tents.

  15. Wow- what a list! I see both tents of mine on there..my Double rainbow and my Contrail. But if I ever wanted to lighten up further, I definitely have some options with this list you have created for us. Thank you for taking the time to do so. I refer alot of folks here for accurate information, since there seems to be alot of inaccurate info out there recently. Keep up the great work!!

    Oh…a great map project that badly needs to be done is the North Country Trail- the one that runs about 4000 miles from Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota to the east coast. It would be a challenge indeed, but one that would really be appreciated and get more folks using the trail. Another good project would be the Superior Lake trail (SHT)and the trails along the border of Minnesota and Canada. Some of these are badly in need of your good mapping skills. Just some ideas, as if you don’t have enough already.. LOL.
    Take care and again, thanks for all the hard work you do for us hiker trash!
    RJ

  16. Great List! It makes me covet the ZPack stuff. The Gossamer Gear SpinnTwinn (two person spinaker tarp) has performed great for me solo although it would be very tight for two. As it is, it could be longer. In hunker-down mode, with both sides pinned down for super stormy weather, it is only comfortable for one. In fair weather pitch it is delightfully roomy for one, but not overkill, granted I like some overhang for rainy Washington state weather. I’ve tried solo and poncho tarps here and they seemed inadequate for our mountain rain.

  17. Thanks for putting all of this together! It would have saved me a lot of time if I didn’t buy myself a new tent a few months ago…Makes me kick myself in the ass for finding ones on your list that are cheaper AND lighter.

  18. Eric,

    Thanks for the list. great reference tool. I would suggest some of oware tarps @ http://www.owareusa.com

    he has a cuben fiber tarp..7.5 x7.5 at 4.5 ozs.

    also, a 5×8 30d silnylon at 6.5 ozs and a cuben fiber one at 3 ozs.

    also, a 8 x 10 30d silnylon at 13.5 ozs.

    Plus quite a few other sizes.

    I have used the 5 x 8 silnylon one and really enjoy it.

  19. I have a tent at 5 lbs 3oz, would you consider this average weight, or heavy? A tent under 2 lbs doesn’t seem like it would give any kind of shelter that would hold up to any of the elements.

  20. Thanks, Eric for the gear information. Being a newbie in serious ultralight gear your list will help tremendously.

  21. I’d suggest including the Mountain Laurel Designs Patrol Shelter.

  22. Erik:
    Great list! You are an incredible resource for lightweight/ultralight hiking…devoting the time and energy required to put together such a comprehensive directory (with photos to boot). Thank you, you rock! :-)

  23. Jane and Eric,
    I’m planning a 2013 PCT thru-hike and have been considering ZPacks Hexamid Solo plus and Six Moon Design’s Wild Oasis. The weight of the Solo is great but I have a concern about the 29″ entry being very tight for this 62 yr old man. Any comments?

    Eric, great resource, thanks.

  24. Look at hilleberg atko its a great tent. I use it for 4 season camping it is durable and pretty much bomb proof.

  25. An awesome list Erik. Thank you for putting it all together in one convenient place. My go-to shelter is my Gatewood cape, I absolutely love it. I do have a Tarptent Contrail but don’t use it anymore. I will forward this list to a friend who will be in the market for a light weight shelter soon

  26. Great list. Suggest splitting out 1-, 2-, and 3-person shelters into separate categories. Shared weight for some of the heavier 2-person tents works out to less than 2 lbs per person.

  27. To answer Pthurman. I’m just a customer of Zpacks and as I understand it to test his product, a hexamid tent, that is somewhere around nine ounces he did the entire continental divide trail that included snow and every kind of inclement weather and he could continue to do it again with the same tent. Many others have since followed in his footsteps. There are other cottage companies using cuben fiber as well. The material is lightweight, waterproof and has tear resistance. Other lightweight materials such as silnylon have also held up readily on thru hikes and all weather conditions. A weightier pack may or may not be more durable. (I once had a relatively heavy bivy from a big reputable company and the waterproof coating all peeled off in a mess after a short time). Lighter weight makes for more enjoyable hiking and I believe any of the choices listed here have been proven to be adequately durable. Hope that helps.

  28. Eric,

    I just came across your post, and it looks like you have a great site. I work for the North American distributor of Terra Nova (which someone mentioned above). They would be a great addition to this post as they specialize in lightweight tents.

    Terra Nova currently manufactures nine tents that would fit your criteria above. In fact, they have the Guinness World Record for the lightest double walled tent in the world. Could you shoot me an email at garrettadrian@sport-hansa.com if you’d be interested to learn more? Thanks!

  29. To answer Jon,

    Jon, I’m a 59-year-old man using the Hexamid Solo tent, and it works fine. For me, lightness + intelligent design equals the most joyful combo for LD hiking.

    I’m merely doing the JMT in August, so your 2013 PCT thru-hike is inspiring! :) Cheers!

  30. So glad to see my favorite Eureka Spitfire on here! It may not be the lightest, but for those of us who need to balance $$ with light weight, it’s by far the best bang for your buck on this page.

  31. Hi Jon. You only have a decade on me and I find the doorway of the hexamid easy to access. I did get the “beak” for the doorway that can be folded back. … Sort of a vestibule and added protection There are a few YouTube videos that the maker, Joe does that might help answer your question. I find it easy to sit up and also enjoy views.

  32. Tarptent Moment:

    http://www.tarptent.com/moment.html#specs

    •Clip-in breathable liner available
    •Free-standing with optional 7-ounce pole
    •Very stable and taut pitch with PitchLoc foldable corners
    •No-see-um mesh with separate mesh door for airflow
    and views; bug proof when zipped up
    •Adjustable venting at ends, apex, and sides
    •Quick drying — inside and out in minutes
    •Reflective spectra cord guylines

    Show Dimensions | Product Sheet (pdf) | Setup (pdf)

    Sleeps

    Weight (oz/kg)

    Floor Width (in/cm)

    Floor Length (in/cm)

    Floor Area
    (ft2/m2)

    Interior Height (in/cm)

    Stakes (included)

    Packed Size (in/cm)

    Price

    1

    30/ 0.85

    42/ 107

    84/ 213

    19/ 1.8

    39/ 99

    2 x 6in/ 15cm

    20 x 4 / 51 x 10

    $235

  33. Wow – thanks for including that cool-looking Big Sky Wisp 1p Super Bivy!! I had never heard of a Super Bivy so I’m grateful you have them listed here :) My tarp got thrashed on a recent Boy Scout trip [the poor kid tripped over my orange line!! Completely tore the tarp :( ] SO I have been shopping for a suitable replacement.

  34. If you are listing tarps, and it seems you are, don’t miss the patrol. I typically carry it, and my tent stakes are heavier than it is. (!)

  35. Hi Erik,
    Been reading your emails and blogs for a while now. Much appreciated. Got a Big Agnes Copper Spur imported from the USA, (unfortunately not available over here for us limeys).Fab tent by the way. Don’t know if you have heard of tent makers Terra Nova.
    They make a tent which weighs in at about 18 ounces.Not sure if it is available in USA. You can view it here:
    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/terra_nova_laser_ultra_1_tent_review.html

  36. I did not see any golite products in your list the shangrila 1 and 3 are quite light and very affordable

  37. thanks for all your work (and play). finished jmt last summer-your guidebook and ultra-light suggestions helped greatly. just ordered tent after getting inspired from your list.
    want to try a piece of cdt this summer (s. co-n.nm), since i don’t see one of yours, is there a guidebook for that trail you could recommend?

  38. Hey Eric, Are you planning on updating this list? Many folks have identified other great shelter choices that should be considered and added to your list.

    Thumper aka dofdear

  39. After looking through all the tents you have posted, I went back and looked at Lightheart Gear’s Solo in cuben fiber. I took the leap, getting perhaps the last tent of the season, as they are now sold out of cuben fiber tents. I will be taking it out for a long hike on the Superior Hiking Trail before long. Thanks for posting such great info! Absolutely love your site.

    • @RJ: Please let me know how you like the Lightheart Gear Solo. I really like the design of that tent and have been seriously considering buying one (in silnylon). I’ll be interested to hear how it works for you.

  40. I’ve had a Tartptent Contrail for 2 1/2 years, and I’ll never use anything else. I don’t hike in the snow, so I don’t have to worry about snowloads. I hike generally in the Sierras, above 8,000 ft. I’m 6’2″ and the Contrail has plenty of room for me. I especially appreciate the netting that zips up tight and bug-proof. The tent folds up and rolls up small enough to be crammed into the basement with my sleeping bag. Plus, when I had questions about the tent, Henry Shires was more than helpful in teaching me how to use it.

    Two thumbs up for the Tarptent Contrail!

  41. @Erik
    Would be happy to send a report your way when I get back from my trip to the Superior Hiking Trail. I should be home in early July. Also ordered a new 42L pack from Elemental Horizons, (24oz- customized for my personal issues). Take care Erik and be looking forward to talking to you soon!
    RJ

  42. Hi guys,there is a company called appy trails that do a very ultra light tent called the mark 3, sleeps comes in at around 550grams.
    May be worth addin to the list?
    Great list though
    Cheers

  43. Hi Erik,

    How about Black Diamond’s Mids? The Mega Light comes in under 3lbs and sleeps 4 comfortably (I fit 5 college freshman in one during a downpour!) The Beta is around 2lb., while the Beta Light is 1.5lb. BD also has a whole bunch of bivy, though I’ve never used them.

    Thanks, and keep up the great work!

    • Agreed! I have hundreds of nights in my BD Mid and would love to get a Beta to complement. You can pitch them virtually anywhere. We throw a classic mosquito net (<4 oz.) over the top if we have bug issues. It's nearly indestructible by weather. The only time we had a problem was in Patagonia, which is notorious for high winds. It stayed upright but the noise was nearly unbearable.

  44. I have the Appy Trails Mark V which is of course bigger than the Mark III, but with a wife and two dogs I need the bigger one. My wife’s not happy with the lack of a floor but then again that is what a ground cloth is for.

    I’ve seen the Mark III and if it sets vup as quick and easy as the Mark V then it is a great tent as well.

  45. Really helpful list, I have a Huntech bivy bag , Huntech is a New Zealand based company and it has kept me warm and dry on many nights. I am not sure if you have Huntech gear in the USA at this stage but they are well worth checking out.

  46. love your site brother very informative. keep it up

  47. Nice list!
    I believe several of these tents would also fit on it.
    http://www.terra-nova.co.uk/tents-and-spares/ultralight-lightweight-tents/

  48. This is more of a glorified tube tent or bivy, but you can’t beat the price. ($40) You absolutely must waterproof/seam seal it. If you use trekking poles instead of the tent poles, and replace the stakes with aluminum you can get it under 2 pounds. Condensation and size are the biggest issues, would like to see if I can modify it to add ventilation…

    http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___36447

  49. Erik,

    I’m close to “pulling the trigger” on Judy’s LightHeart Cuben Solong-6. I’ve corresponded with her getting the options down. I understand you have a LightHeart (Solong-6)?

    Any thoughts you may have that I can consider that you’re willing to share. What factored into your decision making? What tent features did you go with/why? You have my email if you need to reply direct.

    thanks–Carl

    • @Carl: I ordered the standard Lightheart Gear Solo in silnylon and received it a couple weeks ago. So far I am very impressed with the shelter. I like the design a lot, especially the fact that you can pull back the flys in good weather exposing all that mesh. The biggest complaint I have with most backpacking shelters is they feel claustrophobic, but this shelter solves that problem.

      I did run into a bit of a problem setting it up because my trekking poles are old and the locking mechanisms are worn out, so it takes a lot of twisting and turning to get them to lock properly. The way you set up this shelter is you get inside, put your trekking poles in place and stick the tips into the PVC ridge pole, then extend the trekking poles and lock them to hold up the tent. This took a bunch of fiddling because my poles wouldn’t lock (not the fault of the tent). I finally got it to work by twisting the poles so that they were almost locked before putting them in place. I also noticed that you could accidentally poke a hole in the roof if the poles aren’t securely inserted into the ridge pole when setting up, so that’s something to pay close attention to.

      I’m six feet tall and the standard size is a bit short for me. My head and feet feel a bit cramped when I’m laying down. So I think I will exchange it for the SoLong version. I went with silnylon over Cuben fiber because I like the extra durability and longevity of silnylon.

  50. HI ERIK –
    Just wondering how you are enjoying your new LIGHTHEART GEAR SOLONG 6 tent .
    Is there anything about it you would change , any little thing, like what if the designer did this little tweak here or there , or make this wider , or a higher bathtub floor or wider canopy , any little niggling thing that makes you think , I would have done this , or that to make it a little better or more functional , as they can be customized by the manufacturer to exactly what they want in a light weight tent .
    I am seriously looking at this tent to replace my BIG AGNES SEEDHOUSE SL2 tent , and any more information from the end users is always gold dust to a prospective buyer .
    You did not opt for the cuben fiber , is that only because of cost or the durability concerns , or time frame to wait for it to be made.
    Is there any chance of you showing us some pictures of ” your ” tent , with close ups of inside and outside of the tent , with an air mat inside for reference for internal length .
    Pictures of tie out points and stitching , the more the better or if you already have some pictures somewhere on line , a link to them .
    Thanks .
    Dave ………

    • @Dave: I like my custom Solong 6 a lot so far. I did not like the standard version with the awning. The awning was too big and flappy and required an extra pole. Judy made me a custom version with two vestibules and two doors and that is exactly what I wanted. I have no complaints about it so far. The only thing that is slightly annoying is trying to get my old trekking poles to lock in position to hold up the tent. It’s not the fault of the tent. The locking mechanism in my poles is worn out so it requires some finagling to get them to stop spinning and lock in place at the right height. I don’t have any pictures yet but there is lots of room inside for one person plus gear, one person and a dog, or two people who don’t mind snuggling.

    • Here’s a pic of my Solong 6 from a motorcycle camping trip a few weeks ago.

  51. What a terrific resource you’ve put together, Erik. Thank you for the ideas and great comments.

  52. Wow, this is a great list. Well done. I think its almost too good… too much selection. Once I pull the trigger, Im immediately going to feel buyers remorse that one of the other 500 listed might be better. :)

  53. I took a Z-packs solo-plus Cuben fiber tent (13 oz without stakes) on a trip up into the Ansel Adams Wilderness area. The tent was great – lots of room for myself plus gear, could sit up, and no problems with condensation because it has great ventilation!

    It does require 10 stakes, about 2 oz total., but for a total of 15 oz this is a great tent!! Lots of room for one person plus gear. I was very impressed. My last tent, a Hubba, was over 4 lbs…

    I’m looking forward to the time when somebody designs a really lite-weight cubne free-standing tent. I love to camp above the high lakes in the Sierras, and am looking forward to hiking the Sierra High Route sometime . The ground up there is mostly granite, so a free standing Cuben tent would be perfect.

  54. I used ZPacks Hexamid Solo for a 15-day ultralight JMT last year, worked great! My base packweight, including 31-oz. bear cannister, was 9lb 11.8 oz. Details and complete gearlist here: http://johnmuirtrail2012.blogspot.com/

  55. Hi Erik I’m just putting together a post on cycling and camping, check out the Hilleberg Jannu a lot of people like it a lot..

    Great list thanks for creating it :-)

  56. Erik,

    Just starting trying to get light. Looking at the Tarptent Rainshadow 2.
    I need the capacity for 3 people, and in the Pacific NW, I’m not going without bug protection.

    Any others you would recommend that are similar, light, good quality and won’t break the bank?

    Thanks,

    Doug.

  57. Thanks, Looking to really lighten my load. Took a trip with my son’s Scout group last summer and ended up with the bear can and food in my bag. 35 pounds plus the food was a little more than my hip can handle anymore.

    Just purchased a ULA CDT and an REI inflatable pad that’s 16 oz vs my old self inflating pad. Tent, sleeping bag and clothing system to go.

    Looking forward to getting really light.

    Doug

  58. Hello Erik

    What about Black Diamond’s Mids? The Mega Light comes in under 3lbs and sleeps 4 comfortably (I fit 5 college freshman in one during a downpour!) The Beta is around 2lb., while the Beta Light is 1.5lb. BD also has a whole bunch of bivy, though I’ve never used them.

    Thanks

  59. Check out Yama Mountain Gear: http://www.yamamountaingear.com
    Elegant design, lightweight, and outstanding craftsmanship.

    Thank you for the information-packed website.

  60. Hello Erik!

    Great website, and even better list :)

    I have a Granite Gear Lightnin 10×10. I go on fly-fishing trips on my own and it is extremely important that my tent is as light as possible. I use a tarp to lay down on the ground, but I can just fold the Lightnin into my backpack andI a ready to go. Very convenient.

  61. You should include Terra Nova tents. They make several very lightweight tents.

  62. Erik.. Great list. Would you consider making a similar list of back packing sleeping bags..

    • @Tyler: I would like to put together a list of lightweight bags as soon as I can find the time. In the meantime, check out: Western Mountaineering, Marmot, Montbell, Big Agnes and REI. They all offer down sleeping bags suitable for lightweight backpacking.

  63. Hello Erik,

    I’m very impressed with your site and reviews. You really put a lot of work into making the information accessible and usable. I just wanted to let you know that Zpacks have a new line of tents to add to your list. I bought the three person Hexamid Triplex and it is huge for only 22.8 oz. My kids and I love it. You should check out their website to update your awesome list.

    Thanks,

    Aaron

  64. mountainsmith LT tarp

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