How Light Should A Backpacking Tent Be

How Much Do Backpacking Tents Weigh? – Outdoor Horizon

Backpacking is exhausting enough without having to carry additional weight. This might include everything from water to food to equipment. It all adds up and can make your walk more difficult than it has to be. The weight of your hiking tent is one of the most significant considerations to make while planning your trip. The typical weight of a camping tent is between 1-2 pounds and 6 lbs, depending on the model. Tents are often divided into three categories: ultralight, lightweight, and conventional.

We’ll go through each style of tent in further depth below, so that you can pick the best tent for your next adventure.

How Much Does A Backpacking Tent Weigh?

Despite the fact that there are no recognized weight ranges, the following are some average weights:

  • Generally speaking, an ultralight camping tent weighs between one and two pounds, whereas a lightweight backpacking tent weighs between three and four pounds. A standard/traditional camping tent weighs between 5 and 7 pounds
  • A lightweight backpacking tent weighs less.

Price and the recommendation of the salesman at the local shop are important considerations for many first-time travellers. When choosing a tent, it is important to consider how you want to use it before making a buying decision.

Comparing Backpack Tents

After looking at the figures, many individuals will conclude that a lightweight tent is the best option to choose. However, there is more to it than just physical weight. Backpacking tent weights will vary based on the qualities of the tent, including whether it is made of:

  • Ultralight, lightweight, or standard
  • One-person or two-person
  • Three-season or four-season
  • Ultralight, lightweight, or standard

So let’s take a closer look at these traits in greater detail. This will assist you in selecting the most appropriate tent for your hiking trip.

Ultralight, Light weight, And Traditional Tents

In accordance with the sort of vacation you’re going and the priorities you’ve set for yourself, you’ll be able to locate a tent that will meet your demands. A tent will often cost more money the lighter it is. This is true in most cases. Additionally, it should be emphasized that in order to achieve the weight savings observed in ultralight tents, these tents tend to compromise comfort, convenience of use, and durability.

Traditional Tents

A conventional tent will weigh between 5 and 7 pounds. Despite being heavier than its competitors, it is easier to set up and provides more comfort while on the route. These tents are composed of heavier, more durable materials than the previous models. Generally speaking, the classic tent is less expensive than the ultralight and lightweight models, and it is also a little more versatile. If you want to reduce some weight without incurring too much additional expenditure, you may consider replacing your steel tent pegs with more robust and lighter titanium tent stakes.

Lightweight Tents

As you reduce the amount of weight you save, the cost of the lightweight versions rises.

The following factors are important to this group: weight, cost, comfort, flexibility, and simplicity of assembly. These camping tents are between 3 and 4 pounds in weight, depending on the model. Here are a few ideas that you might want to think about: Tents that are easy to transport

Ultralight Tents

Ultralight tents defy convention and eliminate everything that isn’t absolutely required that may be found in standard and lightweight variants of the same product. They are often more expensive as they grow lighter, and they also employ more sensitive materials as they become lighter. They can be as light as 1-2 pounds in weight. If you want to spend a week on the path in a severely forested, rocky, or damp environment, you should invest in a more robust pair of shoes. If you’re going to be walking for a week in desert locations with warm temperatures, the ultralight and lightweight versions will be sufficient.

More Tent Options To Consider

Tents are available in both single-wall and double-wall construction variants, which further complicates matters. Double-wall freestanding tents include the tent as well as the fly, whereas single-wall tents incorporate elements such as mesh windows, zip enclosures, and the tent fly in a single package. Single-wall tents are less in weight than double-wall tents, but they are less comfortable. They are erected in the same way as standard tents, with guy lines, pegs, and trekking poles (or lightweight tent poles) to raise and lower the tent.

Here are a few ideas that you might want to think about: Tents with a single or double wall are available.

One-Person vs Two-Person Tent

Using a two-person tent when hiking alone is a popular choice, owing to the spaciousness and the ability to bring all of their stuff with them. That implies you’ll have to carry a bigger load. The higher weight, on the other hand, gives the benefit of a more comfortable sleeping environment, as well as reduced worry as a result of keeping their stuff on-site. Whenever the weather becomes bad and you have to retreat to your tent for the day, this is an excellent choice. Additionally, if you are traveling with a dog, the bigger tent will make the trip much more comfortable for him.

A smaller backpack reduces the weight over the long haul and reduces the wear and tear on the joints, particularly the back, knees, hips, and shoulders, which are particularly vulnerable.

Here are a few ideas that you might want to think about: Tents for one and two people

3-Season vs 4-Season Tent

A 4-season tent is simply a tent that can be used in every weather condition, whereas a 3-season tent is meant for camping in the spring, summer, and fall. A 4-season tent will usually be heavier than a 3-season tent, but this is vital when traveling out into the coldest portion of the year, when you will be exposed to the elements. Four-season tents provide protection against light hail, snow, severe winds, and the coldest of days and nights throughout the winter months. These tents do away with mesh surfaces and have a sturdy fly as well as a vestibule that extends all the way to the ground, which is especially useful when snow accumulates around the tent perimeter.

Four-season tents can weigh up to 15 pounds in total.

This style of camping tent is less in weight and offers more protection against the majority of the elements.

Here are a few ideas that you might want to think about: Three- and four-season backpacking tents are available.

Trail Weight vs Packed Weight

While these phrases are useful as a starting point, they are rarely indicative of the real weight of the tent when out on the trail. The trail weight of a tent is the total weight of the tent body, rainfly, and poles combined. It is sometimes referred to as the “minimum weight” of a tent when it is put up in its upright configuration. The weight of stakes, man lines, stuff bags, and other accessories such as pole repair kits/sleeves or patch kits is increased when they are packed or packaged.

The real weight is somewhere in the middle of the trail weight and the packed weight, often weighing between 5 and 8 pounds.

In order to backpack through deep wet forests, you’ll need to have something to mark your trail with.

How To Make Your Backpacking Tent Lighter

Once you have acquired your tent, you may elect to upgrade the materials used to make it lighter in weight. A significant reduction in the gap between trail weight and packed weight can be achieved by upgrading to ultra-lightweight poles, titanium stakes, and other high-tech materials. Although it appears to be an attractive option, it might out to be quite pricey after the initial purchase.

What About Dividing The Tent?

When hiking, it is a good idea to use one tent for two people and split the tent between them. A few broad criteria apply regardless of your style of backpacking: ultralightweight, lightweight, traditional, or traditional with a twist.

  • A split tent weighing less than 2 pounds per person with a foundation weighing less than 10 lbs is termed ultralight
  • 3 to 4 lbs per person is considered lightweight with a base weighing 15 to 20 lbs
  • And 20 lbs or more is considered conventional.

It is possible to partition a 2-person tent in a variety of ways. One popular method is to divide the tent and stakes between two people, with the poles and fly going to the other. Allowing children help carry the tent stakes or fly is an excellent way to get them acclimated to joining in the experience without making them feel like they are taking on a big amount of responsibility. When traveling with a group of two or more persons, there is no need to separate the tent. One person is responsible for transporting the tent, and the rest of the group can share the meals evenly.

My wife is not nearly as physically strong as I am, so we split the equipment around 70/30 between us.

How Much Do Backpacking Tents Cost?

Backpacking tents can cost anywhere from $250 to $1,500, depending on their quality. The cost of higher-quality and lighter-weight materials rises in tandem with their quality. However, many of these lightweight tents are often less durable than the larger tents that are available at a cheaper price. Before you spend $1,500 on a tent, take some time to consider how you will utilize it. While reducing the weight of your camping tent may increase the cost of the equipment and lower its longevity, it may also assist minimize stiffness in your knees, back, and neck, which is an essential concern when hiking.

Choose the best backpacking tent for you by taking into account your selected trekking route as well as your personal physical abilities and limits.

Final Thoughts

Backpacking tents can range in weight from one pound to six pounds or more. It is determined by whether you choose a lightweight, ultralightweight, or regular tent. When calculating the entire weight of your camping tent, you must take into consideration the additional components such as tent poles and tent footprints.

How Heavy Is Too Heavy for a Backpacking Tent?

Because I am an Amazon Associate, I receive money when people make eligible purchases. Some of the links on this page may direct you to suppliers who have agreed to be compensated as “affiliate links.” It is possible that I will get a commission if you click on a link. A large number of individuals like hiking for the endless pleasure and adventure it provides, and backpacking undoubtedly has its own set of advantages. While planning for backpacking entails many characteristics that are specific to the sport, many of which include comfort and functionality while moving freely, there are some considerations that should be made in advance.

Backpacking tents weighing more than 6lbs may be too heavy for a single person to carry for an extended period of time, especially when combined with camping gear and clothes.

Although the weight of backpacking tents will undoubtedly have an influence on your experience while on the road, there are other other factors to take into account.

Bring your questions and join us as we examine the requirements of hiking tents in terms of their weight and utility.

How Heavy Should a Backpacking Tent Be?

Backpacking tents are a convenient and transportable type of shelter, allowing hikers to travel with a functioning and secure tent without having to deal with a large amount of difficulty. However, if these tents are overly hefty, they can become a burden, making an otherwise enjoyable trekking excursion boring and troublesome. The longer you have to drag it, the heavier it will become, and it will be well worth your time to invest in a lighter camping tent in the future. Backpacking tents should not weigh more than 6 pounds in order to provide the optimum comfort, and anything heavier than this may become difficult to transport.

There are certain disadvantages to lighter versions of the same product, but they are minor.

Lightweight Backpacking Tents’ Prices

Most of the time, the price of a hiking tent increases in direct proportion to its weight.

Although many alternatives are lightweight and cost-effective, the greater cost of a hiking tent should be taken into consideration when making your selection. Tents for one or two people that are high-quality, lightweight, and packable typically range in price from $200 to $900.

Quality of Lighter Backpacking Tents

Additionally, the overall quality should be taken into account because some manufacturers produce lighter backpacking tents within a fair price range while sacrificing quality in the process. The materials used must be long-lasting and solid, yet many manufacturers provide lightweight alternatives by employing thin, fragile cloth. In spite of this, there are lots of ultralight hiking tents that are robust and useful, and that are constructed of long-lasting materials. When choosing a lightweight camping tent, be sure to look at the materials it is made of.

Investing in a long-lasting, high-quality lightweight camping tent that will provide you with peace of mind and pleasant resting sessions will prove to be a worthwhile investment for your adventure.

Size Versus Amount of People

Although it is necessary to choose a trekking tent that is on the lighter side, these more lightweight backpacking tents frequently lack the amount of room that is required. Most are acceptable for lone travellers, but many may be too tiny for duos or small groups of friends traveling together. Individuals will need to examine how much area will be available for occupying and how much personal space they would desire while reclining before making their decision. Some two-person camping tents might weigh as much as 11lbs, which is much more than the recommended weight for this type of tent.

In order to be lighter, most backpacking tents should be built to be smaller in size.

When it comes to comfort, a three-person hiking tent may be preferable in some situations.

Luggage and Tools

An experienced hiker should take into consideration the size and weight of their tent as well as any other items they will be transporting while on the trail. When traveling, it is necessary to have enough room for camping goods, clothing, equipment, and other essentials. The internal area of the tent should also allow for the storage of these goods without interfering with the amount of space available for sleeping and lounging. Internal pockets for storage, for example, will help to alleviate these shortfalls in functionality.

Convenience While Traveling

Even while the hiking tent itself is far lighter than many other options, the mode of transportation and packing must be taken into consideration. Many hiking tents are intended to be compressed to a small size, which greatly enhances the simplicity with which they may be transported while on the road or in the wilderness. These tents are especially advantageous for travellers because of their small size and low weight.

See also:  How To Pack Your Tent For Backpacking

What Is “Minimum Trail Weight” Listed on Tents?

When it comes to detailing the technical specifications of camping tents, manufacturers may be a little hazy. Nonetheless, a few hints will provide some insight into what you will be transporting and managing. When calculating how heavy a hiking tent will be when trekking, the minimum trail weight is an important aspect to consider because it reflects the tent’s minimal weight. This minimal trail weight criteria defines the weight of the basic essentials in terms of the tent’s components, which include the rainfly, the tent body, and the tent poles, among others.

Additional requirements for backpacking tentweight estimates include the packed weight, which is the total weight of all the components that come with the hiking tent, including the backpacking tent itself.

Because numerous more components are required for functioning, stability, convenience, and comfort, backpackers won’t just be bringing the base requirements with them.

Some of the additions, on the other hand, may be superfluous in your situation. As a result, the actual weight of the camping tent will fall somewhere between the minimal trail weight and the weight of the package, so keep an eye out for these specifications before making a final selection.

Final Thoughts on How Heavy Should a Backpacking Tent Be

Choosing a lightweight backpacking tent is unquestionably the best option, but outdoor enthusiasts should always pay close attention to the features, materials, and sizes available, as they will have a significant impact on the overall usefulness. The weight of your tent, among other things, should match the overall weight of your bag, take into account your strength and body weight, and be appropriate for the amount of time you will be carrying it. If you’re still not sure, try carrying something equivalent in weight to see how you feel before proceeding.

Image Title Price Prime Buy
MIER Ultralight Tent 3-Season Backpacking Tent for 1-Person or 2-Person Camping, Trekking, Kayaking, Climbing, Hiking (Trekking Pole is NOT Included), Yellow, 2-Person PrimeEligible Buy Now
Top Drop + Dan Durston X-Mid Tent – Ultralight, Double Walled, Backpacking and Thru Hiking Shelter, Simple Pitch, Fully Waterproof, Supported by Trekking Poles (2 Person) PrimeEligible Buy Now
Nemo Dragonfly Ultralight Backpacking Tent, 2 Person Prime Buy Now
Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking Tent, 2 Person Prime Buy Now
Big Agnes Unisex’s Tiger Wall Tent, Grey/Gold, One Size Prime Buy Now
Big Agnes Unisex’s Copper Spur Tent, Orange, 2 Person PrimeEligible Buy Now

Prices were obtained via the Amazon Product Advertising API on the following day:

How Much Should a Backpacking Tent Weigh – Choosing the right backpacking tent

Because it was just too hefty to carry, my first backpacking tent was a three-person, six-pound behemoth that rapidly became a vehicle camping tent due to its size and weight. Now, I’ve upgraded to a Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2, which has the majority, if not all, of the things I was seeking for in a hiking tent when I first started shopping. The weight was the most essential of these characteristics. It is important to choose a tent with the suitable weight in order to keep your entire pack weight as low as possible.

When choosing a backpacking tent, while the basic rule of thumb is that each traveler should carry between 2-3 pounds in tent weight, there are several additional factors to consider that will affect the weight of your backpacking tent as well as your overall comfort while hiking.

Packed Weight Versus Trail Weight Versus Fast Fly Weight

When browsing for a tent to purchase, you will find that there are several distinct weights available: packed weight, trail weight, and rapid fly weight. Appalachian Mountain Club defines packed weight as everything that comes with the tent, including extra guylines, user manuals, repair kits, stuff sacks for the tent and its poles or stakes, and other miscellaneous items. The majority of this extra gear will not be required on the path. This takes us to the concept of trail weight, often known as minimal weight or minimum weight.

These weights do not accurately represent the real weight of what you could carry on the trail, which will vary based on the additional items you choose to bring along.

Fast flyweight refers to the combined weight of the fly, footprint, and poles, which means that the tent canopy may be left at home.

Backpacking Tent Size

Tent size can refer to a variety of different things. A number of people can be accommodated in the tent, or the actual size of the tent’s interior when fully set up is indicated by this term.

One, Two, or Three person Tents

Backpacking tents are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate the number of people who will be sleeping in the tent. If you are traveling alone, a one-person or two-person tent will be the most suitable option for you. The Big Agnes Copper Spur Hv Ul Tent is a fantastic ultralight backpacking tent that I personally recommend. Check here to see whether the Big Agnes Copper is still available for purchase on While a one-person tent may save you weight, there will be little space within the tent for you to keep your belongings and gear.

If you are traveling with another person, a three-person tent will comfortably accommodate both of you while still leaving room for your belongings. By sharing the tent, rainfly, footprint, and poles between two persons, you may reduce the overall weight of the trip.

Peak height and Floor Space

You should also think about the height of the tent’s peak and the amount of floor area it has. The amount of space (measured in inches) between the ground and the highest point of the tent is known as the peak height. This figure will assist you in determining whether you will be able to squat, sit, or stand up in your tent. The floor size, which is measured in square feet, will decide whether or not you will be able to fully stretch out when sleeping in a tent. The floor area in a tent is normally 25″x80″, but if you are taller than average, you should strive for two feet of extra room.

Tent Construction

Tent construction is the term used to describe the technical characteristics and structure of a tent. Seasonality, double- or single-wall tents, tent set-up, and pole materials are all factors to consider. The weight and livability of a hiking tent are influenced by the characteristics of the tent.


In order to choose what type of backpacking tent you will need, you will need to consider the season and location of your hiking expedition. Tents may be utilized in a variety of different weather conditions depending on their season of use. Three-season and four-season hiking tents are the two varieties of backpacking tents available. When it comes to entry-level tents, the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 3-Person Tent is an excellent choice. Check here to check whether the ALPS Mountaineering tent is still available for purchase on Amazon.

  • Tent for three seasons. 3 season tents are those which are utilized in the spring, summer, and fall seasons only. Designed to be both robust and lightweight, these tents frequently include mesh panels built into the design to allow for enough ventilation. Three-season tents provide protection from the elements, including rain and wind. Most hikers choose a 3-season tent over a 4-season tent because of the lightweight construction and the fact that 3-season tents are often less expensive. Unless you want to camp in extreme weather conditions, you will not require a tent that is more than three seasons in length. Tent for all four seasons. If you’re planning on traveling across mountains and dealing with extreme weather conditions, a 4-season tent is the way to go. 4-season tents, sometimes known as “winter tents,” are heavy-duty tents that are designed to endure adverse weather conditions such as high winds and heavy snow. When purchasing a 4-season tent, keep in mind that it will be heavier than a 3-season tent due to the double-wall construction and the bigger capacity required to hold insulating goods. If you want to spend a significant amount of time trekking at high altitudes, a 4-season tent is a necessary
  • Otherwise, you will be miserable.

Double Versus Single Walled Tents

Tents are also available in two different designs: double-wall and single-wall. Weight, weather resistance, and comfort are all important considerations when comparing the two options.

  • Double-wall tents are equipped with two layers of material: a breathable layer and a waterproof layer–the rainfly. Backpacking tents of this sort are the most frequent variety available. The fact that double-wall tents are frequently constructed with a mesh wall allows for improved ventilation, but they do not give as much protection against the cold as single-wall tents. Some double-wall tents are also available with a rapid fly option, which makes setup easier and faster. The trade-off is that these tents are often heavier than their counterparts
  • Single-wall tents are made of a single waterproof material and are thus more expensive. These are the most commonly utilized in winter camping and climbing because they give more heat retention while allowing for less air circulation. As a result of this, the interior of these tents is prone to moisture. Single-wall tents are less bulky and easier to carry than double-wall tents
  • They are also less expensive.

Backpacking Tent Set-Up

It is important to note that the way your tent is set up will have an impact on the weight of your hiking tent. There are significant variations between each style of tent that you should consider when deciding whether or not a tent is ideal for you. Setup, weather protection, weight, internal area, ventilation, and other characteristics are among those offered.

  • Tents that stand alone. Tent poles, rather than stakes, provide the structural support and stability for a freestanding tent, making it simple to build and move around the campsite. Freestanding tents are often well ventilated, and they offer the benefit of having larger inside room. In addition, they are typically double-walled for further protection. Despite the fact that they are quicker to set up than a non-freestanding tent, the poles and dual-wall design of a hiking tent can increase the overall weight of the tent. Non-Freestanding. Non-freestanding tents, which are most popular among wilderness residents because of their lightest weight, require anchoring for structural support, which might be difficult to master the first time. Many non-freestanding tents are intended to be put up using trekking poles rather than the poles that come with them. If you are backpacking with trekking poles, this can help to reduce the weight of your tent overall. Single-wall tents are used for non-freestanding applications. The result is that they are lower in weight and simpler to transport
  • Yet, moisture is their adversary. When it comes to the interior of these types of tents, condensation is considerably more prone to occur.

Other Tent Considerations

While size, seasonality, and set-up style are the key elements you should take into account when determining hiking tent weight, additional aspects can help you evaluate how livable the tent will be on the trail. Keep in mind that this will be your home away from home. If you are concerned about the weight of your hiking tent, here are some additional factors to consider when making your purchase.

  • Doors. A tent with two doors will be significantly heavier than a tent with only one door. If you are sharing a tent with another person, it may be beneficial to have two doors so that you do not have to crawl over the other person to get out. If you’re traveling alone, a one-door tent may be the best option. Storage space on the inside. When camping, having a place to store your hat, telephone, or water bottle is always a welcome advantage to have on hand. Despite the fact that it will increase the weight of your tent, it is a useful feature to have. You can even purchase a separate gear loft if you so choose. Footprints. As a waterproof, sturdy covering between your tent and the ground, footprints may help you get more usage out of a tent for longer periods of time. In order to reduce weight, some trekkers prefer to leave their footprint at home
  • Nevertheless, if you are traveling in a damp or rocky environment, it may be worth it to carry a footprint.

The tent footprint is raised a few inches to aid in the prevention of water and bugs entering the tent.

Backpacking Tent Options to Save Weight

In spite of the fact that there are several backpacking tent alternatives available, consider some of the options listed below if you wish to conserve weight:

Backpacking Ultralight Tent

Consider using an ultralight tent if you want to keep your weight down while still providing comfort on the trail while hiking. These tents are on the pricey side because to the high-tech materials that are utilized to ensure that they are “ultralight” in weight, which causes them to be three-season tents in the majority of cases.

Some of these tents may be set up using trekking poles, while others give the option of a quick fly set-up.

Bivouac or “Bivy” Shelters

A bivy, which is an abbreviation for bivouac sac, is one of the most lightweight choices available for single travelers. With a bivy, you can sleep comfortably with your sleeping bag and no other gear because the bag is waterproof and narrow, leaving your stuff exposed. A bivy is a lightweight sleeping bag that is designed for climbers, weight-conscious trekkers, and mountaineers who are ready to forego comfort in exchange for simplicity.

Backpacking Tarp Shelter

It is a single-wall structure constructed of waterproof and/or mesh material to keep you dry and ventilated while protecting you from the elements. You may either purchase a tarp tent or you can purchase a tarp to allow for further personalization of the tent. Using trekking poles, tarp shelters can be quickly and easily set up, and they are an excellent lightweight alternative if you want to be as versatile as possible with your hiking setup.


If your major backpacking locations involve forests and warmer temps, then a hammock may be a good option for you to explore. These lightweight choices, which are similar to a double-wall tent, are hanging from a tree rather than being staked into the ground. As well as the hammock, a camping hammock will often feature an attached bug net and tarp that will hang from the ceiling. Hammocks, while often a little heavier than the choices described above, are simple to carry and put up, and they are an excellent Leave No Trace option as well.

See also:  Where Is The Tent Cities Planned To Be Built

Wrapping Up

With a packed weight of 3lbs 1oz, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is light enough for me to leave some of my belongings at home in order to lower my trail weight. With a three-season, double-wall, freestanding tent, I didn’t want to compromise on comfort, so I went with that. You should pick a camping tent that is no more than three pounds in weight in order to keep your base weight to a minimum, but bear in mind that your decision on a trekking tent is dependent on more than simply weight.

What is a good weight for a backpacking tent?

When it comes to camping or hiking tents, what is a decent weight to use? Aim for a hiking tent weight of around 2.2 lb (1 kg) per person as a decent starting point. If you are planning on doing high-intensity hikes, I would recommend going further lower in elevation. For low-intensity treks or routine walks, a somewhat heavier tent is suitable as well as a little smaller tent. PS: Are you looking for a two-person hiking tent that is lightweight and packable? This post, which has a wonderful compilation of the top choices, is titled: best lightweight 2 person tents for trekking and hiking.

A good weight for a backpacking tent

“How much should a hiking tent weigh?” you might have thought. I’ve already provided you with a succinct response. As is customary, there is also a lengthier version of the response. The 2.2 lb (1 kilogram) per person advice is mostly intended for backpackers or regular hikers who intend to carry their own supplies (not ultralight). However, if you are the sort of traveler who does not walk more than a few kilometers each day, you will be able to carry a somewhat heavier tent with no problem.

A more in-depth response should be divided into several parts due to the wide variety of trekkers and hikers out there nowadays.

This section will cater to three different sorts of hikers: backpackers/low-intensity hikers, normal hikers, and ultralight hikers, among others.

Please keep in mind that there are several other elements to consider before determining what your particular optimum tent weight should be. These additional considerations will be discussed in greater detail in a subsequent part.

1. Backpacking tent weight

I’m going to compare a backpacker with a low-intensity hiker only for the sake of comparison. Person who walks a lot during the day, but who does not acquire much elevation and who does not walk on tricky or tough terrain is described as follows: Weight is still significant in this situation, but not to the same extent as it is for the ultralight hiker. As a result, I believe that there is more room for a low-intensity hiker or backpacker to maneuver. You should be fine if you do not exceed 4 lb (1.8 kg) per person, according to my estimation.

This means that you will be unable to carry a heavier tent with you if you want to.

2. Regular hiking tent weight

A backpacker will be compared to a low-intensity hiker for the sake of comparison. Person who walks a lot during the day, but who does not acquire much elevation and who does not walk on tricky or tough terrain. Weight is still highly crucial in this situation, although not to the same extent as it is for the ultralight hiker. Therefore, I believe there is more room for a hiker or backpacker who does not exert as much effort. You should be fine if you do not exceed 4 lb (1.8 kg) per person, according to my estimations.

This means that you will be unable to carry a heavier tent with you if you so want.

3. Ultralight hiking tent weight

Investing in an ultralight hiking tent will be well worth it for the most severe hikers, ultralight hikers, and wealthy hikers. As I previously stated, choosing this alternative will not be inexpensive in any way. A somewhat lighter tent, on the other hand, may make a significant difference if you are covering a large number of kilometers, climbing a significant amount of height, or traversing rough terrain. The sport of lightweight hiking has even spawned its own communities. Where individuals may contribute their ultralight hiking tips, tactics, and gear suggestions to help others have a successful ultralight hiking experience.

Easy to read and understand, and as light as possible.

This two-person tent by Zpacks weighs about 1.19 lb (539 gram) and is one of the most popular ultralight trekking tents on the market.

That’s really incredible, isn’t it? But what about the cost of admission? The Zpacks duplex, on the other hand, is now priced at $600. In order to get an ultralight tent (that isn’t a suckfest), you will have to spend a significant amount of money.

Additional factors to consider

Finally, the weight of your hiking tent isn’t the most important factor to consider while planning your trip. In the end, it is the entire weight of your bag that is important. Naturally, the weight of your tent is a significant portion of the total weight of your rucksack. If, on the other hand, all of your other gear is lightweight, you will have a little more wiggle room when it comes to the weight of your tent. Another very essential element is the financial situation. As you can see, ultralight equipment is rather pricey.

  1. As a result, when it comes to determining the right camping tent weight for you, your financial situation is critical.
  2. When it comes to hiking tent weight, I believe that 4 lb/1.8 kg per person is a decent maximum limit to consider (for regular hikers).
  3. The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2-person tent is also available in a 2-person configuration.
  4. Tent poles would be an additional consideration.
  5. You will lose a significant amount of weight in this manner.
  6. Another post on the finest hiking pole tents has been published by me.


Let’s take a brief look back at what we’ve learned. Weight of the perfect backpacking tent varies depending on the hiker’s physical condition. I would propose that backpackers and hikers who do low-intensity hiking stick to a weight of less than 4 lb (1.8 kg) per person. Regular hikers, on the other hand, do not have that privilege. This sort of hiker should strive for a tent that weighs 2.2 lb (1 kg) per person. If you’re an ultralight or extreme hiker, it’s very straightforward: the lighter your pack, the better.

How to choose the right backpacking tent – Blog – Macs Adventure

backpacking tents are for folks who enjoy putting all of their camping gear into a knapsack and venturing out into the wilderness for a wild camping adventure in the great outdoors. A backpacking tent is also a good choice for persons who prefer walking tours or who want to travel between campgrounds while on vacation.

This is in stark contrast to car-to-campsite camping, when the weight and dimensions of the tent are far less important. When selecting a camping tent, there are three essential considerations to consider:

Other considerations play a part in the selection of your tent, including:

  • Which weather will prevail, a hot European summer or the unpredictable Scottish mountains
  • The design and layout
  • The number of elements
  • And other factors.

As a result, you will need to consider the following variables:

  • Price increases are expected for a lightweight, high-quality tent in general
  • However, there are exceptions. It is possible to reduce the weight of a tent by reducing its size. Purchase a lower-quality tent to save money. While a lower-quality tent will be good for moderate weather, it may not be able to survive severe winds or heavy rain. Adding more amenities to your tent, such as interior pockets and a built-in groundsheet, can increase your level of happiness when camping, but every feature will increase the cost of your tent.

How the weight is reduced for tents

For a lighter tent, it goes to reason that trimming cloth and pole diameters will help to lower the overall weight. As a result, tiny hiking tents are frequently too small to be comfortable. It is recommended that if you are two large people planning to share a two-man tent, you consider how comfortable you want to be (!) and whether a three-man tent would be more appropriate for your needs. Keep in mind that you’ll need to put your rucksacks and other belongings someplace in your tent while you sleep.

The right weight for a backpacking tent

Generally speaking, a backpacking tent should not weigh more than 3kg per person, with less being preferable. However, decreased weight frequently translates into less space within the tent and, as a result, a reduction in overall quality. Less weight might result in a greater price tag, as can the opposite. You must strike a balance between weight, quality, and comfort while also considering space and pricing. Backpacking solo tents of good quality typically weigh between 1 and 2 kilograms, whereas two-man tents can weigh up to 5 kilograms (approx.).

Then consider the logistics of transporting this in a knapsack alongside your other camping gear and apparel.

Just keep in mind that the longer you have to bear the weight of a large thing on your back, the heavier it becomes.

The tent in your rucksack

Some tents are designed to be compressed into a tiny and compact container, making them easier to pack into bags. In order to make your rucksack’s size and weight reasonable when on a walking-camping vacation, this is a very important feature.

The price for a backpacking tent

Tent for backpacking that is not too heavy. Prices are quite variable and will differ greatly amongst brands, let alone in terms of quality. As a general rule, the more sturdy a tent is, the more expensive it is. As a result, a four-season tent will be more expensive than a two-season tent. Tents will be priced differently depending on their design, such as geodesic and conventional A-line. Additional amenities such as internal groundsheets, inside pockets, and vents will increase the cost of a tent even more.

Choosing the right “season” of tent

If you’re backpacking in warm weather on the Continent, a two- or three-season tent will enough for your needs. These are intended for use in more moderate situations. They will still be waterproof and windproof, but they will not be as durable as a four-season tent will be. Of course, a more durable tent will come at a higher price. In addition, while trekkers will appreciate the feather-light weight of summer tents, would they be able to keep out the cold, wind, and rain if they come into such weather conditions?

In general, it’s a good idea to get a tent that is capable of withstanding the worst circumstances you can anticipate encountering.

Backpacking tent features to think about

The entryway of your tent may make a significant impact in your camping experience. It will be far more restricting to have a single door at one tent end rather than a double door at either end, especially if the tent is designed for two people to sleep in. Aporchis is quite handy for storing rucksacks and equipment, as well as for cooking. When attempting to get inside and out of a tent, two-way zips are really helpful. A feature that allows you to hang your torch and use it as an inside light can be a nice addition.

The tent set-up

The majority of contemporary tents are rather simple to erect these days. A freestanding form is the most common and simplest to install of the options. You may put poles into (typically) color-coded pole sleeves, and after the tent has taken shape, you can peg it down and finally arrange the guy lines according to your preference. It is true that the more pole sections a tent has, the more complicated its setup will be, but once you have constructed one tent type, you will discover that erecting another is much simpler the following time.

Prior to going on vacation, it is recommended that you practice setting up the tent at home in the back garden first.

Tent shape and comfort

You may pick from a variety of tent designs, including the more rounded geodesic and dome tents, the conventional A-frame tents, and even tunnel-shaped tents. While camping, you’ll have to strike a balance between weight and form, as well as comfort. Even while the ground area of most tents will be comparable, if you look closely at the design, you’ll see that each design gives a different amount of “air” space. As a result, the more rounded your tent design is, the more head space and movement space it will provide.

It is necessary to consider your camping arrangements.

If you are tall, be sure the tent’s length and sit-up height are both appropriate for your height before purchasing it.

Packing away the tent

You might not consider this to be significant – until you really have to do it! There are certain tent bags that seem to defy logic and need several attempts to reassemble the tent. If you are in a hurry, if you are sleep deprived, or if you are packing the tent in the rain, this will become much more frustrating. A tent that comes with a roomier bag, which can be compacted with straps after the tent and poles and other accessories are inside, will reduce your level of tension significantly!

Tent Weight: What is Considered Lightweight?

Are you attempting to reduce the weight of your backpacks in order to go on longer backpacking trips?

When it comes to your pack’s weight, your shelter is generally the heaviest item after food and water. By switching to a lightweight tent, you may save a significant amount of weight. But what exactly is a “lightweight” garment?

How much does a lightweight tent weigh?

When traveling alone, a tent weighing less than 4 pounds is considered lightweight, and a tent weighing less than 2 pounds is called ultralight. When hiking with a companion and sharing a tent, figure out how much weight each person will carry: A tent that weighs less than 2 lbs per person is considered lightweight, while a tent that weighs less than 1 lb per person is termed ultralight, according to the manufacturer. For example, when traveling with my daughter, I like to use the Naturehike Cloud Up 2 tent (shown above).

  • The one-person version weighs 3.5 pounds. This hardly qualifies as “lightweight,” as the definition states. 1.875 lbs per person for the 2-person version, which makes it a true lightweight tent when the weight is divided between two people. The 3-person version weighs 4.9 pounds. Alternatively, 1.6 pounds per person is considered lightweight.
See also:  How Many Plants In A 2X2 Grow Tent

*For more information, visit my review of the Naturehike Cloud Uphere, or check out these top options for inexpensive UL hiking tents. Keep in mind that while utilizing the “weight per person” technique, you should determine how many people will be using the tent, not how many people the tent claims to be capable of accommodating. This is due to the fact that 2-person tents are typically incapable of accommodating two people. As a general rule, a two-person tent will only comfortably accommodate one person at a time.

Due to the fact that my daughter and I are both petite (I’m barely 5 feet tall and she’s even shorter), I’m able to utilize a 2-person tent when hiking with her.

Tent Weight vs. Size

Manufacturers frequently reduce the size of tents in order to make them more lightweight. As a result, a large number of lightweight tents are quite confined. In this case, if you are a tall person or like a larger tent, you might wish to define lightweight in terms of square feet per ounce of water weight. The following are some samples of tent weights expressed in pounds per square foot.

Tent Weight Size Oz. Per Sq. Ft.
MSR Carbon Reflex 2 35oz 29 sq. ft. 1.2
North Face O2 36oz 25.6 sq. ft. 1.4
REI Flash Air 2 40oz 31.7 sq. ft. 1.26

If you only look at the total weight of the tents, it may appear that the REI tent is the heaviest. However, this is not true. The floor room in the REI tent, on the other hand, is much more. When you compute the weight of the tent in terms of its floor space, you may get a better picture of which tent is actually the lightest in terms of weight. It should come as no surprise that the lightest tent is also the most expensive.

Tent Setup vs. Weight Savings

How does the REI Flash tent manage to be so light while remaining reasonably priced? This is due to the fact that the tent does not have any poles. Instead, you use your trekking poles to help you set up your tent. This is the epitome of “multipurpose gear,” as it allows you to reduce weight while yet having a spacious tent to accommodate your needs. However, there are costs and benefits to consider. According to what I discuss in this essay on the finest trekking pole tents, pitching a tent with trekking poles may be a real pain in the rear end.

Is it really worth it to sacrifice any of the other benefits that come with lightweight tents — such as weak material and fewer features — in order to save a few ounces on weight?

Making the decision to become lightweight is not a race to see who can achieve the lowest base weight. It’s all about making the experience more pleasurable for the user!

The Bottom Line?

When it comes to tents, there are a number different ways to determine what is “lightweight” and “ultralight.” Make sure you look at all of them so that you can get a more accurate picture of how heavy or light the tent is in reality.

Image credit: “ MSR Elixir 2 – Step 4 ” (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) bySteffen Roller

It’s important to create a balance between the weight of your tent and the features you want when hiking. It’s a difficult balancing act to strike. So, what should the weight of a hiking tent be? It is not always the case that lighter is better. Here are some of the elements that influence tent weight, as well as some recommendations for lightening your traveling burden. We’ll even compare the weights of various common backpacking tents to help you select the one that’s right for you and your trekking needs.

How Heavy Should a Backpacking Tent Be?

When it comes to weight, a hiking tent should weigh between 1 to 7 pounds, with the weight often being influenced by the style of backpacking tent, its capacity, and any other features the tent may have. Generally speaking, a tent should weigh around 2.5 lbs (1.13 kg) per person, according to a fair rule of thumb. If you are traveling alone, a 1-2 person tent that weighs no more than 2.5 pounds should be sufficient for your needs. If two travelers share a 2-3 person hiking tent, a lightweight tent weighing no more than 5 pounds is excellent.

Of course, this is a broad guideline that will change depending on the camper and his or her specific requirements.

Just bear in mind that the lighting isn’t always ideal.

The words “ultralight tents,” “lightweight tents,” and even “regular hiking tent” may definitely come up while you’re researching backpacking tents for your next outdoor adventure.

  • An ultralight camping tent will weigh between one and two pounds, whereas a lightweight backpacking tent will weigh between three and four pounds. It is normal for a typical hiking tent to weigh between 5 and 7 pounds.

In your quest for the ideal backpacking tent, you can refer to the information above for an overview of the options. It would be negligent of us not to discuss the many sorts of weights that you may come across in your quest for a hiking tent as well. You’ll come across phrases like packed weight, pack weight, minimal weight, and trail weight as you learn more about weight. These are critical concepts to comprehend, so let’s take a brief look at what they mean.

Packaged Weight vs. Trail Weight

The packaged weight (also known as packed weight) of a tent refers to the total weight of the tent package when it is purchased, which includes the tent body, poles, stakes, rainfly, guy lines, and any other accessories that come with the tent as well as the tent body. It is simply the weight of the tent body, rainfly (if applicable), and poles that is referred to as the trail weight (or minimal weight). In other words, the trail weight is the bare minimum of tent gear required to set up and operate a tent while camping in a designated area.

This is closer to the real weight you’ll be carrying on the trail, but it’s not quite accurate.

There are other phrases you may come across, such as base weight, which refers to the overall weight of your gear without any consumables like as food and drink. Andfast fly weight, which is the total weight of the fly, poles, and footprint, is defined as follows: (the tent body is not included).

Backpacking Tent Features That Affect Weight

Some significant characteristics of a hiking tent can have a direct influence on the weight of the tent. In fact, these are vital considerations when selecting any form of tent, not just a hiking tent, and should not be overlooked. However, while attempting to balance the features of a tent with the total weight of the tent, you should surely take these factors into consideration.

Tent Capacity

Backpacking tents are available in a variety of sizes to meet the amount of people who will be staying in the tent. An individual or two-person tent will be the most suitable option for you if you are backpacking alone. It’s important to remember that while a one-person tent may save you weight, there won’t be much room for your camping goods inside of it. Choosing a two-person tent will provide you with the extra room you seek, albeit it will increase the weight of the tent and is often more expensive.

In this case, the weight won’t be an issue since you may divide up the contents of the tent so that you’re each just carrying a percentage of the overall tent weight, which will make it easier to carry.

Season Rating

The season (or, more properly, the weather) in which you want to camp should play a significant role in determining which backpacking tent you should purchase. The term “seasonality” refers to the weather conditions that a tent is intended to withstand. Backpacking tents are normally available in two different seasonal variations:

  • In the spring, summer, and autumn, you’ll want to bring your three-season backpacking tent with you on your adventures. These tents are designed to be long-lasting, lightweight, and ventilated, and they are constructed with this in mind. Three-season tents are typically the tent of choice for hikers because of their reduced weight and good protection from rain and wind
  • However, four-season tents are also available. When it comes to backpacking tents, 4-season or winter tents are the best option if you’re intending on hiking across mountains in cold or snowy weather conditions. Because of the weight and high quality of the materials used to construct these tents, they are better able to withstand strong winds, heavy snowfall, and other extreme weather conditions. The negative, of course, is that they are heavier as a result of the double-wall design and more robust construction
  • However, this is outweighed by the advantages.

A 4-season tent is an absolute must-have if you plan on spending a significant amount of time in extremely cold and harsh weather conditions. Otherwise, a three-season tent should be plenty for your needs.

Wall Type

All camping tents, not only backpacking-specific types, are available in two basic configurations: double-wall and single-wall configurations. Both offer benefits and drawbacks when it comes to weight, weather resistance, and general comfort, to name a few factors.

  • Double-Wall Tents: These tents have two layers — a breathable layer on the inside and a waterproof layer on the outside (also known as a rainfly). In part due to the fact that these tents are often constructed with a mesh wall, they give more ventilation but less protection against the cold. Aside from that, they generally weigh a bit more than their single-wall counterparts. Single-Wall Tents: These tents are constructed of a single layer of waterproof material. Single-wall tents are often less heavy and more portable than double-wall tents since they have just one wall. As a result of their design, they are more sensitive to condensation and poor airflow than other types of HVAC systems.

Additional Tent Features

When searching for the ideal backpacking tent for you, there are a few more aspects that you may want to take into consideration. While there are far too many qualities to mention here, some of the most important ones to look for are as follows:

  • Vestibule: A vestibule is a tiny, enclosed section on the exterior of your main tent that provides protection from the elements. Having more outdoor area for muddy and/or damp gear is a plus for campers. In order to protect your tent from damp and rough terrain, you should use footprints on the ground. Backpackers may choose to leave their footprints at home in order to conserve weight, however depending on the terrain and weather conditions in where they camp, this may be a wise decision. Look for manufacturers who provide a 2- to 3-year guarantee on their equipment (a lifetime warranty is preferable), at the very least. Always read the fine print to ensure that you are fully aware of exactly what the warranty covers (and does not cover)
  • Mobility: Even though your tent is small and lightweight, if it does not fold down into a small, portable package, it might be difficult and unpleasant to transport about with you. Another consideration is whether or not you will be able to quickly attach the tent to your bag.

Learn more about things to look for when purchasing a tent to ensure that you choose the appropriate tent for you and your camping style!

Backpacking Tent Weight Comparison Chart

There are hundreds of different backpacking tent models available on the market. Our team selected a handful of the most popular and highest-rated models so that you may compare them and gain a better visual understanding of the differences between these top tents.

Name Packed Weight Trail Weight Capacity Seasons Price
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 lb. 6 oz. 2lb 2oz 3 person 3 $$$$$
Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 2 Tent 5 lb. 13.4 oz. 5 lb 0.4 oz 2 person 3 $$$
MSR Hubba Hubba NX Lightweight Backpacking Tent 3 lb. 14 oz. 3 lb 8 oz. 2 person 3 $$$$$
GEERTOP Camping 4 Season Waterproof Ultralight Backpacking Tent 6 lb. 11 oz. 6 lb 6 oz. 2 person 4 $$
Clostnature Lightweight Backpacking Tent 3 lb. 11 oz. 5 lb 6 oz. 1 person 3 $
Nemo Dragonfly Ultralight Backpacking Tent 3 lb. 2 oz. 2 lb 10 oz. 2 person 3 $$$$
Featherstone Backpacking Tent Lightweight for 3-Season 6 lbs. 5 lbs. 2 person 3 $$
ALPS Mountaineering Tents ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Tent 4 lb. 1 oz. 3 lb. 5 oz. 1 person 3 $$
Kelty Late Start 1 Person – 3 Season Backpacking Tent 3 lb. 12 oz. 3 lb. 5 oz. 1 person 3 $$

Check out our guide to the best backpacking tents for reviews and comparisons of the most popular tent brands and styles on the market today.

Tips to Lighten Your Backpacking Load

While a lightweight tent is obviously preferable while hiking, there are alternative methods to minimize your total carrying weight without compromising tent weight.

Divide the Tent

According to the information provided above, if you are backpacking with others, you may significantly reduce the amount of weight you have to carry by sharing the tent, rainfly, and trekking poles between the group.

Check out this article on how to pack your tent for backpacking.

Consider the Rest of Your Backpacking Gear

To minimize the amount of weight you have to carry on a backpacking trip, it’s important to think about things other than your tent. To put it another way, do you really need to carry everything else (backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, additional clothes, trekking poles, food, and so on) with you as well? Alternatively, are you able to leave some of those stuff at home? Aside from that, is there a lighter version of the equipment you do require? For example, the weight of a sleeping bag might range from little less than a pound to slightly more than 2 pounds.

Other Shelter Options

When embarking on a hiking expedition, do you require a full-fledged tent? Often, a simple tarp or rainfly with poles will do to keep you protected from the weather in most situations. Depending on the scenario, a hammock may be sufficient to get you through the nighttime hours. Just keep in mind that when hiking, you have a variety of alternatives and that there isn’t always a one-size-fits-all answer. Tent Hacker is made possible by donations from readers. It is possible that purchasing through links on our site will result in us receiving an affiliate commission.

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