What Is Trail Weight For A Tent

Trail Weight vs Packed Weight: The Differences Explained

Tent manufacturers frequently provide numerous weight points for their products in order to emphasize the adaptability of their goods, especially when the tent is promoted as a lightweight or ultralight tent. Packed weight and trail weight are the most often used phrases, however you may also come across terms such as minimal weight, maximum weight, fast-pack weight, and flyweight. Packed weight and trail weight are the most commonly used terms. As a result, because there are no industry standards for what should be included in each weight class, the listings may be deceptive or impossible to compare amongst manufacturers when comparing weight classes.

Packed Weight

The overall weight of the complete box at the moment of purchase is referred to as the packed weight, sometimes known as the packaged weight or maximum weight. Tent accessories encompass anything from the stuff sack and tent body to the rain fly and everything in between. They also include things like patch kits and pole repair sleeves. If your tent does not come with a footprint (which is the case for the majority of tents), plan on purchasing and packing a footprint separately. Simply explained, the packed weight of your tent is the total weight of your tent, including all of its accessories.

As a result, when comparing tents from different manufacturers, it’s advisable to refer to the packed weight in order to compare apples to apples and avoid confusion.

To account for additional stakes, repair kits, and other unneeded extras, you can remove one or two ounces from the packed weight.

Trail Weight

The trail weight — also known as the minimal weight — of a tent is the weight of the tent without any of its non-essential components. Ideally, this should include the poles, tent body, and rain cover as a bare minimum. When estimating trail weight, some manufacturers take stakes and guy lines into consideration. However, unless they are clearly specified on the box, you should presume that they are not included in the trail weight. Understanding the trail weight is beneficial, but it can be deceiving in some cases.

Guy lines are required to secure the rain fly when the weather becomes rainy or windy, and most people prefer to use the stuff sack rather than squeezing the tent into their backpack.

Cutting these features may result in a weight savings of 8-10 ounces, but the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re completely prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you is typically well worth the extra weight.

Fast-pack Weight

The fast-pack weight, also known as flyweight, is the ultimate bare-bones weight required for a minimalist shelter that includes only the rain fly. This one is particularly difficult to judge since some manufacturers include the guy lines that you’ll need to fasten the rain fly, while others only offer the rain fly. This makes it difficult to compare prices. In any event, you’ll need to purchase a footprint separately in order for this sort of setup to operate, so this is a notoriously deceptive statistic, since the average footprint adds between 6 and 12 ounces to the total weight of the arrangement.

It also helps to break down the weight of the rain fly in comparison to the other components if you want to divide the tent with a number of other people.

Which Weight is Most Accurate?

In order to verify that you are comparing apples to apples when comparing tents from various manufacturers, make sure to reference the packed weight of each tent. It’s reasonable to assume that you can reduce the weight of your tent by removing the repair kit, additional stakes, and stuff sack, though you won’t know what’s absolutely necessary until you take the tent out on your first trip. Even if you are an experienced traveler, trail weights and fast-pack weights are difficult to compare amongst manufacturers because of their varying meanings.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Tent

When it comes to backpacking, weight is a vital concern, but it shouldn’t be the sole consideration when making a selection. In your search for the most appropriate solution for your specific requirements, you’ll want to take into account factors like as capacity, seasonality, and living space. Along with this, you’ll need to locate an affordable hiking tent to fit your needs (pro tip: it’s feasible to get a backpacking tent for less than $100).


Backpacking tents typically accommodate 1 to 4 campers, and there isn’t much wiggle room for the number of people who are listed on the tent’s specifications. Trust us when we say that trying to fit three people into a two-person tent is a bad idea unless you want this to be your final vacation together.

Larger backpackers may need to go up a size to ensure that there is enough space for everyone, so if you or a member of your group requires additional floor space, consider upgrading your tent capacity.


Three-season hiking tents are perfect for treks that take place throughout the spring, summer, and fall when the weather is nice. They are typically equipped with mesh walls to allow for maximum circulation and a rain fly to use when it is raining or windy. Heavy snow, ice, hail, and severe winds are all threats to which four-season tents are designed to give additional protection. Despite the fact that they are generally 2 to 3 times heavier than 3-season tents, they are absolutely necessary while trekking in adverse weather conditions.

If you intend to backpack throughout the year, you may need to get one of each.

4-Season Tents for a more in-depth examination of seasonal tents and their benefits.

Living Space

A stand-up camping tent generally has a headspace of 40″ to 48″ in diameter. Alternately, a one-person bivy sack, bug shelter, or hammock tent with 24″ to 30″ of spaciousness may be preferable. These three options are perfect for minimalist hikers who need to reduce their weight, but you’ll need to be happy sleeping in a coffin-sized shelter to make use of them.

Weighing Your Options

The most important thing to remember from this is to treat any weight mentioned in a tent’s specifications with a grain of salt. A little internet study into reviews and training videos may provide you with valuable information about how a specific tent performs, but you won’t know the exact trail weight of a tent until you bring it home. The best course of action is to get a tent from a company that offers a generous return policy in case the setup proves to be more than you anticipated.

What is the Difference between Tent Trail Weight and Packaged Weight?

The date is October 12, 2021. Frequently Asked Questions are included below. Trail weight is the weight of a tent with only the fly, the inner tent, pre-attached guylines, and the tent poles, excluding the tent stakes, stuff sacks, extra guylines, and repair kit, if one is included with your tent. It is the weight of a tent with only the fly, the inner tent, pre-attached guylines, and the tent poles. The packaged weight includes the trail weight as well as all of the other components. According to the size of your tent, the weight difference between the two is normally between 5-7 ounces for a two-person double-wall hiking shelter, depending on the material you choose.

  • As an alternative to the low quality and lengthy cylindrical stuff sacks that are bundled with most tents, people might consider repacking their tents into lower weight stuff sacks that are simpler to carry within a backpack. Leave the tent repair equipment at home
  • It will be needed later. Remove the tent stakes that came with the tent and replace them with ones that are lighter in weight, longer in length, harder in construction, or more suited to the terrain where you live. Additionally, many tents are supplied with more tent pegs or additional guyline than are really necessary in order for them to be removed

Although replacing the components you remove with new stuff sacks and tent poles may restore part of the weight you removed, most people find that they only save a few ounces in the long run compared to the original packaging weight of the tent. The addition of a footprint will also increase the weight of your tent, and in some cases by a significant amount. When it comes to consumers, it’s hard not to be cynical these days. The publication of trail weights by larger tent manufacturers (see our Directory of Cottage Backpacking Gear Companies) to compete with smaller cottage tent manufacturers (see our Directory of Cottage Backpacking Gear Companies) who don’t bundle a lot of unnecessary extras with their tents and have lighter weight specifications may strike you as marketing ploy.

There’s a grain of truth to what you’re saying there.

See Also:

  • Is it necessary to have a tent footprint when backpacking
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using trekking pole tents
  • How to Prevent Condensation in a Tent
  • A Guide to Setting Up a Tent on a Wooden Platform
  • What to Do If Your Backpacking Tent Is Wet

Difference Between Tent’s Trail Weight and Packed Weight?

Q. I’m in the market for a tent and am perplexed by the way the tents are branded according to their weight. The majority of them appear to list two weights: a trail weight and a loaded weight. What’s the difference between the two? — Befuddlement Carl lives in Missoula, Montana. A. I’d be delighted to add my two cents to this discussion. There is no industry standard for how tent manufacturers should weigh and label their tents, and there is no industry standard for how tent manufacturers should label their tents.

  1. Packed Weight (which I’ve also heard referred to as Packaged Weight) refers to the total weight of the tent and everything that comes with it when you purchase it.
  2. Obviously, you won’t want to haul all of that along with you on the trail, so you’ll want to check out the Trail Weight chart (sometimes also listed as Minimum Weight).
  3. There are no stakes.
  4. The Trail Weight is also not very accurate, as previously stated.
  5. What has been said so far has just been an elaborate way of saying that the real weight will fall somewhere between Packed Weight and Trail Weight.

Understanding Tent Packaged Weight & Minimum Weight

The weight of the package. The weight of the package. Weight at a bare minimum. Weight on the trail. In the business, a variety of phrases are used to describe tent weight, and if you’re not sure what they all mean, you’re not alone in your confusion. Market participants are understandably perplexed about this situation, and we at MSR want to put their minds at ease as much as possible. Continue reading to learn about some of the variances and to gain an understanding of why real tent weights may differ from published specifications.

  1. This was the first time that outdoor companies publicly acknowledged the need for a unified standard of tent weights.
  2. MSR voluntarily adheres to ASTM F 1934-98, which is an industry standard.
  3. The maximum weight, on the other hand, relates to the combined weight of the tent body, rainfly (if applicable), and tent poles, and does not include any of the additional goods that may be included in the package, such as tent pegs, guy ropes, a stuff sack, and so forth.
  4. In many cases, the rainfly, poles, and footprint are all that are required to put up an MSR hiking tent, and we refer to this as a “non-industry standard setup option” in our tent specifications.
  5. The Issue of Publicly Available Weights It happens every now and then: you’re shopping for a tent, comparing features and specs, and you end up buying the perfect one for you.
  6. The fact is that, as tent reviews such as this one demonstrate, the precise minimal weight or delivered weight of your tent may differ from the quoted specifications.
  7. A case in point is that the actual packaged weight of the MSR HubbaTM tent is almost exactly equal to the stated weight, which is something that doesn’t usually happen in the tent industry.
  8. We at MSR make every effort to ensure that our quoted weights are as accurate as possible; nonetheless, variances in coatings and textiles sometimes result in minor weight discrepancies.

Exhibit B: The MSR FreeLiteTM 2 came in slightly heavier than the minimal weight and packaging weight that were specified. Consider the following scenarios in which your tent’s weight may be a few ounces over or below the quoted weight:

  • Variations in coating thickness: The thickness of coatings on tent fabric might differ somewhat from one tent to the next. Textiles are manufactured in batches, which are referred to as “lots,” and there can be a tiny weight fluctuation between and within lots of the same fabric.

Coating machines, such as the one seen above, are used to coat tent materials with waterproof layers before they are assembled.

  • Fabric variations: Because tent fabric is manually cut in up to 200 layers at a time, certain sections may be cut just outside the line, resulting in specific portions being slightly bigger and hence heavier
  • However, this is rare.
  • At MSR, we utilize calibrated lab scales to calculate weights, which are more precise than standard household scales.
  • Brands may opt at the last minute to include additional stakes or guy ropes, which will increase the overall weight of the shipment.

Summarized, there are several inconsistencies that can occur throughout the production process that can add up to a significant weight differential between what’s mentioned on the hangtag and what appears to be the case when you step on your scale. Because it is not practicable for us to weigh each and every tent we construct personally and adjust each hangtag correspondingly, we must occasionally accept minor variations in weight. MSR strives to be as exact as possible with our weights, and as clear as possible with our clients about the process through which we arrive at our weight estimates.

Tent Trail Weight vs. Packed Weight – What’s The Difference? ⋆ Expert World Travel

In case you are considering purchasing a tent and are curious about the difference between trail weight and packed weight, you have arrived at the correct website.

Tent Trail Weight

The trail weight of a tent is the weight of all of the pieces that are absolutely essential to make it. This comprises the rain fly, the tent body, and the tent poles, among other things. Every other item that is not required to build the tent is not included in this weight calculation. Of course, this might vary from tent to tent depending on how they are made, but this is the fundamental description.

Tent Packed Weight

For a tent to be considered packed, it must include all of its components in their entirety, including all of their pieces. This encompasses everything, without exception. Everything from the poles, rain fly, and tent body to the pegs, footprint, and guy ropes is included. On top of that, it covers the bags that are given as well as any extras that you may receive.

Why Trail Weight vs Packed Weight Matters?

In this case, you can question yourself, “Why should I compare the trail weight of a tent with the packed weight of a tent?” It all boils down to how much trail weight you have. After all, if you’re going trekking or camping with a tent, you’ll have to haul around all of this equipment. It’s possible that you’ll have fine weather and may opt to leave the man ropes and stakes behind. You may even keep the rain fly open on occasion! Alternatively, you may chose to choose lighter choices because tent manufacturers sometimes provide the less expensive option in order to save money.

See also:  How Do I Clean A Tent

Understanding Tent Weight – Packed Weight Vs Trail Weight

What is the approximate weight of a tent? The weight of a tent might differ significantly. Contrary to popular belief, being lighter does not automatically imply being healthier. Everything is dependent on:

  • The weather conditions in which you will be camping
  • The number of persons for whom the tent is intended
  • Quality of the tent
  • The size of the tent. The type of activity for which the tent is intended

Consider that a one-person ultralight camping tent will weigh far less than a six-person tent with two bedrooms and a large living space, which is ideal for playing board games on a wet day. And how much does a tent weigh, for crying out loud?! A one-person tent can weigh as little as 1.88 pounds (0.85kg), but a midrange five-person family tent with two bedrooms and a spacious porch can weigh as much as 35 pounds (14kg) (16kg.) Even if our requirements are different, the weight of your tent is important.

Finding the right balance between a high-quality tent that will keep you protected from the weather while yet being light enough to carry on the trail is difficult. This post will guide you through the process of making the best selection for you!

Why Isn’t a Lighter Tent Always Better?

No matter how hefty your tent is if you are planning on camping next to your automobile in a campground, it will not be a problem. In this situation, you will place a higher value on comfort and space than you will on lightweight. For those who intend to hike and wild camp with their tent, it is preferable to keep the weight of their gear as light and as compact as possible. In this situation, you should strive to keep your tent’s weight to no more than 2.5 pounds. If you’re sharing a tent with another person, you might buy a five-pound tent and divide the weight between the two of you.

  1. Even if you spend a lot of money on a high-quality tent, opting for a lighter model may provide less protection from the elements.
  2. In exchange for its lesser weight, the 1 season tent’s waterproofing and windproofing will be significantly reduced.
  3. This can degrade the quality of the tent, and it will also disassemble much more rapidly than a tent with heavy-duty fittings.
  4. It goes without saying that some individuals appreciate the challenge of camping as lightly as possible, and others prefer the luxuries of home when sleeping beneath the sky.

Understanding Tent Seasons

One-season tents are the lightest, while five-season tents are the heaviest, according to general rule. That is not a typographical error. In contrast to nature, tents are classified according to one of five different seasons! This is due to the fact that a tent’s “season” is just a rating out of five, rather than the number of seasons it may be used in every year. The most basic and inexpensive 1 season tent may be significantly heavier than the most costly ultralightweight 4 season tent available on the market.

Tent seasons should be rated on a scale of 1 to 5.

For your convenience, we have detailed the different tent seasons below to assist you in determining which sort of tent you will require for your expedition.

1 Season Tent

If you are camping in a one-season tent, you will want to pay special attention to the weather forecast! While this will protect you from a very light and brief downpour, it will not protect you from rain or wind in wet and windy conditions. A nice, dry summer night would be the only time to wear anything like this. It provides the most fundamental level of weather protection. More than anything, this is to provide you with a sense of seclusion from other campers. Although it will most likely be inexpensive, you will wind up spending more money in the long run if you have to replace it with a more costly one.

It will almost likely be lightweight, but it will not be significantly lighter than a two-season tent, which will provide you with superior protection against the weather. Consider your options carefully, as one-season tents are frequently a waste of both time and money.

2 Season Tent

A 2 season tent will likely provide somewhat greater protection than a 1 season tent, but you shouldn’t expect on it to provide adequate shelter if you face cold or rainy weather. When camping in a garden or on a campsite throughout the summer, you’ll be good with it. During favorable weather, it should also be suitable for certain trekking and backpacking excursions. Although the materials are unlikely to be of high quality, they may be lighter as a result of this. Although a 3 season tent will suffice if you plan on camping frequently and hiking in the woods, a 4 season tent is recommended for more serious hikers and campers.

Overall, this additional equipment will make your load heavier than it would be if you had simply purchased a 3 or 4 season tent.

3 Season Tent

In harsh weather circumstances, such as thick snow, it is unlikely that you would want to utilize a three-season tent. Nevertheless, if you have a high-quality sleeping bag, 3 season tents are perfectly adequate for use in the winter. At the same time, they do not become overheated and unpleasant during the summer. Three-season tents may be utilized in a variety of different situations. For the majority of people’s requirements, a three-season tent is strongly recommended.

4 Season Tent

When purchasing a four-season tent, you will notice a significant increase in both price and weight. This is due to the high-quality materials used, as well as the additional layers of waterproofing and insulation that have been added. Because they are intended for use during the winter camping season, they would be unpleasant to sleep in throughout the summer.

5 Season Tent

Expedition tents are frequently referred to as five-season tents. These are only required in extreme weather circumstances such as high winds or temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit. They are intended for experts, and as a result, they are significantly more costly and significantly heavier than a conventional tent. However, if you’re camping in a blizzard, the cost and weight are well worth the investment! Expedition tents are built to survive heavy snowfall and strong winds, so they are well worth the investment under the correct conditions.

Trekking Pole Supported Shelters

The poles of a tent are often the most heavy component of the structure. To solve this problem, you might purchase a shelter that is supported by your trekking poles. You’ll be able to reduce the amount of excess weight in your pack as a result. Meanwhile, trekking poles may reduce strain on your joints while also aiding in your stability on uneven terrain or river crossings, which is beneficial for hiking. It is possible to purchase tents that include lightweight poles, although they are significantly more costly.

They can, however, be more difficult to set up than a traditional tent, particularly if the ground is uneven or unevenly textured.

Trekking pole tents are not recommended for use in extremely cold or hot temperatures.

They are generally sufficient throughout the hot months. Before you set out with a trekking pole tent, make sure your trekking poles are in good working order. If they fail during your hike, you may find yourself stranded without shelter.

Tarp or Basha Camping

Basha and Bivy are two young women who have a lot in common. Another alternative for camping with a basha and a bivy is to bring along a sleeping bag. To be really honest, I don’t speak another language. Basha is a slang term for a sleeping place in the British military. It is now often used in the camping community to refer to a tarpaulin that has been erected to provide a little amount of protection from the wind and rain. Camping under a tarp and camping under a basha are the same thing. A bivy (also known as a bivy sack) is a lightweight, waterproof, and windproof bag that is used for camping.

  1. If you’re getting back to nature and camping without a tent, you’ll want to utilize it as an outer layer of protection for your sleeping bag.
  2. A medium-sized 3m x 3m basha weighs approximately 1.7 pounds (just under 800g).
  3. You would normally tie the basha to a couple of trees with string and then sleep beneath it at night.
  4. Before purchasing any camping equipment, it is important to read the reviews and evaluate the kind of situations in which you will be using it.

Basha and Hammock

Camping with a tarp and hammock is an excellent alternative if you don’t like the notion of sleeping on the ground where creepy crawlies may get to you. It is possible to get ultra-lightweight hammocks that have mosquito nets incorporated into them. Their comfort level is unexpectedly high, and you can raise the tarp above your head to shield yourself from the elements. A camping hammock may be purchased for a reasonable price on the internet. Even the cheapest versions (about USD 20) weigh just about 1.4 pounds, making them the lightest option (0.6kg).

Furthermore, you will be able to take advantage of a view of the stars that would otherwise be blocked by the walls of a typical tent.

If you are going to sleep in a hammock, you should consider investing in a sleeping mat.

Although it may not be essential on a warm summer evening, you will be more exposed to the cold if you do not have one.

Packed Weight Versus Trail Weight

The weight of your tent when it is fully assembled, with all of the ropes, pegs, and stuff sacks, is referred to as the packed weight. It is the weight of your tent when it is packed into your rucksack that is known as trail weight. Packed weight is typically between 5 and 8 ounces (140 – 227 grams) heavier than trail weight, depending on the terrain. For example, you usually do not need to bring all of the additional pegs with you while you are out on the trail. Generally speaking, you should plan on your tent weighing the same as its packed weight.

Some individuals prefer to modify specific components of their tents rather than the entire tent itself, which is understandable. Consider the following scenario: you could wish to spend money on top-of-the-line poles or pegs while keeping some of the heavier/cheaper components.

The Weight of a Tent Footprint

A tent footprint is a plastic sheet that you place on the ground below your tent to protect the ground from your tent. Its purpose is to keep the tent’s floor from being too worn down over time. The groundsheet scrapes against the ground every time you camp because you move about within the tent. The tent footprint helps to preserve your tent from wear and tear, allowing it to survive for a longer period of time. Tent footprints are particularly useful for extremely lightweight tents with thin groundsheets, since they provide a more secure footing.

  1. It is not required to purchase a tent footprint that is properly sized because you can trim one down to size.
  2. Because of this, water may be able to seep between the groundsheet and the footprint, and so into your sleeping space.
  3. If you only go camping a few times a year, it isn’t necessary to bring one along with you.
  4. They are typically priced at roughly USD 30.
  5. This may be more cost-effective in the short term, but the long-term cost to the environment will be larger.

How Heavy Should Your Backpacking Pack Be?

This is a question that does not have a single answer. There are some folks who get a kick out of bringing nothing but a water filter and a knife in their survival kit. It is they who forage and hunt for their food, and it is they who construct their shelters out of fallen trees. Others choose to bring a large amount of goods with them. Clothing in layers, a high-quality tent, an insulated sleeping mat, a first-aid kit, bug spray, a hairbrush, pajamas, a pack of cards, a six-pack of beer, and so on are all essentials.

  • Your requirements for comfort
  • Your previous outdoor experience
  • Approximately how far you want to hike
  • Your natural body type
  • Your level of fitness and strength
  • The weather and climate
  • The temperature

It is recommended that your hiking backpack should not carry more than 10% of your whole body weight as a general guideline. Depending on if you’re transporting goods for children, you may need to carry more than this. Even more crucial than the weight of your pack is how effectively it is packed, and how well it suits your body shape and size. Always make sure that the rucksack is properly fitted for the length of your back, and distribute the weight as evenly as possible throughout the bag.

What’s the Difference Between a Camping Tent and a Backpacking Tent?

Instead of being transported in a rucksack, a camping tent is intended to be driven to the campground in your vehicle. In comparison to hiking tents, they are heavier and larger in size.

Perhaps there will be separate bedroom chambers, and you will have a great deal more space to stand up and walk around in peace and quiet. Backpacking tents are designed to be as light and compact as possible. They are far more compact, yet they are simpler to transport over great distances.


The weight of your tent will be determined by its season rating, the number of people it is intended to accommodate, and its overall quality. Walking requires striking a balance between lightweight and proper weather protection. If you’re going trekking, this is especially important. You may explore camping in a hammock or bivy sack, but if you want to go camping on a regular basis, I recommend investing in a three-season tent at the very least. Continue reading for more information:

  • What Should You Expect to Spend on a Tent
  • It’s important to know how to keep your tent dry when the rain won’t stop
  • Are cheap tents even worth buying when the rain won’t stop
  • And more.

Rachel Horne

A freelance adventure writer and the founder of Highly Sensitive Nomad, Rachel has traveled the world in search of adventure. When she isn’t writing, she may be found wild camping in the mountains or swimming in the lakes of Europe, depending on the season.

Tent Trail Weight vs Packed Weight

It is appropriate to speak a few things regarding trail weight versus packed weight since you will see the phrases trail weight and packed weight in the specifications of tents published on this site and elsewhere. The Kelty Horizon 2 tent is a good choice. Three pounds ten ounces is the absolute minimal weight (1.6 kg). Approximately 4 lbs 5 oz in total packaging weight (1.95 kg).

Trail weight vs packed weight – what is this?

In a nutshell, this is about the weight of the tent package’s necessary and non-essential pieces, as well as the difference between the two. In many cases, the language is not quite clear, and I am not aware of any industry-wide standards that are strictly enforced in this respect. The trail weight is the total weight of all of the key components, including the battery. In this context, you may hear the term “fastpack weight” used occasionally. As a result, this is the bare minimum of elements that you must have to defend yourself from the elements.

See also:  How To Pack Up A Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow Tent

Freestanding tent

A freestanding tent may be set up on any surface, including concrete, rock, sand, grass, and even on your porch if you have enough space. This is due to the fact that it is not secured to the ground. As a result, the following are the important components (which reflect the trail weight): You will be able to manage in any setting if you have these three elements, and you will have the required protection from the elements. Alternatively, you may use a few stones in the corners of the tent if necessary, for example, if there is a strong wind, rather than posts to hold the tent in place.

One such example can be found in the description of the Mountainsmith Morrison 2 tent, which can be found here.

  • The stakes, the guylines, and the carry bag for the entire set are all included. The smaller bags that are used to store the poles and the stakes are described as follows: When it comes to the weight of the footprint (if one is included in the box),

Non-freestanding tent

Tents of this sort must be securely fastened.

To erect the structure, you must first stake the corners, then add poles and secure them with guylines. These guylines must also be secured in some way. As a result, it is obvious that the important components that contribute to trail weight are:

  1. The tent body, the poles, and the fly are all included. A predetermined number of pegs, which varies depending on the tent design. According to the most likely scenario, the bare minimum will be four for the tent corners, plus two guylines, one on the front and one on the rear

The tent body; the poles; the fly; and the floor. Depending on the tent design, a specific number of pegs is required. According to the most likely scenario, the bare minimum will be four for the tent corners, plus two guylines, one on each side, one in front and one behind.

A bit more – why speaking about trail weight

One of the reasons is already mentioned above. But here are a few more to consider. It is possible to use something considerably lighter in place of the stakes that come with the tent in some situations. One excellent example can be found in the comment section of the Big Agnes Fly Creek Platinumtent that I have featured on my website. This individual made the ultra-lightweight pack even lighter by purchasing stakes that weigh less than 6 grams (0.2 oz) each, resulting in a total weight of less than 6 grams.

It is therefore possible to replace all of the non-essential pieces while also allowing some of them to remain in situ at home (like some of the carry bags).

Other terminology

If you look at the first photo above, you can see that the word “minimum weight” is used in the specifications of certain packs. Quite frequently, it is not entirely apparent what this refers to, although in the majority of situations, it refers to the trail weight. In the descriptions for the Kelty Trail Ridge 3 tent with footprint, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2, the Kelty TN2 tent, and the Marmot Tungsten 1P, you may see examples of this type of construction.

Fast fly weight of a tent, or ‘on the fly’ weight

Some tents allow for a rapid fly or a on the fly option, which includes poles, a tent fly, and a footprint, while others allow for neither. It should be noted that this is only applicable to those that come with a footprint or to those who order the footprint separately. The NEMO Galaxy 2P tent and the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 are two examples of this type of tent that are discussed on this website. Because the latter does not come with a footprint, you will need to buy it separately. This is the rapid flight version of the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2.

Fast and lightweight

In some exceptionally excellent designs, you may pick for an even lighter alternative that includes simply the fly and poles. I’m not sure how I feel about this configuration, and I personally would not utilize it. You can see it in action in this video about the MSRHubba NX Series configuration:

Freestanding tent vs non-freestanding tent – which is better

I have both types, and based on my own personal experience, I would strongly advise choosing a freestanding tent instead. I’ve been in several difficult circumstances were I couldn’t locate a suitable location to pitch my non-freestanding tent, such as on rocky ground or on gravel, and I needed to get out quickly. The same is true when there is ice on the ground. Tents that stand on their own are significantly more adaptable. A large number of them, both categories, are provided on this part of the web site.

Some other options

Without a doubt, I’ve covered the two most common and traditional forms of tents, but there are many inventive designs available on the market that don’t always fall into these categories or correspond to the descriptions of necessary and non-essential features. One particular example that I’d like to highlight is thisTeton Sports Outfitter XXL Quick tent, which unfolds like an umbrella when you open it.

Another out-of-the-ordinary example is this Therm-a-Rest cot tent, which combines the functions of a cot and a tent into a free-standing unit of a very specific sort.


Obviously, I have just described the two most traditional classical forms of tents; nevertheless, there are many inventive designs available on the market that do not fall into either of these categories or fulfill the criteria of necessary and non-essential features presented above. TheTeton Sports Outfitter XXL Quick tent, which pops out like an umbrella, is one particular example that I’d like to highlight. Lastly, this Therm a Rest cot tent is an uncommon type since it incorporates both a sleeping bag and a tent in one unit, making it a free-standing example of a very specific sort.

How Much Do Backpacking Tents Weigh? – Outdoor Horizon

Obviously, I have just shown the two most traditional classical forms of tents; nevertheless, there are many inventive designs available on the market that do not fall into either of these categories or fulfill the criteria of necessary and non-essential features. TheTeton Sports Outfitter XXL Quick tent, which pops out like an umbrella, is one such example that I’d like to highlight. Another out of the ordinary example is this Therm-a-Rest cot tent, which combines the functions of a cot and a tent into a free-standing unit of a very specific sort.

How Much Does A Backpacking Tent Weigh?

Obviously, I have just shown the two most traditional classical forms of tents; nevertheless, there are many inventive designs available on the market that do not fall into either of these categories or the description of necessary and non-essential parts. One particular example that I’d like to point out is thisTeton Sports Outfitter XXL Quick tent, which opens up like an umbrella. Another out-of-the-ordinary example is this Therm-a-Rest cot tent, which combines the functions of a cot and a tent into a free-standing unit of a very specific type.

  • 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. Here are a few ideas that you might want to think about: Tents used in the past

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.

We recommend that you place a rain cover over your pack and hang it high in the tree with a carabiner since the disadvantage is that you have to keep your things outside all the time. 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

Despite the fact that these phrases are useful beginning points, they are rarely indicative of the real weight of a tent when hiking. The total weight of the tent body, rainfly, and poles is referred to as the trail weight. A tent’s “minimum weight” is sometimes referred to as the weight of the tent while it is in the upright setup position. Stakes, guy lines, stuff bags, and other accessories, such as pole repair kits/sleeves or patch kits, all contribute to the total weight of the cargo. Without the box that it was originally sold in, this is approximately the weight of the tent.

Although most people will use stakes and stuff sacks, the repair sleeves and patch kits will be left at home. In order to backpack in deep damp forests, you will need to bring a footprint along. Between 6 and 12 ounces are added by the footprint, and it is worth its weight in gold in itself.

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.
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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.

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.

Online Outdoorwinkel

Packing tents range in weight from one pound to six pounds or more. It all depends on whether you want a lightweight, ultralightweight, or regular tent. When calculating the entire weight of your camping tent, you must also account for any additional components such as tent poles and tent footprints.

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 Amazon.com. 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.

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.

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.

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