We looked at numerous different ultralight tents and lightweight backpacking tents in determining our top pick for Lightweight Backpacking 101. Many readers of this site may criticize us for selecting a tent instead of a tarp, or a tarp-like tent. Tarp shelters are lighter of course, and we have tested(and own) several excellent tarps and tarp like shelters. However, this website is for traditional backpackers that are just beginning the transition to a lightweight backpacking approach. We considered ease of use, stability, protection, roominess, and of course – weight. We prefer freestanding shelters for beginners, and even experts will appreciate their easy setup and stability, ability to be moved after accidently pitching them on top of a rock or uneven surface. Taking everything into consideration, our top pick was clear.
Big Agnes Seedhouse 2 Superlight
The Big Agnes Seedhouse 2 Superlight has a great space to weight ratio weighing under 3 pounds and providing 28 square feet! The tent boasts great weather durability, weight specs., spaciousness, and 3-season versatility. Shelters don’t get much lighter than this without sacrificing weather protection or stability. The Big Agnes Seedhouse 2 Superlight’s single-hubbed pole/clip system sets up quickly without guesswork, and the taut pitch offers impressive stability.
Why we like it:
- Freestanding (our preference)
- Easy to set up
Packed weight includes poles, fly, tent body, stakes, guy lines, stuff sacks, instructions, and packaging.
Trail weight refers to poles, fly and tent body.
Fast Fly weight refers to the poles, tent fly and accessory Fast Fly footprint.
- Packed Weight: 3lb 6oz
- Trail Weight: 2lb 14oz
- Fast Fly Weight: 2lb 2 oz
- Packed Size: 6.5″ x 16″
- 28 sq ft.
- Vestibule Area: 5.5 sq ft.
- Head Height: 38″
- Foot height: 22″
- Floor Length: 84″
- Floor width 52” at head, 42” at foot
- Tent purchase includes tent body, fly, poles, stuff sacks and stakes. To extend the life of you tent floor, we recommend using a Big Agnes footprint or ground cloth.
- Free standing, three season, superlight backpacking tents
- NEW DAC Featherlite NSL pole system – featuring “GREEN” anodizing, super light and strong 8.2mm poles with press-fit connectors and lightweight hubs
- Single hub/pole system makes set up easy
- Plastic clips attach the tent body to the pole frame for quick and easy set-up
- Fly is 20D nylon rip-stop with a silicone treatment and 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating
- Tent body is 20D nylon mesh for excellent cross ventilation
- Floor is a bathtub design, 30D nylon rip-stop with a silicone treatment and 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating
- D shaped door with mesh pocket above
- Storm flap over vestibule zipper
- All seams are taped
- Superlight, X-peg stakes included
- Footprint sold separately