ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING TENTSCOMPARISON TABLE – BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING TENTSREVIEWS – THE BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING TENTSREI CO-OP QUARTER DOME SL 2BEST FOR: BUDGET CONSCIOUS BACKPACKERSHYPERLITE MOUNTAIN GEAR DIRIGO 2BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT EASY SETUPNEMO HORNET ELITE 2BEST FOR: FEATURE SEEKING BACKPACKERS SLINGFIN 2LITE TREKBEST FOR: THRU HIKERSBIG AGNES TIGER WALL2 PLATINUMBEST FOR: MINIMALISTS SEEKING FREESTANDING DESIGNTHINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING TENT LENGTH AND DURATION OF TRIPSEASONALITYCOMFORT AND ROOMINESSCOST AND DURABILITYWEIGHTNUMBER OF DOORSFREESTANDING VS SEMI-FREESTANDINGFEATURES EXPLAINEDPACKED WEIGHT VS TRAIL WEIGHTRAINFLYGROUNDSHEET OR FOOTPRINTREAD MORE Selecting the right (or wrong) tent can make or break your backcountry experience. Improvements in technology and material selection has reduced tent weights dramatically over the years, allowing for significantly more lighter tent models to enter the ever evolving market. With all the options to choose from, we know that picking the best lightweight backpacking tent can feel like an overwhelming task. Here at The Adventure Junkies, we pride ourselves on helping to take the stress out of gear shopping by finding the best product for your individual needs. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the best lightweight backpacking tents on the market so you can get back to enjoying the great outdoors. QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING TENTS 1. REI QUARTER DOME SL 2 VIEW AT REI 2. HYPERLITE MOUNTAIN GEAR DIRIGO 2 VIEW AT HYPERLITE 3. NEMO HORNET ELITE 2P VIEW AT REI 4. SLINGFIN 2LITE TREK VIEW AT AMAZON 5. BIG AGNES TIGER WALL 2 PLATINUM VIEW AT REI COMPARISON TABLE – BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING TENTS PICTURETENT PEAK HEIGHT WEIGHT FLOOR AREAPRICERATING PICTURETENT PEAK HEIGHT WEIGHT FLOOR AREAPRICERATING REI Co-op Quarter Dome SL 238 in2.5 lbs 28.7 sq ft$$4.2 Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dirigo 2451.75 lbs32.5 sq ft$$$4.7 Nemo Hornet Elite 2371.7 lbs27.3 sq ft$$$4.7 Slingfin 2Lite Trek412.8 lbs28.45 sq ft$$4.5 Big Agnes Tiger Wall Platinum 2391.94 lbs28 sq ft$$$4.2 MULTI-DAYHIKING PACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time on the trail!UNLOCK THIS LIST* You will get weekly emails with practical hiking advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. You can always opt out of these emails. REVIEWS – THE BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING TENTS REI CO-OP QUARTER DOME SL 2 Check out the latest price on: REI SPECS WEIGHT: 2.5 lbs CAPACITY: 2 DOORS: 2 FEATURES Color Coded Poles Simplify Setup Semi-freestanding Two Large Vestibules Provide Additional Gear Storage BEST FOR: BUDGET CONSCIOUS BACKPACKERS This budget-friendly tent is ideal for backpackers looking for a well designed, lightweight tent. Setup is a breeze thanks to color coding and its single pole design. The full mesh walls create ample breathability while virtually eliminating condensation. The large dual vestibules eliminate the need to sleep with your gear in the tent. Trapezoidal in shape, the floorplan of the REI Quarter Dome SL 2 allows extra room at the shoulders while tapering to the feet. HYPERLITE MOUNTAIN GEAR DIRIGO 2 Check out the latest price on: Hyperlite SPECS WEIGHT: 1.75 lbs CAPACITY: 2 DOORS: 2 FEATURES Large Mesh Walls Pitches with Two Trekking Poles Breathable Panels at Head and Feet BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT EASY SETUP Hand built in Maine, this uniquely designed triangle shaped tent eliminates the need for additional poles by utilizing a pair of trekking poles and eight stakes to complete the setup. Two large mesh walls along with breathable panels at the head and foot provide ample ventilation. The 100% waterproof fabric eliminates the need for a separate rainfly or groundsheet. The 45 inches of peak height compliments the large dual door openings and is ideal for taller backpackers who want the option to sit up inside the tent. NEMO HORNET ELITE 2 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI SPECS WEIGHT: 1.7 lbs CAPACITY: 2 DOORS: 2 FEATURES Light Pockets Additional Room at Head and Foot Protected by the NEMO Lifetime Warranty BEST FOR: FEATURE SEEKING BACKPACKERS This updated lightweight tent holds 2 people, has 2 vestibules, 2 doors, and weighs under 2 pounds. The single, Y-shaped pole design makes setup quick and easy. Once clipped to the pole and staked out, the large interior provides more than adequate room for you and a friend to sleep comfortably. Placing your headlamp into the Hornet Elite’s Light Pocket allows the tent’s special fabric to evenly spread the light for greater illumination at night. SLINGFIN 2LITE TREK Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry SPECS WEIGHT: 2.38 lbs CAPACITY: 2 DOORS: 2 FEATURES Pitches with Two Adjustable Trekking Poles Two Large Vestibules for Gear Storage Floor Shape Allows for Extra Elbow Room BEST FOR: THRU HIKERS The weight on this lightweight tent has been reduced by eliminating extra poles and utilizing adjustable trekking poles to complete setup. So, if you are already planning to carry trekking poles, this tent is a great lightweight option for you. The large vestibules created when the rainfly is attached provide almost 11 square feet each of extra storage space. This is perfect for protecting your pack and other gear from the elements. At 41-inches, the SlingFin 2Lite Trek has the second highest peak height in this roundup, which taller backpackers will appreciate. BIG AGNES TIGER WALL2 PLATINUM Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI SPECS WEIGHT: 1.94 lbs CAPACITY: 2 DOORS: 2 FEATURES Media Pockets Easy Setup and Takedown Overhead Pocket for Gear Storage BEST FOR: MINIMALISTS SEEKING FREESTANDING DESIGN The winner of Backpacker Magazine’s 2019 Editors’ Choice Award, the two pound Tiger Wall 2 Platinum doesn’t sacrifice features for weight. This ultra-lightweight, freestanding tent has two doors and two vestibules. The single-pole design enables an easy and quick set-up and take down. Set-up is further simplified with color-coded webbing and buckles. If you can’t leave home without your phone, media pockets located above the sleeping area enable for easy routing of headphone cords from cellphones and other devices. LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTUREJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSEJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSE THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING TENT LENGTH AND DURATION OF TRIP How long do you plan to be on the trail? Lightweight (and ultra-lightweight) tents are typically designed for backpackers looking for a minimalist shelter that can drastically reduce their pack weight. While lightweight backpacking tents can be utilized for all camping endeavors, weight is not an issue and perhaps overkill for car camping. SEASONALITY Most lightweight backpacking tents are best suited for three-season use. The other option is a four-season tent which is designed to provide greater insulation from the cold. On clear nights when rain is not a possibility, consider setting up without the rainfly. The mesh inner tent provides a great option for sleeping under the stars while remaining protected from bugs. COMFORT AND ROOMINESS It’s worth considering who will be using the tent and the addition of sleeping pads and sleeping bags. Taller individuals should consider peak height (determines ability to sit up inside the tent) when purchasing a tent. Cramped quarters can become a serious factor when spending multiple days or weeks on the trail. COST AND DURABILITY A well designed tent can be a significant investment. With proper care, it can last for many years. You should consider how often you plan to use the tent before deciding how much you want to invest. WEIGHT All of the tents in this list are under three pounds. While some of the manufacturers offer 1-person models of the same tent, the weight is still extremely low in comparison to other tents. Weight is only a serious consideration to backpackers who have to carry the weight of their shelter into the backcountry. NUMBER OF DOORS A single door isn’t an issue until the person opposite the door has to answer nature’s call during the middle of the night and proceeds to crawl across you to access the door. If two people plan to ever use the tent, it’s advantageous to have dual entry and exit. FREESTANDING VS SEMI-FREESTANDING Once setup, a freestanding tent will retain its integrity regardless if you opt to move it to a different location around camp. It also allows you to pick the tent up while the doors are unzipped to shake out any debris before packing it up. A semi-freestanding tent is dependent upon its stakes to complete setup. FEATURES EXPLAINED PACKED WEIGHT VS TRAIL WEIGHT Referring to product specs can often be confusing. Some provide multiple weights. The trail weight is the weight of the tent components that are necessary for setup and use. The packed weight is the weight of everything included with the product at the time of purchase. RAINFLY With one exception in the list above, all the tents we’ve reviewed come with a rainfly. Many have mesh sides to the inner tent which will provide zero protection from the elements should it rain without the fly being placed over the tent. While it’s often nice on a clear evening to gaze at the stars through the mesh, nothing disturbs a backcountry snooze like raindrops on your face in the middle of the night. The rainfly provides waterproof protection from moisture above like the groundsheet (or footprint) protects from moisture below. GROUNDSHEET OR FOOTPRINT While the bottom of some tents are waterproof, others are further protected by a groundsheet (a piece of plastic that is cut slightly smaller and the same shape as the bottom of the tent) or by a footprint (a ready made groundsheet offered by manufacturer to fit particular tent model). Keep in mind that the addition of a groundsheet or footprint will add to the overall weight of the tent. READ MORE For more of our top backpacking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: 2-Person Backpacking Tents | Budget Backpacking Tents 4-Person Backpacking Tents HIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSHIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FUNDAMENTALS 5. HIKING TRAILS 2. HIKING GEAR 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 3. HIKING CLOTHING 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 4. CAMPING 8. WOMEN'S HIKING 1. FUNDAMENTALS 2. HIKING GEAR 3. HIKING CLOTHING 4. CAMPING 5. HIKING TRAILS 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 8. WOMEN'S HIKING Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.