Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

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lauradaughtry
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Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by lauradaughtry »

Being a North Carolina native, I'm used to hammock backpacking—I'm not sure that will quite cut it out here in the Rockies. :-D I'm finally tackling the 14ers (and other treks) that require backpacking, so I want to invest in a high-quality ultralight tent that will last me for awhile.

Specific details and features I'm looking for:
  • It'll just be my gear and I in the tent, so I while I am cool with something super small, if it's a tradeoff of a few ounces for a roomier/2-person tent, I'd be more apt to invest in that
  • I want something with as simple of a set-up (including rain fly) as possible. The quicker I can set up and take down camp, the better!
  • I am leaning more towards having a freestanding tent as opposed to non-freestanding (but would be curious to hear arguments for/against—wind is more or less my main concern here)
  • I really don't know what "season" I will need to buy for. As of now, I am not interested in full-on winter backpacking; but I want something that can withstand high altitude spring/summer/fall snow
If you have a tent that meets those criteria that you love, please shoot me your recommendation! TIA!
Last edited by lauradaughtry on Fri Aug 12, 2022 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Garrett
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by Garrett »

I’ve been using a Big Agnes Tigerwall ul2 for exactly what you’re talking about so worth looking at. It’s easy, sets up fast alone and has held up. It is a bit tight with 2 people but fine and comfortable as one.
rdp32
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by rdp32 »

I like my duomid (I had similar criteria as you). Bugs are rarely a problem out here at night, and the duomid is dirt simple to set up and quite storm proof
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nyker
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by nyker »

Look into the Hilleberg Soulo. It's a little pricey but it meets all your other criteria and can withstand winter or winter like conditions. And it's pretty lightweight all things equal and fairly easy to pitch.
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yaktoleft13
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by yaktoleft13 »

Garrett wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 7:29 pm I’ve been using a Big Agnes Tigerwall ul2 for exactly what you’re talking about so worth looking at. It’s easy, sets up fast alone and has held up. It is a bit tight with 2 people but fine and comfortable as one.
I have this one too. Light as light gets (like 2lb 4oz or something) and it's proven durable. Used it for 3 years. It easily holds me and my gear, can even squeeze me, my wife, and my gear too (works best if wife is 5'3" or shorter).

Expensive, but worth it so far
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WanderingJim
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by WanderingJim »

I first used a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1, but didn't like how small it was. I preferred to put my gear inside the tent, so got the Fly Creek HV UL 2. Very roomy now and holds up pretty good.

Then I found the same tent at REI in their garage sale for $99. Bought a second one as a backup. :)

Only problem has been the zippers. They tend to fail over time.
Held up very well in a very bad wind storm one night at Mt Whintey's Trail Camp. Only damage was a couple of the rain fly loops broke, but easily fixed.

I'm actually trying out the newest version (Fly Creek HV UL2 solution dyed) next week to see how it handles.

I like the Tiger Wall and Cobber Spur tents, but the little added weight for the second door hasn't enticed me to try them.



You can also get these in even lighter Platinum versions for more $$$, but they are a bit fragile based on reviews.
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randalmartin
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by randalmartin »

rdp32 wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 7:36 pm I like my duomid (I had similar criteria as you). Bugs are rarely a problem out here at night, and the duomid is dirt simple to set up and quite storm proof
+1. If you are camping above or near treeline you want a wind worthy tent. The Mountain Laurel Designs Duomid is a legend in the Ultralight Backpacking community. It sets up a minute with a single pole and four stakes but additional stakes can be used to further lock it down but are not necessary usually. It doesn't have a floor but honestly not necessary if you are doing a lot of camping in more remote areas without heavy use. If you are in heavier use areas where critters are around I would suggest getting the nest for it which turns it into a more conventional double wall tent.

Another excellent backpacking tent that has gotten really good feedback is the https://durstongear.com/product/x-mid-1p though currently sold out it's due back in stock this fall.
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by zootloopz »

Tarptent or Nemo if you don’t go the big Agnes route
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ncxhjhgvbi
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by ncxhjhgvbi »

randalmartin wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:48 pm Another excellent backpacking tent that has gotten really good feedback is the https://durstongear.com/product/x-mid-1p though currently sold out it's due back in stock this fall.
I have this one and can confirm it is pretty great. Got really lucky to find one when it was in stock at the time. Price I paid was $200 at the time, but not sure what it will be when back in stock. Sets up super fast with 2 poles and 4 stakes and only weighs ~28oz. Has stood up to rain and wind, but if weather is predicted to be bad I usually bring an extra tarp as additional protection for my gear.

Only issue I had was in Chicago Basin when a porcupine got underneath the fly to try to chew the poles at 4 am!
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by TomPierce »

I've used a lot of shelter types over the decades. Each has pros and cons; like a tool, use the best one for the job. Fwiw, I use a tarp-style shelter (no floor, no netting, not free standing) but only in select situations: shoulder season with limited/no bugs, never above treeline unless you're OK possibly fiddling with a pulled stake in the occasional gale, etc.) I've learned the hard way that tarps have limitations that in some situations are very annoying.

I like gear that's solid, meaning it always works, all the time. My go-to shelter for most (not all) situations is a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1. Freestanding, combo mesh inner tent with a shallow bathtub floor, seam-taped fly. If set up well it'll keep you dry in an above-treeline gale, it obvously helps if you select your site well. A small vestibule for one person w/o a huge pack. You can cook there in a storm, it's pretty ventilated. It works well if you're not tall (I'm 5'8" on a good day...). I've tricked mine out to the point that my all-in weight (tent/fly/guylines/stakes/stuff sack/poles) is 1lb 10oz with regular Ti stakes, 1lb 12oz with longer stakes, which are useful in sandy sites.

As Jim mentioned above, the BA tents tend to have slightly fragile zippers. Not shoddy, but watch them. I'll be sending mine in for the third zipper replacement soon, but that's also over almost 10 years of use in often sandy/silty environments which can clog the zipper track. It only costs $5/repair + shipping. A good ultralight 3 season tent but not perfect.

-Tom
Last edited by TomPierce on Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by Kiefer »

One of my favorite brands is Nemo.
I used the Hornet (2 lbs. packed) for quite a while but currently use their Gogo (bivy tent- 1 lb/5 oz).
If it's just you, ya can't beat the weight.

I've used Nemo for years and my winter tent is also Nemo. They're pricey but solid stuff.
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Re: Ultralight Backpacking Tent Recommendations?

Post by madmattd »

ncxhjhgvbi wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 9:20 am
randalmartin wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:48 pm Another excellent backpacking tent that has gotten really good feedback is the https://durstongear.com/product/x-mid-1p though currently sold out it's due back in stock this fall.
I have this one and can confirm it is pretty great. Got really lucky to find one when it was in stock at the time. Price I paid was $200 at the time, but not sure what it will be when back in stock. Sets up super fast with 2 poles and 4 stakes and only weighs ~28oz. Has stood up to rain and wind, but if weather is predicted to be bad I usually bring an extra tarp as additional protection for my gear.

Only issue I had was in Chicago Basin when a porcupine got underneath the fly to try to chew the poles at 4 am!
I also have one of the X-Mids, the original 1P (from when it was first made/shipped through MassDrop). I've been very happy with it, and pitch it pole tips down, handles up which I hope avoids the porki/marmot issues when I eventually get to Chicago Basin! The vestibules are HUGE.

I also have an older Copper Spur UL1 which I still use on some trips, been pretty happy with that one too. The X-Mid pitches a lot faster, useful if it's raining. The Copper Spur is free-standing, but still needs stakes for the vestibule so I don't consider that an issue for/against either tent.
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