Trying to find the best ultralight tents can be an overwhelming undertaking for the seasoned campaigner, not to mention the casual camper. The best ultralight tents are super cool gizmos that are fast sending all the traditional tents scampering to the museums.
They are smarter, trendier and lighter. They pack considerably less bulk, only weigh between 0 to 4lbs, crucially saving you extra weight on your backpack. They also offer comfort and space to store your gear.
Here we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best ultralight tents available in the market, especially when on a budget. We would be pleased indeed if this list aids your decision making and helps you enjoy your time spent with nature.
1. NatureHike VIK 1-Person Backpacking Tent
The NatureHike VIK 1-Person Backpacking Tent is an aesthetically pleasing fusion of style and substance. It is freestanding, and a really neat vestibule is just one of its charms.
The VIK is single skinned and it sports a 15D Silicon-coated Nylon design. It is also made for year-round usage under different weather conditions. It boasts the resilience to withstand the most tumultuous rainfall and offers up to UV 50 of sun protection for the more temperate regions.
For a one-man tent, the VIK is quite generously spacious, offering 83 inches of length, 38 inches of height and 34 inches of width, which might be enough to fit in someone else if you so desire. There’s also a zipped up space under the roof where you can store small items.
In terms of weight, the VIK clocks in at a decent 1100grams, with the offered snow skirt. Without the snow skirt, it weighs about 1060grams and it can easily be set up within five minutes.
The VIK is one of the pricier tents featured on our list, but its amazing qualities make it well worth the price. Nature Hike includes a 100% satisfaction guarantee in the deal and even offers a free footprint with every purchase. When you take into consideration all its innovative features such as the internal air vent, magnetised seams and the door which can also double as a canopy, the VIK begins to look more and more like a bargain at its price.
If you want an ultralight tent that allies functionality with class, and does not have any real weakness, you definitely should not look beyond the VIK 1-Person Backpacking Tent.
2. River Country Products Trekker Tent
The River Country Products Trekker Tent lets you underestimate it from afar, but when you get close enough, it flabbergasts you with its truly amazing capabilities.
This tent is wonderfully pocket-friendly, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any other tent of the same price that even comes close to its quality. In any case, it is quite difficult to find any similarly priced tent able to compete with its remarkable weight of 2lbs and 12oz.
The River Country Products Trekker Tent does not hold back on space either, offering up to seven feet length, 62 inches width and 42 inches width, making it one of the more spacious tents.
It’s also extremely easy to set up, lasting just over a minute and ensuring that you can locate protection from the elements anywhere and anytime, at the drop of a hat.
This tent copes really well with inclement weather, one of its standout features being the back vents that aid ventilation in sweltering conditions. It is also waterproof and is guaranteed to keep you warm and dry even in the fiercest storm.
If you can overlook the absence of a vestibule in the tent, then this tent is great for you. The tent also does not come with trekking poles, but these can easily be added. Fortunately, any old trekking poles would suffice and for the really resourceful, tree limbs can also serve.
3. Hyke and Byke Yosemite Backpacking Tent
The Hyke and Byke Yosemite Backpacking Tent is a two-person tent that comes loaded with immense promise and advantages, wrapped in a lightweight, affordable box.
This tent is extremely durable and sporting aluminium alloy stakes and reflective guy lines, as well as no-see-um mesh walls, it supports a free-standing setup.
The tent is also reasonably spacious, offering dimensions of 45 inches in height, 88 inches length and 54 inches width. Further, it contains not one but two vestibules. Weighing just about 3.26lbs, it’s also one of the lighter two-person tents.
Ultimately, Hyke and Byke place the full power of choice and flexibility in your hands, as you can choose, between the one person and two-person specifications, which is perfect for you. You also get to select which colour works for you, as this tent is available in white, blue, forest green, lime green and orange hues.
This tent is fairly easy to set up, and a PU 2000 rainfly, double-wall ventilation and a 5000mm waterproof footprint provides impregnable insulation against the most torrential of downpours. However, the downside is that the absence of vents in the fabric may render it uncomfortable in humid circumstances.
Arguably the most attractive quality of this tent is its reasonable price, which means you’ll be getting great value for money and rub shoulders with the best of the best if you choose to purchase it. It also comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
4. Paria Outdoor Products Bryce Ultralight Tent
The Paria Outdoor Products Bryce Ultralight Tent is very popular among thru-walkers, having been selected as top pick by Backpacker magazine. Its minimalist design enhances a smooth, seamless experience.
This tent takes the comfort of backpackers and hikers very seriously, its weight of 2lbs 15oz for the one-person tent and 3lbs 7oz for the two-person tent makes it super easy to carry about while trekking.
It’s made with quality materials such as the 20D ripstop PU fly, 7000-series aluminium stakes, 40D ripstop PU floor and a 20D no-see-um mesh. Also featuring Dyneema guy lines and 5000mm silicone waterproofing, this tent is sturdy enough to cope with whatever is thrown at it.
The Bryce Ultralight Tent certainly is no slacker when it comes to space, offering enough room to really spread out and still leaving enough to store your gear. It also offers additional mesh pockets and two-way inner and outer zippers where some of your smaller stuff can be stashed.
This tent is also priced competitively, considering its impressive array of amenities, and it offers great value for money. To cap it all, the manufacturing company offers a lifetime warranty when you purchase it, and really good customer reviews suggest that they actually keep to it.
5. River Country Products 1-Person Tent
The River Country Products 1-Person Tent quietly dependable design offers peace of mind and reliability, all at a mind-blowingly affordable price.
Super light at just 2.5lbs, its compact design ensures that it does not put much strain on backpackers and thru-hikers. This tent is out of its packaging and up in a maximum of four minutes, and nine ultralight stakes and three guy lines make sure it stays up, regardless of what is flung at it.
It does not compromise on space despite its compact size, you can store all your gear in it, or even accommodate another person. It also offers a covered vestibule and is available in a variety of colours.
It’s designed specifically to provide comfort in humid conditions and features a rear roof vent which encourages ventilation, and also a bathtub floor to ensure maximum relaxation.
The River Country Products 1-Person Tent offers scarcely believable features for its price and if you want to experience the thrill of the trail on a budget, then this tent is perfect for you.
Things To Look Out For When Selecting Ultralight Tents
It’s important that you select the right weight for you so that you don’t end up being burdened by unnecessary weight. A one-person ultralight tent should be around 2lbs, while a two-person ultralight tent should be around 3lbs.
Ultralight tents are available in a variety of shapes nowadays, ranging from pyramid to dome. Pyramid structures permit users to stay upright, while dome-shaped ones do not. It may be important to ascertain which design suits you, in order to avoid getting stuck with an awkward fit. Incorrect body posture especially during sleep while trying to squeeze into an uncomfortable position may result in inadequate sleep and severe body pain, and that’s the last thing you need while trekking.
Single or Double Wall
Single wall tents only consist of a tarp-like rain fly used to keep moisture out. A double-walled tent consists of both the tarp-like wall and the mesh-like walls that keep out bugs and enhance ventilation. The choice of which to choose depends on the climatic situation of your planned destination. If you’re heading to temperate regions or places with heavy humidity, single-wall tents are ideal. On the other hand, if where you’re headed is known for heavy rainfall, you might want to pick up a double-wall tent instead.
1-Person or 2-Person Tent
If you’re planning to hike a really long trail alone, it’s imperative to avoid carrying any extra weight and Ultralight 1-Person tents offer the right blend of comfort and practicality. However, if you’re going with a partner, a 2-Person tent is highly recommended. Two people holed up in a stuffy tent gets old after a while.
The two most common materials used in ultralight tentmaking are Silnylon and Dyneema. You should consider your budget when making a choice between these two fabrics because Dyneema tents are usually more expensive than tents made with Silnylon.
What is beyond debate is that these ultralight tents can definitely make your life easier as a camper, hiker or lover of the outdoors. Because lugging that old tent across rough terrain in inclement weather, desperately trying to find a place to set up camp before nightfall is no one’s idea of fun.
The good news is these ultralight tents have caught on. Manufacturers have certainly caught on too and these days you can hardly venture into your garden without tripping over a special offer for one of these camping gear.