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10 Best Lightweight Tents for Backpacking

You won't miss out on comfort in the outdoors with these pack-friendly tents

Sarah Barthelow
1 / 10

I’ll Fly Away

  • , 2 lbs 6 oz, $439

The last thing you want to do in a deluge is pound tent stakes into soggy ground. Big Agnes—the Big Daddy of lightweight—offers the freestanding Fly Creek stake-free with Fast Fly set-up to get you tucked in and reading a book faster than you can say “lumos integrated mtnGLO tent lights!”

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2 / 10

Home Away From Home

  • , 3 lbs 12 oz, $349

REI completely redesigned their old standby—the Quarter Dome 2—to give you more head and foot wiggle room without packing on the pounds. Use the 60 percent more spacious vestibules to boil your morning coffee without even getting out of bed.

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3 / 10

Weekend Escape

  • , 6 lbs 1 oz, $190

The budget-friendly Kelty Gunnison is a proven classic with a modern-day makeover. For shorter weekend trips when you can afford to schlep an extra pound or two, rely on the easy pole connections and roomy interiors to jet out for a quick breath of fresh mountain air.

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4 / 10

Watch Your Weight

  • , 2 lbs 9 oz, $289

Made in the USA by outdoor enthusiasts, the Tarptent Double Rainbow leads a pack of Pacific Crest Trail-tested shelters that take tent weight very seriously. Serious bug-tight ventilation, a super-sealed rainfly, and a two-minute packed-to-pitch time make this an easy lightweight favorite.

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5 / 10

Trail Warrior

  • , 2 lbs 5 oz, $329

Those trekking poles can double as more than make-shift lightsabers. In the Tarptent Saddle 2, they replace tent poles to support a wind-resistant fly shape and ultra-lightweight mesh interior. Clocking in just over two pounds, this is the one of the lightest options on the market.

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6 / 10

Take the High Road

  • , 2 lbs 12 oz, $299

Designed for the intrepid soloist and a favorite of National Geographic explorers, the Sierra Designs High Route relies on trekking poles to prop up a streamlined pyramid structure. It’s perfect for any season, so you can wait out a muggy summer storm or skirt the ridge line of the high Sierra.

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7 / 10

Live Free and Climb Hard

  • , 3 lbs 7 oz, $500

Invite a friend or two to join your next epic bouldering adventure and stash everyone in the three-person MSR FreeLite. Full-weather protection and oversized doors mean your ropes stay dry and it’s easy to cram your crash pads in for an extra-cozy floor.

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8 / 10

Go it Alone

  • , 2lbs 7oz, $312

Drop your pack and tuck in for the night in this cocoon of a bivy sack. The gortex will keep you dry while the zip top lets you gaze up at Cassiopeia. Think of it as weather insurance for your star-gazing outings.

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9 / 10

The Four Seasons

  • , 2 lb 13 oz, $260

Who needs a floor? As longs as flash floods aren’t in the forecast, this four-person one-pole wonder might be your best bet. Single wall protection at less than a pound per person makes this the choice of hard-core backpackers and intrepid families alike.

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10 / 10

Outdoor Bound

  • , 5 lbs 2 oz, $349

Black Diamond’s award-winning Mesa Tent ticks all the boxes: fast-pitch, double-wall, double-vestibule, with Featherlight pole technology and an air-tight reputation. So of all the things on your pre-trip do to list, worrying about shelter won’t be one of them.

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