Lifestyle

10 Tents That Are Lighter Than A Nalgene

Tents are awesome. Carrying them? Not so much. For the casual backpacking or biking trip, the weight of your gear can mean the difference between suffering like Atlas under a heavy load or, well, enjoying your afternoon. There's another advantage to keeping things light: space. Usually, lighter tents are smaller and summer-y, which is the time of year you'd probably want to use them anyway.

So whether you're using the tail-end of summer's gorgeous weather to get outside or just looking to grab an emergency apartment, here are 10 tents that are about as heavy as a full Nalgene bottle.

Sierra Designs Flashlight 1 - $299
Using part double and part single-wall construction to minimize weight, this weight-conscious tent is somewhere between bivy and full-fledged tent with its 46 inch-height at its peak. That's enough to fully sit up inside.

Mountain Hardwear SuperMega UL - $299
Though the height of this two-person tent is under 40 inches, the SuperMega UL (Mountain Hardwear's lightest tent) has a pretty traditional-looking structure—this will allow you more height and width than you might otherwise think. Which could come in handy, if things get romantic.

REI Dash 2 - $349
The lightest two-person portable home that REI has ever made, the Dash 2 offers two vestibules for each hiker's stuff. Fortunately (unfortunately?), there is no "his" and "hers" monogramming on each side.

The North Face Mica FL 2 - $349
While many of the tents on this list aren't completely freestanding—meaning they need stakes or other anchors to stay up—you could pick this up and plop it down fifty feet away without disassembly, which is a big deal to some people. In that configuration, it's a smidgen heavier than a full Nalgene (not the 1.5 L model though), but if you're into TNF, this tent is essential.

Marmot Eos 1P - $249
This simple ultralight tent from Marmot has a healthy amount of space for a person and gear, thanks in part to a substantial vestibule. Unless you play in the NFL, you should have some room to roll around. And at just over a kilo, it's still featherweight.

Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum - $549
One pound and nine ounces of pure three-season goodness, this ultralight tent uses mesh and super light poles to get its weight down. It also has the best brand name by far of all the tents here.

Brooks-Range Foray 2P Tent - $424
Take one look at their website, and it's clear where Brooks-Range puts their efforts. With 30 square feet of pure street cred—well, trail cred—the Foray 2P is a freestanding 2.5-pound tent with a cushy 39-inch ceiling.

Eureka! Solitaire - $78
Incredibly affordable coming in well under $100, this one-person tent is probably the cheapest way to set up shop. However, as a bivy-style tent, it really is made just for one person and there's not much room to do much of anything.

Sea to Summit Specialist Duo - $429
With two entrances and two vestibules, the Specialist Duo has way more features than you'd expect from a tent weighing under two pounds. As with most ultralight tents, this allows you to use natural anchors or trekking poles in lieu of hauling the tent's own poles.

MSR Carbon Reflex 2 - $499
Taking a cue from the bike industry, this MSR tent swaps out aluminum for carbon fiber, reducing weight by around 30 percent. With a stupid-easy setup and twin vestibules and doors, the Carbon Reflex makes a good case.


Ethan Wolff-Mann is an editor at Supercompressor. He enjoys his apartment and full-size bed. Which is set up inside a tent. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.