If you’re researching backpacking tent weight, you’ve come to the right place. Below we’ve put together exhaustive tent weight comparison tables covering virtually all models available for summer 2017. For comparison sake, all are 2-person, 3-season tents (many have solo and family versions available as well). The first table includes traditional backpacking tents with poles, and the bottom table has trekking pole supported shelters that do not come with poles, many of which are single wall. For the latter, you’ll have to add in the weight of your trekking pole(s) for an accurate total. If we’ve missed anything, feel free to comment or email and we will add it in. For our top picks, see our article on the best backpacking tents.
|Tent||Weight||Price||Packed Size||Floor Area||Doors|
|Terra Nova Solar Ultra 2||1 lb. 11 oz.||$1,599||16 x 5 in.||26 sq. ft.||1|
|ZPacks Duplex Flex||1 lb. 15.2 oz.||$724||13 x 7 in.||28 sq. ft.||2|
|Big Agnes Fly Creek HV 2 Platinum||2 lbs.||$550||15.5 x 4.5 in.||28 sq. ft.||1|
|MSR Carbon Reflex 2||2 lbs. 3 oz.||$500||17 x 5 in.||29 sq. ft.||2|
|Nemo Hornet Elite 2||2 lbs. 3 oz.||$500||19 x 5 in.||28 sq. ft.||2|
|The North Face O2||2 lbs. 4 oz.||$299||21 x 6 in.||25.6 sq. ft.||1|
|Nemo Hornet 2P||2 lbs. 5 oz.||$370||19 x 5 in.||28 sq. ft.||2|
|Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 2||2 lbs. 5 oz.||$390||19 x 4 in.||28 sq. ft.||1|
|Nemo Blaze 2P||2 lbs. 5 oz.||$480||17 x 5 in.||30 sq. ft.||2|
|Tarptent Double Rainbow||2 lbs. 9 oz.||$289||18 x 4 in.||30.5 sq. ft.||2|
|Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2||2 lbs. 9 oz.||$449||20 x 6 in.||27 sq. ft.||1|
|Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 Platinum||2 lbs. 10 oz.||$600||17 x 5 in.||29 sq. ft.||2|
|MSR FreeLite 2||2 lbs. 12 oz.||$440||18 x 6 in.||29 sq. ft.||2|
|SlingFin 2Lite||2 lbs. 14.1 oz.||$338||13 x 5 in.||28.4 sq. ft.||2|
|Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2||3 lbs. 1 oz.||$450||19.5 x 4 in.||29 sq. ft.||2|
|L.L. Bean Microlight UL 2P||3 lbs. 2 oz.||$349||16.5 x 7 in.||30.5 sq. ft.||2|
|Tarptent Double Moment||3 lbs. 4 oz.||$359||18 x 5 in.||26.8 sq. ft.||2|
|Sierra Designs Lightning FL 2||3 lbs. 5 oz.||$380||19 x 4 in.||30.5 sq. ft.||1|
|Big Agnes Seedhouse SL 2||3 lbs. 6 oz.||$350||18.5 x 4.5 in.||27 sq. ft.||1|
|The North Face Mica FL2||3 lbs. 7 oz.||$360||19 x 6 in.||28 sq. ft.||2|
|Marmot Tungsten 2P UL||3 lbs. 8.5 oz.||$299||18 x 6 in.||32 sq. ft.||2|
|Kuiu Mountain Star 2P||3 lbs. 8.6 oz.||$450||18.5 x 5 in.||28.5 sq. ft.||2|
|Big Agnes Happy Hooligan UL 2||3 lbs. 9 oz.||$380||20.5 x 5 in.||29 sq. ft.||2|
|The North Face Fusion 2||3 lbs. 9 oz.||$430||19 x 6 in.||28 sq. ft.||2|
|REI Co-op Quarter Dome 2||3 lbs. 12 oz.||$349||18.5 x 7 in.||28.7 sq. ft.||2|
|The North Face Triarch 2||3 lbs. 12 oz.||$350||22 x 7 in.||29.2 sq. ft.||2|
|Nemo Dagger 2P||3 lbs. 12 oz.||$400||19 x 5 in.||31 sq. ft.||2|
|Hilleberg Niak 2||3 lbs. 12 oz.||$795||18 x 6 in.||28 sq. ft.||1|
|MSR Hubba Hubba NX||3 lbs. 13 oz.||$400||18 x 6 in.||29 sq. ft.||2|
|Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2||3 lbs. 14 oz.||$200||18 x 6 in.||30 sq. ft.||1|
|Sierra Designs Summer Moon 2||3 lbs. 15 oz.||$180||18 x 6 in.||29.2 sq. ft.||1|
|Hilleberg Anjan 2||4 lbs.||$655||23 x 7 in.||30.1 sq. ft.||1|
|Mountain Hardwear Ghost Sky 2||4 lbs. 1 oz.||$429||24 x 8 in.||27 sq. ft.||2|
|Sierra Designs Flash 2 FL||4 lbs. 2 oz.||$400||19 x 4.5 in.||29.9 sq. ft.||2|
|Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL 2||4 lbs. 2 oz.||$350||21 x 6.5 in.||27 sq. ft.||2|
|Kelty Horizon 2||4 lbs. 5 oz.||$240||15 x 12 in.||28 sq. ft.||1|
|Kelty Salida 2||4 lbs. 9 oz.||$170||15 x 13 in.||30.5 sq. ft.||1|
|Kelty Grand Mesa 2||4 lbs. 12 oz.||$140||15 x 12 in.||30 sq. ft.||1|
|Kelty TraiLogic TN2||4 lbs. 13 oz.||$250||14 x 11 in.||27.5 sq. ft.||2|
|REI Co-op Half Dome 2||4 lbs. 15 oz.||$199||21 x 6 in.||31.8 sq. ft.||2|
|Nemo Losi LS||5 lbs. 1 oz.||$339||22 x 6 in.||33 sq. ft.||2|
|Black Diamond Mesa||5 lbs. 2 oz.||$350||19 x 8 in.||32.5 sq. ft.||2|
|Marmot Catalyst||5 lbs. 3 oz.||$169||18 x 7 in.||32.5 sq. ft.||2|
|Big Agnes Tumble 2 mtnGLO||5 lbs. 3 oz.||$270||20 x 6 in.||34 sq. ft.||2|
|Marmot Tungsten||5 lbs. 4 oz.||$199||18 x 7 in.||32 sq. ft.||2|
|REI Co-op Passage 2||5 lbs. 5 oz.||$159||22 x 7.5 in.||31.1 sq. ft.||2|
|Alps Mountaineering Mystique 2.0||5 lbs. 6 oz.||$220||18 x 5.75 in.||32 sq. ft.||1|
|Nemo Galaxi 2||5 lbs. 8 oz.||$250||18 x 6.5 in.||32 sq. ft.||2|
|Mountainsmith Morrison 2||5 lbs. 8 oz.||$180||18 x 7.5 in.||35 sq. ft.||2|
|Marmot Limelight 2||5 lbs. 10 oz.||$249||18 x 7 in.||33 sq. ft.||2|
|Mountain Hardwear Shifter 2||5 lbs. 12 oz.||$199||25 x 7 in.||33 sq. ft.||2|
|MSR Elixir 2||5 lbs. 13 oz.||$250||20 x 7 in.||29 sq. ft.||2|
|Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2||5 lbs. 13 oz.||$160||20.5 x 6 in.||37 sq. ft.||2|
|The North Face Stormbreak 2||5 lbs. 14 oz.||$159||22 x 7 in.||30.5 sq. ft.||2|
|Alps Mountaineering Chaos 2||5 lbs. 15 oz.||$260||22 x 6.5 in.||33 sq. ft.||2|
|Mountainsmith Mountain Dome 2||6 lbs.||$240||20 x 7.5 in.||36 sq. ft.||2|
|Tent||Weight||Price||Packed Size||Floor Area||Doors|
|ZPacks Duplex||1 lb. 5 oz.||$599||13 x 7 in.||28 sq. ft.||2|
|Mountain Laurel Designs Duomid w/Innertent||1 lb. 7 oz.||$705||Unavailable||28.4 sq. ft.||1|
|Hyperlite Echo 2 Ultralight Shelter
|1 lb. 9.6 oz.||$695||7.5 x 11.5 x 8.5 in.||24 sq. ft.||1|
|MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2
|1 lb. 10 oz.||$380||Unavailable||30 sq. ft.||1|
|Big Agnes Scout UL2||1 lb. 15 oz.||$300||12 x 5 in.||33 sq. ft.||1|
|Tarptent MoTrail||2 lbs. 4 oz.||$259||16 x 4 in.||30.3 sq. ft.||1|
|Lightheart Gear Duo||2 lbs. 4 oz.||$315||Unavailable||38.2 sq. ft.||2|
|MSR FlyLite 2||2 lbs. 4 oz.||$350||18 x 6 in.||29 sq. ft.||1|
|Tarptent Saddle 2||2 lbs. 5 oz.||$329||16 x 4 in.||29.2 sq. ft.||2|
|Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Ultramid 2 w/Mesh Insert
|2 lbs. 6.6 oz.||$1,110||Unavailable||50.6 sq. ft.||1|
|Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo||2 lbs. 9 oz.||$310||15 x 6 in.||34 sq. ft.||2|
|Sierra Designs Tensegrity 2 Elite||2 lbs. 10 oz.||$490||17 x 5 in.||29.3 sq. ft.||1|
|Tarptent StratoSpire 2||2 lbs. 14 oz.||$349||16 x 4 in.||31 sq. ft.||2|
Packaged Weight vs. Trail Weight
The weights that we have listed in the tables above are the packaged or packed weight. This includes everything that comes from the manufacturer: the tent body, rainfly, poles, stakes, guylines, repair sleeve, and tent and stake bags. Another popular spec to list is trail weight, which includes only the tent body, rain fly, and poles, and as a result, winds up about 5 to 7 ounces lighter. Notably, trail weight (also referred to as "minimum weight"), leaves out the stakes, so it's not an exact representation of what you will be hauling.
That being said, packed weight doesn’t perfectly reflect the weight of what everyone will be taking on the trail. Some manufacturers include quite a few guylines, which you may want to leave behind, and we often ditch the tent pole bag and just strap the poles to the outside of our pack. We still recommend keying in on the packed weight to be safe, but maybe trimming a couple of ounces off that is very realistic. To throw another wrench into the tent weight question, keep in mind that most packaged weights don’t include a footprint. Plan to tack on another 5 to 10 ounces to the all-in weight.
What Do You Sacrifice By Going Ultralight?
On paper, choosing a lightweight tent is a pretty good proposition. They cost more, but you can trim precious pounds off of the weight you’ll be hauling on your back. We’re right there with you, but there are a number of compromises that come with reducing weight, some of which may be no problem and others that might give you pause.
Two main ways that manufacturers cut weight are: 1) making the fabrics and materials thinner; 2) and reducing interior space. We cover interior space in the section below, so we’ll focus on tent construction here. In comparing similar tents (i.e. freestanding 2-person tents with similar interior volume), a tent that’s dramatically lighter will have thinner fabrics, tent poles, and zippers. As a result, durability suffers and for those that are hard on their gear or aren’t familiar with tent care, you can quickly damage these expensive products.
Nearly all manufacturers list the denier of their floors, tent walls, and rainfly, and the lower the number the thinner the fabric. Ultralight tents like the Carbon Reflex from MSR use a 15-denier fabric on the floor and 7-denier on the rainfly, which pushes the limits of practicality. On the other hand, it’s absolutely awesome for the right person (thru-hiker or minimalist) that’s willing to treat it like a newborn. You get a completely bug proof and weather worthy tent for just over 2 pounds. The durability tradeoffs and extra cost are what push people to popular tents like the REI Half Dome, which uses a far more durable 70-denier floor but weighs over twice as much as the MSR. There is a balance, of course, which is why we created the tables above.
From a quick look at the tables, it’s rather obvious that packed size almost always correlates with weight. Simply put, the lighter the tent, the smaller the packed size. And while the actual dimensions are helpful, it doesn’t by any means force you to try and look for a space inside or outside your pack to fit a 21 x 6-inch tent burrito. We almost always separate the tent poles from the tent body to better distribute weight among backpackers and not take up so much space. The best use of the packed size specification is to get a general idea of how bulky the gear is for planning out the rest of your kit, like the best volume and style of backpacking pack.
Interior Space: Floor Area and Tent Volume
Unfortunately, interior space is one of the first things to go when trimming tent weight. As a tool for comparison, we like the floor area spec (measuring length by width), but it does come with a caveat. This measurement is taken right at ground level and does not account for the livable space above the floor. For example, take the Big Agnes Fly Creek and Kelty TraiLogic TN2. Both have a listed floor area of about 28 sq. ft., but they couldn’t feel more different inside. The TrailLogic’s vertical walls and symmetrical shape feel cavernous compared with the Fly Creek’s tight quarters.
Tent volume, which accounts for the length, width and angle of the walls, is the spec we really want, but few manufacturers are actually providing it (MSR is one notable exception). Until this becomes commonplace, we recommend checking the floor area listing, but also taking the time to analyze the tent shape (even just eyeballing it will help quite a bit). You can learn a lot even from the photos online.
Trekking Pole Supported Shelters
To achieve ridiculously low weights like the 21-ounce ZPacks Duplex, manufacturers turn to a piece of gear a lot of backpackers already bring along: trekking poles. The main selling point of a trekking pole supported shelter is that you don’t have to sacrifice interior volume or fabric durability in achieving really light weights. In fact, they’re competitive with and often beat standard tents that weigh 2x as much in terms of floor area and tent volume. A recent example is long-distance solo backpacker Andrew Skurka’s new trekking pole tent that he is created with Sierra Designs that’s roomy and tough but weighs less than 3 pounds.
Our Favorite Backpacking Tents
This article provides an exhaustive analysis of tent weight, but we’ve also taken the time to pick the best backpacking tents based on a totality of factors that include performance, durability, comfort, and value. And for more product categories, you can see our full hiking and backpacking gear reviews landing page.
Weighing the Rest of Your Gear
Tent weight is just one part of the larger weight equation, and there are numerous avenues to trim ounces from your pack. What’s commonly referred to as the sleep system (including both sleeping pad and sleeping bag) is another significant opportunity. To help with research, and because looking at the various designs is just plain fun, we’ve put together comprehensive charts comparing 1-person tent and shelter weights, sleeping bag weights and sleeping pad weights. As with tents, cutting weight often involves paying more and losing out on some durability, but your back, legs, knees and ankles will surely thank you in the end.
Back to Backpacking Tents with Poles Back to Trekking Pole Supported Shelters