5 best ultralight tents for backpacking

By Sigita B •  Updated: 02/10/21 •  4 min read

When you are planning a hike, keeping it light is paramount. No one wants to carry around an enormous, heavy bag and get tired halfway through the day – that can drain all the excitement from the trip. The solution: investing in lightweight hiking gear.

There are several types of travelers that will appreciate an ultralight backpacking tent: ultralight backpackers and bikepackers, solo hikers that want to make room for photography gear or other equipment or those who simply want to carry as little weight as possible. Luckily for all of them, there are a lot of super lightweight tents on the market so plenty of options to choose from.

When shopping for an ultralight tent, there are a few things to consider.

First of all, are you planning a solo trip or are you going to have partners? Depending on the number of people, you will either need an ultralight 1 person tent, an ultralight backpacking tent for 2 people or maybe even an ultralight 3 person tent. In the ultralight niche, obviously there are many options for one-person tents but most brands also have a good selection of camping tents that can accommodate multiple people.

Secondly, are you an experienced backpacker? Some ultralight camping tents are more specialized and less foolproof as regular or even lightweight tents so they are usually not recommended for newbies. That is not true for all lightweight camping tents on the market though; some modern versions are very easy to assemble and use.

Thirdly, most lightweight and ultralight tents are normally only intended to use for just three seasons. So you will need something sturdier if you are getting ready for a winter trip.

Carefully evaluate your needs and expectations before deciding on what kind of a tent to buy.

Top ultralight tents for one to three people

tent in the mountains

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Ultralight One Person Tent

This freestanding tent is super easy to set up with just two aluminum poles. Weighing just under 4 lbs or 2 kilos, it is among the best options for a solo hiker.

Made with factory-sealed fly and floor seams as well as polyester fly and durable zippers, it is weather resistant and will offer protection from rain. The floor is made from durable and waterproof poly taffeta.

It has one door and a vestibule where you can put out your shoes and other stuff while the cover protects them from the elements.

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

The Alps Mountaineering Lynx tent is on our best sellers list; it’s a must-have for your next adventure

Base size: 2'8 x 7'6, center height: 36", total weight: 4 lbs. 1 oz. , minimum Weight: 3 lbs. 5 oz. , Color: Gray/Navy

Care Instructions: Hand Wash

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Winterial Ultralight Single Person Tent

This single person camping tent also has two folding metal poles and several metal stakes. It might be a little more difficult to set up than others but by no means will it be a tiring task! It has enough room for a single sleeping pod and a sleeping bag.

The best part – this weatherproof tent weighs under 3 lbs or 1,38 kg! Despite the lightness of this tent, it can endure rain, wind (this tent is anchored in the ground), dust storms and other harsh conditions.

Winterial Single Person Personal Bivy Tent, Lightweight

Bivy Tent Sleeps One Person take it with you on any trip

Ventilated Roof Mesh With a Full Coverage Rain Fly for Colder/Rainy Weather

Packed weight: 3 pounds 3 ounces. Packed Size: 18" x 4.5" x 4" Open Dimensions: 38 x 28 x90 inches.

Large Zippered door for easy access. Includes 3 bundles of rope and 14 Heavy Duty Stakes To Firmly Secure

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Kelty Salida 2 Ultralight Tent for Two People

This lightweight tent that can accommodate two people is easily set up by two compact, backpack-friendly folding poles. It will be up in no time!

Salida 1 is the single-person minimalist in the family but you might want to go for Kelty Salida 2 if having more space and a vestibule is a requirement for you.

However, the Salida 2 is highly packable and weighs just over 3 lbs or 1,38 kg. This sure is one of the best ultralightweight options on the market.

Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent, 2 Person

Floor area: 30.5 ft² / 2.83 m², Vestibule area: 10 ft² / .93 m².Wall material: 68D Polyester, 40D No-See-Um Mesh,Floor material: 68D Nylon, 1800 mm

The Salida 2 person backpacking tent is a great all-around, lightweight camping tent, the Salida 2 has over 10 sq. ft. of vestibule space and a spacious interior that offers 2 backpackers a comfortable backcountry escape

Kelty backpacking tent 2 person, ideal for your next trip up the trail, 3 season tent.

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Bryce 2P Ultralight Tent For Two People

When traveling with a partner, having enough room in the tent is key.

Bryce 2P is 85 inches in length and 53 inches in width as well as 36 inches in height, allowing enough space for two people to comfortably spend a night in. And it only weighs 3 lb 7 oz or 1,5 kg!

This tent has a lot of features, like two-way inner and outer zippers, mesh pockets, back vent with kickstand, taped seams, durable stakes, waterproofing and an included footprint.

Bryce Ultralight Tent

The Bryce 1P comes in at a trail weight of only 2 lbs. 15 oz. (not including footprint and stakes)and minimum weight of just 2 lbs. 4 oz. (including footprint but not the tent body).

Use the included footprint, poles and fly to quickly set up a minimalist shelter. Perfect as a weight-saving alternative!

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MSR Elixir Ultralight Tent for Three People

Do not think it is mission impossible to find a three-person ultralight tent. With the floor being 84 inches in length and 68 inches in width, this freestanding tent will easily accommodate three adults while weighing 4 lb 10 oz (2,1 kg) or just 3 lb 9 oz (1,6 kg) in the lightest setting!

In include a footprint and a rainfly and is easy to set up with color-coded poles and clips.

MSR Elixir 3-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

Built-in gear lofts and glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls enhance livability

Includes an MSR Elixir footprint that allows for a lightweight fast & light setup with rainfly

Freestanding system features color-coded poles, clips and webbing, Plus red vestibules for fast and easy setup

Mesh and solid fabric panels offer ventilation, warmth and privacy

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Sigita B