Under Construction

Features (See links below and camping magiznes and books for others)

  • Weight vs floor space and price tradeoff.
    A general backcountry guideline is that the tent's weight should not exceed three pounds per person.
  • Ventelation - Lots of mesh makes a tent cooler in the warm NE and south, but will be colder in the higher elevations of the west. Some tents have panels that zip in over mesh for warmth in cold weather.
    Mountaineering tents employ hooded vents to release moisture in the winter.
  • How low to the ground the rainfly reaches affects ventilation and rain-protection.
  • Dual Doors
  • Plastic windows in the rainfly to see out in a rain storm.
  • Pocket inside for storing small items.
  • Adjustable stake loops on the rainfly let you adjust if for ventilation and make it more sturdy in a heavy wind.
  • Fly-only pitching using a fitted groundcloth (or footprint) with the poles and fly only.
Standard tents are double wall design with a bug-proof inner with lots of netting for ventelation and a water proof rain fly.

Lightweight tents consist of a tarp, which may be supported by hiking poles or ropes beteween trees and a ground cloth under your sleeping bag.
We use to use ponchos as tarps in the Sierra Nevada where rain showers were usually short and infrequent.

Another option is to use the rain fly only from a double wall tent with a footprint, which doubles as protection for the bottom of the double wall tent. The footprint has gromets to hold the tent poles.
This option does not protect you from bugs or other critters and is not as weatherproof in blowing rain.

Bivy sacks fit right over your sleeping bag with little room to spare and are usually made with Gore-Tex to shed the rain but breath.

See Types of Tents at the AMC.

The rain fly comes closer to the
ground on most double wall tents.
2.5-3 pounds $150-$250 (1-person)

MSR E-Wing 6 oz $80

2 Person, 3-Season, Backpacking Tents
ModelPriceBrandPacked SizeWeight Area HgtDrsMain PolesLen-
Median values for tents below$210  5 lb.4-832 sf10 sf433-6 
5 pounds or less
Meridian 2$200Mtn Hdwr18 x 54-134-327 sf22 sf493-521 
Evolution 2P$260Big Sky19 x 63-12-1330 sf9.5 sf403-622 
Clip Flashlight$170Sierra Dsgns19 x 54-63-1132 sf6 sf383-71284
Lightning$250Sierra Dsgns25 x 74-22-731 sf9 sf403-41284
Hyperlight$270Sierra Dsgns5-13-437 sf8.4 sf453-412115
Missing Link *$229MSR11 x 73-73 lb.3714513-612 
Tadpole 23 Tent, '06$229North Face22 x 64-144-435 sf7 sf423-41387
Vector 22$239North Face24 x 84-144-634 sf10 sf443-612 
Quarter Dome$209REI7 x 204-43-11287 + 7423-4285
Hubba Hubba Tent$289MSR20 x 5.55 lb.4-229 sf9.5 sf383-42384
Star 2$200EMS17 x 74-114-633 sf7+7473-622 
More than 5 pounds
Meteor Light$230Sierra Dsgns24 x 67-56-1040 sf16 sf463-723
Tristar Tent$179EMS26 x 97-126-1239 sf5.2+5.2504 ft.23
North Star$159EMS23 x 86-125-1235 sf11+11573-622 
Half Dome$169REI23 x 75-115-134 sf9.4x9.4533-52290
Aeolos$325Marmot20 x 75-125-535 sf19543-424 
Reverse Combi$250Sierra Dsgns6-1331.511 + 11523-422 
Hammerhead 2 Tent$245Mtn Hdwr17 x 67-126-936 sf7.5+7.5513-92398
Moonshine279EMS19.5 x 86-85-631.75 sf11.25433-613 
Tetragon 5$60Eureka25 x 46-25-335none12
Yellowstone$90Kelty27 x 86-15-737none1
Heron 23 Tent$289North Face22 x 75-54-1328 sf7.4 sf353-1013
Packed Size is height x diameter in inches.
Max Weight sometimes means package weight (shipping wt. )
Some manufacturers also list a "Fastbpack" weight for fly, poles and groundcloth only. Weight is pounds - ounces
sf - square feet
Hgt - Headroom (peak height) in feet - inches
* MSR Missing Link is a lean-to single wall structure with open door and awning in front. Uses trekking poles.

1-person 3-season backpacking  
ModelPriceBrandPacked SizeWeight Area HgtMain Poles
Median$220  3-72-1418 sf7 sf243-2
< 2 lbs 13 oz
Beta Light$160Black Diamond4 x 61-81-635  3-80
Uses trekking poles or other poles not included w/ tent.
Skypoint 1$220Mtn Hdwr20 x 5.53-52-12255303-21
Waypoint 1$195Mtn Hdwr2-220n/a 3-42
Single wall tent. Condensation is a problem in humid condiitions.
Light Year$140Sierra Dsgns19x53-42-11203233-22
Solo 12$190North Face23 x 52-82-218183-4
Sarvis 1 SL$280Big Agnes15 x 62-152-4154.5203-22
> 2-13
Moon Shadow$259EMS20 x 5.83-72-152610362-102
Sololite$130REI19 x 6.54-43-8217.72932
Baku$230Sierra Dsgns21x53-73177243-22
Hubba Solo/
Fast & Light
$230MSR20 x 63-73179.5273-4
Meridian 1$170Mtn Hdwr3-143-416.57243-62
Zoid 1$190MSR3-62-1416723.52-10

2-person 4-season
Tne North Face Mountain-25 $400
MSR Fury $400
MSR All Season $350
Bibler Tempest Tent $500
Kelty Orb 2 Tent $375
Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 $450
REI Mountain 2 $250
The North Face Mountain 25 $400
3-person expedition
The North Face VE-25 $500

See Also:
How to Choose a Backpacking Tent: Expert Advice from REI
Outdoor Product on-line mail order stores
Google Search for tent reviews
Find Tents at Backpacker magazine
2005 Tent Reviews at Outside Online
Buying Tents at AMC
Single Wall Tents at Backpacking Lignt
Return toProducts

last updated 8 Sep 2006