Tent Camping Wilderness Mountains When it comes to being in the outdoors, most hikers will not go without some sort of protection.  

Whether it be a tent, hammock or tarp, to keep safe you will need some type of housing to keep you out of the elements.  

That’s why I’ve decided to base this next article on the Top 4 Ultralight Tents that I’ve found while scouring the market shopping for my next home away from home.

Top 4 Ultralight Tents for Your Next Outdoor Adventure…

Breaking it down, there are a 5 key elements I keep in mind when shopping for an ultralight tent:

  • Weigh preferably 2-3 lbs
  • Freestanding vs. Non-freestanding
  • $250.00 or less
  • 1-2 person

Of course, you also want to keep in mind what the tent’s material is made out of, how water resistant it is, whether or not it can withstand strong winds, and exactly what you are going to be using it for.  Here are the Top 4 Ultralight tents I considered purchasing before hiking in from continent to continent over the next several years:

MSR Hubba Tent 1 Person

MSR Hubba Tent SoloWeighing in at under 3 lbs (1.4 kg), the MSR Hubba Solo tent is expertly designed to deal with 3-season camping.  Compact and livable, the unique pole configuration allows optimal interior space at 17 sq. ft (1.6 sq. m) and also includes a large vestibule at 9 cu. ft (254 liters) for storing your gear while trying to catch some Z’s.  As a freestanding tent, there is plenty of room for ventilation, has a long history of good reviews, and packs to a handy size of 20 x 6 in (51 x 15cm).

At an MSRP price of $249.95 USD it is definitely worth every penny and if you are lucky, you can find it brand new and on sale for less than $186.00 USD.

Mountain Hardwear SPRITE™ 1

Mountain Hardwear Sprite 1

Mountain Hardwear’s SPRITE 1 is the ideal tent for the solo backpacker.  A front vestibule protects your gear from stormy weather and the company guarantees watertight construction.  Weighing at a packed weight of 3 lb 6 oz (1.52 kg), this 3 season tent is a little heavier than I would like but is more spacious at 18 sq. ft (1.6 m2) than most solo tents, has plenty of headroom, and the extra durable rods allows it to withstand extremely rough terrain and corrosion.  Packed to a size of 6 in (15 cm) by 19 in (48 cm), it will fit into your pack with plenty of room for your other ultralight gear.

At an MSRP price of $160.00 USD, it is the perfect tent for anywhere that you can anchor down.

MSR Twing – Ultralight 2/3 Person Shelter

MSR Twing Tent

Ideal for the Spring-Fall minimalist backpacker, the MSR Twing is one of the lightest and affordable tents in the market weighing at an unbelievable 1 lb 14 oz (0.8 kg) and covering 68 sq. ft (6.3 sq. m).  Although this tent is neither freestanding nor is it enclosed to keep you away from bugs, I considered this tent sheerly for how light it is and its flexibility in traveling.  The ripstop nylon fabric with polyurethane and silicone coating is sure to keep you dry from the seasonal rains.  Its packaged size is 8 in (20cm) by 6 in (15 cm) and can easily hold 2 if not 3 people.

At an MSRP price of $249.95 USD, the MSR Twing is the perfect tent for any minimalist.

Nemo GoGo LE Ultralight Bivy Tent 1 Person

NEMO GoGo Solo

The Nemo GoGo LE Ultralight Bivy tent is an ideal choice for the taller backpacker or for those who like the spare leg room to stretch out and keep your gear dry.  For the 20 sq. ft (1.9 sq. m) of space you get, the tent weighs a mild 2 lbs, 2 oz (1 kg), allowing you to forget about what’s on your back and focusing on the wildlife and culture surrounding you.  Unlike the previous tents I’ve listed, this one has two doorways which allows you to either have a second way to get out of the tent or give you that extra window for those stuffy nights that could use the spare ventilation.  Backed by a mountain of positive reviews, if you don’t mind a non-freestanding tent, the Nemo GoGo LE has been the tent of choice for many backpackers since it’s first debut.

At an MSRP of $329.95 USD, if you can afford to spill an extra couple of dollars this is the tent you want.

Keep in mind that although all of these tents are priced in stores around their MSRP, you can always go to sites like Amazon along with other various stores and find them at a much lower and more affordable rate.  

My final decision on a tent was the MSR Hubba Tent and although it was marked at $249.95 USD I found it, brand new on Ebay for only $165.00 USD.  When it comes to budget traveling, it all begins with the purchasing of your gear.  Don’t get ripped off but make sure you get your bang for your buck.  Ultimately, the final decision is up to you; Good Luck!

What is your favorite ultralight backpacking tent?