Eco Friendly Living

The Perfect Ultralight Tent for Your Backpacking and Bikepacking Adventures!

If you're looking for an ultralight tent that won't weigh down your backpacking or bikepacking adventures, look no further. We've put together a list of four ultra lightweight tents that weigh in under three pounds.

Deborah Clarke
Aug 14, 2023
18 min read
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Ultralight tents for backpacking and bikepacking
Ultralight tents for Backpacking and Bikepacking

Are you ready to take your backpacking adventures to the next level?

Whether you’re a solo adventurer or part of a group, a lightweight tent is essential for making sure your journey is comfortable and enjoyable. With that in mind, we've put together this guide to help you find the perfect ultralight tent for your needs. We’ve narrowed it down to four options that are all under three pounds, and have the features you need.

We know there are so many lightweight tents available in the market today, which is why we’ve done the hard work for you by selecting some of the best ultralight tents on the market right now.

From one-person tents to larger shelters for family camping trips, we’ve got something for everyone. We’ll discuss the features of each tent and provide information on pricing and user reviews.

With all this information at your disposal, you’ll be prepared to make an informed decision that will give you the perfect lightweight tent for your next adventure.

Keep reading to discover the best ultralight tents on the market today!

What is an ultralight tent?

The simplest definition of an ultralight tent is a shelter that's designed with significantly lighter materials than traditional camping tents. They generally weigh between one and four pounds, making them perfect for camping adventures that require long hikes, bikepacking or multi-day trips.

Ultralight tents come in a variety of sizes, from solo shelters to large family tents. This means you can find the perfect size for your needs without sacrificing on weight.

These tents are also designed with features that make them more durable and weatherproof than traditional camping tents, so you can rest assured that they will keep you safe and dry in even the harshest conditions.

At the end of the day, ultralight tents are perfect for adventurers who want to reduce their overall pack weight without compromising on quality. With that in mind, let’s take a look at four ultralight tents under three pounds.

Most of us are familiar with backpacking, but maybe you haven't heard reference of a backpacking tent.

What is a backpacking tent?

A Backpacking Tent is a lightweight compact shelter for outdoor camping.

A backpacking tent is a lightweight, compact shelter designed for outdoor camping. It’s specifically made to minimize weight while maximizing interior space and durability. Backpacking tents are usually made from highly durable, waterproof materials that are able to stand up to harsh weather conditions. They often include features like oversized doors, high ceilings, and multiple vestibules to provide plenty of space for storage and ventilation.

Backpacking tents are an excellent choice for those looking to keep their overall pack weight low while still having a reliable shelter. These tents usually range in size from one-person shelters to large family tents, making them great for all types of adventures.

Now that you know what an ultralight tent is and what a backpacking tent is, let’s take a look at a new craze for ultra light tents ... bikepacking!

Okay, What is bikepacking?

Bikepacking is an adventure sport that combines the thrill of mountain biking with the spirit of backpacking. It's a great way to explore mountains and wilderness areas on two wheels instead of two feet!

Originating in the 1980s, bikepacking has grown steadily over the years into a full-blown outdoor activity. As with traditional backpacking, bikepacking requires a certain amount of gear, including lightweight tents. The difference is that you can cover more ground on a bike, making it ideal for longer ultralight trips.

Whether you're an experienced biker or just getting started, bikepacking has something to offer everyone. You'll need the right kind of equipment – from a bike to clothing and camping gear – but with the right setup, you'll be ready to get out there and explore.

So if you're looking for an exciting way to see the world on two wheels, look no further than bikepacking! From epic summit rides to multi-day camping trips, it's sure to provide you with plenty of unforgettable (and ultra-lightweight) adventures.

What is a Bikepacking Tent?

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Bikepacking Tent

Bikepacking tents are ultralight shelters specifically designed for bikepacking trips. These types of tents typically weigh between one and three pounds, making them easy to take with you on your journey.

Most bikepacking tents are made from lightweight fabrics, like silnylon or Dyneema, which provide extra protection while remaining lightweight. They also feature clever designs, like stowable poles and integrated guy lines, that make them easy to set up and take down.

Bikepacking tents are also designed for optimal ventilation, which is important when you’re traveling long distances in warm weather. Finally, these tents typically have plenty of interior space so you can fit all of your gear inside without feeling cramped or crowded.

If you’re looking for an ultralight tent for your bikepacking trips, a bikepacking tent is the perfect choice! With its lightweight design and features that are specifically tailored to cycling adventures, it's sure to keep you comfortable on your journey.

How We Choose the Best Ultralight Tents

We researched the market for lightest tents, taking into account factors such as size, features, weight, price and customer reviews. We specifically looked for lightweight tents that weigh three pounds or less, so you can be sure each one is an excellent choice.

We surmise you are looking for an ultralight tent because you want something that is easy to transport and set up. This means considering factors like size, weight and setup time. We also looked at features such as weather resistance, ventilation, durability, and ease of use.

We read through customer reviews from Amazon and manufacturer sites to make sure the tents we recommend are highly rated by those who’ve actually used them before you. Last but not least, we considered the price point to make sure you’re getting an affordable and lightweight tent.

We trust that you'll find your next favorite item from the list we've researched for you below. All of these products have been hand-picked by our editors and we won't recommend something we wouldn't use in our own family. Some may even be items that we already use! We may receive a small compensation if you decide to buy something (that's how we keep the lights on). Some reviews have been edited for length and clarity. Have fun searching for your next fav product!

Now let’s get into our top picks.

Looking for an Ultralight Backpacking Tent?

Considering Bikepacking?

Four Best Ultralight Tents Under Three Pounds

These four ultralight tents have been carefully curated based on customer reviews, price point and features. They all weigh three pounds or less and offer superior protection from the elements while remaining lightweight and easy to set up. Each one offers something unique, whether it’s size, ventilation, or ease of use and would be suitable for backpacking or bikepacking. We’re confident you’ll find the perfect tent from these four options.

Compact Weight and Size Chart for Each of the 4 Ultralight Tents Reviewed

CHART showing Compact sizes of Four Tents Reviewed - show l x w x h of folded tent, and weight.
Compact sizes of Four Tents Reviewed - Provides l x w x h of folded tent plus folded weight.

Now let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.

River Country Products Trekker Tent 2.2:

River Country: Trekker Tent 2.2

Ultralight Tent | Designed to use your trekking poles | Under 3lbs.

Check Availability with Your Local Amazon Here!

Why It's One of Our Favs

This ultralight tent is perfect for backpacking and camping trips. It weighs just under three pounds, so it can be carried around in a backpack without adding too much weight. The Trekker Tent 2.2 has two side entrances and a large vestibule that offers plenty of room for storage. Additionally, the seams are taped to ensure waterproofness during rainy days.

What makes this tent unique is its' design for use with trekking poles. It is considered a semi-freestanding lightweight tent that can be used with trekking poles or any stick that is over 42 inches tall.

FAV Features

  • Waterproof taped seams for extra protection
  • Side entrances and large vestibule
  • Setup time of only five minutes
  • Weighs three pounds or less
  • Price point of around $150

Overall, we like the Trekker Tent 2.2 for its lightweight construction, waterproof design and quick setup time. It’s perfect for backpacking adventurers who want a reliable tent that won’t add too much weight to their pack.

MIER Lanshan 3-Season Ultralight Backpacking Tents:

Why It's One of Our Favs

This tent is made from lightweight ripstop nylon and features mesh walls to keep insects out. It also has an ultra-large vestibule for extra storage, and the aluminum poles make it very easy to set up. The MIER Lanshan Ultralight Tent comes with a convenient carrying bag that can fit into any backpack or luggage compartment.

Heavier Waterproof Material Compared to Common Tent Fabric

FAV Features

  • Made from lightweight ripstop nylon
  • Aluminum poles make it easy to set up
  • Mesh walls keep insects out
  • Comes with a convenient carrying bag
  • Weighs just two pounds
  • Price point of around $100

Overall, we like the MIER Lanshan Ultralight Tent for its light weight and ease of setup. It’s perfect for backpacking enthusiasts who want a reliable tent that won’t add too much weight to their pack.

Nemo Hornet Elite:

NEMO Hornet Elite

2 Person Ultralight Tent | Weighs just 2lbs! | Semi-Freestanding

Check the NEMO Store on Amazon!

Why It's One of Our Favs

The Nemo Hornet Elite is considered one of the best ultralight tents available. Weighing just 2 pounds 1 ounce for the two-person model, it offers excellent weight-to-space ratio. It is semi-freestanding and has a center pole for support. However, the thin materials used may require careful handling to prevent damage.

FAV Features

  • Weighs only 2 pounds 1 ounce
  • Semi-freestanding with a center pole for support
  • Features two side entrances and two vestibules and tent floor
  • Has bright guyline points for easier setup in the dark
  • Price point of around $350

Overall, The Nemo Hornet Elite is an excellent ultralight tent for backpacking and bikepacking. It offers excellent weight-to-space ratio, and its bright guyline points make it easy to set up even in the dark.

Big Agnes Backpacking Tent

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2:

Big Agnes Backpacking Tent

Big Agnes Bikepacking Tent | Tiger Wall UL2 | Only 2.2lbs

Check the Big Agnes Store on Amazon!

Why It's One of Our Favs

With a weight of only 2.2 lbs, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is a lightweight option suitable for backpacking and bikepacking. It offers a good balance between weight and space, and its traditional design provides ease of use. However, some users have reported issues with condensation during humid conditions.

Big Agnes Bikepacking Tent

FAV Features

  • Weighs only 2.2 lbs
  • Good balance between weight and space
  • Traditional design provides ease of use
  • Features two doors and two vestibules
  • Price point of around $400

Overall, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is an excellent ultralight tent for backpacking and bikepacking. It offers a good balance between weight and space, is easy to set up, and provides plenty of room for two people.

Final Thoughts

Based on expert opinions and customer feedback, these tents offer excellent lightweight and compact options for outdoor enthusiasts. When choosing the ideal tent, consider the intended use (camping, backpacking, bikepacking, family trips) and prioritize factors such as weight, size, durability, and ease of use.

Ultra-lightweight tents are an excellent option for hikers and campers who need protection from the elements without the extra bulk. We hope our list has helped you find the perfect tent for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a backpacking or bikepacking tent, our selection of eight ultralight tents under three pounds will surely cover all your needs. So go ahead and choose one that best suits you!

Guide to Ultralight Freestanding Tents: What to Look For

When shopping for an ultralight tent, there are a few things to consider: weight, size, durability and features. We’ll discuss each of these factors in detail so you can make the best choice.

Weight: Since you’re trying to save on weight, it’s important to find a tent that meets your needs while also staying light. Aim for something that weighs three pounds or less and makes the most of its space.

Compact (Folded Size): You want to make sure the tent fits when folded in the space you have available for it. Maybe it needs to fit in your backpack, or as a roll attached to your backpack. Maybe you're looking for a biking tent that you need to attach it to your bicycle or motorcycle. Or maybe you simply want it small to save space when travelling in vehicle. So knowing how it folds up and checking the folded measurements before purchasing is important.

Size: Ultralight tents come in various sizes, from solo shelters to large family tents. Consider who you’ll be camping with and how much room they need before making a decision.

Durability: The last thing you want is for your tent to let in water or tear in the middle of a storm. Look for tents made with durable materials such as ripstop nylon and have taped seams to prevent water leaks.

Features: Features like large vestibules, mesh walls and adjustable poles can make a tent more user-friendly and convenient. Make sure to check which features are included before making a final decision.

Additionally, reading customer reviews is an effective way to get an idea of how the tent actually performs in various conditions and locations.

At the end of the day, when it comes to finding the right ultralight tent for your needs, understanding these factors can help you make an informed decision.

Tips on Choosing an Ultralight Tent

When shopping for the perfect ultralight tent, there are a few things to consider. Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect tent:

  • Check the weight of the tent. The lighter, the better, as you’ll be carrying it around with you during your adventures.
  • Make sure the tent has enough space for everyone who will be using it.
  • Look for tents with easily accessible entrances and vestibules.
  • Consider the seasonality of your adventures. If you’ll be using the tent in colder weather, make sure it has adequate insulation to keep you warm.
  • Check for waterproof and windproof features so that you stay dry and comfortable during storms.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to consider your budget. There are plenty of ultralight tents available for affordable prices.

With these tips in mind, you’re now ready to purchase the perfect ultralight tent that suits your needs and budget.

Tips for Maintaining an Ultralight Tent

When investing in an ultralight tent, you want to make sure it lasts as long as possible. Here are some tips on how to maintain your tent:

  • Cleaning: Regularly cleaning your tent is essential for keeping it in tip-top shape. Use a mild soap and warm water to remove dirt or grime, then let the tent air dry before packing it away.
  • Sealing: Make sure all seams are properly sealed with waterproof sealant to prevent water leakage. In addition, use a silicone spray on areas that may experience more wear and tear, such as the rainfly or poles.
  • Storage: After cleaning and sealing your tent, store it in a dry place away from direct sunlight. This will help preserve its waterproofness and keep it looking new for longer.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your ultralight tent is well taken care of so you can enjoy a comfortable camping experience for years to come.

In addition, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly set up and take down your tent. This will help you avoid any unnecessary damage that may occur if done incorrectly. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to keep your ultralight tent looking and performing like new for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ultralight Tents

FAQ for Backpacking Tents and Bikepacking Tents

What is a tent body?

A tent body is the main structure of the tent, typically made up of a waterproof material and poles that hold it up. It provides shelter from the elements and can be used as a sleeping area for campers.

Are ultralight tents good for backpacking?

Ultralight tents are perfect for backpacking, as they offer a lightweight solution to shelter on the go. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, making them great for solo trips or group outings. Plus, they’re often easy to set up and pack away quickly. See our ultralight backpacking tents reviewed in the article: The Perfect Ultralight Tent for Your Backpacking and Bikepacking Adventures!

What is the lightest tent?

We reviewed four ultralight tents all under 3lbs. The lightest tent we reviewed was the MIER Lanshan Ultralight Tent at only 1.98lbs packed.

How much does an ultralight tent weigh?

Ultralight tents usually range from 1-3 pounds.

What is the best backpacking tent?

The best backpacking tent depends on individual needs and preferences, but some popular options include Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Backpacking Tent, and NEMO Hornet Elite 2P Tent.

What is the most durable tent?

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Backpacking Tent is considered to be among the most durable tents on the market.

How do I waterproof my tent?

To waterproof your tent, you can apply a waterproof sealant to the seams and use a silicone spray on areas that may experience more wear and tear, such as the rainfly or poles.

What is the difference between semi freestanding tents and a freestanding tent?

Semi-freestanding tents use some tent poles (some hikers use their trekking poles) to hold them up, but still require tent stakes to secure their shape. Freestanding tents, on the other hand, do not need any kind of stakes and can stand up without them. This makes freestanding tents easier to set up and move around compared to semi-freestanding tents.

What is the best tent for rainy weather?

When it comes to camping in rainy conditions, look for tents with waterproof and windproof features such as taped seams and rainflys. Some popular options include Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Tent and NEMO Hornet Elite 2P Tent.

Heavyweight Adventures Start with Lightweight Tents

Now that you’ve had a chance to read about our top picks for the best ultralight backpacking tent and bikepacking tent, we hope you’re feeling more informed and confident about making a purchase that will take your adventure camping trips to the next level.

Differing from car camping where you drive to the campground and park near your campsite, so it's easy to bring all of your gear and larger instant tent or pop up tent, your ultra light tenting adventures are more suited for weekend hikes, bikepacking or backpacking family vacations. There are spacious ultralight tents out there to meet your needs.

With this guide in hand, you can now make an informed decision and find the perfect lightweight tent for your adventures!

Happy camping!


Your FavReview Team

P.S. - here are some more articles that may also interest you.

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The Best Pop-Up Tent for Camping: How to Choose
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