View Full Version : Ultralight tent advice?

07-31-2014, 04:35
Hey all, I'm looking for some advice on what tent I should get.

Situation is that I'm looking at doing smaller backpacking trips over the next few years-weekends, occasional weeklongs, etc., and eventually doing a thru hike within the next 3-5 years. Looking at a 1-2 person light or ultralight, would prefer double wall, somewhere around 3lbs. I'm planning on soloing, but prefer to keep my pack in there with me when I'm camping where bears are not an issue. I'm about 5'11" 200 lbs, and it's possible I'd bring a dog along that would stay in the tent (though probably not on the thru hike when that time comes).

Beyond what type of tent might be best for what I'm looking for, my other question is whether you all think I should just invest in a tent now that I could use down the road for a thru hike, or go ahead and get something for now that I can plan to use on the shorter hikes, and worry about thru hike gear down the road. I'd prefer to kill two birds with one stone if I can, but that my not be possible.

Thanks for any advice you all have!

07-31-2014, 06:07
I have a Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 and a Zpacks Soleplex. Both are great quality tents. The fly creek is simple and quick and can be pitched almost anywhere. The Soleplex needs a good spot and requires both trekking poles and a good stake out but it is a one pound palace with room to sit up inside.

07-31-2014, 07:34
Check out the models from these two companies --


07-31-2014, 08:09
You could always buy the TT Contrail (http://www.tarptent.com/contrail.html) that I don't need anymore.

07-31-2014, 08:46
I did love the z-pack Heximid for my thru and it was very sturdy, though not double walled, that didn't seem to matter as Cuban fiber does not seem to hold water as sil-nylon does, but there was condensation - it just was not as much water held on the fabric. Large enough for everything inside the tent screened area.

I would not to house a clawed animal inside but the CF bathtub is durable, easily repairable and if needed replaceable. I don't know about the room for such a pet either, a small cat sized dog OK maybe, medium - well you 2 are going to be very cozy together, a large dog, you and him/her are going to be wrestling for the prime space at night

Which brings to the type of camping you are planning, for a thru a tent is a place to crash, lighter is a luxury that eventually equals more distance per day, or more energy the next. But if you are planning more camping with fixed distances one may appreciate more room in the tent and carry a bit more.

07-31-2014, 09:25
You absolutely can not go wrong with a Hubba. Room for one. I use tyzex for the footprint. Bought it at Neels Gap and finished my thru hike with it.

07-31-2014, 09:28
I understand you'd prefer double wall, but I'll echo the others above that Tarptent, specifically the Contrail, is an excellent and economical choice for going light. My last Contrail cost well under $1 per night I pitched it (under a quarter per night I carried it) over its long life.

Feral Bill
07-31-2014, 09:36
You might consider a tarp. With a seperate bug screen and ground cloth, they are versatile, airy, light, and not too expensive. An 8x10 is adequate for two, palatial for one.

07-31-2014, 09:42
For trips with the dog, I would suggest something on the cheaper side than what you might buy for solo hikes without the dog.

One specific suggestion I would make, if you think you and the dog can fit, would be the Kelty Salida 2. It's about the same size and shape as the lighter Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2. But because Kelty uses thicker materials, it's more likely to stand up to the dogs claws. Additionally, the Salida can be found relatively cheap compared to an ultra-lite two walled tent like the Copper Spur or the Fly Creek mentioned above.

07-31-2014, 22:37
I loved my hubba hubba for camping but started looking for something lighter for long distance backpacking. They redesigned the hubba hubba for 2014 so that its lighter(hubba hubba NX 3lbs 7oz) but I decided to try out the big agnes fly creek ul2(~2lbs) instead and I'm loving it so far. Its smaller but with enough room for myself and my pack. I don't think I would want to bring a dog in it with me though? It would be a tight fit.
Both tents seem to vent well and hold up under rain and wind. I find the fly creek much easier to set up. I think they are both really good tents.

07-31-2014, 22:52
Hey all, I'm looking for some advice on what tent I should get.You've gotten some pretty good advice already. But your confusing contradiction (thread title= ultralight, text = about 3 pounds) may be inhibiting some responses.

07-31-2014, 23:07
Whichever tent you end up with, consider cutting a piece of tyvek to the size of your tent floor to protect against your pooch's paws. It may be a little slippery though.

Ted M
07-31-2014, 23:44
My two Labrador retrievers and I fit comfortably and dry under our 8x10 oware.com silnylon tarp that weighs about 17 oz. with lines, stakes, and ground cloth.

08-01-2014, 02:03
You've gotten some pretty good advice already. But your confusing contradiction (thread title= ultralight, text = about 3 pounds) may be inhibiting some responses.

Wil, I probably should've have been more clear on my end. I'd like to go ultralight, but I'm willing to go up to 3lbs or so for a larger tent to accomadate my dog. 3lbs is still relatively light to me compared to what I used to carry anyway!

Thanks for the great (and quick) advice everyone. Definitely more to think about now. I'm leaning towards two separate tents at the moment, one, larger but cheaper double wall for the dog and I on the shorter trips, and then maybe a tarp tent as so many of you have suggested for the longer hikes, and eventual thru hike without the dog.

08-01-2014, 03:30
...give this one a gander, may fit your and your pups needs, depending on how big he/she is.