When you’re going on a backpacking adventure, no matter if it is just another hiking journey through mountain trails, a camping adventure to the nearest mountain where the air is fresh and temperature is way lower than in the urban jungle you live in, or a bold summer backpacking journey during which you’ll have fun at numerous summer music festivals, getting the right tent is very important. If you’re going solo, every ounce matters. You pack has its limits, so you have to be careful when you’re in the process of deciding what to take with you. And since you’ll need some clothes, a sleeping bag, lots of equipment along with food rations (if you’re visiting the outdoors), picking among lots of different ultralight tents can prove very difficult.
You need a tent that’s durable, that will be able to provide shelter from rain or heavy wind, all that while keeping its weight to the minimum. There are lots of different models, most of them made out of light and water resistant materials, some of them made for the outdoors and others perfect for a backpacker who’ll spend most of the time in festival camps, a bit heavy but feature-rich. We did a bit of research and found some models that can fit into one of the two categories. The first one includes ultralight tents for the wild and festival camps, they offer some protection from elements while at the same time giving you a way to fit a couple of extra pieces of equipment since they often weight less than two pounds. The second group also focuses on low weight, but these models come with few extra features, sacrificing a couple of pounds in order to provide a secure, durable, and luxurious (at least to outdoor standards) shelter that you can use not only during summer but also during colder seasons.
MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Tent
The MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Tent can surely be placed inside the ultralight tent group. The tent weighs in just a little over two pounds, allowing you to pack additional equipment. The tent is made out of 0-denier ripstop nylon and 15-denier nylon mesh along with a special StayDry door to protect you from elements. It comes with a solid ventilation system with walls made out of mesh, and a vestibule that can be rolled for extra airflow.
The tent is capable of protecting you from moderate rain, but if you encounter a storm, well, you won’t have a nice time. Since the MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Tent is as light as it gets, don’t expect extra features such as equipment pockets, or an internal stash able to keep your stuff dry. On the other hand, the tent is perfect for summer adventurers since it is very light, it provides excellent airflow, and it very comfortable. Perfect for a summer festival adventure.
You’ll get wet during heavy storms
It is made for summer season
Lack of rigging (no lines, just a couple of guy-line attachments)Buy It ($350)
Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy Tent
Another ultralight tent for the summer season, the Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy Tent is a waterproof shelter made for one person. The shelter is completely waterproof, so if you plan on visiting an area known for its summer storms, this tent is just for you. It is made out of 70D RipStop fabric along with PU coating and Heat taped seams, making the tent able to provide a waterproof rating of 10,000 mm +. The shelter is single walled, meaning you won’t really want to get it if you plan on using it during spring or autumn, the Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy Tent is made for the summer.
It is easy to set up and comes with high breathability rating. You can set it up in just a couple of minutes, and gaze at stars with just transparent mesh between you and the skies above. If it starts raining, you can zip up the tent, and still be able to look at the sky via TPU window. Overall, the Aqua Quest Hooped Bivy Tent is an excellent ultralight tent for one person that is completely waterproof and quite durable. Bear in mind that you won’t be able to carry it with you once the weather gets cold since the tent comes with a single wall design.
You won’t have lots of room
No additional featuresBuy It ($110)
If you’re ready to pay extra for an ultralight tent, the Echo II from HMG is a perfect choice. The whole system weighs in at just 1.87 lbs, which is incredible especially since the shelter is made out of three modular parts – the Echo II Tarp, Echo II Insert & Echo II Beak. This is excellent since if the weather is warm and dry you can use just the tarp, and during cold season you can set up the whole package, providing waterproofing and extra insulation for cold weather with its double walled design.
The shelter comes with a beak, that fully removable and capable of storing lots of equipment and keeping it dry. The tarp and insert are made out of ultralight DCF8 Dyneema® Composite Fabrics and the insert features DCF11 seam sealed bathtub floor, keeping you dry during heavy storms. The tent is an excellent choice for backpackers who want flexibility, and want a shelter that can be used during different seasons. The only downside is a steep price tag.
The whole system weighs less than two pounds
The beak provides lots of space for storing gear
Plenty of room for two persons
ExpensiveBuy It ($695)
Another tent for those who want an extremely light shelter. The tent (along with equipment) weighs in at just 1 lb 1.9 oz, which is crazy light. The tent can be set up in less than four minutes, and it comes with a single-pole, non-freestanding design, which can turn off some, but it makes the tent ultralight and quick to set up. There’s lots of room with the floor area of 22.5 sq ft and vestibule area of 7 sq ft. The ZPacks Altaplex also is pretty tall, so you won’t have to worry about not having enough room in case you aren’t really small in size.
The tall frame means the tent isn’t really the best to stay inside it during heavy wind, but you’ll get extra stakes for windy conditions. The tent is suitable not only for summer, but for all four seasons; its steep walls are excellent at shedding snow and draining condensation, and the tent features a solid airflow thanks to its multiple downwind doors. As for extra features, you’ll find only one small equipment sack, enough for storing a cell phone and a couple other pieces of gear.
Plenty of room for one person
Can be used during all four seasons
No extra featuresBuy It ($585)
If you plan on keeping the weight at the complete minimum, the Tarptent ProTrail is exactly what you’re looking for. This Spartan shelter weighs in at just 26 oz, which is by far the lightest shelter features on this list. The shelter provides protection from elements with full bathroom flooring, an interior storm flap, and bug-proof enclosure. One problem is that you’ll need to seam-seal the tent before use, but Tarptent can do that for you for a small fee, making the ProTrail waterproof.
The tent provides excellent airflow since it is open on both sides, making summer camping a breeze. The shelter is perfect for summer festival lovers as well as for extreme adventurers. Materials used include silnylon that’s durable and offers solid ruggedness. The tent can be set up using regular hiking poles, or you can order front and rear pole if you don’t use hiking poles on your adventures. You’ll also get a front vestibule for stashing your gear.
Lightest tent on the list
Not suitable for cold weather
Doesn’t come with extra featuresBuy It ($225)
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL
The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL isn’t really a champion when it comes to low weight since it weighs almost four pounds. But, other than that the tent is excellent and can be used during three seasons. The tent features compact design, and its half mesh walls provide airflow through it while rain stays outside thanks to the rainfly cover capable of protecting from elements. Since the rainfly cover doesn’t buckle to the tent’s footing, rain will stay away from walls keeping you completely dry. Also, during cold weather, you can use the cover in order to keep heat inside the tent.
The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL comes with a single door, storm flaps, and vestibule for keeping stuff dry and safe. The vestibule is quite large and fully enclosed, allowing you to store wet shoes, or keeping them dry during rainfall. The rainfly completely covers front door, and comes two feet in front of it, creating a small floorless room to keep extra equipment away from the rain. DAC Featherlite NFL pole system keeps weight down while providing increased stability and the tent is capable of surviving even extreme hailstorms. If you don’t want the lightest tent available, need a large vestibule, superb airflow, and lots of space, pick the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL.
Large, enclosed vestibule
Lots of space inside
You’ll need to cover the tent with rainfly cover for complete protection
Doesn’t come with foot print
Not really ultralightBuy It ($290)
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx is an excellent value for money. It comes with a price tag a couple of times lower than most other tents featured on our Best Ultralight Tents list, but it offers excellent design, solid weight, lots of space for one person, and waterproofing. It features a classic two pole design, with poles made out of aluminum. The tent features one large side door, one vestibule for keeping gear dry (the vestibule is surprisingly big for a tent with such low price tag) and half mesh walls for increased ventilation. The tent is great for summer adventures since it provides superb ventilation along with solid protection from elements, and when it gets rainy or cold you can completely cover it with a rainfly cover that looks amazing.
Another good thing about the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent is that it comes with factory sealed fly and floor seam, providing extra weather protection. The 75D 185T Polyester used for the fly makes the tent durable while at the same time providing increased durability. The tent is easy to assemble and can fit into any backpack. The only downsides are poor insulation (after all the tent is designed for warm weather) and the fact that it could’ve offered a bit more space. But since it comes for a low price and offers a big vestibule, it remains one of the top choices for a summer adventure.
Factory sealed fly and floor seam
There could’ve been more spaceBuy It ($90)
Hilleberg Akto 1 Person Tent
The Hilleberg Akto isn’t the cheapest tent you could buy and not the lightest, but it offers supreme stability along with lots of room and handy features. The tent is made out of Kerlon 1200 along with 9mm thick poles, providing increased stability and making the shelter a perfect choice for windy conditions. The tent is designed for all seasons, it can offer super waterproofing along with excellent insulation for cold weather. Although it offers superb protection from elements and is very stable even during heavy storms, the tent weighs in at 2.80 pounds, which isn’t the lightest but more than enough for backpackers who look for an ultralight tent capable of fitting into any backpack.
The tent features one large front-placed vestibule along with additional gear pocket, making the tent excellent for stashing lots of gear inside it. If you’re looking for a tent that features lots of space, superb protection and insulation, and plan on using it during the whole year, check out the Hilleberg Akto.
Superb protection and stability
Made for all four seasons
Lots of space
High priceBuy It ($530)