5 of the Best Lightweight Tents for Backcountry Camping – 2018

   03.07.18

5 of the Best Lightweight Tents for Backcountry Camping – 2018

2018 sees a number of popular tent manufacturers with flagship lightweight tents for the weight-conscious wilderness camper.

Backcountry camping is the ultimate decompression event, putting you miles away from crowds and the modern life we often take for granted. But your experience spending a few days in the wilderness is only as good as the gear you bring in; choosing the right shelter is just as important as the food and clothing you pack. Fortunately, manufacturers are on a never-ending quest to perfect the backcountry tent, making them stronger, lighter, and dryer every year.

Let’s take a look at five lightweight tents for backcountry hiking.

Big Agnes – C Bar 2

The Big Agnes C Bar 2 backcountry tent
The Big Agnes C Bar 2 backcountry tent is new for 2018.

New for 2018 from one of the most trusted names in outdoor gear, the C Bar 2 from Big Agnes combines affordability in a lightweight package. This lightweight 2-person backcountry tent (also available for 3 people) sports a single front entry into a vestibule that’s perfect for storing wet gear that you don’t want in your sleeping quarters. The C Bar 2 isn’t short on stash spots for your gear either; a large ceiling pocket and three mesh side pockets can hold essential gear while you crash after a long hike in. The Big Agnes C Bar 2 retails for $199.95

CLICK HERE for more information on the BA C Bar 2.

Specifications:

  • Trail Weight – 3lbs 9oz (1.62kg)
  • Packed Weight – 4lbs
  • Packed Size – 6” x 19” (5x48cm)
  • Number of Seasons – 3
  • Intended Use – Backpacking
  • Floor Area – 28Sq Ft

Features:

  • Light enough for the backcountry, strong enough for the front country
  • Simple head entry design
  • Single door and vestibule featuring storm flaps on vestibule zipper
  • DAC Angle Hubs and attached cross pole create a spacious interior
  • Single pole architecture makes set up and take down simple and efficient
  • Quick Stash door keeper on tent body door makes stowing unzipped door quick and easy
  • Oversized ceiling pocket is great for gear stashing
  • Velcro tabs connect fly to pole structure providing perfect pitch and extra stability
  • Ready to pitch; with pre-cut guy lines and tensioners attached to fly
  • Reflective guy lines and webbing on tent corners
  • To extend the life of your tent floor, we recommend using a Big Agnes footprint – sold separately
  • Multiple interior loops for use with gear lofts or for attaching other accessories

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MSR – Carbon Reflex 1

The MSR Carbon Reflex 1 lightweight backcountry tent.
The MSR Carbon Reflex 1 lightweight backcountry tent.

Mountain Safety Research makes extremely lightweight and high-performance backpacking gear – we’re talking tents that pack to the size of a water bottle! The Carbon Reflex 1 is just such a tent for weight-sensitive backcountry campers. Weighing in at a mere 1lb 7oz (.66kg), the Carbon Reflex 1 is perfect for cyclists and minimalist backpackers alike. As the name suggests, it features carbon fiber poles, lightweight fabrics, and a zipper-free vestibule. The MSR Carbon Reflex 1 retails for $399.95.

CLICK HERE for more info on the Carbon Reflex 1

Specifications:

  • Packed Weight: 1lb 13oz
  • Tent Volume: 23 cu ft
  • Interior Height: 34”
  • Packed Size: 17” x 5” (43x13cm)

Features:

  • Simple, non-freestanding design
  • Unique pole geometry optimizes headroom
  • Weight-saving, zipper-free vestibule
  • Fast & Light setup with optional footprint
  • Large door provides easy entry and exit
  • Micromesh canopy
  • Waterproof, taped-seam rainfly and bathtub-style floor
  • Reinforced stress points for durability
  • Internal mesh storage pockets

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Hilleberg – Mesh Tent 1

The Hilleberg Mesh Tent 1 backcountry camping shelter.
The Hilleberg Mesh Tent 1 backcountry camping shelter.

The Mesh Tent 1 is an ultra-light summer tent for the most space-conscious backcountry hikers. With a packed weight of 15 ounces, the awesome Mesh Tent 1 is definitely the lightest on the list. However, it doesn’t come with pegs or poles, but rather relies on using your hiking sticks as support or packing in a pair of aftermarket poles. The Mesh Tent 1 is breezy and quite versatile with its ridge-tent design, allowing protection from biting bugs while maintaining an open-air feeling that some hikers prefer. Also not included is a rain tarp and Hilleberg recommends their Tarp 5 as the perfect match for the Mesh Tent 1. The Hilleberg Mesh Tent 1 retails for $210 and is currently in pre-order status.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Hilleberg Mesh Tent 1.

Specifications:

  • Packed Weight: 410g/15oz (does not include poles or rain tarp)
  • Length: 83”
  • Height Front: 37”
  • Height Rear: 22”
  • Width Front: 47”
  • Width Rear: 22”

Features:

  • Spacious and roomy 1-person tent.
  • Designed for warm weather and summer months.
  • Extremely lightweight at 410 grams packed.
  • Designed to work with the Tarp 5 rain tarp.
  • Classic ridge-tent design; all you need are a pair of poles, sticks, or two trees.

Brooks Range Mountaineering – Foray 2P

Brooks Range Mountaineering Foray 2P
The Brooks Range Mountaineering Foray 2P.

The weather is unpredictable. A warm afternoon hike can turn windy, cold and wet, and that’s just what the Foray 2P is designed for. This 2-person 3-season tent weighs in at 3lbs 2oz fully packed, and bundles into an 18×6” package that can easily be lashed to your hiking pack. To help with foul weather comfort, all the seams are fully taped, and the front door is a no-drip design that won’t get your interior wet when the fly is open. The interior sleeping space is a roomy 50” in width by 78” in length, making the Foray 2P one of the biggest and lightest in its class. To top it all off, the vestibule offers up 6 sq ft of gear storage space. The Foray 2P retails for $424.95 and ships free from Brooks Range.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Brooks Range Mountaineering – Foray 2P.

Features:

  • 2lb 9oz min weight
  • 3lb 2oz max weight
  • Pack size 18′ x 6′
  • Fully seam taped
  • Fly vents to help remove condensation
  • No Drip Front door, rain won’t drop into the tent when the fly is open
  • Quick release fly connections
  • Full mesh canopy for added ventilation
  • 15d Sil / PU Nylon fly 1200mm
  • 15d Sil / Pu Nylon floor 1200mm
  • 90 x 50 x 39
  • 30 Sq ft
  • 6 sq ft vestibule

MSR Hubba Tour 2

The MSR Hubba Tour 2 is a premium 2-person backcountry shelter.
The MSR Hubba Tour 2 is a premium 2-person backcountry shelter.

Finishing off our top lightweight backcountry tents of 2018 is another high-performance offering from Mountain Safety Research. The Hubba is a well known in the hiking community for its longevity and quality, so there’s no denying that the Hubba Tour 2 will deliver! MSR touts the Hubba Tour 2 as a tent that “redefines the art of long-term roughing it”. It features an exoskeleton design that keeps the interior dry during setup and takedown, an ultra-durable Xtreme-Shield coating to resist moisture from all angles, and a spacious vestibule to make transitions a much cleaner affair. The MSR Hubba Tour 2 retails for $749.99.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the MSR Hubba Tour 2.

Features:

  • Unique Design:Exoskeleton frame and unified rainfly and body keep the tent body dry during setup in foul weather.
  • Added Space:Large hooped vestibule provides a dry, protected area for changing clothes, lounging, and storing and prepping gear.
  • Livable Features:Two easy-access entrances, multiple gear storage solutions, and an internal glow-in-the-dark zipper.
  • Xtreme ShieldCoating: Ultra-durable coating lasts up to 3 times longer than standard waterproof coatings.

Specifications:

  • Capacity: 2 people
  • Packed Weight: 5lbs 4oz.
  • Floor area: 32 sq. ft.
  • Poles: 2 aluminum 7000 series
  • Number of doors: 2
  • Material: 20D and 30D ripstop nylon

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