To see how these popular tents compare to the rest of the tent market, check out the Lightweight Tents List.
Popular TentsA tent is one of the most important pieces of gear that you take with you when you go backpacking, hiking or camping, and you should take the time to choose right. Starting with the well reviewed, popular tents is a good way to narrow the field down and make your choice a lot easier.
Here are a few of the most popular tents currently on the market, broken down in to a couple different categories to help you find the right lightweight tent for you.
Popular Tents - 1 Person
- Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 - The Fly Creek 1 from Big Agnes qualifies as one of the lightest free standing tents currently being manufactured. It weighs just 850 grams, or 1.87 pounds, which is a big part of the reason that it is such a popular tent with backpackers and hikers. But it doesn't sacrifice quality for weight either, which is another reason it's such a popular tent. It gets excellent ratings for being easy to set up and keeping you dry inside too.
- Terra Nova Equipment Laser Photon 1 - The Laser Photon 1 is another extremely lightweight tent, this time from UK manufacturer Terra Nova. The Terra Nova product line isn't so popular with North Americans, but is well known to Europeans, and with good reason. This one person tent weighs in at just 670 grams, or 1.47 pounds, which makes it an extremely popular tent. Terra Nova is so dedicated to minimizing weight that the the tent actually comes with its own, exclusive tent pegs that have been specially developed for minimal weight. That's a manufacturer that cares about their products and their customers.
- Tarp Tent Contrail - The Contrail is one of the lightest designs from popular tent manufacturer Henry Shires, who is the man behind the Tarp Tent brand. You wont find these tents at your local outdoor store, but they're extremely popular with lightweight backpackers. The innovative design means that the tent weighs only 696 grams, or 1.53 pounds, and is also hand made right in the USA.
Popular Tents - 2 Person
- MSR Carbon Reflex 2 - The Carbon Reflex 2 is one of the lightest tents from MSR. It won an Adventure Gear of the Year award back in 2009 from National Geographic, which has made it an extremely well reviewed and popular tent. It weighs 1210 grams, or 2.66 pounds, which is respectable for a two person tent.
- Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 - The Fly Creek 2 from Big Agnes is much the same as the Fly Creek 1, the only real difference being room for 2 instead of just 1. It weighs just slightly more than the 1 person version, coming in at 963 grams, or 2.12 lbs, which is a big reason it's such a well reviewed and popular tent. It's also easy to pack, set up, and regularly gets 5 out of 5 ratings.
- Mont Bell Crescent 2 - The Crescent 2 from Mont Bell has a unique, single pole design that helps to cut down on weight. Mont Bell, which is a company that produces many extremely popular sleeping bags and down clothing garments also make a few other products that don't get a lot of attention, but should, like the Crescent 2. It weighs just 1162 grams, or 2.56 pounds, and edges out many products from the more established names in the tent world in terms of weight. It's also roomy and, owing to its unique design, includes ample ventilation.
Popular Tents - 3+ Person
- Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 3 - The Fly Creek 3 is the 3 person version of this popular line of tents from Big Agnes. The jump in weight is a little bigger than from the 1 person to the 2 person version, coming in at 1445 grams, or 3.18 pounds, but it's still signiifcantly lighter than most other tents you'll look at, which is why it is such a popular tent. There is also a 4 person version, the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 4.
- Tarp Tent Rainshadow 2 - The Rainshadow 2 is another popular tent from lightweight backpacking manufacturer Tarp Tent. The innovative design, which you're not likely to see on any of the tents at your local outdoors store, provides ample room for three, as well as enough ventilation to keep the inside of the tent dry from the condensation created by the breathing of three people. It also weighs only 1135 grams, or 2.5 pounds, which is lighter than many of the 2 person tents listed above.
- REI Base Camp 6 - If you want something big with a price that wont empty your wallet, the Base Camp from REI's in house brand is ideal. There's room inside for 6, of course, and the price is lower than many 4 person tents, so you're getting a good deal. It's not exactly lightweight, at 17 pounds 3 ounces, or 7.8 kilograms, but then if price is your main concern, weight probably isn't going to be too important. There's also a few key features, like two doors and plenty of ventilation, which are key when you get in to larger tents like this.