When you head out in to the woods you need a few things to really enjoy yourself, and hiking tents are one of them. Alternatives like bivy sacks and hammocks do exist, but there is a reason that the tent is by far the most popular kind of shelter out there. But hiking tents come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and getting the right hiking tent for you starts with you identifying what it is that you need your hiking tent to do for you.
Hiking TentsWhat to look for when you're reviewing hiking tents.
- Weight – If you’re going to be carrying your tent, then it pays to get a small, lightweight tent, instead of a bulky, heavy tent. You will have room in your backpack for more important stuff, and your knees and back will feel a lot better at the end of the day then they otherwise would have with a heavier tent.
- Seasons – If you know what you’re doing you can make a 3 season tent work in most winter conditions, but it’s a lot easier, and safer, to take a proper 4 season tent when you go winter camping. They tend to stand up a lot better to wind, snow and the other conditions that you run in to in the winter.
Best Hiking TentsSome of the very best hiking tents on the market.
- Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 - The Fly Creek line is the ideal lightweight hiking tent. The 2 man version won the 2010 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award, though there are also 1 man, 3 man and 4 man versions that are equally good. The UL 2 weighs in at 2 pounds 2 ounces, or 960 grams, and while it's not terribly big inside, with 28 square feet of space for two people, it's enough. A fantastic hiking tent for anyone concerned about weight.
- Black Diamond Eldorado - If you plan to be doing any serious four season hiking then a four season tent like the Eldorado might ideally suite your purposes. It's a 2 man, single wall design, though it has enough ventilation to keep you from collecting too much condensation inside. It has just two poles, but it's a strong enough tent for rough weather. It also has 30.8 square feet of space, which is a good amount for two people and winter camping gear. The whole thing weighs 4 pounds 8 ounces, or 2.04 kilograms.
- Terra Nova Laser Competition - The Laser Competition is one more fantastic hiking tent, this time from UK manufacturer Terra Nova. It's built for just one, though there's room for 2 if you don't mind getting good and cozy. The whole thing weighs 1 pound 14 ounces, or 860 grams, and Terra Nova is nice enough to include a few thoughtful extras, like extra lightweight titanium tent pegs, so that you save as much weight as possible.