Recent Comments

Lightweight, affordable tent

Q. Please help, Gear Guy! I like to camp and hike but I always get slowed down by my heavy tent. Can you help me find a lightweight AND affordable backpacking tent?
—Tentless Joseph, Eugene, Ore.

A. If you plan on backpacking regularly, you ought to be shopping for a lightweight two-person tent that weighs around five pounds or so. Sure you can go lots lighter, but the lighter you go, the more you’ll have to spend. One way to make sure your pack stays light is to share the load with your tentmate—he carries the poles and fly; you carry the tent body. That way, you each are carrying just a couple of pounds. Simple.

O.K., now for some recommendations. Here are a few lightweight tents that might fit your budget:

  • Mountain Hardwear Drifter 2 ($165; mountainhardwear.com) This new freestanding tent weighs in at 4 lbs. 12. oz., has lots of good ventilation and a large vestibule.
  • Eureka! Forte SQ 2 ($130; eurekatent.com) The Forte is a new A-frame-style tent that’s very affordable for its 4 lbs. 8 oz. weight.
  • Big Agnes Lynx Pass 2 ($200; bigagnes.com) The 5 lb. 8 oz.-Lynx Pass is a cool freestanding tent with the option to pitch the fly as an awning using hiking poles or sticks.

Ask the Gear Guy

Not sure which gear to buy? Need tips for maintaining your equipment? Click here to send in your questions for the Gear Guy. Selected questions will be answered here and in the printed magazine.

10 Comments on Lightweight, affordable tent

  1. I found a tent at target for 30$ very light weight and super water proof

  2. firstclassscout // October 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm // Reply

    The REI half dome is a good,affordable tent

  3. The Kelty Teton 2 is I think is the best way to go. It is meant as a two person tent, but I find it way to small for that. I just use it as a solo shelter.

  4. I forgot to mention this in my last comment. the brand is Swiss army gear so you can buy replacment parts.

  5. At local shopping centers like Sams Club you can by tents around 5 pounds and mine has last me for two years and a lot of new scouts learning what not to do with a tent.

  6. try the camp dome 2 from REI.it costs about $150,holds 2 people (1 person+gear),weighs about 2 lbs,and if you get the ground cloth you can set up the rainfly without the tent as a shade.

  7. In my last comment i meant to say Me and my dad not E and my dad

  8. E and my dad are looking for a tent and we dont want to spend over $200 so the Eureka! is the best bet its durable and reliable so try it out!

Leave a Reply

Please do not use your real name.