10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Tents of 2024 (2024)

10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Tents of 2024 (1)

Ultralight backpacking tents are a good option when you’re trying to reduce the weight of your backpacking gear but you’re unwilling to give up the comfort of a tent and sleep under a tarp without insect protection. The lightest weight ultralight backpacking tents are often made with Dyneema Composite Fabrics (DCF) and use trekking poles instead of tent poles to save weight. While many are single-wall tents and more prone to internal condensation, some are double-wall tents or a hybrid combination of the two. But don’t discount tents made with more conventional fabrics that are freestanding, more wind worthy, longer for tall people, or more spacious, especially for couples. There has never been a better time than now to buy a lightweight tent.

Here are the 10 best ultralight backpacking tents that we recommend.

Make / ModelTypeMaterialMin Weight
Zpacks Duplex (1P)Single WallDCF19.3 oz / 555g
Gossamer Gear "The One" (1P)Single WallSil/PU Nylon17.7 oz / 503g
Durston X-Mid 1Double WallSil/PeU Poly28 oz / 795g
NEMO Hornet OSMO Elite 2 (2P)Double WallPoly-Nylon27 oz/ 779g
Tarptent Double Rainbow Li (2P)Single WallDCF26.4 oz / 746g
Zpacks Plex Solo (1P)Single WallDCF13.9 oz / 395g
Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (1P)Single WallSilpoly26 oz / 740g
Tarptent Notch Li (1P)Double WallDCF19.9 oz / 562g
Hyperlite Mtn Gear Unbound 2 (2P)Single WallDCF24 oz / 680g
Tarptent Dipole Li 2 (2P)Single WallDCF26.15 oz / 633

See our advice at the bottom of the page for advice about how to choose between these different options.

1. Zpacks Duplex Zip Tent (2P)

The Zpacks Duplex Zip is a single-wall trekking pole tent made with Dyneema Composite Fabric weighing only 19.6 ounces. It has ample space for one person plus gear to spread out but can also fit two people comfortably. It has two doors, so you get good ventilation and vestibule space on both sides of the tent, plus you don’t have to climb over your partner at night to go for a nighttime walk. The Duplex has a full bathtub floor, seam-taped seams, and mesh sidewalls for insect protection. Pitching the tent requires two trekking poles, but the dual apex structure is wind resistant, provided it’s staked out securely. However, the Duplex can be quite drafty in cold weather and is best used for warmer and drier weather. It is also translucent, compromising your privacy when camping near others. Read the SectionHiker Review.

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2. Gossamer Gear “The One” (1P)

Gossamer Gear’s “The One” is an ultralight, single-walled trekking-pole tent that weighs 17.7 oz. It has a spacious interior that’s a palace for one, with excellent ventilation to help prevent internal condensation. Made with 10d Sil/PU ripstop nylon, The One is factory seam-taped so you can use it without seam-sealing. The front vestibule is quite large with a zippered center opening which can be closed shut in inclement weather, or rolled back for views and ventilation. Read the SectionHiker “The One” review.

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3. Durston X-Mid 1 (1P)

10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Tents of 2024 (4)

The Durston X-Mid 1P is a 28-ounce double-wall trekking pole tent that is exceptionally easy to set up. This 2-door tent is made of 20D polyester with a 2500mm sil/PEU coating and requires trekking poles to pitch. All of the seams are taped and the inner tent is optional so you can just use the rainfly if desired. The X-mid can be set up fly first in the rain to keep the inner tent dry and has plenty of interior gear storage space. This mid-style tent is quite stormworthy and includes extra guy out points for extreme conditions. Read the SectionHiker X-Mid 1P review. An even lighter-weight single-wall DCF version of the X-Mid is available called the X-Mid Pro 1 which weighs 16 oz/465, but we really like the sil/PEU X-Mid 1P listed here because it’s such a great value and is usually in stock.

View at Durston Gear

4. NEMO Hornet Elite OSMO 2 (2P)

10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Tents of 2024 (5)

The NEMO Hornet Elite OSMO 2 is a 27 oz, two-person double-wall tent made with ultralight fabrics with two doors and two extra-large vestibules for ease of access and gear storage. The OSMO fabric has 4x better water repellency and 3x less stretch when wet than NEMO’s previous PU-coated rain flies. Clever design features increase interior headroom and floor space for added livability. A single hubbed tent pole makes setup very fast and easy, while black mesh doors turn virtually transparent at night for clear stargazing.

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5. Tarptent Double Rainbow (2P)

The Tarptent Double Rainbow Li is a spacious Dyneema DCF tent that is not a trekking pole tent but includes a carbon fiber tent pole and strut. Weighing 26.3 oz, it’s a single-wall ultralight backpacking tent favored by couples that want more room to interior spread out. It has two doors and two vestibules for gear storage and can be set up on wooden tent platforms by attaching trekking poles to the corners of the tent. The interior tent walls have partial fabric sidewalls for enhanced wind and splash protection an optional ceiling liner is available for additional privacy, separation from internal condensation, and winter temperature regulation. If you need less room, check out the spacious 1 person Rainbow Li or the less expensive Rainbow.

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6. Zpacks Plex Solo (1P)

The 13.9 oz Zpacks Plex Solo Classic is a single wall trekking pole tent made with Dyneema DCF which doesn’t stretch or sag at night and is extremely waterproof. It has a deep bathtub floor to keep you dry, steep walls to shed strong wind and snow, and a rainbow zipper that makes it easy to get in and out from either side of the front vestibule. Setup requires one trekking pole. If you’re a taller hiker or you want even more headroom, we recommend sizing up to the Zpacks AltaPlex Classic Tent, which is virtually identical but has a longer bathtub floor.

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7. Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (1P)

The Six Moon Designs Lunar Solois an ultralight style, single-wall tent that’s pitched with a single trekking pole. Weighing 26 ounces, the Lunar Solo has a bathtub style floor to prevent flooding in the rain and a side door, making entry easy. The interior is quite roomy, with a hexagon-shaped floor, providing room to store your gear in the tent, and plenty of headroom to sit up inside. A large vestibule also provides gear storage and room to cook in bad weather. The Lunar Solo upper is made with a 20d silicone-coated polyester, reducing fabric stretch and packed volume, while the floor utilizes a durable 40D fabric. Read the SectionHiker Review.

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8. Tarptent Notch Li (1P)

The Tarptent Notch Li is a one-person, double-wall tent with two vestibules and two doors that weighs 21.5 oz. It’s a strong wind and weather-worthy shelter that is made with Dyneema Composite Fabric. Internal livability is excellent with plenty of headroom, space to accommodate a wide 25″ sleeping pad, and large vestibule spaces for gear storage, cooking in the rain, or a canine companion. Peak and end vents help maintain ventilation even in crappy weather. The inner tent can be set up by itself with trekking poles in dry weather and a solid inner tent is also available to extend the tent’s range in colder winter weather. Read the SectionHiker Notch Review.

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9. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 2 (2P)

The Hyperlight Moutain Gear Unbound 2 is an ultralight Dyneema DCF tent that weighs 24 oz and requires two trekking poles to set up. Sized for 1 or 2 very friendly people, it has two doors and two vestibules providing separate entrances and gear storage areas. It is very ruggedly built like all of Hyperlight’s products with extra reinforcements at all of the guy out points. Volumizing ties-out on the side panels provide extra interior room while the rectangular floor and line loc tensioners make setup simple and straightforward.

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10. Tarptent Dipole (2P)

The Tarptent Dipole 2P is a spacious two-person, single-wall trekking pole suitable for taller hikers or backpackers who want a lot of extra interior space to use wide sleeping or store gear under cover. Weighing 24.65 oz, the Dipole 2 has a rectangular shape that requires two trekking poles to set up and 6 to 8 stakes depending on the degree of stability you prefer. The tent includes two carbon fiber struts that are used to increase the headroom at the ends and form covered awnings that can be sealed closed in high wind. The struts are collapsible so that the entire tent can be rolled up and packed horizontally in any backpack that’s at least 13″ wide (which is most backpacks). A one-person Dipole Li 1 is also available.

View at Tarptent

Ultralight Backpacking Tent Selection Guide

The backpacking tent manufacturers who make trekking poles tents use a wide range of different materials and designs. When shopping for a tent, it’s important to understand the tradeoffs of the models you’re considering and how they can complement your adventures.

Ultralight Tent Materials and Price Points

Trekking poles tents are available in a variety of different materials and at different price points. Dyneema DCF is the lightest weight material and the most expensive, in part because it requires specialized manufacturing processes. Tents made with Silpoly, Silnylon, and PU coated silnylon are much less expensive than Dyneema because they can be sewn using conventional methods. They’re also roughly comparable in price. It’d be difficult to say which is the best fabric to make tents with because fabric quality varies widely depending on the manufacturer and specification to which it is made. That said, ultralight tentmakers are beginning to switch away from silnylon to silpoly because it has less stretch than silnylon and absorbs less water.

  • Tents made with Dyneema DCF are very expensive, but also very lightweight, waterproof, and strong. They are more prone to damage from sunlight over the long term, but that’s seldom an issue for most people. Dyneema tents must be folded when packed not stuffed, but can still be surprisingly bulky despite their low weight.
  • Tents made with siliconized polyester (silpoly) are an attractive alternative to Dyneema DCF because they don’t stretch much overnight or when they get wet from rain. They’re also far less expensive and some are seam-taped, so you can use them out of the box without any seam sealing.
  • Tents made with PU-coated silnylon are generally more waterproof than regular silnylon, but you need to compare their waterproofing specs to be sure. The chief benefit of the PU coating over regular silnylon is improved UV resistance and the fact that the material can be factory seam-taped.
  • Tents made with silnylon are still common because it’s an easy material for manufacturers to work with. While silnylon does stretch at night and when it gets wet, it’s not as big a deal as people make it out to be. Silnylon tents must be manually seam-sealed before they can be used in rainy weather. While you can do this yourself, my advice would be to pay the manufacturer to do it for you so you get a tent that’s ready to be used when it arrives.

Single-wall vs Double-wall Tents

Ultralight backpacking tents are available in single-wall and double-wall models, with separate inner tents. While both are susceptible to internal condensation, the advantage of a double-wall tent is the moisture collects on the underside of the rainfly and not on a wall that has contact with your sleeping bag, quilt, or other gear. The inner tent and rainfly on many double-wall tents can also be used independently from one another, for example as a standalone tarp or as a bug bivy, which can extend their utility. The advantage of a single-wall tent over a double-wall one is usually reduced weight.

If tent condensation ever becomes an issue for you, we recommend carrying a small absorbent face towel to wipe it away. Tent condensation is a small price to pay for reduced gear weight and it won’t kill you unless you’re a witch (wizard-0f-Oz reference).

Headroom

Many ultralight backpacking tents pole tents have a pyramid shape which can limit the amount of headroom and foot room available under the sloping ceiling. Lying on your back and staring at a ceiling that’s three inches from your face can be unpleasantly claustrophobic. Make sure you examine the length of the tents you’re considering, in addition to their peak heights.

Trekking pole tents that require two poles to set up usually have two peaks, which can increase the amount of livable space overhead, compared to a one-pole tent. Some tent manufacturers also reduce the slope of the ceiling to create more headroom. The best example of this is Tarptent’s use of carbon fiber end struts to increase the amount of room under the ceilings at the head and foot ends of their tents. The downside of these end struts is that it can make tents harder to pack horizontally in a backpack.

Vestibules

Vestibules are good for gear storage, especially wet gear storage, and for cooking under cover in windy or rainy weather. Most one-pole tents have a single vestibule, while two-pole tents generally have two. When buying a two-person tent, you’ll definitely want two doors and two vestibules so you can each have your own entrance and gear storage area. It can also be quite useful to have two doors and two vestibules on a one-person tent, especially if you anticipate stormy weather conditions where you might have to hunker down in your tent for a day. For that matter, many people use two-person tents as solo tents, something that’s feasible without a major weight penalty since most ultralight backpacking tents are quite lightweight.

Pole Length

When you choose a trekking pole tent, you want to make sure that it is compatible with the make and model of trekking pole you use if you have a preference. Fixed-length poles that are not adjustable can be difficult to use with trekking pole tents which have very specific height requirements. In addition, you want to make sure that your trekking pole handles are compatible if they have a non-standard grip.

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10 Best Ultralight Backpacking Tents of 2024 (2024)
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