New ultralight tents weigh less than three pounds, and provide plenty of room for two.
Two of the main rules of backpacking is to go as light as possible, and never go alone. So it makes sense that a lightweight two-person tent is an inevitable part of your backpacking gear. With many lightweight and strong materials available, two person backpacking tents seem to get lighter and lighter each year.
While hardcore ultra-light backpackers might think that the way to go is with a space blanket, tarp or tent rainfly as the way to shed some weight off your portable shelter. But the fact is, many of us like a roof, walls and a floor. So for those of us who enjoy the extra room of a tent, we searched for ultra-light, two-person, two and three season rated tents that weigh in under three pounds (including poles and stakes).
Weighing in at only 2 pounds 3 ounces, the Hilleberg Rajd (pronounced Ride), is manufactured from Kerlon 1200, a strong yet lightweight fabric that makes the basis of this two-person tent. Hilleberg had the great idea to use your trekking poles as tent poles, to save some weight and includes guy lines and 10 pegs.
The Rajd offers good head room and a two-door design. It’s not a two-layer tent, meaning it may be prone to condensation, but it makes up for it with excellent ventilation. If you want something more than a simple tarp, the Rajd is a good choice for saving some weight, but having the luxury of sides and a floor for added protection.Specs: Weight: 2 lbs.-3 oz (includes guy lines and 10 pegs) No poles included (Uses your trek poles) Good head room Two door design with excellent ventilation. No vestibule Retail price: $365 www.hilleberg.com
Brooks-Range A2 Rocket Tent
Brooks-Range also thought of eliminating tent poles to make their A2 Rocket Tent much lighter. At 1 pound 10.9 ounces, it’s one of the lightest two person tents available for skiers and snowboarders. For avid backpackers however, the addition of three high-grade aluminum poles, the A2 still weighs in at only 2 pounds, 4-ounces.
The A2 Rocket Tent is a four season tent that’s made from CT3b fabric, which is lightweight yet incredibly strong and water resistant up to 5000+ mm of pressure. It seems like it’s a tent made out of space blanket material, but don’t let that deter you. The A2 is strong and packs away incredibly small. It features three zippered vents and plenty of room for two people and your gear. Read our review on this tent HERESpecs: Weight: 2 lbs. – 4 oz. (with three 8mm and one 9mm tent poles) 1 lbs – 10.9 oz (using your ski poles) Good head room Single door design with three adjustable vents Vestibule Aluminum tent stakes sold separately Retail Price: $600 www.brooks-range.com
Terra Nova Solar Photon 2 and Laser Photon 2
With a stable design, the Terra Nova Solar Photon 2 tent is a two and three season tent that weighs in at two pounds, three ounces with lightweight 8 and 8.5mm DAC poles. The Solar Photon is a double-wall tent that uses Si/Si Nylon R2000 fabric that’s strong,( R3000 is used on the floor). Using guy lines and 16 titanium pegs, it may seem like a lot of stuff to carry, but Solar Photon 2 remains lightweight and strong.
The Solar Photon 2 has good headroom and a small vestibule to store your gear. The flysheet raises for extra ventilation. The Solar Photon 2 will be available in the Spring of 2011 so no price is available at the time of this article.Specs: Weight: 2 lbs.- 3 0z. (with poles and pegs) Adequate head room Single door – good ventilation Available Spring 2011 Price: N/A www.terra-nova.co.uk
The Laser Photon 2 is the lightest weight two-person, three season tent we’ve found. Wihout the poles the Laser Photon 2 weighs in at one pound 15 ounces. Add the single 7.5 mm Scandium pole and the entire tent with guy lines and 16 titanium pegs weights in at two pounds, one ounce. The Laser Photon uses the same materials as the Solar Photon and it too is a double-wall tent with a streamline design.Specs: Weight 2 lbs.-1 oz (with one 7.5mm pole) 1 lbs. – 15 oz (without pole) Adequate head room Single door – good ventilation Available Spring 2011 Price: N/A www.terra-nova.co.uk
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2
The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 offers a roomy design in a two-person, single entry tent. The floor and fly are ultralight silicone treated Nylon rip-stop with a 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating. The DAC aluminum poles are light as are the 11 J stakes that are also made out of aluminum.
The Fly Creek UL2 has excellent ventilation and its two pound two ounce weight includes a fly but not the stakes. Nevertheless, for a summer backpacking tent, the UL2 offers lots of space and a quick set-up.Specs: Weight: 2 lbs. – 2 oz. (with poles and fly, stakes not included) Excellent head room Reflective guy lines Single Door, excellent ventilation Retail Price: $349 www.bigagnes.com