If you’re looking to spend more time out in nature after backpacking deep into the woods, a good tent will go miles towards giving you a comfortable night’s sleep protected from the elements and biting insects, so you can continue your hiking the next day. The best backpacking tent will be one that is designed for you and the way you like to camp.
Backpackers try to find a tent that has adequate space for them at a weight that won’t break their backs, all at a price that hopefully won’t break the bank. Luckily, there are a number of tents for backpackers to choose from. So with all the new selections, now the challenge lies in finding the best backpacking tent for your camping needs. All the camping brands with their beautiful offerings can have you anxious to hit the trail, and before you do, take some time to go over these factors before choosing your backpacking tent.
How much space will you need?
Be sure to check for the sleeping capacity of your tent, as tents are categorized from solo to 4-person models. If you’re tenting alone or with someone who doesn’t mind closer quarters, you may go with a smaller tent with less space, but also less weight. However, if you want more space for either yourself or those you’ll be travelling with, then a larger, heavier tent might be more your style.
A solo backpacking tent will usually be between two and three pounds, and with more capacity comes a heavier pack. Please note that two person tents may be a bit of a snug fit, and some couples might have a better sleep in a tent rated for more people. If you bring along a child or maybe a pet, definitely add another person to your tent capacity number.
It’s a good idea to go to a dedicated camping store to see some examples set up for, so you know how much space a similarly rated tent will give you. As there’s not a set standard in determining tent dimensions, one person’s solo tent may not feel the same as another’s. Talking to an expert about what the best backpacking tent size for you is another good reason to visit a camping store.
What kind of Weather Conditions?
The seasonality of backpacking tents are for either three season or four season use. If you keep your camping strictly to the warmer months and stay indoors once it starts getting too cold, then a three season is more than adequate for the way you camp.
Those heartier, hard-core campers who don’t shiver at the thought of camping in the cold will most likely go with a four season tent. Four season tents are made to take on more harsh terrain, stronger winds, and gusts of snow. While stronger and warmer than three season tents, remember that they’re also heavier to carry.
With that in mind, always carry the best backpacking tent that will handle the worst conditions you think you’ll find on the trail. Summer nights are usually a predictable affair, where a three season tent is just what you need. However, a hike in the fall with winter fast approaching might take you by surprise with snow and colder winds. If you’re still unsure, check the weather beforehand or have a fellow backpacker bring along an additional tent just to be on the safe side.
How much Weight can you carry?
When doing extended backpacking, even a few extra pounds can matter. Most backpackers don’t mind the smaller spaces of solo tents as long as they can get enough rest in them to continue the next day. Technology in tenting is devoted to making stronger, lighter materials that can also fend off the elements, although you’ll also pay more for these innovations should you choose these tents.
Any additional Features you need?
Since weight is an issue, most backpacking tents forgo having too many niceties to them, preferring to keep their designs as simple as possible. However, you might consider some features that will make life easier while camping, especially if other persons will be sharing your tent. Take tent doors, for instance. Solo tents provide one door for entry, but a two person tent with two doors will allow both occupants a separate exit point to place their gear and enter and leave whenever they want. If you plan on frequently camping as a pair, it’s something to bear in mind.
How much can you spend?
In budgeting for your tent, reflect on how you like to camp and get the best backpacking tent for that purpose. If you get bit by the camping bug strictly during warmer months, you can get away with a tent that will only be used when the weather’s agreeable. Those camping out in colder, harsher months will pay more cold hard cash for tents that will work for them.
For those getting curious about backpacking and camping, you’ll probably want to stay with a lower priced option until you can determine what other tents would be better for you.
So which is the best backpacking tent?
Picking out a tent that fills all your expectations will depend on a lot of factors that ultimately only you will know. A snug two camper tent may sound great until you discover your camping partner’s tendency to toss and turn all night. The more experience you have, the clearer the decision can be, as you know pretty much what you do and don’t want.
Backpackers can go through a few tents before they find what they believe is best backpacking tent for them. Experimenting with different kinds of tents can be part of the fun of camping, as you’ll be more knowledgeable about the way you like to camp. Don’t be surprised if you end up with more than one backpacking tent in your arsenal, choosing between several depending on what time of year it is or who you’ll be adventuring with. So budget the proper time and money into researching, and chances are you’ll be sitting (or sleeping) pretty in your new backpacking tent.