How heavy should a backpacking tent be?

A lightweight backpacking tent usually weighs between 3 and 4 pounds. Backpacking tents that exceed 6 pounds in weight may be too heavy for a person to carry over time, in addition to camping items and clothing. The ideal weight range is between 2 pounds and 4 pounds, but backpacking tents for two or three people usually weigh more and must be transported as a team. As a guide, a backpacking tent should not weigh more than 3 kg per person, and less is much better.

But less weight often means less space inside the store and can mean a compromise on quality. A lower weight can also mean a higher price. Therefore, you need to balance weight, quality and comfort in terms of space and price. Good quality single backpacking tents range from 1 kg to 2 kg, while tents for two people can weigh up to 5 kg.

To find out how much it really weighs, head to an outdoor tent and pick up a pack of tent that weighs 5 kg. camping and clothing. If there are two of you camping, you can split the tent in half to carry it, so that someone grabs the poles and pegs and the other person carries the tent cloth. Remember that the longer you carry a heavy item on your back, the heavier it will start to feel.

Less is definitely more, but usually you have to pay for that premium. However, preparing for backpacking involves many aspects that are unique to the activity, many of which involve comfort and functionality while moving freely. Most backpackers opt for a 3-season tent because of its lightweight construction, and they tend to be more affordable than 4-season tents. For the sake of comparison, they are all two-person, 3-season tents (many also have single and family versions available), and we have listed the full weight of the package.

They are most often used in winter camps and mountaineering because they provide more heat retention and less ventilation. However, there are many ultralight backpacking tents that are strong and functional, made with durable materials. A backpacking tent should weigh between 1 and 7 pounds, and the weight is usually affected by the type of backpacking tent, capacity, and any additional features the tent may have. Because there are different types of backpackers and hikers, a deeper answer needs to be divided into different parts.

In addition to considering the size and weight of the tent, a backpacker should also think and consider what else he will be carrying. While it's essential to select a backpacking tent on the lighter side, these lighter backpacking tents often lack the amount of space needed. We almost always separate the tent poles from the tent body to better distribute the weight among the backpackers and not take up so much space. As with tents, reducing weight often means paying more and losing some durability, but your back, legs, knees and ankles will surely thank you in the end.

If your backpacking forecast is in the mountains and adverse weather conditions, then a 4-season tent is the way to go. While easier to set up than a non-freestanding tent, poles and double-wall construction can increase the overall weight of a backpacking tent.

Clara Bagwill
Clara Bagwill

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