When it comes to selecting backpacking gear, your tent is obviously a prime consideration. You want lightweight – but you also want comfort and dependability. Here are three great options.
The Black Diamond Mesa is the ideal two-person tent for the northwest mountaineer. This tent blends the pole structure of a four-season tent with the materials (mesh walls) of a three-season tent for breathability. The trail weight is decent at four lbs., 9 oz., but you’ll love it when it’s still standing upright in high winds, or under a load of snow. If you venture above tree line, this is the perfect tent for you. $329.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 trail weight is amazingly light at 2 lbs., 13 oz., but still offers luxurious living space by incorporating a horizontal pole to spread the walls out for more headroom. It’s no wonder the Copper Spur has been the best selling ultralight tent in the industry. It’s ideal for weight-conscious backpackers who still recognize comfort as important to enjoying their time outside. $399
Finally, the Big Agnes Rabbit Ears 4 is our family camping tent. It’s massive, but at 8 lbs. trail weight, it still weighs less than a pair of most two-person backpacking tents. This is a great tent for the family with young kids, primarily interested in car camping, but also serves as a super spacious backpacking tent when the kids are ready for backpacking. $249
Chris Gerston owns Backcountry Essentials, an outdoor specialty shop located at 214 W. Holly in Bellingham, WA.