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Choosing the Right Hiking Tent

Hiker 1: “Let’s go hiking!”

Hiker 2: “Yes! But what about hiking gear?”

Hiker 1: …


If you are reading this piece of writing, then you have most likely been through this situation. When we think about hiking, our minds immediately wander towards hiking gear. More specifically though, we think about hiking tents.

There are several things to consider before you buy a hiking tent and we are here to help you figure out just that:

I. Capacity: The Total Number of People

Common sense tells us we wouldn't want to lug along the unnecessary weight of a 3 man tent on your shoulders when you're hiking solo, unless you deliberately want more space. But as weight matters a lot during hiking, the capacity of the tent is an important factor to consider. Pack light, hike light!

The majority of hiking tents are usually categorised according to their size. The capacity of hiking tents tends to usually range from one to four people. Moreover, hiking tents usually have the capacity written in the name itself.

For example, the Cloud Up 2 1.7kg Ultralight Hiking Tent has a capacity of two people clearly specified on it.



There is no industry standard measurement which defines the measurements per person so the size of a two man or three man hiking tent can be different from brand to brand. These tents need to be lightweight so they are usually packed tightly, the ultralight models like the one above tend to be packed extra tightly.


II. Seasonality: Type of Tent According to Weather Conditions


This is where you ask yourself the question “In what season am I going to go to my hiking destination?” Other than coming in different sizes, tents also come in different types:

  • 3-Season Hiking Tent: This is by far the most popular choice among hikers when it comes to type. They are very lightweight and are designed to stand mild climate conditions during summer, fall, and spring. However, these tents not a good choice in extremely harsh weather conditions where heavy winds and snow are concerned. Tagar 1 - 1.23kg Ultralight Hiking Tent is a great example of a 3-Season Hiking Tent.


  • 4 Season Hiking Tents: These tents are purposefully contrived to withstand the harsh weather conditions during winters such as strong winds and heavy snowfall but due to this they are muggier and have less ventilation. When compared to 3-Season hiking tents they have more poles, heavier fabrics, and the shape of a dome which can hold up against heavy winds plus not allow snow to collect on top of the tents. The Illumina X 1.35kg Ultralight Hiking Tent is the perfect example for this, it is so good that we even wrote a review about it.


    III. Weight: The Cost of Less KG’s


    Buying a new tent gives you a great opportunity to reduce your overall weight as over-time tents have gotten more advanced and will probably way less than 1.5 KG per person. Although it may not seem wrong to assume that a heavier tent generally means it’ll be sturdier, we need to remember that there are ultralight materials and designs today that are just as strong.

    Thus the tent’s seasonal rating is the best way to measure its sturdiness as the seasonal rating of the tent tells you in what weather conditions does the hiking tent serve you best. Here’s what you need to look for when calculating the weight of your tent:

  • Minimum Trail Weight: This is the pure weight of the tent without ANY of its accessories. It is best used for comparisons because it allows you to know the exact weight of the tent if you were to just go hiking with the bare minimum accessories required to ensure the hiking tent fulfills its purpose.

  • Packed Weight: This is the weight of the tent with all of its accessories included. The weight you usually carry will be between this weight and the minimum trail weight.

  • Packed Size: With accessories, you need to ensure that the pack is able to carry everything. This relates to the volume of the package, i.e. how much the package can contain. The volume that a pack can carry directly relates to how easy it is to carry. In the case that you are not able to carry everything in one pack, it is always viable to pack them into two separate packs.

    Ultralight tents weigh even less. They are usually smaller, lacking in features or less sturdy which is compensated by more premium materials. If you want to maintain the same level of comfort as a regular tent you buy an ultralight tent that is one size bigger than the total number of people in your group. This’ll help you reduce the total amount of weight as well as ensure comfort. You can check out the 4-Season Cloud Up 2 1.7kg Ultralight Hiking Tent which is ultralight and has the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.


    IV. Livability: The Comfort and Convenience

    Traditionally, hiking tents would make use of space-efficient designs to keep the weight lower; however, the trade-off for this was comfort. Modern tent designs allow for a more spacious living space without adding more to the weight and provide features such as ventilation and door location/number.


    If you are someone who dwells on the specs, here is a fact for you: The strongest tents will likely have top-grade poles and if you are not able to measure it on your own then the seasonal rating indicator is your best bet at picking the right hiking tent for you as the seasonal rating of the tent tells you under what weather conditions does the hiking tent serve you best.

    Hopefully, this guide will give you a good idea and understanding of what to expect when buying a hiking tent for yourself. Leave us a comment below and tell us what you use as a checklist when it comes to buying a new hiking tent! Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter or you’ll miss out on some great discounts and informative articles with guides, how to's & tips on hiking, camping & outdoor adventures.


    Novapro Sports is an online platform that caters towards camping & hiking outdoor enthusiasts, offering quality camping & hiking gears at low prices without the unnecessarily high markups, and providing information & tips on outdoor activities & adventures.


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