How to select lightweight backpacking tents for the family

While the concept of camping in the exciting outdoors is adventure-filled indeed, some wise considerations need to motivate the purchase of the equipment.  A family would mean several occupants, the expected weather conditions, budgets and weight along with livability. The room inside the tent would be required for how many persons? Would a single tent suffice? Is the tent required with one layer of fabric or two? The size and storage space, layers, colors and materials, the process of setting up and dismantling, they would all matter. In the choice between the 3-season and 4-season tents, the former is the usual choice and frequent campers may need more than a single tent.

Factors affecting tent livability

Sloping tent walls mean less space and everybody wants roomy interiors. Very low tent weight can only mean the sacrifice of comfort. Technology brings greater comfort and lighter materials. Step into a few tents at the store to savor the feeling. If that is not really possible, study the online photos well before deciding.

The floor plan indicates the length and width and 85” x 51”/43” (L x W head/foot) is a possibility. The peak height indicates the head space while standing. Vertical walls mean more space and the angular sides indicate less room, but they would be lighter.

An ideal tent for spring, summer, and fall

While keeping the lightweight backpacking tent minimal, putting up with a variety of weather conditions is the issue. The 3-season tent can cope with heavy rain and light snow but cannot tolerate heavy snow and harsh winds. These tents being made of light materials minimize weight and use fewer poles. The upright sides mean that there is ample headroom. Mesh panels circulate air and resist insects.

Why not opt for the 4-season tent?

Perhaps a single camping trip would generate many more! Such a versatile tent ensures that camping would be possible not only in summer but in spring and the fall, even amidst hills and snow. The advantages over the 3-season tent are the fabric panels that cover the mesh to retain warmth and keep out snow and an extra pole or two to bring sturdiness.

Mountaineering as the target …

Camping sooner or later leads to greater challenges like taking on the hills and mountains, getting more exciting and risk-filled each time. Such tents would get stuffy in gentle climates and are meant for windy and snowy conditions. Yet, they are surprisingly lightweight. The round top means that flat spaces are avoided that would accumulate snow. They have fewer mesh panels or have zip fabrics that cover the mesh according to need. Rainflys are needed close to the ground level. Among the alternatives are tents with light single walls that keep out water without the rainfly. In cold and dry weather, a single wall tent is best so that condensation does not occur amidst the humidity.

Consider Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 ($500) and REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus ($229) among several other fabulous choices.