Choosing a tent in your thru-hike is a giant deal, however it’s additionally most likely the least irritating home purchasing expertise you’ll have in your lifetime. Take pleasure in it. The very best tents for thru-hiking strike a stability between weight, value, sturdiness, livable area, ease of pitch, and stability.

Your tent also needs to be steady in snow, breathable in areas of excessive humidity, and waterproof. It is best to be capable to comfortably maintain your sleeping bag away from tent partitions to stop dampness, and likewise get out and in simply, sit up comfortably, and have sufficient area (if climbing with a accomplice) the place you don’t really feel such as you’re whacking them each time you progress or placed on a layer.

One observe earlier than we dig in: Within the curiosity of consistency, all listed weights under symbolize the minimal path weight, which incorporates the tent itself, rain fly (if relevant), and poles (if relevant). It does NOT embody the load of stakes, stuff sacks, or a footprint.

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Finest Tents for Through-Climbing of 2024

Zpacks Duplex (Finest All-Round Tent)

best tents thru-hiking

Finest tents for thru-hiking: Zpacks Duplex.

MSRP: $669

Weight: 18.5 ounces
Trekking-pole tent
Inside area: 28 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 2 doorways, 2 vestibules

Variety of stakes required: 8

Finest For: Ultralight hikers who need the spaciousness of a two-person tent with out the load, or pairs of ultralight hikers.

Why We Love This Tent

“For years the Zpacks Duplex has maintained its standing as one of the vital well-liked and well-liked tents of thru-hikers — and for good purpose. It stands as one of many lightest and most sturdy two-person trekking pole shelters obtainable, completely suited to a whole summer season on the path. Single-wall DCF building retains the load low with out sacrificing energy or longevity, offering totally waterproof safety and a rugged bathtub ground that doesn’t require a groundsheet.

“And regardless of the low weight, the Duplex is spacious sufficient to comfortably match two hikers within the totally enclosed bug mesh whereas defending their gear within the two vestibules. The Duplex offers full-sided safety when the climate will get nasty, and opens up on either side for views and air flow when the skies are clear. There shall be loads of each on a thru-hike, and the perennially superior Duplex handles all of it with out weighing you down.” — Owen Eigenbrot

And it’s value including that the Duplex faces stiffer competitors than ever earlier than. There are a couple of marginally totally different and glorious tents which can be arguably higher, relying in your priorities and wishes. That mentioned, the Duplex shall be an all-around winner for many backpackers.

Zpacks has additionally cultivated a complete ecosystem of Duplex spinoffs that ought to fulfill nearly anybody with the money to burn. Different variations embody the Duplex Zip, DupleXL, DupleXL Zip, Triplex, and Triplex Zip, to not point out a pole package that turns the Duplex right into a storm-surfing freestanding tent.


  • Mesh pockets: Two mesh inside pockets are situated close to every display screen door and could be accessed from exterior the tent as properly.
  • 8-inch bathtub ground: The tall bathtub ground retains rain out even within the soggiest campsites
  • All-in-one building and quick pitch: Tent physique and fly are one unit, with a quick (and dry) pitch utilizing two trekking poles. When you’ve pitched this a couple of instances it’s simple to get it taut.
  • 48-inch peak top: Only a few individuals shall be too tall to take a seat up in right here.
  • Rugged DCF building: Naturally waterproof supplies and taped seams imply no DWR end or after-market seam sealing is required.

No one’s Good

“The most important criticisms of the Duplex are shared throughout all ultralight trekking pole shelters. As with most of those, the Duplex takes some getting used to. One should discover a stability between trekking poles and man strains, which could be difficult and adjustments each night time… On some terrain, discovering a big sufficient flat spot that accepts stakes generally is a chore. Condensation can be a persistent situation on nights when the storm doorways are closed, and the A-frame partitions make it inconceivable to keep away from brushing towards this moisture. The worth tag is hefty, albeit truthful.” — Owen Eigenbrot

The Duplex additionally requires eight stakes to get enough rigidity. “The massive, sq. panel strikes an excessive amount of to really use in any wind with out (the additional two stakes). This huge sq. panel is among the main downsides of this tent.” — GPS

Finest All-Round Tent Honorable Mentions:

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Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2  (Finest Ultralight Freestanding Tent)

best tents thru-hiking

Finest tents for thru-hiking: Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Resolution-Dyed tent.

MSRP: $449.95

Weight: 35 ounces
Inside area: 28 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 2 doorways, 2 vestibules (8 sq. ft every)

Variety of stakes required: 4 – 9

Finest For: Pairs of weight-conscious thru-hikers who need a quick pitch and two entrances.

Why We Love This Tent

This tent combines the perfect options of the Fly Creek and the Copper Spur. The Tiger Wall is the same measurement to the Fly Creek, however the horizontal spreader bar permits for added shoulder room, plus two doorways and two vestibules, which make it simpler to share. It’s eight ounces lighter than the Copper Spur (and cheaper, too) however has extra shoulder area than the Fly Creek, plus the 2 doorways and vestibules that pairs of hikers may desire.

Since 2021, Massive Agnes has manufactured the Tiger Wall with high-quality solution-dyed cloth that’s immune to UV fade and conserves water and vitality throughout manufacture.

“To me, the Fly Creek was already top-of-the-line thru-hiking tents on the market, and the Tiger Wall solves all of the beefs I had with that tent (extra headroom, handy aspect doorways) whereas retaining the sturdiness, compactness, and ease of use — all with a really minimal weight penalty.”—Kelly Floro

Discover the Tiger Wall Platinum right here, Tiger Wall UL 1 right here, and Tiger Wall UL 3 right here.


  • Structured corners: This implies the tub ground has a couple of additional inches within the corners of vertical construction, which can provide you extra space to maintain your sleeping bag and ft away from the tent partitions
  • Dry-door entry: Just a few inches of area extending over the door means the inside of the tent can keep drier throughout setup and exits throughout wet nights.
  • Inside pockets: A big ceiling pocket can maintain a headlamp for some *~*ambient lighting*~* and media pockets alongside the aspect are good for stashing small gadgets.
  • Colour-coded buckles: Certain, you possibly can nonetheless mess up clipping the fly to the tent physique, however it’s more durable to do with the color-coded buckles.

No one’s Good

The vestibules could be exhausting to crawl out and in of, and the rain fly can get snagged on the zipper. It’s a tad smaller than the Copper Spur with much less foot room, however once more, it is available in eight ounces lighter. Like all freestanding tents, it’s a body-first pitch, which suggests your tent inside shall be uncovered to rain when pitching till you will get the fly up. The Platinum model of the Tiger Wall is lighter, however the value tags are traumatic. Choose your poison.

Watch our video evaluate of the Tiger Wall right here.

Finest Ultralight Freestanding Tent Honorable Mentions:

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Gossamer Gear The One (Finest Mix of Weight, Value, and Operate)

Finest tents for thru-hiking: Gossamer Gear The One.

MSRP: $255
Weight: 17.7 ounces
Inside area: 16 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 1 door, 1 vestibule (10 sq. ft)

Variety of stakes required: 6 – 12

Finest For: Ultralight solo hikers who worth area, low value, and low weight.

Why We Love This Tent

The One is a solo-hiker fave that tops ultralight gear roundups throughout the board —together with our annual AT thru-hiker survey, the place it steadily takes residence the title for the preferred one-person tent. It’s light-weight, spacious, and inexpensive — much more so after Gossamer Gear lately decreased the value.

The setup is comparatively easy for a trekking pole shelter, and the venting design helps forestall a few of the condensation points that come up with single-wall shelters. The highest bar is large sufficient to offer ample shoulder room, one thing that may really feel missing in solo shelters. It is a one-piece shelter that units up with a minimal of six stakes and two trekking poles.

Whereas we imagine that there are different tents doubtlessly extra deserving of a “Finest One-Individual Ultralight Tent” award, the low weight and cut price value are a mix that’s too good to disregard. The One makes some important compromises, however if you need an inexpensive ultralight possibility with room to spare, it is perhaps the one for you.


  • Aspect-wall tie-outs: If you wish to put within the additional effort to man out the aspect partitions for extra rigidity (advisable), the choice is there.
  • Simple side-entry: Each doorways open for max airflow.
  • Fast pitch: All trekking pole shelters (OK, all shelters normally) take some apply to get proper, however this shelter is among the much less finicky trekking pole choices to pitch.

No one’s Good

A few of our taller customers had hassle maintaining their ft away from the partitions of the tent. Moreover, a number of contributors in our annual Appalachian Path Through-Hiker Survey who had used the One throughout their thru-hikes mentioned the tent tends to leak (and presumably additionally sag, because it’s silnylon) within the rain. And The One’s square-panel design won’t carry out as properly in wind as tents with triangular panels.

Try our evaluations of Gossamer Gear’s The Two, The DCF One, and The DCF Two.

Finest Mix of Weight, Value, and Operate Honorable Point out:

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MSRP: $240 1P | $280 2P

Weight: 28 oz 1P | 35.4 oz 2P
Class: Trekking pole tent
Inside area: 20 sq. ft 1P | 33.2 sq. ft 2P

Doorways / Vestibules: 2 doorways, 2 vestibules

Variety of stakes required: 4 – 8

Finest For: Solo or paired hikers who need an inexpensive, spacious, double-wall + trekking pole setup made with the best high quality supplies and strategies.

Why We Love This Tent

The X-Mid was among the many hottest tents in our annual thru-hiking survey and has additionally developed a faithful following since its days because the always-sold-out tent of legendary standing. It’s simple to see why.

Each the X-Mid 1 and X-Mid 2 are moderately light-weight, easy to pitch, and have loads of area, together with two doorways and vestibules — an opulent contact for a one-person shelter. And once we say loads of area, we imply it. The X-Mid lineup ought to be a best choice for any particular person or pair who worth dwelling area extremely. These items are large inside.

A laundry checklist of well-thought-out particulars makes these tents distinctive in tough climate: factory-taped seams, polyester cloth that doesn’t sag or take in water, steep roof panels that shed snow simply, a double-wall design and enormous mesh storm vents that decrease condensation impacts, and the fly units up first to maintain the tent inside dry.

Designer, Dan Durston, who is probably the final word backpacking gear wonk, has thought by way of each facet of the design, and you’ll learn an intensive rationalization of his thought course of over on his web site. And on prime of all of it, it’s among the many most cost-effective tents on this checklist (particularly contemplating the truth that the X-Mid comes with eight stakes and factory-taped seams).

Whereas the X-Mid’s super-low value will get undercut by some ultra-cheap outliers, we firmly imagine that you just can not discover higher bang in your buck wherever else within the universe. Heck, they ain’t the lightest tents, however in case you’re keen to hold the additional weight of an X-Mid, it’s the perfect, or almost the perfect tent, throughout the board.

Oh wait, Durston additionally makes DCF variations of each X-Mids, the X-Mid Professional 1 and X-Mid Professional 2, for these bothered with ultralight insanity. Like Zpacks, Durston provides a tent for almost each want and price range, and all of them rank close to the highest of their class. For those who’re available in the market for a trekking pole shelter, then one model of the X-Mid or one other ought to be close to the highest of your checklist.


  • Polyester-based design: In a market dominated by silnylon and Dyneema, Durston made the semi-unusual option to go for silicone-coated polyester (silpoly). Why? It’s cheaper than Dyneema, and it gained’t sag or take in water like nylon. It’s additionally extra UV-resistant than nylon. For reference, Six Moon Designs additionally makes use of silpoly within the Lunar Solo, and extra tent producers are anticipated to make the swap in coming years as its advantages grow to be extra widely known.
  • Fly pitches first: …and will get taken down final. Meaning the inside of the tent will keep dry and comfortable in wet climate.
  • Double-wall: For hikers who need the load financial savings and ease of a trekking pole setup with the air flow benefits of a double-wall, the X-Mid is certainly one of only a handful of choices. Massive mesh vents additional improve airflow. Permits fly-only pitch.
  • Twin aspect doorways and vestibules: Due to the X-Mid’s eponymous X-shaped format, the place the tent ground is oriented diagonally to that of the fly, even the single-wall model provides ample vestibules and doorways on either side.
  • Double-sewn seams: Improve the tent’s sturdiness and communicate to the general high quality and a focus to element of this design. The X-Mid can be designed to reduce the whole variety of seams, which improves waterproofness, sturdiness, and weight effectivity.

No one’s Good

The one main criticism of the X-Mid is that it has a fairly large footprint (46.5 sq. ft below the fly for the X-Mid 1), which might make campsite choice difficult. It’s also much less accommodating of uneven floor than another trekking pole tents, which might once more restrict appropriate campsite availability.

Try our interview with Dan Durston on Backpacker Radio.

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Zpacks Free Duo (Lightest Freestanding / Best Pitch)

best tents thru-hiking

Finest tents for thru-hiking: Zpacks Free Duo.

MSRP: $849

Weight: 30 ounces
Inside area: 26.25 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 2 doorways, 2 vestibules (4.8 sq. ft every)

Variety of stakes required: 0-8

Finest For: Ultralight tenters who don’t need a fussy setup

Why We Love This Tent

“The Free Duo combines the perfect options of Zpacks’ DCF shelter line with the practicality of a standard freestanding tent. It requires zero stakes to pitch (although two for the vestibules are advisable), which suggests it may go the place trekking pole shelters can’t; naked rock, deep sand, tent platforms, a parking zone, or different stake-rejecting floor. The one-wall building makes setup fast and simple — no fly sheet or footprint wanted.

“With the assistance of two distinctive ‘H’ carbon poles, the waterproof DCF cover pitches taut each time, which reduces wind noise and will increase dwelling area. Two vestibules present ample storage for gear, and totally enclosed mesh retains out the bugs even on good nights when the storm doorways are furled. Regardless of being each simple to make use of and supremely livable for 2 hikers, the Free Duo weighs in at below two kilos. Not solely is it the lightest freestanding tent obtainable, it’s additionally top-of-the-line.” — Owen Eigenbrot

Learn our evaluate of the Free Duo right here.


  • ‘H’ formed poles: The pole construction makes use of two ‘H’ sections to present the tent form. The poles are a bit unwieldy to deal with solo, however minimal attachment factors make setup fast.
  • Two rainbow doorways: With no trekking poles in the best way, the full-wall doorways on both aspect of the tent make entry and exit simple regardless of which aspect you’re on. Good for a fast getaway when nature calls.
  • Vestibules: The vestibules are basic Zpacks with two storm doorways on both sides. Shut all of them up for heat or rain safety, or open them up after consuming beans for dinner to enhance air flow.
  • Small footprint: With no stakes or man strains, the Free Duo nestles properly into smaller camp spots that may reject trekking pole shelters.

No one’s Good

“The massive draw back to the Free Duo, and all semi- or freestanding tents, is its weight. Whereas this can be very light-weight for that shelter kind, the poles alone weigh 13 ounces. Trekking pole shelters stay the lightest possibility for thru-hikers keen to sacrifice ease of use for weight financial savings. The poles are additionally cumbersome and serve just one goal, whereas trekking poles are helpful all day and don’t add to pack weight.

“As with different single-wall tents, condensation could be a difficulty with the Free Duo, however the concave inside makes it simpler to keep away from brushing towards the damp inside, and big doorways present ample air flow when the climate permits. Lastly, the Free Duo is dear. Arguably, it’s a good value, however budget-conscious hikers could must look elsewhere for his or her path abode.” — Owen Eigenbrot

Lightest Freestanding / Best Pitch Honorable Point out:

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Zpacks Plex Solo (Lightest Totally Enclosed Tent, One-Individual)

Finest tents for thru-hiking: Zpacks Plex Solo.

MSRP: $599

Weight: 13.9 ounces

Class: Trekking pole tent
Inside area: 20.6 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 1 door, 1 vestibule

Variety of stakes required: 6 – 10

Finest For: Ultralight tenters who need the lightest

Why We Love This Tent

For solo hikers who’re in search of the lightest shelter that gives full safety from bugs and climate, this single-pole, DCF tent from Zpacks is the one. Not solely is the DCF  extraordinarily light-weight, however it’s additionally sturdy sufficient for a whole thru-hike whereas maintaining a fortunate hiker well-protected in even the worst circumstances. Moreover, despite the fact that the fabric is much less compact than others, the Plex Solo is tiny when packed, and simply carried in an exterior backpack pocket.

Whereas it may appear loopy to sacrifice the dwelling area of some bigger tents that solely weigh a couple of ounces extra, the small footprint helps the Plex Solo slot in even essentially the most restricted campsites, and the single-pole setup is refreshingly simple to deal with alone. The odd form may look intimidating, however as soon as we acquired the grasp of it, this tent pitched in below 5 minutes. And talking of dwelling area, the Plex Solo has loads of it for one. The oddly formed bathtub ground contains sufficient room for a large sleeping pad and kit, and the vestibule simply protects no matter is simply too soggy for snuggling.

Excessive ultralighters on the western trails won’t want the included bug safety of the Plex Solo, and so may select a tarp as a substitute, however for anybody who doesn’t wish to fear about questionable circumstances, this tent has you lined. Simple setup, simple safety, each time.

In case you are a taller hiker, the Zpacks Altaplex is basically the identical tent, however longer and taller.


  • DCF Building: This isn’t an ideal materials, however it provides a number of advantages to hikers who can afford it. Along with its remarkably low weight, DCF is tremendous robust and doesn’t sag or take in water when damp. This makes a taught pitch extra achievable and drying simpler.
  • Single Door and Vestibule: With just one individual to accommodate, the Plex Solo has only a single door and vestibule. This makes it harder to create a cross-breeze on heat nights, however the large opening nonetheless permits ample entry and mega views, offered it’s oriented correctly. Dawn or sundown?
  • Asymmetrical Form: This tent is definitely symmetric head to foot, however ignoring that, the footprint is a posh conglomeration of obtuse angles. Nevertheless, it really works. The off-center pole marks the border between the one vestibule and the ground.

No one’s Good

The complicated geometry of the Plex Solo requires an inordinate variety of stakes to fully rigidity. Six stakes will get it standing, however you’ll discover a place to make use of as much as 10, in case you even personal that many. Use all these stakes and the tent shall be bomb-proof, however that’s a number of fiddling.

Whereas the height top is sort of tall, the design inevitably limits useable area up excessive. This shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody a single-pole shelter, however despite the fact that the Plex Solo provides loads of area for one, it’s higher utilized whereas mendacity down. Shoulder room is tight, so put together to go loopy if a storm retains you inside for 12 hours straight.

Lastly, DCF single-wall tents all value so much and undergo from condensation points. At $599, the Plex Solo isn’t overpriced, it’s simply some huge cash. Price range-conscious hikers can discover a less expensive tent, albeit heavier and fewer superior.

Learn our evaluate of the Zpacks Plex Solo right here.

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Durston X-Mid Professional 2 (Lightest Totally Enclosed Tent, Two-Individual)

MSRP: $639-$739

Weight: 18.2 or 20.1 ounces (relying on ground selection)

Class: Trekking pole tent
Inside area: 28.8 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 2 doorways, 2 vestibules

Variety of stakes required: 4 – 8

Finest For: Area-hungry ultralight pairs or anybody in search of the lightest.

Why We Love This Tent

The X-Mid Professional 2 simply edges out the Zpacks Duplex because the lightest two-person tent in the marketplace right this moment, and actually, it will be simple to see it (together with the one-person X-Mid Professional 1) as our prime all-around selection as a substitute. Certain, it’s loopy light-weight, however it additionally retains the options that make the common X-Mid such an incredible tent: the straightforward pitch, spacious inside, and efficient air flow, to call a couple of.

Whereas the silpoly X-Mid is a wildly profitable and well-liked tent, it was inevitable that the climbing neighborhood would demand a lighter model, and the X-Mid Professional is the end result. By switching to DCF, hikers will take pleasure in extra advantages aside from considerably lightening their load. This model of the X-Mid is single-wall, that means that there’s much less cloth to handle and dry after it will get moist. Pitching can be easier, which is a small but appreciated distinction after stacking huge miles day after day. Lastly, though the footprint is barely smaller, inside area is elevated. The quantity of shoulder and headroom for each customers is type of embarrassing.

And since Dan Durston is all the time pondering, the X-Mid Professional is obtainable with two ground choices. These wanting the lightest model will go for the DCF, whereas hikers in search of a smaller packed measurement and decrease value ought to contemplate the silnylon ground. It’s simple to obsess over all issues DCF, however this selection brings us into Dan’s Implausible World of Materials, the place nothing is black and white or a straightforward selection. For this, and so many different causes, one may contemplate the X-Mid the Pondering Hiker’s Tent.


  • Flooring cloth possibility: DCF isn’t all the time your best option, which is most obvious with tent flooring. Puncture and abrasion resistance is lower than that of similar-weight woven materials, which is why the X-Mid Professional can be supplied with a 15D silnylon ground. This reduces the associated fee and bulk whereas remaining light-weight and sturdy.
  • Easy pitch: In contrast to most different trekking pole shelters, the X-Mid will pitch with as few as 4 stakes. Whereas stormy circumstances will ask for a couple of extra, it’s simple to fall in love with this simplicity after too many tents that take 6-8 simply to face upright.
  • Scorching bonded seams: There are a pair methods to mix panels of DCF, and sizzling bonding leads to a stronger, extra waterproof connection than stitching and seam taping. This course of prices extra, however the additional sturdiness is value it on that stormy Day 130 of your thru-hike.
  • Patented geometry: It’s not apparent when it, however the inside ground of the X-Mid is a parallelogram, not a real rectangle, which is among the causes that there’s a lot luxurious area inside. This additionally retains the poles out of the principle doorways and naturally creates large vestibules.

No one’s Good

The X-Mid Professional shares a few of the identical criticisms of the unique X-Mid. Weight is now not certainly one of them, however the footprint continues to be a bit of bigger than some campsites can accommodate. In actuality, nonetheless, experiences of this are not any extra widespread than with different trekking pole shelters, which all undergo from outsized footprints.

Extra virtually, the exact geometry that enables a easy, four-stake pitch additionally makes the X-Mid much less adaptable to uneven floor. Organising the X-Mid is less complicated when it’s simple, however can take a bit of extra work to get good when it’s not.

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Massive Agnes Fly Creek 1 (Finest Freestanding Tent for People)

best tents thru-hiking

Finest tents for thru-hiking: Massive Agnes Fly Creek HV UL Resolution- Dyed tent.

MSRP: $369.95
Weight: 27 ounces
Class: Semi-freestanding
Inside area: 20 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 1 door, 1 vestibule (8 sq. ft)

Variety of stakes required: 8 – 11

Finest For: Solo hikers who need an ultralight tent with the comfort of tent poles

Why We Love This Tent

The Fly Creek is among the flagship light-weight backpacking tents from Massive Agnes and now comes with extra headroom and a bigger entrance entry. This well-designed tent’s pole construction provides most inside area for as little weight as attainable, and the supplies have stood the take a look at of time on thru-hikes, with only a few sturdiness points in comparison with different tents. It was a toss-up between this and the beloved Copper Spur, which is extra comfy but in addition heavier and dearer.

In 2021, Massive Agnes started manufacturing the Fly Creek with high-quality solution-dyed cloth that’s immune to UV fade and conserves water and vitality throughout manufacture.

“I shared a two-person Fly Creek with my accomplice on an Appalachian Path thru-hike and we each completely cherished it. It’s sturdy and simple to arrange. Though some individuals discover it cramped for 2, we by no means actually minded. We had been additionally very impressed by the tent’s stormworthiness: it stood as much as excessive winds, driving rain, and literal floods with out lacking a beat. To today, it’s by no means leaked, ripped, bent, or in any other case developed indicators of damage regardless of heavy use.” —Kelly Floro


  • Single-hub pole construction: Quick pitch, simple to arrange. Massive Agnes makes use of light-weight plastic clips to connect the tent physique to the poles which can be simple to clip, even with frozen fingers.
  • Inside pockets: By no means lose your headlamp or your telephone with two inside pockets, helpful for organizing smaller gadgets.
  • Dry-brow entry: Helps maintain your gear dry when it’s stashed within the vestibule.

No one’s Good

The Fly Creek has roughly the identical inside area and headroom because the Copper Spur and Tiger Wall, however its door and vestibule are positioned on the entrance of the shelter, somewhat than on the aspect. This implies you’ll should scoot ahead out of your sleeping bag and do tent yoga to get out and in in the course of the night time. Whereas we like the concept of the dry-brow entry, it does make it barely extra bodily difficult to crawl out and in of the tent. Lastly, the Fly Creek takes a number of stakes — eight minimal in case you have the fly on — which reduces its UL luster considerably.

“Though I really like this tent, I finally upgraded to a Tiger Wall due to the elevated headroom and aspect doorways. The entrance door is actually troublesome to make use of, particularly in case you’re making an attempt to not by chance squash your accomplice’s face in the dead of night. This additionally renders the tiny vestibule just about ineffective.”—Kelly Floro

Learn our evaluate of the Fly Creek HV UL2 right here.

Finest Freestanding Tent for People Honorable Mentions:

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3F UL Lanshan 1 Professional (Finest Price range UL Tent)

Best tents thru-hiking

Finest tents for thru-hiking: 3F UL Lanshan 1 Professional.

MSRP: $169-$179

Weight: 26 ounces
Class: Trekking pole tent
Inside area: 24.7 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 1 door, 1 vestibule

Variety of stakes required: 6 – 9

Finest For: Ultralight tenters on a price range

Why We Love This Tent

At properly below $200, the Lanshan 1 Professional is essentially the most inexpensive tent on this checklist whereas remaining really ultralight at 26 ounces for the tent, guyline, and stuff sack. The Lanshan is made from silylon with all guyout factors strengthened by UHMWPE-gridstop.

The place this tent shines, apart from the value, is in versatility. Most thru-hikers shall be OK with the usual three-season model of this tent, however there’s additionally a four-season model of the Lanshan for winter adventurers. Likewise, taller hikers can improve to the plus-size model, and stargazers who don’t thoughts a bit of additional weight can go for the double-wall Lanshan 1. In contrast to many UL producers, 3F UL ships everywhere in the world, a boon for worldwide hikers.


  • Single or double wall:  The Lanshan Professional is lightest as a single-wall tent with a roof vent to scale back condensation. However in case you desire the air flow and stargaze-ability of two partitions, the Lanshan 1 is your greatest guess. You determine.
  • Strengthened guyouts: All guyout factors are strengthened with UHMWPE-gridstop to stop tears.
  • Totally built-in bathtub ground: The 4.3-inch-high bathtub ground is sewn to the principle tent physique with a band of no-see-um mesh.

No one’s Good

The Lanshan doesn’t come seam-sealed; you are able to do it your self or pay $35 to have 3F UL do it. The tent physique can be made from silnylon at a time when many producers are switching to silpoly, which doesn’t sag and stretch when moist the best way silnylon does. 3F UL is headquartered in China, which can be a draw back for US shoppers who purpose to buy nearer to residence. Lastly, the tub ground is simply 4.3 inches excessive, which is…not a lot. For comparability, the Lunar Solo’s bathtub is six inches deep. You’ll be weak to splashback on this shallow tent.

Finest Price range UL Tent Honorable Mentions:

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MSR Hubba Hubba 2 (Finest Tent for Tough Climate)

best tents thru-hiking

Finest tents for thru-hiking: MSR Hubba Hubba 2

MSRP: $549.95

Weight: 46 ounces
Inside area: 29 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 2 doorways, 2 vestibules

Variety of stakes required: 2-8

Finest For: Pairs of hikers who need extra space/sturdiness/a real freestanding tent.

Why We Love This Tent

The MSR Hubba Hubba 2 acquired a serious facelift lately. The brand new mannequin is an entire ten ounces lighter than its predecessor, and it completed this with out sacrificing any of the inside area. Due to the best way the shoulder area and poles are arrange, it may be extra comfy for taller hikers or pairs of hikers who wish to cut up the load for the posh of some additional area. The true (non-tapered) rectangular ground and 40 inches of headroom make this tent really spacious.

The fly and tent physique supplies are heftier than different fashions of the same measurement, however the tradeoff is elevated sturdiness and fewer likelihood of the fly getting caught within the zipper. The poles are thicker than lighter-weight tents, so that you generally is a little rougher with this tent. The fly pitch is taut, however what actually sells us is the design for maximizing head, shoulder, and foot area in addition to the burlier supplies for sturdiness.

Discover the MSR Hubba 1 right here.


  • Steady, sturdy poles: It’s going to take so much to make this tent collapse. Poles are Easton Syclone, that are ultra-rugged and might stand as much as some critical wind. The poles attain all 4 corners of this true freestanding tent, which improves wind stability as properly.
  • Proprietary waterproofing: Nothing will forestall condensation in excessive circumstances, however the DuraShield waterproofing and taped seams maintain it dry from exterior precipitation. The vestibule doorways function StayDry rain gutters to maintain you and your gear dry, and kickstand vents maximize airflow.
  • Livable area: Talked about above, however the design — from head(area) to toe(area) has livability in thoughts.

No one’s Good

The tent does have a wise design, however it’s nonetheless 29 sq. ft of inside area for almost three kilos, which is a little more than different semi-freestanding tents. You’re buying and selling weight financial savings for sturdiness. Relying on what kind of hiker you might be, this may very well be value it. It’s additionally value noting that the tent physique has extra strong (non-mesh) panels, which is nice throughout storms however means fewer alternatives for stargazing on truthful nights.

Learn our evaluate of the MSR Hubba Hubba 2 right here.

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Nemo Hornet Osmo 2 (Smallest Two-Individual Tent Footprint)

MSRP: $430

Weight: 33 ounces
Inside area: 27.5 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 2 doorways, 2 vestibules (7 sq. ft every)

Variety of stakes required: 5 – 10

Finest For: Hikers who don’t want a ton of area and need a narrower tent footprint for pitching in tight spots

Why We Love This Tent

The Hornet has a flexible footprint and might match into tighter areas than a few of the broader pitches. That is technically a semi-freestanding tent (just like the Tiger Wall) versus having all corners of the tent arrange with poles. You’ll should stake out the footbox for a full pitch. The design is total much like the BA Tiger Wall, however the Hornet makes use of particular proprietary materials and shaves a few ounces due to its cut-out fly design.

NEMO maximizes headroom with their proprietary “Flybar” pole clip, which takes the place of the spreader bars of different tents. This helps maintain the angle of the tent partitions away from the shoulders, permitting for extra sitting room and area to alter with out touching the perimeters of the tent.

The Hornet was up to date in 2023 with Nemo’s proprietary Osmo cloth, a ripstop nylon and polyester composite that’s presupposed to be extra waterproof and fewer prone to sag when moist. In contrast to many waterproof supplies, Osmo incorporates no dangerous PFOAs (typically known as perpetually chemical compounds due to how sluggish they’re to interrupt down).

For those who actually wish to save weight, the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo weighs six ounces much less, prices $650, and has the identical inside area.


  • Osmo cloth: Nemo claims it’s extra water-repellent and fewer prone to sag when moist than prior variations of the tent.
  • Single-hubbed pole system: Simple setup and pitch, light-weight poles are only one piece and have three anchor factors—two on the head, one on the foot.
  • Flybar pole clip: As an alternative of a horizontal spreader bar, this tent comes with an prolonged pole clip so as to add headroom.
  • Two side-entry doorways: Will be thought-about a must have for two-person tents.

No one’s Good

“This is among the smaller two-person semi-freestanding tents on this checklist. The Hornet is light-weight and steady, however it does have much less inside and vestibule area than the comparable BA Tiger Wall (which many customers already contemplate cramped) and can really feel tight with two individuals after prolonged use.” — Maggie Slepian

Some customers additionally complain that the cut-out fly leaves the top and foot ends of the tent weak to backsplash throughout heavy rain.

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Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo (Finest One-Pole Setup)

Finest tents for thru-hiking: Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo.

MSRP: $260

Weight: 26 ounces

Class: Trekking-pole tent
Inside area: 26 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 1 door, 1 vestibule (8.5 sq. ft)

Variety of stakes required: 6 – 8

Finest For: Ultralight solo hikers in search of a low-maintenance, sturdy shelter with a fast-pitch

Why We Love This Tent

“$260 is affordable for a backpacking tent. And but the standard of the Lunar Solo feels something however. This tent is optimized for optimum air flow: loads of mesh all through the construction and a spot between the fly and the bottom promote airflow. It solely requires one trekking pole to arrange and has a beneficiant 49 inches of headroom on the peak. The steeply angled pitch of this tent helps it to shed snow successfully, making it really feel surprisingly steady for a construction that’s solely propped up by one pole. SMD up to date the design on the finish of final 12 months to incorporate nook twine guyouts for simple rigidity adjustment.” — Kelly Floro


  • Middle pole pitch: This will increase the steadiness of the tent in excessive winds and permits it to shed water extra simply
  • (Virtually) solely mesh aspect wall: Ounce-saving mesh will increase breathability from the tub ground to the height (a further 360˚ mesh strip simply above the tub provides to the tent’s breezy enchantment.
  • 6-inch floating bathtub ground: 40D silicone-coated polyester and the tent’s floating ground design maximize puncture resistance
  • Inside mesh storage pocket: You realize the drill. Manage your small gadgets for simple nighttime entry.

No one’s Good

The steep partitions of this shelter and single-pole setup imply much less shoulder room and extra wind resistance. Customers might want to seal the seams themselves or pay $35 for Six Moon Designs to seal the tent for $35 earlier than delivery in case you don’t wish to do it your self. Stakes aren’t included, so in case you don’t have some already, you’ll must issue that into the acquisition value as properly.

Learn our evaluate of the Lunar Solo right here.

Finest One-Pole Setup Honorable Point out:

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TarpTent Protrail Li (Roomiest Vestibule)

best tents thru-hiking

Finest tents for thru-hiking: Tarptent Protrail Li. Picture through Tarptent.

MSRP: $529+

Weight: 16 ounces
Trekking pole tent
Inside area: 21 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 1 door, 1 vestibule (11.2 sq. ft)

Variety of stakes required: 4 – 8

Finest For: Ounce-counting solo hikers

Why We Love This Tent

The standard and ever-popular silnylon Protrail acquired a DCF replace in 2020, shaving 9 ounces. This A-frame shelter has a entrance entrance and a beneficiant overhang to stop gadgets within the gargantuan vestibule from getting moist. It is a single-piece shelter with an built-in fly and tent physique, making a quick pitch when you get the grasp of it. It has a 45-inch peak top on the entrance of the tent, with a steep pitch on the perimeters and down towards the again.

You will want two trekking poles for this setup, with the tallest one on the entrance entry, and simply 4 stakes. We suggest pitching the entrance pole at an angle to make entry/exit simpler. It has a hoop of 360-degree mesh and a rear mesh window for elevated airflow and views. The rugged floating bathtub means you theoretically don’t want a groundcloth with the Protrail Li, sparing you from additional weight and setup problem.

Try the heavier-but-50-percent-cheaper silnylon Protrail right here and the two-person Motrail right here.


  • Strengthened pole caps: Loads of stress is placed on the hubs for trekking poles. These are strengthened for prolonged sturdiness
  • Massive vestibule: The vestibule or “beak” space is 11 sq. ft, loads huge for gear group and maneuvering
  • Quick pitch: Like all trekking-pole shelters, it takes a couple of tries to dial within the system, however after getting it, the pitch is quick, particularly because you solely must pound 4 stakes within the course of.
  • Sensible air flow design: It’s a continuing battle to fight condensation in shelters like this, however storm flaps could be opened and rolled as much as permit most airflow.
  • Bathtub ground: The floating bathtub ground is rugged and tall sufficient to guard from splashing rain.

No one’s Good

It takes two trekking poles to arrange in comparison with only one for the comparable SMD Lunar Solo. Additionally, there’s a number of large, flat floor space on this design that will increase wind resistance: pitch with the foot finish going through into the wind to mitigate this.

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LightHeart Gear SoLong (Finest Tent for Tall Individuals)

Finest tents for thru-hiking: LightHeart Gear SoLong. Picture: Lightheart Gear.

MSRP: $325

Weight: 32 ounces
Class: Trekking pole tent
Inside area: 30 sq. ft

Doorways / Vestibules: 2 doorways, 2 vestibules

Variety of stakes required: 6

Finest For: Tall UL hikers

Why We Love This Tent

The ground of the SoLong is 100 inches lengthy. LightHeart says it’s SO LONG that hikers taller than six-foot-eight will nonetheless sleep comfortably in it.  Whereas greatest as a solo tent for tall people, two “regular-size” people might use it comfortably as properly. We love that the Solong has an awning vestibule on one aspect: good if you need a bit of extra airflow or to put in mattress and look exterior whereas nonetheless having some overhead safety. The tent likewise has two beneficiant peak vents to chop down on condensation. We love LightHeart normally as a small, North Carolina-based, woman- and veteran-owned firm.


  • Eight-inch bathtub ground: A lot taller than common, nice for stopping splashback.
  • Awning fly: One of many vestibules could be propped up with a carbon fiber pole to create an awning.
  • Lateral ridge pole: Creates extra headroom and lateral stability throughout windstorms.
  • Linelocs: For straightforward precision tensioning of all guyouts.
  • 30D ripstop silnylon: Each fly and bathtub ground.
  • Double-stitched seams:  For added sturdiness.

No one’s Good

The awning requires a carbon fiber pole to arrange, which is offered individually and never factored into the bottom weight or value of the tent. I suppose you might additionally use a brief trekking pole to set it up in case you have a 3rd one helpful (the tent itself requires two). Not essentially a real con, however it’s value noting that whereas the SoLong is additional lengthy, it’s not additional tall: the height is 45 inches tall, which is about typical for a backpacking tent.

Finest Tent for Tall Individuals Honorable Point out:

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The Finest Tents for Through-Climbing for Through-Hikers: FAQs

What’s the distinction between freestanding and trekking pole tents?

The Zpacks Duplex is a basic instance of a trekking pole shelter. Picture courtesy Owen Eigenbrot.

Conventional tents have devoted poles to present the shelter construction and physique. These tents will maintain their form with out the necessity for stakes, in order that they’re known as freestanding. (Word: even for freestanding tents, one or two stakes are sometimes required for the vestibule(s), and using further stakes will enhance your tent’s stormworthiness). The MSR Hubba Hubba is an efficient instance of a real freestanding tent. These shelters are easy to pitch, however the poles add each weight and bulk and are all the time prone to bending or snapping.

Trekking pole tents are as a substitute supported, clearly, by the consumer’s trekking poles. These tents are non-freestanding as a result of they require stakes to carry their form. The Zpacks Duplex is an efficient instance. Trekking pole tents are a lot more durable to arrange than their freestanding brethren, however by ditching the tent poles, you’ll save a large quantity of weight and area in your pack. For those who’re tenting on bedrock, snow, or one other medium that gained’t readily take stakes, you’re in hassle. Deadman anchors, massive rocks, tree trunks, and different objects can be utilized rather than stakes in a pinch.

Some tents, just like the Massive Agnes Tiger Wall, are semi-freestanding: they’ve devoted poles that largely assist the tent, however they require stakes to present the footbox construction. This hybrid strategy helps shave some ounces by simplifying the tent pole structure whereas retaining the straightforward setup benefit of true freestanding tents.

The Zpacks Free Duo is a uncommon instance of a single-wall, DCF, freestanding tent. Picture courtesy Owen Eigenbrot.

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Ought to I’m going with a two-person tent or a one-person tent?

It’s largely a matter of non-public choice, however we’ll level out that in keeping with our thru-hiker survey, two-person tents are way more well-liked than their one-person counterparts (even amongst solo hikers). Most 1p shelters take that designation actually: they’re simply large sufficient to accommodate a regular-sized human laying on their again with a couple of inches of area on both aspect, and that’s it. This makes the tent as gentle as attainable, in fact, however can undoubtedly really feel cramped to some hikers.

Since your tent shall be your property for a number of months on the path, many solo thru-hikers select to improve to a 2p tent to allow them to have a bit extra room to unfold out. The bigger model of the tent often weighs a couple of ounces extra and is dearer, however the tradeoff is value it for a lot of hikers. Equally, {couples} usually go together with a 3p tent.

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What’s the distinction between single-wall and double-wall tents?

Single-wall tents, just like the Zpacks Duplex, shave weight by eliminating the separate bug mesh. Single-wall designs are lighter and sooner to arrange when you get the grasp of it. There’s no separate rainfly to fuss with as a result of the entire tent is waterproof: the rainfly is the tent. This additionally makes it approach simpler and drier to arrange and take down camp in moist climate. Then again, they’re usually poorly ventilated in comparison with their double-wall mates (although some single-walls do higher than others). Condensation is among the greatest points with these shelters, although good campsite choice might help to mitigate this.

READ NEXT —  9 Ideas To Assist You Discover a Good Campsite Each Time

Most single-walled tents are additionally trekking pole setups, whereas most double-walled designs are freestanding, however this isn’t set in stone. Double-wall trekking pole shelters just like the Durston X-Mid and the Six Moon Designs Haven Tarp + NetTent combo do exist. As do single-wall freestanding tents just like the Zpacks Free Duo. Which fashion/mixture of types makes for the perfect thru-hiking tents? It’s largely a matter of non-public choice.

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What options ought to I search for in the perfect thru-hiking tents?

The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall has mix of area and weight financial savings, plus it has an idiot-proof pitch. Picture through Maggie Slepian.

Livable Area: A one-person tent is ok for individuals counting ounces, however some hikers will respect a light-weight two-person tent for simply themselves. It’s going to will let you unfold out, avoid the tent partitions, and maintain your gear contained in the tent with you. For 2 individuals on a thru-hike, some two-person fashions will work effective, however usually pairs of hikers find yourself getting bigger fashions after a couple of hundred miles of bumping into one another when sitting up or altering. Contemplate inside area, vestibule area, and peak top.

Normal Conveniences: Contemplate that that is your property for months at a time. What options would you like in your transportable home? Two doorways and two vestibules for multi-person tents will alleviate any crawling over one another throughout midnight cathole excursions, and inside aspect pockets are good for small gadgets. The very best tents for thru-hiking strike a effective stability between performance and weight.

Ease of Pitch: Check your setup earlier than you permit. The very last thing you wish to be doing after an excruciating day on path is preventing along with your guylines to get the fly taut earlier than the rain is available in. Or pitching your tent within the mud simply to have it collapse on you a couple of hours later.

Weight-to-Area Ratio: Certain you may have 31 sq. ft of area, however your tent additionally weighs six kilos. Is that this value it? It is perhaps, and that’s OK. Then again, you might desire a 14-ounce, single-person trekking pole shelter and forgo the headroom. That’s effective too. Greater than probably you’ll wind up someplace within the center—most of the listed shelters have 27-29 sq. ft of inside area and weigh 2.5-3.5 kilos.

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What’s the distinction between “packaged weight” and “path weight?”

The packaged weight is the load of the tent plus every part that comes with it, together with directions, restore kits, stuff sacks, additional stakes, additional guyline… you get the image.

In distinction, the path weight (or minimal path weight) is the mixed weight of the tent physique, rainfly, and poles (if relevant). It does not embody the load of the stakes, footprint, or any additional guyline you may select to hold.

As you possibly can see, each numbers give an incomplete thought of the load of your tent. This true weight will probably be someplace in between the packaged and path weights. Some cottage manufacturers, like Zpacks and Gossamer Gear, will provide you with an itemized breakdown of the person weights of every tent element all the way down to the smallest stuff sack, including much-needed readability to the tent-buying expertise.

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Normally, sure. The footprint, or floor material, will lengthen the lifetime of your tent by defending the ground from moisture and abrasive, puncture-making stuff like rocks, sand, and twigs. Annoyingly, most tent purchases don’t embody the footprint: after shelling out a whole bunch of {dollars} for the tent, you then should fork over a further $50 or $60 (plus a number of ounces of base weight) for the bottom material. Meh.

In its place, you may make or purchase a cheap, light-weight Tyvek or Polycro floor material. Some tents, just like the Tarptent Protrail, have rugged, puncture-resistant bathtub flooring and don’t require a separate footprint.

The Lunar Solo doesn’t require a separate footprint (although it’s most likely nonetheless a good suggestion on abrasive media like sand).

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What’s the distinction between silnylon, silpoly, and DCF?

Silnylon: Most conventional tents are made from silicone-coated ripstop nylon, or silnylon. Silnylon is well-liked as a result of it’s cheap, waterproof, moderately puncture-resistant, moderately light-weight, and packs up small. It tends to stretch out and sag when moist, making it robust to get a taut pitch. UV publicity additionally weakens it shortly.

Silnylon is out there in several weights, that are measured in models of deniers (d). The bigger the quantity, the more durable (and heavier) the fabric. The ultralight Massive Agnes Tiger Wall makes use of skinny 15d silnylon, the SMD Lunar Solo makes use of 20D, and the burlier MSR Hubba Hubba makes use of 30d. A ripstop nylon backpack, in distinction, may use 500d silnylon.

Silpoly: Silicone-coated polyester isn’t as robust as silnylon when new, however a rising college of thought says silpoly’s superior UV-resistance makes it extra sturdy in the long term. It additionally gained’t sag when moist the best way silnylon does. Silpoly is rising an increasing number of widespread within the UL tent world as the material know-how continues to enhance: Six Moon Designs and Durston Gear have each embraced it over silnylon, and Henry Shires is within the course of of fixing a number of silnylon TarpTent designs again to silpoly.

DCF: DCF (Dyneema Composite Material) is the reducing fringe of ultralight materials. Initially designed to be used in sailboats, DCF is a particularly light-weight and robust nonwoven/laminated cloth and the darling of the cottage gear commerce. It’s fully waterproof and immune to each tears and stretching, although it may nonetheless be punctured pretty simply. It’s simple to restore with a easy patch job, although. It additionally gained’t sag or take in water when moist.

The DCF One is Gossamer Gear’s replace on the unique silnylon model of The One. Picture courtesy Carl Stanfield.

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Do I must seam seal my tent?

Depends upon the model. Most huge model tents—Massive Agnes, REI, and many others.—have factory-taped seams and don’t require preliminary seam sealing. The manufacturing unit therapy can put on out after in depth use, so that you’ll ultimately should reseal them. Some cottage trade tents, just like the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo, don’t come seam-sealed to maintain the value decrease. You’ll be able to pay a bit of additional for seam sealing service or lower your expenses and do it your self.

Thankfully, seam sealer is broadly obtainable at tenting and {hardware} shops and is straightforward to make use of. Simply arrange your tent (in a dry, non-dusty, non-windy place), make sure that the seams are clear and dry, and paint seam sealer over all seams that don’t adjoin mesh paneling. Go away the tent arrange for a number of hours till the sealant has dried fully.

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Why must you belief us?

As a result of we’re so extremely clever, in fact! Enticing, too. (To not point out extraordinarily humble).

But when that isn’t sufficient to impress you, there’s additionally the truth that everybody who contributed to this text is an skilled thru-hiker with 1000’s of on-trail miles below their belt. We’re gear nerds who love placing our tools to the take a look at on trails lengthy and quick, and we’ve examined dozens of tents in pursuit of a greater night time’s sleep within the backcountry.

Furthermore, we survey a whole bunch of Appalachian Path thru-hikers yearly to study their behaviors, demographics, and—you guessed it—gear preferences. Meaning our picks for the perfect thru-hiking tents aren’t simply our opinions: they’re primarily based on years of suggestions from the thru-hiking neighborhood.

Try AT hikers’ picks for the perfect thru-hiking tents from the 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022 thru-hiker surveys.

Competence and backpacking proficiency personified.

Unique article by Maggie Slepian. Alex “GPS” Brown and Rachel Shoemaker contributed to the 2023 replace of this checklist. Owen Eigenbrot up to date for 2024.

Featured picture: Graphic design by Chris Helm (@chris.helm).



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