10 Best Backpacking Tents of 2018

ZPacks Duplex

MIN TRAIL WEIGHT: 1lb 5oz (poles not included)

DIMENSIONS: (L x W x H): 90 x 45 x 48in

FEATURES: 2 Person, 3 Season, Single-Wall, 2 Doors/Vestibules, Non-Freestanding

SIZES: 1P1P Tall2P & 3P

BEST FOR: Ultralight, Long-Distance Thru-Hiking

The ZPacks Duplex is one of our all-time favorite ultralight tents for thru-hiking and serious long-distance adventures. This tent provides a good amount of interior space, livability, and weather protection at a freakishly light weight. The DCF fabric of the Duplex is ridiculously light, fully waterproof, and won’t sag when wet like most silnylon tents. That said, the Duplex does have some downsides. It’s a non-freestanding tent, so it takes longer to set up, requires creativity on rocky terrain, and takes practice to master. Also, it’s a single-wall shelter, so you’ll have to manage interior condensation in cold/wet weather, which can sometimes be a drag. Also, the unique fabric of this tent makes it very expensive, but if you plan on living out of it on a thru-hike, we think it’s totally worth it. All things considered, the ZPacks Duplex is an exceptional choice for serious ultralight backpackers willing to forgo a few camp comforts for an extremely light pack.

MORE: ZPacks offers this tent in 1P, 1P Tall, 2P & 3P sizes (links above). We’re partial to the 2P Duplex, but the 3P Triplex could be a good option for couples wanting a bit more space.

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2


DIMENSIONS: (L x W x H): 86 x 52/42 x 39in (wider at head, narrower at foot)

FEATURES: 2 Person, 3 Season, Double-Wall, 2 Doors/Vestibules, Semi-freestanding

SIZES: 2P & 3P

BEST FOR: Ultralight Interior Space

Big Agnes’ new Tiger Wall UL2 delivers a lot of interior space in an ultralight package. The Tiger Wall is a combination of two popular BA tents, with a shape that’s similar to the Copper Spur, but much lighter, and a pole structure that’s similar to the Fly Creek, but with more interior space. One downside with the Tiger Wall is its semi-freestanding design, which requires two stakes at the foot of the tent for a full pitch. This type of design is less convenient on rocky terrain, may sag a bit in cold/wet weather, and won’t hold up quite as well in heavy winds. That said, for a few small drawbacks, the new Tiger Wall UL2 has a lot to love, and we look forward to testing ours more on the trail this year.

MORE: Here’s our full review of the Tiger Wall UL2. The Tiger Wall comes in 2P and 3P sizes (links above). Pick up the Tiger Wall UL2 Footprint if you want to increase tent floor durability.

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