If you want to make the most of a good cardio workout, but you also don’t feel at home in a gym, hiking might just be the solution for you. Going up and down the hills is the perfect way to improve health, reduce the risks of cardiovascular issues, and build some muscle without it actually seeming like a workout. The bonus? You get to enjoy the breathtaking views and the contact with nature.
Still, remember that hiking is no walk in the park, you need to rely on your suitable gear as much as your skills to make your way through the strenuous terrains. In addition to basics like the adequate bag, reliable multitools, powerful light sources like torches, plus the supply of comfortable clothing and quality, nutritious meals, your list of essentials would be incomplete without a tent.
And not just any tent, but one that offers the right protection from the weather elements, while providing ample space for your sleep and storage. All this without weighing you down as you walk through the varying trails that require your utmost energy and physical effort. In short, what you need are sturdy and lightweight hiking tents to back you up on your outdoor adventures.
Although you may have had the impression all tents were alike, once you get to go on a quest for the ideal tent for hiking, you come to realise this couldn’t be further from the truth. So, you need to delve deeper into the matter to get the best buy you possibly can.
What to Look for When Buying a Tent for Hiking?
As there are various outstanding outdoor gear brands on the market, amazing with their tent options, such as Mont, Exped, and Vaude among others, known for their quality, great pricing, and features, you can make shopping easier by looking into several crucial questions and factors:
How Much Weight Can You Carry?
This is one of the most important considerations to have before shopping for the perfect tent since it’s a factor that influences the scope of other factors and properties. Typical designs that are somewhat more affordable are made from somewhat cheaper materials that tend to be on the heavier side and end up weighing from 2 kg up to 5 kg and more if it’s bigger and sturdier than a two-person tent model.
The lightweight hiking tents can weigh under 2 kg, from 1.9 or 1.8 kg, all the way down to 400 g, considered ultralight. Despite the weight, these are made from materials that are chosen for their quality too, but they tend to come at a higher price, so it all comes down to what it is you want, need, and how much you can carry. If you’ll be doing a lot of hiking, then the lightweight pick is a no-brainer that’s worth the investment.
If weight isn’t that big of a deal for you, the in-between option that’s neither too heavy nor too light is just right. Be sure to consider the size of the chosen design, how much it weighs when packed, and how much the accessories weigh too, like the poles, instead of only focusing on the fabric itself.
When Do You Plan to Hike?
The time of year you choose for your adventures outdoors has a say in the type of tent you end up with as well. Summer-time hikes in terrains that aren’t famous for the harsh winds will require a standard 3-season tent, and my pick for this kind of experience would be Moondance 2 by Mont.
Whereas hikes in terrains are known for the inclement weather, plus hikes in winter months will require something more enduring to protect you from the winds and rains like the 4-season designs, such as the Venus II – Extreme by Exped known for the stability and strength. These characteristics come at the expense of weight, though, as this baby weighs 2.76 kg as opposed to the 1.95 kg of the previous counterpart.
How Much Are You Into Hiking?
The duration of your hikes can determine the type of hiking tent you require too. If you plan on staying out longer, you can’t do with a simple bivvy or ultralight tarp shelter as these are best suited for short day or two-day hikes like those you do during the weekends. Serious hikers choose different, more strenuous trails, that require durability and quality with the tent, so prepare to invest more if you take this activity seriously.
And in case you’re an occasional hiker, you won’t have to break the bank to get a lightweight cover for a well-trodden trail adventure. Nowadays, there are convenient and compact options for short hikes, like those you can wear in the example of Sea to Summit’s tarp poncho.
How Much Space Do You Need?
Space can be a huge headache that could rob you of an unforgettable experience, no matter whether you go solo or well-accompanied. On the one hand, you want to stay light with lightweight hiking tents and on the other hand, you want to get as much space as possible for your sleep comfort, as well as storage needs.
Shape, floor dimensions, plus peak height are all factors that can give you an idea of how much liveable space you can get with a certain design, and whether or not you can fit in more than your sleeping bag. But, don’t forget to also consider whether or not the tent comes with compartments for handy and neat storage of your essentials, and check to see if there’s more than one door.
The addition of a second door can be a luxury when you travel with a partner, however, it could also mean the liveable space gets somewhat compromised. Same thing with the raised bathtub-style floor that’s suitable for protection from moisture. The location of ventilation spots and mesh elements for protection from insects have a say in the usability of the space too. It’s all about weighing the pros and cons.