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    I am looking for an ultralight (hopefully sub 3 lbs) 2 person tent for spring missions to the Sierras and summer backpacking. It shouldnt have to deal with a heavy snow load but it should handle strong winds without collapsing. What is everybody using? Thanks


    Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2 (2 lbs 9 oz or so) has received good reviews. The tent may be a bit warm for summer camping (no ventilation) but should do great in windy/colder conditions.

    Here are a few good reviews.


    i’ve been really happy with the msr hubba hubba but it’s a bit heaver ~4 lbs.


    It is always a trade off. Do not underestimate the value of good nights sleep. Always try a tent on for size before purchase, light tents such as the Direckt are nice, but really only suited for folks on the shorter side. Be sure to lay down inside the tent in your preferred sleeping position to make sure that you fit. At 6’1″ I find I need a tent longer than the Direckt to get a decent nights sleep. If you are only considering spring (and summer) you need much less tent than in winter, where the days are short and you are likely spending 13 hours or more per day in the tent. In spring in decent weather you can go without vestibules, as you can cook and hang out outside. While superlight tents are nice in the pack, sometimes carrying a little more weight is worth it in terms of comfort and a good night of sleep.
    I like the Hilleberg line, still double wall, but they have reasonable weights, and enough models to fit just about anyone’s needs.


    I’ve had good luck with the the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 for non-winter back and bike packing when I want something more than a bivy. It’s extremely light and compact, surprisingly wind tough and otherwise durable, and long enough (but barely so) or me at 6″3′. The one and two person versions come in just below and over 2lb trail weight. The one design compromise (surely for weight) is the front entry–I’d prefer it had side entry for ease of entry, exit (one on either side for the two person).


    Plenty of good suggestions already here but here’s my 2 cents.

    I have had good success with Black Diamond megamid style tents. For spring tours you can’t beat them for light weight. You can use your ski poles like I show below and easily sleep three or there is a slightly ninga way to dig out the sleeping area a bit and use multiple poles (avoiding having any pole in the middle of the tent) and sleep four (although this last technique is not the best in wind). These tents are obviously not heavy four season bomb proof exped tents but I have spent many windy nights in the mountains when they did fine. Probably the windiest night I’ve spent in the alpine was in a Golite megamid type tent that help up fine.

    The betamid (or similar from another manu) is a great choice for two.

    One serious drawback with these types of tents in spring/early summer backpacking is that they are not bug proof. There are screen inners you can buy but I’ve had decent success with putting rocks around the edges and sealing the skeeters out that way…sorta wack but it works.

    For more full on winter conditions, I like the BD HiLight (or similar). I’ve been pounded by storms in these and other than having to dig away the snow trying to crush in the walls more often than with a full on everesty 4 season tent with 34 poles, they’ve worked great.

    I think double wall tents are awesome when someone else is carrying them or I’m base camping and the approach is mellow or someone already stashed them but if it’s a significant tour, personally I’d rather save the weight.

    Many of the lightest tents are trim to save weight, I’m totally fine with that tradeoff but if you’re not be sure to doublecheck the size.

    christoph benells

    i lived in the sierra nevada for many years and consider myself an aficionado when it comes to lightweight shelters.

    the good thing about the sierras is it rarely precipitates…

    i thru hiked the john muir trail several times with a 6 X 8 sil nylon tarp and a sheet of bug netting, and a tyvek ground cloth. pitch the tarp w/ your poles, drape the bug netting over the top, use rocks to secure it around the base. i used the same shelter spring touring, you just have to find a nice spot to dig a little trench in the snow. it can get a little tricky when pitching on granite slabs, but there are enough rocks around to anchor it.

    the whole setup will cost you maybe a #, and only take up a couple of liters of space in your pack.

    oh and thanks cameron for the link to my blog! every hit i get means more kick me downs i get from next adventure, you guys are keeping my dirtbag dream alive!

    christoph benells

    oohhh and i would recommend those big agnes tents as well, they are sweet!


    @christoph benells wrote:

    oohhh and i would recommend those big agnes tents as well, they are sweet!


    I also own the fly creek 1. It’s uber light. Amazingly so, and while I have the same complaint about the front entry (makes it tricky getting in and out such a small tent), I live with it.

    Tips: Use your ice ax rather then stakes to keep the footbox spread apart (those that own the tent know what I’m talking about) Use your poles as A-Frame struts in the center/outside of the tent at the guy points. Will allow your tent to take a snowload much better and hold up better in high winds.

    I think it weighs 2 lbs or something ridiculous altogether.

    christoph benells

    there has been a few issues with the durability with the big agnes flycreek tents, mostly in the stuff sack ripping.

    big agnes has an amazing warranty program and they will repair or replace any issues super post haste. they are a good company.


    @wjb wrote:

    I am looking for an ultralight (hopefully sub 3 lbs) 2 person tent for spring missions to the Sierras and summer backpacking. It shouldnt have to deal with a heavy snow load but it should handle strong winds without collapsing. What is everybody using? Thanks

    Hi Wade! Here are my recommendations…
    If you like the idea of “crawling out of the trunk of a car”, then check out these “front door” tents
    Big Angnes Fly Creek/Fly Creek Platinum
    Easton Kilo
    Mtn Hardwear SuperMega

    If you like the idea of “crawling out of a car” in more of the traditional method using “side doors”, then check out these tents…
    Big Agnes Copper Spur
    Nemo Obi/Obi Elite
    MSR Carbon Reflex
    Mtn. Hardwear Skyledge

    Note: Avoid tents with only ONE side door! It’s not cool waking/hitting your partner in the middle of the night trying to get in/out for/from a pee run.

    I personally use the Obi Elite 1P for solo missions and the Obi 3P for two person missions. I used to represent for both MtnHW and Nemo, so I’m kind of biased towards them, but all of these brands make awesome tents! Got test them out first. Fit, features and set-up are all key deciding factors in addition to weight, door configuration and pack size. Good luck! 😉


    this is a bit of an investment, and sounds close to a “know thy tent neighbor very well” 1.5 person kind of tent, but I think it looks pretty cool for winter expeditions and keeping weight down.

    I only found out about this tent when I saw one for sale, can’t remember if it was splitboard’s swap section or on geartrade.

    (edit-but after reading that full review, maybe not the most comfortable choice for 2 in terms of condensation/ventilation)

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