THE BEST TENT FOR TREKKING: WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A TENT? Which trekking tent is the best?
TREKKING TENT: BASICS OVERVIEW
What is a trekking tent?
A trekking tent is a particularly lightweight tent with a small pack size, which has high functional properties and as such is particularly suitable for impromptu overnight stays on multi-day tours, long-distance hikes or trekking tours.
The most common type of trekking tent is the one-man trekking tent.
A one-person tent is lightweight and offers just enough space for one person to spend the night protected from the weather. Trekking tents are windproof, waterproof and should be particularly rugged so that they can withstand the comparatively tough demands of multi-day tours through the terrain.
How heavy is a trekking tent?
Weight and packing volume can vary greatly from model to model. Particularly light or ultra-light trekking tents can weigh far less than one kilogram. Medium tents weigh between 1.5 and 2 kg. Anything above that may already be classified as being heavy.
With regard to the weight, however, it should also be considered whether it is a tent for one person or for two persons. Because the more persons it can accommodate, the bigger and heavier the tent is.
How much does a trekking tent cost?
The prices for trekking tents vary greatly. Inexpensive tents are available from less than 50 Euro. The really expensive trekking tents even cost well over 1000 euros. As you can see, there is a lot of space in between.
Must a good tent be expensive?
There are tents for 800 Euro which do not live up to their high price. And there are tents for 100 Euro where you wonder how such a high quality model can be offered for such a modest price.
Just like with other equipment, you have to be careful when buying tents. Because not all expensive models have what you would expect due to their high purchase price.
How much money are you supposed to spend on a good tent?
If the tent should hold more than one Temporada, then one should not reach for the cheapest model.
Of course there are also tents for 50 Euro which are quite usable. But you have to reckon with some compromises regarding material and workmanship. And with such a low purchase price you don’t have to be surprised if the tent only lasts one summer and if the material tears around the eyelets during the first gust of wind.
Quality comes at a price.
If you buy your meat in the refrigerated counter in the supermarket and pack the shrink-wrapped pork cutlets for 2.50 euros a kilogram, you will just get the food you pay for. If, on the other hand, you pick up a few more thalers and buy high-quality organic meat from sustainable production from a real butcher, then you will also get real quality. The same goes for the tents.
What are the advantages of trekking tents?
+ Lightweight or ultra-light design
+ Small packing size
+ Functional design and comparatively easy assembly and disassembly
What are the disadvantages of trekking tents?
– Spartan accommodation
– High-quality trekking tents are not quite cheap
What are the alternatives to trekking tents?
Alternatives to trekking tents
- Bivouac bag
- Bivouac tent
- Overnight stay outside without tent
THE MAIN DISTINGUISHING FEATURES
What distinguishes a trekking tent from other tents? And how do the individual models of trekking tents differ from each other?
What is the difference between a trekking tent and a camping tent?
As a rule, camping tents are more comfortable than trekking tents as they offer more space. Some camping tents and especially family tents are so high that you can stand and walk in them comfortably. However, trekking tents with standing height are quite unusual.
In addition to the space available, most camping tents have other advantages such as a better room layout, awning, flysheet and many other luxuries that a trekking tent simply cannot offer due to its more compact design, such as large lockable window areas, etc.
Trekking tents are adapted to the needs of hikers.
They have to be comparatively light and have as small a pack size as possible.
They should be easy to erect and dismantle.
Despite their compact and functional design, trekking tents must be at least weatherproof and waterproof as normal camping tents. In the best case, a good trekking tent is even more robust and weatherproof than a pure camping tent. Especially on long distance hikes with bivouacs at high altitudes, the weather is often particularly harsh.
At high altitudes in the mountains the temperature drops rapidly at night, the weather can be changeable, cold and wet. In such conditions you will be happy in the evening if you have a dry, wind-protected and relatively warm place to stay in your trekking tent.
What are lightweight tents?
A lightweight tent is a tent with a total weight of less than 3 kg, including tarpaulin, pegs and packing bag. However, 3 kg is already an absolute maximum.
At best, a tent for trekking should not weigh more than 1.5 to max. 2 kg. Ultralight tents even weigh half as much as trekking tents.
However, such light tents are so simple that they often consist only of a simple tent wall and some tensioning material. It is very similar to a tarp. Only with the difference that the ultralight trekking tent already contains the tensioning material, while the tarp requires you to take care of it yourself.
Super-lightweight tent for trekking
Super-light or ultra-light trekking tents are usually referred to when the total weight of the tent and tent material for erecting it is less than one kilogram.
Are there also tents for trekking with standing height?
Tents with standing height are an exception for trekking. Most trekking tents are flat and long enough to accommodate one, two or three people (one, two or three-man tents).
In certain cases, standing height can also be useful for trekking tents. For example, if several people want to spend several days in a tent and if due to bad weather conditions a lot of time is to be spent under a protective tent roof and also if cooking is to be done under a tent roof.
For such expeditions it can be useful to take a tarp with you. With a tarp of 3 x 3 or 5 x 5 m, a weatherproof shelter can be built for several people.
A tarp does not weigh so much and can therefore also be transported in a rucksack. The standing height is then guaranteed under a highly tensioned tarp.
Which is the best tent for beginners?
For beginners, lightweight or ultra lightweight tents are recommended, which do not cause a great deal of weight and space when carrying, but still meet all the requirements for overnight stays around the open air.
Trekking tents for beginners should be easy and intuitive to set up and dismantle. And of course it should be as weatherproof as possible. Waterproof materials and workmanship are basic requirements.
Does a trekking tent with awning make sense?
Awnings are handy. If the weather conditions are mixed and unfavourable with precipitation, an awning can offer many advantages. Because the awning offers space for the waterproof storage of rucksack and equipment. And if the awning is spacious enough, you can even cook in it.
For tall people
Particularly tall people also need a particularly spacious tent.
If someone is particularly tall, then it is advisable to buy a 2-person tent. This is because tall people naturally need larger clothing, larger sleeping bags and larger insulating mats, and thus require more overall space.
With small packing size
How small a tent can be packed together depends not only on the tent’s condition but also and above all on the condition and robustness of the bag in which the tent is to be stored.
Unfortunately, it seems that the manufacturers often save money on the pack bag, even with high-quality and expensive tents. The material is thin and the seams are unstable and tear even when packed correctly.
In many cases, the only thing you can do is to apply a needle and thread or even a more robust fabric and prepare the bag so that the tent can actually be properly compressed.
The final packing size of a tent depends on its compressibility and the nature of the bag.
ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT TREKKING TENTS
Which is the most lightweight trekking tent?
Ultra lightweight trekking tents are usually referred to when the total tent weight is less than one kilogram. The most lightweight tent for trekking would therefore weigh far less than one kilogram.
In order to get an idea of what a weight of less than one kilogram means for tents, a comparison between tents and tarps is worthwhile.
A tarp is a simple waterproof and very robust tarpaulin, which is equipped with various tension loops and eyelets, so that the tarpaulin can be improvised as a rain canopy, sun canopy or tent.
A tarp of 3 x 3 meters like the Camo by DD Hammocks weighs just under 800 grams. In order to save weight in a trekking tent, you should therefore take a look at the size of the tent.
A trekking tent should only be used for overnight accommodation and offer adequate protection against weather conditions. So if the tent is just big enough to accommodate you and your equipment, then this is quite sufficient. Everything else is just superfluous material that you have to carry around.
Better traditional, light, ultra-light or tarp?
Many tents of traditional construction can weigh two, three or even more kilograms. Today, if you don’t really want to, you don’t have to worry about lugging a tent around. So light and ultra-light tents are very popular for trekking.
Even in comparison to the most lightweight, ultra-lightweight tents, a tarp can still mean some reduction in weight. So for some outdoor enthusiasts, the only question they can ask themselves is whether it should be a tarp or an ultra-lightweight tent.
However, this question must be answered by anybody. And you will find the best answer once you have tried both variants. Here you will find out where your priorities are and which of the variants will become your personal favourite.
THE BEST TENT FOR TREKKING: WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A TENT
For which final purpose should the tent be used?
Ask yourself the following questions before buying a tent:
- Is the tent to be used only occasionally (once) or more often?
- Will the tent be used for summer trekking or winter trekking?
- In which geographical regions and at which altitudes will the tent be used?
- How many people can be accommodated in the tent?
- How heavy or light will the tent be?
- What is the maximum amount of space the tent can occupy in its backpack?
- Will the tent also offer an awning or canopy?
- Is a tent wall sufficient or should it be double-walled?
- For summer tours: Should the tent have an integrated mosquito net?
- Which minimum water column should the tent wall and floor have?
How much money can or do you want to spend maximally on the tent?
Cheap trekking tents are available from 50 Euro. A good trekking tent, where you can enjoy many outdoor adventures and even several years, costs from 300 Euro. If the tent is to be of even higher quality, then 500 or even up to 1000 Euros will be charged for it.
400 to 500 Euro for a good trekking tent is a quite high investment for many. This investment should pay off as well as possible. Therefore it is advisable that you are already clear before the purchase, for which final purpose your tent should be suitable.
Which tent type is right for you?
Trekking tents are divided into two categories:
- Tunnel Tents
- Pyramid Tents
- Dome Tents
- Geodesic Tent
- Half Geodesic Tents
- Makeshift Tents: Tarp, Tarptent, Bivouac Tent
PURCHASE POSSIBILITIES: ONLINE, IN THE SHOP, CHEAP PURCHASE
Although the offer of trekking tents is abundant, the size of the target group is quite manageable.
Anyone can camp. And on a camping site most of them have probably camped before. However, the number of those who spend the night outside using a tarp, bivouac tent or trekking tent is comparatively small.
For example, nature-loving adventurers prefer to forgo a little comfort in order to spend a night or more in the middle of nature in a tight trekking tent during their tours and expeditions.
And most of the trekking tents are tightly packed. After all, they are supposed to guarantee a mobile home. On the other hand, they should also be as light as possible and take up as little space in the backpack as possible.
Since the target group for trekking tents is manageable, the selection of these specific one-man, two-man or three-man tents in most outdoor outlets is also rather small.
A real trekking enthusiast will get detailed information about features, models and manufacturers before buying and in the end knows exactly what his dream model should look like. In most cases, this dream model will not be available in shops.
Therefore the online purchase of trekking tents is often the best and most effective way to purchase a specific model according to your own ideas.
Buy from an outdoor supplier in the shop
With a little luck you will find the trekking tent of your choice in the outdoor shop of your city. However, experience has shown that the choice is usually small. Unless it’s an outdoor shop that doesn’t just target the broad mass of outdoor enthusiasts, but is specifically specialized in trekking.
If you already have a tent of your choice in mind through your own research, then you can also ask in the outdoor shop whether your model, if it is not available in the stock, can be reordered..
Possibilities for particularly favourable tents
You can get your tent especially cheap during the summer sales or winter sales. In the course of the sales, some models are offered at a real knockdown price and with discounts of 20, 30, 50 or even more percent.
Offers and Promotions
Offers and activities are organised by outdoor shops and online shops. And they do it regularly. The aim of such campaigns with particularly favourable offers is to retain customers and simultaneously sell older goods in order to make room for new arrivals.
In order to get information about special offers in your outdoor shop around the corner, it is best to ask the staff or the owner of the shop.
To stay up to date on special offers and price reductions in online shops, we recommend subscribing to the free newsletters sent by most online platforms.
In the Outlet
Outlets are shops where goods can be bought at factory prices.
But be careful: not every outlet you see is also an outlet. Often the term outlet is misused and the goods are just as expensive or only slightly cheaper than in other shops.
Buying a used backpack often makes less sense, since backpacks are in most cases cheaper than tents, but buying a used trekking tent can save several hundred euros. This is because genuinely good brand tents can now cost many hundreds of euros.
If, for example, your tent has a new price of 800 Euros, then with a little luck you might be able to get it in used condition for half the price.
Used tents can be found in trekking, hiking or bushcraft forums, in shops or online marketplaces. eBay is one of the largest and best-known online sales outlets for used goods.
TENTS UNDER TEST: TEST PAGES, TEST RESULTS, TEST WINNERS
How can real tests be distinguished from fake tests?
This question should be asked by anyone who is seriously looking for meaningful comparisons and tests on specific products. Unfortunately, there are many black sheep online. Too many online portals that pretend to be test pages sell nothing but hot air.
A good way to find out whether these are real tests or fake tests is to take a close look at the test photos. If there are no real test photos here and they are mainly or exclusively based on product photos of the manufacturers, then you should already be sensitive. This is because real tests also include real test photos.
Sometimes it’s not the big test portals that inspire confidence, but smaller blogs or sites of outdoor enthusiasts who actually have real tests with real test results. Even if, or even because, the photos seem amateurish, you can be sure that the tests were actually conducted under real conditions.
In addition to blogs and pages, you can also use test videos on YouTube, Vimeo or other video platforms to gain insight into specific products.
And finally, there are the trustworthy test reports of large and recognized test institutions such as Stiftung Warentest.
TIPS FOR USE, MAINTENANCE, CARE
Upon receipt of the new tent
Package content check and initial setup
If you have ordered your trekking tent online, you should set it up immediately after receipt. This is the only way to make sure that your trekking tent has been delivered in perfect condition. This way you can also be sure that no parts have been forgotten.
If the tent is new, you should put the tent through its paces and familiarise yourself with the structure and special features before starting the trekking route.
Read assembly instructions
Each tent has its own special features.
Whether it is a tunnel tent, a geodesic tent, a pyramid tent or a dome tent, other special details can be added depending on the specifications regarding the construction, which make a tent unique with regard to the construction.
Even outdoor enthusiasts who have used many different types of tents can learn more tricks by studying the assembly instructions, which they might not have learned, but which can greatly simplify and speed up assembly and disassembly.
Tips for use
Ventilate and dry before packing
If there is enough time in the morning after getting up, this time should be used to air out and dry the tent properly before final packing and stowing.
However, this will not always be possible.
During winter trekking, trekking in very cold and snowy conditions or trekking in damp and cold conditions in particular, often limit any possibility of drying the tent.
However, if the weather conditions and the time frame allow the tent to dry, this option should also be used.
Moisture on the tent is caused by condensation inside the tent and by morning dew, precipitation such as rain or snow, or even by defrosting frost on the outer surface. If this moisture remains in the packed tent during the day, then the tent will also be wet during the next night. This is bad and can also start to smell bad.
Wetness is not only unpleasant, but also comes with additional weight. Especially when trekking, where every gram of weight is important, a dry tent fabric can have weight advantages, while a wet tent fabric puts additional strain on the bearer.
Organized assembly, disassembly and stowage
The setup and dismantling of a tent should be clear before setting off for the route. In the evening, after a long day’s trek, you have better things to do than to spend hours setting up the tent.
The current arrangement of all tent components should be just as familiar as the setup. This should be done at any time and even at night.
Sometimes trekking tents have to be erected and dismantled at night in the dark. Here the owner must always know where everything is in the dark and even in adverse weather conditions, storm, snow, rain or fog.
Tent parts that are not needed at the moment, such as pegs, loops or fastening cords, are left in the tent bag and only removed when they are actually needed. This prevents material from swirling on the ground. And it prevents parts from getting lost.
Loose tarpaulins are not just left lying around in windy conditions. Because if the next gust of wind carries the tarpaulin over the slope, that would not be a nice thing. That’s why a tent is either set up in a pull-through or individual parts are stored and fixed in such a way that nothing can get lost.
Maintenance and cleaning
Maintenance during use
Even during use, a lot can be done to ensure that the tent is not soiled or only slightly soiled and that it is spared and protected from damage.
This means that the pitch can be chosen so that it is protected from wind and weather and that it is not on muddy or marshy ground. If there is no other possibility for a dry camping place, then particularly softened and muddy soil can be drained by laying on branches and grasses.
Furthermore, when choosing the pitch, it is important to ensure that there are no sharp stones, thorns or branches under the tent floor, in order to protect it from damage.
After eating, direct contact with the tent fabric with greasy fingers should be avoided. The fat can have a negative effect on the properties of the material at this point. In addition, grease stains are difficult to remove later.
The general rule is: the cleaner the tent is kept, the less it has to be cleaned afterwards.
Assembly and dismantling should always be done carefully and in a controlled manner. Care should be taken to ensure that no parts are lost and that the tent fabric is not left crumpled on the floor and instead rolled up after use and drying and stored in the appropriate packing bag.
Cleaning after use
What is to be considered when cleaning tents?
If it is not a cotton tent, washing in the washing machine or by hand should be avoided completely. And if the tent fabric is so dirty that it has to be washed by hand, do not use fabric softener. Because if the tent is impregnated, then fabric softener would become the pure agent for the impregnation.
In most cases it is sufficient to shake out the trekking tent inside after use and then wipe it out a little. If there are dirty spots on the outer surface, they can be removed with a damp cloth or sponge.
In addition to the tent membrane, tensioning ropes and pegs can also be cleaned.
The water-repellent properties can be enhanced and improved by impregnating the tent with water.
Before a tent can be impregnated, it must be cleaned of dirt. The impregnation is only applied from the outside. This is because it is supposed to help prevent moisture and dirt from adhering to the fabric and immediately roll off again after contact.
More environmentally friendly impregnating agents should be used
Unfortunately, many environmentally harmful impregnating agents are still available today. Environmentally conscious outdoor enthusiasts should carefully look out for environmentally friendly impregnating agents.
Storage during longer periods of non-use
If the trekking tent is not needed for a longer period of time, it should be cleaned, ventilated and dried and then stored in the pack bag in a dry and light-protected place.
Storage in a packsack is the most suitable way of safely storing the tent over a longer period of time. Direct sunlight should be avoided, as UV radiation can negatively influence the functionality of the tent fabric in the long run or even destroy it in the worst case.
BEST TREKKING TENT
Which is the best trekking tent?
We have come to the end of our trekking guide and if for one or other reason it is still not clear which trekking tent is the best, here is a small overview of some selection criteria, which will help you to better define the best trekking tent for your personal needs.
Criteria for selecting a trekking tent for the perfect trekking experience:
- Selection according to final application. For what purposes will the tent be used (summer trekking, winter trekking, single use, multiple use, etc.)?
- 1 or 2 person tent?
- Do you prefer certain brands?
- How much money can or do you want to spend?
- What should be the maximum weight of the tent?
- What type of construction (tunnel tent, geodesic, pyramid…)?
Additional information and tips that will help you to buy your trekking tent can be found in forums, on personal blogs on hiking and trekking as well as on other outdoor sites and online shops that have tents for trekking available.
For specific questions we recommend using our search engine. Simply enter the term of your choice in the search field and the results will be displayed in order of priority.
If you have questions about trekking tents that are not covered in this article or in your opinion were not answered sufficiently, then please contact us via our contact form. We are looking forward to your feedback.
If you have found an error or if you know tents that are not listed here but should also appear in this list due to their peculiarities, please contact us via the contact form. We appreciate your feedback and suggestions for improvement.