A tent can easily become the heaviest part of your gear, so ultralight tents are the way to go for the modern adventurer. A lightweight backpacking tent is a relieving change of pace: it keeps a low profile, is made with quality materials, and weighs a fraction of comparable regular tents (which can be 10 pounds or more packed). In short, light tents are easy on convenient to carry, even over long distances.
To help you find the perfect model we’ve tested 25 new products to find a perfect, money saving alternative to the bestselling but pricey Mountainsmith Morrison Tent. Our ultralight tent reviews focused on weight, waterproofing, materials, value, and convenience. So whether you’re a dedicated camper or just dipping your toe in, give your poor back a break with a shiny new ultralight backpacking tent.
The Mountainsmith Morrison tent has won several awards and comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. It’s a freestanding three season tent designed for quick setup, with water resistant stuff sacks printed with useful setup instructions. It comes with a removable gear loft and two vestibules under the fly for a little more gear storage space but weighs slightly more as a result. We recommend this ultralight tent for longer excursions because it can handle more gear than the affordable Naturehike tent. All in all, it’s a great option that offers lots of cutting-edge features. The only downside is the hefty, big-brand price tag.
The new Naturehike tent is a three season ultra light tent with very similar stats to the Mountainsmith: they share high waterproof ratings and strong materials, and the same two-person capacity. However, the Naturehike is a pound lighter when fully packed, while lacking the extra storage space offered by the Mountainsmith. It has enough space for two people with light to medium gear but might get a little crowded for two people with a lot of things that need to be stored inside the tent. We recommend the Naturehike to anybody who doesn’t plan on very long adventures and who is looking for an excellent and very light tent with a good price.
This tent weighs five pounds and nine ounces fully packed, or it can be stripped down to 4 pounds 11 ounces (no bag, etc.). The Mountainsmith comes with a detachable canopy shelf, guy lines, two aluminum poles, and eight stakes, plus a bag to carry it.
The Naturehike tent weighs a great four pounds, ten ounces packed, beating the Mountainsmith. It comes with tent stakes, guy lines, two aluminum poles, and a carrying bag. When every ounce of gear counts, this tent is a fantastic choice.
The Mountainsmith lightweight tent fits two people, and has two small vestibules under the fly for extra gear storage space. It also has two doors. This is a nice feature to have if you want to get up in the night for a bathroom break without climbing over your fellow camper and possibly waking him or her up. The gear loft is another great feature to help preserve floor space inside the tent.
The Naturehike is also a two-person tent, but lacks the extra storage space of the Mountainsmith. While this makes the tent the second choice for people with a lot of gear, the Mountainsmith is a great tent for one or two campers with a regular amount of gear, like two backpacks. It has one door rather than the two doors offered by the Mountainsmith.
The MountainSmith is 56 x 43 x 92 inches (W x H x D). Note that the peak height is 43 inches, or three feet and six inches. It’s snug, as lightweight tents tend to be, but measures over 7 feet at its longest, so even the beanpole adventurer will be able to fit. The tent has about 35 square feet of floor space, plus 14 square feet of vestibule space.
The Naturehike tent measures 52 x 43 x 82 inches (W x H x D), with a peak height of 43 inches, or three feet and six inches. At its longest point, it stretches six feet nine inches. This gives it a square footage of about 30 feet. If you’re especially tall or expect to carry a lot of extra gear with you, you may want more floor space than the Naturehike can provide. Otherwise it’s plenty.
The Mountainsmith is a three season tent. This means it works even during strong wind and rain but is not designed for snow. It has mesh wall panels for ventilation that can be covered up with the included rain fly if needed. It’s ideal for temperate conditions and mild weather. We found that the tent could maintain an inside temperature of about 10-15 degrees warmer than the outside air with the rain fly in place, which helps to get through a few cold nights if needed.
The Naturehike is also a three season tent. Three seasons simply means that the tent can handle even heavy rain and wind but is not meant for snow. Avoid snow and windy or extremely stormy conditions to get the best use and a safe experience out of it. The upside of a three-season tent is that you have better airflow to handle hot summer days and damp mornings. In short, this tent can handle winds and rain without any issues.
The Mountainsmith’s 185T polyester rainfly is waterproof thanks to a 2,000-millimeter-rated polyurethane coating, as is the 190T polyester bathtub style floor, boasting 5,000-millimeter-rated polyurethane coating. Those are great specs. Adventurers should keep in mind that the tent itself and the two doors are less waterproof than the floor. You will need to add the rain fly if it starts pouring.
The Naturehike has a fully waterproof 210T tear-resistant rainfly with a polyurethane coating rated 4,000mm and a tent bottom of 150D anti-tear polyester with a 5,000mm rating. Like the Mountainsmith, the main tent body is technically not waterproof, so you’ll need the rain fly to handle inclement weather. This is a common trade-off in three-season tents to improve ventilation, as more fully waterproofed tents can get stuffy quickly.
The Mountainsmith consists of an 185T polyester rainfly, 190T polyester floor, 185T polyester tent body, mesh wall panels, and YKK zippers. The storage sack is made of 30-denier 244T nylon.
The Naturehike is made of a 210T polyester rainfly, 150D polyester floor, an inner tent material of 210T anti-tear polyester, and comes with B3 breathable nylon mesh panels for ventilation while also protecting campers from insects.
The Mountainsmith uses a two-pole design with high-strength Yunan aluminum pole rods made of 7000 Series aluminum alloy with included aluminum stakes.
The Naturehike comes with special 7001 Aviation-grade aluminum poles, providing high strength while maintaining a low weight. It also comes with aluminum stakes.