The Best Lightweight Tent for the Appalachian Trail
You are planning to hike an epic trail like the Appalachian Trail. Above all, it’s vital that you have a great tent attached to your backpack.
It needs to be the kind of tent that you can just collapse into after a hard day hiking and get the rest you need without worrying too much about complicated assembly, guy ropes, or other confusing details. But you also need it to be durable, very weatherproof, comfortable, and above all safe.
Doesn’t seem like too much to ask, does it?
The only problem is, buying a tent for the AP can be confusing!! There are so many models, sizes and specifications out there that it’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re not an outdoor gear geek.
To help you, we’ve gathered together a list of our favorite lightweight tents for the Appalachian Trail that you can just strap onto your backpack and go! They’re all budget-friendly, ranging from around $50 up to around $170, and will last you for many backpacking trips from now and into the future. Happy camping!
1. Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking 2 Person Tent for Ultralight 3-Season
Whether you’re looking for a roomy and comfortable tent to take with you on your short hike or you’d prefer a lightweight, weatherproof to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, this great value tent is a great choice. Created from high-quality waterproof and tear-resistant 75D ripstop polyester with a Noseeum Mesh canopy, and weighing just 5lb, it will strap onto your backpack with ease and effortlessly shelter you from the elements whilst you’re out there on the trail.
We love the fact it uses a one-piece aluminum pole for easy setup, it’s roomy enough for two tall adults and it also offers plenty of space to store your hiking boots and other gear.
Trail weight: 5 lb.
Dimensions: 84” x 51” x 43”
Materials: Wall – 75D ripstop polyester with 3000mm polyurethane hydrostatic rated coating, floor- 210D nylon with 3000mm polyurethane hydrostatic rated coating.
Sizes: 2 person
Pros: Lightweight, easy to assemble, plenty of space.
Cons: Hard to find replacement poles, not a budget option.
2. Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
Perfect for any hiking trip, this affordable and lightweight tent from Kelty provides everything you need to hike the Appalachian trail with comfort.
Boasting great ventilation when the temperatures go up and fantastic waterproofing, it’s a great option for when you’re not too sure what the weather might bring. Surprisingly for a one-person tent, you also get plenty of vestibule space for your gear and plenty of space for you inside.
If you’re a camping newbie, you’ll love the easy color-coded clip and fly attachment, the free-standing design, and the easy entry door.
Trail weight: 3 lbs 5 oz
Dimensions: 86” x 29” x 38”
Materials: Wall- 68D polyester and 40D no-see-um mesh, Floor- 68D Nylon, 1800 mm
Sizes: 1 person (also 2 person and 4 person available)
Pros: Fast and easy to assemble.
Cons: Footprint not included.
3. MIER 2 Person Camping Tent with Footprint Waterproof Backpacking Tent
At just 3.1 lb, this brightly colored camping tent by Mier is one of the most lightweight options on this list. If you’re planning to enjoy the entire Appalachian Trail to the max, we highly recommend you invest in this one. Although it’s also slightly more expensive than the other options on our list, you really do get what you pay for.
Great for cooler temperatures, rainy conditions, and moderate winds, it’s comfortable and waterproof enough to wait out any unexpected storms or even enjoy some downtime when you’re out on the trail.
It also folds up really small so you have less gear to worry about and features a bunch of clever design features such as reinforced corners, factory-sealed seams and air vents that will help you feel comfortable and rested, no matter what the trail throws at you.
Trail weight: 3.1 lb.
Dimensions: 82” x 55” x 46”
Materials: Wall- Ripstop nylon 15D, silicone/PU coated, 5000mm, anti-tear, taped seams, no-see-um mesh wall; 15D nylon wall panel,
Sizes: 2 person
Pros: Lightweight and spacious.
Cons: Not great for colder winter temperatures.
4. Fitgorush 2 Person Camping and Backpacking Tent
If you’re traveling with another person and you don’t want to be climbing over each other to get out, invest in this dual-door design. Boasting a spacious vestibule which can be supported with trekking poles or branches, you’ll have plenty of space to enjoy the stars and relax after a hard day hiking the Appalachian Trail.
With many beautiful design features, available in light blue and grey, and with great weatherproof options, staying in this tent feels like a treat. As you’d expect from Fitgorush, this one really is a high-quality tent at a very affordable price.
Trail weight: 4 lb. 9 oz.
Dimensions: 82” x 48” x 48”
Materials: Walls- 210T polyester, waterproof coating PU 3000MM, Floor- PU 4000MM
Sizes: 2 person
Pros: Very affordable for those on a low budget.
5. ALLBEYOND Ultralight 3 Season Waterproof Backpacking Tent
Weighing just 3.7lbs for the one-person version and 5.5lb for the two-person version, this affordable and minimalist tent gives you exactly what you need to hike the Appalachian Trail, without any of the fuss.
Of course, being such an inexpensive option does mean that you won’t be taking it for a winter camping trip anytime soon but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great buy for those who are section-hiking or enjoying the summer weather.
Surprisingly durable, flexible and easy to strap onto your bag, it also comes with three stuff sacks so you can keep everything organized for an easier camping experience.
Trail weight: 3.7 lb./5.5 lb.
Dimensions: 90.5” x 55” x 43.2”
Materials: Walls- 210T polyester/PU waterproof and breathable polyester + mesh, Floor- 150D Anti-tear encrypted Oxford cloth/PU waterproof.
Sizes: 1 person and 2 person
Pros: Inexpensive, minimalist design, very lightweight.
Cons: Vestibule is slightly small, especially if you have a lot of gear with you
6. TRIWONDER 2-3-4 Person 4 Season Camping Tent
Triwonder always seems to know what’s needed when it comes to creating tents that are comfortable, breathable and ready to hit the trails!
Created from 210T polyester cloth+B3 Nylon airy mesh and available in four funky colors including azure, green, orange, and powder blue, it injects a little bit of fun into your hiking trip without breaking the bank.
We love the dual zipper fly design that keeps the rain out and the surprising amount of space you’ll enjoy on the inside. They’ve even included a clever vestibule system that allows you to increase the space available using just your hiking poles, gaze at the stars from under your shelter or simply breathe in your surroundings.
Like the Fitgorush, the Triwonder also features a clever two-door system to added comfort and is incredibly easy to put up.
Trail weight: 4.63 lb./ 5.07lb.
Dimensions: 63” x 81” x 43”
Features: Walls: 210T polyester cloth+B3 Nylon airy mesh and 210T polyester cloth+PU Coating, Floor-150D anti-tear Oxford cloth
Sizes: 1-2 person, 2-3 person
Pros: Free-standing (no anchor or guy ropes needed).
Cons: Slightly small inside
Check out the tents on our list and you’ll find the perfect lightweight tent for hiking the Appalachian Trail without any of the confusion.
The only question is which lightweight tent will you pick?