For some, camping is a time to be alone, but for many others, camping and backpacking is a pastime that's meant to be shared with friends and loved ones. For those who like to enjoy the great outdoors with company, there are many three-person tents that provide maximum shelter at a minimal cost to weight.
Nemo Losi 3P
Named Outside Magazine's Gear of the Year in 2009, Nemo's Losi 3P all-season tent ($395 as of 2010) is a solid choice. Managing 50 square feet of weatherproof floorspace into a package that weighs less than 6 pounds is no small feat. That's not to say that the Losi 3P performs like a lightweight--according the outdoors writer and editor Frederick Reimers, the tent withstood gusts of 30+ mph and the vestibule effectively kept rain out, even when people were entering and exiting the tent.
Mountain Hardware Hammerhead 3
Mountain Hardwear's Hammerhead 3 tent ($330 as of 2010) features a convertible roof panel that rolls back for an unobstructed view of the sky. An excellent warm-weather tent, the Hammerhead 3 has copious amounts of venting to prevent condensation from building. Offering 46 square feet of floor space and weighing 8 pounds, the Hammerhead is also watertight if campers are caught in a downpour. Reviewers on trailspace.com repeatedly mention the phrase "not a drop inside" when referring to the Hammerhead's performance.
The North Face Manta Ray 33
Weighing in at under 7 pounds, North Face's Manta Ray 33 tent ($389.99 as of 2010) owes its outstanding floorspace to its unique shape. The 51.5 square feet of floorspace is due to the angular "manta ray" shape of the tent, which provides ample room for three campers and their gear. Two vestibules, ample pockets and gear loops and a built-in gear loft make the Manta Ray seem much bigger than it is. Described as a "genius tent" in a backcountry.com user review, the Manta Ray is noted for its gear space and ease of setup, as well as its weathervresistance.
Article Written By Billy Brown
Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California.
An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.