A quality tent is essential gear for any backpacker or hiking enthusiast. While you may need to spend more than you had planned for an efficiently manufactured tent, you likely will be pleased with the results. A quality tent will relieve your back of heavy lifting, keep you dryer and, with proper care, last longer than cheaper models--ultimately paying for itself.
MSR Hubba Hubba
The MSR Hubba Hubba ($400, as of January 2010) is a two-person tent that has won awards, including "Backpacker" magazine's Editor's Choice Award in 2007. This tent is light for a two-man shelter (3 pounds, 14 ounces) and can be easily carried and used by one person needing a little extra space in the woods. The one-pole design with a single hub makes for fast setup in inclement weather. The waterproof rainfly is durable, light and strong--it can be stretched and guyed into tight, angled walls. The rainfly can be used on its own as a one-wall shelter with the groundsheet. The construction comes with MSR's patented seam-sealing and seam tape--both guaranteed by the company.
Big Agnes Seedhouse 1
The Big Agnes Seedhouse 1 ($250, as of January 2010) is a one-person backpacking tent with a weight that is nearly the lowest on the market--2 pounds, 6 ounces. This tent appears narrow at first, but comes with extra guyline and stakes to increase the available space for shoulder and arm room. This is a two-walled tent--with mesh bug netting and a rainfly--that has 360-degree views when the rainfly is off. All seams are taped with Big Agnes seam tape and all zippers are waterproofed. The tent accommodates one person--even as tall as 6 feet, 3 inches--and includes a vestibule large enough to fit shoes and your pack.
Mountain Hardware Sprite 1
The Mountain Hardware Sprite 1 ($170, as of January 2010) is a one-person tent. For those looking to save on the purchase without sacrificing much on construction, waterproofing and features, this is an efficient choice. Most of the cost savings are due to the increased weight of the tent--3 pounds, 7 ounces. However, what it lacks in feather-lightness, it makes up for in construction. The poles for the tent are anodized to prevent corrosion and snapping, and the mesh interior is strong and transparent--for good viewing inside the tent. Mountain Hardware guarantees its waterproof taping and seam-sealing protection.
Article Written By Duncan Jenkins
Based in Eugene, Ore., Duncan Jenkins has been writing finance-related articles since 2008. His specialties include personal finance advice, mortgage/equity loans and credit management. Jenkins obtained his bachelor's degree in English from Clark University.