The 5 Best Ultralight Hiking and Backpacking Tents Reviewed in Australia

Premium Choice

Nemo Hornet 2 Person Hiking Tent Front

Nemo Hornet 2 Person Hiking Tent​

5/5

Our Choice

Illumina X 1.35 Hiking Tent

4.5/5

You often hear hikers and backpackers wanting to travel light. Why do they tell you to do that? It’s because it’s helps you in the long run. Even if you say that you can handle 12kg of weight, when you’re going for a 4-hour or 12-hour hike, your body will start to feel every little bit of extra weight that your carrying. So there’s absolutely no need to be the ultimate macho man when you can have the best of both worlds with a lightweight hiking tent! Yep, that was a Segway to us reviewing some of the best hiking tents you can buy in Australia.

I mentioned that I owned a 2 person tent. It’s actually a light weight tent only weighing 1.5 kg which means I don’t have as much back pain as the people carrying 3-4 kg tents in their packs.

Quick Hiking and Backpacking Tent Comparisons

Nemo Hornet 2 Person Hiking Tent Front

Nemo Hornet 2 Person Hiking Tent

5/5

$$$

Naturehike Cloudup 2 Person Hiking Tent

Naturehike Cloud-Up 2 Person Backpacking Tent

4/5

$

Illumina X 1.35 Ultralight Tent

4.5/5

$

Blackwolf Mantis Hiking Tent Front

Blackwolf Mantis 2 UL Hiking Tent

4/5

$

North Face Stormbreak 1 Person Tent With Fly

North Face Stormbreak 1 Person Lightweight Hiking Tent​

4/5

$$

Our Lightweight Hiking and Backpacking Tent Reviews

1. Nemo Hornet 2 Person 3 Season Ultralight Backpacking Tent

The Nemo Hornet 2 Person 3 Season Ultralight Backpacking tent is a freestanding tent that only weighs at 907 grams.

The stuff sack is dual use. You can either pack the tent and pole together or separate the pole and adjust the bag to make it smaller.

This tent has a single pole system which makes setting up a breeze.

The mesh walls help a lot with the tent ventilation and the mesh at the sides are white to add a bit of privacy for you.

There are also several storage pockets in the tent that’s great to store your small items. There is a storage pocket near the ceiling where you can put your head lamp in to provide indoor light.

Even at its size, the The Nemo Hornet Ultralight backpack can withstand harsh conditions with its fully waterproof fly and high tub style floor.

Dual doors and vestibules are available with the 2 Person variety to make it easy for you and your companion to get in or out of the tent. You can each store your bags in the spacious vestibules.

Check out this video for a review on the Nemo Hornet 2 Person tent:

Pros

  • Ultra-light tent – This tent only weighs at 907 grams which means you can’t even feel its weight even if you’re hiking long distances
  • Easy setup – Using a single pole system, setting up this tent will be quick and easy
  • Storage – the gear storage pockets are a great place to keep your personal belongings. The big items can be placed at the vestibule area

Cons

  • Expensive – whether you want to buy the 1 person or 2 person tent, The Nemo Hornet 2 Person 3 Season Ultralight Backpacking tent can be a bit expensive
  • Tight space – It can be quite cramped in the tent if you’re sharing with another companion

2. Naturehike Cloud-Up 2 Person Backpacking Tent

The Naturehike Cloud-Up 2 Person Backpacking Camping Tent Lightweight is slightly heavier than our previous tent at 1.5 kg.

Setting up this tent is easy! You will be done in 5 to 8 minutes. The tent pack has interlocking tent poles that has a single crossing and two way structure hooks that secure the tent.

After the setup, you’ll see that the Naturehike Cloud-Up tent has enough space for 2 people. And that doesn’t mean being cramped inside. There is literally enough room for you and your companion.

There’s only one door. It is located at the front of the tent.

The vestibule space can be used as storage for your backpacks or a place to cook your meals.

There is no question with this tent’s durability as well. The fly and floor are fully waterproof and seamed. Fixed ropes at the side of the fly helps stabilized the tent in case of strong winds.

You don’t need to worry about the ventilation as well because the walls are made of high density mesh and there are vents on the side to prevent the inside from becoming too hot or gather moisture.

By the way did I mention the Naturehike Cloud-Up Tent comes with a free mat?

This tent is affordable but doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s also available in a variety of colors. Check out their website to see other varieties!

Pros

  • Affordable – The Naturehike Cloud-Up 2 Person Backpacking Camping Tent Lightweight is one of the most affordable tents in the market. It’s actually surprising to find a tent that’s budget friendly
  • Spacious – The tent can fit 2 people and it won’t be too cramped for the both of you
  • Light weight – Even at 1.5 kg this tent still won’t feel heavy in your pack nor will it take up space
  • Easy setup – Setting the tent can be done in 5 to 8 minutes!

Cons

  • No storage pockets – you’ll need to keep your small items in your pack
  • One door – Getting in and out the tent can be a bit difficult if you’re sharing it with someone

3. Illumina X 1.35 Ultralight Tent

The Illumina X is indeed 1.35 kg and it’s compact that you can compare to a 500 mL water bottle.

The tent light weight clips on to the Y-shaped pole made of aluminum making the setup fast and easy.

Novapro Sports, the manufacturer, made sure that even though this tent is light, it is made of high quality materials.

The Illumina X has a unique feature. Its high side walls block strong winds from getting in. This is great especially during cold weather. This tent can be used in cold areas as well as sunny locations.

No need to worry about ventilation though, the top half of the Illumina X is made of mesh. You will have enough airflow in the tent to keep it from getting stuffy.

Now let’s talk about durability. The floor lining on this tent is quite thick. The walls are double layered and all the edges are double stitched and steam sealed. That’s an assurance that you will have a safe stay in the tent.

For the thought and quality put into the design of the tent, it is actually quite affordable. It offers a lot of great features for a great price, it makes it easy to acquire a good quality light weight tent.

Pros

  • Quick Set up – Because of the color coded poles and clips, you won’t be confused where things go
  • Dual doors – Two doors offers easy access or getting in and out of the tent
  • Ventilation – Not only does this tent have dual door but they are actually quite large doors. This allows better airflow in the tent. Also the vents and mesh walls keep the tent cool at night

Cons

  • Not enough head space – This tent is ideal for small to medium sized hikers/campers
  • Not great with extreme weather – As mentioned, hikers seem to use this tent mostly during the summer. This is because there is a tendency for leaks when you’re under strong rain

4. Blackwolf Mantis 2 UL Hiking Tent

The Black Wolf Mantis 2 UL Ultralight Hiking Tent weighs 1.8 kg. Just light enough to be categorized as a light weight tent.

This tent has 2 magnetic poles are colour coded that helps with an easy setup. You just need to match the colours and you’re all set.  

The Black Wolf Mantis 2 UL Ultralight Hiking Tent is designed with 2 side doors. The large doors makes it easier to get in the tent. This tent is very airy that gives great ventilation. There are vents at the front and back of the fly.

This tent has a lot of guylines to support the tent when it’s a bit windy outside. This is a 3 season tent but it is best suited during the dry season or at particularly dry areas.

You can still be protected from the elements as this tent comes with a full fly cover and fully seamed floors but don’t expect it to hold during stormy weathers.

Since this tent is preferred to be used during dry season, you would hope that it offers good airflow and it does. The tent is made of no-see-um mesh which means it keeps the tiny bugs out but gets the nice summer breeze in.

Pros

  • Quick Set up – Because of the color coded poles and clips, you won’t be confused where things go
  • Dual doors – Two doors offers easy access or getting in and out of the tent
  • Ventilation – Not only does this tent have dual door but they are actually quite large doors. This allows better airflow in the tent. Also the vents and mesh walls keep the tent cool at night

Cons

  • Not enough head space – This tent is ideal for small to medium sized hikers/campers
  • Not great with extreme weather – As mentioned, hikers seem to use this tent mostly during the summer. This is because there is a tendency for leaks when you’re under strong rain

5. North Face Stormbreak 1 Person Lightweight Hiking Tent

The North Face Stormbreak 1 Tent is a popular tent for hikers. It’s pretty light only weighing at 1.4 kg. This is a single person tent so packing this tent won’t be a problem.

This tent promises to provide full coverage and it does not disappoint. The fly can handle heavy rains and you won’t get wet whilst being in the tent. Some hikers have reported that they even use this tent in the snow which speaks volumes about its durability and weather resistance.

The tub like floor design is higher than other designs. This gives you more protection from getting wet and from little critters if you’re planning to camp in the bush.

There are storage pockets and a good sized vestibule to put your stuff in. Since this is a 1 person tent you will have enough space to stretch out.

This tent can even accommodate taller people up to 6’1 feet.

Even though Northface is big brand tent, the North Face Stormbreak 1 model is actually quite affordable. The brand produces high quality hiking gear and some hikers consider it a snob due to it’s high prices but not the Stormbreak 1 model.

Pros

  • Price - This tent is a pretty good deal especially since it’s Northface brand
  • Durable – The tent’s materials are strong enough to withstand harsh conditions and can be used all year round
  • Easy Setup – This tent only has 2 cross over poles and once you clip the inner tent, you are good to go
  • Can accommodate tall people – The North Face Stormbreak 1 gives you enough space to feel comfortable

Cons

  • 1 Person only – Can only accommodate 1 person so it’s not really advisable to force yourself and a friend to fit in this tent
  • Variety – This tent can is only available in a yellow colour

Things To Consider When Buying A Lightweight Hiking Tent

Today, we will be discussing the benefits of using a light weight tent which are more often than not designed for hikers:

Size and Weight

This is the top benefit of getting a light weight tent. Having a light weight tent will help you a lot especially if you are going long hikes. And it makes hiking a lot comfortable and more enjoyable.

If your sleeping quarters are weighing more than 3.5 kg, your back will surely feel sore in a few minutes you start walking and you’ll be suffering till you arrive at your camping destination.

The weight of a light weight tent depends on the how many people will be using it. For 2 man tents, a light weight type will weigh less than 2 kg.  Light weight tents are also small so there will be no problem packing them in your bag. You will have a lot of free space in your hiking bag or you can opt to use a smaller back pack.

If you also enjoying camping with minimalist mindset, then I definitely recommend getting a light weight tent.

Easy and Fast Setup

Because the tent is so light, there are only a few items involved in setting up. You have your tent, (corded) poles and your fly cover. Some tents include extra guy lines to help secure your tent

The poles are also made of light material, some are even made of carbon.

Light weight tents utilize pole sleeves and speed clips for a faster setup. You will be able to pitch your tent in less than 10 minutes.

Larger Vestibule and More Storage

Light weight tents don’t have a lot of room inside so manufacturers have found a way on how you can store your belongings without compromising your space.

Light weight tents have bigger vestibule space than other 2 person tents. You leave your backpack and boots in the vestibule.

There are also internal storage pockets in the tent. They can be small gear pockets or overhanging storage mesh for your small items. You won’t have to sacrifice space to be organized!

Better Ventilation

Since a light weight tent is smaller in size that would mean less air flow. Wrong. There are a lot of light weight tents that have mesh around the walls which helps circulate the air inside.

There are other tents that also have vents incorporated in the walls that helps reduce condensation.

Durability

There is a misconception that light weight tents are made of low quality materials but that is not true. Actually it’s the opposite. Because of its small size, high quality materials were used to make the tents to ensure that the camper will be comfortable and well protected. Think of like a cyclists bike frame.

The light weight tent’s walls are steam sealed to prevent leaks from getting in the tent. This is especially helpful during the rainy season. There are even several light weight tents that have doubled walls. This helps with the vapor coming in the tent and keeps everything dry inside.

The tub-like floors also helps keep you dry during downpours.

Light weight tents materials are more or less waterproof and are able to withstand 2-3 weather conditions. There are even some tents can handle 4 seasons! Talk about hard core.

Even by its small size, a hiking tent can protect you from harsh conditions.

All these benefits seem too good to be true but let’s talk about some disadvantages with these tents. 

Price

Because these types of tents are made with high quality materials this would mean that you will have to shell out more money to buy one.

You will be paying for the quality of the materials, comfort and the lightness of the product.

I understand that we can’t all afford this kind of tent. Please bare in mind that it’s a good thing to spend more one time rather than paying for something that costs less but needs constant maintenance or replacement. Not only do you waste your money but you also waste a lot of time and effort.

The light weight tent’s walls are steam sealed to prevent leaks from getting in the tent. This is especially helpful during the rainy season. There are even several light weight tents that have doubled walls. This helps with the vapor coming in the tent and keeps everything dry inside.

The tub-like floors also helps keep you dry during downpours.

Light weight tents materials are more or less waterproof and are able to withstand 2-3 weather conditions. There are even some tents can handle 4 seasons! Talk about hard core.

Even by its small size, a hiking tent can protect you from harsh conditions.

All these benefits seem too good to be true but let’s talk about some disadvantages with these tents. 

Our Pick

Illumina X 1.35 Hiking Tent

4.5/5

$

This list of light weight back pack has a lot of great features. They are all very effective and durable enough to handle the toughest condition.

Out of the 5 tents, I would say the Illumina X gets my vote for the best lightweight hiking tent.

For the price range, you already hit the jackpot. This tent has a great design, it’s very durable and, of course very light.

I’m not saying that the other tents are not good. They are all great. They each have unique features which are certainly worthy to bring along in your next hiking adventure.

Hopefully I was able to lend you a hand with choosing a great lightweight hiking and backpacking tent for you.

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