Hiking alone or with friends can be fun, especially when you’d have to pass the night in the open, with mother nature looking down on you. To achieve this, you’ll need the best hiking tents, and the size of this will greatly affect your backpacking setup.
So, while you’re considering picking a structure that will fit into your backpack with the rest of your materials, there are other things you need to consider to guarantee your comfort and protection against the elements.
This article discusses these considerations so that you are fully equipped for your adventure but before we look at the considerations, let’s look at the types of best hiking tents.
Types of Best Hiking Tents
There are three major kinds of best hiking tents. They are as follows:
Freestanding structures are some of the best hiking tents that do not require any stake to support them. Instead of staking the freestanding structure, it is self-supporting through a framework and can be moved about without having to collapse it. While freestanding shelters are easy to set up, dismantling it can be a tough task because of their springy frames. The majority of freestanding shelters have double walls and a separate rain fly. A big advantage of the freestanding shelter is that it is comfortable to live in and has good ventilation. Conversely, it is an awful option if you intend to go ultralight in your backpacking.
This is the opposite of freestanding. They usually require stakes to erect them in the right shape. They are much like the traditional structure and require you to prop them up with trekking poles. The advantage that this kind of shelter offers is that it is light and easier to repair than the freestanding pole. Also, the chances of wind toppling it over is very slim. However, unlike the freestanding, it’s difficult to move this kind of structure about once you’ve set it up. Also, it doesn’t offer as much interior space as the freestanding.
The semi-freestanding or hybrid hiking tent marries some of the features of the freestanding with those of the non-standing. This one comes with pole structures that require you to keep them upright, even though you’ll still have to stake out the body to give it a rigid frame. The advantages of the semi-freestanding are that it is more comfortable, easy to set up, and light. However, it can be more expensive than the freestanding or pole structure. Also, it isn’t so durable as it is designed specifically for ultralight backpacking.
General Considerations for Selecting the Best Hiking Tent
When selecting the best hiking tent for your backpacking, you need to consider the following:
- The Weight of the structure: A bigger and more comfortable shelter would mean a heavier backpack. If you’re the kind of hiker that prefers less weight, you may have to compromise the space and comfort of your structure for a less weighty backpack.
- The Ease of Setup: When you’re finally camping out for the night or the day (whichever the case may be), the last thing you may want is to spend hours erecting your best hiking tent. So, you may have to consider packing a shelter that is super easy to set up.
- The Amount of Protection from the Elements: You want to be protected from the rain, adverse sunlight, and even the ground. This is where rainfly and “bathtub floor” waterproof sections of shelters come in handy, and freestanding structures always get the edge on these.
- The Number of Extra Features: Some extra features you want to look out for in your structure are the number of doors, vestibules (extensions on the rainfly that offers more protection from the elements), and interior pockets.
- The Versatility of the structure: If you want to use your best hiking tent for different environments and weather conditions, then you want to consider a freestanding shelter with double walls. This will allow you to adjust the rainfly for better comfort.