Mom Goes Camping

The Best Trekking Pole Tents

trekking pole tents

Every ounce matters when you are trekking long distances.  One way to reduce weight is to choose multi-purpose gear, such as tents that use your trekking poles for pitching instead of tent poles. There aren’t too many brands making trekking pole tents now, but here are some of the best options.

 

Top Picks Overview: 

*Scroll down to read the full reviews and see all of the best trekking pole tents.

 

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Pros and Cons of Trekking Pole Tents

tent pitched with trekking poles

Pro: Reduce Weight

This is such a big benefit of trekking pole tents that it overrides almost all of the cons.  While tent manufacturers have gotten better at making poles from ultralight materials, these still add weight. Plus, those ultralight poles will come at a cost.

Virtually all trekking pole tents are designed for ultralight backpackers, so they weigh in at under 2 pounds.

 

Pro: You’ll Actually Bring Trekking Poles

A lot of hikers don’t bring trekking poles because of the extra weight.  But, as I talk about in this post about the pros and cons of trekking poles, hiking with poles reduces a lot of strain on your knees and back.

If weight is the only thing that is keeping you from using trekking poles, then you should really consider getting a tent pitched with trekking poles.  Your knees will thank you later on in life! (Not sure what size trekking poles you need? Montemlife’s trekking pole guide has a size chart based on your height!).

 

Con: Pitching Can Be a Pain

Freestanding tents (which use tent poles) can be pitched anywhere.  This is not the case with trekking pole tents.

You will have to plan for the terrain much better.  For example, you may need to bring special stakes for sand or loose soil.

Many backpackers using non-freestanding tents will recommend bringing along some extra cordage just in case there is a problem with pitching.  When you calculate the weight of extra stakes and cordage, you might not be saving as much weight as you hoped.

 

Con: Most Trekking Pole Tents Are Single Wall

Since trekking pole tents are meant to be ultralight, they are almost always going to be single wall.  To keep insects out, they’ll usually include an optional footprint and/or mesh netting (aka hybrid wall).

Using a single wall can result in condensation.  Open up the tent to prevent condensation and you could end up with wind draft.  Thus, you are going to have a harder time finding a trekking pole tent suitable for 3-seasons.

 

Con: Risk of Puncture

Note that lots of trekking pole tents are designed so you put your pole upside down (tip point up).  The idea is that the tip of the pole fits into a grommet.  The handle side of the pole goes down in the ground.

If you aren’t careful when inserting the pole, it could slip out of the grommet and puncture the tent.  This isn’t likely to happen, but is still something to be aware of.

 

Con: Pole Failure

In general, trekking poles are a lot more reliable than flimsy tent poles.  However, your trekking poles get a lot more abuse than your tent poles.  Over time, they can wear out.  They might fail on you and not collapse/extend to the right size for your tent.

If you are going to get a trekking pole tent, make sure you have quality poles.  Latch poles are more reliable than twist-type poles.  You won’t have to worry about these slipping and causing your tent to sag.

 

Best Trekking Pole Tents

Nemo Meta 31oz Trekking Pole Tent (1 Person)

nemo meta trekking pole tent

While Nemo isn’t as well known as some other companies making trekking pole tents, this is a great product.  It is fully seamtatped and waterproof and will hold up well against bad weather.

The thing that really sets this tent apart is that it has a very large vestibule.  Yes, that does mean it adds weight – but it also means you can keep your pack dry and leave your stinky boots outside.

(See Best Price Here)

Specs:

  • Weight: 31oz
  • Floor: 5000mm nylon
  • Shell: 20d nylon
  • Interior height: 50 inches
  • Floor area: 26 sq. feet.
  • Vestibule: 13 square feet
  • Setup: 1 or 2 pole setup with optional footprint

BUY HERE

Pros:

  • Large vestibule
  • Lots of headroom
  • Suitable for tall people
  • Good waterproofing

Cons:

  • A bit heavy
  • No floor – must buy interior mesh separately
  • Pricy

 

River Country Trekker 2.2 Tent (2 person, 3lbs)

river country trekker 2.2 trekking pole tent

This trekking pole tent is very cheap and performs incredibly well.  One of the standout features of it is the mesh sidewalls which have vents in them that you can open/close.  The mesh isn’t on the back wall.  So, it that means it is almost a double-wall tent and you won’t have to worry about condensation like with many other trekking pole tents (which are almost always single wall).

You’ll need two trekking poles to pitch the tent, but setup is very fast and easy. The only major design flaw is that the top of the tent is pretty low at just 42 inches. Unfortunatley, the company doesn’t give any info about the material the tent is made from, though reviewers seem happy with how it holds up in rainy weather.

*Note that there is another version of this tent.  It is a 4oz lighter but doesn’t have the side vents like the 2.2 version does.

(See Best Price Here)

Specs:

  • Weight: 3lbs (including stakes and carry bag)
  • Interior Height: 42”
  • Interior Dimensions: 7’ x 5’
  • Setup: 2 poles

BUY HERE

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Good for tall people
  • Mesh sidewalls
  • Vented design
  • Roomy interior
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Not great for cold weather
  • No vestibule

 


 

GEERTOP 42oz Trekking Pole Tent (1-Person)

geertop trekking pole tent

There are three options when buying this trekking pole tent: just the outer shell, just the inner mesh, or both outer + inner.   Even with the inner/outer option, it is still one of the more affordable trekking pole tents out there.

The tent also has some nice features you won’t see on other trekking pole tents.  In particular, it has 2 doors and 2 windows, which is great for regulating airflow.

 (See Best Price Here)

Specs:

  • Weight: 42oz (inner tent, flysheet, ropes, and pegs)
  • Floor: 5000mm silicon coating nylon
  • Shell: 20d 3000mm silicon coated nylon
  • Interior height: 41 inches
  • Floor area: 27 sq. feet (fly), 20 sq. feet (inner mesh)

BUY HERE

Pros:

  • Low price
  • Two doors and two windows
  • Good waterproofing
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Not suitable for tall people
  • Small floor size
  • Zippers are low quality

 


ZPacks Duplex (2-Person)

Zpacks duplex

When it comes to trekking pole tents ZPacks is the best-known manufacturer.  Their products are high quality, but come at a VERY steep price tag.

This is not a tent for the occasional backpacker, but rather for the serious lightweight trekker who doesn’t mind paying a small fortune for a tent.

Specs:

  • Weight: 21oz
  • Floor: 1oz Dyneema Composite Fabric
  • Shell: 7oz Dyneema composite fabric
  • Interior height: 48 inches
  • Floor area: 28 sq. feet (inner)
  • Vestibule: 4-5 inch overhang on each side

Pros:

  • Suitable for tall people
  • Nice design
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Very expensive!
  • Translucent material means less privacy


MSR Flylite (2-Person)

MSR flylite trekking pole tent

MSR is one of the best-known brands of backpacking gear, so you can expect their trekking pole tent to be a good product.  The main seller here is that it is designed to be roomy.

Unlike other tents that use trekking poles for pitching, the poles are off to the side (and not in the middle where they will annoy you while sleeping).  The floor space isn’t that big but it still is roomy because of the vertical walls.

To make it lightweight, MSR used 1200mm fabric for the floor and walls.  This can tear pretty easily, so be careful with it.  You won’t want to use this tent when bad weather is possible because the nearly-flat roof pools water and lots of condensation forms when it’s cold out.  However, it’s a great lightweight choice for mild weather.

 (See Best Price Here)

Specs:

  • Weight: 28oz (with everything)
  • Floor: 20d ripstop nylon 1200mm polyurethane and silicone
  • Shell: 10d ripstop nylon 1200mm polyurethane and silicone
  • Interior height: 44 inches
  • Floor area: 29 sq. feet
  • Setup: Two poles

 BUY HERE

Pros:

  • Reputable brand
  • Easy setup
  • Side vents prevent condensation
  • Vertical walls
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Pricy
  • Floor material could be tougher
  • Flat-ish room causes water too pool
  • Lots of condensation in cold weather

 

Mier Trekking Pole Tent (1 person = 2.2lbs, 2 person = 2.8lbs)

mier trekking pole tent

The Mier trekking pole tent is two-layers with an inner mesh tent and an outer fly.  If you choose to camp with just the fly, you can get the weight down to about 1.5lbs. There are also some really nice features of the tent, like roomy vestibules.  You’ll need the extra room of the vestibules though because the inside is such a tight fit.

There are also nice things like a lantern hanger, mesh pockets, and repair patch included.  The materials seem to be high quality and reviewers say that it holds up in bad weather.  Just note that the light weight is partially due to the fact that there’s no footprint.  If you use your own footprint, it will add to the weight.

(See Best Price Here)

Specs:

  • Weight: 2.2lbs (1p), 2.8lbs (2p) – weight includes everything
  • Floor: 15D ripstop nylon; 6000mm
  • Fly: 15D ripstop nylon, 5000mm
  • Interior Height: 49”
  • Size: 6.9×2.5’ (1p), 6.9×3.6’ (2p)
  • Setup: 2 poles

BUY HERE

Pros:

  • Two-layer tent
  • Good price
  • 2 doors
  • Vestibule
  • Versatile
  • Inner mesh pockets

Cons:

  • Snug fit
  • One way zipper on doors
  • No footprint

 

Naturehike Trekking Pole Tent (1 person, 3.5lbs)

Nature Hike trekking pole tent

I love Naturehike tents (I have their ultralight Cloud Up 2 tent).  They make knockoffs of popular, expensive brands and price them at a fraction of a cost.   As for this one, it is one of the only two-layer trekking pole tents you will find.  That means you won’t have to worry about condensation in cold weather.

The two-layer design also gives you some versatility. You can use just the fly for a very ultralight setup (1.17lbs).  The inner mesh tent weighs 2.23lbs.  And the mat is 1.27lbs.

The tent does have a really weird inner design because the pole is in the middle. If you don’t have much gear, you could squeeze two people into the tent. Just be warned that your face will probably be almost touching the mesh if you use this as a two-person tent.

(See Best Price Here)

Specs:

  • Weight: 2.23lbs (inner tent + fly); 3.5lbs (with mat and stakes)
  • Inner Dimensions: 82.7×82.7”
  • Inner Height: 53”
  • Floor: 20D silicon coated nylon, 3000mm
  • Fly: 20D silicon coated nylon, 4000mm
  • Setup: 2 poles

BUY HERE

Pros:

  • Two layer design!
  • Vestibule
  • Quality materials
  • Great price
  • Versatile – can use just the fly
  • Reliable even in crappy weather
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Not great for tall people
  • Weird inner design

 

Do you use trekking poles to pitch your tent?  Which tent and how do you like it?


the best trekking pole tents for ultralight backpacking
Resources:
https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/83317-Free-standing-tent-vs-trekking-pole-supported-tents
https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/106655856/anyone-ever-used-a-trekking-pole-tent
https://www.reddit.com/r/Ultralight/comments/2us7il/double_wall_tents_with_trekking_pole_support/
Image credits:
Inside the tarp” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by The Cabin On The Road,
Tent – Nemo Meta 1P” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by ex_magician,
Lost Coast Trail, April 2011” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by johnabela

 

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About the author /


Diane Vukovic is an avid traveler, outdoor enthusiast and couchsurfer. She loves finding ways to explain complex topics to her 9-year old daughter and hunting beetles with her 1-year old. Follow MomGoesCamping on Facebook and Twitter @MomGoesCamping to stay in touch!

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