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Published Aug 29, 2022 8:45 AM

When traveling to the backcountry, a dependable lightweight backpacking tent is imperative, but if you are hiking long miles over multiple days, an ultralight tent becomes extremely desirable. An ultra-lightweight backpacking tent is more than just a dry and comfortable place to sleep: it’s a key piece of survival equipment. 

When the weather turns unexpectedly wet, cold, and windy, a good tent can mean the difference between life and death. Tents are also among the heaviest items in a backpack. They rank among the “big three” in terms of weight — the backpack itself, your sleep system (bag and pad), and your shelter — so it makes sense to find the lightest option that meets your needs and budget. When traveling long distances through the wild, the lighter your load, the more energy and enjoyment you’ll have. 

With these goals in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the very best ultralight tents on the market. Read on to find out which one best fits your needs.

Best Two-Person

This super easy to set up, tear down, and pack away tent is one of the absolute favorites among Triple Crown hikers (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail) for good reasons, but it is not for everyone. It especially shines in its simple design and ultralight construction from waterproof Dyneema composite fabric.

The ZPacks Duplex also saves weight by omitting tent poles — you use your trekking poles to set it up. This may be a problem for people who don’t use or like trekking poles since they’re absolutely required. Calculating overall weight is also a bit more difficult for this tent due to the variable weight of different hiking poles.

Additionally, the Duplex doesn’t come with the eight tent stakes required to set it up. Instead, ZPacks offers six different tent stake options ranging from $1.95 each for aluminum pegs to $3.95 each for carbon fiber ones. This adds $15.60 to $31.60 to the overall cost and 1.76 to 4.48 ounces to the overall load. The overall cost of the tent, stakes, and trekking pole adds up to more than $800. Want a groundsheet? Add another $125.

The Duplex’s weight savings largely come from its waterproof Dyneema composite fabric, which has an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio that can handle high wind and does not tear easily. It also doesn’t absorb water and has no DWR coating to wear out. I really appreciated the Duplex’s dual doors and vestibules and also the bathtub floor construction and full seam taping to make sure the interior doesn’t get soggy when it rains.

One note, Dyneema is semi-transparent in bright sunlight but has enough opacity for privacy. Setup is relatively straightforward and simple: Lay it out; stake out the corners, set up two trekking poles, and run and stake the guy lines out. Since this tent is not free-standing, you might need to get creative if the ground is too hard or rocky to drive in the eight guy line stakes. In these instances, some users tie the tent to rocks. It’s also a single-wall tent, and these tents tend to get more interior condensation than double-wall tents.

For an additional $149, ZPacks offers a new modification to this tent — a freestanding flex kit consisting of four 90-inch carbon poles that provide an exoskeleton and omits the need for trekking poles. It adds an additional 10 ounces to the overall load, provides additional versatility, and isn’t the most intuitive to set up the first time, so watch the video. This tent is ideal for ounce-conscious long-distance thru hikers looking for a comfortable tent.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 1 pound 3 ounces (tent body only)
  • Requires trekking poles
  • Requires eight tent stakes not included
  • Product dimensions:
  • Floor: 45 x 90 inches
  • Peak height: 48 inches
  • Materials:
  • Walls: Dyneema composite fabric and insect screen
  • Floor: One ounce/square yard Dyneema composite fabric
  • Sleeping capacity: Two
  • Packed size: 6 x 12 inches
Why It Made The Cut
  • This award-winning ultra-lightweight, roomy, and well-ventilated tent is a cult favorite among Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail hikers.
PROS

Easy to set up

Very lightweight

Roomy

Well-ventilated

CONS

Very expensive

Footprint/groundsheet not included

Tent stakes not included

Trekking poles required to set up

MSR has been making quality backcountry tents for years, and the FreeLite is a solid improvement over its well-loved Hubba Hubba design. Like many ultralight tents, the FreeLite saves weight through considerable use of mesh fabric for the tent walls and fewer structural poles. It’s a semi-free standing tent, meaning that you’ll have to stake it out at points to keep it upright. The frame itself isn’t enough to keep it standing.

I appreciated that the FreeLite has a true rectangular floor for additional interior space and better livability, and the new model comes with an additional three inches of headroom. The bathtub-style floor is fully seam-taped and waterproofed with an Xtreme Shield DWR coating. I also really liked the dual-door system. Anyone who has spent considerable time in a tent with a buddy knows what a pain in the ass a one-door tent can be having to crawl over the other sleeper. The overhead gear loft and mesh storage pockets provide good interior organizability.

The FreeLite is also fairly intuitive to set up and easy to unpack and repack. Much like the Sea to Summit TR2, you stake out the corners, extend the Y-shaped pole structure, and then connect the tent body to the poles with quick clips. The rainfly provides a small vestibule at each door for each sleeper. The mesh tent walls provide excellent ventilation while keeping bugs out. The double-walled design also helps reduce condensation inside the tent. This tent is a great option for backpackers looking to save weight and maximize interior space.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 2 pounds 5 ounces
  • Product dimensions:
  • Floor: 50 x 84 inches
  • Peak height: 39 inches
  • Materials:
  • Walls: 10D polyester micro mesh
  • Floor: 15D ripstop nylon w/ Durashield polyurethane and DWR
  • Sleeping capacity: Two
  • Packed size: 4.5 x 18 inches
Why It Made The Cut
  • The MSR FreeLite 2-Person Ultralight Tent is a lighter, more efficient upgrade to a classic three-season lightweight tent design with excellent weight-to-space ratio.
PROS

Barely more than 2 pounds

Double door configuration

Excellent ventilation

Interior gear storage spaces

CONS

Doesn’t come with footprint

Semi-free standing

Thin materials, careful handling needed

The majority of ultra-lightweight tents are semi-freestanding, meaning you have to stake them into the ground for it to stand up properly, so it was refreshing to find a solid free-standing UL tent at under three pounds. I have used a Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 four-season mountaineering tent for years, so I was excited to see how the Aspect 2 would perform.

For the Aspect 2, Mountain Hardwear uses lightweight mesh for the walls and a seal-coated nylon for the floor. Additional weight reduction is found in the DAC Featherlight NFL poles, saving about 16 percent weight over a standard pole. The sides of the tent are pretty vertical. This, plus the rectangular floor, provides a lot of interior space — it feels roomy. The tent is also designed with dual dry-entry doors, which is a big plus if you live in rainy areas.

The setup is pretty easy but has a few tweaks I haven’t seen on other tents. Instead of clips on the tent, the poles have J-hooks that attach to a loop of cord bar tacked to the tent body. The interior has storage pockets near the floor and two along the ceiling, with the standard loops to allow the addition of a mesh gear “attic” at an additional cost. The fly attaches easily and provides excellent coverage of the tent body. The fabric is light and silicone-coated. It’s not taped like many other flies. Instead, Mountain Hardwear used a special hydrophobic polyester thread to seal the stitch holes without adding weight.

The tent also comes with high-quality stakes, a reflective guy line, a pole splint should a pole break, and a seam grip to seal the fly if desired. This tent is great for late spring, summer, and early fall backpacking and summer road trips.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 2 pounds 14 ounces
  • Product dimensions:
  • Floor: 50 x 88 inches
  • Peak height: 41 inches
  • Materials:
  • Walls: Polyester mesh and 20D ripstop nylon rainfly
  • Floor: 40D ripstop nylon
  • Sleeping capacity: Two
  • Packed size: 6 x 20.5 inches
Why It Made The Cut
  • The Mountain Hardwear Aspect 2 Tent is a roomy lightweight freestanding three-season tent that weighs less than three pounds.
PROS

Robust weather protection

Roomy rectangular floor design

Loads of headroom

Freestanding

CONS

Doesn’t come with footprint

Slightly heavier than semi-freestanding tents

Some users reported issues in high wind, collapse

When it comes to ultralight backpacking, comfort is generally one of the things sacrificed to save weight, but that’s not the case with the Alto TR2. This product arrived in a neat, well-designed two-part cylindrical “fair share” storage system that allows you to split the load with a buddy — it’s a two-person tent after all. To save weight, the tent is semi-free standing, so you’ll need to stake out and tension the corners first, and then connect the aluminum pole tent frame to the body via easy-to-use quick clips.

I tested ease of use by seeing how quickly I could set up the tent without reading the instructions, and I had this tent up in about four minutes — super easy. The rainfly is even color-coded with the tent body which makes attaching it and staking the three guy lines out fast and easy.

The other thing I really appreciated about the TR2 is that it has two doors. Zippers can be heavy, so it’s tempting for many tent makers to go with one door, which is super inconvenient if you have to get up at night. Sea to Summit’s TR2 high doors come with nearly vertical walls so that the interior actually seems larger than it is.

Another weight-saving design feature is that the majority of the tent body is polyester mesh. This adds an insane amount of ventilation that you’ll appreciate on hot, humid, and buggy evenings. While all that mesh saves weight, you’ll have to be a bit more careful than you would with ripstop nylon walls to make sure you don’t puncture it.

Also, because of all the ventilation, this tent will sleep colder than others, so I’d use this as a three-season tent and wouldn’t take it winter camping. With that said, the TR2 is super versatile and can be configured in four modes: tent body-only mode for dry stargazing nights, tent with a fly for rain or cooler nights, partial fly mode, and fly-only mode as the absolute lightest option. This tent is ideal for long-distance backpacking.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 2 pounds 8.7 ounces
  • Product dimensions:
  • Floor: 84.5 x 53 inches
  • Peak height: 42.5 inches
  • Materials:
  • Walls: 15D polyester ripstop and polyester mesh
  • Floor: 15D ripstop nylon
  • Sleeping capacity: Two
  • Packed size: 4.7 x 20.5 inches
Why It Made The Cut
  • Efficiently designed with near vertical walls, this easy-to-set-up ultralight tent provides outstanding ventilation and livability while weighing in under three pounds.
PROS

Easy to set up

Exceptional ventilation

Versatile fly-only mode

Sizable vestibule

CONS

Expensive

Footprint not included

Thin materials, careful handling needed

REI is known for making reliable and affordable lightweight tents, and the Quarter Dome SL2 is a real contender. While not as light as some other options, it nearly matches its competitors in function, and at $379, costs several hundred dollars less.

The SL2 is a semi-freestanding tent, which means that the poles themselves aren’t enough to keep the tent fully upright, and staking the bottom and using a few guy lines is required. One of the nice features of the SL2 is its versatility. It can be used with the footprint (protects the floor from puncture at an additional cost), with the tent body and fly for maximum weather protection, or with just the fly and footprint if you’re not too worried about the rain and want to leave the tent body at home. If it is raining, it has a quick pitch option where the fly and footprint can be set up first, providing a dry area to then set up the tent.

Like most of its competitors, the SL2 has a dual-door design for increased livability, a full seam-sealed bathtub-style floor to keep water out, and a single hub color-coded tent pole design, which is super easy to deploy and set up. The large mesh walls provide outstanding ventilation and stargazing opportunities, and the 38-inch peak height feels pretty roomy — provided you’ve properly staked out the corners, especially near the foot box. You’ll make two trips around the tent setting it up — four stakes for the tent body and four more for the rain fly. The two vestibules provide a fair amount of storage area — about 21 square feet total. Since the tent floor is tapered, this limits interior sleeping configurations. Like all lightweight tents, you have to be a bit more careful not to puncture the thinner materials, so I’d recommend purchasing the footprint for an additional $65. This tent is a good option for backpackers looking for a light tent and also to save a few bucks.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 2 pounds 8 ounces
  • Product dimensions:
  • Floor: 52 x 88 inches
  • Peak height: 38 inches
  • Materials:
  • Walls: Polyester mesh and 15D ripstop nylon rainfly
  • Floor: 20D ripstop nylon
  • Sleeping capacity: Two
  • Packed size: 7 x 20 inches
Why It Made The Cut
  • The REI Quarter Dome SL2 is a noticeably improved upgrade to a classic dome tent design that’s worth every penny.
PROS

Roomy

Double-door configuration

Excellent ventilation

Fly footprint superlight option

CONS

Doesn’t come with footprint

Pack size larger than comparable tents

No-drip entry didn’t hold up for some users

Thin materials

When you’re not sleeping two to a tent, it doesn’t make sense to carry all that extra weight and space. Whether you’re going alone or you’re a third wheel on a trip, there is a time and a purpose for solo tents, and Nemo makes one of the best on the market.

The Hornet 1 is the smallest of the Hornet series, which also comes in a two-person variant for $40 more. Made of quality lightweight materials like the premium 10D silicone-coated nylon fly, 15D bathtub-style tent floor, and the DAC Featherlite poles, the Hornet is an easy-to-set-up, strong, and highly weather-resistant tent. Because the materials are thin to save weight, they also tend to be transparent. To ensure privacy, Nemo uses white mesh on the sides and black mesh on top for stargazing.

The Hornet also uses a proprietary pole clip to help better shape the tent to ensure maximum interior volume. The large door and vestibule provide easy access and the premium fly design ensures fairly rain-free entry and exit.

I also appreciated the ease of setup for the Hornet. All poles connect to a single hub and each end is color-coded to the tent body connection points. The pole clips quickly connect to the tent body and the fly is connected to the poles via Velcro straps and clipped to the corners. As a semi-free standing tent, it’s important to stake out the corners and fly. This provides strength in the wind and also helps keep the rain out and condensation to a minimum. If you’re concerned about things poking through the floor, a special footprint ground cloth is available for $39. This is an ideal tent for solo long-distance backpackers.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 1 pound 10 ounces
  • Product dimensions:
  • Floor: 43/31 x 87 inches
  • Peak height: 39 inches
  • Materials:
  • Walls: 10D ripstop and no-see-um mesh
  • Floor: 15D double silicone-coated ripstop nylon
  • Sleeping capacity: One
  • Packed size: 4.5 x 19.5 inches
Why It Made The Cut
  • Weighing less than two pounds, the Nemo Hornet 1 is an efficiently-designed and spacious high-quality solo tent perfect for those lonely nights in the field.
PROS

High-quality, lightweight materials

Minimal pole structure to save weight

Easy to set up via Flybar design

Great ventilation

CONS

Semi-freestanding

Thin floor

Ultra-lightweight tents can also mean ultra-small, or it can mean we gotta be ultra-careful so we don’t poke a hole in this thin-skinned thing. Worse, it can mean we have to drop some ultra bank to pay the ultra price tag. That’s not the case with the Sierra Designs Meteor 2.

While I like my ultra-lightweight tents to be three pounds or less, sometimes the weight saved isn’t worth it in terms of livability or durability, and with a $249 price point, Sierra delivers a really nice lightweight tent that’s affordable, too — less than one-third of the cost of our premium pick. The Meteor 2 follows many of the same design cues of other semi- and fully-freestanding UL tents: It has a mostly mesh tent body, dual doors and vestibules, and a fully waterproof bathtub-style floor. Where it packs on a few ounces is in the increased durability of the tent floor — at a fully 68D thickness and heavier poles. You’ll appreciate it on sharper terrain and when the wind is really blowing or under early winter snow loads.

The rectangular floor allows for more room to spread out and not be so close to your tentmate. The steep wall angles and 41 inches of headroom also add to the roominess of the interior. The tent is easy to set up and pretty intuitive. I was able to set it up in about five minutes without reading the instructions. The rain fly design is nice in that it can be attached and then rolled back on clear nights for a view of the stars.

Also, the tent is super easy to take down and fast to pack away — you just drop the poles and stuff the tent into a patented Burrito Bag, and you’re off. This tent is a great pick for backpackers who want a more durable yet still lightweight option at a very affordable price point.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 3 pounds, 15 ounces
  • Product dimensions:
  • Floor: 51 x 84 inches
  • Peak height: 41 inches
  • Materials:
  • Walls: 15D Nylon No-See-Um-Mesh
  • Floor: 68D Poly Taffeta
  • Sleeping capacity: Two
  • Packed size: 6 x 18 inches
Why It Made The Cut
  • Even if it weighs a bit more than other options, the Sierra Designs Meteor 2 is a great tent for the price, right around $250.
PROS

Durable materials

Roomy, efficient design

Freestanding

Easy to set up

CONS

A bit heavier than ultra-lightweight tents

A few users reported zipper snag issues

Cheap, bendy tent stakes

Best Under $100

Some hikers I know prefer to sacrifice comfort for a lightweight shelter, so they simply carry a tarp that is held up at each end of their hiking poles and staked into the ground at each corner. While I prefer a proper tent with a floor and mesh walls to keep the bugs out, the tarp tent is popular enough that I felt compelled to provide you with an option here.

SJK has been making gear focused on the needs of hunters and fishermen, and their Satellite Tarp fits the bill. It’s made from light but durable 70D waterproof polyester and weighs just under two pounds. Making a shelter with it is super easy — you can either stake out the corners, set in your hiking poles at the apex and then guy line them out, or run some paracord between two trees for the ridge and then stake down the sides.

It’s also durable enough to use as a ground tarp for cowboy camping under the stars. When I hammock-camp, I always bring along a tarp like this to put up over my hammock just in case it rains or to keep the wind off of me. What’s especially nice about this tarp is that it has four additional guy-out points to allow 7.5 inches of the material to be folded under on both sides to improve weather resistance. It packs down to the size of a Nalgene bottle and comes with 10 aluminum stakes and eight guy lines. This tarp is a great option for minimalists or hammock campers looking for lightweight rain and wind protection.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 1 pound, 14 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 124 x 103 inches
  • Materials: 70D coated polyester
  • Sleeping capacity: Two
  • Packed size: 7.5 x 12 inches
Why It Made The Cut
  • The SJK Satellite Tarp is a very lightweight and durable camping option. It weighs less than two pounds, but it is packed full of features.
PROS

Less than 2 pounds

Durable, waterproof material

Integrated, sewn-on pocket

Additional guy points

CONS

Shelter not fully enclosed

No bug mesh

No floor

Not free-standing

Things to consider before buying an ultralight tent

Ultralight

Ultralight (UL) is synonymous with trade-offs. Because UL tent designers prioritize the fewest ounces, they frequently use thinner, higher tensile and more expensive materials. While these tents can be very light in the pack, they also tend to be less durable, more prone to punctures, and less durable than heavier, freestanding backpacking and mountaineering tents. 

Some users also find them to be less roomy and have fewer internal gear organization pockets and other nice-to-have features. Many are also insanely expensive. So the first question you should ask is if you really want one of the lightest available tents on the market. If you are going long distances over multiple days, that answer might just be yes.

Single- or double-wall

Ultra-lightweight tents typically come in single- or double-wall designs and are also semi- or fully freestanding. 

Single-wall tents, like the ZPacks Duplex, tend to be lighter because there’s no fly for the tent, and hence extra material, but they also have more condensation and ventilation issues. 

Double-wall tents have a main tent body of mostly mesh and a fly that sits over it. Because they use double the material to enclose the system, they are a bit heavier, but they also provide much better ventilation and less condensation inside the tent. 

Semi- or fully-freestanding

Single- and double-wall tents come in semi- and fully-freestanding variants, generally determined by the tent pole design. With semi-freestanding tents, the poles alone are not enough to keep the tent upright and fully expanded, requiring the use of stakes and guy lines. Fully-freestanding tents typically use more poles, and thus are heavier, but can stand on their own without requiring stakes or guylines. 

Number of doors

Besides tent poles, stakes, and fly and tent body fabric, door zippers are another area of concern when it comes to weight. The fewer zippers, the lighter the tent, but the fewer doors, the more inconvenient it is when there are two or more people in the tent. When in a two-person tent, it’s preferable that each sleeper have their own door, otherwise one person will be crawling over the other to get in and out and disrupting their sleep. After multiple days, that gets really annoying, and you’ll wish you had a two-door tent. Two-door tents typically have two matching vestibules which conveniently allows each backpacker to have their own dry storage area external to the tent floor for their boots and backpacks. Having two vestibules helps keep things organized, as well. 

Square or tapered floor plans

When you look at the tent design, check out whether the floor plan is square- or diamond-shaped. A square floor plan will typically provide more interior space, but will also weigh a bit more. They are also more versatile in that you can have your sleeping bags oriented head-to-head or head-to-toe. With tapered floor plans, both campers typically have their heads at the same ends and feet at the other. They also tend to weigh a bit less.

Tarps

A-framed tarps are some of the very lightest options, but they also tend to lack floors and have two open ends. This can be problematic in rainy and windy conditions. They also typically lack bug mesh, so they’re not ideal in mosquito country. Some folks love them because they’re so light, but they’re not my jam for a primary sleep shelter. 

Fabrics

UL backpacking tents tend to be made from coated polyester, ripstop nylon, or cuben fiber, and the thickness is designated by Denier (D). Light tent wall fabrics are about seven to 15D, and floors tend to be thicker at 30D to 70D to resist punctures and keep everything watertight. By comparison, the thickness of a single human hair is about 4D. 

Cuben fiber is at the top end of UL fabrics and is usually marketed as Dyneema. It offers the highest strength-to-weight ratio, and it’s also fairly durable and waterproof. Dyneema is about 70 percent lighter and 400 percent stronger than Kevlar — it’s tough stuff. It’s also insanely expensive (think $700 for a two-person tent) and pretty noisy — it sounds like you are sleeping inside an old crinkly Doritos bag. It also doesn’t stretch, so once you set your guy lines, you won’t have to tighten them.

Poles

Tent poles can be the heaviest part of the system, which is why UL tent designers tend to like semi-freestanding tents because they use fewer poles than fully-freestanding ones. Most tent poles are made from lightweight aluminum, while some are made from more expensive but lighter carbon. Some tent designs require the use of trekking poles, which can be really efficient if you use trekking poles. 

Stakes

Pay attention to the design and weight of tent stakes, especially with a semi-freestanding tent. Look for the lightest stakes that provide you with the security you need. Tent stakes are usually made from angled aluminum, while others are made from aluminum wire, titanium, or carbon. I prefer the tri-flanged aluminum stakes in a six- or seven-inch length. You want a tent stake that’s not going to bend or shatter when you are beating it into the ground with a rock. 

FAQs about ultralight tents

Q: How much should an ultralight tent weigh?

A: There is no hard and fast definition to this, but I consider any tent below three pounds to be an ultralight tent. The average weight of a UL tent tends to run between two and 2.5 pounds, with some of the very best coming in around 1.5 pounds or less. 

Q: Should I buy an ultralight tent?

A: If you are doing three or more days on the trail covering more than 12 miles per day, you should consider an ultralight tent. You’ll really appreciate the reduction in overall pack weight. Remember: Your pack, sleep system, and shelter are typically the heaviest items in your pack and the place to look for the most weight reduction.

Q: Should I get a single- or double-walled tent?

A: I prefer double-walled tents in more humid climates because they control condensation better. In drier climates (mountains and deserts), I prefer single-walled tents because they are lighter and typically faster to set up. 

Q: How should I pack an ultralight tent?

A: UL tents pack much the same way as regular backpacking tents. Typically, I separate the poles from the tent body and fly, pack the poles vertically in my backpack, and stuff the tent and fly into the bottom. If you are hiking with a buddy and have a two-person tent, have one person take the tent body and the other take the poles and fly to divvy up the weight.

Final thoughts

When it comes to top-end premium tents, it’s hard to beat the ZPacks Duplex, but that tent can also break the bank, so choose wisely. Sure, it’s the lightest tent body we reviewed, but when you add in the weight of the trekking poles and the tent stakes, and the freestanding kit, the weight bounces up to where other two-plus pound tents can compete at a lower price point. While it’s the best premium tent we reviewed, I feel there are other great options for hundreds of dollars less, like the Sea to Summit Alto or MSR FreeLite

Methodology 

All the ultra-lightweight tents in this review were selected based on personal ownership, hands-on inspection, interviewing other experts, and thoroughly reviewing manufacturers’ specifications. We took our time to get to know the strengths and weaknesses of each item, and also read the reviews of other experts just to make sure we’re not missing anything. 

For this review, we considered more than a dozen makes and two dozen models. To make the cut, the system had to be below three pounds and be fully enclosed with a floor and bug mesh walls. To compare similar products, we looked at two-person models with the sole exception of the best solo tent and best tarp. I also tried to choose a mix of both fully-freestanding and semi-freestanding tent structures and both single- and double-wall tents, as well. For the test and evaluation, I focused on ease of use (by setting it up without the instructions for time), material quality, overall weight, spaciousness, and efficiency of design.  

When researching the best ultralight tent, I based my criteria on my own experiences using outdoor gear in the field for more than 35 years. I’m very familiar with the major manufacturers of outdoor equipment, know their reputations, and have a sense of their customer service — which is also super important. I also spoke with other people who spend considerable time outdoors for their thoughts, as well. 

After gathering enough high-performing products for a best-of article, I racked and stacked each based on their attributes, design, and performance. My bias is towards the lightest, best-functioning, and lowest-cost solutions available. We don’t torture test gear here at Task & Purpose — we test within normal usage limits. When gear does fail or break, we contact the manufacturer to see if and how it stands by its products. I also looked at how easy the gear is to maintain or repair in the field — the simpler, the better.