Best lightweight tents for hiking and camping UK, from Vango and Berghaus

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Head into the wild and experience all that nature has to offer with these brilliant backpacking tents

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Hiking holidays are a special treat, and if you take a tent with you, you can really get away from it all. You need a lightweight and portable one-person tent that fits in a small backpack. Enter: the backpack tent.

As the name suggests, backpacking tents are at the smallest end of the tent spectrum and are designed to be taken with you on your adventures – they are portable and compact enough to fit in backpacks or bike bags and are designed for hikers, wild campers , bikepackers and everyone else who travels long distances and sets up a new camp every evening.

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What size should I take?

You’ll find that tents are sold by the number of people they can sleep – one-person tents really only fit one person, and you may still want to choose a two-person tent if you want extra space and comfort to wish. Most two-person tents should fit two campers plus their backpacks, and while these are heavier they can usually be split to share the weight.

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What is the ideal weight for a hiking tent?

When it comes to hiking and fast-packing adventures, weight is a big factor – after all, you have to take all your camping gear with you. A one-person tent weighing less than two kilos or a two-person tent weighing less than four kilos is the best choice, although there are also tents in our roundup that weigh as little as 700g.

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Warning: hiking tents are small

While a good night’s sleep is important, a backpacking tent isn’t as roomy as family or party tents – many have low ceilings and limited space as they are only used at night rather than as living space. We recommend choosing a tent that you can at least sit in, and tents with an outer canvas that can be tucked out to create a porch are also useful and provide extra storage for your boots and other gear.

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Make sure it stays dry

Waterproofing is your other priority. The model you choose should be a “twin skin” (a tent with an outer “fly” layer plus an inner tent) and have a waterproof rain tent as well as a built-in nylon floor to keep water out of the ground.

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You’ll see rounder dome tents as well as narrower tunnel tents – if you’re planning on sleeping on exposed mountain slopes, a dome-style tent is a good choice for better wind resistance, and guy lines will also help you secure the tent against strong winds.

Kelty Dirt Motel

Key Specifications – Capacity: Two people; Weight: 2.19kg;

Kelty’s Dirt Motel may sound playful, but it’s an apt name for this lightweight tent – it really offers comfort and space even when you’re camping in the wilderness.

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The Dirt Motel is an easy to pitch tent and once pitched it offers plenty of headroom as well as two wide doors and two porches making it an easy tent to share as a duo.

An inner mesh tent can be used alone in warm climates and protects against insects, or add the waterproof flysheet which we have found reliable against inclement weather even when testing the tent in the wet and windy Welsh mountains.

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Ideal for backpacking and traditional camping trips alike.

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