For backpacking and expeditions lasting several days, bivouac equipment is essential. This often includes a tent. The purpose of a tent is to protect you from wind, weather and insects.
Alternatively, there are hammocks and/or tarps. This is another way of sleeping in the middle of nature that will delight those who like to walk ultra-lightly. See our range of tents, hammocks & tarps below.
The importance of tents
A hiking tent is one of the heaviest and most cumbersome items in a hiker's backpack. However, it is an essential element for a good night's sleep. It provides comfort and allows you to recover well between two stages of hiking.
The main role of the tent is to protect you from rain, gusts of wind and insects. Contrary to popular belief, it offers little protection from the cold. The difference between the outside and inside temperature will only be a few degrees. To stay warm, you should rely more on a good sleeping bag (down or synthetic, depending on your needs) and an insulating mattress.
As a specialist in outdoor food and equipment, Lyophilise & Co aims to offer you the tents that best suit your needs. Whatever your budget, you will find the perfect tent for you: 1 to 4 places, spacious or ultra-light, for hiking or bikepacking...
Criteria for a better choice of tent
There are two opposing criteria: comfort and lightness. Naturally, the more comfortable and functional a tent is, the heavier it will be, and vice versa. It is then up to each individual to set the cursor according to their preferences.
To start with, a tent that is known to be comfortable will have a flysheet. This has several advantages. The flysheet can be removable, allowing you to sleep under the stars with a simple mosquito net. It is also a good barrier against condensation. On the other hand, it adds weight. Double-wall tents are still the preferred option for most backpackers.
Secondly, for more comfort, it is best to choose a freestanding tent. This means that the tent does not need poles to stand upright. This is a comfort as you can put it on any kind of ground (even hard ground) and you don't need trekking poles to hold it up as some models do.
Other criteria may include the number of doors and apses. A two person touring tent usually has two apses. On ultralight models, there may be only one door and no vestibule, in order to save precious grams. This means that you can't leave your rucksack outside your tent. It's up to you to choose the solution you prefer.
Finally, the most functional tents will be spacious (both in height and width) and will have storage pockets inside to hold your small accessories.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent
This trekking tent is one of the comfortable tents for two people. It is still lightweight. This is why it is one of the best-selling tents in the world. With a total weight of 1720 grams, this dome-shaped tent has two doors, two apses and an interior area of 2.7 m². It is very easy to pitch and can be erected in a few minutes. Ideal for light hiking and sleeping well at night. Nordisk Lofoten 2 ULW
This model is aimed at those who like to walk light. Comfort is not the main criterion. What you are looking for is a lightweight tent with no superfluous details.
It is not a self-supporting tent. The construction is not a dome but a tunnel and is therefore narrower. The comfort is basic, but the Lofoten 2 ULW still does what it is supposed to do: protect you from insects and bad weather.
Its main advantage? A weight of only 575 g, which is almost three times less than the Hubba Hubba. You won't find a lighter nylon tent!
What about hammocks and tarps?
To save more weight, there is the option of a tarp, hammock or hammock and tarp.
The tarp is a tarpaulin that is attached to trees to protect you from the rain. You can then sleep on your mattress with a sleeping bag, directly on the ground. Be careful not to puncture your mattress! We advise you to put a foam mattress under your air mattress or at least a protective cover. You will not be protected from the wind or insects. But it is a good solution, especially for summer bivouacs.
The hammock also requires two attachment points to be fixed. Contrary to popular belief, it is an excellent solution for sleeping. The cradling allows you to fall into a deep sleep more quickly. And it doesn't cause any backache! It is advisable to take a mosquito net to protect you from insects.
As the hammock does not protect against rain, it can be combined with a tarp. This is often used by bushcraft enthusiasts or those who go on expeditions in the jungle and for whom it can be dangerous on the ground. It is also becoming increasingly common among backpackers.
Backpacking tents: the best brands
The best-known and best-selling brands are MSR, NEMO Equipment and Big Agnes. You'll find them on every trail and trek around the globe.
Among the very good brands, there are also Sea to Summit, Nordisk and Vaude. The latter is a German brand that is very committed to environmental protection. Vaude uses recycled materials wherever possible and is carbon neutral in its production.
Buying a tent is a long-term investment. At Lyophilise & Co we select durable tents that will accompany you on all your outdoor activities for many years to come. Please contact us if you have any questions. Our experts will advise you on the models you are interested in!
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