Brand: MSR Gear Reviews
If low weight is your prime tent priority, put this shelter at the top of your shopping list. It’s barely more than four pounds, but makes no compromises in terms of protection. When 30-mph winds in Colorado’s Park Range blasted the Skyledge with rain, this freestanding dome barely shuddered—and kept the interior dry during soggy entrances (the fly’s drip line prevents water from funneling inside the open doors).
This year’s model has key updates: Designers relocated the Jake’s Foot attachment from the tent body to the footprint, enabling campers to pitch the fly first, keeping the canopy dry in rain. A transparent fly porthole brightens the interior. And ventilation is good: On nights in the 30s in Tasmania’s Walls of Jerusalem National Park, condensation collected only inside the fly. The floor’s 70-denier fabric acts like armor against sharp pebbles, while the fly’s 20-denier nylon trims weight in less abrasion-prone areas. But size before you buy: While headroom is good with a 45-inch peak height, floor space is tight for three adults (three sleeping pads barely fit across the narrow floor). $550; 4 lbs. 2 oz.; mountainhardwear.com
Perfect for minimalists, this shaped tarp offers increased protection from wind and rain with great ventilation. Weighing less than 2 pounds (.85 kg), this superlight tarp offers an impressive 68 square feet (6.3 sq. m) of space, plenty of room for two people plus gear, or use as a group shelter. Use any trekking poles, walking staffs, or even paddle shafts to set up, or tie off guy cords to an overhead object. One end is sealed off from the elements, while the other end is open for ventilation.