1. Brooks Range Rocket
When Aspen Expeditions’ Dick Jackson helped design this tent, he left out one important detail. It has no poles—on purpose. You already carry poles on most ski mountaineering trips or trekking poles on alpine jaunts in the summer. Using your trekking poles means the tent weighs in at an obscene 1 pound, 6 ounces, and, yes, you can also buy poles for it.
Best For: alpine assaults
$549 tent, $49 pole set; brooks-range.com
2. Nemo Obi 2P – EDITOR’S CHOICE
We were happily surprised to find out how spacious this tent feels for a light (about 3 pounds), two-person backpacking shelter—there’s 27 square feet of room inside. Its ingenious pole-and-foot-corner system make it a snap to set up, even when we were rushed by a full-force summer thunderstorm in Rocky Mountain National Park. We also apprecaited how breezy it can be sans rain fly during a hot jaunt through Canyonlands.
Best For: hardcore three-season backpacking
3. Easton Kilo
Surprise, surprise, the kilo weighs in at just under… one kilo (2.2 pounds). Credit that to hi-tech features like high-modulus composite carbon poles. On a spring ski mountaineering attack of Long’s Peak, we found it quite comfortable
Best For: fast-and-light endeavors
4. Eureka! Apex 3XD
You don’t need to spend $400 on a solid backpacking shelter. It may not be the lightest on the market but the Apex 3XD offers everything you could ask for in a two-person tent.
Best For: summer backpacking trips