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5 Best Wood Burning Stoves for Backpacking

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An essential piece of gear for backpacking adventures? A wood-burning camp stove. This type of backpacking stove is fueled by nature itself and can run on twigs, pinecones, leaves, etc. This means that with a wood-burning backpacking stove, you’ll never run out of fuel – making it a basic but highly-functional solution to your camp cooking needs.

In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner - Lightweight Kitchen Kit for Backpacking, Camping, Survival, Emergency Preparation. Burns Twigs - No Batteries or Liquid Fuel Gas Canister Required
47 Reviews
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner - Lightweight Kitchen Kit for Backpacking, Camping, Survival, Emergency Preparation. Burns Twigs - No Batteries or Liquid Fuel Gas Canister Required
  • The #1 wood-burning backpacking stove recommended by Backpacker Magazine and serious survivalists including Discovery Channel’s Matt Graham.

And here’s an overview of the best wood burning backpacking stoves on the market today:

Preview
Solo Stove Lite Portable Camping Hiking Survival Backpacking Stove Powerful Efficient Wood Burning and Low Smoke Gasification Rocket Stove for Quick Boil Compact 4.2 Inches and Lightweight 9 Ounces
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner - Lightweight Kitchen Kit for Backpacking, Camping, Survival, Emergency Preparation. Burns Twigs - No Batteries or Liquid Fuel Gas Canister Required
Camping Stove Wood: Ohuhu Mini Camping Stove Solo Stoves Stainless Steel Backpacking Wood Stove Portable Small Burning Stoves Fire for Picnic BBQ Camp Hiking with Grill Grid
TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (Small)
TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (Large)
Title
Solo Stove Lite
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner
Ohuhu Stainless Steel Camping Stove 
TOAKS Backpacking Wood Burning Stove - Small
TOAKS Backpacking Wood Burning Stove - Large
Size
5.7" x 4.25"
5.7" x 4.25"
5.3" x 6.1"
3.75" x 7.25"
4.13" x 8.1"
Packing dimensions
3.8" x 4.25"
3.8" x 4.25"
5.3" x 3"
3.75" x 3.75"
4.13" x 4.13"
Weight
9 oz
12.5 oz total (stove: 9 oz, burner: 3.5 oz)
14.2 oz
5.4 oz
7.9 oz
Material
304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire
Stove: 304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire - Burner: Solid Brass
Stainless Steel
Titanium
Titanium
Stuff sack included
Preview
Solo Stove Lite Portable Camping Hiking Survival Backpacking Stove Powerful Efficient Wood Burning and Low Smoke Gasification Rocket Stove for Quick Boil Compact 4.2 Inches and Lightweight 9 Ounces
Title
Solo Stove Lite
Size
5.7" x 4.25"
Packing dimensions
3.8" x 4.25"
Weight
9 oz
Material
304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire
Stuff sack included
Price
Preview
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner - Lightweight Kitchen Kit for Backpacking, Camping, Survival, Emergency Preparation. Burns Twigs - No Batteries or Liquid Fuel Gas Canister Required
Title
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner
Size
5.7" x 4.25"
Packing dimensions
3.8" x 4.25"
Weight
12.5 oz total (stove: 9 oz, burner: 3.5 oz)
Material
Stove: 304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire - Burner: Solid Brass
Stuff sack included
Price
Preview
Camping Stove Wood: Ohuhu Mini Camping Stove Solo Stoves Stainless Steel Backpacking Wood Stove Portable Small Burning Stoves Fire for Picnic BBQ Camp Hiking with Grill Grid
Title
Ohuhu Stainless Steel Camping Stove 
Size
5.3" x 6.1"
Packing dimensions
5.3" x 3"
Weight
14.2 oz
Material
Stainless Steel
Stuff sack included
Price
Preview
TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (Small)
Title
TOAKS Backpacking Wood Burning Stove - Small
Size
3.75" x 7.25"
Packing dimensions
3.75" x 3.75"
Weight
5.4 oz
Material
Titanium
Stuff sack included
Price
Preview
TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (Large)
Title
TOAKS Backpacking Wood Burning Stove - Large
Size
4.13" x 8.1"
Packing dimensions
4.13" x 4.13"
Weight
7.9 oz
Material
Titanium
Stuff sack included
Price

The best part? Wood-burning backpacking stoves are now more affordable and lightweight than ever. Thanks to innovation and new materials, bulky and heavy steel stoves have been replaced by ultralight titanium models and streamlined stainless steel designs. Meaning they won’t weigh down your pack, and only take up minimum packing space. 

To help navigate you towards the top-rated products on the market, we’ve bundled our 5 favorite options in this Best Wood Burning Backpacking Stove Overview. Each camp stove on this list has its appeal, but all offer excellent value-for-money and are worthy of your time, money, and attention. Which is your perfect fit, depends on what type of features you’re looking for, and how much you’re willing to spend. Rest assured: there’s a match to make any backpacker a happy camper. 

Discover our favorite Best Wood Burning Backpacking Stove products below, and upgrade your backpacking kit with this must-have essential. Whether you use it for daily cooking or pack it as a back-up option to your liquid fuel or canister-fuel camp stoves: buying a wood-burning stove is always a solid investment.

 

Warning: Some National Parks forbid the usage of an open-flamed camp stove without a shutoff valve, due to fire risks. This is why we recommend checking the regulations on camp cooking/camp stoves before you set off on your adventures, as the usage of an open-flame wood stove can be in direct violation of the National Parks’ guidelines.

 

Best Wood Burning Backpacking Stove – Overview

 


 

Solo Stove Lite

Voted as ‘GEAR OF THE YEAR’ winner by Backpacker Magazine, the Solo Stove Lite is a firm-favorite amongst survivalists, hikers, backpackers, and other outdoor enthusiasts – including Discovery Channel’s Dual Survivor star Matt Graham. This wood-burning stove may seem deceptively basic, but it’s a very clever patented design.

The Solo Stove Lite features a double-wall silhouette and has special airflow properties to boost its efficiency. The double-wall design of the stove features air intake holes on the bottom, which help channel air to the fire. The double-wall design also funnels warm air up between the walls of the stove. Smaller holes at the top of the stove then feed the preheated air back into the firebox, causing powerful secondary combustion. The result is that your fuel (pinecones, leaves, twigs) can burn quicker, more completely. The double-walled construction also ensures the Solo Stove Lite produces less smoke and is cleaner in gasification. 

Lightweight and great performance

Besides being very thermal-efficient and clean, the Solo Stove Lite is also ultralight, weighing just 9 oz. The backpacking stove is made of high-quality, corrosion-proof stainless steel and durable nichrome wire. When put to the test, the Solo Stove Lite can boil 34 FL oz (1-liter) of water in 8-10 minutes: which may seem a tad slow compared to liquid fuel or white gas stoves, but trust us: that’s surprisingly quick in boiling water for a wood-burning camp stove! 

The Solo Stove Lite is also a compact choice, measuring just 3.8″ x 4.25″ when packed – and 5.7″ x 4.25″ when assembled: taking up minimal packing space in a backpack. The Solo Stove Lite also includes a nylon stuff sack, allowing you to keep it protected when on the go, or clip it to the exterior of your backpack with a carabiner if desired. 

Do note that the Solo Stove Lite is a tad more expensive than comparable woodburning camp stoves, however, for its premium quality standard, we think it’s worth the extra money. Yes, it may be pricier on initial purchase, but for its excellent durability, it will also last you a lot longer than cheaper knock-offs. Plus, with less smoke and gasification, it’s also a lot more pleasant to use – and kinder on your pots and pans (less soot and staining). 

Pro

  • Lightweight
  • Made of high-quality stainless steel
  • Very durable 
  • Double-wall silhouette
  • Highly-rated and recommended by bushcraft experts
  • Excellent efficiency
  • Minimal smoke output
  • Includes stuff sack

Con

  • Relatively pricey
  • Does not include an alternative fuel source
  • Not the lightest camp stove on the market

 

Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner

Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner - Lightweight Kitchen Kit for Backpacking, Camping, Survival, Emergency Preparation. Burns Twigs - No Batteries or Liquid Fuel Gas Canister Required
47 Reviews
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner - Lightweight Kitchen Kit for Backpacking, Camping, Survival, Emergency Preparation. Burns Twigs - No Batteries or Liquid Fuel Gas Canister Required
  • The #1 wood-burning backpacking stove recommended by Backpacker Magazine and serious survivalists including Discovery Channel’s Matt Graham.
Do you like everything about the Solo Stove Lite – as listed above, but want a stove with multiple fuel options? Then perhaps the Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner is a better match. This version of the best-seller includes the Solo Stove Light and the Solo Alcohol Burner. This burner turns the wood-burning stove into a hybrid fuel stove that works on both twigs, pine cones, leaves, and other biomass, plus on pre-packed denatured alcohol. 

Ideal as a backup option

The Solo Alcohol Burner measures 1.8″ x 2.9″, with a 3.5 oz fuel capacity. The burner seamlessly slots inside the Solo Stove for easy storage, saving on packing space in your backpack. Having the option to turn the Solo Stove from a wood-burning stove into an alcohol stove is very handy for multiple camping and backpacking situations. For example in wet conditions where biomass material is soggy and you can’t find dry wood, or in situations where a wood-burning stove is prohibited (certain National Parks). 

The Solo Alcohol Burner is made of solid brass and features an easy-to-use screw top lid, a rubber gasket, and a simmer lid. The burner by itself weighs 3.5 oz, making the total product weight including the stove just over 12 oz.

If you’re looking for a hybrid wood-burning stove that can run on multiple fuel sources, ensuring you’re able to enjoy a hot cup of coffee or meal in any situation, upgrading from the standard Solo Stove Lite to the Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner is a no-brainer!

Pro

  • Lightweight
  • Made of high-quality stainless steel
  • Very durable 
  • Double-wall silhouette
  • Highly-rated and recommended by bushcraft experts
  • Excellent efficiency
  • Minimal smoke output
  • Includes backup alcohol burner
  • Versatile: works both as a wood-burning stove and as an alcohol stove
  • Includes stuff sack

Con

  • Pricey
  • Not the lightest combination

 

Ohuhu Stainless Steel Camping Stove 

Sale
Camping Stove Wood: Ohuhu Mini Camping Stove Solo Stoves Stainless Steel Backpacking Wood Stove Portable Small Burning Stoves Fire for Picnic BBQ Camp Hiking with Grill Grid
4,808 Reviews
Camping Stove Wood: Ohuhu Mini Camping Stove Solo Stoves Stainless Steel Backpacking Wood Stove Portable Small Burning Stoves Fire for Picnic BBQ Camp Hiking with Grill Grid
  • Wide Compatibility: You Can Fit Just About Any Pot or Pan on This Mini Solo Wood Stove Thanks to the Sizeable Cooking Surface. Whatever the Situation Calls For, You Can Boil Water, Cook Food, or Just...
If you like the style of the previously listed Solo Stove but want a cheaper alternative, the Ohuhu Stainless Steel Camping Stove could be your budget-friendly match. This wood-burning stove is only a fraction of the cost, yet still offers plenty of functionality and performance. That said, it is slightly less durable and sturdy than the Solo Stove, but we think that’s a fair trade-off for its very affordable pricing. 

The Ohuhu Camping Stove is made of stainless steel and weighs approximately 14.2 oz. The stove features a 3-arm base support system, enabling you to create a stable and sturdy setup, even on uneven underground. Besides creating a stable cooking platform, the 3-armed support base also helps to distribute heat evenly – adding to the stove’s efficiency. According to other campers, bushcraft experts, and other outdoor enthusiasts, the Ohuhu Camping Stove burns hot enough for all regular camp cooking tasks, serving as testimony that the stove is more than equipped for meal prep – even without a double-wall construction. 

Great portability/packability

We also like that the stainless steel Ohuhu Camping Stove includes both a pot supporter and a grill plate. You can alternate between these two accessories, based on what type of food you’re preparing. Making it a more versatile addition to your cookware gear, adding to its value-for-money appeal. This stainless steel stove by Ohuhu is also foldable, packing down to a neat 5.3″ x 5.3″ x 3″ bundle. When you order the stove, you also get a mesh stuff sack with a drawstring closure included, adding to the stove’s portability/packability. 

It’s not the most heavy-duty or durable wood-burning camp stove on the market, but for its great performance and affordable pricing, this design by Ohuhu is certainly one of the best-value options on Amazon. 

Pro

  • Affordable
  • Stainless steel
  • Includes pot supporter and grill plate
  • 3-arm base support for extra stability
  • Great Amazon ratings
  • Excellent value-for-money

Con

  • Not the most durable 
  • Does not include an alternative fuel source
  • Only single-wall construction

 

TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove

TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (Small)
359 Reviews
TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (Small)
  • Material: Titanium (Grade 1 or 2, no coating)
Another award-winning option to enhance your cookware collection is the TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove. This highly-rated stove is an ultralight choice for any camping trip, and is available in two sizes: small (weighing 5.4 oz) and large (weighing 7.9 oz). 

The small version of the TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove measures 3.75″ x 7.25″ assembled, and 3.75″ x 3.75″ when packed. The larger-sized TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove measures 4.13″ x 8.1″ when assembled, and 4.13″ x 4.13″ when packed. Both the small and large version of this best-selling camp stove is made of premium-grade titanium, which is ultralight yet highly durable. The stove also comes with a nylon stuff sack, keeping it safely stored between usage. 

A powerful 2nd and 3rd combustion 

The collapsible TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove is a trailed and tested option. The premium stove was even awarded the German Outdoor Industry Award in 2015 for its innovative design and high efficiency. The unique silhouette of the stove optimizes gas intake and even enables a 2nd and 3rd combustion thanks to its special airflow vents. The result is a high-quality titanium stove that burns hot, cleanly, and quickly – with plenty of performance to boil water, prep meals, and even roast marshmallows as a makeshift campfire. 

Both the small version and the large version of the TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove offer great packability. Though compatible with all types of cooking pots, the stoves are specially designed to slot seamlessly into other TOAKS cookware. The small woodburning cam stove pits into the 750ml TOAKS cooking pot, whilst the large camp stove can nest inside all 1100ml and 1600ml TOAKS cooking pots.

Pro

  • Ultralight
  • Made of premium titanium
  • Durable and corrosion-proof
  • 2nd and 3rd combustion construction
  • Excellent efficiency
  • Highly-rated on Amazon
  • Great packability

Con

  • Relatively pricey
  • Does not include an alternative fuel source

 

Verdict

First and foremost, let us say that every backpacking stove in this overview is a great choice. However, which is ‘the best’ depends on what buying factors are most important to you. For example, if affordable pricing is your key priority, a budget-friendly choice such as the Ohuhu Stainless Steel Camping Stove could be your best fit. Or perhaps the stove’s portability and weight are the most important factors for you. In that case, the ultralight TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove could be your perfect match. Then there’s also the question of whether you want a wood-burning stove that can also work on an alternative fuel source: like the Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner, which can run on both wood and biomass AND on denatured alcohol. 

Rest assured: each wood-burning camp stove on this list is worthy of your time, money, and attention. We’ve only included stoves that score highly in Amazon customer reviews and get a big thumbs up from other campers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. All you need to do is determine which of these lights your fire! 

 

Winner 

Preview
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner - Lightweight Kitchen Kit for Backpacking, Camping, Survival, Emergency Preparation. Burns Twigs - No Batteries or Liquid Fuel Gas Canister Required
Title
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner
Size
5.7" x 4.25"
Packing dimensions
3.8" x 4.25"
Weight
12.5 oz total (stove: 9 oz, burner: 3.5 oz)
Material
Stove: 304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire - Burner: Solid Brass
Stuff sack included
Price
Preview
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner - Lightweight Kitchen Kit for Backpacking, Camping, Survival, Emergency Preparation. Burns Twigs - No Batteries or Liquid Fuel Gas Canister Required
Title
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner
Size
5.7" x 4.25"
Packing dimensions
3.8" x 4.25"
Weight
12.5 oz total (stove: 9 oz, burner: 3.5 oz)
Material
Stove: 304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire - Burner: Solid Brass
Stuff sack included
Price

Every wood-burning camp stove in this overview is already a winner, having beat out dozens of other designs to make it to the top of our list. That said, if we could only buy one of these stoves, we’d settle on the Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner. The Solo Stove is known for its excellent quality standard, great efficiency, and great durability. The design is even recommended by professional bushcraft and survival experts such as Discovery Channel’s Dual Survivor star Matt Graham; serving as a testimony that this product lives up to and exceeds expectations. 

Though we doubt we’d get much out of the included alcohol burner, we’d still pack it – as having a backup alternative fuel source is always a great idea. Finding biomass to fuel the woodburning stove shouldn’t be a problem in most camping scenarios, but you never know when you suddenly may need an alternative: which is where the backup burner can be mighty useful! That said, the Solo Stove Lite – which doesn’t include the backup alcohol burner – still gets our seal of approval, though we’d personally upgrade to the kit that does include this alternative and lightweight fuel source. 

 


 

Buying Guide – Other types of Backpacking Stoves 


 

Canister camp stoves

Canister stoves run on isobutane and/or propane and require (as the name already suggests) fuel canisters to run. This type of camping stove is one of the most popular amongst backpackers, as its compact, packable, easy-to-use, and lightweight. The setup of this stove is super straight-forward: assemble the stove, attach the fuel canister to the stove, light it, and voila: you’re ready to cook.

Do note that canister stoves have some cons. Firstly, they can struggle to perform in cold weather conditions and are therefore not ideal for winter camping. Secondly, for longer trips, you’ll have to pack additional fuel canisters to fuel the stove. These fuel canisters can be bulky and cumbersome, taking up extra packing space and weight in your backpack – not ideal for cross-country or backcountry backpacking. Thirdly, you can’t bring fuel canisters on a flight – meaning that if you plan to fly to your backpacking destination, you’ll have to buy the correct type of fuel canisters locally, which can be a struggle in more remote or foreign locations. That said, for shorter backpacking trips and basic campsite cooking, a canister stove is one of the easiest, lightest and most convenient options to prep your meals.

Liquid Fuel & Multi-Fuel Stoves

Backpacking stoves can also run on liquid fuel and/or multi-fuel sources. These stoves feature a fuel line, connected to a separate refillable bottle or canister. Though most liquid-fueled camp stoves run on white gas, some may also require a mix of fuel types, such as unleaded gas and kerosene (as found in the popular MSR WhisperLite Universal Camp Stove). What are the advantages of a liquid gas-powered stove? Well, mostly they tend to burn hotter than isobutane-powered and/or propane-fueled canister stoves. Which is a big pro when camping in cold weather conditions and/or at high altitudes. Additionally, liquid fuel such as white gas is easier to bring in bulk – and – unlike propane canister – liquid gas bottles can easily be refilled, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice to fuel your cooking adventures.

On the downside, liquid fuel stoves are often more complicated to set up and slower in burn capacity. This type of camp stove also tends to be heavier and bulkier, making them less packable than canister-fueled stoves. That is why, for lightweight backpacking, we’d recommend a canister stove over a liquid fuel stove, unless you’re planning on camping in wintery, cold weather conditions – as in that case, the extra packing weight and space is a worthy trade-off for the cold-weather performance of liquid fuel stoves.

Alcohol Stoves

Another popular choice amongst backpackers is alcohol-fueled camp stoves. These stoves run on denatured alcohol and are cheap, easy to use, lightweight, and simple: all the things a backpacker wants. However, do note that these stoves are not the most durable, making them less suitable for repeated usage and less cost-effective in the long term. 

 


 

Recap 

Preview
Solo Stove Lite Portable Camping Hiking Survival Backpacking Stove Powerful Efficient Wood Burning and Low Smoke Gasification Rocket Stove for Quick Boil Compact 4.2 Inches and Lightweight 9 Ounces
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner - Lightweight Kitchen Kit for Backpacking, Camping, Survival, Emergency Preparation. Burns Twigs - No Batteries or Liquid Fuel Gas Canister Required
Camping Stove Wood: Ohuhu Mini Camping Stove Solo Stoves Stainless Steel Backpacking Wood Stove Portable Small Burning Stoves Fire for Picnic BBQ Camp Hiking with Grill Grid
TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (Small)
TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (Large)
Title
Solo Stove Lite
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner
Ohuhu Stainless Steel Camping Stove 
TOAKS Backpacking Wood Burning Stove - Small
TOAKS Backpacking Wood Burning Stove - Large
Size
5.7" x 4.25"
5.7" x 4.25"
5.3" x 6.1"
3.75" x 7.25"
4.13" x 8.1"
Packing dimensions
3.8" x 4.25"
3.8" x 4.25"
5.3" x 3"
3.75" x 3.75"
4.13" x 4.13"
Weight
9 oz
12.5 oz total (stove: 9 oz, burner: 3.5 oz)
14.2 oz
5.4 oz
7.9 oz
Material
304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire
Stove: 304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire - Burner: Solid Brass
Stainless Steel
Titanium
Titanium
Stuff sack included
Preview
Solo Stove Lite Portable Camping Hiking Survival Backpacking Stove Powerful Efficient Wood Burning and Low Smoke Gasification Rocket Stove for Quick Boil Compact 4.2 Inches and Lightweight 9 Ounces
Title
Solo Stove Lite
Size
5.7" x 4.25"
Packing dimensions
3.8" x 4.25"
Weight
9 oz
Material
304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire
Stuff sack included
Price
Preview
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner - Lightweight Kitchen Kit for Backpacking, Camping, Survival, Emergency Preparation. Burns Twigs - No Batteries or Liquid Fuel Gas Canister Required
Title
Solo Stove with Backup Alcohol Burner
Size
5.7" x 4.25"
Packing dimensions
3.8" x 4.25"
Weight
12.5 oz total (stove: 9 oz, burner: 3.5 oz)
Material
Stove: 304 Stainless Steel, Nichrome Wire - Burner: Solid Brass
Stuff sack included
Price
Preview
Camping Stove Wood: Ohuhu Mini Camping Stove Solo Stoves Stainless Steel Backpacking Wood Stove Portable Small Burning Stoves Fire for Picnic BBQ Camp Hiking with Grill Grid
Title
Ohuhu Stainless Steel Camping Stove 
Size
5.3" x 6.1"
Packing dimensions
5.3" x 3"
Weight
14.2 oz
Material
Stainless Steel
Stuff sack included
Price
Preview
TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (Small)
Title
TOAKS Backpacking Wood Burning Stove - Small
Size
3.75" x 7.25"
Packing dimensions
3.75" x 3.75"
Weight
5.4 oz
Material
Titanium
Stuff sack included
Price
Preview
TOAKS Titanium Backpacking Wood Burning Stove (Large)
Title
TOAKS Backpacking Wood Burning Stove - Large
Size
4.13" x 8.1"
Packing dimensions
4.13" x 4.13"
Weight
7.9 oz
Material
Titanium
Stuff sack included
Price

 

Warning: You should be aware that some National Parks forbid the usage of an open-flamed camp stove without a shutoff valve, due to fire risks. This is why we recommend checking the regulations on camp cooking/camp stoves before you set off on your adventures, as the usage of an open-flame wood stove can be in direct violation of the National Parks’ guidelines.

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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

Why Duck Boots are Good for Hiking

Published

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are duck boots good for hiking

The quest to find the perfect hiking shoes is never-ending, so the next option we’re going to explore is Duck Boots. Duck Boots have been around for more than 100 years and they’re used for all sorts of outdoor activities, so we can’t discount them as a hiking boot. Let’s dive in a little deeper into what duck boots are, and whether they’re an ideal choice for your next hike.

 

A pair of Bean Boots.

The legendary Maine-made L.L.Bean Boot was designed by “L.L.” himself in 1912 and has been keeping feet dry and comfortable ever since.

 

What are Duck Boots?

Duck Boots, also known as Bean Boots, were created by Leon Leonwood Bean, who founded the company L.L. Bean. Bean, who got sick of wet feet during hunting trips, wanted to create a boot that would keep his feet dry while still being ideal for the outdoors. He theorized mixing together two types of boot, combining the rubber sole of a work boot with the leather upper of a casual or hunting boot.

The rubber sole would provide all the necessary protection from the elements, while the leather upper would retain the flexibility and comfort of a regular leather boot. Thus, the Duck Boot was born and became a huge success. Other brands now produce this style of boot, but you can never forget the original waterproof boots.

Related: The 7 Best Two Person Tents

 

A pair of Duck Boots in a puddle of water.

When choosing which hiking boots you should buy, Duck Boots should be considered for their weatherproof design.

 

What makes a good hiking shoe?

If you’re considering Duck Boots for use as a hiking shoe, you should first know what you’re looking for. There are so many elements to consider when searching for the perfect boot, as there is no one size fits all. Different shoes are optimized for different conditions, different situations you might encounter on the trail, so finding the right shoe isn’t an easy task.

Various terrains put different pressures on your shoes during hikes. This is why hiking boots are usually split into three main categories, each optimized for a different sort of hike. Lightweight hiking shoes (trail shoes), which resemble trainers, are essentially reinforced running shoes. They provide some support, but their main purpose is to be light and breathable while still protecting your foot.

These shoes are designed for day hikes, but they’re actually a favorite among long-distance backpackers. A sturdier shoe would provide more support, but trail shoes are a popular choice long-distance as they aren’t as heavy or constricting as other boots, while still providing enough protection to keep your feet safe and happy during a hike. The only downside of trail running shoes is their lack of ankle support, which leaves you at risk of twisted ankles and other injuries.

Related: The Top 10 New Hampshire Camping Sites

 On the other end of the scale are mountaineering boots, designed for terrains which present more of a challenge to traverse. If you’re hiking through rocky territory or icy glaciers, this type of boot provides all the necessary extra protection. They’re much more heavy-duty than hiking shoes, often warmer, water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and provide much more support to your foot.

Backpacking boots make a compromise between the two, as they aim to keep you prepared for any terrain. For multi-day treks, this type of boot is ideal as it’s durable and supportive enough to carry you through most challenges in the backcountry.

The materials used to construct a hiking boot define it, as the wrong fabric can cause so much suffering for your feet. Finding the right combination of waterproofing and breathability, while still being a comfortable shoe, can present a challenge. That’s why we’re going to break down the material considerations you’ll need to remember when deciding is a shoe is right for hiking.

Also read: The 7 Best Louisiana Tent Camping Sites

Full-grain leather is a very durable and versatile material, so many mountaineering boots are made using this fabric. For rigorous hikes which pass through rough terrains, full-grain leather is fully protective while remaining very comfortable. It has excellent waterproof properties, as well as being warm and highly durable. However, in return for this protection, you have to deal with the increased weight of these heavy-duty boots.

You may have heard the saying “one pound on your feet equals five on your back” and this applies to full-grain leather boots. They may not feel too heavy when you try them on, but five miles down the trail you might find yourself wishing for a lighter shoe. Of course, over rough terrain, the valuable protection full-grain leather provides is well worth the weight, but you don’t need such a heavy shoe for casual hikes.

Split grain leather offers reduced protection, but is more breathable than full-grain leather. It’s still a durable material, but it’s less heavy-duty and has reduced water-resistant properties. It’s often used in combination with synthetic materials, creating a compromise between protection and comfort, and this combination is the most common choice for casual hikers.

Read more like this: Top 10 Outdoor TV Antennas for Rural Areas

Various synthetic materials are used in the construction of hiking shoes, such as nylon and polyester. One benefit of synthetic materials is that they are much easier to break in than leather. These shoes feel lighter and also dry faster, but lack the water-resistant properties of leather. Of course, you can improve the water-resistance, but this can affect the breathability. Check out how to waterproof hiking boots for more information.

 

A pair of boots in the grass.

Different hiking boots are better suited for different terrains and it’s best to find a pair of boots that fits your adventure.

 

Also, depending on the type of trekking you do, hiking boots are available in different cuts and heights. Lightweight trail running shoes are often low cut, meaning they end below the ankle. This allows for a wider range of motion but leaves your ankle vulnerable to injury.

Shoes like this are best worn on well-maintained trails, where there’s less risk of trail debris and uneven terrain. Mid-cut boots offer more ankle support and better balance and protection, but the most protective style of boot is high-cut. These boots reinforce your ankle fully and are necessary for off-trail adventures.

Many hiking boots are equipped with devices that provide extra internal support, the purpose of which is to protect both your feet and the soles of your shoes on uneven terrain. One option is shanks, which are 3-5mm thick inserts sandwiched between the midsole and outsole of your boot. These add load-bearing stiffness to hiking boots, which is important to ensure you stay stable and balanced.

Shanks vary in length, some running the whole way down the boot, others just half-way. This feature makes the sole of a hiking boot less flexible, keeping your feet in a mostly flat position.

This may seem counterintuitive balance-wise, but a flexible sole allows your foot to wrap around every root and rock you step on, which can be painful, and tires you out much faster. Having a reinforced sole is a big benefit, but it could make your boot heavier; it all depends on the material the shank is made from.

Related: Top 7 Best Microspikes for Hiking

Some hiking boots feature plates as a form of internal support, which are thin and semi-flexible. These can be used in conjunction with shanks, and they protect your feet from getting bruised by anything you step on.

All hiking boots have rubber outsoles, the part of your boot which spends the most time in contact with the ground. Some have additives such as carbon, which increases the hardness of the material. This is most commonly seen in mountaineering boots for extra durability, but the extra harness of the outsole can mean they feel slick if you go off-trail.

Traction is very important in a hiking boot for obvious reasons, so make sure you get a boot with enough traction to keep you comfortable. If you’re constantly trying not to slip, the increased pressure on your muscles can be painful and even damaging, whereas a boot with a good grip will make your hike so much easier.

Also: 5 Best Pop Up Canopy Tents

So, what makes a good hiking shoe? The ideal footwear for hiking finds the right balance between comfort and protection, and this depends on your own personal hiking preferences. In general, you need a degree of protection from the elements, water resistance, comfort, and breathability. A good hiking boot should protect your foot without hindering your process, and if you make the right choice then your hikes will be so much better for it.

 

A girl hiking in the mountains.

Duck Boots are well-known for their water resistance and ability to be easily cleaned, but are they the best hiking boot option?

 

Are Duck Boots good for hiking?

Duck boots are constructed using a rubber sole and lower shoe, whilst incorporating a full-grain leather upper. This means Duck Boots have excellent water resistance. Full-grain leather is highly waterproof, as is rubber, so with these shoes, you’ll never have to worry about wet feet.

Of course, Bean Boots claim to be the “original antidote to wet feet”, so water resistance is one thing we know they’re good for. A good hiking boot should always be water-resistant, as there’s a high chance of encountering puddles, streams, and other wet terrains when you’re on the trail. There’s also always the possibility of rain, so even if you step around the puddles, your boots always need to have a good degree of water resistance. If there’s one thing Duck Boots are, it’s waterproof.

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L.L. Bean’s Duck Boots use a steel shank for additional support, and this is a great feature for a potential hiking boot. Reducing the flexibility of the sole means more protection for your feet, so this feature of Duck Boots is a big benefit. Remember, this only applies to L.L. Bean’s branded Duck Boots, as there are many other boots of the same style available which might lack this additional internal support.

Duck Boots are known for being very comfortable. Boots are the number one most important piece of equipment for a hiker, and comfort is paramount. If your hiking boots are uncomfortable, it can make you hate every minute you wear them. On the other hand, finding a pair of boots that are comfortable for you is a big first step towards having the right shoe, so regarding comfort, Bean Boots get a pass from us.

Another benefit of Duck Boots is that they’re easy to clean. This isn’t as important as other factors, but after a long hike through muddy and dirty conditions, these boots only need a quick spray from a hosepipe and they’re clean and ready to go.

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We’ve covered the benefits of wearing Bean Boots for hiking, and there are a number of reasons you might think they’re a good choice. Duck Boots are highly waterproof, very comfortable, and feature shanks which are a big help towards stability. However, there are some elements of these shoes which might mean they aren’t the best choice for hiking.

 

A man climbing on rocks.

While Duck Boots offer great water resistance, their ankle support is not the best which may deter some people from using them for longer hikes.

 

Why Duck Boots might not be the best choice

Ankle support is a big deal when it comes to hiking boots; as we explained before it can be the difference between a successful hike and a painful injury. Duck Boots are high cut, meaning they rise above your ankles. This means they do provide some support, but it’s minimal, and ideally, a hiking boot would offer more structure around the ankle. For hikers traversing rough terrain, more protection is needed, as if you miss a step in Duck Boots there isn’t much to save you from injury.

Another important thing to consider is traction. Duck boots are designed specifically to handle wet weather, and they do it very well. If you’re in wet, muddy, slushy or otherwise slippery conditions, Duck Boots are ideal, as they have plenty of traction and grip.

However, mud isn’t the only thing which hiking boots have to put up with. On the trails, the traction Bean Boots provides is considerably reduced compared to hiking boots, the difference is noticeable and unfortunately, the traction on the soles of Duck Boots just isn’t strong enough for any sort of serious hiking.

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The materials from which Duck Boots are made make them excellently waterproof. However, rubber and full-grain leather aren’t the most breathable of materials. Although they may do a good job of not letting in water from the outside, they also keep it in.

The lack of breathability here can be very uncomfortable, leading to hot and sweaty feet. This can cause blisters, and for this reason, we would not recommend them as a hiking shoe. All hikers need waterproof boots, but there are others available which won’t make you suffer.

Blisters are something which all hikers have to deal with at some point, but if your boots aren’t breathable then they’re much more likely and threaten to ruin your hike. The best hiking boots keep your feet dry while staying breathable and comfortable, so don’t make an exception here.

If you’re keen on mountaineering, then your hiking boots need to be crampon compatible, which Duck Boots are not. Crampons help with grip when scaling rocky terrain, so having a boot they work with is necessary for safety reasons.

We have no choice but to conclude that L.L. Bean’s Duck Boots are no good for hiking. Although they are comfortable and highly water-resistant, the lack of extra support and breathability means they aren’t the best hiking boot.

A boot specifically designed for hiking could offer the same level of comfort while giving you much more support on the trails. Hiking boots made from Gore-tex would provide the same level of excellent waterproofing while still maintaining breathability, so there are better options out there.

 

A pair of Duck Boots on a ladder in the snow.

While Duck Boots may not be the best option for hiking, they are still a great overall winter boot.

 

What are Duck Boots good for?

Although we cannot avoid the conclusion that duck boots are no good for hiking, they’re still an excellent outdoor shoe. Bean Boots are ideal for making your way through snow and slush, so we do recommend this style as a general winter boot.

For any outdoor activity in cold weather, these shoes are ideal, as their warmth and waterproofing will keep your feet happy, while their traction is perfect for walking in the snow. Duck Boots are much closer to snow boots or rain boots than they are hiking, so for these weather conditions, we can whole-heartedly recommend these high-quality shoes.

 

Other branded duck boots

L.L. Bean was the original creator of the duck boot, but other brands have made their own version. Sperry offers a shoe called the Watertown Duck Boot, and its design is very similar to the original. Sperry’s version boasts a rubber lug outsole with no-slip traction, which could mean improved grip compared to L.L. Bean’s shoe. However, this is still not a hiking sole, so it’s not ideal for outdoor adventuring.

 

Final Verdict:

So, are Duck Boots good for hiking? The short answer; no. Although Duck Boots make an excellent winter boot, ideal for cold and wet weather, they just aren’t up to the same standard as hiking boots in other areas. The traction Bean Boots provide is optimized for wet conditions, such as snow and slush, but it’s simply not good enough for hiking in the backcountry.

The ankle support is admittedly better than trail running shoes, but more protection is needed if you do anything other than light and easy hikes. For your next hiking trip, Duck Boots aren’t the best choice, even though they’re comfy. If you’re still looking for an outdoor shoe, you might wonder, are Timberlands good for hiking? Read our article on the subject to find out if Timberlands might be the answer you’re looking for.

Bonus tip: To learn more about L.L. Bean’s original legendary boot, check out this interesting video we found below!

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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun Review/The Best Massage Gun for Sports Lovers

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Massage guns have become popular in recent years as a way to help people relax and ease pain. They are especially popular among those who enjoy sports, as the massage guns can help to reduce muscle soreness after a workout resulting in faster recovery and improved performance. 

Some other benefits associated with the use of massage guns include:

 

Increased blood flow– Massage guns can help to improve circulation by increasing blood flow, which helps to reduce inflammation and swelling in the muscles. This is especially important for those who are involved in sports or exercise, as increased blood flow can help to repair damaged tissue faster.

 

Improved flexibility– Massage guns also help to improve flexibility by loosening tight muscles and tendons. This allows the body to move more freely, resulting in improved performance during physical activity.

 

Reduced stress– The massage gun can also help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Massaging the muscles helps to release endorphins, which are hormones that act as natural painkillers. By releasing these endorphins, people can feel less stressed and relaxed after using a massage gun.

 

Relieves pain– Massage guns are great for relieving pain and discomfort, as the vibration helps to loosen tight muscles and release tension. This can help to reduce pain caused by inflammation, arthritis, or other aches and pains.

 

Enhances performance– Massage guns can help to improve performance when it comes to physical activities, as they help to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness. This helps people perform better in their chosen sport or activity.

Why Choose the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun 

It’s well known that massage guns are a great way to relieve tension and soreness after a long day or workout. But with so many different massage guns on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. In this Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun Review, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of this popular massage gun to help you decide if it’s the right one for you.

 

If you are an athlete or just someone looking to soothe sore and aching muscles, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is an ideal choice. This powerful massage gun is designed to provide deep tissue relief through its variety of adjustable speed settings and interchangeable massage heads. The ergonomic design allows for comfortable use during longer sessions, and the lightweight body makes it easy to transport and store. With its powerful motor, the C2 Massage Gun is capable of providing up to 3200 revolutions per minute. With five different intensity levels, this strong force helps to penetrate deep into muscle fibers and provides effective relief from soreness and pain.

 

The Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun is designed to help athletes and active individuals recover faster after strenuous activity. It provides a deep-tissue massage that can reduce soreness, improve flexibility, and increase the range of motion in the body. This massage gun also comes with four interchangeable heads for various massaging techniques including a flat head for larger muscle groups, a round head for deeper tissue work, a U-shape for joint relief, and a conical head for smaller areas like the neck or hands. With this variety of massage heads, the C2 helps to target specific areas of discomfort and provides customized relief.

Conclusion

 

Overall, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable and powerful massage gun that can provide effective relief from muscle soreness after exercise or long days. With its adjustable speed settings and interchangeable massage heads, it is sure to meet your needs. So if you’re an athlete or just someone looking to give their muscles some well-deserved love and attention, the Bob And Brad C2 Massage Gun is a great investment.

 

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Backpacking Gear Reviews & Guides

7 Best Lightweight Tents for Backpacking

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young tourist man holding coffee cup in the tent in morning enjoying the leisure and freedom.

Your tent may be the most important piece of camping gear you pack in your backpack. It will keep you warm and protected from the elements after a long day on the trails. For backpacking, you’ll want to choose a lightweight tent, so we’ve put together our list of the 7 best lightweight tents for backpacking.


Best Lightweight Tents for Backpacking – Winners

Check out our quick recommendations here, or keep scrolling for detailed reviews:


Best Overall Backpacking Tent

1. Nemo Dragonfly Ultralight Backpacking Tent

Quick View Information

  • 05 pounds
  • 80” L x 50” W
  • 1-person

The Nemo Dragonfly Ultralight is a waterproof, lightweight freestanding tent that is roomy, durable, and breathable. For a one-person tent, it has a spacious living area of 20.3 square feet. It has a nylon ripstop canopy that is waterproof and resistant to tears. The tent floor is also waterproof nylon, so you don’t have to worry about the moisture from the wet ground finding its way into your tent.

This solo tent also has plenty of storage on the inside for you to keep your belongings secure and off the ground or away from your living space. For privacy, there is a large white no-see-um mesh interior that will keep you protected from insects while also being breathable. It is also built with strut vents to release humidity from the tent during rain or storms.

It’s easy to set up with color-coded anodized poles that have matching webbing. You can easily set the tent up by yourself on your backpacking trip, and it’s freestanding, so you know it will stay in place once it’s erected.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Roomy and comfortable
  • Lots of storage
  • Waterproof and tear-proof 3-season tent

Cons

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Best Ultralight Backpacking Tent

2. Big Agnes Tiger Wall Ultra Light Tent

Quick View Information

  • 15 pounds
  • 49” W x 86” L x 39” H
  • 1-person capacity

The Big Agnes Tiger Wall Ultra Light 1-person tent is the best ultralight backpacking tent because it weighs just over one pound yet provides UV protection, waterproofing, and durability against all of the elements. When packed down, this solo tent only takes up 17” x 5.5” in your backpack.

It is designed with the Big Agnes Tiplok Buckle design, so it’s easy to set up yourself on your next camping trip. It comes with aluminum Featherlight poles and reflective lines on the tent fabric that make it easy to construct at night.

Just because it’s a one-person tent doesn’t mean it lacks features. It has plenty of storage in the inner tent, just like the Copper Spur model. It has a 3-D elevated storage bin with additional ceiling and door pockets for you to keep electronics and gear close by.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Provides UV protection and waterproofing
  • Lots of storage
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not freestanding

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Best 2-Person Budget Backpacking Tent

3. Nemo Dragonfly Ultralight Backpacking Tent 2-Person


Quick View Information

  • 62 pounds
  • 88” L x 50” W
  • 2-person capacity

Like the 1-person model, the Nemo Dragonfly is a freestanding tent made from the same materials and has the same features, which makes it the best 2-person option on our list. It doesn’t lack any stability, storage, or functionality.

Because it’s a 2-person tent, it has more living area than the 1-person model. There is a total of 29 square feet of living space in the tent. It’s a 3-season tent, so it’s best for warm weather. It has two trapezoid-shaped vestibules that have multiple areas of dry storage.

Like the one-person option, setting up the tent is easy and can be done with one or two people.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Provides UV protection and waterproofing
  • Lots of storage
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not freestanding

View on Amazon >>


Best Winter Backpacking Tent

4. MSR Access Lightweight 4-Season Tent

Quick View Information

  • 06 pounds
  • 130” W x 84” L x 47” H
  • 3-person capacity

The MSR Access Lightweight 4-season tent is the best winter backpacking tent because of how warm the tent will keep you during cold weather conditions. The tent has limited mesh to ensure that heat stays inside the tent and doesn’t escape. Plus, it has Easton Syclone hubbed poles that are resistant to breaking during cold conditions.

The canopy of the tent is made of Xtreme Shield waterproof coating. This is great for all types of precipitation, including snow, sleet, and rain.

While it’s ideal for cold weather, the MSR 4-person hiking tent can also be used in warm weather. One of the best features of this MSR 4-person tent is the rainfly vents. These vents reduce condensation from forming within the tent during warm weather or thunderstorms.

Pros

  • Recommended for all seasons
  • Large living area of 41 square feet
  • 3-year warranty
  • Waterproof and lightweight

Cons

  • Not freestanding

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Best Budget Backpacking Tent

5. Marmot Crane Creek Backpacking

Quick View Information

  • 8 pounds
  • 88” L x 50” W x 43” H
  • 2-person capacity

The Marmot Crane Creek is the best 2-person backpacking tent if you’re a backpacker

 on a budget. If you’re looking for a 2-person tent that won’t break the bank and doesn’t lack any features, then you should consider this option from Marmot.

It has 30 square feet of tent floor space with two large D-shaped doors. Inside, there are two overhead vestibules for quick and functional storage. The canopy is fully waterproof yet breathable during those warm months. It’s a freestanding tent and has a rain fly and stakeouts that make it easy for one person to set up by themselves.

Pros

  • Freestanding
  • Affordable
  • Ample storage
  • Waterproof and lightweight

Cons

  • Slightly heavy at nearly 5 pounds

View on Amazon >>


Best Luxurious Backpacking Tent

6. MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent with Xtreme Waterproof Coating

Quick View Information

  • 3 pounds
  • 144” L x 68” W x 44” H
  • 3-person capacity

MSR makes top-rated tents, and the Mutha Hubba NX 3-person tent is at the top of the list. It is a 3-person, 3-season freestanding tent that uses Easton Syclone poles for reinforcement, especially during cold weather conditions. The canopy is made out of Xtreme Shield Waterproofing that will last three times as long as standard waterproof materials.

For features, the MSR Mutha Hubba NX has a rainfly system, two storage vestibules, and a compression stuff sack for easy packaging and storing.

Once set up, the freestanding tent provides 39 square feet of tent floor space plus 14 square feet of storage vestibule area. It is an extremely durable, waterproof backpacking tent that will only take up 21” x 7” in your backpack.

Pros

  • Freestanding
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Strong poles and structure

Cons

  • Pricey

View on Amazon >>


Best 4-Person Backpacking Tent

7. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 4-Person Tent

Quick View Information

  • 5 pounds
  • 146” W x 96” L x 50” H
  • 4-person capacity

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL is a 4-person freestanding tent with 41 square feet of living space. It is designed with various storage compartments that make it convenient and practical. There is a 3-D storage bin at the foot of the tent that provides storage off the ground. There are media pockets within the tent that are designed so you can route your cords accordingly as they charge.

The tent is designed to be set up quickly and easily by just one person using the Tiplok Buckle technology. The Tiplok Buckle combines three functions into one. It keeps the tent secure, holds the rainfly attachment piece, and keeps the tent grounded with the stakeout loop.

The tent is made of ultralight nylon that is rip-proof and has a polyurethane waterproof coating. When the tent is packed, it takes up 19.5” x 6” in your backpack.

Pros

  • Large living space
  • Waterproof and rip-proof
  • Easy to set up
  • Lots of storage

Cons

  • Heavy

View on Amazon >>


The Best Backpacking Tent Buying Guide

Each backpacking tent feature is important, and what’s important to you may not be as important to someone else. So, you’ll need to ask yourself what features you want most when selecting a backpacking tent for your next camping trip.

Backpacking Tent Weight

You’ll have a lot of gear in your backpack, and your tent will be the one piece of gear that will weigh the most, but that doesn’t mean you need to choose the lightest tent you find. Some lightweight tents are inexpensive but made of cheap material that can rip, unravel, and leak.

While our list includes 7 of the best lightweight tents for backpacking, there are options on the list that are more lightweight than others.

The lightest option on our list is the Big Agnes Tiger Wall Ultra Light Tent. It comes in at weighing just 1.15 pounds. It’s not a freestanding tent which means it is vulnerable to strong winds and weather.

The heaviest option on our list is the MSR Access Lightweight 4-Season Tent, but that’s because it’s a 3-person tent that’s rated for all 4 seasons because of the heavy-duty Xtreme Shield waterproofing exterior. It weighs over 5 pounds, but it will keep you warm in the coldest conditions.

When it comes to the weight of the backpacking tent, you’ll need to put heavy consideration into the time of year that you’ll be backpacking. If you are only backpacking during warmer months or 3 seasons, you can get by with a lighter backpacking tent. However, if you plan to backpack during winter or cold conditions, you’ll want to choose a heavier tent that will keep you warm during those times.

You’ll also need to consider how many occupants will be occupying the tent. A tent made for one person will use less material than a tent made for three or four occupants.

Price and Value

A good quality lightweight backpacking tent can be pricy, but there’s often a good reason behind the price tag. This applies to both affordable tents and expensive tents.

A backpacking tent with a hefty price tag usually means the tent is made of quality materials that make it waterproof, tear-proof, and warm. They also may be UV resistant and keep out moisture while also being breathable.

Affordable backpacking tents often lack this quality. They are often more lightweight, with less protection from the elements. They may have various features like storage bins and a rainfly, but their overall quality may be lacking compared to more expensive options.

Looking at the backpacking tents on our list, the most affordable option is the Marmot Crane Creek backpacking tent. It is less than $150 for a 2-person tent, but it is only best in 3 seasons or warm weather because it lacks insulation and shielding from cold weather.

The most expensive option on our list is the MSR 4-Season Access Lightweight tent because of its durability to stand up against cold weather. It provides warmth, stability, and waterproofing against all the elements. While it provides all the protection you’ll need while backpacking, it costs just under $700.

Interior Space

You’ll want to consider the interior space of the backpacking tent, especially if more than one person will be occupying the tent. 

Interior space includes the living space or tent floor space of the backpacking tent, but there may be storage vestibules inside the tent body that are also calculated to make up the total square footage of interior space.

Don’t get the floor space or sleeping space measurements confused with the total square footage of the tent. You may think you are purchasing a tent with a large sleeping area because of the square footage amount when that total may include storage vestibules in the tent’s design.

A tent with a large interior space will use more material and longer poles, subsequently causing the tent to weigh more. If the weight of the tent is a priority, then you will need to consider how much interior space the tent has. Otherwise, you may inadvertently choose a tent with ample interior space but weighs heavier than you prefer.

Durability

What type of conditions will you be backpacking in? Are you hard on your gear, no matter what it is? These are questions you’ll need to ask yourself when considering which lightweight tent to choose.

The tent can be as durable as you need. In other words, you don’t have to choose the most durable or heavyweight tent if you don’t plan to backpack in harsh conditions where you need as much protection as possible.

Tent durability will come from the materials that are used to make the tent. This includes the poles and stakeouts. If you know you’ll be backpacking in only clear, warm weather, then a lighter option tent should provide plenty of durability and protection. Choosing a lighter option tent will often save you room and weight in your backpack as well.

If you know you’ll be hiking in colder or harsher conditions, or if you know that you are hard on your gear, you’ll want to choose a more heavy-duty option. While this may cost more upfront, it will save you money in the long run as you won’t have to replace your gear as often. You should choose a tent that is not only waterproof, but that is also tear-proof. This will significantly reduce the chance that you ruin your gear.

How the tent is set up will also play a part in its durability. Tents that use stronger poles, stakeouts, and other reinforcements will help your tent withstand windy or rainy conditions, so keep this in mind if you plan to hike in all weather conditions.

Weather Protection

Along the same lines of durability and weight comes weather protection. Weather protection comes in various forms. This includes UV protection, waterproofing, breathability, and thermal resistance.

All the tents on our list offer some form of weather protection. They are all waterproof, but some of them are also tear-proof. This is a great feature to consider if you are hard on your gear or think you will backpack in cold or harsh weather.

You should also consider a backpacking tent that has a rainfly. A rainfly is a part of the tent that is waterproof and will protect the tent from being exposed to the elements. In addition to waterproofing, a rainfly will also provide warmth during cold conditions.

Ventilation

A tent with a good ventilation system will lower humidity and reduce condensation within the tent. You will need a tent with a good ventilation system if you will be backpacking in warm weather or rainy conditions. Both warm weather and rainy conditions will significantly increase the chance of humidity becoming trapped within the tent if there is no ventilation system.

If your tent has a rainfly, you will want to roll the rainfly back to increase ventilation within the tent. While a rainfly is ideal for rainy conditions, it can easily trap moisture inside the tent. When it’s not raining, you will want to roll the rainfly back so that your tent is ventilated, and moisture doesn’t become trapped inside.

Ultralight backpacking tents are usually the most ventilated because they are made of lightweight materials and designed with a mesh liner.

The best backpacking tent for ventilation is the Big Agnes Tiger Wall Ultralight Tent. You can choose between a one-person, two-person, or three-person capacity. It is designed with low vents on the vestibule doors that create airflow from the bottom of the tent.

Double sliders on the vestibule zippers can zip from the top or bottom, increasing the ventilation through the vestibules.

Storage

There are two primary types of storage that backpacking tents offer: elevated storage bins and vestibules. Both of these are important storage features to consider when choosing a lightweight backpacking tent.

Elevated Storage Bins

These are exactly what they sound like. They are storage bins that are elevated off the ground and keep items or gear dry that need to stay dry. You can use elevated storage bins to store various gear like cell phones, flashlights, compasses, and other hiking gear that need to stay safe from the elements.

Elevated storage bins are usually built onto the interior wall of the tent. They are often located in the vestibule of the tent if the tent has vestibules. If not, they will be located in the living area of the tent.

Vestibules

Vestibules are another type of storage area in the tent. This is where you will store your boots, bibs, jackets, or other clothing that you need to keep nearby but out of the way from your living space. Backpacking tents often have two vestibules: one on each side of the living area.

Having two vestibules is ideal if you have more than one occupant. This allows you to have one vestibule and the other person to have the other vestibule. It is easier to keep each occupant’s gear and equipment separate from one another when there are two vestibules. 

Doors

Like vestibules, you may want to consider a lightweight tent that has two doors. This will give each of you individual access to the tent without having to share one door.

Most of the backpacking tents on our list have two doors except for the one-person options. Just keep in mind that when you choose a backpacking tent with more than one door, you will add extra weight to your backpack.

Set-Up and Take Down

There’s a variety of terms you need to familiarize yourself with that relate to setting up and taking down your backpacking tent. Two of those terms are freestanding and non-freestanding, and we will discuss those two terms in detail a little bit later.

Your tent will include poles, pole hubs, and a canopy. It may also include a rainfly that you can place over the tent at either the top or at the entrance of the tent.

Poles and Pole Hubs

The poles of the tent are what will keep the tent upright and erected. They are often made of featherlight aluminum or fiberglass. The tent poles may be telescopic or folded down for easy storage.

The poles may have color-coding as well to help you know which tent corner goes with which pole or pole hub.

Pole hubs are one central location where multiple poles will connect. Pole hubs make setting up and taking down the tent extremely easy.

Canopy

The canopy is the actual tent fabric that will protect you from the elements. The canopy will attach to the poles of the tent and may be secured using pole clips if necessary.

Rainfly

You can also attach a rainfly to your tent to help reduce moisture from becoming trapped inside the tent. If you are attaching a rainfly to the top of your tent, make sure you leave a little space between the vent at the top of the tent and the rainfly itself. Also, keep the rainfly pulled tightly so that the rain easily rolls off the rainfly and stays out of your tent.

You can also attach a rainfly above the door of your tent to keep you dry when you go in and out of the tent. The rainfly is easy to attach, but it will add a little extra time when setting up and taking down your tent.

Freestanding and Non-Freestanding Tents

A freestanding tent does not require stakes with guylines to keep the tent secure. Most of the options on our list are freestanding tents because they are perfect for backpacking. While backpacking, you may be limited to the type of terrain you need to set up camp. Having a freestanding tent makes it easy to set up your tent virtually anywhere.

Because freestanding tents don’t require stakes and guylines to keep the tent in place, they come with heavy poles that will keep the tent grounded during wind, rain, or snow. While this makes it easy to set up the tent and move it to another location, it also adds weight to your backpack.

Tent Poles and Stakes

As mentioned above, tent poles are the part of the backpacking tent that will keep the tent secure when it’s erected.

Stakes are what the guylines of the tent or rainfly will attach to. If you’re using a non-freestanding tent, then the tent will include stakes and guylines to keep the tent securely in the ground.

Tents that use stakes to keep the tent in place will take a little longer to set up. You’ll also be limited on where you can set up your tent when using tent stakes for your non-freestanding tent. You will need to find an area while backpacking that the tent stakes can easily secure to, such as soft and level ground.

If you prefer a lightweight tent and don’t mind taking a little extra time to stake your tent into the ground, you should choose the Big Agnes Tiger Wall Ultra Light Tent. It’s non-freestanding and uses tent stakes to secure the tent into the ground.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a 3-season tent and a 4-season tent?

A 3-season tent is only recommended for use in three seasons (spring, summer, and fall). Three-season tents aren’t recommended for winter or cold weather because they aren’t made of thermal-resistant material that will hold in the warmth the way 4-season tents do.

A 4-season tent can be used in all seasons but especially in winter or cold conditions. Four-season tents can also withstand wintry precipitation while keeping you warm.

What tent material is the best?

The tents on our list are nylon or polyester. Nylon offers great UV protection but not as much waterproofing, warmth, or durability. At a side-by-side glance, nylon is the tougher of the two materials. Ripstop tents are also made of nylon which is what makes them resistant to rips and tears.

When choosing an affordable tent, it will likely be made of polyester, so keep this in mind if you consider price over quality or durability.

Do I need a waterproof tent?

A waterproof tent is always a good idea, even if you don’t plan to backpack in the rain. (Who really plans to backpack in the rain anyway?) A waterproof tent will keep you dry and warm during those times when rain may be unavoidable.

Most of the tents on our list are waterproof. It’s extremely common in tent materials that it has become almost a standard feature on backpacking tents. However, if you know that you want to be protected from precipitation while in your camping tent, you’ll want to make sure your tent is waterproof.

Tent vs bivy sack? Which is the best?

We have already covered various tent options for two people or a solo hiker, but some people may want to learn more about the bivy sack if they aren’t interested in putting a tent up on their camping trip.

A bivy sack is often compared to a light rain shell jacket. It is like a sleeping bag but offers more warmth and holds more heat than a camping tent. It is considered a minimalist shelter option often used by backpackers, hikers, and mountain climbers. The main difference is the bivy sack is used primarily for sleep while a tent, if big enough, can be used for other activities.


Final Thoughts

A lightweight tent for backpacking is important because it will limit the amount of weight you add to your pack, which will help you save your back while hiking the trails.

Just because a camping tent is lightweight doesn’t mean it is cheaply made. There are many backpacking tents on our list that are affordable but durable. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself during what seasons and what weather conditions you will be backpacking.

If you know you’ll be backpacking in the winter, you’ll need to choose a 4-seasons camping tent so that you stay as warm and as dry as possible. While this may cost a little more upfront and be slightly heavier than some other options, you won’t have to worry about freezing at night during cold conditions.

At the same time, if you will be backpacking in the summer or warm weather, you’ll want to choose a breathable, lightweight tent so that moisture from humidity doesn’t get trapped in the tent.

Finally, keep in mind that a tent with two, three, or four-person occupancy will take up more room in your backpack. If space in your backpack is limited, you may want to choose a tent with smaller interior space as opposed to a tent with large interior space.

More interior space means more materials, and more materials typically mean more weight. If the interior space and weight of the tent are at the top of your list, you should consider choosing a smaller tent with an ultralight design.

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