Finding the right gear can be a daunting experience. So many websites telling you what the “BEST" is. We will NEVER list gear that we do NOT recommend or have used ourselves. Clickbate isn’t our style. Instead we use over 20 years of field experience as our guide to list gear we love and want to share with our Outdoor Community.
Our top suggestion for a versatile newbie and pro backpacking Tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1 & UL2
Big Agnes is tried and true. They also have a good return policy. Since most are sold at REI. We rate this as a piece of our “go to gear" since the ease of setup and it’s ligtweight. However for 2 people and 2 dogs. It’s gonna be a very tight fit. We like the UL3 size for a bit more room when backpacking in pairs.
Excellent balance between weight and features, many storage pockets, large vestibules. A exceptional choice for both front and backcountry adventures. Another tent to easily set up. Durable and will last awhile.
The MoTrail is a two-person version of the ProTrail. It offers 44% more floor space and noticeably more headroom than the ProTrail and easily fits two wide, long pads. At just over 1 lb / person, the MoTrail’s fast set-up, bug and weather protection, and packability make it a great ultralight companion for weekenders and thruhikers alike. We have personally used this tent at over 12,000 feet in a hail storm and it passed the mustard test.
This an excellent choice for beginners and backpackers on a budget. They’re durable, well built, spacious, and very comfortable. The main downside with tents like these is they tend to be bulky and heavy for tough backpacking trips. Split the weight between 2 hikers and it’s not bad at all. The bonus. Pitch the rainfly by itself and use it as a tarp. Good practice to when to convert to tarp tenting.
Our Suggestion for TARPS
We love the Equinox 10×12 Tarp It’s durable and can be pitched multiple ways, It has no ground floor. Use 2 hiking poles and and a 50 foot nylon cord and you will have panoramic views. This has been our sleep system for years and it’s one of the pieces of gear we love the most.
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