Best Backpacking Tent Awards announced by


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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 31, 2011 - 04:51pm PT
Here is a review we released over at OutdoorGearLab... please check it out. And if you want to comment on the reviews, please just click on the gear tab up top. Thanks!

Best Backpacking Tent Review announced by for Editor’s Choice, Best Buy and Top Picks.

August 31, 2011

CHEYENNE, WY— revealed today the results of the 2011 Editors’ Choice Awards for the backpacking tent category, listing this year’s best and best value for 3 season tents. The OutdoorGearLab Review Editors chose the following winners after extensive field testing and road trips in the High Sierra, Southeast Utah and The Cascades. Each tent underwent extensive side by side tests to evaluate key performance metrics such as ease of set-up, versatility, livability, packed size, strength, quality, and value. View the complete backpacking tent review

The winners are:Black Diamond Mesa – winner of the Editor's Choice Award for 2011 for backpacking tent. According to Gear Editor Max Neale, "The Black Diamond Mesa represents an excellent balance between strength, weight, and comfort in a backpacking tent. It’s our favorite all-purpose three-season tent; if we were to have just one tent it would be this one. The Mesa has been an award winner since its inception in 2007."

REI Half Dome 2 - winner of the Best Buy award for 2011. This award is given to a product that balances an extremely high score in our tests and a very reasonable price. According to Max Neale, "The REI Half Dome 2 tent is a well-designed, strong, and comfortable backpacing tent. The Half Dome’s best attribute is its absurdly low price- only $180- which makes it the unquestionable winner of our Best Buy Award. It continues to impress, however, with good quality poles, fabrics, a spacious interior, and an efficient and easy to setup pole design. The Half Dome is also stronger than most other tents reviewed here; it’s plenty capable of handling gusty winds and torrential downpours."

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 - winner of the Top Pick award for 2011 for Best Lightweight Backpacking Tent. This award is given to a product that excels at a specific application. According to Max Neale, "The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 tent is an aggressive looking and high performing ultralight backpacking tent. It barely tips the scales at 2lb 10oz packed weight, making it one of the lightest self-supporting tents in the world. This is our favorite tent for three-season multi-day trips."

Credit: Chris McNamara

Trad climber
Aug 31, 2011 - 05:21pm PT
fact: Max Neil needs cue cards. Badly.

Trad climber
Bay Area
Aug 31, 2011 - 06:21pm PT
What happened to the User Comments section?
Why no BD MegaLight?
John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
Aug 31, 2011 - 07:33pm PT
Oh... gotta love the Megalight :-)

Gym climber
Provo, UT
Mar 27, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
I was hoping you guys could give me some advice on what the best tent for camping is. I don't need a huge one because we'll probably only be sleeping about 5 people at the most but usually only 3. I was looking around online and I found this site and I'm considering the coleman sundome 4-person tent that I saw on the site. I know I've heard of coleman brands with other outdoor stuff so I feel like it's a pretty trusted brand? Anyways, just looking for some help on what brand tents are the best and suggestions if coleman isn't the way to go. Thanks.

The Granite State.
Mar 27, 2013 - 05:55pm PT
Camping or backpacking?
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 27, 2013 - 06:37pm PT
Here is our Camping Tent Review. Our backpacking tent review was massively updated since the video posted above. You can see it here Backpacking Tent Review

Mar 27, 2013 - 06:42pm PT
I wish they hadn't updated the HalfDome. The current design is good, but the original was much more durable and easier to set up. It was more prone to folding in high winds unless properly guyed out, but had fewer issues with zippers and tearing where the crossmember of the current model meets the fly.
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