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First test: Coleman Caucasus 2 (2014)

£170.00

As the price of super-lightweight backpacking tents continues to rise beyond the budgets of many people, the ability of lower-priced tent manufacturers to come up with well-designed products is coming under the spotlight. Coleman has released a range of backpacking tents with prices from £130 to £200, which is around half the cash being demanded by the superlight manufacturers. But ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Hilleberg Akto (2014)

£490.00

The Hilleberg Akto is a very well-established solo backpacking workhorse. At 1661g it is twice the weight of some superlight tents but you’re getting so much more here than the lighter tents can offer. The general design is similar to other tents, with a single pole being slipped through a sleeve on the outer while four in-situ vertical poles at ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Nordisk Telemark 1 ULW (2014)

£360.00

This is the Ultra Light Weight (ULW) version of the standard Nordisk Lightweight (LW) Telemark. It is supplied with carbon poles rather than the aluminium poles found on the LW version to save 60g but is £40 higher in price. The ULW weighed 834g on the Trail scales, although the manufacturer states it should weigh 770g. Pitching is very quick ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Terra Nova Laser Photon 1 (2014)

£390.00

The Laser’s design has become the benchmark for lightweight tents, and the Photon 1 is just one of many variations available. It weighs 805g, making it one of the lightest one-person tents around. There is one alloy pole to fit, while a pair of vertical poles at each end are pre-fitted. However, I’ve always found this tent a little messy ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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MSR Hubba NX (2014)

£300.00

The MSR Hubba NX is a huge one-person tent that’s ideal for multi-day use when that extra living space will be really appreciated. The tent is pitched inner-first with interconnected poles forming a frame from which the inner is suspended; the fly then goes over the top. Pitching is exceptionally easy, thanks to ladder-lock webbing buckles and limited need for ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Marmot Pulsar 1P (2014)

£250.00

The Marmot Pulsar 1P offers an incredible amount of space for one person. It is pitched inner-first with the pole assembly clipping to the inner, over which the flysheet is draped. This is all very easily achieved, with ladder-lock adjusters and colour-coded tape making the task even simpler. The structure only needs a couple of pegs to keep it on ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vaude Lizard GUL 1P (2014)

£550.00

If you rank minimal weight as your number one priority then the Vaude Lizard GUL 1P  is the tent for you. At just 740g including stuffsacks, pegs and poles, it’s half the weight of some in our test so it won’t weigh you down when backpacking. It features carbon poles and a unique pole configuration. There’s a short pole at ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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The North Face Mica FL 1 (2014)

£310.00

The North Face’s Mica FL 1 pitches inner-first with a single interconnected pole forming a frame from which the inner is suspended. The fly then goes over the top and the pitching is all completed very easily thanks to ladder-lock adjusters and colour coding on the webbing. It’s instantly noticeable how stable this tent is compared with other one-person tents, ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vaude Taurus Ultralight (2014)

£300.00

The Vaude Taurus Ultralight is an extremely well-established tent that’s been reviewed many times in Trail and never fails to impress. It weighs in at a very respectable 1858g, which is lighter than some higher-priced tents. It pitches extremely easily outer-first with two poles being slipped through mesh sleeves and ladder-lock webbing adjusters around the edges allowing a taut pitch ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Hilleberg Anjan 2 (2014)

£575.00

The Anjan is based on the hugely popular Hilleberg Nallo, with the difference being the use of a lighter-weight Kerlon 1000 fabric, which reduces tent weight. The Anjan comes in at 1781g and is designed for snow-free conditions. The tent is pitched outer- first to keep the inner dry during damp conditions. The poles slip through sleeves around the outside ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Lightwave T20 Trail (2014)

£330.00

Designed as a 4-season tent, the Lightwave T20 Trail weighs in at 2519g, which is slightly heavy compared to some higher-priced options, but it has many advantages over similar designs. Firstly, it can be pitched outer-first or inner -first, making it suitable for a wide range of conditions. It comes with 12 standard pegs, plus four corkscrew pegs, so it ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Hardwear Super Mega UL2 (2014)

£400.00

The Super Mega UL2 – Mountain Hardwear’s lightest two-person backpacking tent – tips the scales at 1176g, although its packed size is longer than most at 56x13cm, due to the pole system, which features longer poles than other designs. They’re all linked together like a giant skeleton that attaches to the inner tent when pitching, so the inner may get ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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MSR Hubba Hubba NX (2014)

£335.00

This is the latest version of the classic MSR Hubba Hubba. The NX (Next Generation) uses lighter materials with a weight of just 1795g, which becomes even more remarkable when you consider it has a huge porch and entrance on each side. It pitches inner-first, so the inner may get wet if pitched in the rain, with a skeleton of ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Vango Helium Carbon 200 (2014)

£440.00

The Helium Carbon is Vango’s lightest two-person tent, weighing just 1061g. It features Yunan Carbon X-Lite poles, which Vango says are 48 per cent lighter than alloy poles, and titanium wire pegs. It also packs down extremely small. The tent is pitched with the main pole sliding through a transverse sleeve, and there’s a vertical pole at the head and ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Terra Nova Polar Lite 2 Micro (2014)

£350.00

Many lightweight tents lose out in terms of stability and durability, but the Terra Nova Polar Lite 2 Micro is specifically designed to withstand severe environments that include snow conditions. It weighs 2039g and packs down to a shorter size than similar tents. It pitches outer-first, with the three alloy poles slipping through sleeves around the outside of the flysheet. ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Jack Wolfskin Exolight II (2014)

£400.00

The Jack Wolfskin Exolight II has a huge amount of living space for its weight of just 1986g. All the extra space comes from the extremely creative use of the pole system. The poles are shock-corded together and form an external skeleton from which the flysheet is attached, with the inner already attached to the flysheet, or added afterwards to keep ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Fjällräven Singi Lightweight 2 (2014)

£440.00

The Fjällräven Singi Lightweight 2  is a simplified version of the Fjällräven Abisko, as it uses the same materials but has a standard porch rather than the extended porch of the Abisko. The Singi Lightweight is designed for spring, summer and autumn use and weighs in at 2206g. This is slightly heavier than other similar designs but it does have ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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First test: Kelty TraiLogic Collection - TN2 tent (2014)

£270.00

The TraiLogic Collection consists of four individual products: a rucksack, tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat. What sets Kelty’s new range apart from other manufacturers, though, is that while the products can be purchased and used separately, each has been specially designed to work with the others as part of an integrated system. It’s not an entirely original concept. When ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 4
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Terra Nova Jupiter (2013)

£270.00

There’s a lot to be said for simplicity, and the single-hooped bivvy is a classic of design in the outdoor kit world. The British-made Terra Nova Jupiter – one of the more venerable designs in the bivvy world – is designed to be a no-fuss, super-quick shelter for backpackers. It’s made of premium Gore-Tex FLO2, which accounts for the big ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Mountain Equipment Borealis Bivi (2013)

£190.00

A traditional style of bivvy bag made largely from Gore-Tex Starlite – hence the price – the Mountain Equipment Borealis Bivi offers high levels of waterproofing and breathability in a compact package that can be washed (in pure soap) to keep its performance high. It’s pretty much even stevens on the weight and pack size stakes with the Rab Storm ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Snugpak Stratosphere (2013)

£120.00

A big turn-off when it comes to bivvy bags is the feeling of claustrophobia – understandable when many are akin to only slightly more respiration-friendly body bags. The Snugpak Stratosphere sidesteps this by featuring two poles around the head area, which make things within much airier. Not only that, but beneath the rainflap at the back is an open vent ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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PHD Sleeping Bag Cover (2013)

£80.00

Not strictly designed to be used outdoors – that is, outside of a more structured shelter or at the very least a tarp – the PHD Sleeping Bag Cover will at just 165g nonetheless appeal to minimalists who are happy to save weight and tolerate a certain lack of, how shall we say, finesse. This is a quality product (everything ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Rab Storm Bivi (2013)

£70.00

Made of heavy-duty nylon and in the arresting colour of emergencies, the Rab Storm Bivi is designed to offer the compact protection of, say, the £190 Mountain Equipment Borealis but at a price that doesn’t break the bank. It’s made from proprietary fabric Hyperlite, which is waterproof, breathable and pretty robust with it. It won’t hit the same performance levels ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Blizzard Survival Bag (2013)

£32.00

The Blizzard Survival Bag arrives vacuum-packed into a square the size of a thick sandwich; but don’t take it out expecting to get it back to that size again,’cos it ain’t gonna happen. For this reason, you’re far cleverer leaving it packed up until you actually need to use it, which is hopefully never. As this suggests, the Blizzard Survival ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 5
  • Owners' rating rating is 0
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Terra Nova Bivvy Tarp (2013)

£200.00

Most tarps are a simple square of fabric with no protection against midges, but the Terra Nova Bivvy Tarp benefits from a mesh inner tent, making it more of a hybrid bivvy-tent-tarp design as its name suggests. The inner and tarp fly come preassembled so you just need to fit the two supplied poles and peg out the guy lines ...

  • LFTO.com rating rating is 0
  • Owners' rating rating is 0

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