As the summer trade show season begins, the battle for the lightest tent in the world heats up. On display at the Outdoor Show in Germany this weekend will be tents from Nordisk, Big Sky, and Terra Nova that all come in at 490 grams or under. These ultralight tents are targeted to thru-hikers and bikepackers who want the lightest weight kit and the smallest pack size.
The Terra Nova Laser Pulse Ultra 1 (pictured top) and Laser Pulse 1 are both 3-season, double-wall tents weighing in at 490 grams and 545 grams respectively for packed weights. If you strip them down to their minimum weights (fly, canopy, and main pole), the come in at and 450 grams and 485 grams respectively.
Weight has been trimmed by using a 7 denier flysheet fabric for the Laser Pulse 1 and an the brand’s even lighter ULTRA fabric for the Ultra version. Both tents pack down to less than a foot long so will easily stow in a bike bag or small backpack.
The Nordisk Lofoten weighs only 490 grams (race weight) for the one-person version (it’s also available in a 2-person version). The whole tent packs into it’s own inside pocket down to a size of 11 x 22 cm or roughly 4 x 9 inches The Lofoten is a double-wall tent with both a durable and weather-resistant fly and a breathable, well ventilated canopy.
And finally, Jackson based Big Sky is coming out with a 1.5-person version of their popular Wisp that weighs just 450 grams. The Wisp is a single-wall tent with covered vestibule and the 1.5-person version will still require one trekking pole to pitch, though it will offer a bit more room.
I’ll be on the lookout at the shows over the next few weeks for even more ultralight tents to challenge these contenders for the lightest tent in the world.