Trekking pole tents are the ultimate lightweight go-to solution for serious backpackers due to their less load and ability to carry all essential items for trekking. These tents utilize hiking poles rather than tent poles which act as a weight-saving option for ultralight backpacking.

There are many aspects to look out for before getting a trekking pole tent. Read below to find out everything about trekking pole tents and decide what suits you the best.

Characteristics Of Trekking Pole Tents

trekking pole tent

The best trekking pole tents are a perfect multi-use gear item to include in your backpacking. However, it greatly depends on what type of hiking you prefer. These multi-use lightweight tents are one of the main aspects of ultra-light packing and are convenient for long-distance hiking.

So how good are these trekking tents? Well, it depends on what factors you value most and the type of hiking you plan to do.

Let’s look at some of the characteristics of a trekking tent to help you decide whether it is the right choice for you on your next hiking journey.


Generally, the best trekking pole tents are similar to freestanding tents in durability. They are created with similar materials as freestanding tents, typically nylon or silicone-coated polyester, which are both weatherproof and waterproof.

These lightweight tents offer excellent longevity and do not utilize a shock cord, which tends to wear down over time. Although your trekking poles can also break off, you can easily replace them without the extra costs of changing the tent. This allows the best trekking pole tents to last longer and provide a better experience.

Light Weight

The best ultralight tents for trekking, short or long distances, can significantly lighten your load. It is an essential item to pack for many trekkers, especially for long trekking journeys, and hence can eliminate up to 8 ounces or more weight from your packing.

Plus, you will not need to carry a freestanding tent; you can easily store your tent in a more compact space.

Space Saving

Opting for the best ultralight tents eliminates the need to strap huge or bulky tents out of your backpack. Instead, you can stuff your tent in any space of your bag.

It saves you a lot of space and removes the discomfort you may experience from an unbalanced or bulky backpack.

Protection From Harsh Weather

Trekking tents utilize coated poly or essential materials that perform best in severe weather conditions. Plus, these tents are also rated for every season.

As a result, it is beneficial for you to consider the tent that complements the weather condition of the location you will be trekking to avoid the dangers of being unprotected during harsh weather conditions.

Downsides Of Trekking Pole Tents

trekking pole tent

Although a trekking tent is the best ultralight tent and an excellent choice for many, they do possess some downsides due to its lightweight design, which may require you to compromise on comfort and some utility.

Not Freestanding

Trekking tents require you to stake it to smooth or level ground, meaning you need ground where you can easily drive the stakes or the poles to support your tent.

For instance, grounds that include soft materials such as clay or dirt are perfect. You will need help if you come across rocky grounds, loose sand, or another space where staking the tent will be difficult.

Living Space

Unluckily, trekking tents provide less space instead of freestanding tents. You will find headroom under the poles.

However, you will face roof angles on the sides because of the stakes and guylines. Compared to double pole tents, trekking tents lack headroom space.


Unlike a freestanding tent, you cannot simply pick up the tent conveniently and move it around. Instead, trekking tents require taking down all components if you wish to move the tent. Setting and moving a trekking tent is the most tiresome part of trekking, especially after a long hard day on the trail.


Though trekking tents are strong and sturdy, their lightweight design has shortcomings. They specifically depend on the tension and stakes to keep up their shape.

In other words, every other part of these tents depends on each other for stability. If a particular piece of these tents wears off, the whole tent will go down. At the same time, a freestanding tent does not break altogether if one specific component collapses.

Carbon Fiber Tent Poles Vs. Aluminum Tent Poles

trekking pole tent

Which type of pole tent is excellent for your trekking experience? Carbon fiber pole tents and aluminum pole tents are both great for trekking.

However, they possess some advantages and disadvantages based on the type, cost, and trekking location. For example, carbon fiber tent poles are lightweight compared to other tents.

Below is a comparison of both materials. It is best to weigh the pros and cons before investing in one.

Highlights Of Carbon Fiber Pole Tents

  • They are stronger and hefty.
  • The carbon fiber tent poles do not collapse if a component breaks from them.

Drawbacks Of Carbon Fiber Pole Tents

  • They are expensive.
  • They can wear off quickly with repeated use due to their soft materials.

Highlights Of Aluminum Tent Poles

  • They are relatively cheaper than carbon fiber poles.
  • They are flexible and light weight tents.

Drawbacks Of Aluminum Tent Poles

trekking pole tent

  • These light weight tents can easily deform.
  • Poles are heavier compared to carbon fiber tent poles.

Whether you need to consider a trekking pole tent depends on your preferences for your trekking journey. This is because you can better inspect what shelter will suit you according to your location and comfort level. Trekking poles are also an excellent choice for many people due to their lightweight backpacking experience.

They are simple and light weight tents, a great alternative to huge or bulky tents such as freestanding ones. Plus, their multi-use gear also offers efficiency and convenience.

However, keep in mind that trekking pole tents have some downsides as they are not so strong or easy to set up compared to a freestanding tent.

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