When you’re outdoors, your tent is your home away from home. With so many options available, it can be difficult to work out which model is right for you. When looking at tents, you’re sure to encounter a massive range in weights, sizes, features, and prices.

We’ve put together this guide to help you find the right tent based on the trips you’re planning for and the types of adventures you anticipate going on. Whether you’re just dipping your toe into overnight hiking, taking on week-long treks, zipping out on fast and light adventures, or strapping on snow shoes in the high alpine, the right tent will keep you sheltered without weighing you down.

Photograph: Lachlan Gardiner

Weekends Away

Want to get on the trail for weekend trips without breaking the bank or skimping on comfort? There are some great options out there! While heavier tents are usually the most affordable option for shorter hikes, try to limit your tent weight to 2kg per person to keep your pack load manageable.

The Marmot Tungsten (available in 1 Person, 2P, and 3P models) is our pick for weekend hikes. Tungstens are easy to set up, durably built, and pretty reasonable in terms of weight. At 2.8kg for the 3P version, two hikers could split this affordable backcountry palace and still be carrying less than 1.5kg each. The Tungsten also comes with a footprint for protection against sodden ground and sharp debris.

Marmot Tungsten 2P

Extended Trips or Frequent Use

If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, taking on longer trips, or heading into seriously soggy conditions, you should consider investing in a high-quality, lightweight tent.

At under 2kg, we haven’t been able to find a more durable or more weather-proof tent than the Mont Moondance 2P. With a tidy packed size, 10,000mm-rated floor (meaning it will pretty much float downstream before it leaks), and comfortable dome construction, the Moondance is pretty much the perfect tent for serious hikers.

If you’re looking to fit a third person, or just want the space to be able to stretch out a bit more, the Moondance EX adds an extra 50cm of floor space to the model.

Mont Moondance 2P

Fast and Light

If you want to cut your base weight to a minimum for fast and light hiking or bikepacking, you’ll need an ultralight tent. At bang on 1kg, the Nemo Hornet is about as light as you can get for a free-standing, full-featured tent. The material is light so if you’ll be camping in wet conditions, make sure to grab a footprint before heading out.

The Hornet does tend to be pretty squishy, so solo hikers might want to bump up to the 2P model, while couples might spring for the Dragonfly which has the same lightweight construction with a little more usable space.

You can deep dive into more detail about the Hornet here.

Photograph: Lachlan Gardiner

Alpine Adventure

If you’re in serious snow, you will most likely need a dedicated, 4 season alpine tent. These models are designed to withstand high winds and heavy snowfall and often have large sheltered vestibules for cooking during stormy conditions.

Alpine tents are designed for portability but are heavier than ultralight hiking tents due to their sturdy construction. Many alpine tents like the Wilderness Equipment Second Arrow or Mont Epoch are tunnel-shaped for increased snow-bearing capacity. 

Mont Epoch 2P

Whether you’re catching a few hours sleep before an early start or settling in for a night of cards and some hot chocolate, your tent is your shelter from the elements. Knowing what kind of trips you’re taking will help you find the tent that’s right for your adventure, the conditions, and your budget.

For a hands-on look at all our tent options, swing into your local Paddy’s store today!

#ExperienceIsEverything | #PaddyPallin

About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

One Response

  1. Dori

    Great information! One thing I also consider when looking for a tent is the liveability. If you are a tall person, headroom and length are quite important features to look at. Great content blog! 😀


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