How We Tested Backpacking Tents

By:
Jessica Haist
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Thursday

We have tested a wide range of backpacking tents over a multi-year period, and are continually updating this review and testing new tents. We have traveled and camped all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, Turkey, India, and Nepal using these shelters. We took tents on the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, John Muir Trail, in Alaska's Brooks Range, and everywhere in between. We slept through torrential downpours, high winds, snow, sleet, hail the size of nickels, and sandstorms. We hiked ultra-fast and ultralight with some tents and, with others, we camped from our cars and loaded our gear on horses and mules in the most luxurious style. Every single tent was personally weighed, pitched, staked, and slept in multiple times. More than 50 people tested tents and contributed valuable feedback for this review.

The Mountainsmith Morrison 2 (back) and the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 hanging out below Mount Whitney during out field testing.
The Mountainsmith Morrison 2 (back) and the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 hanging out below Mount Whitney during out field testing.
 

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    Unbiased.