Slingfin tent reviews

Backpackers camped in the backcountry of Wyoming's Wind River Range.

The 10 Best Backpacking Tents of 2024

By Michael Lanza

A good backpacking tent not only makes your trips more comfortable by keeping you warm and dry in foul weather—it’s critical safety gear and one of the heaviest and most expensive items you’ll carry. Those facts alone are motivation enough to find the right tent for your style of backpacking. But how do you choose from the many models out there, which come in a huge range of designs, weights, and prices? Whether you’re shopping for your first backpacking shelter or looking to replace an old one, this review will help make that choice easy for you.

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Backpackers hiking past a tarn off the Highline Trail (CDT) in Wyoming's Wind River Range.

The Best Backpacking Gear of 2024

By Michael Lanza

Glacier National Park. The Wind River Range. The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. Iceland. The John Muir Trail, Wonderland Trail, and Teton Crest Trail. Yosemite. The Grand Canyon. Yellowstone. Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. Southern Utah’s Escalante canyons. The North Cascades and Pasayten Wilderness. The High Uintas Wilderness. The Tour du Mont Blanc. These are just some of the numerous places where I’ve tested the backpacking gear and apparel reviewed at The Big Outside—so that I can give you honest and thorough, field-tested opinions that help you find the best gear for your adventures.

And that’s exactly how I came up with these picks for today’s best backpacking gear.

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A backpacker at Evolution Lake on the John Muir Trail in Evolution Basin, Kings Canyon National Park.

The Best Backpacking Gear for the John Muir Trail

By Michael Lanza

So you’re planning to thru-hike the John Muir Trail and making all of the necessary preparations, and now you’re wondering: What’s the best gear for a JMT hike? Having thru-hiked the JMT as well as taken numerous other backpacking trips all over the High Sierra—mostly between late August and late September, which I consider that the best time to walk the Sierra, to avoid snow and the voracious mosquitoes and blazing hot afternoons of mid-summer—I offer the following picks for the best lightweight backpacking gear and apparel for a JMT thru-hike.

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The SlingFin Hotbox tent.

Review: SlingFin Hotbox Four-Season Tent

Ultralight Alpine/Four-Season Tent
SlingFin Hotbox
$650, 3 lbs. 9 oz.
slingfin.com

Through three cold December nights camped at over 8,000 feet in Idaho’s Boulder Mountains, snow fell hard enough that I had to dig this tent out a few times. All that cold, white smoke was great for two reasons: the backcountry skiing my kids and I did—and testing the Hotbox, SlingFin’s answer to the challenge of creating a lightweight tent built for alpine climbing and other four-season adventures.

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Slingfin 2Lite ultralight backpacking tent.

Review: SlingFin 2Lite Ultralight Backpacking Tent

Ultralight Backpacking Tent
SlingFin 2Lite
$505 (includes seam sealing; $30 less to order without seam sealing and do that yourself)
2 lbs. 10 oz. for the 2Lite, 2 lbs. 6 oz./1191g for the 2Lite Trek
SlingFin.com

Backpackers seeking an ultralight, two-person tent with decent space and solid performance in a range of backcountry circumstances actually have several good choices these days—including six of my 10 picks for the best backpacking tents. And yet, there are many reasons they should consider the 2Lite from SlingFin, as I concluded by the first night of a long hike through the High Sierra in August, when strong gusts pounded our camp at nearly 10,000 feet all night.

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