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The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Perfect Tent for an Appalachian Trail Thru Hike

When it comes to choosing the perfect tent for an Appalachian Trail (AT) thru hike, there are several factors to consider. The right tent can make or break your experience on this iconic trail. Here, we will explore the key features to look for in a tent and provide you with the top options to consider for your AT thru hike.

What are the Key Features to Look for in a Tent?

When searching for the best tent for an AT thru hike, there are a few essential features to prioritize:

1. Lightweight: As you’ll be carrying your tent for miles on end, you’ll want a lightweight option that won’t weigh you down.

2. Durability: The AT can present challenging terrains and weather conditions, so a tent that’s built to last is crucial.

3. Weather Resistance: Look for a tent that offers excellent rainfly coverage, high waterproof ratings, and strong wind resistance. The weather on the AT can be unpredictable, so your tent should be able to withstand various conditions.

4. Easy Setup: When you’re tired after a long day of hiking, you’ll appreciate a tent that can be set up quickly and easily, allowing you to rest and recover.

Top Tent Options for AT Thru Hikes

1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2: This ultralight tent weighs just under three pounds, making it an ideal choice for weight-conscious hikers. It offers excellent weather protection, ample interior space, and a freestanding design that is easy to set up.

2. Nemo Hornet Elite 2: Weighing only two pounds, the Nemo Hornet Elite 2 is incredibly lightweight without compromising on durability or weather resistance. It has two doors and vestibules, providing convenient access and storage options.

3. MSR Hubba Hubba NX: This popular two-person tent strikes a good balance between weight and spaciousness, making it suitable for long-distance hikes. It is known for its exceptional durability, ease of setup, and reliable rainfly coverage.

4. ZPacks Duplex: The ZPacks Duplex is a top choice for thru hikers seeking maximum weight savings. Weighing just under one pound, this trekking pole-supported tent offers ultralight performance while still providing sufficient shelter from the elements.


When deciding on the best tent for an AT thru hike, it’s important to prioritize factors such as lightweight design, durability, weather resistance, and ease of setup. The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2, Nemo Hornet Elite 2, MSR Hubba Hubba NX, and ZPacks Duplex are all excellent options that meet these criteria. Remember to choose a tent that suits your specific needs and preferences to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey along the Appalachian Trail.

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