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2y3k » Best Ultralight Tents of 2023

Best Ultralight Tents of 2023

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Hilleberg Anjan 2 Ultralight Tent

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When you go camping and it involves a bit of a hike or you are backpacking into your campsite, you’ll appreciate as light a load as possible. An ultralight tent will decrease the burden but being lightweight is only the start. You’ll want your tent to be durable, easy to set up, comfortable, and weather-resistant.

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To help you select the best ultralight tent for your next camping trip, some of the best are reviewed below to help in your research. There is a comparison table to start, followed by descriptions, key features, photos, videos, and a basic buying guide.

Best Ultralight Tents of 2021

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Ultralight Tent

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The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Ultralight Tent is a low-priced solo model with a free-standing 2-pole design that sets up quickly and employs large #8 zippers and easy to clip fly buckles.

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It has a polyester canopy that is half-mesh for excellent ventilation, and to protect you from the sun and rain the rainfly and floor are UV and water-resistant and bolstered by factory sealed seams.

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With a trail weight of less than 4 pounds, it has 33 square feet of floor space, a 90″ length, and 36″ height making it easy to carry with plenty of space for sleeping comfortably.

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Storage is available on the interior in a gear loft and mesh pocket, and just outside in the 10 square foot vestibule.

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Check with the seller for details on the lifetime warranty that accompanies the budget price.

  • Canopy of ½ polyester/½ polyester mesh good for ventilation
  • Rainfly of 75D 185T polyester, floor of 75D 185T polyester taffeta, both UV and water-resistant
  • Factory-sealed fly and floor seams
  • 1 gear loft and 1 mesh pocket for storage
  • Includes 7075 aluminum stakes, and guy lines
  • Weather-proof fly buckles
  • Large #8 zippers
  • Sleeping Capacity: 1
  • Seasons: 3
  • Doors: 1
  • Vestibules: 1
  • Poles: 2 x 7000-series aluminum
  • Peak Height: 36″
  • Floor Area: 20 square feet
  • Floor Dimensions: 90″ x 32″
  • Vestibule Area: 10 square feet
  • Packaged Weight: 4 lbs 1 oz
  • Packed Size: 6″ x 17.5″
  • Color: blue/green, grey/navy, clay/rust
  • Warranty: ask for details on the lifetime warranty
  • Price: $

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Kelty Salida 2 Camping and Backpacking Ultralight Tent

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The Kelty Salida 2 Camping and Backpacking Ultralight Tent is highly rated by backpackers and reviewers alike.

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With free-standing dome construction, it’s reasonably spacious for 2 sleepers with 30.5 square feet of floor space, 88″ x 55″ dimensions, and 43″ peak height providing decent headroom.

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The 4 pounds 9 ounces of package weight trims down to 3 pounds 14 ounces for your backpack, and when you arrive at the campsite assembly is fast and easy with 2 DAC aluminum poles and an easy color-coded clip and rainfly assembly.

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The design uses durable 68D polyester and no-see-um 48D polyester mesh in the canopy, great for ventilation, and a 68D nylon floor with an 1800mm waterproof rating. Fully taped seams assist in assuring that no water gets in.

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Along with the 10 square foot vestibule, it has loops to add a gear loft and interior pockets for storage.

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Pricing is reasonable and Kelty provides a lifetime warranty for materials and workmanship to back it up.

  • 68D polyester canopy with 40D polyester mesh, 68D nylon floor, 68D polyester rainfly
  • 1800mm waterproof rating
  • Fully seam-taped construction
  • Gear loft loops and internal pockets for storage
  • Color-coded clip and rainfly assembly
  • Roll-top carry bag
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2
  • Seasons: 3
  • Doors: 1
  • Vestibules: 1
  • Poles: 2 aluminum DAC pressfit folding poles
  • Peak Height: 43″
  • Floor Area: 30.5 square feet
  • Floor Dimensions: 88″ x 55″/45″
  • Vestibule Area: 10 square feet
  • Packaged Weight: 4 lbs 9 oz
  • Packed Size: 13″ x 15″
  • Color: green/white
  • Warranty: lifetime for defects in workmanship and materials
  • Price: $$

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Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking Tent

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This is the review for the 2 person (there is also a 1 person version) Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking Tent.

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The extremely lightweight package including a repair kit and stakes is 2 pounds 6 ounces with a trail weight of 1 pound 15 ounces that can be split in 2 with the Divvy rucksack to divide the load between 2 backpackers for easy portage.

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Semi-freestanding with a single-pole hubbed system and color-coded guy lines, set up is quick and easy.

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The 27.5 square foot floor area with 85″ x 51″/43″ dimensions is adequate for most couples and nice and roomy for a single camper.

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Constructed of sturdy ripstop nylon with silicone and PU waterproofing of the rainfly and floor, the canopy has a no-see-um mesh on the sides for ventilation and black mesh on the top for good nighttime views.

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For added headroom, it has the Flybar pole clip to take the peak height to 39″.

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An overhead light pocket gives you a place to mount your light and two 7.1 square foot vestibules provide plenty of room for gear storage.

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Pricing is reasonable and it is backed by the Nemo lifetime warranty.

  • 10D ripstop nylon/mesh canopy,15D ripstop nylon floor, 10D nylon ripstop rainfly
  • Floor and rainfly treated with PU on the inside and silicone outside for a 1200mm waterproof rating
  • Color-coded guy lines and pole sections for easy setup
  • Includes Flybar clip for added space
  • Overhead light pocket
  • 2-stage Divvy rucksack to split the load into 2 sacks
  • Repair kit included
  • Footprint sold separately
  • Available in a 1-person version
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2
  • Seasons: 3
  • Doors: 2
  • Vestibules: 2
  • Poles: 1 hubbed aluminum DAC Featherlite NFL pole
  • Peak Height: 39″
  • Floor Area: 27.5 square feet
  • Floor Dimensions: 85″ x 51″/43″
  • Vestibule Area: 7.1 square feet in each vestibule
  • Packaged Weight: 2 lbs 6 oz
  • Packed Size: 19.5″ x 5.5″
  • Color: birch leaf green
  • Warranty: NEMO lifetime warranty
  • Price: $$

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MSR Hubba Hubba NX2 Ultralight Backpacking Tent

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The MSR Hubba Hubba NX2 Ultralight Backpacking Tent gets high marks for weather protection, comfort, and ease of use.

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Relatively lightweight in this class of ultralights, the pole geometry and non-tapered floor area of 29 square feet and 39″ height is fairly roomy for 2 with the pole geometry and non-tapered floor roughly in the same size range as the NEMO Hornet reviewed just above.

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With 2 D-shaped stay-dry doors with built-in rain gutters and an adjustable roll-up rainfly, there’s a nice system of cross-ventilation.

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The 2 vestibules with a combined 17.5 square feet of space give you plenty of space to stow your gear, and the unified hubbed pole system with color-coded clips allows for easy, quick assembly.

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Flexible and durable DAC Featherlite NFL poles are featured with sturdy ripstop nylon employed in the canopy, canopy mesh, rainfly, and floor with Durashield waterproof coating on the rainfly and floor.

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It packs into a compression stuff sack to occupy minimal space in your backpack and is in the mid-range of pricing of the models reviewed here.

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MSR backs it with a 3-year warranty.

  • 20D ripstop nylon canopy with 15D nylon mesh, 20D nylon ripstop rainfly with 1200mm PU and silicone waterproofing, 30D ripstop nylon bathtub style floor with 3000mm PU and DWR waterproofing
  • Color-coded clips and a unified hub and pole system for easy setup
  • Adjustable roll-up rainfly for sky views with a kickstand vent
  • Lightweight reflective guy outs
  • Compression stuff sack
  • Footprint sold separately
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2
  • Seasons: 3
  • Doors: 2 D-shaped, with built-in rain gutters
  • Vestibules: 2
  • Poles: 1 hubbed aluminum DAC Featherlite NFL pole
  • Peak Height: 39″
  • Floor Area: 29 square feet
  • Floor Dimensions: 84″ x 50″
  • Vestibule Area: 8.75 square feet in each vestibule
  • Packaged Weight: 3 lbs 13 oz
  • Packed Size: 18″ x 6″
  • Color: red/white
  • Warranty: manufacturer’s 3-year limited warranty
  • Price: $$

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Black Diamond Firstlight Ultralight 4 Season Tent

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The Black Diamond Firstlight Ultralight Tent is differentiated from the others reviewed here by being a 4 season tent suitable for the winter season.

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It is still ultralight at a packed weight of 4 pounds 1 ounce and constructed with durable, breathable, water-resistant, single-wall Nanoshield fabric, with a 70D poly floor, 2 internal Featherlite DAC aluminum poles, and steep walls to maximize space.

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Setup is easy and can be achieved from the inside.

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“No-see-um” zippered mesh panels on the small rear window and door provide ventilation to minimize air condensation.

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When sleeping 3 there is not a lot of storage space aside from 2 internal mesh pockets. If you need more you could consider the optional vestibule or limit to 2 campers.

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Pricing is reasonable for what you get. Check with the seller for details on the 1-year warranty.

  • Single-wall of durable water-resistant, breathable, NanoShield fabric, 70D polyester floor
  • Reinforced stress points and double-sewn seams
  • Ventilation on the door and the small rear window through zippered mesh panels
  • 2 interior mesh pockets for storage
  • Durable stretch-resistant reflective guy lines
  • Vestibule and ground cloth optional
  • Sleeping Capacity: 3
  • Seasons: 4
  • Doors: 1
  • Vestibules: 0
  • Poles: 2 internal DAC Featherlite aluminum
  • Peak Height: 44″
  • Floor Area: 33 square feet
  • Floor Dimensions: 82″ x 58″
  • Packaged Weight: 4 lbs 1 oz
  • Packed Size: 7″ x 9″
  • Color: wasabi
  • Warranty: 1 year, check with the seller for details
  • Price: $$

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Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 Ultralight Backpacking Tent

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Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 Ultralight Backpacking Tent is large enough to sleep up to 3 adults with a floor space of 38 square feet and still comes in at a very low packaged weight of 2 pounds 15 ounces.

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The ultralight ripstop nylon used in construction is durable and that of the fly and floor are silicone treated and PU coated for supreme water resistance.

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Using stakes at the foot, it has a semi-freestanding design with pre-cut guy lines and preattached tensioners. With the hubbed DAC Featherlite NFL aluminum pole, assembly is quick and easy.

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The 2 vestibules with 16 square feet of space along with an oversized ceiling pocket, 2 interior mesh pockets, and media pockets provide substantial storage options with attachment loops in place should you want to add a gear loft.

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Low vents and the mesh canopy do a good job of mitigating condensation.

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Pricing is reasonable and Big Agnes backs the purchase with a guarantee against defects in materials or manufacturing.

  • Silicone treated nylon ripstop fly and floor with a PU waterproof coating, canopy of nylon ripstop with polyester mesh
  • Taped seams
  • Storage in an oversized ceiling pocket and 2 interior mesh pockets with cord routing portals for phones and other devices
  • Gear loft loops included
  • Reflective guylines and webbing on tent corners
  • Ultralight plastic clips to attach the tent body to the pole
  • Available in 1 and 2 person versions
  • Footprint optional
  • Sleeping Capacity: 3
  • Seasons: 3
  • Doors: 2
  • Vestibules: 2
  • Poles: 1 DAC Featherlite NFL aluminum pole
  • Peak Height: 42″
  • Floor Area: 38 square feet
  • Floor Dimensions: 88″ x 66″/60″
  • Vestibule Area: 16 square feet
  • Packaged Weight: 2 lbs 15 oz
  • Packed Size: 19.5″ x 5.5″
  • Color: light grey/gold
  • Warranty: Big Agnes guarantee against manufacturing or material defects
  • Price: $$

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Hilleberg Anjan 2 Ultralight Tent

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The Hilleberg Anjan 2 Ultralight Tent is durable though still lightweight with a roomy tunnel design.

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Constructed with a heavy-duty silicone-treated 20D ripstop nylon rainfly with a 10D ripstop bathtub floor, both with PU coating for waterproofing, the fly and inner canopy can be quickly and conveniently pitched simultaneously or separately.

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The inner tent has a large mesh vent in the rear wall and an all-mesh door on the front for continuous air circulation. In addition, the outer fly does not go all the way to the floor allowing ventilation from there, as well.

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The 28 square feet of floor space is augmented by the tubular design using 2 poles to allow for more room near the walls and at the 39″ peak.

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The 13 square foot vestibule, 2 inner pockets, and substantial floor space provide significant room for storage.

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This is a 3 season model not suitable for the coldest conditions but rates highly for comfort and ease of use in warm to moderate conditions.

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Note that the pricing is higher than the other tents reviewed here but it comes with a lifetime warranty.

  • 20D ripstop nylon 66 rainfly with triple silicone coating for waterproofing, inner canopy of 10D ripstop nylon, bathtub floor of 10D ripstop nylon with PU coating for waterproofing
  • Linked but separable inner and outer tent for simultaneous pitching
  • Tunnel design uses only 4 stakes and has a continuous sleeve and pole tensioner system for superior stability
  • Inner pockets for storage
  • Mesh door and large mesh vent in the rear wall for air circulation
  • Optional footprint
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2
  • Seasons: 3
  • Doors: 1
  • Vestibules: 1
  • Poles: 2
  • Peak Height: 39″
  • Floor Area: 28 square feet
  • Floor Dimensions: 83″ x 50″/43″
  • Vestibule Area: 13 square feet
  • Packaged Weight: 4 lbs
  • Packed Size: 19.5″ x 5.5″
  • Color: dark green, red, sand
  • Warranty: lifetime for defects in materials and craftsmanship.
  • Price: $$$

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The North Face Stormbreak 1 Ultralight Tent

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The North Face Stormbreak 1 Ultralight Tent has a bargain price and a simple 1 person design.

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Easy to set up, it is constructed of durable polyester taffeta with a water-resistant finish and PU coating on the rainfly and floor and 2 extruded aluminum poles. All seams are fully taped to further ensure no water entry.

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The interior floor area is only 18.13 square feet so there is not a lot of floor space for storage of gear, but the vestibules have a total of 6.04 square feet to make up for it some.

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No-see-um mesh on the top half of the canopy and the large door allow significant air circulation to avoid condensation.

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The packed weight of 3 pounds 7 ounces is easy to carry and if the weather permits, you can go with the rainfly and optional footprint only for a much lighter weight of 2 pounds 4.6 ounces.

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Check with the seller for details of the North Face warranty that goes with the super-low price.

  • 68D polyester taffeta rainfly and floor both with PU coating and a water-resistance finish, 75D breathable polyester taffeta canopy with a water-resistant finish, and no-see-um polyester mesh
  • Fully seam-taped
  • Large door
  • Easy pitch design
  • Footprint sold separately
  • Sleeping Capacity: 1
  • Seasons: 3
  • Doors: 1
  • Vestibules: 2
  • Poles: 2 extruded aluminum
  • Peak Height: 34″
  • Floor Area: 18.13 square feet
  • Floor Dimensions: 87″ x 34″/26″
  • Vestibule Area: 3.02 square feet for each
  • Packaged Weight: 3 lbs 7 oz
  • Packed Size: 6″ x 22″
  • Color: golden oak/pavement
  • Warranty: ask for details of the North Face warranty
  • Price: $

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Ultralight Tent Buying Guide

Materials

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Ultralight tents should be lightweight without sacrificing durability, strength, and weather resistance. This is reflected in the materials employed.

  • Fabrics — Thin polyester or nylon are the most commonly used fabrics employed in the fly, canopy, and floor. A high denier rating is desired and ripstop versions especially for nylon go a long way toward tear prevention. Typically the floor will be thicker.
  • Waterproofing — Both fabrics have a degree of water-resistance built-in but it is important to have waterproofing in the fly and floor in the form of a PU coating, silicone treatment, or another form of DWR (Durable Water Repellent). In addition, a bathtub floor design where the waterproofed tent floor extends several inches up the walls of the canopy helps immensely. Sealed seams and covered zippers, doorways, and vents all add to the prevention of water entry.
  • Tent Poles — Even tents that are not especially ultralight usually employ lightweight, flexible, and sturdy poles. Ultralight tents in the price range we are looking at in the reviews here are most often of aluminum, though fiberglass versions are often comparable. They break down into manageable pieces easy for portage and are designed for quick assembly. Carbon poles probably have the best strength and lowest weight but come at a cost that may be prohibitive.
  • Stakes — Likewise, even with free-standing tents, stakes can be employed for stability against winds and storms, and should be lightweight. Aluminum is usually the best choice.

Packaged Weight and Size

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Packaged weight used in the tent descriptions refers to the weight of the tent including all components, carry bag, repair kit, and other materials to be carried. When the term, minimum trail weight is used, it describes the weight of just the key parts of the tent including the body, rainfly, poles, stakes, and anything essential to pitch it. The category of ultralight tents is used for tents with a packaged weight as low as 1 pound up to around 4.5 pounds.

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Ultralight tents find the bulk of their use with backpackers. A small packaged size and weight are essential to keep the burden low on potentially rigorous long hikes.

Seasons

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Ultralight tents, like all tents for camping, can be categorized by the number of seasons of the year for which adequate protection and coverage are provided. A 3 season tent is appropriate for use in the spring, summer, and fall. A 4 season tent will also handle conditions in the cold or winter season. All of the tents reviewed here are 3 season tents except for the Black Diamond Firstlight model. To meet the ultralightweight guidelines, there are design and material considerations to keep the weight down.

Frame Design

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Freestanding tents that don’t absolutely require guy lines or stakes are the easiest to set up and tend to be the lightest in weight. Ease of assembly is a primary goal and there are tent designs with a minimum of poles and other materials as a priority. Some popular designs are mid tents with a single center pole like a pyramid, A-frame tents in the classical style, dome or geodesic tents with crisscrossing poles which are very popular and easy to set up, and tunnel tents like the Hilleberg Anjan. The best will incorporate systems and openings for ventilation to avoid air condensation.

Vestibules and Storage

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A vestibule can be a bit of luxury on an ultralight tent where minimizing weight is a concern. It can give you a place for storage and some additional shelter without depriving you of any of the scarce interior floor space for sleeping, and it provides an opening for ventilation. Otherwise, storage pockets and lofts on the interior are a handy place for gear without using precious floor space.