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Difference Between Tent’s Trail Weight and Packed Weight?


Q. I’m shopping for a tent and am confused by the way the tents are labeled for weight. Most seem to list two weights, a trail weight and a packed weight. What’s the difference?
— Confused Carl, Missoula, Mont.

A. I’ll be happy to weigh in on this one. There is no industry standard on how tent manufacturers need to weigh and label their tents. So, consider the weight on a label as a rough estimate.

Packed Weight (I’ve also seen it listed as Packaged Weight) refers to everything that comes with the tent when you buy it. That includes stuff sacks, stakes, maybe even a repair kit and a manual.

Obviously you won’t want to bring all of that on the trail with you, so then you look at the Trail Weight (sometimes also listed as Minimum Weight). The thing is, the Trail Weight usually includes just the tent, rainfly and poles. No stakes. No ground cloth. So the Trail Weight isn’t all that accurate, either.

Others list a Fastpack Weight, which includes just the rainfly and poles. All of the above is just a long-winded way to say the actual weight will be somewhere between Packed Weight and Trail Weight.

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6 Comments on Difference Between Tent’s Trail Weight and Packed Weight?

  1. Weight, Weight, Weight all I do is Weight

  2. The implication for backpacking is that you ought to weigh your gear and any proposed replacement because the factory weight will always be a little off.

    This is less important for tents used mostly for base camping.

  3. Only one thing to add: When you purchase your gear at your local National Scout Shop, Council Trading Post or on, a portion of your money going back to support scouting in YOUR community. SHOP LOCALLY, SCOUT GLOBALLY!!

  4. scouting2016 // October 25, 2016 at 6:25 pm // Reply

    “Dad,I know this is a tent but I don’t think I’ll be able to fit it.”

  5. Base your assumptions on the heavier of the two when asking what it’ll weigh, that way if it’s lighter than that …. bonus.

  6. i dont know, i know the one i got had only one weight (11.74)

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