Here are the different factors you should consider in finding the best backpacking tent for Hawaii:
When choosing a tent to bring with you, you should identify the location of your trails. This will determine the type of tent you need, for example, if you’re hiking trails that are rocky and you’re pitching up on rough terrain you’ll need a tent made from durable rip-stop nylon material.
However, if you are an avid backpacker, we recommend that you opt for all-season tents such as the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx and GeerTop 4 season 20D.
Weight & packed size
When walking long distances, bring a massive tent will consume your energy faster. To avoid that, it is best to choose lighter tents that weigh under 2 kilos, especially when you have lower endurance. In the list above, the Paria Bryce and GeerTop Dome tent are good choices.
These tents are ultra-lightweight, the Paria tent only weighs 1.5kg so you’ll hardly notice it attached to your backpack. Make sure the tent you choose is lightweight and easy to pack.
You won’t see much snow in Hawaii, and the majority of hikers on the island are beginners or people on vacation, so most people opt for a 3-season tent, as the weather conditions won’t be harsh either.
That said, if you’re looking for multiple uses out of your tent and are planning on more extreme backpacking then you should consider a 4-season tent. These tents are built to withstand the worst-case weather conditions.
Breathability is an important factor when it comes to achieving comfort and temperature regulation inside the tent, especially during chilly nights. This is why you should look out for tents with mesh materials such as the Coleman Bedrock tent.
Also, if you’re relaxing in your tent during the day, the last thing you want is the blazing hot Hawaiian sun cooking you alive. Therefore I would recommend a tent with panoramic mesh walls and a roof.
They will let fresh air pass through the tent keeping you cool and also providing you with incredible views Hawaii has to offer.
If you have been using a tent for years, then assembling and dismantling complicated tents might not be a challenge for you. However, if you are new to this, going for tents with easy assembly and comprehensive instructions are the best way to go.
The last thing you want on your hike is not knowing how to set up your tent, especially if you arrive at your site during the night. All the featured tents on my list are really easy to set up and dismantle, and for me, this is one of the most important things to look for.
Weather conditions anywhere can be unpredictable, and that applies to Hawaii too. With its lush tropical rainforests, a downpour can happen at any time along with strong winds. Surfaces can be slippy and the terrain can be rough, then the next minute there can be blazing hot sun!
So, with this in mind, make sure your tent is waterproof – to be fair most tents are! You may think Hawaii is all sun, but it does rain and you need a tent that’s up to the job if it does.
Tents are usually defined on a 1-4 person basis. However, this can vary and depends on other factors. Don’t forget you’re going to have all your backpacking gear with you, so a 1-person tent might not be big enough, although it sounds good on paper.
If you like your own space, bringing a lot of gear or you’re larger than average consider getting another person up. I’ve always opted for a 2-person tent, even if I’m on my own, that way I have more room and comfort.
I’ve touched on this a few times previously, however you should take into consideration the floor space, wall space, height, number of doors and vestibules on your tent. These will make your time spent in your tent more enjoyable. For me, with any tent, I always look for one with good headroom!
Lots of tents have great inside pockets and storage solutions allowing you more space and comfort in your tent. Check the storage options of your tent, if there’s not enough or you feel it might be a bit small, consider upgrading your tent to the next size up, for example, switch from a 1-person to a 2-person tent.
Another great way to save space is getting yourself a great backpack with lots of storage solutions, this way you can easily live out your backpack and save space inside your tent.
Quality & materials
Be sure to check the materials used on your tent, you should make sure it’s made from strong rip-stop material, tape sealed, waterproof and double stitched.
Size and weight
Check your trails, then consider what sized tent you should get. You might find that there might not be enough ground space on a particular trail for the sized tent you want. For example, if you’re thinking of getting an 8-person tent, there might not be enough room on the trail.
So, consider getting 2×4 or other variations just in case.
Value for money
Looking for a cheap deal might seem good, however, something this isn’t always the best thing to do. Go for quality first, even if it means paying a little more, it will last you longer and stop you splashing out on new tents each year.
Yes, you can grab a great deal, but just make sure you compare specifications with other tents to compare the materials used.