It’s summer, which means it is time for stargazing! If you are located in the US, this is the time of year when you can see the Milky Way. But if you want to have the best stargazing experience, you will need to escape from light pollution.
Alas, even if you live in a small town, light pollution can be significant. So, you will want to trek out to the country.
Indeed, to give yourself the best possible experience, you will want to head out into the remote wilderness where light pollution is minimal or nonexistent.
That means backpacking! So, you will need to select a backpacking tent. Which tent is the best for your backpacking stargazing adventure? In this article, we will introduce you to our recommended option. But first, let's talk about a few basic features to look for when you are picking out a tent for stargazing.
What to Look for in the Best Tent for Stargazing
- Lightweight. To find the best spot to set up away from light pollution with a clear, open view of the sky, you may need to do significant backpacking. For that reason, you should choose a tent which is lightweight and comfortable to carry.
- Roomy. You will need a tent which is spacious as well, because you will need to accommodate yourself, anybody else you'll have with you, and your equipment.
- Storage pockets. Speaking of storing equipment, you may also find it helpful to choose a tent which includes pockets for smaller supplies.
- Mesh windows. Mesh can keep insects out while still offering you a view of the stars even from within your tent. They also can boost ventilation.
Our Recommended Tent for Stargazing: The Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
Now you know what to look for when you are picking out a tent to go stargazing. Let's take an in-depth look at our suggested tent for stargazing, the Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent.
This tent provides you with a 30.5 ft.² of floor space along with an additional 10 ft.² of vestibule. The center height is 43 inches. So, this is not the type of tent which you can stand up in.
You should note that while the company suggests that the tent is large enough for two people, it is far more comfortable for one person. So, this tent is most suitable for the solo stargazer who just needs a little bit of extra space for equipment. If you need more room for additional people, there is also a four-person version of the tent available.
You can set up this tent rapidly thanks to features like two pole construction and color-coded clip attachments. The first time we tried, it only took around five minutes. The second time, we were able to do it in under three minutes. Additionally, we found it comfortable and easy to carry to and from our site, thanks to its light weight and its compact poles which fold up when you collapse the tent. Even on a longer hike, it should not fit to you too much.
The materials the tent is made from the include 68D nylon for the floor, 68D polyester for the walls, and 40D No-See-Um Mesh for the windows. All of these materials are rugged enough to stand up to wear and tear during backpacking expeditions. As for the mesh, it does do a great job keeping out mosquitoes and other unwanted visitors while still allowing you to look out at the stars.
While it is probably best to plan on using this tent in dry conditions, you can set up the rain fly if you need to protect it from a bit of light rain (and yes, it does come with the tent, even though some listings are not clear on that point). It is worth noting, however, that despite the mesh windows permitting airflow, it can get to be a bit warm in this tent in a hot climate, probably because of its small size.
Also, will you be setting up in a rocky area to view the stars? If so, you might want to replace the stakes the tent includes with some which are sturdier so they don’t bend. But in soft soil, the included stakes are perfect.
The D-door on the Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent makes it easy to climb in and out. This can be extra helpful if you need to bring equipment with you. Additionally, there are some storage pockets inside where you can keep smaller supplies for backpacking and astronomy.
It took us a couple minutes longer to pack up the tent than it did to set it up, but it was not too tricky to get it into its roll top cube carry bag to hike back to our vehicle.
Finally, one more reason to recommend the Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent is its price. There are competing products which cost significantly more, but which are no more durable and boast no more in terms of features than this tent. Plus, this one is lighter than a lot of the rest, and therefore better for backpacking.
The Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent Lets You Stargaze in Comfort
Stargazing can be a lot of fun, but there is a world of difference between doing it in town and doing it out in the backcountry. And once you have viewed the stars out in the wilderness, there really is no other way to do it.
With the lightweight Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent, you can carry your tent a long distance into the backcountry without fatiguing.
And thanks to its great design, you can stay dry and comfortable and protect your equipment while gazing up at the stars as you fall asleep.
With its excellent features and its reasonable price, we feel it is the best value right now. So, consider picking up the Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent for your next backcountry stargazing adventure.