Best Ultralight Tent Poles of 2024

Best Ultralight Tent Pole: Secure your shelter with durable and lightweight tent poles: ultralight trekking pole tent supported by an ultralight tent pole

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Choosing the correct ultralight tent pole is crucial for a successful shelter setup. The right pole provides stability and weather protection, while also keeping your backpack weight in check.

It’s a vital tool that strikes the balance between strength and lightness, protecting you from the elements and making your outdoor adventure comfortable and secure.

Our guide is here to help. We’ve checked out the best ultralight tent poles, taking into account weight, pack size, and cost. This way, you can make a smart choice when buying.

What are the Best Ultralight Tent Poles?

  1. Most Ultralight: Six Moon Designs 49″ Carbon Fiber Tent Pole (1.79oz/51g)
  2. Best Overall: Durston Z-Flick Tent Pole (3.3oz/93g)
  3. Best Value: Zpacks 48″ Carbon Fiber Tent Pole (2.61oz/74g)
  4. Smallest Pack Size: Six Moon Designs 49″ 5 Section CF Tent Pole (2.26oz/64g)
  5. Budget Option: Tarptent Carbon PolyPole V2 (3.91oz/111g)

1. Most Ultralight
Six Moon Designs 49″ Carbon Fiber Tent Pole

Six Moon Designs 49″ Carbon Fiber Tent Pole

Key Specs


Weight: 1.79 ounces (50 grams) | Length: 49″ (124.5 cm)
Folded length: 17.5″ (44cm)
Diameter: 3/8″ (10mm)
Material: Carbon fiber
Price: $$$

PROS


✅ Ultralight

✅ Shatterproof

✅ Suitable for extreme weather

CONS


❌ Relatively expensive

The 49″ Carbon Fiber Tent Pole by Six Moon Designs, created in collaboration with Easton Mountain Products, is an ultra-lightweight yet durable tent support that allows minimalist campers to shed critical ounces without sacrificing performance. Weighing in at a mere 1.79 oz, it’s the lightest tent pole on the market while still delivering impressive strength and stability.

In testing, I found the carbon fiber construction lived up to its claims. The poles feel incredibly stiff and rigid when locked into place, easily handling the strain of a taut tent canopy. Yet they pack down small, adding hardly any bulk to your backpack. This makes them ideal for thru-hikers and other ounce-counting outdoor enthusiasts.

Stability is good even in stormy conditions. The poles stand up to strong winds, minimizing shake and vibration that can disturb your sleep on blustery nights. The fixed-length 49″ size makes them well-suited for small 1-2 person tents. The smooth sections connect securely while allowing for quick assembly.

While not cheap, the Six Moon Designs Carbon Fiber Tent Poles deliver on their promises of ultra-lightweight strength. For backpackers seeking to trim pack weight without compromising on gear quality, they are an excellent investment.


2. Best Overall
Durston Z-Flick Tent Pole

Ultralight Tent Poles: Durston Z-Flick Tent Pole

Key Specs


Weight: 3.3 ounces (93 grams) | Length: 43.7-51.6″ (111-131 cm)
Folded length: 12″ (30.5cm)
Diameter: 0.47″ (12mm)
Material: Carbon fiber
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Adjustable

✅ Very durable

✅ Small pack size

CONS


❌ Heavier than some other options

The Z-Flick Folding Pole is a standout addition to any outdoor enthusiast’s gear arsenal, featuring sturdy design and unmatched versatility. Made with premium materials including carbon fiber tubing, it provides remarkable stiffness and stability for backcountry trekking and camping.

What makes the Z-Flick truly unique is its highly adjustable flick-lock system. With a huge range of height settings it can adapt on the fly to precisely the length you need. This came in handy when having to pitch my tent on uneven ground. The smooth flick-locks allow rapid adjustments without losing structural integrity.

In testing, the pole performed admirably under pressure. On a windy overnight hike along exposed ridges, it held up my tent canopy firmly despite gusts exceeding 30mph. The tubing’s stiffness prevented shakes or bending that could have collapsed my shelter. This reliability gives great peace of mind when braving the elements.

For those seeking premium-quality gear that can handle tough conditions, the Z-Flick Folding Pole delivers. Its smart adjustability, resilient carbon fiber build, and robust flick locks make it a worthy investment, even if it’s not the lightest option.


3. Best Value
Zpacks 48″ Carbon Fiber Tent Pole

Ultralight Tent Poles: Zpacks 48″ Carbon Fiber Tent Pole

Key Specs


Weight: 2.61 ounces (74 grams) | Length: 48″ (122 cm)
Folded length: 11.25″ (28.5cm)
Diameter: 0.43″ (11mm)
Material: Carbon fiber
Price: $

PROS


✅ Very durable

✅ Relatively affordable

✅ Small pack size

CONS


❌ Can cause small hand blisters

The 48″ Carbon Fiber Tent Pole from Zpacks delivers robust performance in an ultralight package built for backcountry use. Constructed from premium carbon fiber tubing paired with high-quality inner ferrules, it provides impressive strength without excess weight. When collapsed, the pole folds down into compact sections secured by shock cord and vinyl end caps.

What sets this tent pole apart is its versatile, customizable design. The tubing can be easily trimmed to your ideal length using basic tools, adapting it to your specific shelter needs. This innovative feature makes it more flexible than fixed-length models from other brands.

In testing, the pole performed well in windy conditions, keeping tent canopies taut and minimizing shaking. The tubing lived up to claims of resilience, bouncing back after being compressed for packing. Assembly and disassembly were smooth thanks to the secure ferrules.

One area for improvement is the grip – after extended handling, the tubing’s texture created minor blistering on my palms. This may vary based on manufacturing specifics or user technique. However, it’s a minor inconvenience given the pole’s overall excellent functionality for minimalist camping and backpacking.


4. Smallest Pack Size
Six Moon Designs 49″ 5 Section Carbon Fiber Tent Pole

Ultralight Tent Poles: Six Moon Designs 49″ 5 Section Carbon Fiber Tent Pole

Key Specs


Weight: 2.26 ounces (64 grams) | Length: 49″ (124.5 cm)
Folded length: 11″ (28cm)
Diameter: 3/8″ (10mm)
Material: Carbon fiber
Price: $$$

PROS


✅ Smallest pack size

✅ Shatterproof

✅ Ultralight

CONS


❌ Relatively expensive

❌ Not good in strong winds

The 49” 5 Section Carbon Fiber Tent Pole from Six Moon Designs, crafted in collaboration with Easton Mountain Products, is an impressively lightweight tent support option for minimalist backpackers and thru-hikers.

The quality construction was evident during testing. Assembly and disassembly were smooth thanks to the secure inner ferrules connecting each section. When locked into place, the pole feels highly rigid and stable.

While the pole performs admirably in many conditions, it may not be ideal for all tents. In particular, some users have found the thin carbon fiber tubing a bit too flexible for certain shelters in high winds, such as the Lunar Solo. The minimal diameter may make it more prone to buckling compared to poles with thicker tubing.

Considering your specific tent requirements will ensure this well-made pole is a good fit for your needs. Overall, it remains a standout option for shaving critical ounces from your pack without fully sacrificing durability.


5. Budget Option
Tarptent Carbon PolyPole V2

Ultralight Tent Poles: Tarptent Carbon PolyPole

Key Specs


Weight: 3.91 ounces (111 grams) | Length: 43-53″ (109-135 cm)
Folded length: 13″ (33cm)
Diameter: 0.5″ (12.7mm)
Material: Carbon fiber
Price: $

PROS


✅ Adjustable

✅ Extremely affordable

CONS


❌ Not the lightest option

The Carbon PolyPole tent poles from Tarptent offer adjustable versatility and lightweight performance at a reasonable price point.

Constructed using durable and rigid carbon fiber, the two-piece poles allow for convenient height adjustments in 1-inch increments.

In practice, the quick slide adjustments provided a solid fit for most tents I tested. The tubes lock securely in place while allowing rapid reconfiguration. When fully collapsed, the poles fold down small for packing, measuring just 13 inches or even 12.5 inches sans tip.

While the Tarptent poles deliver on simplicity and function, a couple minor drawbacks are worth noting. The 1-inch adjustments may be too coarse for truly precision fitting, limiting fine-tuned customization. And at 3.91oz (111g) per pole, while still respectably lightweight, they are heavier than the premium ultralight models offered by certain brands.

For those seeking convenience, packability, and versatility in a tent pole without breaking the bank, the Carbon PolyPoles hit a sweet spot.

How to Choose the Best Ultralight Tent Pole

Selecting the right ultralight tent pole requires some careful consideration but is a critical choice for ultralight backpackers and campers looking to shed weight.

Follow these tips when evaluating your options:

Compare Pole Materials

  • Carbon Fiber – The lightest material but less durable.
  • Aluminum – Heavier but provides very robust stability.
  • Fiberglass – A heavier, more budget-friendly choice.

Benefits Over Trekking (Hiking) Poles

  • Sheds 6-10 oz of weight vs using trekking poles.
  • Allows storing gear inside tent while exploring.

Adjustable vs Fixed Length

  • Adjustable – Flexibility if you switch between tents.
  • Fixed Length – Save money if using one tent long-term.

Check Packed Size

  • Important for fitting in smaller backpacks, collapsible ones work the best.
  • Measure available storage space in your pack.

Ultimately, investing in the right ultralight tent pole is a smart move, as these items tend to maintain their resale value.

If you’re not yet convinced about using a purpose-built tent pole for your tent, you can explore our guide on the lightest trekking poles available.

FAQ

What is the average price range of ultralight tent poles?

Ultralight tent poles typically range from $30 to $150 per pole. When investing in backpacking equipment, poles on the higher end of this price range often provide the best balance of low weight, durability, and performance. Carefully considering your needs and budget will help determine the ideal pole to enhance your lightweight shelter system.

Can ultralight tent poles be repaired easily if they get damaged?

Ultralight tent poles can be repaired if damaged, but it requires some effort and special parts. Small cracks or punctures in carbon fiber or aluminum poles may be fixable with specialty adhesives and sleeve reinforcements. However, broken segments or severely bent poles usually need to be replaced entirely. Carrying spare pole sections and ferrules to make trailside repairs can be wise for extended trips. When possible, careful use and packing will help prevent the need for repairs.

How important is flexibility in ultralight tent poles?

Flexibility is an important factor to consider when choosing ultralight tent poles. Highly flexible poles can bend and conform more easily to uneven terrain. However, excessive flexibility can also undermine stability in windy conditions. The ideal pole strikes a balance between bending without snapping, while still providing enough rigidity to keep shelter canopies taut. Carbon fiber offers the best blend of flex and strength at low weights.

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