If you are buying a tent and wondering what the difference is between trail weight and packed weight, then you have come to the right place.
Trail weight is the minimum weight of all the absolutely necessary parts of a tent. This usually includes the rain fly, the tent body, and the poles.
Everything else that is not necessary to erect the tent is not counted in this weight.
Of course, this can vary from tent to tent, depending on how it is constructed, but that is the essential definition.
The packed weight of a tent is the total packaged weight of all the parts it is shipped with. This includes absolutely everything. From poles, rain fly and tent body to stakes, footprint and guy ropes. On top of this, it also includes the bags that are provided and any extras you get.
So, you might then ask yourself – why should I compare the trail weight vs the packed weight of a tent?
It all comes down to total trail weight. After all, you have to carry all this gear with you if you go hiking or backpacking with a tent.
You might expect good weather and decide to leave the guy ropes and stakes at home. Sometimes you can even leave the rain fly!
Or, you might decide to buy lighter options because the tent manufacturer often gives the cheaper option to save on costs.
So, although trail weight might not give you an exact weight of what you will carry, it gives you a more realistic idea of what to expect.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!