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Live Event Info: Choosing an Ultralight Shelter for Backpacking (Member Live QA) – October 7, 2021 6:00 PM US Mountain Time

Backpacking Light QA Sessions are Hour-Long Members-Only Live Events – they are recorded and the recorded session will be made available below after the live event has ended.

To access the live or recorded (video) version of this event, a printable slide deck for note-taking, and the related resources/downloads, you must be logged in with an active Premium or Unlimited Membership.

  • Note: Member Live QA events will also be made available to Basic Members. Become a Member today »

Event Agenda


Ultralight shelters come in a variety of styles, types, and fabrics. In this Member QA, you’ll learn about the strengths and limitations of bivy sacks, tarps, floorless pyramids, hammocks, and various styles of trekking pole and curved-pole shelters. In addition, you’ll learn about the most common ultralight fabrics used in these shelters, including Dyneema Composite Fabrics, silpoly, and silnylon – and how these fabrics differ in terms of their performance. The goal is to present a framework that allows you to select a shelter type for a particular environment and hiking style.

1. Keynote: AN OVERVIEW OF ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKING SHELTERS (~20 minutes, by Ryan Jordan)

  • Shelter objectives – what’s the context in your overall gear kit?
  • Styles of ultralight shelters
  • Ultralight shelter fabrics: Dyneema Composite Fabrics, silnylon, and silpoly
  • Considerations: wind, rain, snow, livability, privacy
  • Ground sheets, guylines, and tent stakes
  • Case studies: summer, shoulder season, and winter shelters

2. SHELTER Systems QA (~20 minutes)

  • TBA

3. Open QA (~20 minutes)

  • TBA

Members-Only: Attend the Live Event/Watch the Recorded Video Access Additional Resources

  • Download the Slide Deck (PDF) (download link available on day of event)

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