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Backpacking groups who want to keep the shared load light will love the 3-person FreeLite, an ultralight and spacious 3-season shelter that nearly disappears between three packs.
The Inside: Even with a generous 43 inches (1.09 m) of headroom, 4 inches more than the previous version, and the true rectangular floor (no foot taper like most other tents), the FreeLite is now nine ounces (255 g) lighter. The micromesh tent body provides excellent ventilation (and stargazing) and has a waterproof bathtub-style floor to protect from the elements. Two no-curve tent doors keep you from having to crawl over your tent partner in the middle of the night, and feature zippers that are easy to use with one hand. They also zip closed to a single point so you always know where to open the door, even in the dark. New tech-friendly pockets feature cable ports at the corners for headphone and charging cords. Overhead gear loft pockets are perfect for headlamps, sunglasses and other quick-access items.
The Outside: The semi-freestanding design of the FreeLite is easy and quick to set up. Super strong DAC NFL tent poles, a DuraShield™ waterproof coating and taped seams keep the weather where it belongs—outside. The cutaway rainfly saves weight and features large vestibules for storing any gear you don’t want inside. Easy in-and-out vestibule doors have StayDry™ rain gutters to keep water from dripping onto you and your gear.
The Bottom Line: The semi-freestanding FreeLite 3 will give your backpacking trio the camp comfort you need after a long day on the trail at a weight you won’t even notice.