Want to try a single-wall ultralight tent without spending a lot? How about the Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter LT, a two-person shelter that weighs less than two pounds for $100?
I used to recommend the Black Diamond Betamid for this, but BD stopped making it. Now Mountainsmith is making a very similar shelter. It sets up with two trekking poles, like a small circus tent. It is lighter than the Betamid, probably because Mountainsmith used silnylon instead of the urethane-coated ripstop in the BD shelter.
The Section Hiker review of the Mountain Shelter LT does a really good job of describing the tent. I’m seriously tempted to buy one, even though I have more than enough shelters.
The list price is $129 and it is available for a bit under $100. Links are from the Section Hiker blog.
This tent doesn’t have a floor, so you’ll need a groundsheet. My favorite thrifty and ultralight groundsheet is plastic window film. It costs five to ten dollars and weighs an ounce or two, depending on the size. For this tent, two one-person sheets might be good. Two popular products are Duck Brand and Frost King. I’ve never worn out one of these sheets, though I’ve been in danger of having them blow away. They are really, really light.
The Section Hiker blog has a nice article on ground sheets, including window film and Tyvek.
I wrote about my son’s experience with the Betamid at Philmont. He’s still fond of that tent. I hope a whole bunch of Scouts become fond of this one.