brooks range mountaineering tension tent
Second only to crawling, flying, and flesh-eating beasties, putting the tent together is probably the most annoying part of camping. Tent manufacturer Brooks-Range Mountaineering has introduced a tent line called Tension. The tents are, appropriately enough, held up using tension created by an internal cord system and just a couple of poles.
cord tension tent
The poles are, of course, the most vexing part of putting together a traditional tent. The Tension tents don’t entirely eliminate the poles, but the annoying pieces are limited to just three crossing the top of the tent to provide structure and headroom. The entire structure is held together by pulling on the cord until it is tight and secure. By eliminating unnecessary pieces, the space-to-weight ratio is greatly reduced, making the Tension tents ideal for backpackers.
tension backpacking tent fewer poles

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The Tension comes in a 30-square-foot model and a 40-square-foot model. The smaller tent weighs only three pounds while the larger weighs just four pounds. The minimalist tent design is not only simpler to assemble; its tension-centered design allows it to withstand heavy winds, rain, and other less-than-ideal conditions.