There is nothing quite like a hike into the wild places for a night or two. The fresh air, extreme weather, crazy critters, and awesome views beckon like sirens of sylph. And a good long hike will certainly make you sleep like a stone at the end of the day. So what do you think about hiking tents?
The first thing you should be thinking about is weight. Specifically, you should be thinking about light weight. Serious hikers carry as little as possible, and this is no exception to sleeping gear. So always start with the smallest you can carry.
After any time spent on the trail, you will be considering every ounce on your back, believe this to be true. Shelter is no different in this regard. So regard the lightest of them all, the tarp. This can weigh just a few ounces, but can be turned into a serviceable sleeping quarters in nothing flat.
If the weather is going to be an issue, like it usually is, you can go up to the next step which is a bivouac sack. Also called a bivvy, or a bivvy bag, this is about as small as an enclosed shelter as you can find. They will fit one person, very snuggly, but they do a good job of keeping the weather out.
If you are out with the family or a group, of course the shelter size will increase. But the weight does not necessarily have to increase with it. Take the construction material, the pole and stakes and such, and dole them out evenly amongst your crew. With everyone carrying his or her fair share the load can stay comfortably light.
Good hiking tents can make the difference between a fantastic excursion and a miserable one, believe this. Poor weather has ruined more good times on the trail than any thing else combined. So be prepared for it, and pack in the solution with you.