Light as a feather.

Made for minimalist backpackers who move fast through the mountains, the Black Diamond Beta Light Shelter is an ultralight option that won't weight you down or take up too much space in your streamlined pack. It sets up using your trekking poles, so there's no need to make room for awkward tent poles in your pack, and the SilNylon fabric is extremely lightweight, yet tough, so it can withstand your adventures from the AT to the Rockies.

This shelter is ready to go on trips where the forecast is completely clear, although it can be outfitted with additional accessories when the weather is less predictable, or you're simply willing to carry a bit of extra weight. There is an optional floor (sold separately) that you can bring for extra protection from wet ground, and the seams can be treated with McNutt Sil-Net Sealer (not included) to prevent leaks when the rain starts coming down. Black Diamond also offers optional bug netting (sold separately) to keep the skeeters out when the swarms come out in summer.

  • Ultralight shelter for minimalist backpacking trips
  • Sets up using two trekking or ski poles
  • SilNylon fabric is ultralight, yet durable
  • Two-person capacity with one door
  • Bug netting, floor, and seam sealer sold separately
  • Reviews
  • Q & A
Unanswered Question

What length trekking poles are required for this tent?

Light and Roomy

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Hard to beat this tarp when considering the trade-off between weight and roominess. I just got back from the Colorado Trail Collegiate Loop - 160 miles. Loved the Beta Light. My only caveat is that you have to trench lightly around the tarp where rain drips from the sides. Otherwise you will might find water heading toward you during a rainfall. I used a trowel to scrape a path underneath the sides and stayed totally dry during some relatively heavy rain.

So light.....So nice

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I took this on a 5 day hike on the JMT in September. Was so light and easy to use I have decided it will remain my go-to shelter.

While I know it excels in the snow it was equally at home on cool (40*) evenings on the trail.

No issues with condensation...was able to vent it with the door.

So light.....So nice

Does it actually pack that small?? Anyone got a pic comparison?

I found this picture on google, I've been looking into purchasing this tarp myself. Here it is compared to a nalgene bottle.

I found this picture on google, I've been looking into purchasing this tarp myself. Here it is compared to a nalgene bottle.

Light and Capable

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Took to the snowfield on Skillet Glacier with this shelter. Held up to/blocked gentle to moderate wind well, but would probably not stay upright in heavy winds given the instability of upright ski poles. You definitely want to dig a pit underneath as otherwise the wind rips right underneath the base of the shelter.

Minimally adjustable attachment points made anchoring in the snow difficult.

Should come with lightweight poles or they should be made available as in the summer without trekking poles, you will need to find/create your own which is difficult above tree line.

Room for two people rather comfortably.

Bottom line: for the weight, this will remain my go-to spring ski mountaineering shelter.

Unanswered Question

I had a similar design tent from MSR....

I had a similar design tent from MSR. really liked it but it was plagued with a probelm with the waterproofing impregnation in the fabric. One side felt like it was covered with honey. tried the variety of fixes such as warm soap and water, talcum powder etc. but stickiness always returned. Anyone experience that probelm with this tent?

Does the shelter come with the guy lines...

Does the shelter come with the guy lines as shown in the picture?

Hey Ryan,

Unfortunately not, just the attachment points.

Teton Crest Trail - up on Death Canyon Shelf

April 2012.

Teton Crest Trail - up on Death Canyon Shelf

does the betalight come with seam sealer...

does the betalight come with seam sealer goo? If not, should I go with Mcnett's seam grip or some other silicone sealer. I'd also like to know the process of what I'm in for in terms of time spent sealing seams, etc. Thanks!!

It does not come with it but I would use Seam Grip by McNett. Do the seam sealing in a dry clean environment free of hair, dust, and dirt. if you take your time and go over it carefully it shouldn't take too long. I've always seem sealed both sides to get good coverage of the stitching but you can likely just do the inside and see how your results turn out.

I think I would use Sil-net sealer from McNett since this is a sil-nylon shelter. Seam Grip is fantastic stuff and I always keep some handy but Sil-Net is made specifically for the sil-nylon. Wht take chances?

camping in the tablelands in King's Canyon NP in the Sierra

awesome sunset getting ready to call it a day.

camping in the tablelands in King's Canyon NP in the Sierra

Awesome picture! How did the setup for this tarp work during a storm or higher winds?

great for camping on snow

    this is awesome for skiing on overnighters:

    • dig a pit, get the edges buried, this thing is bomb-proof.
    • packs down super small & light
    • ample room for one person, haven't tried w 2 yet, i'll report next week.

    great for camping on snow

    took it on the Teton Crest Trail in April, 4 nights w 2 ppl, awesome.

    im looking for a solid camp tarp or shelter...

    im looking for a solid camp tarp or shelter that is versitile enough to be used on expeditions lasting up to eighty days. I have been looking at the mega light and was looking for peoples opinions regarding the beta light vs the mega light.

    Well, both the Mega and the Beta light are for lightweight backpacking, by expedition, do you mean just a long time out there or camping at high elevations in high winds, rain/cold/snow? If so, get a four season tent. As far as the amount of time you spend out there, both will last long, neither are disposable or anything, and both are the same durability at 30 denier rated fabric. I guess my best suggestion would be to add on items that could make this essentially a 3 season tent in case things do turn nasty- 80 days is a long time with out a floor. Check out the BD Mega or Beta Bug,Floor to accessorize this thing. If you have 2 or more people, split these items up. Hope this helped.

    I'm looking for a lightweight but full...

    I'm looking for a lightweight but full protection shelter for thru-hiking the Colorado Trail this July with my wife and our dog. Would this fit us and our lightweight gear comfortably for 30 days?

    This might not be a great solution, with 2 adults and a dog you'll likely want more usable space, notice the support poles, my advice get a Hilleberg Nallo 3 or Nallo 2 GT. The extra weight won't be too much between 2 packs and you'll love the the extra space, superior construction and materials, vestibule and ease of use that are hallmarks of Hilleberg. A bit more expensive but worth every. have used my Nallo 2 with two dogs on the PCT and would never get anything else but a Hilleberg if you plan on living in a tent for several weeks

    bugs begone bygod!

      If you all are looking for a cheap and lite bug shield go to your local army surplus. They sell a netting that hangs over a cot. I take this netting and made two grumet holes were the hiking poles goes up and holds the tent. Lay your netting down and then lay tent over and then when you raise your tent with the poles the whole kit and kabbodle will raise. I have used it all along the AT- and in May i walked across Scotland with there no seeums.

      Beta Light -- indispensable tent replacement

        The beta light should be the shelter of choice for those that travel with trekking/ski poles. I have used mine for 4 years with 50+ days per year. It is light, weatherproof (as long as you take the time to seam seal it well with syl-nylon seam seal), compressable, and very secure. I have used this thing in winter, summer, high winds (Mt. Rainier) and the only place where I wish I had a tent is when there are bugs (you can combine with the beta bug, but then it's nearly as heavy as my tent).

        Pluses -- wickedly light, easy to setup, and well designed
        Minuses -- If you are base-camping, you must collapse your shelter to use your poles each day. Must be carefully seam-sealed.

        Top class engineering

          Don't expect this to be better than a fully enclosed tent with a good fly sheet for weather protection...but considering how light it is, anyone considering it, is weight conscious and therefore in my opinion for a 2 man shelter in its weight range it can't be beaten. It fills the little niche right between a classic A-frame open ended tarp and a lightweight 2-man tent.

          Great but,

            This is a great shelter. I love how light and compact it is, and that is stows away easily. my only two complaints are that it needs factory taped seams instead of seam grip. Also the trekking poles in the middle get in the way when your getting busy in the woods with you partner. I would recommend bringing some guy-line with you for tying the tent up to a tree or something, then you can get rid of the annoying poles in you and your partners way.

            As of yet, factory taping is impossible with silnylon. Thus the seam goo that you apply yourself.

            But, yeah, it would be nice. Someday they'll figure it out.

            Do you know if this is the tent seen in...

            Do you know if this is the tent seen in "Real Simple" magazine this month?

            It certainly is however with childlike adornments added. Here's the link:http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/gallery/0,21863,1731223-2,00.html

            Spring Ski Shelter of Choice

              Great for spring skiing trips with just a partner. It's light, imminently packable and can handle a surprising amount of weather.

              If you've got more than 2 people total the megalight is right for you.