One of the toughest challenges for new backpackers is choosing their first backpacking tent. Sometimes they pack a cheap 10-pound tent and pay for it with sore backs. Another big mistake is buying a two-man tent and realizing — too late — that it’s too short for a guy taller than 6’2″, never mind that most two-man tents are only suitable for small guys or a guy and a girlfriend who doesn’t mind an arm crowding into her space.
The footprint length and width is a key criteria because who cares if you have a super-light tent that’s too small?
In any event, check out the guide to buying a backpacking tent on Man Makes Fire.