Tent makers are putting more R&D into poles; the result is stronger, roomier, lighter tents. Variable-diameter poles add strength while saving weight, and pre-curved shapes increase internal space. Other developments include carbon-fiber models (see Big Sky's Evolution 2P) and no poles at all (Nemo's inflatable Morpho).
Ultralight materials and design have trickled up to three-person tents, creating a new class of shelters: big enough for three, light enough for two. This breed weighs in well under five pounds, feels cavernous with two campers, and can accommodate a third. If you're going to own one tent, make it one of these.
More and more manufacturers are turning to silicone-treated fabric, since the material is both light and strong. But in many cases, tents that employ the fabric don't pass the strict fire-retardant standards used by several states. Until the regulations or fabric technology change, shelters like Black Diamond's Skylight may have limited distribution in some regions.