I dont really know if there is a minimum" recommended thickness. It all depends on how much you abuse a tent, and your tolerance for some premature wear and the possible need for replacing a tent.
The Seedhouse 2
Big Agnes deserves a nod for including coating informationthat is indeed helpful information. In this case, even the coating for the Seedhouse 2 ($219) is on the light side. But thats also because its a tent that, while well made and well designed, is competing a little bit on price. The Marmot Swallow 2P, by comparison, has 3,000 mm floor coating. But it also costs $339.
(An aside, what we are talking about here is not the thickness of the coating, its how much pressure from a vertical water column the coating can withstand before allowing leakage. The bigger the number, the taller the column, the more pressure the material can resist.)
Obviously, a floor with a lighter coating can save weightall other things being equal. Marmots Aura 2p ($299) weighs about half of what the Swallow weighs. Its also smaller, has a lighter (hence cooler) mesh fly, and uses various other weight-saving strategies. But it still has a 3,000 mm floor.
Myself, I wouldnt agonize too much over it. What really helps is to get a roll of 4 mm clear plastic at the hardware store. Cut yourself a piece that is slight smaller than the footprint of the tent. Then pitch the tent atop thatthat saves a TON of wear as you grind the tent into the dirt while sleeping. And there is a very small weight penalty. Just make sure none of the ground cover sticks out from under the tent, as otherwise it will catch rainwater and funnel it beneath the tent.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.