The Best Tents For Backpacking

woman with tent and backpack A packable tent is undoubtedly the most critical piece of backpacking equipment as it will keep you protected and warm when sleeping outside. Of all the items you should splurge on for camping are a lightweight, durable backpacking tent and a high-quality backpacking tent.

A tent will significantly impact the quality of backpacking life and require careful consideration. We are delighted to propose a selection of the top tents on the market in this guide.

Find our seven favorite backpacking tents, including small 2-person tents, below. We looked at budget, group sizes, weight tolerances, and protection to give you a fantastic camping experience, have a look!

Preview
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent - Gray/Navy
Hyke & Byke Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking Tent - 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof Tent for Camping w/Rain Fly and Footprint - 1 Person - Forest Green
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent, 2 Person (Orange)
Naturehike Mongar 2 Person Backpacking Tent 3 Season Free-Standing Lightweight Hiking Tent for Outdoor Activities
MSR Elixir 3-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Backpacking Tent
Lynx 1-Person Tent
Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking Tent
Copper Spur HV UL
Mongar 2 Person Backpacking Tent
Elixir 3 V2 Tent
Manufacturer
ALPS Mountaineering
Hyke & Byke
Big Agnes
Naturehike
MSR
Rating
Reviews
3,329 Reviews
832 Reviews
164 Reviews
338 Reviews
334 Reviews
Price
$95.99
$104.97
$499.95
$169.00
$339.95
Preview
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent - Gray/Navy
Backpacking Tent
Lynx 1-Person Tent
Manufacturer
ALPS Mountaineering
Rating
Reviews
3,329 Reviews
Price
$95.99
More Details
Preview
Hyke & Byke Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking Tent - 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof Tent for Camping w/Rain Fly and Footprint - 1 Person - Forest Green
Backpacking Tent
Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking Tent
Manufacturer
Hyke & Byke
Rating
Reviews
832 Reviews
Price
$104.97
More Details
Preview
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent, 2 Person (Orange)
Backpacking Tent
Copper Spur HV UL
Manufacturer
Big Agnes
Rating
Reviews
164 Reviews
Price
$499.95
More Details
Preview
Naturehike Mongar 2 Person Backpacking Tent 3 Season Free-Standing Lightweight Hiking Tent for Outdoor Activities
Backpacking Tent
Mongar 2 Person Backpacking Tent
Manufacturer
Naturehike
Rating
Reviews
338 Reviews
Price
$169.00
More Details
Preview
MSR Elixir 3-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Backpacking Tent
Elixir 3 V2 Tent
Manufacturer
MSR
Rating
Reviews
334 Reviews
Price
$339.95
More Details

Best Single Person Tents

1. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent has a dome-like design by crossing two aluminum poles through the middle. With only two poles, it saves weight making this only four pounds! Additionally, the Lynx is an easy-to-carry addition to a backpack as it weighs just 4 pounds 1 ounce and includes guy lines for stability.

Setup the tent on any surface with its freestanding design, perfect for any surface. Because the Lynx does not require guy lines to keep the frame in place, all you have to do is open the tent, lay down, and sleep. Approximately half of the tent is made of mesh with a full-strength rainfly with ventilation and a 32-inch entrance.

The poles are 7000 series aluminum. This is one of the strongest aluminum alloys available. The Lynx’s cross-pole design needs strong poles. The zippers are huge #8, making them easy to use in the cold. ALPS made sure to provide little extras to help you relax. Even though this tent is modest, it has a nice gear loft and side pocket for easy access and ten square feet inside and outside.

It fits nicely into its bag, which measures about 6″ x 18″ when closed. This is a lightweight tent whether you utilize the carrying bag or stuff it into your backpack yourself. The tent is quite affordable, too ready to fit into any budget, and it works for three seasons, making it a fantastic beginner tent. However, do add a footprint as the tent can rip.

Sale
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent - Gray/Navy
3,329 Reviews
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent - Gray/Navy
  • There's no assembly frustration with our Lynx tent Series; This free-standing, aluminum two-pole design is a breeze to setup
  • Polyester tent fly resists water and UV damage while adding one vestibule for extra storage space
  • Fully equipped with #8 zippers, storage pockets, gear loft, stakes, guy ropes and one doorway
  • The Alps Mountaineering Lynx tent is one of our best sellers list; it’s a must-have for your next adventure.Weatherproof fly buckles on for maximum adjustability and protection
  • Base size: 2'8 x 7'6, center height: 36", total weight: 4 lbs. 1 oz. , minimum Weight: 3 lbs. 5 oz.

2. Hyke & Byke Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking Tent

The Hyke & Byke Yosemite two-person camping tent comes with a long list of features. First, the tent offers exceptional waterproof durability with double-wall ventilation and a 5000mm waterproof footprint. When the skies begin to open, you will appreciate this all-important feature!

The tent is 42 inches tall, 88 inches long, and 35 inches wide, with a length of 88 inches and a width of 54 inches. Additionally, the total weight of the tent in its lightweight configuration is 2.93 pounds. Even better, the tent comes with a lifetime warranty, all for a very affordable price that will work with most people’s budgets.

With high-quality materials, this product is even more reasonably priced in comparison to its competitors, providing excellent value for money. The freestanding tent has no-see-um mesh walls and is lightweight and durable. Also, it comes in two sizes: one for one person and two for two people, giving you plenty of options when deciding which is best for you.

This tent comes in various colors like orange, blue, white, forest green, and lime green to suit even the pickiest of tent decor fans. The lack of vents at the top of the cloth is one disadvantage of this tent. When the weather is hot, leaving the possibility of humidity inside. Add in its ability to work in three seasons and a footprint for additional benefit and durability.

Hyke & Byke Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking Tent - 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof Tent for Camping w/Rain Fly and Footprint - 1 Person - Forest Green
832 Reviews
Hyke & Byke Yosemite Hiking & Backpacking Tent - 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof Tent for Camping w/Rain Fly and Footprint - 1 Person - Forest Green
  • 1 Person Tent for Kids and Adults: This cold weather tent comes with a waterproof PU 2000 rain fly, PU 5000 bathtub floor and tent footprint; Keeps you safe and dry from harsh weather conditions
  • Camping Gear and Equipment: Our 35 x 88 x 42 in ultralight tent packs to a compact 16.5 x 5 in carrying bag making it a great addition to your backpacking gear; Spacious and versatile 3 season tent
  • Dome Tent Accessories: Included in this set is a footprint floor cover, aluminum tent stakes, stake press, removable gear loft, reflective guylines and convenient storage bags for every component
  • Leisure Time: Whether you're thru-hiking or taking a long road trip you can always choose what to bring along; Minimum trail weight (rainfly, poles, footprint) of our outdoor tent is only 2lb 9.3oz
  • Hyke & Byke Sleeping Bags: USA-based brand offers premium quality camping gear collection of adult & kids sleeping bags, camping tents & sleeping pods for all your adventures in the great outdoors

Best 2-Person Tents

1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL – Ultralight Backpacking Tent

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL – Ultralight Backpacking Tent offers 29 square feet of floor space with options for one through four people. While the price is high and the materials thin, this tent weighs just 3 pounds and 2 ounces in the small two-person size. It is a high-performance two-door trekking tent designed for those who require more space and comfort than lighter variants provide.

Hikers will love the strong design while maintaining its lightweight, making it a lightweight shelter. It is a fantastic option for anyone searching for a weekend getaway or a couple of weeks away, as the tent boasts two roomy vestibules that transform into highly practical awnings. Inside, the tent feels room thanks to poles and guidelines with some built-in storage and room for a light.

The Big Agnes Copper Spur is simple to erect and operates admirably in inclement weather, keeping its occupants dry. The zippers are automatically in the appropriate place when the door is closed, so you can reach items in the vestibule without sliding them around first.

Next, the tent measures 88″ long and 52″ wide with 19 square feet of floor space. The cross pole produces a lot of lateral space at peak height, while the pre-bent poles create steep walls and contribute to a high internal volume. Also, the tent offers extra headroom and works well in three seasons.

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent, 2 Person (Orange)
164 Reviews
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent, 2 Person (Orange)
  • FULLY REDESIGNED - One of our best-selling, full-featured, ultralight backpacking tents, the Copper Spur HV UL series just got better with new features inside and out, proprietary materials that are stronger and lighter, and hardware that makes setting up even easier
  • AWARD-WINNING COMFORT - New awning-style vestibules expand covered living space; great for both drizzle and sun protection. The double zippers provide multiple access options; great for minimizing wind driven rain or snow getting into your living room. The UL2, UL3, & UL4 feature two doors and two vestibules.
  • STORAGE AND MORE - New 3-D bin ‘mezzanine’ in the foot provides massive, off the floor storage; Oversized ceiling pocket in the head provides great additional storage space; Media pockets provide clean earbud cord-routing from phones or other devices. Includes multiple interior loops for attaching gear lofts (fits with all Big Agnes gear lofts), accessories, and mtnGLO Tent & Camp Lights (not included). Also includes 8 DAC superlight aluminum J stakes and 4 awning guylines.
  • A BETTER SHELTER - New proprietary tent corner construction with unique TipLok Tent Buckle streamlines tent set up by combining three functions: secure pole-tip capture, rainfly attachment and tensioner, and stake-out loop. This buckle has a keyed hole so the pole tip locks securely into place during setup, and hinged design stabilizes structure by equalizing forces between the tent body, rainfly, and ground stake.
  • ULTRALIGHT STRENGTH - New proprietary ultralight nylon double rip-stop; mixed denier fabric offers extra tear strength and puncture resistance without adding weight. New pre-bent span pole coupled with the 4-way high-volume hub design increases strength, stability, and shedding of rain and snow while creating optimal livable space where you need it most.

2. Naturehike Mongar 2 Person Backpacking Lightweight Hiking Tent

The Naturehike Mongar 3 season 2 person backpack tent is small and light, making it an ideal option with high ratings. This tent is extremely light, weighing only 4 pounds 11 ounces, which is slightly heavier than the other options. However, it’s also incredibly portable, measuring 19.6 x 5.9 x 5.9′′ and fitting easily into a bag or car.

Furthermore, the poles are made of a lightweight aluminum alloy 7001. The Mongar tent’s outer tent and bottom are composed of 20D nylon with a silicone coating on the surface with a waterproof index of 4000 mm. Additionally, 20D nylon and B3 breathable mesh make up the inside tent for durability and strength.

Solo campers will enjoy the easy setup. The Mongar 2 employs a rapid clip mechanism that allows you to quickly create your nighttime shelter. The rainfly is equally easy to set up and protects with ease against most weather. A large vestibule with extra protection adds to the useable space making this one of our favorite options.

It is ideal for taller persons who are tired of curling up into the fetal position since their feet would stick out the tent door, with a length of 6’9″. The middle height allows you to easily sit up. There are two separate doors as well, allowing you to come and go as you choose without having to crawl over your tent friend in the middle of the night.

Sale
Naturehike Mongar 2 Person Backpacking Tent 3 Season Free-Standing Lightweight Hiking Tent for Outdoor Activities
338 Reviews
Naturehike Mongar 2 Person Backpacking Tent 3 Season Free-Standing Lightweight Hiking Tent for Outdoor Activities
  • SMALL and LIGHTWEIGHT: Naturehike's Mongar 3-season, 2-person backpacking tent is famous for its ultra-lightweight and space-saving design. Weighing only 4lbs for the whole set, the Mongar tent's packing size is 19.6 x 5.9 x 5.9 in.
  • HIGH-QUALITY MATERIAL: The Mongar tent is made of top-quality materials. The rainfly is 20D polyester with 4000mm waterproof index; The bottom of the tent is 20D polyester with 4000mm waterproof index; The poles are made of 7001 aluminum.
  • EXTRA VESTIBULES: The Mongar 2-person tent has 2 doors, one on each side, for easy access. The 2 vestibules provide larger storage space for gear than standard 2-person tents; Each of the vestibules can be fully or partially closed for desired air-circulation and sun shade.
  • EASY &QUICK SETUP: Naturehike's tents come with a straightforward instruction manual. The installation instructions sewn inside of the stuff sack. The Y-frame structure of our Mongar tent makes setup extremely easy and quick. The usual setup time for a person's first use of Mongar tent is around 5 minutes.
  • GUARANTEED AFTER-SALE SERVICE: Naturehike provides an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee; and a one-year limited warranty for quality-related issues. At Naturehike, customer satisfaction is highly valued.

3. Kelty Late Start Backpacking Tent – 2 Person

Kelty never disappoints, and the Late Start Backpacking Tent for 2 proves the brand’s designs. Get all the features you need without massive size or weight with a basic outside dome and a freestanding internal tent. What makes this tent stand out is the quick corner technology and a shark-mouth carry bag design allowing you to put the tent in without perfect folding.

In addition, the Late Start includes a door, veranda, and tent fly. At 32 square feet plus 7.85 ft2 square feet making it a great size for two, although you can also choose one or four-person options. Each person gets 19.9 square feet and plenty of headroom as it does not taper.

However, the tent weighs 4 pounds 8 ounces which may be too heavy for those going on longer treks. While you lose a little on packing weight, your wallet will not feel the sting of other tent options but may need a bigger backpack. Also, one door can be frustrating for two people, which is something to consider.

The 3-season tent protects from rain, wind, and snow, and even the poles are weatherproof. A low, aerodynamic design reduces wind, but the tent does not offer vents, and it’s not all mesh. Also, the closed vestibules may allow for condensation. The two-pole design adds stability and ease of setup along with the 1800 mm waterproof 68D polyester fly. Add in storage, a rainfly, and on-the-fly guy lines for an exceptional and affordable tent.

Kelty Late Start Backpacking Tent - 2 Person (2019 Model)
523 Reviews
Kelty Late Start Backpacking Tent - 2 Person (2019 Model)
  • Updated Version of Kelty Salida Tent
  • The tapered tent measures 85” x 54” (at its widest point), giving you an interior area of 29. 5 square feet. The peak height is 40 inches. There is a single vestibule protecting 7. 85 square feet of storage space.
  • The two aluminum poles are pre-bent to create extra room inside the tent. Pockets at each corner of the tent keep one end of the pole secure as you move around to deal with the other end.
  • The Late Start 2 tent has a single door. The walls are No-see-um mesh and the floor is tough 68 denier fabric, water resistant to 1800 mm. Internal storage includes a ceiling pocket.
  • The tent body is protected by a waterproof 68 denier rainfly. All seams are sealed to keep the water out. The freestanding design means you can pitch the tent and then move it around to find the best site.

Best Three Person Tents

1. MSR Elixir 3 V2 Backpacking Tent

Our favorite 3 person tent is the MSR Elixir 3 V2 Free-standing Backpacking Tent because it’s fantastic while many three-person tents are disappearing. The inside space may be smaller but compensates with the two vestibules. In addition, a cathedral-like roof prevents claustrophobia despite its compact size.

You can expect more weight from a three-person tent, but this is one of the lightest 3-person tents you can get for a reasonable price. At 5 pounds 14 ounces, minimal weight divided over two people becomes negligible. It also packs down smaller than equivalent 3-person options.

Aluminum poles and a 68D ripstop polyester 1500mm rainfly over a 40D canopy and 70D taffeta nylon 3000mm floor keep you warm and dry in three seasons. Also, the tent comes weatherproofed and may work in a pinch for a fourth season. Total floor space allows for 39.5 square feet with two doors and a bathtub-style floor.

The MSR Elixir 3 summer backcountry tent comes at a reasonable price, leaving you plenty of money for other gear. Keep in mind all the great features on this tent make it sell out quickly. Lastly, the MSR brand tries to give back to the world with reduced waste through conservation, making them an eco-friendly tent company.

MSR Elixir 3-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
334 Reviews
MSR Elixir 3-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
  • Unique pole geometry optimizes headroom and fits two mats; adaptable rainfly allows for excellent views
  • Built-in gear lofts and glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls enhance livability
  • Includes an MSR Elixir footprint that allows for a lightweight fast & light setup with rainfly
  • Freestanding system features color-coded poles, clips and webbing, Plus red vestibules for fast and easy setup
  • Mesh and solid fabric panels offer ventilation, warmth and privacy

2. TETON Sports Backpacking-Tents Mountain Ultra Tent

The Teton Sports Mountain Ultra 3-Season Tent has a sleek, stylish, and distinctive appearance with a seamless dome style. It’s composed largely of micro mesh with a cross and ridge pole layout. While most ultralight trekking tents are either too small, fragile, or breathable, these are not concerns with the Mountain Ultra.

Next, the packed size of 25 x 7 x 7 inches is practical for backpacking. It is not the smallest three-person tent, but it is not the biggest either. Overall, the tent measures 88 x 75 x 49 inches, giving plenty of space for multiple adults. However, the tent weighs more than others at 8.7 pounds, but it’s much more affordable, offsetting the weight.

The two-door vestibules offer additional weather protection and storage space.
Additionally, the T6 aluminum poles add durability, as does the micro-mesh construction, making this option stand out. With the tiny mesh, and strengthened mesh floor seams and corners increase durability. It’s a great option for people who lit to go to state parks to enjoy the views and enjoy the stars.

The Mountain Ultra’s rainfly is 2000mm waterproof 66D ripstop polyurethane that protects 50 to 60 mph winds. This rainfly can keep 2000mm of water out of the tent for 24 hours with pass-through ventilation on a bathtub floor with reinforced corners and seams. The tent comes with a 150D Oxford footprint included for external floor protection but adds weight. All this and the Mountain Ultra include a full-service lifetime guarantee and great customer service.

Sale
TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent; 3 Person Backpacking Dome Tent for Camping; Grey, Model: 2007GY
159 Reviews
TETON Sports Mountain Ultra Tent; 3 Person Backpacking Dome Tent for Camping; Grey, Model: 2007GY
  • STAY DRY Waterproof rainfly with a 360-degree ventilation system for optimal air flow that allows a cool comfortable night’s sleep 1 to 4 person camping tents available
  • ROOM WITH A VIEW Get away from the city lights and enjoy a full view of the Milky Way Full dome mesh top allows for an amazing stargazing experience
  • EASY TO SET UP: Lightweight tent packs down tight for backpacking, hiking and camping; Micro mesh inner tent with perfect fitting, waterproof rainfly; Footprint sold separately
  • PACKS UP EASILY When it’s time to head home the Mountain Ultra Tent is a quick hassle-free take down
  • TETON SPORTS PROMISE Reach out to our AMAZING product support team if you have any questions or concerns YOU CAN COUNT ON US to get you taken care of and back OUTDOORS with TETON Sports

Buying Guide for Best Backpacking Tents

The backcountry shelter you choose is one of the most critical gear purchases you will make as it affects both budget and pack weight. With such a large assortment of features, styles, and sizes, it’s best to know the key features to help you choose the appropriate backpacking tent. Take a look:

Tent Weight

The weight of your hiking tent contributes significantly to your entire carry load. Of course, to save weight, you give up space, features, and long-term durability, but you might find that lightweight tents are quite comfortable and strong if chosen well.

Premium ultralight tents cost more because they use lighter-than-air materials.
Furthermore, the amount of space a tent takes up in a pack also affects its portability.

Size & Capacity

Backpacking tents are classified according to their capacity, ranging from one to four people. A tents inside areas are snug to conserve weight, but the size will vary by brand. However, ultralight tents are likely to be extremely compact to keep weight down. Increase space by choosing one tent size up, such as a two-person tent instead of a one-person tent. You might also look for a tent that is one or two inches wider or longer than the norm, such as options that say plus.

Durability & Protection

Tents are made of a variety of specialty nylons and polyesters. One characteristic you could come across is denier (D), which is the weight (in grams) of a fabric yarn based on a 9,000-meter length of yarn. Strong poles and textiles are combined for durability in the strongest tents. The seasonal rating is the only characteristic that corresponds to strength; for example, a 4-season tent will be stronger than a 3-season tent. These rainfly extensions protect boots and other items.

Season

Tents come in two options: a 3-season tent or a 4-season tent. The vast majority of hikers will choose a three-season tent, especially those new to backpacking. However, because worst-case weather circumstances will vary from trip to trip, frequent trekkers may opt to acquire multiple tents, but the cost can be prohibitive for beginners.

Livable Space

Livable space refers to elements that make time inside your tent more enjoyable as space or lack of space matters. The length and width give a rough estimate of floor size. Some tents have non-rectangular flooring or a tapered floor for more shoulder and arm room while reducing weight. However, this can also affect usability or headspace. You also need to check the peak height against your sitting or laying down height, as a tent with a steep upward angle gives you a lighter tent but less space.

Questions About Best Backpacking Tents

What is a guy line?

A guy line is a piece of twine, rope, or cord used to secure a tent wall, rainfly, or tarp to the ground. You can keep dry with the rainfly as the guy lines keep your rainfly taut and off your tent’s inside wall. This allows for better air circulation throughout the tent, reducing stuffiness and humidity.

Guy-line staking prevents sag, offers you more room to spread out and stow your belongings, and keeps your tent watertight. Guy lines are also used to form a covered outdoor space using the rainfly to store items you do not want inside or to enjoy the weather. Finally, unlike more large and hefty poles, guy lines let non-freestanding tents like pup tents and ultralights stand up and securely tethered to the ground even in adverse weather.

What other features do backpacking tents come with?

Backpacking tents include several useful features such as rainfly, doors, vestibules, and ventilation. The color of the rainfly can allow for a brighter interior while also keeping you dry and prevents claustrophobic space. These rainfly extensions or vestibules protect boots and other items without keeping them in the tent. A larger floor area would have the same benefit, but with more weight.

Designers focus on door shape, zippers, and other details, and a good tent will have a door for each person. However, a multi-person tent with a single door saves weight and money. Moisture is exhaled during sleep, and a tent must cope with it, which is why a rainfly is removable in part or completely ventilation. It also enables you to open for incredible views such as starlit skies and the sunrise.

What is a footprint?

A footprint, or ground cloth, is a layer that goes between the ground and your tent. When picking a tent, one of the last options is whether or not to include a footprint. They can improve the comfort factor by reducing rocks and dirt under your tent and help to prevent scratching, tearing, and mess off the bottom of your tent for longevity.

However, a footprint adds weight to your bag, so individuals aiming to lose weight may prefer to leave one at home. Think about where you will set up camp. If you walk on hard terrains, such as granite, you might wish to bring a footprint. Not all tents include a footprint, but you can buy one separately or make your own.

Should I get a freestanding tent?

A freestanding tent is not supported by poles making it easy to pitch anywhere. Meanwhile, a non-freestanding tent uses poles for a frame and guy lines to connect to trees or pegs for stability. The one you choose depends on your needs.

Choose a freestanding for weather protection, ventilation, and interior space. Use a non-freestanding for packing weight, a sturdy vestibule, and durability. Both are easy to set up, but freestanding tents are the easiest. You will need many other items in your backpack for a comfortable hike, so find the option with the lightest weight that meets your needs.

Final Thoughts About Best Backpacking Tents

Though the number of options available when looking for a new backpacking tent might be intimidating, this means you have plenty of options to find the perfect tent for you. Whether you want to focus on space or durability, discover the right tent for you above to get you out on the trails and enjoy nature the right way, by foot! Now go forth and enjoy the rugged beauty of the outdoors and reap all the benefits with a lightweight and durable tent ready to fit into your backpack.