2020's Best Backpacking Tent Reviews
Backpacking is a unique and rewarding pursuit. It allows you to cover serious miles on foot, go for days on a trail or across the backcountry, and carry everything you need on your back. For many outdoor enthusiasts, backpacking is an exciting challenge of skills and endurance.
Like most other things in life, getting good sleep makes a huge difference in how you feel. That’s why we’ve created this tried-and-tested guide to the best backpacking tents currently available on the market.
There’s something here for every budget and every style of backpacking, so you can properly plan and enjoy your next big adventure.
Editor’s Choice: Mier 1 & 2 Person Tent
This tent comes in one- and two-person options and, at an incredibly light minimum trail weight of 3.1 pounds for the two-person tent; it’s ready for all four seasons.
Top 11 Best Backpacking Tents Reviews
This free-standing dome tent is the perfect balance of durability, lightness, and strength. It’s 3.4 lbs., which is lighter than many of the options on our list.
That’s because it’s made with an additional layer of interior wind-resistant fabric, to help keep you warm and dry, and a sturdy pole structure that enables the tent to stand up to harsh conditions. The result is a taut pitch and a roomy, 29-sqft interior with near-vertical dome walls.
In addition, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX features a 17.5-sqft vestibule area, which gives you added storage space for gear or shoes. A light-diffusing pocket in the ceiling helps to illuminate your space, even if you just have a small headlamp.
It’s not ultimately the lightest tent on our list, but the 30-denier ripstop floor and 20-denier ripstop fly help your tent last longer and stand up to storms, downpours, all while helping to keep you warm, safe, and dry.
Many 2-person tents are really only comfortable for two people and minimal gear, or for one person and their gear. Your gear could fit in the vestibule but bear in mind that vestibules aren’t protected from underneath.
To prevent water seeping in through the ground, you’ll have to take extra measures to protect your gear from wet weather by either wrapping it in trash bags or, for an eco-friendlier option, storing it in dry bags. You could also bring a tarp to add extra ground protection.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL is the best 3-person backpacking tent on our list for several reasons. It features two large doors, meaning that the tent can be entered and exited from two sides. This adds significant comfort to a 3-person tent.
A large pocket ceiling provides loads of additional storage space, and five interior mesh pockets help you and your group organize your gear.
Steep interior walls, storm flaps on both vestibule zippers, and durable, waterproof outer material make for a comfortable, roomy tent that keeps the water out. Every seam is sealed with a solvent-free polyurethane tape for maximal longevity and waterproofing.
The tent’s poles are made with a DAC Featherlite NSL and NFL pole system. This helps to keep the tent sturdy on the ground and the pack light on your back.
Three-person tents tend to be comfortable for three people with minimal gear (and no pets) or for two people with gear and a dog. Whenever you store gear in a vestibule, take added measures to protect it from moisture from the ground: Vestibules aren’t protected from underneath. Use a tarp, a trash bag, or more eco-friendly dry bags to keep everything safe from the rain.
This 3-season tent isn’t just cheap; it comes in 1-, 2-, and 4-person options, each at an affordable price. It doesn’t skimp on essential features, either.
Its poles are backpack friendly, folding down small, and the tent features gear loops and decent interior storage loops. The mesh placement makes for fantastic ventilation while still retaining warmth.
One significant drawback is the tent’s weight and the angle of the interior walls, which are slightly more slanted and less steep than more expensive options. This cuts down on the comfort, but not by much.
The 2-person version weighs a minimal trail weight of approximately 4.5 lbs.–it’s not the lightest option, by far, but you’re paying almost half of what you would for a comparable Big Agnes tent.
How much space you have for gear, especially in a 1-person tent, depends a lot on your size as an individual. Storing additional gear in a vestibule requires protective measures, particularly if you’re concerned about pesky wildlife or heavy, driving rain. Test out your set up before you hit the trail to ensure maximum success!
Marmot is a big name in the outdoor world, and for good reason: it’s earned a solid reputation for supplying high-quality, durable gear. That’s only part of what makes this tent great.
The color-coded poles make for a quick and easy setup, which is essential after a long day on the trail. An overhead vestibule and gear pockets make for efficient interior organization, and vertical walls make for a roomy 32-sqft interior.
Its minimum trail weight sits at approximately 3 lbs. and 14 oz., making it one of the lighter options on this list. A seam-taped, durable polyester fly will keep you dry even on stormy nights. The two D-shaped doors make for easy access and fewer late-night arguments with your trail buddy.
As always, test out your tent and your gear set-up before you go. Make sure you have enough space for people and gear inside your tent; otherwise, plan out how you will store your extra gear overnight if it rains.
If you’re backpacking in a wildlife-dense area, remember to store food away from your tent if you want your tent to last. You also don’t want any unwanted evening visitors poking around for food. Pack extra paracord and dry bags just in case you need to store some of your gear in your vestibule or outside of your tent.
This 4-person tent is exceptionally lightweight for its size. With a minimum trail weight of 7 lbs. and 14 oz., that’s less than 2 lbs. per person. Split up between a group of four; this makes for a lighter load than many other options at a similar price point.
It’s also inexpensive. The reasonable price point gives groups of budget hikers an easy way to split the cost, split the weight, and hit the trail together.
The polyester fly adds protection from wet weather while also doubling as added vestibule storage space. Two doorways, guy ropes, gear lofts, and storage pockets all work together to make for easy accessibility, a sturdy set-up, and plenty of interior storage utility.
Even with a roomy, 4-person tent, it’s best to test everything out ahead of time before you hit the trail. To maximize efficiency, plan out which member of your group will take which part of the tent.
Pack your bags efficiently: If the weather is bad in the evening, you’ll want to be able to perform a team tent setup as quickly as possible.
This little 1-person tent does it all. Weighing in at 2.3 lbs., it’s incredibly light and built to withstand all seasons. While the snow skirt does add a little more weight, it only serves to enhance the tent’s winter performance. It’s also one of the least expensive tents on our list.
Water-resistant and with a floor built to withstand even heavy rains, this little tent works hard for your safety, warmth, and comfort.
In addition, two convection mesh openings work to ensure adequate ventilation and airflow. With three guyline attachments, you can also fasten your tent down in high winds or snow to further enhance the safety and prevent collapse or poor ventilation.
The VIK 1-Person Ultralight comes with a storage bag that can hold essential items such as phones or keys while you camp.
This is another 4-season option and our top pick overall. This impressive little tent comes in 1- and 2-person options: You can choose the size you need.
The bathtub floor design provides maximum waterproofing, and the anti-tear ripstop nylon walls are breathable and exceptionally durable. The 2-person option also boasts a long floor–6’9” long–which makes it an excellent choice for taller campers.
At 3.1 lbs. the 2-person, all-season option is incredibly light, with the 1-person option weighing in at 2.6 lbs. This tent also comes in 3-season models for both a single camper and two campers, which means it’s one of the most customizable options on this list.
Reinforced corners, tie-out sections, and excellent guyline placement make for a sturdy, solid set-up and a comfortable night’s sleep.
Some user reviews mentioned that this tent was large, spacious, and roomy, while others said that the one-person option was too short or that there wasn’t as much space as expected.
Check out the dimensions of your tent before you buy and think about the gear you’ll need, especially for winter camping. Backpacking in cold weather often necessitates extra survival gear and extra layers, and these all need to be stored somewhere safe and dry overnight.
At just over $50, this is the least expensive tent on this list. This tent is designed to be an excellent fit for one person plus their gear or for two people without gear. It’s also a great fit for taller campers: At 7’ long and over 5’ wide, it offers plenty of interior space.
This is a trekking pole tent, designed to be set up with trekking poles you already own. This means that the tent’s weight of 2 lbs. and 12 oz. does not include the poles. It also means that the tent’s stability depends, in part, on the quality of the base of your trekking poles.
The Trekker Tent has the potential to be one of the best backpacking tents you’ve ever owned. It packs down to the size of a football, making for easy transport.
However, if you’re planning on venturing out into potentially wet weather, adding a rainfly (any 10 x 12 waterproof tarp will do) is essential. You will also want to seal the seams–they’re sturdily sewn, but tape sealing them can help make your tent stormproof.
In addition, while the tent is incredibly lightweight, some reviewers report swapping out the steel pegs for lighter aluminum pegs to cut down on weight.
Some reviewers also reported that condensation on the inside walls of the tent was occasionally a problem. To solve this, simply use a tarp as a rainfly, and this will prevent the worst of the condensation.
If you’re looking for a small, compact, 1-person tent, this is your best pick. The ALPS outdoor company has done it again with a tent that boasts an easy set-up thanks to a free-standing design and aluminum poles.
It also has a vestibule for extra storage space, interior storage pockets, and a gear loft for that perfect mix of comfort and organization. The guylines help you remain secure even in windy weather, and the tent’s rainfly resists both water and UV damage.
Weighing in at 3 lbs. and 1 oz., this tent is on the average-to-heavier side for a 1-person set-up. However, it’s also 7’6” long, which makes for a more comfortable experience for taller campers.
It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty: the ALPS brand stands behind its product. Despite all these features, it is still under $100.
Even though this tent is longer than many of our other options, it’s still a good idea to test out your whole sleeping set-up–gear and all–before you head out on the trail. That way, you know if you need to pack extra dry bags or paracord for additional storage options.
ALPS has made this list more than once, and for good reason: The company is dedicated to manufacturing high-performance products for outdoor enthusiasts. Their Mountaineering Tasmanian 2-Person Tent is no exception.
Featuring easy assembly thanks to a free-standing design and study performance due to aluminum poles, this tent manages to succeed at the difficult task of balancing ease of tent setup with solid, winter-ready engineering.
If you’re heading out into the snow, this tent’s exceptionally sturdy fly will repel snow and moisture, keeping you safe and warm. Factory-sealed seams help to prevent moisture from seeping into your sleeping space.
The coated polyester fly works to maintain windproofing, waterproofing, and overall warmth. This tent balances out warmth with intelligent ventilation, and it features extensive interior pockets as well as a gear loft.
Remember that winter gear tends to take up more space. Test out your entire setup before you go so you can make the most of your backpacking and camping experience.
The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe tent functions as an ideal elk-hunting tent. Elk hunting is a very different style of camping from normal backpacking. It usually necessitates a larger base camp, which requires a larger tent that can accommodate the activities of a hunting camp.
Many backpacking elk hunting trips make use of horses or other transportation in order to get all of the hunting gear from point A to point B.
With that in mind, this tent is far heavier and far larger than all the others on our list. It’s also made of duck canvas, which is an exceptionally high-quality and long-lasting treated waterproof canvas material, also known as Hydra-Shield. This tent, if properly taken care of, stands the chance of lasting for years of elk hunting seasons.
This is also the only tent on our list that allows you to walk around inside. With a ceiling height of 6’6”, it is spacious and well-ventilated, with four large windows fitted with No-See-Um mesh. For those who prefer cots, it is an easy fit, even with your hunting gear.
It also features two large D-shaped doors and funnel-flow vents for improved accessibility and ventilation. The cabin-style design makes the tent exceptionally stable, even in bad weather.
Final Verdict: Best Backpacking Tent for Your Next Adventure
Whether you’re new to backpacking, or a seasoned traveler, you need a backpack you can trust, and that will be comfortable to carry no matter how many days you’re on the trail.
Best Backpacking Tent Overall
With multiple options for size and seasonal capability, it offers you the chance to choose your own adventure. It also maintains quality and storage capabilities while functioning as an excellent lightweight tent. Buy it now for your next excursion into the backcountry.