Best Backpacking Tents

Selecting the right gear is crucial for the success of your next outdoor adventure. Choosing gear for a backpacking trip means you have to be mindful of weight and packing size. The ideal backpacking tent should be ultralight, suitable for the kind of weather you can expect to encounter, and easy to set up at the end of a long day of trekking so you can get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed.

We have selected ten durable backpacking tents with smart designs, lightweight materials, and simple set up processes to help you find the best tent possible for your next backpacking trip.

Filter Backpacking Tent by Category

  • All Categories

  • Editor’s Choice

  • Premium Pick

  • Bang for Your Buck

  • 1 Person

  • 2 Person

  • 3 Person

  • More

  • Lightweight
  • Cold Temperatures

Lightweight

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

Ratings

  • Easy to assemble: 8/10
  • Legroom: 8/10
  • Lightweight: 10/10
  • Water resistance: 10/10

Bottom line

MSR delivers a sturdy and lightweight backpacking tent with this product. It’s a versatile 3-season tent with an ultralight design that we recommend if you are planning to go on a long outdoor adventure. The tent weighs a little over three pounds and measures 18×6” once you pack it. There is a compression stuff sack that helps you save room in your pack.

The exoskeleton design enhances the size of the sleeping area, and the freestanding design helps you save time when you set up camp. There is an adjustable rainfly you can use to get more ventilation or stargaze.

The tent features two large doors and vestibules with storage space. The coated nylon fabric makes the tent ideal for camping in humid or windy areas. There are rain gutters that will prevent humidity from building up on the tent. The durable composite poles are lightweight and can withstand windy conditions.

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent is the perfect ultralight backpacking tent thanks to its simple setup and lightweight materials.

Specs

  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Size: 85x50x39”
  • Capacity: one or two people
  • Price: $450

product_pros

Pros Cons
  • Waterproof design
  • Ultralight tent
  • Two doors and vestibules
  • Adjustable rainfly
  • Coated fabric
  • Limited storage space
  • Condensation
  • Limited legroom for two people

Cold Temperatures

Cabela’s Instinct Scout 2-Person Tent

Ratings

  • Easy to assemble: 9/10
  • Legroom: 8/10
  • Lightweight: 7/10
  • Water resistance: 8/10

Bottom line

This sturdy 4-season camping tent is ideal for cold temperatures. The dome design helps retain heat, and the 30-denier ripstop fly will protect you from wind and rainfall.

The 30-denier ripstop taffeta nylon floor does a great job of insulating you from the frozen ground. The bathtub design of the floor and additional coating on the exterior of the tent help maintain a comfortable temperature while you sleep.

There is a single large door and some mesh panels for ventilation to prevent condensation. The ultralight design of the tent and aluminum poles make this tent an ideal choice of backpacking, and the setup process is quick and easy.

The tent comes with stakes you can use to secure the tent in windy conditions, and the sturdy structure can withstand the weight of snowfall.

Specs

  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Size: 87x52x40”
  • Capacity: two people
  • Price: $300

product_pros

Pros Cons
  • Reliable 4-season tent
  • Bathtub floor
  • Dome design
  • Vents
  • Have to set up stakes
  • There are lighter tents available
  • Large door can lower inside temperature when open

Editor’s Choice

MSR Access 2 Tent

Ratings

  • Easy to assemble: 9/10
  • Legroom: 7/10
  • Lightweight: 10/10
  • Water resistance: 8/10

Bottom line

The MSR Access 2 tent is the perfect compromise between a tent that keeps you warm and a product that won’t add any unnecessary weight to your pack. This four-season tent uses ultralight materials and a central support frame that can withstand snowfall, wind, and other tough conditions.

The tent is ideal for one or two people. There are two doors in case one gets blocked by snow, and plenty of storage room for your pack and fear. The composite poles, ripstop nylon, and polyester micromesh make the tent durable.

The taped bathtub floor will insulate you from the ground and keep you warm. Setting up the tent takes a few minutes, thanks to the freestanding design and several guyline points.

Specs

  • Weight: 4 lb
  • Size: 80×50”
  • Capacity: one or two people
  • Price:  $600

Pros Cons
  • Durable materials
  • Ultralight design
  • Two doors
  • Four-season tent
  • Condensation can build up inside
  • Might be too cramped for two people
  • Lack of windows

Premium Pick

MSR H.U.B. Tent

Ratings

  • Easy to assemble: 5/10
  • Legroom: 10/10
  • Lightweight: 6/10
  • Water resistance: 10/10

Bottom line

This spacious MSR tent is suitable for professional climbers and explorers. The cabin design provides you with plenty of living or sleeping space.

This large tent is perfect if you need a basecamp for a climbing expedition, but we think it would be an ideal choice for backpacking with a large group of people. The capacity is somewhere between eight and ten people.

This tent features a sturdy exoskeleton structure and taped seams. There are seven aluminum poles that support the tent.

The design is flexible since you can remove the door panels and the floor. There are two large entrances, awnings, windows, and mesh doors. The 75D polyester mesh and 150D taffeta polyester construction make the tent ideal for cold weather.

Specs

  • Weight: 48 lb
  • Size: 144x108x79”
  • Capacity: eight to ten people
  • Price: $5,000

Pros Cons
  • Cabin design
  • Flexible tent
  • Large capacity
  • Ideal for cold weather
  • Strong structure
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Doesn’t come with stakes and line

Bang for Your Buck

REI Co-op Passage 1 Tent

Ratings

  • Easy to assemble: 9/10
  • Legroom: 6/10
  • Lightweight: 9/10
  • Water resistance: 10/10

Bottom line

We like this 3-season tent because the X-pole design makes the setup quick and easy. You can install the tent in a few minutes thanks to the central door and quick attachment system.

It’s a lightweight tent with aluminum poles and a freestanding design. The aluminum poles lift the ceiling height, and the external design of the poles means you have more room inside the tent. The sleeping area can fit a sleeping bag, and you will find additional outside storage space under the fly.

The polyester fly is waterproof and will keep you warm at night. The welded design of the tent is ideal for reducing moisture. There are vents high on the tent walls that you can open to get rid of condensation.

Specs

  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Size: 88×36.5×40”
  • Capacity: one person
  • Price: $140

Pros Cons
  • External poles
  • Lightweight design
  • Freestanding tent
  • Aeration vents
  • Easy setup
  • Limited legroom
  • Storage is mostly external
  • Lack of windows

1 Person

Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent

Ratings

  • Easy to assemble: 9/10
  • Legroom: 8/10
  • Lightweight: 7/10
  • Water resistance: 9/10

Bottom line

Opting for a compact one-person tent is an option that makes sense since you will save a lot of space when packing. We recommend the Kelty Salida because it’s a warm and comfortable option, and you can set it up by yourself easily.

It’s possible to use this tent for two people if you don’t mind feeling a little cramped, or you could take advantage of the 10-square feet vestibule to bring more gear. We think this tent is ideal for backpacking because it measures 13×15” once you fold and roll it.

There are two sturdy aluminum poles that support the tent. They fold into a compact carry bag. The rainfly of the tent will protect you from cold weather and humidity. The 68-denier nylon construction makes this Kelty tent a durable option. The taped seams will reduce condensation.

The freestanding design and D-door make the setup process fast and easy. There is a color-coded system you can use to install the tent within minutes, and some convenient loops and pockets to put your gear away.

Specs

  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Size: 88x55x43”
  • Capacity: one or two people
  • Price: $150

Pros Cons
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to set up and carry
  • Taped seams
  • Waterproof rainfly
  • Durable materials
  • Might be too cramped for two people
  • There are lighter tents on the market
  • Low ceiling height

2 Person

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2-Person Tent

Ratings

  • Easy to assemble: 9/10
  • Legroom: 8/10
  • Lightweight: 9/10
  • Water resistance: 7/10

Bottom line

We recommend this ALPS two-person tent because it’s an affordable option, and it’s a convenient choice if you need a tent large enough to fit two people comfortably. It’s also spacious and easy to setup. There is plenty of ventilation and options to keep your gear organized.

While most two-person tent can feel cramped, this tent delivers plenty of storage and legroom. It’s lightweight and compact enough for a single person to carry it during the backpacking trip.

The setup process is easy. There are two poles to install, some clips to secure, and no need to use stakes thanks to the freestanding design.

The tent comes with a durable waterproof fly that is resistant to UV damage. The rainfly makes the tent a durable investment and will keep you warm. The floor seams and coated polyester fabric make the tent suitable for a wide range of environments.

The mesh walls keep the tent breathable and will help reduce the temperature when camping in hot weather. The tent features two doors and two vestibules, which is convenient if you are sharing the sleeping area. You will find a loft and pockets to store your essentials.

Specs

  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Size: 5’x7.5’x46”
  • Capacity: two people
  • Price: $100

Pros Cons
  • Spacious design
  • Easy setup
  • Ventilation
  • Two doors
  • Two vestibules
  • Limited insulation
  • Rainfly isn’t adjustable
  • Not for extreme weather

3 Person

ALPS Mountaineering Ibex 3-Person Tent

Ratings

  • Easy to assemble: 7/10
  • Legroom: 7.5/10
  • Lightweight: 6/10
  • Water resistance: 8/10

Bottom line

This versatile 3-season tent is ideal for three people, thanks to its excellent airflow and ventilation. The mesh walls make the interior of the tent cool and breathable. The walls will also dry fast if they get wet. The double-wall design will keep you comfortable if the temperature drops.

The tent features a two-pole design. It uses aluminum poles to support its structure. The pole clips allow for a quick setup process.

You can secure the rainfly with buckles to protect the tent. There are two vestibules you can use for storage, and the two doors are convenient if you are camping with three people.

This ALPS tent is ideal for three people because there is a comfortable living and sleeping area of 40 square feet. There are 17 square feet of storage space between the two vestibules and some additional pockets inside the tent. It’s light enough for a person to carry it, and it measures 8×21” once you pack it.

Specs

  • Weight: 5lb
  • Size: 6’2”x7’5”x3’5”
  • Capacity: three people
  • Price: $100

Pros Cons
  • 40 square feet sleeping area
  • Two vestibules
  • Double mesh walls
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Lack of vents
  • Lack of taped seams
  • Some tents have smaller pack size

Lightweight

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

Ratings

  • Easy to assemble: 8/10
  • Legroom: 8/10
  • Lightweight: 10/10
  • Water resistance: 10/10

Bottom line

MSR delivers a sturdy and lightweight backpacking tent with this product. It’s a versatile 3-season tent with an ultralight design that we recommend if you are planning to go on a long outdoor adventure. The tent weighs a little over three pounds and measures 18×6” once you pack it. There is a compression stuff sack that helps you save room in your pack.

The exoskeleton design enhances the size of the sleeping area, and the freestanding design helps you save time when you set up camp. There is an adjustable rainfly you can use to get more ventilation or stargaze.

The tent features two large doors and vestibules with storage space. The coated nylon fabric makes the tent ideal for camping in humid or windy areas. There are rain gutters that will prevent humidity from building up on the tent. The durable composite poles are lightweight and can withstand windy conditions.

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent is the perfect ultralight backpacking tent thanks to its simple setup and lightweight materials.

Specs

  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Size: 85x50x39”
  • Capacity: one or two people
  • Price: $450

Pros Cons
  • Waterproof design
  • Ultralight tent
  • Two doors and vestibules
  • Adjustable rainfly
  • Coated fabric
  • Limited storage space
  • Condensation
  • Limited legroom for two people

Cold Temperatures

Cabela’s Instinct Scout 2-Person Tent

Ratings

  • Easy to assemble: 9/10
  • Legroom: 8/10
  • Lightweight: 7/10
  • Water resistance: 8/10

Bottom line

This sturdy 4-season camping tent is ideal for cold temperatures. The dome design helps retain heat, and the 30-denier ripstop fly will protect you from wind and rainfall.

The 30-denier ripstop taffeta nylon floor does a great job of insulating you from the frozen ground. The bathtub design of the floor and additional coating on the exterior of the tent help maintain a comfortable temperature while you sleep.

There is a single large door and some mesh panels for ventilation to prevent condensation. The ultralight design of the tent and aluminum poles make this tent an ideal choice of backpacking, and the setup process is quick and easy.

The tent comes with stakes you can use to secure the tent in windy conditions, and the sturdy structure can withstand the weight of snowfall.

Specs

  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Size: 87x52x40”
  • Capacity: two people
  • Price: $300

Pros Cons
  • Reliable 4-season tent
  • Bathtub floor
  • Dome design
  • Vents
  • Have to set up stakes
  • There are lighter tents available
  • Large door can lower inside temperature when open

How to Choose a Backpacking Tent

Shopping for a backpacking tent is different from selecting a tent for a regular camping trip. It’s a tent you will need to carry during the day, set up every night, and pack up every morning.

Prioritizing ultralight materials and quick and easy setups will make your backpacking trip a lot more pleasant. As a rule of thumb, your pack shouldn’t exceed 20% of your body weight. A lightweight tent will help reduce fatigue and leave more room for other essential items.

Pay attention to the packed size of your backpacking tent. Most tents come with convenient compression bags that reduce how much room they take once you fold them. Compare the packed size of different tents and make sure packing up the tent is quick and easy.

Backpacking tents usually have compact designs to reduce weight and packed size. Don’t hesitate to choose a tent with a slightly higher capacity if you want more legroom or storage space.

Seasonality is another important consideration. Pay attention to features like ventilation, a waterproof rainfly, and an insulated floor. A tent with a strong structure is an excellent choice if you expect high winds or snowfall.

Find out about the setup process before choosing a backpacking tent. You will need to set up your tent every night after a long day of trekking. Setting up your tent shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

We recommend choosing a tent with a simple design. A freestanding tent will be easier to set up, and features like clips and color-coded elements will help you save time when you set up camp.

You probably won’t unpack your gear every night, but it’s important to choose a tent with pockets and other storage options so you can keep a few essentials close to you at night.

Assess your needs regarding capacity, weight, and seasonality before comparing backpacking tents. We think the MSR Access 2 is an excellent choice since it’s a lightweight and versatile tent, but we encourage you to compare different products.

Scroll to Top