There comes a time in the lives of many happy campers when they forego the safety and comfort of setting up camp close to their stationary vehicle only, in favor of hiking. Perhaps a certain sense of resilience or even uncertainty fueled these Bedouins. But one thing is for sure: if you are going to embark on such remote adventures, you will need a suitable shelter that will be more compact and lightweight. You will need one of the best backpacking tents.
As with all camping tents, each one offers a number of trade-offs. In general, light weight will also be the most expensive. And the more ventilated, it probably won’t provide the best protection in extreme conditions. But even with these ground rules in mind, these backpacking tents are still highly capable, stable and durable. So you definitely won’t need to sacrifice comfort, security or ease of use on your next stay. With these facts in mind, we’ve rounded up the eight best backpacking tents for your perusal below.
Best overall backpacking tent
Plenty of space and fully featured
Eligibility: 2 people | baler size: 19.5 x 6 inches | lane weight: 2.69 EGP | floor area: 29 square feet | height height: 40 inches
While the Copper Spur may not be super high-end in any particular category (length, weight, price, and durability), this well-built 3-pound tent is packed with many features and performs extremely well. This is why it always earns a place on many lists of the best camping tents. For example, its three-function tent buckles secure the ends of the shaft, rain, and cleats. And couples will love the fact that the two double-zip doors can be supported separately as vestibule canopies (providing additional shade from direct sunlight and protection from light rain) or easily hidden in special pockets. Speaking of which, there are plenty of storage options and multiple interior loops to attach accessories that revolve around this fan favorite.
A great combination of space, quality and weight
Safe and easy to set up
Double vestibule awnings provide additional space and protection
Some users report that it is a bit tight
Thin materials make it less durable than others
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Best backpacking tent for solo adventurers
Simple and safe convenience for one person
Eligibility: one person | baler size: 11 x 4.5 inches | lane weight: 1.63 EGP | floor area: 26.25 square feet | height height: 49 inches
If you’re used to setting up self-contained tents, the Lunar Solo can take a little practice. But after a few times figuring out the order of pulling every guy out, this single pole tent looks like a harness. Due to its space and durability, it is very affordable. The adjustability of the floating floor and canopy means you don’t have to sacrifice comfort in a wide range of conditions just because you’re on your own.
Smallest packed size in this listing
Ultra light, at less than two pounds
Not stand alone
Takes a little practice to prepare
Best lightweight backpacking tent
Incredibly light yet highly functional
Eligibility: 2 people | baler size: 12 x 6 inches | lane weight: 1.16 EGP | floor area: 28.1 square feet | height height: 48 inches
It’s no coincidence that the lightest tent on this list is also the most expensive. After all, they pulled out all the stops – along with the two poles of the tent and six to eight poles that you will need to install. However, the Duplex offers a host of distinctive features, such as the fact that its telescoping doors close with a custom metal hook at the bottom and an annular lock in the middle. This keeps you protected and avoids the kind of zipper failures you might expect after years of mixing dusty trails with rainy nights. Also, the top tarp extends past the floor a few inches on each side, so you don’t necessarily have to worry about annoying drips when peeling storm doors. Furthermore, a screen located between the 8-inch bathtub floor and angled walls is secured by an elastic band, thus increasing ventilation while preventing flooding.
Duplexes come in different weights, depending on the fabric you choose – although “heavier” weights only add a few ounces. Zpacks offers an optional kit to make the Duplex freestanding, an XL version that adds six inches to the floor length and a triple version if you want to add another person (or prefer more space).
The lightest tent on this list, perfect for long-distance backpacking
Dyneema composite fabric and taped seams help prevent water from escaping
Four independently opening storm doors provide 360 degree protection
Expensive – the price does not include columns or bets
Sloping walls may make it look less spacious
It can feel a little airy under certain conditions
Best backpacking tent for all seasons
Versatile enough for year-round backpacking
Eligibility: 2 people | baler size: 19.5 x 6.5 inches | lane weight: 3.88 EGP | floor area: 26 square feet | height height: 44 inches
If you plan to camp in a variety of landscapes and conditions at different times of the year, this is a great choice. Technically, Nemo lists it as “three to four seasons.” Although zippered mesh windows and a butt-flap help improve circulation, ventilation on sweltering summer nights isn’t excellent – as is all-season tents designed to survive freezing temperatures. In fact, the Kunai will be more at home than in a tree line or in alpine regions in the winter. Its tapered shape and ripstop nylon rain fly make it impermeable to wind, rain and snow. So the bottom line is: Konai is great if you don’t want the calendar or climate to determine when and where to camp.
strong and stable
Weatherproof, retractable hooded tension lines
A decent balance between weight and price, given its versatility
Not the best choice for really high temperatures
On the heavier side of the backpack
The vestibule is a little small for more than one cart
The most versatile backpacking tent
Super ventilation for every situation
Eligibility: one person | baler size: 18 x 4 inches | lane weight: 2.06 EGP | floor area: 19.5 square feet | height height: 42.5 inches
Unlike Sea to Summit’s Telos model, which is a free-standing tent available in 2 and 3-person versions, their Alto is a semi-freestanding tent available in single and 2-person iterations. It uses its tension bars (ergo the “TR” in its name) to create a higher canopy and vertical walls. They are stuffed into three bags, which helps distribute the already light weight (assuming you’re not alone). Best of all, the rain fly can be pulled all the way to stargazing on windy nights, partially configured or even independently set up as its own shelter to weather a quick downpour before it reaches base camp.
Special tension rod system maximizes interior space
Long doors and high canopy
Rainfly can be fully or partially configured or even as its own shelter
Slightly more complex than most campers
Best backpacking tent for bike trips
A biker’s dream come true
Eligibility: 2 people | baler size: 20.5 x 11.5 inches | lane weight: 11.06 EGP | floor area: 34 square feet | height height: 54 inches
You probably wouldn’t expect to see the word “sprawling” as a description of a backpacking tent, but it certainly applies (almost exclusively) to this tent. The Wyoming Trail 2 features a generous 34 square feet of space in the main living area—plus an additional 44 square feet of space thanks to trekking pole-supported canopy lobbies. Sure, it’s almost as heavy as the first five tents on this list put together. But the bags for tents and poles can be separated, so you and your partner can split the load…then luxury when you arrive at your destination, while protecting both of you, your bikes, and all your gear from the scorching sun or light rain.
The longest on this list
More extensive on this list – even without the spacious vestibule
Two doors that allow entry through the back or front side (vestibule)
Big package size
The imprint is sold separately
Best backpacking tent for bad weather
A true bad weather friend
Eligibility: 2 people | baler size: 19 x 4.5 inches | lane weight: 2.88 EGP | floor area: 29 square feet | height height: 40 inches
There is no perfect tent. (Otherwise this would be a very short article.) But this sequel to MSR’s popular Hubba Hubba series definitely checks a lot of the boxes. Named in reference to the combined pivot and pole system, this all-weather round tent is easy to set up, in part because of its tailored symmetry. Definitely a bonus when an unexpected cry appears. Not only does the rain fly protect everything (and everyone) under the canopy—thanks in part to the built-in rain gutters—but it also adds 50 percent more space across the lobbies which is great for keeping out/storing muddy gear. Plus, its durable Easton Syclone electrodes, waterproof DuraShield coating, and adhesive seams all combine to keep you firm and dry in even the harshest conditions.
Large all-around tent with superior weather protection
Redesigned to be much lighter than the previous model
Tech-friendly pockets feature cable ports for connecting various wires
Slightly less headroom than others (eg Copper Spear)
Best value backpacking tent
A great choice for beginners
Eligibility: 2 people | baler size: not available | lane weight: 4.31 EGP | floor area: 32.63 square feet | height height: 42 inches
The Discovery Trail 2 is not only the most affordable tent on this list – by a large margin – but it’s also a great tent for beginner backpackers. Features like Quick Corners and pre-installed mounting lines make it easy to set up (and more stable in windy conditions). It offers other common features, such as interior storage pockets, lightweight aluminum poles, rain fly, foyer, and a nice carry bag. Really, everything you need to get started as you go from car camping to hiking.