Last Updated on April 14, 2021 by Tent Reviewer
There are several compromises to be made when selecting gear for a camping adventure, but picking the best backpacking tent shouldn’t be one of them.
Whether you are spending weeks hiking the Appalachian Trail or a single night in the backcountry, having the right tent is vital to both your safety and comfort.
Backpacking tents are ingenious shelters that are more compact and much lighter than the average camping tent. Backpacking tents can easily be stored in your backpacking pack without additional weight.
A good backpacking tent delivers ample protection against harsh weather conditions. The shelter needs to deliver on everything without being tricky to pitch or cumbersome to carry.
Hot sale, freestanding design, highly waterproof, spacious for 2 person, MSR Hubba Hubba Tent
Vestibule and ceiling pocket for extra storage, double pre-tent aluminum poles for sturdy frame and more space, Kelty Late Start Backpacking Tent
4 season design for all-weather use, 360 degree excellent ventilation, affordable price for 1-4 person camping, Teton Sports Tent
Considerations of Best Backpacking Tent
Shopping for the perfect backpacking tent should not be overwhelming. Follow these four simple steps, and you can buy your backpacking tent with confidence.
1. Which Is Better 3 Season or all All Season Backpacking Tent?
When will you be in the tent? As most people shy away from winter camps, tents for three seasons (spring, summer, and fall) will be enough, and at least the tent will be kept.
If you are planning a camp in winter, buy a more massive four-season tent for this. It makes no sense to carry the excess weight of the tent for four seasons only in winter.
2. How Many Lands Do You Need?
Do you sleep alone, with a friend, or with a pet? Most travelers carry a tent for a single person or two people with a generous lobby. An average person needs from 16 to 20 square feet for a comfortable stay (anything may be appropriate up to 16 years, but this will save you the weight of the tent).
3. Is There a Vestibule in the Tent?
The lobby looks like a covered porch, a useless place to store your equipment. Keeping your hiking shoe and walking bag here will not only make your tent clean and spacious but also protect your gear from rain – a large lobby of at least 4 square feet.
4. How Much Does the Tent Weigh?
The ideal goal in the back tent for one person is to save him less than four pounds, for two people – about five pounds. The challenge is to get the most significant area with the least weight.
When searching in tents, make sure that the total weight includes scales in the form of butterflies, awnings, bets, columns, suitcases and human lines.
Do not be fooled! Many manufacturers indicate the minimum weight, which usually does not include the bets, bags and sequences of a person. One way to reduce weight is to purchase aluminum poles instead of fiberglass, minimize risk and pack.
5. What Design Options Should You Consider?
It is easy to set up a tent that adheres to the columns and increases airflow between the tent and the blade. Increased airflow means less condensation inside the tent for fixation or sleeping bag.
The grilles on the walls and doors are more cooling on warm nights and reduce the weight of the tent. Another great option is a window showing a transparent film on a rain butterfly to watch the night sky while still being protected from the rain! Does color matter? A brightly-colored tent adds more natural light inside, and in an emergency, it is easy to find.
6. What Tent Pole Do I Need?
The tent’s stability is crucial when setting up, and here is where you focus more on the poles that the tent is made of. However, note that some tents like the pop-up models do not require being pitched using poles as they are already made.
The best tent poles for backpacking are stainless steel aluminum and fiberglass poles. These two materials are relatively light in weight, resistant to outdoor elements, and stable.
Reviews of 10 Best Budget Backpacking Tents
With so many options, selecting the best backpacking tent can be overwhelming, but not anymore. We have conducted some extensive research to bring you the best backpacking tents on the market.
Material: Polyester & fabric
Waterproof: The Kelty Salida Camping and backpacking tent has walls made of 68D polyester and floor made of 68D nylon, making it durable and resistant to harsh weather conditions. The full seam tape construction and fly attachment featured on this tent enable it to keep water out and you dry.
Construction & Setup: It is a free-standing tent and comes complete with backpack-friendly compact folding poles and a roll-top cube carry bag which makes disassembly and storage an easy task.
This tent is fitted with Gearloft loops and color-coded clips which make the assembly process a breeze. The two-pole design also allows for a quick and effortless set-up.
Ventilation & Spacious: The No-See-Um Mesh featured on this tent is designed to provide optimal ventilation while simultaneously keep the bugs outside your tent.
Internal storage pockets are fitted inside the tent to provide you with space for storing personal items. The Kelty backpacking tent features a spacious vestibule that allows you to keep your wet shoes, backpack, and other things within reach.
Weight: 3 lbs
Water Resistance: 3000 mm
Lightweight & Freestanding: The MSR lightweight tent is the absolute 2-person 3-season backpacking tent. This tent sports a free-standing design and features pole geometry and a non-tapered floor that maximizes the space.
Roomy & Ventilation: Two generous vestibules are included with the tent to provide additional space on each side of the shelter for gear storage. The MSR tent is equipped with an adjustable, cross-ventilating rainfly that features a roll-up vestibule and a kickstand vent for stargazing.
Setup: Color-coded clips and the unified hub-and-pole system make the set-up process as easy as 123. This tent is also designed with two doors for more access.
2 Models: The MSR Hubba tent is available in two configurations. The first configuration comes with the Xtreme Shield Waterproof Coating with premium Easton Syclone poles able to withstand strong winds. The other configuration comes with the DuraShield Coating and DAC Featherlite NFL poles. When purchased, this packaging comes complete with a tent, rainfly, compression stuff sack, stakes, poles, and guy lines.
Total Weight: 5.5 lbs
Water Resistance: 5000 – 6000 mm
The Mier backpacking tent is a lightweight tent able to comfortably accommodate up to 3 people, making it a perfect choice for family outings, camping, group events, and picnics.
Durability: The Mier tent has poles made of aluminum for durability. The pole geometry of this tent is specifically designed to maximize the living space.
Lightweight & Floor: It is intentionally made to be lightweight for easy portability and includes a footprint to prolong the life of the tent floor. This tent is designed with a double polyester wall and a durable nylon rip-stop solid silicone bathtub floor. The fly and carry bag maximizes weight while retaining strength.
Protection: This tent sports taped seams that offer excellent protection against harsh weather. The floor is designed to wrap upsides of the tent and protect it against standing or splashing water. It also fitted with an anti-tear rain-shield nylon flysheet that does not sag or stretch when wet and is also able to resist damage from UV rays.
Windproof: 50 – 60 mph
Water Resistance: 3000 mm
The Teton Sports Mountain Ultra Tent is a lightweight backpacking tent designed to comfortably accommodate up to four fully grown people making it suitable for family camping and group events.
This tent sports a seamless dome-style, made mostly of micro mesh with a ridge and cross pole configuration.
Vestibule & Windproof: It features a two-door vestibule that provides space for storing gear and also offers added protection from bad weather. The cross and ridge pole configuration allows for maximum support against strong winds.
Mesh Design: This item is fitted with state-of-the-art micro mesh which is designed for ultimate ventilation and even allows you to stargaze during clear nights. The mesh floor seams and corners are reinforced for potential durability issues.
Waterproof: This tent sports a 75D 3mm rip-stop polyurethane rainfly with 3000mm waterproofing designed to keep water and dust outside your tent. The rainfly also features built-in vents that provide optimal airflow and prevent condensation inside the tent.
Water Resistance: 1200 mm
Pole: The Big Agnes backpacking tent sports a high-volume pole geometry that creates steeper walls and maximizes the living space. The pole is still able to maintain the light-weight packability and strength despite the unique pole architecture.
Ventilation & Access: It is designed with two large, dual-zipper doors complete with discrete seams for smooth closure and easy entry. Featured dual vestibules provide added space for storing your gear.
Water Resistant: All seams are taped with solvent-free waterproof polyurethane tape, while the floor and fly are both ultra-durable with a 1200mm waterproof rating. Compared to previous versions, this tent sports a 4-way, high-volume hub design which increases the strength by up to 25% and usable interior volume by 20%.
Extras: Two interior mesh pockets, one oversized mesh pocket with two cord routing portals, large ceiling pockets and storm flaps on both vestibules provide loads of storage space. Featured smooth grip zipper pulls, and the two-tone mesh allows for privacy and also for stargazing on clear nights.
Water Resistance: 1800 mm
Material: Polyester & aluminum
Pole: The Kelty Late Start backpacking tent comes with a simple 2-pole construction. The poles are made of aluminum for durability and come pre-bent in the lower area adding more volume to the shelter.
There are pockets situated at the corners of the tent designed to keep one end of the pole secure while you move around to set-up the other end.
Water Resistant: The canvas of the tent is 68D polyester with a waterproof rating of 1800mm. The floor of the tent is tough 68 denier fabric with a waterproof rating of 1800mm.
All seams are taped to keep water and dust out and also help prevent condensation from building up inside the tent. The floor of the tent features a bathtub design which helps keep stagnant and splashing water outside the tent.
Pockets: Plus, it features one overhead pocket and side pockets for both users. There are also pockets for the guy lines which are designed to hide away and not dangle around.
Water Resistance: 2000 – 5000 mm
Accessories: The Hyke & Byke Yosemite backpacking tent is equipped with 12 durable 7000 series aluminum alloy stakes, reflective guy lines with tension lock cord adjustment and a proprietary stake presser.
The stakes, guy lines, and stake presser allow for smooth and effortless set-up. The two poles with clip-pole attachment also allow for a more comfortable set up, lighter weight and better breathability.
Waterproof: It comes complete with a PU 5000 footprint which can be used to prolong the life span of your tent’s floor. The featured bathtub design floor, PU 2000 rainfly, and taped floor seams keep water out during stormy conditions and also help prevent condensation inside the tent.
Others: This tent is designed with one main door, one gear door, and two vestibules for easy access and gear storage. It packs down small with an included carrying bag for portability reasons.
Material: Polyester & oxford cloth
Water Resistance: 3000 – 5000 mm
The Bessport Camping Tent is spacious enough to accommodate up to two people comfortably at a reasonable price.
Ventilation: This tent features two D-shaped doors that allow for easy access to the shelter and two vestibules that provide ample space for gear storage.
Waterproof: This tent sports a seam-taped construction which makes an impenetrable barrier against water and prevents leakage. It also features a welded floor design that elevates the bottom of your backpacking tent, protecting you from wet grounds.
A full-coverage rainfly adds on the protection against rain and also helps prevent condensation from building up inside the tent.
Freestanding: The free-standing ultra-light setup, aluminum alloy stakes, and reflective guy lines help ensure the tent stands firm even in strong winds.
Besides, the autonomous free-standing design allows the lightweight backpacking tent to be moved and relocated without having to disassemble the whole canvas.
Water Resistance: 2000 mm
Material: Polyester & aluminum
Poles: The Alps Mountaineering Lynx tent features lightweight and durable 7000 series aluminum poles. The aluminum poles with pole-clips, aluminum stakes, and guy lines allow for smooth and effortless assembly.
Waterproof: The fly and the floor of the tent are constructed with 75D 185T polyester, which is highly durable and waterproof, can resist UV damage and stays taut.
Both the factory sealed fly and floor seams are designed to provide the best in weather protection. It also sports weatherproof fly buckles which offer maximum adjustability and stability.
Ventilation: This tent is designed with half mesh walls that provide maximum ventilation while keeping the bugs outside your tent. A vestibule is also included to provide storage space for your gear and offer added protection against bad weather.
Layer: Double walls
Water Resistance: 1200 mm
The Big Agnes tent comes in an ultralight package, delivers a lot of interior space.
Setup & Construction: It sports a semi-freestanding design that promotes intuitive and quick set up. The 2 doors provide easy access to the shelter. Vestibules are also included in the tent for gear storage space and added protection against server weather.
Accessories: It also comes complete with reflective stake-out points and reflective guy lines.
Trail Weight VS Packed Weight
The trail weight is the tent body’s weight, the poles, and the rainfly (if it is available).
But, the packed weight is the tent’s actual weight and all accessories when it is new. This includes; tent body, rainfly, poles, stakes, guy lines, stuff sacks, and any other accessories that the tent may be packed with.
The Difference Between Backpacking, Hiking, and Trekking
Hiking is the major outdoor activity among the three. Hiking involves a walk in the wilderness or even in the countryside. Hiking can take between a day and multiple days, depending on one’s preference.
So, hiking involves long walks, which can be done as leisure or workout activities. You will find most workout experts encourage their trainees to have a hike session as a form of workout.
Backpacking, on the other hand, is a form of travel that requires you to carry all your necessities in a backpack. Backpacking can also be done in the woods, or wilderness depending on one’s preference.
Backpacking involves an overnight stay, one of the reasons you have to buy a tent to sleep in at night.
Trekking is one of the most strenuous activities among these three since it involves a strenuous and prolonged walking experience. So, with trekking, you embark on a long journey on foot. Like the rest, trekking can be done overnight or for a couple of days.
Camping Tent VS Backpacking Tent
Unlike camping, where you use a camping car to carry your entire luggage, backpacking requires carrying all items with a backpack or suck. Therefore, a backpacking tent is highly lighter than a camping tent to ensure convenience in taking it.
Ease to set up
Although both camping and backpacking tents are pretty easy to set up, backpacking models are much easier and faster to set up than camping tents. This is because the backpacking tents are much lighter and have fewer poles to connect than camping tents.
The camping tents are way more extensive than the backpacking tents because most of them offer enough headroom such that you can access the tent while standing. But the majority of backpacking tents are small and are not comfortable to access while standing.
What Do You need to prepare for a backpacking trip?
You cannot get up and pack your things for a backpacking activity. First, you need to research and look for the best area for backpacking to ensure your safety and convenience access.
With an area you know of, chances of getting lost are quite minimal, and you will have an easy time maneuvering the place.
To ensure comfort
Preparing all the essentials that you will need for your backpacking guarantees your comfort while outdoors. For example, if you plan to backpack for a few days, you will need to carry enough food and clothes to eat and change while out.
Can I go backpacking with my dog?
Yes! You can go backpacking with your dog, but there are a few things that you need to check first, and they are;
Check the rules and regulations of the area
Check out the regulations that govern backpacking with pets. This is because some areas restrict backpackers to tag their puppies
Train your dog
If it is the first time you will be walking with your dog on the trail, try training it before the date to get familiar with the whole experience.
Test the gears
The gears include; the leash and the collar. Make sure they fit comfortably on the dog and are strong as well. The other gears you will need are protective gears that they wear around their paws. If you plan to go backpacking in the woods, you need to protect the dog paws, especially when you walk in thorny areas.
Carry a tent
Tag along with a pop-up kennel for your dog to sleep in at night.
The right backpacking tent can be a lifesaver and a good investment. When selecting your tent, be sure to consider the weight of the shelter, interior space, durability of the material, and weather protection.
Camping is a fun and enjoyable experience, and there is no reason why shopping for a camping tent should be any different. We hope the information provided above will enable you to quickly and confidently pick out the best backpacking tent for your needs. Happy shopping and happy camping.
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