Backpacking and camping go together like marshmallows and campfires. It’s the original way to camp. There’s something incredibly liberating about carrying everything you need to survive on your back. With the best 2-person tent for backpacking in your gear, you can wander this earth and never have to worry about where you’ll rest at night. Or in the morning. It doesn’t matter, because time is yours to spend how you want. That’s the beauty of backpacking.
Another beautiful thing about camping and backpacking is having others to enjoy your time with. The best 2 person tent for backpacking has plenty of room for you and another to sleep comfortably. That’s because backpackers don’t always have the luxury of booking a hotel room or even a hostel. Many people choose backpacking for the budget and lifestyle. I once backpacked through Thailand and Cambodia, and, in hindsight, I should have brought a tent. That’s because by the time my (now ex) girlfriend and I reached Koh Samui, every available room was booked for the Full Moon Party. We ended up sleeping under the stars, being eaten alive by mosquitoes and other bugs.
If we had brought the best 2-person tent for backpacking with us, my memory of Thailand would be a lot different.
Best 2 Person Tent For Backpacking Comparison Table
All About Backpacking Tents
You want that perfect balance of room and weight when you’re lugging a tent around in your backpack. When there’s two of you sharing a tent, it has to be large enough. Whether you cuddle together or keep a wall of backpacks between you, it’s vital that your tent is able to accommodate your needs. The great thing about the two-person tent is that it’s big enough but also light enough to carry on your back. Four-person tents are too heavy, while a single-person tent is too small. A good two-person tent hits that sweet spot of space and portability.
The best 2-person tent for backpacking should also have great seasonality. Most winter tents are too heavy for backpacking. However, a good backpacking tent should handle the other three seasons without flinching. That means rain, sun, chilly nights and hot afternoons. A little bit of frost in the spring or autumn shouldn’t damage the fabric. Finally, backpacking tents need to be easy to set up and take down.
Who is this for?
Backpackers can be anyone. There are back-country backpackers, who hike off into the mountains and emerge a week later, blinking in the sunlight and looking a little worse for the wear. There are weekend warriors, who set off on well-worn trails and spend a night or two camping. Then there are the international travelers who prefer to live out of a backpack than a suitcase. Traveling around Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia and Latin America is easy and highly rewarding in this manner.
How big is it?
As we mentioned, the best size for a backpacking tent is a 2-person tent. That comes out to between 7 to 8 inches by 20 to 25 inches when packed, and between 35 and 45 inches tall and 75 to 85 inches wide when open.
How heavy is it?
The best 2-person tent for backpacking purposes should weigh less than seven pounds when packed. Any heavier and it starts to become a pain to carry around. There is one caveat, however: the tent shouldn’t be so light that it compromises on durability. You want to make sure that your tent doesn’t tear easily, and lighter materials tend to be more prone to tears. Which is why we recommend anything between four pounds and seven pounds as a good weight for a backpacking tent.
How do I set it up?
Another thing you want in a backpacking tent is ease of use. If there are a dozen metal poles and pegs and anchor lines to fuddle with, you’re going to have one heck of a time. Imagine trying to do that at night during a sudden rainstorm. No thank you! Instead, you need a tent that can pop open easily and with as little effort as possible.
How much does it cost?
The price ranges wildly for backpacking tents. The best 2-person tent for backpacking will cost between $40 and $150. The great thing about this size of the tent is that it’s cheaper than bigger tents. Because they’re light, they usually include simpler materials. The end result is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on one of them.
How We Reviewed
We set out to tell you which is the best 2-person tent for backpacking that you should buy. We ended up with a decent list of great tents. Although we were able to choose a winner, the other tents we included will also serve you just fine. To assemble this list, we researched everything we could about backpacking tents. Then we looked at what brands and options are out there. We widdled the list down to several tents which met our criteria: big enough, light enough, and able to handle three seasons.
Once we had that list, we checked out customer reviews to get an idea of how these tents handle in the real world. We discarded anything with overwhelmingly negative reviews, and the best 2-person tents for backpacking remained.
The Best 2-Person Tent for Backpacking
Although we ended up settling on one tent that we consider the best 2-person tent for backpacking, we didn’t list these tents in any particular order. Also, some of these tents are a little uncompromising, and some are designed to handle only one type of climate. We’ll leave it to you to decide which is the best tent for your individual use case.
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent
First up in our hunt for the best 2-person tent for backpacking is the Mountainsmith Morrison 2-person 3-season tent. What’s great about this tent is that you can separate the interior into two separate vestibules, which is great when you’re camping with your bro. It has two doors and plenty of ventilation that can be closed off in cooler weather. At just over four pounds, it is light enough to carry with you. The tent costs between $ and $$ and comes with 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Customers loved that this tent is versatile and light. Best of all, it can withstand a heavy downpour without a drop getting in. The only complaints were that it’s heavier than advertised and a little difficult to set up.
Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 3-Season Tent
Weighing only three pounds, the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight three-season tent is a backpackers dream. Also, when it comes to simplicity, this tent has it going on. It’s a small, squat, simple two-person tent that doesn’t try to impress with bells and whistles. It has a pyramid shape, elongated on one side, with a lower clearance where the door is. With only two poles and a full mesh body, it is easy to set up and will keep you cozy and dry.
You’ll pay between $$ and $$ for this tent. On Amazon, customers gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Customers raved about how sturdy this tent is. It can hold up in almost any weather without leaking. The only complaints were that it’s difficult to get in and out of in a hurry.
Chillbo CABBINS Camping Tent
Chillbo claims that their CABBINS tents are “ridiculously good-looking” but, as with Ben Stiller in Zoolander, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One thing this tent is good at is keeping you warm and dry in a storm. It has a windproof frame, sealed seams, an Oxford floor, and a full fly. We love that it has two large D doors so you can get in easily, but best of all, it’s easy to set up. You can snap it up with only a couple of steps, which is great in the rain or at night.
It costs between $ and $ and comes with a full lifetime guarantee. Customers gave it 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, raving about how easy it is to set up. The only complaints were that it’s a little small for taller people.
Hyke & Byke Zion 1 and 2.5 Person Backpacking ultralight dome camping tent
Next up is the Hyke and Byke Zion ultralight dome camping tent. You’ll notice right away that this tent is extremely portable, weighing only 4.5 pounds when packed. Also, a couple of poles snap open easily, so you can have it up in a minute or two. There are two doors, vertical full-mesh walls, and there’s even a gear-loft to stow away your stuff while you’re sleeping. You’ll find this tent roomy and well-ventilated.
It costs between $ and $$ and comes with a lifetime warranty, which we like. On Amazon, customers gave it 4.6 out of 5 stars. Customers loved how easy it is to set up, and they praised its light, portable weight. On the other hand, several people complained that the poles snap easily and the fabric isn’t that tough.
Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
The Kelty Salida 2-person backpacking tent is a polyester dome tent with full no-see-um mesh walls and a full fly. There’s a single D door and over 10 square feet of floor space for 2 people to stretch out on. Because it only weighs 3.5 pounds, you’ll find it easy to carry in your backpack. Also, the two-pole setup is super-easy. Expect to pay between $ and $$.
Meanwhile, customers on Amazon gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and praised its lightweight and durable build quality. They also said it was well-ventilated and roomy. There were complaints that it doesn’t pack away too easily.
Everest Double Camping Hammock with mosquito net
Not every tent needs to be on the ground. If you’ve never tried a camping hammock, then you might be in for a real treat. The Everest Double Camping Hammock is extremely comfortable and easy to set up. The nylon “ripstop” diamond weave is practically untearable, and because your tent is off the ground, you’ll sleep softer, warmer, and dryer. There’s a large mosquito net to keep the bugs off you while you enjoy the night air. Of course, you’ll want to be camping with someone you don’t mind getting cuddled up to because a hammock is a hammock. But at only three pounds, you’ll be able to carry it easily.
It costs between $ and $$ and comes with 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Customers loved how easy it is to set up, and they raved about how comfortable it is to sleep in. Some complained that there’s no storage for their gear.
Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking 2 person tent
Next is the simple, traditional Featherstone Outdoor UL Graine Backpacking 2 person tent. We call it traditional because it looks like a normal, traditional dome tent with a large fly. It’s when you take a closer look and notice the micro-mesh fabric and sealed seams that you realize this tent is completely waterproof and extremely rugged that you notice it’s not a normal tent. A single aluminum pole makes it stupidly easy to set up. Because it weighs only four pounds, carrying it is no problem. Expect to pay between $ and $$, backed by a lifetime warranty. On Amazon, customers gave it 4.4 out of 5 stars, saying the build quality is excellent and the tent is dry in a rainstorm. Unfortunately, a few people complained that it doesn’t handle wind well, and falls apart after a couple of seasons in the elements.
Kelty Grand Mesa tent
Finally, we have another tent from Kelty. This time it’s the Grand Mesa tent, which is a four-pound two-person backpacking tent made for three seasons. It has a freestanding design, so you can easily move it around if you don’t like where it’s set up. The walls are full no-see-um mesh which is covered by an elongated fly. A gigantic D door makes for easy access. While there are storage pockets, there’s no storage loft, which may be an issue for some backpackers. The Grand Mesa costs between $ and $$. Customers gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with many of them saying it’s waterproof and handles strong wind and storms with ease. Several people complained that it gets a little cramped in there with two people.
And the Best Tent is…
Although we listed eight tents here, all of which can be considered the best 2-person tent for backpacking, we wanted to help you out by telling you which is the best one. However, we don’t have a single best tent, because everyone’s needs are different. Instead, we have the best tent for different people. So, if you’re small and lightweight, then the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight is the best tent for you. Of course, if you have a large partner, they won’t appreciate camping with you in this simple little tent.
That is why we chose the Chillbo CABBINS tent as the single best backpacking tent for couples. The tent is hands-down one of the best backpacking tents. The fact that it is so easy to set up, and that you can choose from a bunch of different zany patterns, makes it ideal for couples. There’s room for a larger partner to stretch out and for the smaller one to cuddle up to them. Best of all, it’s affordable and backed by an amazing lifetime warranty. We think this is the best 2-person tent for backpacking on the market today.
Finally, if you’re camping with your bros, go with the Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent. The fact that you can create two separate vestibules is awesome when you have a platonic friend in there with you. You’ll enjoy the privacy, and the tent holds up well in weather of all kinds.
Which is the best 2-person tent for backpacking for you? Let us know in the comments!