You’re out on a hiking trip with friends and realize that one of the backpacking tents you brought along is starting to fall apart due to the strong winds. To keep everyone safe, you decide to share the stronger tent with your buddies. Now, you are stuck trying to fit into a tiny space that wasn’t meant for a group this size. You can avoid such issues on your next hiking or backpacking adventure by purchasing a tent that is comfortable, durable and built with quality materials.
By making sure you have one of the best backpacking tents available, you can save yourself a whole lot of misery when you are out on the trail. There are a variety of backpacking tents to choose from with some being ideal for single occupants while others are spacious enough to accommodate up to six people. To pick the right tent always go for reliable brands that offer at least two-year warranties on their products.
How to Pick the Best Backpacking Tents
Before you settle on any products, there are some things you need to consider when picking the ideal backpacking tent. Some of these things include size, price, durability, functionality, season, and weight.
The size of backpacking tents can help you determine their suitability. Consider the size of the tent when packed against its size once you set it up. A tent that folds up small is easier to carry. When it is fully set up, the tent should be spacious enough to accommodate the number of people it is intended to hold.
The last thing you want is to pick a tent that is heavy. Not only will such a tent slow you down when moving up a steep mountain, but it will also wear you down before you make it halfway through your backpacking adventure. To be on the safe side, choose a tent that is not too heavy.
The type of materials that make up the tent is another factor you need to consider. Go for top quality materials to ensure that your tent remains in excellent condition regardless of how often you use it. The design also determines its strength. A tent that has four or five pillars positioned strategically is likely to remain strong even when there are heavy winds and rain.
The functionality of the tent refers to the things that it allows you to do besides just providing shelter. The ideal backpacking tents should have features like side pockets that let you organize items. A drainage system on the outside can reduce the amount of water gathering in the middle of the roof while an entry point with double zippers makes it easier for you to close the door while inside or out.
Your budget is another factor you must take into consideration. Avoid going for backpacking tents that are incredibly cheap without any reasonable explanation. This is often because such products are of substandard quality. Instead, go for tents that are available at an average market price. Of course, if you have enough money, you can always go for the top-of-the-line products.
How We Reviewed the Best Backpacking Tents
To determine the best backpacking tents on the market, we considered the size of each tent and the amount of protection it provides. Mobility and waterproof capabilities are also among the things that we looked at closely. Other factors that played a role in our selection include price, functionality, ease of set up, and overall product quality.
Our Top 10 Best Backpacking Tents
There are different backpacking tents you can choose from depending on the number of people that you wish to shelter in the tent. From one person to six-person tents, there is something that can suit just about every preference. Here are the 10 best tents on the market today. Please note that they are listed in no particular order.
1.MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
This tent features 20-denier ripstop nylon and 15-denier nylon mesh. It is built to accommodate two people and weighs 3.8 pounds. It has a freestanding design with a unique pole geometry and a non-tapered floor that measures 29 square feet. The tent has a peak interior height of 39 inches. A centralized hub and pole system together with color-coded clips make setup quite easy. The tent is available on Amazon with a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. It has a price range of $390 to $450.
- This tent has an adjustable rainfly with a kickstand vent and a roll-up vestibule that allows you to star gaze. Once you are done with the tent, you can pack it down to 18 inches by 6 inches, which is quite convenient. It features a combination of mesh and solid panels for breathability and privacy.
- Some users note that the rainfly on this tent damages after a few uses.
2. Big Agnes Fly Creek UL Tent
This tent features the DAC Featherlite NFL pole system with lightweight hubs that make it easy for users to assemble. The product is designed using quality nylon that ensures it remains in good shape regardless of the prevailing weather conditions. The tent has a single door and vestibule. The tent is available on Amazon with a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. It has a price range of $300 to $400.
- The tent features interior mesh pockets that allow users to organize items. It weighs a total of 1.7 pounds which is quite convenient for any backpacking enthusiast.
- Some users claim that the tent loses its waterproof capabilities due to a fault in its footprint feature. Other users say its mesh placement is not ideal as it allows some water to leak into the tent. The tent can only accommodate one person meaning it is not suitable for groups.
3. Vango Banshee 300
The Vango Banshee 300 is a tunnel style tent that can accommodate up to three people. It features a Protex 70D 5000mm HH polyester flysheet which makes it waterproof and ideal for backpacking in just about any kind of weather. Its Vango PowerLite alloy poles are lightweight but sturdy enough to withstand strong winds. The tent has two doors allowing users to enter or exit with ease. The tent is listed on Amazon with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. However, it is currently unavailable.
- This is a waterproof tent that can accommodate three grownups. The tent features a patented Vango tension band system that gives it stability even in adverse weather conditions. It comes with a fastpack bag that allows you to fold up different parts and keep them in a single storage area.
- Some users claim that this tent is not easy to set up, which is an inconvenience — especially for those who are in a hurry. The tent weighs about 5.2 pounds, so it is heavier than other backpacking tents on this list.
4. Nemo Hornet Backpacking Tent
The Nemo Hornet is among the lightest of backpacking tents as it weighs 2.5 pounds. The tent can comfortably accommodate two grownups. Its floor area measures 28 square feet, which is roomy enough for two people. It has two doors and vestibules that make for easy access to the interior or outside. The inner tent has a built-in privacy panel for extended coverage and security. The tent is available on Amazon with a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. It has a price range of $320 to $450.
- This tent comes with two bags that allow users to pack every part conveniently. The dual-stage stuff bags can split into two separate compartments for easier carrying. This tent’s True Tub floor design reduces seam construction and seam tape, which ensures that the shelter remains waterproof at all times. Light pockets on the ceiling allow users to position their flashlights or lanterns quickly.
- Some backpackers note that the sides of this tent tear easily. It also allows water to leak in.
5. Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock Tent
The Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock can only accommodate one individual but weighs about 4.25 pounds. It has an interior length of 90 inches and a width of 42 inches. Its patented design allows users to suspend it as a hammock or position it on the ground as a tent. The tent is waterproof and features bug netting and a rainfly, which makes it ideal for any weather. The tent is available on Amazon with a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. It has a price range of $190 to $300.
- This tent has a straightforward design that makes it easy to set up. It’s waterproof and incorporates a bug netting system that keeps pests away. Two interior pockets allow users to organize items while two ceiling O-rings let you hang lights.
- This tent is heavier than most on this list, which makes it less than ideal for long-distance backpackers. Some users note that the tent wears out quickly.
6. MSR Hubba Hubba NX 1 Person Tent
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent features 40-denier ripstop nylon and 15-denier nylon mesh design. The tent has 29 square feet of floor area, an interior peak of 39 inches, and 17.5 square feet of vestibule area. The shelter can accommodate one grown up. This tent weighs 3.1 pounds and can pack down to 18 inches by 6 inches. It has a mesh design for breathability and solid panels for warmth and privacy. This tent is available on Amazon with a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. It has a price range of $320 to $450.
- This tent is waterproof and features a unique door design that keeps the interior dry even when you go in or out while it’s raining. It is easy to set up and weighs about 3.1 to 3.8 pounds depending on the type of set up you wish to use. Color-coded clips and parts make for easy assembly.
- Some users note that the tent is only stable during the first three years but then starts to wear out. Some users say it does not keep rain out.
7. Coleman Sundome 4 Person Tent
The Coleman Sundome is among the backpacking tents that are spacious enough to accommodate up to four people. It measures 9 feet by 7 feet and is 4.11 inches tall at the center, which makes it easy for people to move around. Its large windows and ground vent provide proper ventilation while a WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams help keep users dry regardless of the weather. This tent is available on Amazon with a rating of 1.6 out of 5 stars. It has a price range of $100 to $200.
- Sturdy fiberglass poles ensure that the tent remains stable even in stormy weather. Its simple set up design allows users to put it up within 10 minutes. Cleaning of the tent is easy as all you have to do is use a wet sponge and mild soap to wipe off stains and dirt.
- Some users claim that the tent features poor quality materials that rip off during setup.
8. Wenzel Current Hiker Two-Person Tent
The Wenzel Current is a tent that features weather armor fabrics with sealed seams that prevent leaks. It has a lightweight, sturdy fiberglass frame that keeps it stable even in heavy winds. A center height of 36 inches and a length of 82 inches make it roomy enough for two people. It comes with a storage duffle and easy to use stakes making it one of the simplest backpacking tents to set up. The tent is available on Amazon with a rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars. It has a price range of $30 to $60.
- This tent is lightweight and compact. The tent has a rear vent that ensures fresh air flows through.
- Some consumers claim that the tent is quite small, making it uncomfortable for two people to use.
9. FUNDANGO Lightweight Compact Portable Dome Tent with Vestibule
The FUNDANGO Dome tent features two layers with the outer flysheet acting as a reinforcement. Each of the layers can be used separately depending on what the user prefers. The tent weighs 5.3 pounds which is significantly heavier than most tents on this list. However, it is spacious enough to accommodate three to four people. The tent is available on Amazon with a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. It has a price range of $50 to $100.
- This tent has a design that keeps water from leaking to the inner parts. It is lightweight and compact. Its breathable design ensures that occupants are comfortable.
- The tent is heavy which makes it less than ideal for long distance backpackers who do not want to be bogged down by weight.
10. Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter LT Tarp Tent
This particular tent features a 40d sil-nylon coated body and two trekking poles. It has a single door and reflective guylines with tension lock cord adjustment allow non-pole setup. A rear ventilation window allows for air circulation. It has a floor area of 54 square feet making it ideal for two people. This tent is available on Amazon with a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. It has a price range of $120 to $200.
- This tent is waterproof meaning that occupants are always dry even during rainy weather. You can also use it without poles.
- This tent does not have a footprint and that may mean you have to pay more to get one.
The Final Take Away on The Best Backpacking Tents
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent comes across as one of the best backpacking tents on the market today. It can accommodate two people while giving the stability necessary to withstand harsh weather. Its waterproof design and functional features including side pockets make it stand out as one of the best options available.
Those who are looking for more or less space can opt for the other backpacking tents on the list. All of the backpacking tents on this list offer outstanding protection from the elements, adhere to acceptable standards of quality, and provide comfort when you are on an adventure in the wilderness.