The best backpacking tents you can buy


The best backpacking tent overall

The best backpacking tent overall
With its spacious interior, large double doors, and quick set-up, there is a lot to love about the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 tent. Throw in an overall weight that is approaching ultralight levels, and good stability even in strong winds and you have a backpacking tent that is simply tough to beat.

Straddling the line between a traditional and an ultralight tent, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 offers the best of both worlds. With a trail weight that drops below 3 pounds, it is extremely light yet still offers plenty of interior space, doors on both sides, and large vestibules for protecting your gear. It is also quick and easy to set up and does a good job of maintaining its structure even in a strong breeze.

The Copper Spur HV UL 2 doesn't take up much room in your backpack either, with the tent, poles, and included rain-fly packing down to an impressively small size. That means you can carry a smaller pack or bring a few extra amenities along on your backpacking excursion.

While this is a fantastic tent in just about every way, reviewers still found a few concerns. For instance, Clever Hiker felt that the lightweight materials used in the Copper Spur's construction weren't as durable as some other models on the market. Backpackers may also find themselves with a bit of sticker shock as well, with the tent's $450 price tag putting it outside the budget of many campers.

Still, with its combination of weight, size, and ease of use, this the best backpacking tent available at the moment. If you have the extra cash in your budget, this is the tent you'll want with you on your backcountry adventures.

Pros: Lightweight, roomy, outstanding weight-to-space ratio, two doors, large vestibules, good performance in inclement weather

Cons: Lightweight material isn't the most durable as competing models, pricey


The best budget backpacking tent

The best budget backpacking tent
The REI Co-Op Passage 2 is a sturdy, well designed, and feature-packed tent that won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Designed to save cash, not ounces, the REI Passage 2 is a high-quality option for backpackers who don't have a lot of money to spend on their tent. In fact, this model costs a fraction of what most other shelters on the market do, and yet it still manages to offer solid performance and great value.

As you would expect, the Passage 2 features two doors and two gear storage vestibules. It also comes equipped with mesh vents near the top that help keep condensation to a minimum and ceiling storage pockets for stashing important items. Add in very durable fabrics and a full-coverage rain-fly, and you have a backcountry shelter that meets the needs of most backpackers without the large price tag.

Most reviewers laud the Passage 2 for its easy, straightforward set-up process that is quick and efficient. That comes in handy when you arrive at the campsite late or are trying to set up your tent ahead of an impending rainstorm. Others appreciate its simple, but effective design that provides enough interior space to prevent it from feeling too crowded.

Weight seems to be the biggest drawback of this tent, which is considerably higher than the more expensive tents that it competes with. Clocking in at nearly 5 pounds, it is on the heavy side, even for bargain models. If you can get past that number, however, it is a very good tent for the price.

Pros: Extremely affordable, roomy, easy to set-up, good backpacking tent for beginners and experienced campers alike

Cons: Heavier than most other two-person models in its class


The best family backpacking tent

The best family backpacking tent
The Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent is roomy, affordable, and easy to set up. Plus, it has enough amenities to keep the whole family happy and yet still finds a way to remain relatively lightweight at the same time.

Finding the right tent for a multiperson backpacking outing isn't always easy, which is why many campers elect to bring two smaller shelters instead. But for those families who prefer sleeping under the same roof, the Marmot Tungsten 4-Person Tent is a great option.

Built from the ground-up to maximize space, the Tungsten features near-vertical walls that allow for a higher level of interior volume and an interior height of 52 inches. In fact, the tent's clips work in conjunction with its poles to generate as much space as possible without compromising stability. As a result, this model is roomier than you might first expect, while still managing to somehow provide a cozy environment at the same time.

Despite its size however, the Tungsten 4P model isn't overly heavy for a tent designed for four. It clocks in with a weight that is a shade under 8 pounds, which is impressive for a shelter that can comfortably sleep four. When not in use, the tent breaks down to a very manageable size too, allowing it to be easily transported.

Other nice features include a built-in clip for hanging a lantern, interior pockets for storing essential gear, and two doors, as well as two vestibules. Marmot even created a color-coded system for its poles, clips, and fly that makes it a breeze to set this tent up. The Tungsten even comes with a footprint to help protects its floor and keep moisture at bay too.

The Tungsten scores big points for handling foul weather exceptionally well. With the fly installed, it is nearly impervious to rain and the structure of the tent holds up well even in gusty winds. The fabrics used in its construction are fairly breathable as well, which helps to reduce the amount of condensation that builds up overnight.

Make no mistake, there are lighter four-person tents on the market, but the Marmot Tungsten's blend of durability, features, weight, and price make it a wise choice for backpacking families.

Pros: Very spacious, easy to set up, durable, full-featured tent for the backpacking family, storage pockets, lantern loop, comes with both a footprint and fly, relatively lightweight for a tent of this size.

Cons: A bit on the heavy and bulky side, included stakes seem to be on the smaller size, the floor and vestibule are a bit smaller than some of the competition

The best four-season backpacking tent

The best four-season backpacking tent
Incredibly durable and surprisingly light, the Black Diamond Eldorado is a four-season tent that is built to survive in the coldest conditions imaginable and keep you safe and warm in the process.

When it comes to picking a tent for winter camping, failure is not an option. Four-season models have to be able to survive high winds, cold temperatures, and blowing snow or they run the risk of endangering the person inside. Thankfully, the Black Diamond Eldorado is about as durable as they come, even when camping in the coldest, harshest season of them all.

Usually, increased durability means heavier tents, but the Eldorado is fairly lightweight for a four-season model. It weighs just 4.5 pounds, which is excellent for a shelter designed for use in the winter or on mountaineering expeditions. It is also quick and easy to set-up as well, allowing users to escape the elements in a hurry if the need arises.

Some of Eldorado's strengths have also been perceived as weaknesses by some. For instance, while many backpackers and climbers love the level of heat retention that this tent provides, others have found it to lack good ventilation. That can lead to stuffy, stale air on the inside, particularly when used in warmer temperatures.

Similarly, the tent's compact design allows it to pack down surprisingly small for a four-season model. However, its interior space can feel a bit cramped with two people and all of their gear. Other tents in its class and price range may offer extra space with additional room to spread out. That can be very useful if you find yourself tent-bound for an extended period of time.

When you factor in the cost, performance, weight, and durability, the Black Diamond Eldorado is extremely tough to beat. As four-season shelters go, it is a top-notch offering that won't weigh you down or empty your wallet.

Pros: Very lightweight for a four-season tent, shrugs off wind and snow with ease, quick and simple set-up, outstanding build quality, compact design that saves space in your pack.

Cons: Doesn't offer the best ventilation on the market, cramped for two people and their gear.


The best ultralight backpacking tent

The best ultralight backpacking tent
If you fancy ultralight backpacking, you'll swoon over the Nemo Hornet 2's minuscule 2-pound-and-5-ounce packed weight and its extremely easy setup system.

A brand of camping in its own right, ultralight backpacking takes a wholly different approach to spending time on the trail — one concerned with packing as little weight as possible. When it comes to the proper ultralight tent, no one does it better than Nemo and its Hornet 2 tent.

With a packed weight of just 2 pounds and 5 ounces, the Hornet is as light as it gets and packs lighter than almost anything else you'll bring along for the trip — save a pair of socks or some underwear. It even comes with an innovative stuff sack that allows you to split the contents of the tents between two bags, further reducing its overall weight.

Thankfully, the Hornet's light weight doesn't mean it lacks in other areas. For starters, it still comes standard with two side doors and vestibules, meaning you'll have multiple access points and areas to store excess gear — like almost every pick on this list.

By designing it to use triangulated guyouts, Nemo was able to avoid the interior feely overly cramped. Instead, its 28 square feet of floor area provides more than enough space for a single backpacker and, if need be, a cozy setup for two.

Setup takes only minutes due in large part to its single hubbed pole that features ball-and-socket tips. Its DAC aluminum poles also weight lighter than any pole setup on the market yet maintain a high level of durability — even if you're consistently packing the tent for three-season use. Whether you're fully invested in the ultralight movement or not, Nemo's Hornet is the best way to reduce weight without reducing comfort. — Rick Stella

Pros: Packed weight of just 2 pounds and 5 ounces, triangulated guyouts offer more interior space, easy set up and takedown, divvy stuff sack makes it easy to fit in a backpack, and its extremely durable aluminum poles are some of the lightest on the market

Cons: Tends to leak during rain storms

The best backpacking tent for couples

The best backpacking tent for couples
With more headroom and elbow space than most backpacking tents, MSR's Hubba Hubba NX 2 sleeps two backpackers with ease (as if the name didn't already allude to that).

Backpacking is best done with friends and sometimes, those friends also happen to be your significant other. But when packing light is the name of the game, strapping on a cumbersome two-person tent isn't exactly ideal. Enter MSR's Hubba Hubba NX 2, a backpacking tent designed specifically for couples — if the name didn't already give that away.

To accomplish this, MSR designed the Hubba Hubba to feature an innovative pole configuration which increases headroom and elbow space, giving both partners ample room to cozy up for the night without feeling cramped or cooped up. This added space doesn't do much to its packed weight, either, as it weighs just 3 pounds and 13 ounces. While it is heavier than Nemo's Hornet and the Big Agnes Copper Spur, it won't break your back if you need to haul it for hours on end.

Despite its unique pole configuration, setting up the Hubba Hubba still only takes a few minutes as its color-coded design makes it incredibly easy to simply align the poles to the hubs. For camping in wetter climates (or when that out-of-nowhere rainstorm hits), the tent features two of MSR's patented StayDry doors, which guide water away from the doors when they're open — assuring the interior (and your gear) stays dry.

Not only is this a feature we've tested and can attest to its efficiency, but there exist a number of similar customer reviews via REI's site that echo the same experience. So many tents have issues with waterproofing but MSR gets it right with the Hubba Hubba.

When breaking down the tent, it packs into an incredibly compact compression bag that's perfect for fitting inside a backpacking pack, or securely fastening to the outside. As mentioned above, its light weight proves perfect for trips calling for several hours of hiking each day. If you're looking for a dependable backpacking tent capable of comfortably sleeping you and your partner, the Hubba Hubba is for you. — Rick Stella

Pros: Sleeps two people comfortably by providing increased headroom and elbow space, weighs just over three pounds, StayDry doors keep rain from entering the tent and away from gear, easy to set up and take down, and its compression sack makes it easy to stow

Cons: Doesn't provide much warmth in colder temperatures


Check out our other camping gear guides

Check out our other camping gear guides
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