The things that make a backpacking tent the best are influenced by a lot of things such as where are you planning to go backpacking, how you are planning to do your backpacking and the season or weather in that place where you are backpacking.
So far, one of the most important considerations among backpackers is getting the lightest backpacking tent available in the market. These light best backpacking tents though are more expensive than a regular tent.
Top 15 Best Backpacking Tents Comparison
Let us take a look at 16 of the top backpacking tents in the market today in accordance to price:
Backpacking Tent above $500
What is the most popular backpacking tent that you can get for more than $500?
If you are looking to invest in a backpacking tent, you have to start with reading some backpacking tent reviews.
Reading reviews will give you an idea of the popular and trusted brands when it comes to backpacking tents. Reviews will also guide you in understanding what most people are looking for in a backpacking tent.
One of the most popular backpacking tents that you can find today for its quality and price is the Staika 2 Person Tent from Hilleberg. This is a small tent that can only house two people and yet it costs less than $1000 (click here for the price). If you are wondering why it costs a lot, let’s get to know more about Hilleberg Staika 2 Person Tent.
This best backpacking tent from Hilleberg has an outside fabric that is made of Kerlon 1800. The poles of this tent are 10 mm thick so you can be sure that regardless of how strong the winds are, it will stay on its place and your tent won’t be swayed. This tent offers all-season protection with its extendable wall.
The wall is also adjustable with its fabric panels. This is a dome type tent and for added stability, it is designed with multiple crossing poles points. Even if a heavy load of snow falls into your roof, this tent won’t go out of shape. The inner tent and the outer tent can be pitched separately. Are you planning to go backpacking in the desert? Hilleberg’s Staika 2 Person Tent can accompany you! Do you want to stay in Alaska for a few days? Hilleberg’s Staika 2 Person Tent will protect you from the snow and cold. Do you want to spend some time with your special someone on the beach? Bring this tent with you and sleep near the shore where you can hear the waves!
The next item for this backpacking tent reviews list is the Signature Instant Tent from Coleman. Coleman has been the leading manufacturer when it comes to tents and they offer reliable and affordable tents as well.
If you are looking for a good investment though and you have more than $500 to spare, get the Signature Instant Tent and have a tent that you can use for any type of backpacking activities.
This best backpacking tent from Coleman has spacious interior and can fit a queen size airbed. This tent is very easy to pitch as well with its pre-assembled poles. Even a newbie can pitch this tent in just 5 minutes. At night, your tent is visible with its Illumiline TM reflective guy lines. If the weather is bad, you can take advantage of the rainfly that comes with this tent as well.
Coleman also used its patented WeatherTecTM system for this tent hence you can be sure that this is 100% leak free. With its welded floors and inverted seams, you can continue to sleep tight even if it is raining outside knowing that you are protected from any leaks. Coleman Signature Instant Tent is using Rugged Powder Coated Steel poles for added durability as well.
This 4-person tent also comes with 5 windows that you can use for sightseeing and for added ventilation. The fabric material of this tent is made of 150D, twice as thick as a regular tent fabric and still coated with PU Coatings. For its durability, strength and size, you surely understand now why this Coleman tent is more expensive than other regular Coleman tent products.
Are you looking for the best backpacking tent for the money? If you are looking to invest in a backpacking tent, you can start with The North Face 4 Season Tent.
This tent from North Face is made of 20D polyester “no-see-um” mesh materials.
This comes with a floor that is made of 70D, 210T nylon taffeta with 10000 mm PU coating. With this floor tent, you can now sleep tight even if it is flooding outside because North Face ensures that nothing will get inside this tent through its floor.
This tent is water resistant. The North Face 4 Season Tent is a dome type of tent with two doors. It has aluminum poles and it weighs 17 pounds with a dimension of 7.6 x 9.2 x 25 inches. With this tent, you can now start backpacking anytime and go anywhere because you knew that something can protect you from dusk till dawn.
Backpacking Tent below $500
Here are the highest rated backpacking tents that you can have for less than $500 based on different backpacking tent reviews:
The next item on our backpacking tent reviews list is the Big Agnes – Flying Diamond Deluxe Car Camping Tent. This tent is available in large sizes that can house 4 or 6 people.
The price of this tent depends on the size and it ranges from $300 to $700. Big Agnes – Flying Diamond Deluxe Car Camping Tent is a four season tent. This comes with two doors and vestibules.
The doors are D-shapes and the tent alone is free standing. For the front vestibule, a vertical zipper is installed and the said vestibule can be rearranged and used as a shade with the help of two trekking poles. This tent is made of breathable polyester rip stop and designed with nylon windows.
The fly is also made of durable polyester rip-stop and has 1500mm waterproof polyurethane coating so rest assured that you will stay dry all the time that you are inside it. This protection that the rainfly provides is being supported by the tent’s floor that is also made of durable polyester with 1500mm waterproof polyurethane coating. Even if it is raining, you can now sleep in comfort and in dryness inside this best backpacking tent from Big Agnes.
Big Agnes – Flying Diamond Deluxe Car Camping Tent is easy to set up with its DAC Combination Lightweight Aluminum poles. With these poles, all you have to do is connect the poles and the press fit connectors will do the rest for you. The poles are made of TH72M aluminum hence they are durable and strong yet very light. There are sleeves and plastic clips connected to the tent’s body as well to make the pitching easier. At night, you and other campers can see the reflective guylines to avoid getting into accident or stepping into it.
This tent also features taped with waterproof seams and the tape used is solvent-free polyurethane (No PVC or VOC’s). Inside this tent, campers can make use of the mesh storage pockets. This kit comes with 15 hook stakes, carry bag with shoulder straps and organizational pockets. For your family needs or your big group’s need, this large tent from Big Agnes can accompany you in all of your backpacking gigs.
Nemo’s Losi LS 3P Backpacking Tent is the best backpacking tent from Nemo if you have about $500 to spend on a backpacking tent.
This backpacking tent can house three people. For its size, it has a weight of 4 pounds more than 2 kilograms. The frame of this tent is made of 4 DAC 9.0/9.6mm Featherlite NSL and I comes with a 15D Nylon canopy.
The fly of this tent is made of 15D Sil/PU Nylon (1,200mm). Newer Losi LS 3P Backpacking Tent has been redesigned by Nemo to make it more adaptable to backpackers and campers. This is a free standing tent, the effect of its unique pole set-up. The entire tent, from the fly to the tent body up to the floor is waterproof, durable and strong.
With this tent, you can now plan your backpacking trip anytime because regardless of the weather, you know you are protected and will have a shelter that you can depend on. This is three-person tent and it comes with a dimension of 23 x 9 x 7 inches. This tent weighs 5.7 pounds.
Eureka has a lot to offer when it comes to backpacking tents but for the best backpacking tent within the $500 price range, the Eureka Assault Outfitter 4 Tent is a sure winner.
This tent can house up to 4 people. It features a factory sealed fly and floor seams for added protection against leakage.
This tent comes with two doors and both have mesh. It also has storm flaps and Hi-Low Vent settings to keep you comfortable regardless of the weather outside. The Eureka Assault Outfitter 4 Tent has two vestibules that campers can use to store their gears.
The floor of this tent is made of Oxford Polyester Bathtub Floor with 5000mm PU coating so even if it is raining hard outside and the water seems to be higher than the floor, you don’t have to worry or panic because your tent can keep you dry.
The Eureka Assault Outfitter 4 Tent is the civilian version of the military’s Marine’s Combat Tent. This is a dome type tent with three poles only. The fly is a full RipStop fly. The poles are shock corded aluminum poles of 13mm so although there are just three of them, you can be sure that it is strong and durable. This tent from Eureka is also fire retardant.
After buying everything that you can use for your next backpacking activity, you are now planning to choose from one of the best backpacking tents in the market. If you have a budget of $500, what tent are you going to purchase? One recommendation that I can give is the Northern Breeze Screened Shelter, another quality product of Eureka.
The Northern Breeze Screened Shelter from Eureka is a square screen house. This tent has a built-in rain curtains and awning. It is a full mesh panel tent and has a measurement of 12×12 foot. The frame of this tent is shock-corded, pre-bent and aluminum made hence it is lighter as compared to those that are made with fiberglass.
This is dome tent with a center height of 101 inches, allowing campers to move more freely inside. This tent also has two full length zip doors hence entry and exit is a lot easier as well.
Being such a large tent, this weighs 28 pounds with its dimension of 13 x 12 x 37 inches. This backpacking tent is recommended if you are planning to camp long in the wilderness that is not too far from your car park. Well, it is hard to carry a 28-pound tent just so you can all sleep well, right?
One of the best tents for backpacking that you can consider if you have a $500 budget is the Trail Ridge Tent from Kelty.
This tent is made of polyester and is designed with multi-diameter pole configuration to keep the walls taut and archly, producing more space inside for campers. There are two vestibules as well that can be used as gear storage for the nigh. The floor seams are taped for added leak protection while the wall panels are mesh for added ventilation during hot summer nights.
The Kelty Trail Ridge Tent is a free standing tent and is easy to pitch with its continuous pole-sleeve construction. What I love about this tent is the noiseless zipper; hence even if I go out in the middle of the night, I can do so in the quietest way possible. This tent has taped seams and side release fly connection plus fly vents. Kelty Trail Ridge 6 Tent is a three season tent that has two doors for its 6 campers to use.
This 6-person backpacking tent weighs 13 pounds. Its six campers can sleep well in the spacious 80 square feet floor while all gears can be securely placed in its 22 square feet plus vestibule. When packed, this tent has a length of 25 inches and a width of 9 inches. When pitched, this tent has a dimension of 96 x 72 x 120 inches.
This tent is supported by 4 DAC DA-17 poles while the walls are made of 68D polyester. The floor on the other hand is made of 68D nylon with 1800 mm coating just like the fly that is made of 75D polyester materials.
Best Backpacking Tent below $ 300
Here are the top backpacking tents that you can have if you have a budget of at least $300.
After joining some friends in their outdoor activities, you decided to get your own stuff and invest with your own outdoor gears. What would be the first thing to buy?
I would say going for a tent first is a good call. Once you have your own tent, you can now go on camping anytime you wanted to. So what are the best tents for backpacking that you can have if you have $300 to spend with?
There are on different best backpacking tent reviews that can give you a list of great tents within the $300 range like the Timberline SQ 4XT Tent from Eureka. This tent is big enough to accommodate four people so with this tent, you can now invite some of your friends too. With this tent, you can expect the best of everything including a fully protected fly and floor with tis factory sealed floor and rain with seam tape.
The floor was also designed with a bath tub style meaning the sides are wrapped to keep the occupant as dry as possible. The Eureka Timberline SQ 4XT Tent is free standing and easy to set-up. It comes with a Sequoia shock corded aluminum frame for optimum durability and strength. This tent has a dimension of 8 x 9 x 26 inches and weighs 4 kilograms. The poles of this tent are aluminum made. This is an A-frame tent.
What is the best backpacking tent that you can get from Mountainsmith if you only have $300 to spend? The Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent is worth investing if you are looking for a great tent that you can use on your next backpacking trip.
This tent can be carried and used alone and once you found the person that you want to bring on your next backpacking trip, this tent is worth bringing too. This tent has a bathtub floor with taped seams. It only comes with two reliable poles and a color-coded fly attachment system for easy pitching.
The fly of this tent is made of 185T polyester with with 2,000-millimeter-rated polyurethane coating. The floor is polyester with 5,000-millimeter-rated polyurethane coating while the entire tent body is made of breathable 185T polyester tent material combined with a 30-denier 244T nylon. This tent has a dimension of 56 by 43 by 92 inches and 4.11 pounds.
Backpacking Tent below $100
Here are the tents for backpacking that you can have if you have a budget of at least $100:
What is the best backpacking tent that you can get for less than $100? If you are looking for a backpacking tent that you can bring with you anywhere you go but your budget is a bit limited, the Lynx 1 Tent from Alps Mountaineering might suit you and your budget.
This backpacking tent can protect you from the heat of the sun, strong winds and rain with its polyester taffeta made materials. This is an easy to pitch tent with its free standing designs. It is made of 7000 Series aluminum poles that have pole clips for easier pitching. The fly of this tent that can protect you from harsh weather condition is made of 75D 185T polyester. This is a material that will keep your tent taut and solid even after regular wear.
For its floor, this backpacking tent from Alps Mountaineering has a 75D 185T Poly taffeta floor coated with w/2000mm coating to ensure 100% protection against leak and water especially when it is raining. The floor seam is also factory sealed like its rainfly. For added support, the zippers of this tent are extra-large zippers that can keep the water from getting in. Are you afraid that strong winds will take your rainfly away? For this tent, its weatherproof fly buckles will surely keep it in place.
During hot weather, the half mesh walls will surely keep you ventilated inside. For this package, you will also get 7075 Aluminum Stakes and Guy Ropes that you can use during unlike weather conditions (for added support and protection). Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1 Tent has a dimension of 36 x 32 x 36 inches and weighs 4.2 pounds. This is a single person tent and has a floor area of 20 inches. For a convenient and comfortable sleep at night after long walks in the mountains, have a trusty tent that you can use like this one from Alps.
There are a lot of best backpacking tent reviews that you can find online and if you will filter results based on price, you will find a lot of good tents that you can use for less than $100.
One of these backpacking tents is the Sundome tent from Coleman that can house two people. There are a lot of great Coleman tents out there but this one is incomparable because of its price. Despite being cheap, this tent can promise you that it is at least 33% more water resistant than other Coleman tents out there and other more expensive branded tents.
This tent has two windows for added ventilation. These windows can be used as well for viewing purposes. If faced with harsh weather, you can stay calm inside this tent because of its rainfly that can surely protect you from being wet. This is a 48 x 60 x 84 inches, two person tent that comes with a carry bag. The Sundome 2 Person Tent is available in navy color and weighs 8 pounds.
For this backpacking tent reviews list, our next item is the Coleman Hooligan Tent, another top of the line tent from Coleman.
This tent is available as a two, three and 4 person tent and for any of these sizes; the price is just below $100. One feature of this tent from Coleman is its one-pole design, allowing it to be as light as possible. This is so far one of the lightest two-person tent that you can find in the market today weighing only 7 pounds.
The main feature of this tent is its Weather Tec System; a Coleman patented system that ensures users that they will stay dry inside the tent regardless of how hard it pours outside. While inside this tent, you can stay ventilated with the inner mesh walls of this tent. Being a one-pole tent, this is also one of the easiest tents that an individual can set up. Coleman Hooligan Tent has a dimension of 7 x 6.5 x 22 inches with a floor area of 39.65 inches. This tent’s pole is made of fiberglass and is available in orange.
For the best backpacking tent that Geertop can offer, they have their 4-season Tent that is available for less than $100.
The GEERTOP 4-season Tent is one of the most affordable 4-season tents that you can find in the market today and once you use it, you won’t get disappointed at all. This tent from Geertop features a dome structure and it can house a single person.
The materials used for this tent are 100% waterproof after going through double stitching with tape sealed seams. It also comes with aluminum poles. The tent itself has anti-UV protection. For your backpacking needs, you would want something thin and light but enough to give you comfort and shelter at night and even when the weather is not right (raining or snowing) and this is what this GEERTOP 4-season Tent offers.
With this backpacking tent, you can now go on backpacking anytime, whether it is spring, summer, autumn or winter. Let no weather stop you from having fun. This tent has a dimension of 45.28 x 82.68 x 102.36 inches and it weighs 2.59 kilograms. This is a two-person tent so the weight is really not bad.
If you are in the market looking for the best backpacking tent that your $100 can get, you should check what Wenzel can offer.
The Wenzel Ridgeline 3 Person Tent that is made of polyester is indeed worth checking for with its weather resistant fabric materials plus polyurethane coating. This is a three-person tent with a Dutch D-style door.
Once inside, you will appreciate the two windows added to it to keep you ventilated. For added comfort, the roof is also vented. This tent has shock-corded fiberglass frame for easy set-up and fast feet system. If you love backpacking with your buddies, this tent is enough to give you the comfort you need.
The Wenzel Ridgeline 3 Person Tent is also recommended for outdoor enthusiasts who love doing long outdoor activities like bicycling and trekking. This dome tent has a dimension of 6.3 x 21 x 6.3 inches and weighs 6.25 pounds. The center height of this tent is 50 inches, allowing users to move around more freely, even when in semi- standing position. This has a floor area of 49 inches and the poles are made of fiberglass.
Different types of tents
- Double walled tents
A regular double wall tent comes with three parts – the inner tent with the floor, the outer tent (rainfly) and the poles. Double wall tents can be self-supporting, tunnel tents and free-standing tents. A self-supporting tent means the tent is being hold by its poles.
A tunnel tent on the other hand is guided and supported by hoop-shaped poles while a free standing tent stands up on its own and doesn’t need to be guyed out like a self-supporting tent. Double wall tents often comes with two doors, one in front and one on the side while others comes with a single side entrance.
The design of the entrance should always allow easy entry and exit hence door design is one of the consideration that most backpackers look for in choosing the best backpacking tent. For your guide, most best backpacking tent reviews always say that the cheapest two double wall tents are those with side entrances while the lightest are those with front entrances. Those with two entrances on the other hand the most comfortable but are also the heaviest.
- Tarp Tents
A simple backpacking tent is also called tarp tent. Tarp tents are single walled shelters and has a floor and bug netting. This kind of tent is very easy to set up and is very light to transport.
Tarp tents can be trusted to keep you dry and safe from outside elements but the inside part of this tent is not safe from moisture accumulations. This is often a choice among backpackers who are not into comfort because of its lightness. If you just want to have something to use as a shelter at night, a tarp tent can give it to you.
Materials of a great backpacking tent
- Tent floor
A tent’s floor is often made of coated polyester, coated nylon, and cuben fiber. When choosing the best backpacking tent, you should learn how to distinguish each material from one another as well as the advantages of each product.
Nylon made tent floors are stronger and abrasion resistant and when coated, it becomes waterproof. Coated floor tents are of course more expensive but most tents in the market today are now coated anyway. You probably heard of denier (D) this is the indicator of weight per square area and most tents are made of 40-70D while a waterproof and durable duffer bag is often made of 1000 D.
When it comes to poles, there are different types and kinds of poles as well, all of them offering durability support and solidity. In the backpacking market, you can’t have a bad pole anymore as manufacturers are working more to ensure the highest quality of their poles. Most poles are made of aluminum. Most poles are now into smaller sections and length, making it easier to carry around and transport.
Storing your tent when not in use is one of the most important maintenance system that you should keep. Even the condition of the tent before storing it is important. Do not put away your tent when it is still wet. At least let it dry before rolling it and putting it in its storage bag. Wet tents put on storage tent to break down faster especially its coating materials.
- Pitch it Right
To keep your tent durable and sturdy, always guy out lines and if needed, add extra cord. For the middle guylines, make it at least 6 inches long and put big rocks around the stakes for additional support. This way, strong winds won’t take your tent poles to break it.
- Pitch where it is Right
Pitching your tent in the right place is very important because it will allow you to set-up the stakes and guylines securely. If there are designated flat sites on the camp site where you can set up your tent, do so.
There are a lot of options when it comes to the top backpacking tents in the market today. Do not limit yourself with popular brands of tents. There are tent brands out there that are not known, yet they offer durable, lightweight and affordable tents with solid poles.
It is always best to seek help from online best backpacking tent reviews and from seasoned backpackers that you might have met on your different trips. The best tip is always to ask questions. In addition, the best backpacking tent that you might need is different from what other people so only use their advice as a guide.