7 Best Backpacking Tents In 2021 (Reviews and Buyer’s Guide)

The best backpacking tent is one that’s light enough to carry for miles, but durable enough to withstand the rigors of outdoor camping.

But, beyond that, the tent must meet your specific backpacking needs.

What weather are you backpacking in? Will there be multiple people sleeping in the tent? Is tent space a huge concern? And so on…

In this guide, we’ll show you how to pick the perfect tent for backpacking as well as weigh the pros and cons of some of this year’s top tents.

Remember, there isn’t one tent that’s right for every backpacker, so read through the top tents we review below and find the one that best fits your needs!

Backpacking Tent Comparison Chart

DescriptionAwardPrice
Editor’s Choice MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking TentBest 2-Person Backpacking TentSEE PRICE »
Chillbo CABBINS 2 Person Camping Tent Chillbo CABBINS 2 Person Camping TentBest Backpacking Tent Under $100SEE PRICE »
Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant SetupBest 4-Person Backpacking TentSEE PRICE »
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person TentMost Space for the ValueSEE PRICE »
Big Agnes 2019 Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent Big Agnes 2019 Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking TentBest 3-Person Backpacking TentSEE PRICE »
GEERTOP Backpacking Tent for 2 Person 4 Season Camping Tent GEERTOP Backpacking Tent for 2 Person 4 Season Camping TentBest 4-Season Backpacking TentSEE PRICE »
Clostnature Lightweight 2 and 3 Person Backpacking Tent Clostnature Lightweight 2 and 3 Person Backpacking TentBest Ventilated Backpacking TentSEE PRICE »

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Best Backpacking Tents – Reviews

1. MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

  • Best 2-Person Backpacking Tent

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is a beautifully designed tent that stands up in three seasons. It’s made of 20-denier ripstop nylon and 15-denier nylon mesh. You get 29 square feet of floor area with a height of 39 inches. While you cannot stand up inside, it’s a great lightweight tent—weighing only 3.9 pounds—that you can easily carry long distances.

This tent is created for two people, so you can use it whether you are camping alone or with a buddy. It comes with a DuraShield coating and a three-year warranty just in case you have any issues. The set-up is extremely easy even for beginners because the tent has one hub-and-pole system. If you want to look at the stars, the roll-up vestibule will let you do exactly that.

If you need to set up your shelter in a hurry, you can abandon the body of the tent and make a small shelter with a footprint. Many reviewers recommend the version with Xtreme Waterproof Coating if you anticipate some rough weather during your time outdoors. The coating lasts longer than many standard ones, and the Easton Scylone Poles resist strong winds.

Video Overview

MSR Hubba Hubba™ NX Tent Overview
Pros
  • Great balance of durability and light weight
  • Unified hub-and-pole system
  • High-quality rainfly
Cons
  • You have to buy a footprint separately
  • Not many internal pockets
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

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2. Chillbo CABBINS 2 Person Camping Tent

  • Best Backpacking Tent Under $100

If you want a sturdy tent and are on a tight budget, the Chillbo CABBINS tent is great for multiple occasions. One of the best things about this tent is that the six fun designs stand out whether you are camping in the woods or at a festival. While it’s a two-person tent, it has enough room for three people if you need to pick up an extra camper. The shelter is simple to pitch, and it goes back in the bag smoothly. 

This tent is made of high-quality materials such as an Oxford floor and a full flysheet. The ventilation is good, due to the large D-frame doors and mesh window panels. It’s even big enough to fit a queen air mattress inside if you want to camp luxuriously.

When you go camping, it can be hard to find your tent if all of the tents next to you look the same. With the Chillbo tent, you will never lose sight of your spot. It’s also fun for kids and will make them excited to enjoy the outdoors. The best part of this tent is the sheltered entryway so that you can leave your dirty shoes outside of the door.

Video Overview

Chillbo Cabbins Tent Stormproof Dome Camping Tents with cool patterns
Pros
  • Cross-wound poles give extra strength
  • No-see-um mesh for keeping bugs away
  • Easy to set up and pack up
Cons
  • Windows only open from the inside
  • You may need to replace the tent stakes with stronger ones
Chillbo CABBINS 2 Person Camping Tent

Chillbo CABBINS 2 Person Camping Tent

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3. Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup

  • Best 4-Person Backpacking Tent

When you go out with a large group, you don’t want to sacrifice comfort. Tents can feel cramped easily, and in hot weather, close proximity to others can be the last thing you want. The Coleman Cabin tent has a dark cabin to block out 90% of sunlight, which means you will be cool even in the sweltering heat. Additionally, the tent keeps you dry even in heavy rain.

Reviewers love how easy it is to set up this tent, whether you’re a newbie or a camping expert. The tent has pre-attached poles, so all you have to do is unfold it and secure it. You can set up the tent in less than one minute after you get the hang of it. The tent has polyguard double-thick fabric, so it withstands challenging weather.

You can get this tent in three sizes: 10-person, 6-person, and 4-person. The 6-person option has enough room to fit two queen size air mattresses. All of the tents have internal storage pockets so you can keep track of all your small items. In the dark tent, you can sleep even when there is still daylight. It’s handy for napping on those tiring, long days outdoors.

Video Overview

Coleman® FastPitch™ Instant Cabin 4 with Flysheet - EN
Pros
  • Spacious, comes in three different sizes
  • WeatherTec system keeps rainwater out
  • Expandable carrying bag makes takedown a breeze
Cons
  • Heavy for backpackers
  • May want to buy the optional rainfly for extra protection
Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup

Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup

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4. Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent

  • Most Space for the Value

This Morrison tent is made to last for years. It has over 35 square feet of space and lets in plenty of light. The mesh wall panels give you good ventilation, so you don’t feel smothered by the heat. You can also set this tent up in just a few minutes, as it comes with a color-coded fly attachment system and two poles. The instructions are printed in the bag, so you never lose them.

This tent also has plenty of storage, with interior pockets, double vestibules, and a removable canopy shelf. The tent cover makes the wind go over you, so you don’t have to worry about getting blown away. The tent does take up a lot of backpacking space, but it is still easy enough for one person to set up. This investment will hold up in most weather conditions.

Video Overview & Setup Guide

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Tent Set Up Guide
Pros
  • High-quality material
  • Bathroom floor design keeps water out
  • Two doors give you options for going in and out
  • A good amount of storage
Cons
  • Stakes hold up but could be heavier
  • May be too heavy for extended hiking trips
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent

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5. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent

  • Best 3-Person Backpacking Tent

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV Ultralight comes in four sizes, from single-person up to four-person. It has two dual-zipper doors and a dual vestibule for 18 square feet of gear storage. The seams are taped with waterproof tape, and the fly and floor have a 1200mm waterproof rating. This tent is lightweight, so you can bring it along for backpacking trips.

Though it is light, it is still strong and relatively spacious. It features a high-volume pole structure that increases the inside space without adding extra weight. If you have used Copper Spur before, you will find this version stronger and more durable than previous versions. It also has storm flaps and tons of space for storage.

Reviewers appreciate that this tent has a quick shelter set up option for when you don’t have time to set up the full structure. Also, it has a full-coverage rainfly, which can also shield you from the sun when you need that protection. The tent weighs only three pounds, and you can use it for three seasons.

Video Overview

2020 Copper Spur HV UL Series
Pros
  • You can pitch the tent with just the fly
  • Very lightweight
  • Spacious inside and quick assembly
Cons
  • The tent poles could be sturdier
Big Agnes 2019 Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent

Big Agnes 2019 Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent

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6. GEERTOP Backpacking Tent for 2 Person

  • Best 4-Season Backpacking Tent

If you’re looking for a backpacking tent to use year-round, the Geertop tent stands up in all weather. It has a UV-resistant surface, a 3000mm water-resistant finish, and a slippery surface to stop snow buildup. The tent comes with two layers. You can use just the inner layer to have a ventilated tent, or both layers to have a windproof tent. 

It weighs 6.4 pounds, so it is not the lightest, but it is still very versatile. The best part about this tent is that you can set it up all by yourself if you need to. You can use it for camping, outdoor sports, traveling, and hiking. There is enough room inside for two adults, and the tent comes in army green or yellow.

With this tent, you won’t have to worry about struggling to put it back in the bag. The bag is spacious and easy to attach to a backpack or carry by hand. If you are camping in extreme cold, you won’t have to worry about condensation when you wake up in the morning.

Video Overview

Geertop 2 Person 4 Season Waterproof Tent for Camping, Hiking, Travel - TOPROAD2PLUS
Pros
  • Affordable and durable
  • Two doors are convenient
  • Stands up in all weather
  • Easy enough for a child to assemble on their own
Cons
  • May have to replace zippers and stakes after a while
  • Rainfly is not well sealed
GEERTOP Backpacking Tent for 2 Person

GEERTOP Backpacking Tent for 2 Person

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7. Clostnature Lightweight 2 and 3 Person Backpacking Tent

  • Best Ventilated Backpacking Tent

The Clostnature tent comes in two colors: deep green or orange-brown. This tent is perfect for backpacking, as it only weighs 5.4 pounds and is more spacious than many other 2-person tents. However, if you need more room, you can buy the 3-person or 4-person option.

The best part about this tent is its ventilation. The walls are completely mesh, and the cover protects you from the elements. It has two vestibules and two D-shaped doors so that entering the tent and storing your gear is always convenient. The tent also comes with an emergency pole repair kit and a lifetime warranty.

The Clostnature tent is of good quality for the price, and it can make a perfect starter backpacking tent for new campers. It has a freestanding structure, so you can move the tent without taking it down. The aluminum poles are aircraft-grade, and the SBS zippers have Velcro coverings. Another great feature of this tent is the interior space, which is long enough for extremely tall people.

Pros
  • Affordable and high-quality
  • Larger entranceway and a unit for gathering the curtains
  • Rainfly comes with PU 5000 coating
  • Three people could fit in the two-person tent if need be
Cons
  • Not made for constant or everyday use
  • Floor material is thin
Clostnature Lightweight 2 and 3 Person Backpacking Tent

Clostnature Lightweight 2 and 3 Person Backpacking Tent

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Buyer’s Guide – What Makes the Best Backpacking Tent?

Backpacking can be fun in any weather, but it can be challenging without the right materials. Since the quality of your tent can make or break your trip, it is important to know how to find the best tent for the weather conditions in which you plan on using it. You need a tent with good ventilation for summer, and good insulation for winter, but what else should you look for?

Not all tents are created equally, and it can be overwhelming when you see just how many options exist. Here are some key factors to consider when you look for a backpacking tent, as well as information on tent categories.

Related: What to Look For When Buying a Tent

Materials

The tent materials affect your comfort, as well as the durability breathability of the tent. Get a tent made of breathable materials so that your tent won’t be sweltering during the day. A poorly ventilated tent can be worse than just sleeping outside. Look for a tent with:

  • Mesh
  • Large vents in the rainfly
  • Large doors that you can roll out of the way

The materials with the best breathability are canvas and cotton. However, they can be expensive and a little too heavy for intense backpacking. Poly-cotton is fairly breathable and moderately heavy. For the lightest weight but not the greatest airflow, look for polyester or nylon.

Related: How Much Should a Backpacking Tent Weigh?

If you are in a tropical climate, you also need to prepare for rain. Check to make sure your tent is as waterproof as possible so that your belongings (and you) don’t get soaked. The best option is a fly that you can pull up and down.

Be sure to check out our guide to tent fabrics to help find the best tent material for your camping style!

Size

Tents for backpacking are not typically made to be luxurious. However, you may be spending a lot of time in your tent. No one wants to sleep in a cramped, stuffy environment. No matter the time of year, you want to get a tent with enough space for you and your gear.

Getting a spacious tent is especially important if you are traveling with others. During the warm months, having to sleep on top of another person can make you feel suffocated. Get a tent that allows some space between you and your fellow campers.

You also want to have enough space for your personal items. Though you want to pack light for most backpacking trips, you may need to house:

  • Your food and water
  • Clothes and hygienic items
  • Books, toys, or outdoor games
  • Fishing or hunting gear

If you are camping in style or pitching a tent for a festival, you want to have room to have a good time with your friends and family. Check the measurements of your tent to make sure it can fit a mattress, speaker, or whatever else you plan on bringing. If you can, try buying a size bigger than the number of people you expect to have.

Sun Protection

Sunshine is energizing and exciting. But sometimes, you want to get in the shade to prevent sunburn or heat stroke. Try to get a tent that has UV protection so that you don’t run into any sun-related problems during your trip. Some tents have a little porch area where you can sit outside of the tent while still under cover.

You also want a tent with large windows and window covers. That way, you can have a well-ventilated tent with the option to close up at night. If you need extra ventilation, you may be able to find panels, a roof vent, or tubes that come with your tent.

Rain Protection

A rainfly allows rain to run away from your tent. Make sure you have a quality rainfly. In addition to the water coming from above you, you need to be wary of pooling water and splashes. This water can come inside your tent from the ground and soak your floor. Get a tent with a high bathtub floor to prevent water from getting into your tent area.

Setting Up

Some tents seem to require an engineering degree to set up. Trust us, it’s not fun to fumble through lengthy directions and wasting an hour setting up your tent.

Plus, if you’re traveling with children, you may have to pitch more than one tent, so you need this process to be as simple as possible. Unless you have the experience, try to find instant tents with easy-to-follow instructions and minimal steps. The Coleman Cabin Instant Tent is a great example of this!

Cabin Tent by Coleman

Cabin Tent by Coleman

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Ease of setup is not only good for your peace of mind, but it is safer for you and other campers. If it takes a long time to pitch your tent, you will be out in direct sunlight for that amount of time. This exposure can make you hot and sweaty, sunburnt, and irritated—not a fun way to start your trip.

Lastly, you need to pitch and take down your tent quickly if you are moving from place to place. When you are backpacking, it will slow you down if you have to spend a lot of time trying to get your tent back in its bag. Consider practicing with your tent at home before you go out for the real thing.

Tent Price

Tents can get expensive. The cost varies depending on the brand, the materials, extra features, and the size. The price you pay for a tent depends on your needs and your environment. If you are not planning on dealing with severe weather, you may not need to spend hundreds of dollars on your tent.

Some ways to save money on a tent include:

  • Buy a tent for your situation. If you only want to camp once or occasionally, you should get an affordable tent. That way, you can save money without the expectation that the tent will be extremely durable. If you want something that you can use frequently, it will be well worth it to invest in a quality tent.
  • Buy online. When you shop online, you can find the most affordable prices easily. In a physical store, you will have to accept the options available to you, and they may be out of your budget. You can also catch online sales or find discount codes for certain brands.
  • Buy at the right time. You can get huge discounts on tents by buying them when they start to go out of season, around certain holidays, and during special online sale events. Check out our guide on the best time to buy a tent for more information!
  • Compare tent reviews. An expensive tent doesn’t always mean it’s the best tent. Shopping online (or reading articles like this one) can help you find the best value tent in your price range. Check out the user reviews to find out how other people felt about the product before you buy it.

If you’re shopping on a tight budget and aren’t looking for a large family-sized tent, check out our list of the best lightweight 2 person tents under $200.

Seasonal Ratings

When you shop for a tent, you will see seasonal ratings such as 3-season, 3+ season, and 4-season. 3-season tents are for summer, spring, and fall. These tents are the best if you want a hot weather tent since they tend to have more ventilation than other tents.

You can use a 4-season tent for any season. They will have a lot of insulation and protect you from the elements. However, the 4-season tent may not be as good for airflow during a hot summer night. A 3+ season tent is for late fall and early winter. If you only plan to camp in the warm months, a 3-season tent will most likely suffice.

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