Best Backpacking Tents 2017 Review & Buying Guide

Best Backpacking Tents: For all the adventure junkies out there, choosing the best backpacking tent is one of the most important factors to enjoy a safe and convenient camping trip. If you are a regular camper, you may be well acquainted with all the hazards that you may be faced with while out camping at long distances. These inconveniences range between everything from the weight that you can afford to carry along while hiking to the sudden onset of bad weather. In fact, there are a hundred things that can go wrong on a backpacking trip, but they can be easily prevented simply by using the best backpacking tents.

Best Backpacking Tents 2017

Best Backpacking Tents 2017

Before you are out camping, you will need to prepare well by picking out the right kind of gear and equipment. Among these, finding a suitable tent fitted specifically for your camping trip is one of the first things that ought to be on your mind. But as we all know, there are a number of tents that are available on the market that cater to a lot of different needs. But this post here aims to help you find the best backpacking tents among them. We have scoured through a number of items, considered user reviews, and chosen the best tents to compile our list of the best all-purpose backpacking tents for our readers.

What is a Backpacking Tent?

As we all know, a tent is a piece of fabric attached to a frame that people use to camp out. People around the world use tents to camp everywhere from their backyard to the wilderness. But what makes a tent specifically created for backpacking purposes is its convenience of being packed into something smaller to be fitted easily inside a backpack. Backpacking tents can be pretty heavy duty while being considerably lightweight, thanks to the fabric and frame material that manufacturers use these days. Besides these factors, there are some other significant things that make this particular item tailored for different needs. But while the best backpacking tents to be taken on camping trips are all designed to be carried easily inside a backpack, each kind comes with a different set of features. For instance, all backpacking tents are distinguished by their seasonality and person capacity.

  • When you go out to buy a tent, you will get a lot of other essential items alongside the main body.
  • These include the stakes, pole sack, and other things that you may need to set up your tent right.
  • These may also include a tent footprint, which is basically a protective fabric that helps minimise ground abrasions for the bottom side of your tent.
  • The cumulative weight of all these is the weight of your tent, so you need to keep in mind the terrains that you're venturing out in and how much weight you can afford to carry, as you will inevitably have a lot more gear inside your backpacking besides your tent.

Who Should Use A Backpacking Tent?

Anyone who is an outdoors person has to have one or more backpacking tents to take along on their trips. Backpacking is a minimalist person's activity, and you need to ensure that you have all the essentials for surviving one or several nights out in the wilderness. Investing in the best backpacking tents suited for the kind of activities that you are likely to partake in will make certain that you have the best possible protection against the conditions that you will encounter. 

  • However, it is important to remember that it is nearly impossible to find one backpacking tent suitable for all kinds of purposes. Every different activity will demand different set ups and stats, so make sure that you are well prepared and have enough knowledge about the terrain you are going out to in order to have the right tent gear.

Why Use a Backpacking Tent?

There are several uses of a backpacking tent on a camping trip. Not only do they provide a good opportunity to rest your head at the end of a long day's trek, they also protect you from the cold outdoor night. Depending on the kind of tent that you are using, they can be very versatile, cosy or spacious. Basically, if you are taking a trip that will require you to spend a night out in the open, then you must need to have one of the best backpacking tents with you for sure. While you may think that sleeping bags will be sufficient, tents are much safer options.

Best Backpacking Tents: Perfect Buying Guide

If you are a regular outdoor person, then you will know that it is impossible to be satisfied with just one kind of tent for all adventures. Every camp site has different requirements, both in terms of the terrains and also by weather. In addition to that, there may always be a change in plans regarding how many people you are taking along/ going with on your camping trip. Also, while you very well mat be the kind of person that goes to one particular place at the same time every year, it is highly unlikely that you will always be faced with the exact same conditions. And for those who are regular campers, 

Capacity: Tents can be of several kinds based on their capacity, and they typically rangebetween one person to four person capacities. If you are someone who is more prone to travelling alone, then you can perhaps go ahead with the minimalistic types. Among these, the best ones you can go for are Bivy Sacks, which are best suited to those who have a knack for mountaineering and climbing. This is because they are extremely lightweight, rain and storm proof, and very packable. They also have a convenient head post so that you do not feel claustrophobic and have a little more breathing space. Other than single person tents, you can also choose from among twin-person tents, three-person, and four-person options. Out of these, the two-person tents are the most favoured among casual campers and backpackers for being versatile for solo travel or if you decide to take someone along.

Season Rating: Right after deciding on how many people you want your tent to hold, you need to determine what kind of season rating you want it for. The best backpacking tents are typically either three season or four season kinds, with some brands offering in-between ratings as well. Season rating means what kind of weather you tent is built to endure. While three-season tents afford more breathability, four season tents are meant to withstand harsher climates like heavy rains or cold weather. You can choose a 3-season rated tent if you prefer to go backpacking during spring and summer time. However, if you are open to the idea of travelling even during the times when the weather can get a bit more unpredictable, you should choose a 4-season tent.

Ease of Set Up: This one depends on a lot of related factors, but tents that are generally easier to set up are more preferred among the backpacking community for obvious reasons. Freestanding tents are some of the most convenient in this aspect as they don't need a bunch of other stuff to set them up. Others require a few more items like additional poles, stakes, and clips to get them in proper shape. Before you go out, be sure to master theset up procedure for your tent at home.

Double Wall or Single Wall: There are advantages and disadvantages to both kinds, but each is built for a specific, and important, purpose.Double walled tents provide more protection against condensation in humid or wetweathers, but are heavier. The other kind is much lighter and easier to travel with because it uses less material, but you will have to deal with a lot more interior condensation.

Durability, Weight and Packed Size: These are some of the most important things that you need to consider before buying a tent, and we have grouped them together as one is basically inseparable from the other. If your tent is not durable, then you may be left underprepared in unexpected conditions and that might prove to be dangerous. The more durable kind will use better and more expensive fabric and other material for its build. However, in most cases thatmeans that you will have to trade up in terms of weight and packed size. Besides the durability, the overall weight and packed size of your tent will also depend on all the gear that you need to take along to set it up (which can be substantial in some cases). Person capacity also influences this greatly. So if you are going to be travelling a lot, then it is better to settle for a smaller and lighter pack, though that may mean downgrading on the durability side. That's why it is important to consider all related things and strike a proper balance.

Comfort: As your backpacking tent is going to be your home in the midst of the wilderness, it needs to be comfortable. Comfort is based on a lot of different factors like space, breathability and condensation, so do your research and try to zero in on one that appeals to you the most.

Cost: The best backpacking tents do not have to cost you an arm and a leg. Having said that, some of the outdoor gear companies blend a lot of desirable features together to create the best tent, and these can be understandably costlier than the rest. So we suggest you decide on a budget after doing ample research on what kind of gear you want.

Additional gear: You may opt for a minimalistictent, but that could mean that it will lack a lot of things to get you by when you are out in the open. Out of all the things that may make your backpacking journey more convenient, we think investing in a tent footprint is a good idea if your unit does not come with one. While that may add to the weight and packed size, it will do you more good in the long run by protecting the bottom of your tent from ground abrasions.

Now that you are ready to buy the best backpacking tents for yourself after taking all things into consideration, read on to know which units are our top picks. Here we present the most exclusive list of 10 best backpacking tents of 2017

10 Best Backpacking Tents of 2017

1. Hilleberg Anjan 2 Person Tent (3 Season Tent)

When it comes to lightweight backpacking for two, the Hilleberg Anjan 2 Person Tent is one of the best there is. This tent is ideal for warmer climates, but can also withstand strong windy conditions. The construction material, such as the fabric and the poles, are ultra durable and lends it the status of being an all-around performer (it uses Kerlon 1000 outer tent fabric along with the 9mm poles). What's best is that its lightweight construction allows it to be a roomier option for those who are travelling alone. This being a 3-Season rated tent, the fabric incorporates a lot of mesh areas that are not blocked by additional panels. This alongside the outer walls ensures that there is ample airflow during hot environments. Despite being rated 3-Season, it can also help you survive in colder climates. Being lightweight, thanks to its single door and vestibule construction, it is ideal for one person to carry it in their backpack for on foot travels. In order to make it even more lightweight and packable, you can choose to leave the inner tent lining behind (though this is not recommended in harsher climates). The Hilleberg Anjan 2 Person Tent is a favourite among those who want their tents lightweight without sacrificing on quality and durability.

Best Backpacking Tents

~Pros~

  • Comfortable for two people.
  • Removable mesh lining.
  • Very breathable.
  • Set up is relatively easy (though we recommend you practise beforehand).
  • Extremely durable and lightweight.
  • High-quality construction.

~CoNs~

  • Single vestibule design might make it a little cramped for two occupants. On the heavier side, but it's a fair trade-off in favour of durability.

If you are willing to shell out the money for this one, the Hilleberg Anjan 2 Person Tent is a fair choice for those travelling alone or with a companion in most kinds of weather. You will not have to think about replacing it in a long time.


2. REI Camp Dome 2 Person Tent (3-Season)

REI is one of the most trusted names when it comes to making durable, well-thought out outdoor gear, and this particular offering from the brand is no different. The REI Camp Dome 2 Person Tent is really a very basic tent in terms of features, but that does not mean that it compromises on quality. Generally considered to be a beginner's tent for its easyset up procedure, the REI Camp Dome 2 Person Tent sports a two door design for a comfortablelay out. What it lacks in storage systems (it has only a few pockets to store small necessities), it makes up for in packability. Thanks to the polyester taffeta rainfly, its water resistance can keep the occupants dry in even the hardest of rains. The set up is made easy and hassle free by its equal-length aluminium poles and apole-clip design. The Dome is pretty spacioustoo, and lets you sit or lie down comfortably. At over 5 lbs, it may be a little heavy for those who prefer a solo lightweight travel. But it can stand up to harsh weather conditions very well, including rains and strong winds without any threat of damage.

~Pros~

  • Durable and lightweight construction.
  • Extremely easy to set up and very packable.
  • Ideal for trips where you can ride to the camp site.
  • Two-door design makes for a comfortable layout. Breathable construction.

~CoNs~

  • Quite heavy for touring long distances on foot.
  • Little storage options

If you are a newbie to camping and are planning to go on one with a companion, then the REI Camp Dome 2 Person Tent is one of the best backpacking tents for you.


3. Big Agnes - Copper Spur Backpacking Tent (3-Season)

The Big Agnes Copper Spur Backpacking Tent for two people is a winner with many seasoned backpackers. While it is a 3-Season rated tent, it is great in its capacity to withstand demanding weather and harsh windy conditions. It has a construction to beat with its lightweight nylon build that comes complete with storm flaps and comes with a double door and vestibule design that makes your stay inside it very comfortable. Despite being a two person tent, it is preferred by a lot of solo backpackers who like to travel on foot owing to its light weight. Despite its sturdy and durable construction materials, it can still be packed easily inside your backpacks and weighs a measly 3 lbs. It also has ample storage option to make living inside a tent with all your necessities a lot easier than some of the other tents on the market. You will hardly find a better lightweight, freestanding tent with this kind of weather protection anywhere else.

~Pros~

  • Roomy and spacious.
  • Double doors and vestibules for added convenience.
  • Can stand up to bad weather.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Great for those travelling alone or with a companion.

~CoNs~

  • The thin fabric may be prone to wear and tear with some use

The Big Agnes Copper Spur Backpacking Tent may be a 3-Season tent, but if you are looking for one that will let you deal with nasty unpredictable weather, then this is surely one of the best backpacking tents for you.


4. Nemo Blaze 2 Person Tent (3-Season)

The Nemo Blaze 2 Person Tent is a great option for those looking to travel lightweight, andstill prefer to have more than a little space to avoid getting that cramped and claustrophobic feeling. While this tent can fit in two people with ease, its lightweight construction makes it an ideal choice for solo travel as well, even for hikers and backpackers who don't wish to compromise on the space aspect. In fact, we highly recommend this tent for the solo traveller so that you can store all your belongings and necessities inside without having to worry about space.One of the best double walled tents available on the market, the Nemo Blaze 2 Person Tent strikes the right balance between weight, packability, and durability. The construction of these tents is impeccable, with ultralight thatare optimised for maximum tear resistance and waterproofing. It also uses much less additional attachments to ensure it fits into your backpack easily when packed. Despite weighing at a measly 2lbs, the Nemo Blaze 2 Person Tent comes with a twin door and vestibule structure for optimum staying comfort.

~Pros~

  • At a little over 2 lbs, it is one of the most lightweight tents for two people. Durable construction.
  • Good for camping out in unpredictable climes, thanks to its double-walled construction. Easy to set up.

~CoNs~

  • While the lesser number of poles minimises weight, this factor also results in the walls not remaining taut in windy weathers.

If you are looking for a tent that will make your life away from home a little easier, you can go for the Nemo Blaze 2 Person Tent. It is roomy, safe, and light enough to be taken along on climbing trips. It is one of the best lightweight backpacking tents on the market.


5. ALPS Mountaineering 5255605 Tasmanian 2 Person Backpacking Tent (4-Season)

The first four season unit to be included on our list of the best backpacking tents, the Alps Tasmanian 2 Person Tent beats all other options in terms of its sheer construction. Its poles are built with 7000 series aluminium to ensure utmost stability even during the harshest of weather conditions. The heavy polyester fabric used to construct the walls can stand up to high-altitude storms while keeping the occupants comfortable. With the Alps Tasmanian 2 Person Tent, you don't need to worry about your tent unfurling due to winds, as once you set it up, it stands up sturdily. Set up itself is fairly easy if you're a seasoned climber, but if you're new, it would be advisable to get some practice before venturing out. Our favourite feature about the Tasmanian is the sheer amount of storage it offers, as its walls are lined with mesh pockets to hold every necessity of yours. Plus, it is super spacious and comes with two doors and vestibules. It can fit two people alongside all the gear they may takealong while trekking. There are several events so that you can stay comfortable in warmer weathers, but all of them are sealable. Overall, the Alps Tasmanian 2 Person Tent is one of the best heavy duty tents on the market, though it may be more suitable for serious climbers rather than casual backpackers.

~Pros~

  • Very spacious with a twin door and vestibule design.
  • Uses some of the best construction materials available.
  • Ample storage options with its many pockets.
  • Minimum UV damage- built for higher altitudes in mind.

~CoNs~

  • Packing is a bit of a problem.
  • On the heavier side, but that's a given considering its sturdiness.

If you are serious about camping out in the snow, then the Alps Tasmanian can be a great option for you as it can easily keep you comfortable in sub-zero temperatures with the right kind of sleeping gear. The vents also make it very breathable, but you always have the option to shut them down. However, the packed weight of this item makes it less suitable for a solo outing.


6. Nemo Hornet 2 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tent (3-Season)

For backpackers who prefer to travel ultralight, the Nemo Hornet 2 Person Tent is among one of the most favoured options. This particular unit is equipped with pole hubs, that allows it to save on weight as well as set up time. It comes close to being a freestanding tent, and users suggest turning it into a freestanding unit with the help of a single trekking pole. However, the slanted wall translates to decreased space on the inside. For this reason and the fact that it is so lightweight, this one can easily become a solo traveller's go to tent who also prefers to have some more space to himself than the traditional bivy allow. The light weight of the Nemo Hornet 2 Person Tent does not mean there is a lack of protection, thanks to its double-walled construction. It also comes with two doors and two vestibules, so there is a lot of room for the solo backpacker. The three season rated tent is also great to keep you dry and warm in wet climates. We suggest getting a footprint to increase durability.

~Pros~

  • Ultra light-weight at 2 lbs.
  • Easily packable.
  • Easy to set up. Great for the solo traveller or for a company of two

~CoNs~

  • Two people may face a bit of a space crunch due to the slanted walls

Due to its ease of use and light weight, the Nemo Hornet 2 Person Tent is actually a great option for those preferring to travel alone.


7. MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent (3-Season)

We love the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent for its sheer livability. Due to its amazing construction, it can easily fit in two people without having to bend their heads in. This is because unlike the Nemo Hornet, its walls are nearly vertical. Being a three season rated tent, this one offers great breathability due to the design that allows generous cross-ventilation. There are mesh vents all over to make sure you can get a good look at your surrounding during warmer and nicer weathers. But at the same time, it is one of the best tents built to counter the rain. Users also recommend using this tent because of its freestanding nature, and for the fact that you so not have to worry about condensation at all, even if you're camping near a river or in wet areas. The roomy tent is equipped with two doors and two vestibules to make extra room for all that gear that you and your partner may take along. The tent weighs at a little over 3 lbs, so that makes it a great option for those who like backpacking solo as well, though there are lighter 2 person tents that you can look at for that purpose. All in all, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent is one of the best backpacking tents 2017 for a company of two.

~Pros~

  • Set up is super easy with this freestanding tent.
  • Two Doors and Vestibules construction.
  • Has ample room for two. Great breathability.

~CoNs~

  • Heavier than other ultralight options, but you can leave the rain fly at home if you wish to go lighter.
  • Could do with more pockets

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent is one of the best freestanding tents on the market that you can find on the market. It is roomy, ventilation is excellent, and the tent can stand up to moderately harsh weathers rather well.


8. Vango Helix 100 Trekking Tent (3-Season)

The Vango Helix 100, being a trekking tent, is ideal for backpackers of most preferences. It features a tunnel design that uses only two poles for its basic construction. Not only does this help this little unit on weight, but it also makes it really easy to set up. The Vango Helix 100 Trekking Tent is ideal for the minimalist backpacker due to its weight and packability. Don't expect there to be a lot of room on the inside, but what it lacks in space it makes up in endurance. The Protex 70D 5000mm HH polyester flysheet makes it ultra waterproof, and a number of satisfied users have reviewed it positively for keeping them warm and dry during the heaviest of rains. We recommend the Vango Helix 100 Trekking Tent for solo backpackers who have to move quickly. However, we would like to add that this one is better for people with smaller builds, so it may not be the ideal tent for you if you are over 6 feet.

~Pros~

  • Ultra lightweight.
  • Durable material.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Ideal for the solo traveller

~CoNs~

  • Not enough headspace.
  • While the two pole construction makes it light and easy to pack, it affects the durability of this tent.
  • Condensation is a problem.

We would recommend the Vango Helix 100 Trekking Tent for those backpacking trips to relatively drier areas.


9. Kelty TN 2 Person Tent (3-Season)

The Kelty TN 2 Person Tent is one of the best backpacking tents that you can buy under $250. But as it goes with backpacking tents, you get what you pay for. So while the Kelty TN 2 Person Tent is a three season tent, we would highly recommend this being used as only a summer or springtime backpacking gear. The tent itself is really good for single or double occupancy, with ample storage options on board. It has two doors and two vestibules, so there's room to store all your belongings too. The reason why we like this the most is because it does not take aton of time to set up and is pretty easily packable as well. The best part about it is the stargazer flap on the top, which can be left open when the weather is nicer and warmer. The Kelty TN 2 Person Tent is also good at withstanding light, unexpected summer showers, but don't expect it to hold up as well as some of the options listed above during a full blown storm or heavy rains. Due to its competitive pricing and relative ease of use, we would recommend the Kelty TN unit for beginners.

~Pros~

  • Roomy and spacious.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Nice and sturdy.
  • Decent weather protection.
  • Lightweight

~CoNs~

  • Not suitable for camping out during heavy showers

As we have mentioned before, the Kelty TN 2 Person Tent is great for those who want to get a taste of backpacking and camping out without needing to break the bank.


10. Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent (3-Season)

For the last item on our list of best backpacking tents, we chose to go with the Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent because of a few significant reasons. There are a lot of good tents out there, so it was difficult to choose the final item by excluding a lot of the options, but the Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent is super adaptable- the breathability and ventilation are really good. But at the same time, it can stand up to heavy rains and storms better than a lot of similarly priced offerings. It can be great for both solo travellers and companies of two, thought we would recommend it for the latter kind of use. Set up is pretty simple, thanks to itscolour coded attachments and so is packing it in. You can find all the detailed instructions of set up on the stuff pack itself, making it even easier for you to use. It is a freestanding tent, but you will get less headroom because of the lack of a rectangular ceiling, but it makes up for that want in floor area. We would recommend this tent to anyone who likes to travel solo and prefer to have a little more room to themselves.

~Pros~

  • Easy to set up freestanding tent. Lot of floor space.
  • Holds up well in harsh weathers.
  • Clear instructions on the stuff pack

~CoNs~

  • Less headroom

The Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent is among the best options for solo travellers. You will be hard-pressed to find a better option at this price.

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Wrap Up

This concludes our list of the top 10 best backpacking tents of 2017. We must say that compiling the list was pretty hard considering all the great options out there, but we tried to focus on including items across all possible price ranges. The above items are some of the best you can find in their class, and that makes them reliable and safe to use in all kinds of conditions. If you have a favourite to recommend i.e. worthy of adding in this list of best backpacking tents to our readers, feel free to do so in the comments below.

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