The Top 8 Best Backpacking Tents

Are you looking for the best backpacking tent for your next adventurous trip?

You have a wide range of options while choosing the best backpacking tent, inexpensive and relatively heavy entry-level models to the ultralight minimalist shelter which comes in just one pound. Requirements vary based on the budget and usage, and it varies for the beginners and one who goes for a short trip. After doing so much testing using nearly 50 models, we have come up with Top 8 best backpacking tents.

Related: Top 8 Hiking Backpacks

The Top 8 best backpacking tents:

  1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 – best backpacking tent

  2. Zpacks Duplex  – best ultralight backpacking tent

  3. Nemo Dagger 2P – best 2 person backpacking tent

  4. REI Half Dome 2 Plus – best suited for car camping and weekend adventures

  5. MSR Hubba Hubba NX – best 4 season backpacking tent

  6. Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 – Ultralight and comfortable space

  7. REI Co-op Flash Air 2 – ultralight yet easy to set up and use

  8. Tarptent Double Rainbow – Inexpensive for a lightweight tent

Related: Best backpacking sleeping bag
best backpacking tents 2020

 

1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

best backpacking tent

Specs:

Dimensions: 88 x 52/42 x 40 in.

Capacities: 1P, 2P, 3P, 4P

Weight: 3 lbs. 2 oz.

What we like: 

  • low weight
  • generous interior space
  • ease of use

Big Agnes’s Copper Spur balances low weight, interior space, and features in a perfect way. You get 29 square feet of floor space for the two-person version in the latest model and solid headroom with a rubbed-pole structure, and two doors, at just 3 pounds 2 ounces. And those who want a little extra room, the three-person version of the Copper Spur offers 41 square feet of space at 3 pounds 14 ounces.

We recently tested the revamped model as well, and it performed flawlessly in conditions ranging from warm nights to heavy rain and wind, so undoubtedly it is the best backpacking tent.

2. Zpacks Duplex –  best ultralight backpacking tent

best backpacking tent

Specs:

Dimensions: 90 x 45 x 48 in.

Capacities: 1P, 2P, 3P

Weight: 1 lb. 3.4 oz. (trekking pole-supported)

What we like: Extraordinarily light and good wet-weather protection.

Zpacks Duplex uses the high tech fabric “Dyneema” which is commonly used in boat sails and highly praised for its strength to weight ratio is responsible for the best ultralight backpacking tent. It includes a bathtub floor for protection from the elements with a weight of just 1 pound 5 ounces, which is very impressive. We found that Zpacks have a 48-inch peak height, and one can adjust the dimensions easily depending upon the campsite and conditions.

All in all, no ultralight tent is perfect, but the Zpacks is a unique option that has been relied upon by serious thru-hikers for years, so it is one of the best backpacking tent if you want go for Ultralight model

Related: Best Hiking shoes for women
backpacking tent reviews

 

3. Nemo Dagger 2P –  best 2 person backpacking tent

best backpacking tent

Specs:

Dimensions: 90 x 50 x 42 in.

Capacities: 2P, 3P

Weight: 3 lbs. 14 oz.

What we like: 

  • Roomy
  • relatively light
  •  easy to set up

Those who don’t want to compromise on livability and durability and are also weight conscious, the Nemo Dagger is the best backpacking tent. The two-person version comes with roomy, light and packed with features at just 3 pounds 14 ounces is the best 2 person backpacking tent. And also, you get two large doors, two spacious vestibules for storing gear and a roomy interior with a 10 percent boost in space last year thanks to the addition of pre-bent poles.

Additionally, the floor of the Nemo Dagger is symmetrical as opposed to tapered toward the feet like some in its weight class, allowing two people to sleep in opposite directions (head to toe) for more shoulder room.

Though the fabric is technically waterproof, you can feel the wetness if you bump your head, hands, or feet up against the walls. That is the only drawback.

4. REI Half Dome 2 Plus

best budget backpacking tent

Specs: 

Dimensions: 92 x 56 x 44 in.

Capacities: 1P, 2P, 3P, 4P (all “Plus”)

Weight: 5 lbs. 5 oz.

What we like: 

  • Very Spacious
  • Durable
  • tons of interior pockets

If you are looking for the most livable and comfortable tent with a spacious interior and thoughtful construction, then REI Half Dome 2 Plus is the right choice. We like it for its exceptional comfort, luxurious dimensions, and good ventilation, as well as its wide array of interior storage pockets.

The primary drawback of this model is that it comes with a heavyweight over five pounds, it’s more than double the weight of the lightest models in the category. It is best suited for car camping and weekend adventures. Overall, this is a super cool product that comes at a comparatively affordable price.

Related: Best Hiking shoes for Men
best 3 person backpacking tent

 

5. MSR Hubba Hubba NX – best 4 season backpacking tent

best lightweight backpacking tent

Specs:

Dimensions: 85 in (l) x 30 in max (w) x 38 in max (h) – 18 sq foot floor

Capacities: 1P, 2P

Weight: 2 lbs 14 oz

What we like:

  • Bombproof shelter for four-season backpacking
  • Durable.
  • It’s not too heavy, and it’s not too delicate. 

Its unique rugged design makes it suitable not only for summer but also for shoulder seasons where you could get some light snow. The mesh sides maintain good airflow and prevent you from bugs. We love the high fabric sides which block the wind and give you some privacy as well.

The only drawback is the waterproofing on the tent. The tent is coated with the company’s Xtreme Shield waterproofing which effectively blocks the rain but not enough for heavy rains. We recommend seam sealing the tent body and fly before heading out on a long trip.

6. Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 – Ultralight and comfortable space

best 4 person backpacking tent

Specs:

Dimensions: 86 x 52/42 x 39 in.

Capacities: 2P, 3P

Weight: 2 lbs. 8 oz.

What we like: 

  • Two large side doors
  • Excellent headroom for a tent with this size
  • Lightweight

If you are looking for the combination of ultralight and comfortable backpacking tent, then The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is a great option which comes with dedicated poles. It a true competitor in the semi-freestanding subcategory, and is notably the most comfortable of the three-pound models because the design includes a cross pole at its peak height, which creates a lot of headroom and also it offers two large side doors.

The biggest drawback is the orientation of the zippers on the doors and flies, which makes the tent more challenging to be open and enter. Though the price is a little high, it’s comparable to its competitors.

Related: Best Hiking Poles
best 1 person backpacking tent

 

7. REI Co-op Flash Air 2

best ultralight backpacking tent

Specs:

Dimensions: 88 x 52/42 x 42 in.

Capacities: 1P, 2P

Weight: 2 lbs. 8 oz.

What we like:

  • Legitimately ultralight yet easy to set up and use
  • half the price of the Zpacks Duplex. 

The new Flash Air 2 has a non-freestanding design, thin 15-denier fabrics, and a simplistic pole structure, the tent is a legitimate contender to cottage-industry favourites like the Tarptent Double Rainbow. REI opted for a hybrid single/double-wall build, which helps trim weight and also provides plenty of ventilation with lots of mesh along the sidewalls and portions of the roof. 

With a packaged weight of 2 pounds 8 ounces (you can reduce 3 ounces by swapping out the vertical side poles for trekking poles), the Flash Air 2 unquestionably is very light and packable. Still, you can save even more weight with options like the sub-2-pound Zpacks Duplex above, but the price and ease of use make it better.

And also the interior space is excellent for the weight, and the tent kept us fully protected in rain and wind without issue.

8. Tarptent Double Rainbow 

best 4 season backpacking tent

Specs:

Dimensions: 88 x 50 x 40 in.

Capacities: 1P, 2P

Weight: 2 lbs. 10 oz.

What we like:

  • Inexpensive for a lightweight tent
  • roomy interior
  • can handle stormy weather

In contrast to the traditional way of erecting a tent (tent body first then rainfly), setting up the Double Rainbow is quite simple. The company offers an inspiring ultralight lineup at reasonable price points, and it weighs 2 pounds 10 ounces, is reasonably tough with 30-denier fabric and silicone coating, and is fully bug-proof. They have all of the Double Rainbow’s signature features including two doors and vestibules, a small packed size, and solid all-around weather protection.

One drawback is that the Double Rainbow does not come seam-sealed, but it’s a fairly simple process to do yourself. Even with the seam sealing and optional clip-in liner for reducing moisture build-up, the Double Rainbow remains one of the best ultralight backpacking tents on the market.

Conclusion:

There are several options available in the market for a new backpacking tent. As I told earlier, we need to choose based on our requirements. We have listed out top 8 best backpacking tents for various reasons so that each one might suit someone based on their needs, but our overall top pick is Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2. I hope our testing and reviews provide the confidence you need to choose the right one. In case of any query, please leave a comment.

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