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Best Backpacking Tent Reviews – for Maximum Comfort and Room

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Top Choice
The North Face Unisex Stormbreak 2 Castor Grey/Arrowwood Yellow One Size
Our Rating
9.0
MSRP
$177.04
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Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
Our Rating
8.8
MSRP
$125.00
More Information
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3 Lightweight Tent
Our Rating
8.5
MSRP
$119.99
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Marmot Catalyst 3-Person Backpacking Tent
Our Rating
8.4
MSRP
$120.00
More Information
Big Agnes C Bar Backpacking Tent
Our Rating
8.3
MSRP
Price not available
More Information

Choosing the right backpacking tent is obviously key. 

This will be your source of shelter and protection, so you want it to be secure, durable and reliable when you’re out there backpacking.

We’ve taken a close look at the very best backpacking tents out there that offer a range of positive and helpful features for people like you. 

None of these affordable tents cost more than $200, which is a good cut-off point to set if you’re looking for a good tent on a budget.

If you are looking for a quick comparison take a look at our chart below. For all the details – read on now to find out more about these 5 top options.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent

The North Face Stormbreak 2 tent is ideal for two people and offers plenty of interior space. Of course, it’s just as suitable for one person if you’re backpacking alone and want that extra space inside the tent.

The doors have two zippers, allowing you to use them in more flexible and unusual ways to suit your particular needs.

It uses strong criss-cross poles that provide you with that extra stability that you sometimes need when you’re backpacking and camping. This also makes it good at dealing with adverse weather.

Key Features

The easy pitch design of the North Face Stormbreak 2 tent is a feature that’s definitely going to be important and valuable to backpackers. It’s also a tent with good ventilation features, which is obviously important to avoid problems like condensation striking.

It has two doors, which is not always the case when buying a 2-person tent at a low price, so it’s a nice feature to have. There’s plenty of headroom which, again, is not always the case. It’s good to have that when you’re backpacking and will be using the tent a lot.

Advantages

The easy assembly of the tent is a massive bonus for anyone using it while backpacking. You don’t want to take a long time setting up each day, and you won’t have to. The material is top of the range and many of the people who use it say the same.

This makes the tent more durable and long-lasting, which is a big advantage for backpackers who rely on their tent day after day. You’ll certainly be able to have confidence in this one if you choose it.

Kelty Salida 2 Tent

This great value tent is easy to set up, so you won’t have any problems getting started. When you’re tired and you want to get in your tent to have a rest after a long day, you want a tent that’s easy to set up, and the Kelty Salida 2 tent certainly ticks that box.

It has a useful gear loft that can help with storage and the overall quality of the design and materials used is high. As a consequence, the tent is known to be very durable for the vast majority of users.

Key Features

The compact folding poles that come with the Kelty Salida 2 tent make it very easy to pack away and carry. It’s also very easy to transport because of the lightweight design of the tent.

The fully seam taped construction and the easy entry doors make this tent an appealing one. It’s solid, reliable and easy to use, not just in terms of the setup which is also very simple. There’s room for additional storage thanks to the gear loft loops too.

Advantages

For one person backpacking alone, the size is ideal. It achieves that perfect balance between interior space, which is enough for one person and their possessions, and also being portable and lightweight enough to carry around with ease.

Many people love the tent as an entry level option for people who don’t have much experience of camping and using tents before. It gets the job done and can be relied on, while being very easy to use when the time comes to set it up. It’s especially good as a solo tent.

Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 3

You get a lot for your money when you buy the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr tent. Most people who use it immediately point to its durability. It holds up well, even when it’s been used for a long time and has been through many trying excursions.

It has a freestanding two pole design that makes it both stable and easy to set up. The mesh used as part of the design means it always has good ventilation and there are plenty of options inside for gear storage, so you won’t be short of space.

Key Features

The polyester fly that comes with the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr tent is one of the best features it offers. It resists UV damage and stays in taut, strong condition for a long time. This, alongside the seams and seals make the tent very weather resistant too.

The mesh walls of the tent make it one of the best tents out there for ventilation. So if you’re particularly worried about condensation and other ventilation-related problems, this is definitely a tent that’s worth considering. You’ll have none of those problems with this tent.

Advantages

Aside from the great ventilation and weather resistant nature of this tent, there are many other advantages too. For a start, the tent can be set up very easy thanks to the pole clips that simply snap over the poles. It’s easy and holds everything in place nicely.

It’s also pretty spacious. It’s more than capable of comfortable containing 2 adults alongside bags and possessions. For the low price, it’s a very good tent that offers very good value for your money. It’ll keep you warm and protected in all conditions.

Marmot Catalyst 3P

Backpackers will find that the Marmot Catalyst 3p tent offers the space, affordability and breathability you want from this kind of tent. It has 40 square feet of interior space and there are vestibules for stores in each of the doors.

Overall, it’s a good protective tent with lots of advantageous features. The doors are weather protected so whatever you choose to store in the vestibules will be safe and sound. Air circulates nicely throughout, combating any potential condensation that might otherwise occur and cause you problems or discomfort.

Key Features

The poles, fly and clips are all designed to combine and create a tent that’s very easy to set up and start using. And the breath-ability of the materials keeps it fresh and free from condensation. This is all part of a carefully crafted design that puts the needs of the user first.

There’s a footprint included as well to provide you with extra waterproofing. It gives you peace of mind when you’re using the tent, so you won’t have to worry about any problems arising with from the dampness of the ground beneath you.

Advantages

The clips and poles are all color coded, making the process of setting this tent up even easier. You don’t even need to read the instructions to know how to put this tent up in no time at all. It’s something that matters to a lot of buyers too.

If you’re using a headlamp, there’s a lampshade pocket inside the tent that offers extra convenience and some ambient light, which is never a bad option to have. Users describe is durable and great for 3 season adventures.

Big Agnes C Bar

You can choose to use the Big Agnes C Bar tent with the coverage fly on or off, providing you with more flexibility when using it. It’ has a good capacity and plenty of interior space, and it has a freestanding design with a double-hub.

There is one door with a storage vestibule built into it. It’s a lightweight tent as well, making it ideal for backpackers who want something that’s easy to carry and transport.

There are 3 more interior pockets and there are gear loft loops for your own gear loft if you need extra storage, as well as a large ceiling pocket.

Key Features

DAC Angle Hubs are used to attach across the poles and it’s this that makes the interior feel so wide and spacious when you’re using it. It really does offer you plenty of options for storage as well. The ceiling pocket is oversized to allow for ample storage.

It comes with guy lines that are reflective and webbing on each of the corners. You can also use it with a footprint to make the tent generally more durable going forward.

Advantages

The simple entry and lightweight nature of this tent are clear advantages when it comes to actually use it. There are storm flaps on the zipper that provide protection, but the doors remain easy to use, so you can get in and out very quickly indeed.

It’s also a very affordable tent, which you might not think to look at it. It’s strong and durable, which are descriptors you can’t always use when talking about other tents of a similar price.

FAQ

Tent On Camping

What to look for when buying a backpacking tent?

There are lots of options out there when it comes to buying a backpacking tent. Here are some tips to help you sort out the best from the rest.

  • Read the reviews. Look for sources that you trust and listen to their opinion. Such reviews will give you information that you cannot otherwise get, such as how well the backpack is able to resist the wind and rain.
  • Go and look at it in the shop. You do not want to buy a tent without crawling in and testing it out. Even if you decide to buy online, you should get into a store and kick the tires anyway. Lie down inside the tent and see how it feels.
  • The weight of the tent is very important when you are backpacking. You want it to be as light as possible without compromising its quality.
  • The compactness of the tent is also a vital consideration. You want it to fold up as small as possible so that it doesn’t consume too much valuable real estate inside your backpack.
  • Consider whether you want a front side or a front side tent. A front entry tent will usually be lighter, so it is the preferred option for backpacking campers. However, side exit tents are easier to enter and exit from. This will mean that you don’t have to crawl all over your tent companion to get out.
  • Other considerations you should look for in a backpacking tent are YKK zippers, taped seams, aluminum poles, and good ventilation.

What is the optimal size for the backpacking tent?

Peaking From Tent

A backpacking tent is almost always going to be a one-person tent. So, the optimum size of the tent is going to depend upon your own height. 

You want a tent that will allow you to stretch out comfortably. 

If you will be wanting to read a book in the evening you will need more room than if you are simply going to be using the tent for sleeping. 

The average floor area of a single person backpacking tent is around 18.5 square feet.

How to set up a backpacking tent?

The first step is to take your tent out of your backpack and lay it out on the ground. 

Once it has been stretched out, secure the corners with stakes. Once the tent is staked out, use the tent poles to add shape to your tent. 

This will involve connecting the pole and connecting it to hooks, tabs or sleeves to secure it in place. 

Be sure to give yourself plenty of practice in setting up your tent before you head out on your backpacking adventure.

The Conclusion

We’ve taken a close look at the very best backpacking tents out there that offer a range of positive and helpful features for people like you.

None of these affordable tents cost more than $200, which is a good cut-off point to set if you’re looking for a good tent on a budget.

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