The Top 5 Backpacking tents

backpacking tent reviewsIf you’re planning a backpacking trip, you need a tent you can rely on – something small enough to fit in a backpack, but robust enough to keep the wind and rain out at night. Tentmakers offer backpackers several options, from small tents designed for solo expeditions to more spacious options that provide enough space for fellow travelers.

Not all backpacking tents are made equal. All manufacturers claim that they provide tents which are reliable, durable, and easy to set up. But as any seasoned backpacker will tell you, the reality is often very different. Tents don’t perform as expected, leading to soggy boots, ruined nights’ sleep, and in the worst cases, hypothermia. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the best backpacking tents on the market. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

For those of you in a hurry, our choice for the Best Backpacking Tent is the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent.

Preview
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent, Clay/Rust
Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking 2 Person Tent for Ultralight 3-Season Camping and Expeditions
Hyke & Byke 2 Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint - Lightweight Zion Two Man 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof, Ultra Compact 2p Freestanding Backpack Tents for Camping and Hiking (Blue)
Hyke & Byke 2 Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint - Lightweight Yosemite Two Man 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof, Ultra Compact 2p Freestanding Backpack Tents for Camping and Hiking (Blue)
Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
Tent
Lynx
Ultralight
Zion
Yosemite
Salida
Manufacturer
ALPS Mountaineering
Featherstone
Hyke & Byke
Hyke & Byke
Kelty
Reviews
Price
$95.96
$99.99
from $99.96
from $89.97
$120.00
Preview
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent, Clay/Rust
Tent
Lynx
Manufacturer
ALPS Mountaineering
Reviews
Price
$95.96
More Information
Preview
Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking 2 Person Tent for Ultralight 3-Season Camping and Expeditions
Tent
Ultralight
Manufacturer
Featherstone
Reviews
Price
$99.99
More Information
Preview
Hyke & Byke 2 Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint - Lightweight Zion Two Man 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof, Ultra Compact 2p Freestanding Backpack Tents for Camping and Hiking (Blue)
Tent
Zion
Manufacturer
Hyke & Byke
Reviews
Price
from $99.96
More Information
Preview
Hyke & Byke 2 Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint - Lightweight Yosemite Two Man 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof, Ultra Compact 2p Freestanding Backpack Tents for Camping and Hiking (Blue)
Tent
Yosemite
Manufacturer
Hyke & Byke
Reviews
Price
from $89.97
More Information
Preview
Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
Tent
Salida
Manufacturer
Kelty
Reviews
Price
$120.00
More Information

Best Backpacking Tents

1. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent review

The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx tent is designed to be everything that a solo backpacker would want. It’s easy to set up, has durable zippers and reliable seams, is lightweight and comes with a lifetime warranty.

The weight is impressive, but unless you’re a competitive backpacker, then it’s unlikely you’ll notice the difference. What you will notice, however, is the ease with which you’ll be able to set the tent up. The Lynx uses two poles which slot through external hooks on the interior compartment – no trying to thread poles through annoying, in-built fabric sections. Then all you have to do is clip on the outer fly, and you’re ready to settle down for the night.

One of the great features of this tent is its ability to accommodate different environments. It’s just as at home on the side of a mountain as it is in the middle of the Mojave desert. The tent can resist heat while at the same time preserving warmth, probably thanks to ALPS’s advanced manufacturing process.

The ALPS offers excellent value for money on several fronts, but one of the places where it might fall down for some users is the physical size. If you’re over six foot tall, then you may find it difficult to stretch out fully in this tent. It’s just not a big tent at all.

Of course, you can understand why ALPS would want to make a mountaineering tent as small as possible. In that arena, weight counts for a lot, given the limited oxygen supply near the summits of some peaks. A lighter tent is much easier to haul uphill. But that decision to make it small makes it inappropriate for some users.

Fundamentally, this tent is all about mountaineering. You can use it for other purposes, but it’s at base camp where this tent is at its best.

Sale
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent, Clay/Rust
1,054 Reviews
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent, Clay/Rust
  • Free standing, two pole design with7000 Series aluminum poles; easy assembly with pole clips; 75D 185T polyester fly resists UV damage and stays taut
  • Factory sealed fly and floor seams for best weather protection; 75D 185T Poly Taffeta floor with2000mm coating; extra-large #8 zippers
  • Vestibule for gear storage and extra weather protection; weatherproof fly buckles on For maximum adjustability and protection
  • Half mesh walls increase ventilation; mesh storage pockets, gear loft, 7075 aluminum stakes and guy ropes included
  • Base size: 2'8 x 7'6, center height: 36", total weight: 4 lbs. 1 oz. , minimum Weight: 3 lbs. 5 oz.

2. Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking 2 Person Tent

Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking 2 Person Tent review

The Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking 2 Person Tent

When Featherstone was designing their 2 person tent, they had one thing in mind: saving weight. The company, therefore, set out on a quest to find lightweight materials that would offer backpackers everything they wanted.

To a degree, the company has achieved this. The tent comes in at a little over 5 lbs, which is a respectable total for an entry-level offering like this. Some weight-conscious backpackers may want to leave some of the accessories at home, like the ground cloth and so on, to save a little more weight, but many won’t notice the difference.

One of the first things you noticed about the Featherstone is the quality of the fly material. It’s more akin to something that you would find on much more expensive tents. The ground cloth also appears to be of high quality, suggesting that this is the sort of shelter that will be able to stand years of abuse while out in nature.

One of the advantages that the Featherstone has over the ALPS is the larger interior space. The tent is just a lot roomier, and its noseeum mesh canopy is attractive and cozy.

Great backpacking trips start with excellent shelter. And that’s undoubtedly what the Featherstone offers. The combination of lightweight and durable materials make this a tent one of the best 2 percent tents for backpacking on the market. It’s relatively easy to set up, and once pitched, you have plenty of space.

Sale
Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking 2 Person Tent for Ultralight 3-Season Camping and Expeditions
186 Reviews
Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking 2 Person Tent for Ultralight 3-Season Camping and Expeditions
  • 2-PERSON: This backpacking tent is spacious enough to accommodate up to two people, perfect for couples. Conveniently built with two doors and two vestibules that provide great amount of storage space for your camping gear.
  • WEATHER PROTECTED: Seam Taped Construction makes an impenetrable barrier against Rain and prevents leakage. Bathtub Floor Design elevates the bottom of the tent to protect you from wet grounds.
  • EASY TO SET UP & FREESTANDING: Single Aluminum pole structure makes the tent easy to set up and pack into one's backpack. Freestanding allows the tent to be moved and relocated without having to disassemble.
  • 3 SEASON: This tent is suitable for 3 Seasons and preferred use for Hiking, Expeditions, Fishing, Kayaking, Car Camping, Backpacking, or Bikepacking.
  • WARRANTY & ACCESSORIES: Backed with a limited lifetime manufacturing warranty and from a U.S. company that cares. The tent also includes Aluminum Stakes, Reflective Guy Line Rope, and a Waterproof Footprint for added protection or ultralight set up.

3. Hyke & Byke Zion 1 and 2 Person Backpacking Tents

Hyke & Byke Zion 1 and 2 Person Backpacking Tents review

The Hyke & Byke Zion 1 and 2 Person Backpacking Tents

Hyke & Byke like to think of themselves as disruptors in the tent industry. As a relatively new company, they’re keen to show backpackers that things can be done differently when it comes to tents. But what is it that makes the Zion 1 and 2 percent tents unique?

Perhaps the main feature is the fact that you can put them up with a single pole. Hyke & Byke has developed a special system where a single pole clips into place to hold up the interior of the tent. Like the ALPS, there’s no need to push poles through long, in-built tubes in the canopy, making the whole process easier.

Hyke & Byke say that they are backpackers, just like the people they serve, and that they understand their needs. You can see this in their product. Not only is the material strong and durable (protecting it against snags and sharp objects), but it’s also exceptionally lightweight. The two-person Zion comes in at just 3.8 lbs, while the one-person weighs a mere 3 lbs.

Hyke & Byke also know that backpackers don’t want to spend their time fiddling about and setting up their tents, which is presumably why the company spent so much time investing in its single-pole system.

Is there a downside to this tent? There may be. Hyke & Byke currently use a flame retardant chemical in the lining of their tents called TDCPP. The company doesn’t disclose this on its website, but it is there in the product. There is evidence that some flame retardants may cause cancer.

So who is this product for? Essentially, it’s for those who want the tent side of backpacking to be easier.

Sale
Hyke & Byke 2 Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint - Lightweight Zion Two Man 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof, Ultra Compact 2p Freestanding Backpack Tents for Camping and Hiking (Blue)
35 Reviews
Hyke & Byke 2 Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint - Lightweight Zion Two Man 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof, Ultra Compact 2p Freestanding Backpack Tents for Camping and Hiking (Blue)
  • LIGHTWEIGHT and DURABLE - ultra light weight no-see-um mesh walls, accommodates a free standing ultralight set-up, comes with 12 7000 Series aluminum alloy stakes, reflective guy lines with tension lock cord adjustment, and a proprietary stake presser.
  • EASY TO SET UP - 1 pole with Clip-pole attachment for lighter weight, easier set up and better breath-ability. Perfect for 3 season backpacking trips.
  • FOOTPRINT and GEAR LOFT INCLUDED - PU 5000 footprint and mesh detachable ceiling loft pocket typically cost extra, but we've included them with your purchase.
  • WATERPROOF and EXTRA ROOMY - Near vertical walls maximize interior volume, PU 5000 rainfly, bathtub floor, and taped floor seams keeps rain out in stormy weather, two door, corner pockets, and two vestibule design for gear storage and easy access.
  • PACKS SMALL for BACKPACKING - Packs down small with included carrying sack so you can carry it easily on backpacking or camping trips.

4. Hyke & Byke Yosemite 1 and 2 Person Backpacking Tents

Hyke & Byke Yosemite 1 and 2 Person Backpacking Tents review

The Hyke & Byke Yosemite 1 and 2 Person Backpacking Tents

Another popular tent in Hyke & Byke’s range is the Yosemite. When the company was designing this tent, it’s clear that they had one thing in mind: to make it as light as possible. And they succeeded. The one-person version weighs just 2.5 lbs and the two-person 3 lbs. Impressive.

The Yosemite, therefore, isn’t a tent for all seasons. It won’t protect you when there’s a blizzard blowing outside. What it will do, though, is make you forget it’s there when you’re out hiking on the trail in the spring, summer and early autumn, thanks to its featherweight design.

Of course, the lightweight comes with the usual durability issues. The canvas material is paper-thin, making it much more prone to damage. What’s more, Hyke & Byke is a young company stretched thin. If you do have a problem with your Yosemite, you may find it challenging to get in touch with the company’s customer service team. This is an issue that some customers have had.

Let’s talk about the tent itself and the advantages it brings. Top of the list is the easy setup. Second, the stakes are made of durable metal, helping to prevent them from becoming damaged by being repeatedly driven into the ground. The footprint of the tent is small, giving you options for where to set it up. And there are convenient double doors, making getting in and out easy.

Sale
Hyke & Byke 2 Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint - Lightweight Yosemite Two Man 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof, Ultra Compact 2p Freestanding Backpack Tents for Camping and Hiking (Blue)
211 Reviews
Hyke & Byke 2 Person Backpacking Tent with Footprint - Lightweight Yosemite Two Man 3 Season Ultralight, Waterproof, Ultra Compact 2p Freestanding Backpack Tents for Camping and Hiking (Blue)
  • LIGHTWEIGHT and DURABLE - ultra light weight no-see-um mesh walls, accommodates a free standing ultralight set-up, comes with 12 7000 Series aluminum alloy stakes, reflective guy lines with tension lock cord adjustment, and a proprietary stake presser.
  • EASY TO SET UP - 2 poles with Clip-pole attachment for lighter weight, easier set up and better breath-ability. Perfect for 3 season backpacking trips.
  • FOOTPRINT and GEAR LOFT INCLUDED - PU 5000 footprint and mesh detachable ceiling loft pocket typically cost extra, but we've included them with your purchase.
  • WATERPROOF and ROOMY - PU 2000 rainfly, bathtub floor, and taped floor seams keeps rain out in stormy weather, two door, corner pockets, and two vestibule design for gear storage and easy access.
  • PACKS SMALL for BACKPACKING - Packs down small with included carrying sack so you can carry it easily on backpacking or camping trips.

5. Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent

Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent review

The Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent

Backpacking is supposed to be a life-affirming experience, and so Kelty Salida has done all it can to make camping in its tents memorable. In the summer months, after a long day’s walking, Kelty Salida knows that people want to go back to their tent, settle down, and gaze at the stars. The problem is that thanks to the design of regular tents, most people can’t.

Here’s where Kelty Salida’s offering differs. The tent features a kind of mesh roof that allows people to stare out while preventing insects from getting in. Kelty Salida approaches the issue of creating the best 2 person tent for backpacking from an experiential, rather than functional perspective.

It’s a novel idea but has it been successful?

Let’s start with some of the pros. First, the tent is both lightweight and cost-efficient. Second, it’s easy to set up with two poles and without stakes (although it does come with them). Third, the tent uses a quality material that is resistant to ripping on harsh terrain.

The downside is that the tent is only a 3-season tent. If you want to go backpacking in the winter, you’ll need something a little more heavy duty.

So who is this tent for? Kelty Salida is going after the same market as everyone else but from a different angle. If you’re somebody who loves the experience of being in nature, then this is the tent for you. If, however, you’re more of a person who appreciates the technical and functional side of backpacking, then you should consider other options.

Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
372 Reviews
Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
  • Backpack-friendly compact folding poles, Gearloft loops, Color coded clip and fly attachment.Wall material: 68D Polyester, 40D No-See-Um Mesh,Floor material: 68D Nylon, 1800 mm
  • Roll top cube carry bag, Easy set up, Free standing, Fabric/mesh tent walls
  • Kelty hug clip, Easy entry D door, Internal storage pockets, Fully seam taped construction
  • Seasons: 3, Number of doors: 1, Number of vestibules: 1, Number of poles: 2, Capacity: 2
  • Floor area: 30.5 ft² / 2.83 m², Vestibule area: 10 ft² / .93 m².Wall material: 68D Polyester, 40D No-See-Um Mesh,Floor material: 68D Nylon, 1800 mm

How To Choose A Backpacking Tent

Here is a great video from REI explaining what you need to know about backpacking tents:

While having a backpacking tent is a necessity, it won’t protect you from bears. Make sure you bring a good bear spray with you to protect yourself. And if you do a lot of hiking, you might be interested in our review of the best trekking poles to use when you hike.