Best Backpacking Tents 2019 – Top Rated Reviews: In order to have a great hiking session in the morning, you need to have a good night sleep. Packing a high-end tent is one of the best ways to increase comfort, security and more fun on backpacking trips. But, when you start looking for the best backpacking tents in the market, you might get overwhelmed by the number of options available right there.
In order to resolve your issue, we have researched the best backpacking tents available in the market and then compiled our list of the best backpacking tents 2019. We have made this list by considering various factors such as weight, cost, durability, and interior space. We hope that you find a suitable backpacking tent which keeps you warm, dry and protected for many years to come.
Without much ado, let’s get started:
Best Backpacking Tents 2019 or Best Backpacking Tent Reviews
MSR Hubba Hubba NX is the best backpacking tent available in the market for the last few years. The tent is designed properly, durable and spacious. Hence, it provides protection against windy and rainy season. The symmetrical layout and almost vertical sidewalls offer a lot of room for two hikers to sit up and hang out.
The pole geometry increases its space by 29 sq. feet of floor area, the total interior height of 39 inches and around 17.5 sq. feet of vestibule area. Tent body offers two doors, mesh panels for the breathability and solid panels for the warmth and privacy.
One of the main complaints about the Hubba Hubba is that the tent is much heavier than you can withstand, however, it is great if you shared between two hikers. In this tent, the walls are somewhat close to the face when lying down.
The tent is available in 4 sizes, which features 1P, 2P, 3P, and 4P. You can purchase the one as per your needs of the family.
If you are looking for a lightweight, big and simple to set up backpacking tent available in the market, then go for Nemo Daggar. For all the weight-conscious hikers who want a tent with proper durability as well as comfort. Its weight is 3 pounds 5 ounces for the two-person model, the tent is lightweight, comfortable and provides a lot of features.
The tent consists of two large doors, two big vestibules sot storing gear and large interior which is increased due to the new pre-bent boles for 2019. Moreover, the floor of the tent is symmetrical which makes it suitable for two persons to sleep in opposite directions for more shoulder room.
Nemo Daggar also consists of a highly durable 30-denier floor fabric which is non-tapered and the zipper and the other materials are strong most probably will last longer.
Apart from the tent, fly and poles, the Dagger provides with a guy-out cord, solid metal-stakes dual-stage drawstring stuff sack along with a repair kit for added longevity.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is a great combination of three things which include weight, interior space, and functionality. The tent is ultralight, hence you can easily disappear in your backpack. Also, it provides a lot of space, hence you can wait for a high storm without freaking about it.
The tent consists of a lot of features for increasing comfort, double-wall, near-vertical sidewalls, two large doors/ vestibules, interior pockets and yet the weight of the tent is under 3lb. Fly and floor consists of a unique weave made using the high tenacity yarn and high filament count which expands the fabric tear strength by 25%. This reduces the weight of the material and also enhances water resistance.
This model is available in 4 sizes which includes UL1, UL2, UL3, and UL4. Here, you can go with either UL2 or UL3, both the models are great. However, there is no issue with the UL1 or UL4 models as well.
Mountainsmith is developing tents for the last 30 years. The latest Morrison 2 is one of the most popular backpacking tent built by the company. This tent has also won the 2011 Backpacker Gear Guide “Killer Deal” and “Killer Value ” awards.
If you are tight on budget, then you should definitely go with Mountainsmith Morrison 2. It is one of the best backpacking tents available in the market. The price of this tent is equivalent to the standard night’s hotel stay. Two doors and vestibules work well for getting in and out, however, the three season, bathtub floor construction allows you to keep the interior dry.
Apart from this, freestanding, two-pole design and color-coded fly attachment system allow you to set up the tent in minutes, and instructions are clearly given on the sack for quick release. The tent also features mesh wall panels for better ventilation, removable ceiling loft and inner mesh storage pockets. Tent fly consists of adjustable ventilation windows.
5. Nemo Hornet
This Ultralight Nemo Hornet is one of the most amazing backing tents available in the market. The tent is available in two versions, 1 person and 2 person tent. The one-person tent weights one pound, 16 ounces while the 2 person tent weighs 2 pounds, 5 ounces.
This is one of the lightest freestanding tents available in the market. Despite being light, this tent protects you from bugs as well as all the weather conditions. Here, the 2P tent consists of 2 doors, hence you will be easily able to get in and out of the tent.
Moreover, in the 2P tent, you will get 2 vestibules and enough of storage to keep all your gears. Here, the true tub floor construction decreases seam construction and seam tape thus resulting in a highly durable waterproof floor. The tent features a minimalistic seam construction and internal pockets to store some gear, and you get a great backpacking tent.
Big Agnes Fly Creek is the best free-standing tent available in the market right now. If you are going for a solo adventure, then this is the best backpacking tent which is suitable for one person tent. The tent is made up of nylon and it consists of a single door and a vestibule. Also, it features a storm flaps with vestibule zipper.
If you are looking for a tent which is quick to set up, and it is an overall flexible tent, then this might be for you. The free-standing tent can be installed anywhere you want. The reflective guy line locations will make sure that the tent can get you through the hardest of storms.
This tent falls under the category of best-backpacking tent 2019. Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight is a great option for both backcountry camping and also a good car camping. The tent consists of some of the amazing features which are useful to you. Some of these features include high sidewalls and the bathtub floor which is great for rainy spring nights and also the overall height is suitable enough for a 6-foot adult to sit as well as roam freely.
The interior storage of the tent is enough to store what you want. Hence, you can easily keep the fly wings there for great ventilation and enjoy observing the starts on mild nights.
This is yet another amazing backpacking tent which is available at an exceptional price. The tent is packed with a lot of features. It provides a lot of space to enjoy your backpacking experience fully. The length of the tent is 88inches and width is 55inches. It features two doors and has a lot of space to easily occupy two persons.
Apart from two vestibules for storage, the Midori also features a gear loft for extra storage. Similar to Big Agnes, it is also color coded for ease of setup. Clips rather than the sleeves are provided for easy and quick setup of the tent. High/Low Vent Air Exchange system allows flexible ventilation systems in different weather conditions. It consists of two doors for entry and exit and vestibules for more storage.
The size of the floor is 30.6 square feet, 6inches by height, packs to 6 by 20inches, and weight of 4 pounds, 13 ounces. The design of the tent is wonderful and built from solid materials.
Lastly, some of the users are complaining about the quality of the Eureka Midori 2 tent stakes. Hence, if you are planning to purchase this tent, then replace the stakes as soon as possible. As it is available at a reasonable price, the cost to upgrade the stakes is acceptable. Thus, Eureka Midori 2 is a great option for anyone who is tight on budget.
It is the lightest two-door backpacking tent available in the market. The tent features a minimalistic pole design which consists of two doors and two vestibules along with strong flaps on the vestibule zippers. Due to dry entry door design, the interior remains dry when you enter and exit.
In 2018, the tent was being recommended by some of the most popular hikers. Due to its low weight, this is the only competitor to the Original NEMO Hornet however it is fully comfortable. DAC Poles make the design light and strong. Due to the single pole design, it is easy to set up and windup also. The tent offers great space to room as well as sit with two large side doors.
The placement of the zippers is great. It features dual zipper doors for quick entry. However, you should only use one zipper for moving in and out. Also, the design of the dual zipper doors is modern.
Apart from this, the tent features a big ceiling pocket which provides huge storage space. You can place your smartphone or other media devices in the pocket. The tent also provides low vent feature on the vestibule doors for enough air flow along with providing vestibule coverage.
The price of this tent is around $400 which is somewhat more as compared to its competitors. If you use this tent properly, then it would provide comfortable camping for many years to come.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost is one of the most awesome backpacking tents if you are tight on budget. The tent is designed using lightweight fabrics to meet the expectations. Despite being lightweight, the tent protects you in various seasons. The tent consists of popular DSL featherlight NSL poles.
The tent provides assured watertight construction with fully taped fly, taped perimeter seam, welded corners, and welded guy clip anchors. As compared to other tents, this tent has only one door. The tent consists of dry entry vestibule for more storage and convenience.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost freestanding lightweight geometry as well as structure. Also, the welded zipper flap structure is light and dry as compared to a sewn flap. This tent is suitable for anyone who wants an ultralight, freestanding, full-coverage shelter.
Marmot Limelight 4P tent is suitable for all the four seasons. The big 56-sq feet tent is suitable enough to accommodate 4 persons. Two doors are enough for people who love stargazing.
You can easily set up the tent within a few minutes due to the color-coded clips. These color-coded clips are very much useful in the bad weather. Lastly, it features a weatherproof floor and full-cover rainfly to keep all the things dry.
As families carry a lot of stuff with them, the storage loft which clips on the roof of the tent provides 4 campers enough space to spread out. The tent offers 4 campers to easily enter and exit through the tent using two doors.
Alps Mountaineering tents are neither lightweight nor they using the best quality material for making a tent, however, they provide the cheapest tent in the market. In less than $100, this tent falls under the category of best-backpacking tent 2019. The Lynx1 is suitable for anyone who is looking to purchase a solo backpacking tent.
Lynx has enough space, provides better weather protection and ventilation along with two vents on the top and a big door and a vestibule for keeping your gear at night. In order to provide the best durability, the tent is built using the 75D floor and strong zipper, which is reliable for anyone who is hard on gear. The tent consists of 8 zippers, storage pockets, gear loft, stakes, guy ropes, and one door.
One and the only downside of the Lynx is its weight. The weight of the tent is 3 pounds 8 ounces which is too high as compared to the 2-person tents. Considering the number of features Lynx provides, this can be ignored.
13. Kelty Salida 2
Kelty Salida 2 is one of the best backpacking tents available in the market. This tent breaks the rule i.e. all cheap tents needs to be heavy. The weight of this tent is 4 pounds for the two-person, which is 15 pounds less as compared to the REI passage and Marmot Tungsten. Also, the price of this tent is reasonable.
The tent features compact folding poles, gearloft loops, color-coded clip, and a fly attachment. Also, it consists of Rolltop tube carry bag, quick to setup, free-standing, and fabric/mesh tent walls. Also, the tent provides internal storage pockets where you can keep your digital devices.
One of the limitations of this tent is, it has only one side door, hence two persons may find it difficult while getting in and out. Also, you will not be able to keep more gear in this tent as space is limited. Hence, this tent is suitable for a solo hiker who just needs some extra space to store gear in the tent.
Kelty TraLogic TN2 is one of the best backpacking tent available in the market. The tent was awarded in the 2014 Backpacker Magazine Editor’s choice and 2016 Outside Magazine gear awards. The tent is popular for its unique design and a wonderful interior.
The tent consists of lots of amazing features such as 14-inch aluminum poles for easier packing, unique hug-clip technology for quick setup. Also, the “stargazing” tent/rainfly design provides full mesh coverage for a fully open view of the sky while rainfly is off.
The tent is cheaper than other tents in the market and also one of the best all-around tent suitable for various weather conditions. The tent is packed with a lot of wonderful features such as Freestanding design, Color-coded clip construction, Taped floor seams, Mesh wall panels, Internal storage pockets, etc.
Some of the users have reported issues related to the dust, for the purpose of reducing weight and to provider better 360-degree viewing, Kelty expanded the mesh wall on the tent body down till the waterproof tub floor. Hence you might face some issues in the windy and rainy season, otherwise, this tent works well in good weather.
Hammock camping tents are wonderful. This tent has also won the most popular Gear of the Year Award. This tent allows you to sleep on a flat surface, instead of sinking deep into the cacoon as you do in a classic hammock design.
Hammock tents are highly flexible; hence you can set up the tent on the ground just like a normal tent. Thus, it gives you the option to sleep in either of the ways. If you are searching for a solo tent which is great for backpacking and also allows you to hang out on the beach in a hammock during the day, then go with this tent.
Lawson Hammock consists of a built-in mosquito net which protects from bugs and also a waterproof ripstop rainfly to keep you dry.
This tent is absolutely good for anyone who wants to hike solo however want the flexibility of bringing one friend with him/her. This tent has large side doors hence you can easily access your gear items. The tent consists of various amazing features such as light pockets, volumizing guyouts, and Divvy sack.
Also, this is a lightest free-standing tent in the Nemo series. This tent is wind and weather resistant due to its balanced shape and guylines. Apart from this, the sibling of this tent, Nemo Hornet is $140 less and just 5 ounces heavier is also a wonderful option.
The price of this tent is $500, which is expensive as compared to other models in the same range. Moreover, the tent is not comfortable for two persons. The most important factor of this tent includes its weight and size. This tent is recommended by various popular hikers in the market. Lastly, if you are a solo hiker and planning to buy this tent, then go with the 2P tent, you will get extra space to store all your gear.
Important Factors to consider before purchasing Backpacking Tent
Freestanding vs. Semi-Freestanding
In a freestanding tent, as soon as the poles are set up, it can withstand easily without any extra support. This simply means that the poles need to placed at the corners of the tent and tent is completely supported.
In the case of the semi-freestanding tent, extra support is needed for the tent to reach its full-size to be stable. Please note that the pole on one end of the tent should be kept right in the middle of the edge and not the corner. Hence, you will need a couple of stakes around the corner to allow the tent to reach its full size.
Both tents are of different weights. Semi-Freestanding tents focus on reducing weight as much as possible. You might consider this as a benefit, but you have face issues while setting up a tent in the bad weather.
A freestanding tent has proper structure and they focus on space, durability and other features.
Which tent you should buy?
That depends on your priorities and what you need. Based on features, you can go with either of the tents. If you don’t have any issues spending more time in setting up the tent, then go with a semi-freestanding tent.
If you want a tent which is easy-to-setup, then go with a freestanding tent.
You are not going to spend a lot of money in order to purchase a backpacking tent. The above list consists of tents available in different price ranges. If you are frequently going on hiking, then you should purchase a tent with good quality which lasts long. But if you are on a tight budget and don’t want to spend much, then you can buy any of the budget backpacking tents.
Number of People
One of the most important factor before purchasing a tent is, for how many people you want a tent for. Backpacking tent available for one or three people. If you have a bigger group, then purchase more small tents as per your needs.
If you are sleeping alone, then you will require a one-person tent, but if you to join another person, then go with a two-person tent. If you are comfortable carrying more weight and having more space inside, then add one person. For instance, if you are only one person, but you have purchased a two-person tent, then you will get more space to sleep and keep your backpack. Obviously, this will be a better option as compared to carrying one more person.
The weight which you are carrying on your back plays a vital role while going on backpacking trips. If you are just carrying few ounces on your back, then it’s absolutely okay. However, by putting a lot of weight on your back, you will not be able to enjoy your backpacking trip. Lightweight tents enable you to enjoy your hiking. Your tent will be one of the 4 heaviest items which you will carry on your back. Hence, it is essential that you should keep the weight on your back as low as possible.
Tents should be comfortable on your back as you might be carrying it for long miles. There should a proper balance between weight and comfort. Majority of lightweight tents have small space. If you get a chance, please spend some time in a tent and then purchase the tent.
Majority of two-person ultralight (UL) tents weight less than 3 pounds, however several one-person tents weight less than 2 pounds. All the tents which weight more than 3 pounds are made up of solid material and provide a great space.
Here, 3 season tent will be lightest, 3.5 season tent will be heavier, and 4 season tent will be the heaviest. You can absolutely go with a 4 season tent, but you have to carry extra weight on your shoulders.
A backpacking tent which isn’t able to protect you in different weather conditions, then it’s worthless. Hence, be careful while choosing the cheapest tent in the market. Most of the tents mentioned on our list will be able to protect you from the storm and keep your secure, dry and warm.
Weight of Backpacking tent is minimum, due to less internal space. Majority of the 2P tent has space for two sleepers and room for sacks, backpacks, and some extra gear. For more internal space, you have to purchase a larger tent. For example, for a two-person tent, you have to purchase a 3-person tent. Interior space is directly proportional to the comfort and weight. If you are going for small hiking trips then go with a two-person tent for two persons. But, if you are going on big hiking trips with a lot of stuff, then buy one-size large tent.
Tents are available based on season ratings to indicate the season they will come with. Tents which consists of thicker fabric and more poles tend to be solid and water resistant. Also, these will be heavier and bulkier. A proper backpacking tent will be one which withstands the climate and weather and where you use it.
3 Season tents are useful in summer, spring and fall weather. These tents are built from mesh and several lightweight poles to hold up the rainfly. 3-Season tents are usually lightweight and easy to carry. They can’t withstand heavy snow and harsh weather.
3.5 season tents include tough poles and less mess as compared to 3 seasons. Also, these consists of strong panels which cover the mesh in winter and are not suitable for summer.
4 Season or winter tents are the toughest and highly weatherproof of all tents. Strong poles resist snow loading which is not possible in a 3 season tent. Due to less mesh, the tent remains warm. Also, small vents decrease condensation. 4 Season tents are generally bulkier than others and have some issues of condensation due to less ventilation.
Before purchasing a tent, please check the weather you are going hiking.
You can use a 3-person tent in winter but it might collapse under snow and rough conditions.
Dome tents are the most well-known type of backpacking tents available in the market. These tents are simple, quick to assemble and possess a lot of space inside. Poles arc from one side of the tent to other and the tent is placed on the poles including a rainfly on the outside. Here, several poles are freestanding and some are not, which need stakes in the ground with small ropes or guy lines to hold it properly. Their round shape helps to resist winds until they are staked down.
Geodesic tents are usually huge dome tents. These tents contain more poles which intersect each other to form a strong structure. These tents are highly used in winter due to their strength and wind resistance.
Tunnel tents are not so popular. They can be set up easily and contain 2-3 u-shaped poles which make the tunnel. Tunnel tents need to be tied down on both the ends using stakes to stand still. These tents might have problems with the wind hitting the side of the tent due to a vertical surface. To avoid this, you will have to choose a small hill or pitch.
Frame-tents are not used anymore. Various tarps and tarp tents are pitched in A-frame. These tents are simple to setup, as they just require pole on one hand and tarp on the other hand to form a triangle or ‘A-shape’. These tents can protect from snow but can be pushed by the high wind.
Design of a tent plays a very important role while purchasing the best backpacking tent on the market. A small change in the design of a tent makes a lot of difference.
One such essential feature includes bathtub design for the tent floors. This raises the seam where the floor and the walls meet several inches above the ground, thus reducing the chance for leaks and allowing to form a more durable platform.
Also, a tent which has more mesh pockets will allow you to store more items of gear, digital devices, etc.
Some of the other essential features of tent include fly air vents, symmetrical floor design for extra space, vertical sidewalls and pole designs which are easy to reach.
Before buying a tent, look for all the features it provides and then purchase it. Don’t buy a tent which has a lot of features which you don’t care about.
The floor of a tent is highly durable and waterproof until it starts wearing down. As soon as it starts to leak or tear you should plan to purchase a new tent. To increase the life of a tent you can use a footprint.
Footprints are usually an extra piece of fabric kept on the ground before keeping the tent down. You can also use a small piece of plastic to hold it from bottom footprints and they are usually of the same size as the bottom of the tent and connect the poles similar to the body and the fly.
Fast and Light Pitching
Carrying body, rainfly and footprint will occupy a lot of space in your tent. Hence, when the weather is good, you can reduce the load by just carrying footprint and rainfly and use the fast and light pitching method.
To make this setup, put the footprint on the ground, pitch the poles as usual, and then keep rainfly on the top, avoiding the body section. This setup doesn’t require bathtub bottom and mesh of the body, thus reducing the extra weight. This setup will not provide water proofing or bug proofing
With the help of the same method, you keep your tent without getting wet inside. Keep the footprint, pitch the poles and the rainfly and then get inside and then hang the tent body within the pitched rainfly. This works well with only a few tents.
During bad weather, some tents will not remain as dry as others. Long rainfly keep the rain out when you are going sideways. Ensure that the edge comes down past the size of the bathtub floor. A proper waterproof floor will keep the water out even though you have pitched tent in a low spot.
Several tents are not sealed and not fully waterproof, you have to make them. Always check before buying whether the tent is fully sealed or not. Majority of the tents are not sealed when you buy them.
Backpacking tents consist of one or two doors. One side door will save some bucks but you will have to climb over your tentmate to get out of the tent. A single door on the end of the tent is suitable. If you have a 2P tent and you have your own door, then it’s more efficient. This will provide you with more storage. Both the doors consist of some sort of vestibule covered with rainfly to store the gear. One door only consists of one vestibule. Also, 3-4 person tent will also have 1-2 doors only.
A vestibule is mainly the area covered with the rainfly same as the outside door of the tent for storing gear, putting your boots and cooking in poor weather. Big vestibules provide more extra space, however, they increase the weight of the tent. Majority of tents will have vestibules outside the door, hence two doors will have two vestibules. If you have only one door, means you have only one vestibule.
Double-wall tents consist of mainly two-parts, one mesh-tent body, and one rainfly. The mesh inner tent body works as a barrier for condensation which forms on the inside of the rainfly. Single-wall tents decrease the weight by removing the mesh inner-tent, however, it leaves the hikers exposed to the interior condensation in wet/cold conditions. Rubbing up in wet tent results into holes, due to this we suggest you purchase double-wall tents.
Packed Weight vs. Minimum Weight
At the time of purchasing a tent, you will come across some phrases like “minimum weight” and “packed weight”. You might get confused with these phrases as weight is one of the most important factors while purchasing a tent.
Packed weight is mainly the full-kit which you purchase and what comes out of the box. The kit consists of things like body, fly, poles, stakes, repair gear, guy lines, and stuff sacks.
Minimum weight means only the necessary things which you require in order to set up the tent. This includes tent body, fly and poles.
Stakes and guy lines are very much useful in the bad weather and mostly they are not included in the minimum weight requirements. Here, we suggest you go with a packed weight as it will be useful to handle any of the adverse conditions.
Backpacking tents are usually expensive. You want to use them as long as possible. Take proper care of tent and it will last for years. Some of the essential tips are given below.
Sometimes your tent might become fully dirty due to one trip or a bunch of small trips. Hence, it is time to clean it as soon as possible. Things like salt, mud, and dust can break down the fabrics, coatings, and poles over time.
To clean it lightly, you can use a garden hose most of the time. But, if you need more than that, mild soap and a soft sponge will work effectively.
Never wash tent in a washing machine or in a clothes dryer. They are strong for soft tent fabrics. After washing a tent properly, let it dry and then store in a good place.
The most important thing before storing a tent is that it should be dry. Fungi will form on the surface of the tent in just 24 hours. Moisture can also tear the fabrics and waterproof coatings resulting in a gooey, peeling tent.
Hang your tent properly before storing it. Don’t keep it under the sun for more hours as UV rays will break down the rainfly.
As soon as it becomes dry, roll it or keep it in a mesh duffel and store in a cool dry area. Never fold the tent on the same fold lines over and over. This will result in wear in small areas.
Rainfly and the floor of the tent will be waterproof in the beginning. After using it for some time. the coatings will wear out and you might discover leaks. You can seal them using spray or paint on sealers. Several tents are waterproof with the help of polyurethane and others using silicon, hence check first if the sealants and patches work with your tent.
Above, we have listed all the important factors which you should consider before buying any of the backpacking or hiking tent. Check for a tent which suits your needs and don’t forget to check its reviews.
We hope that you like our list of Best Backpacking Tents 2019. Lastly, don’t forget to share it with your friends and followers.