If you’re going to tackle the challenge of backpacking, be it across the country or through a deep backcountry camping site, you’re going to need a tent to go along with all of your provisions.
It’s easy to imagine how impossible an extended trek would be without a proper shelter. We understand how important it is to have a sturdy tent that won’t weigh down your pack with unnecessary frills, so we’ve hand-tested some of the most promising tents on the market right now and we present you with the 10 best backpacking tents in 2021!
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
8 Best Backpacking Tents of 2021 – Reviewed – Overview
Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for more details and picks 6-8).
- ULTRALIGHT & ROOMY - Designed for comfort & livability on any adventure, the Dagger boasts vertical walls, increased headroom, and expert backcountry functionality; Pre-bent DAC Featherlite poles with...
This backpacking tent from Nemo is one of the best tents in terms of comfort, durability, and lightweight. It’s a tent that’s designed to solve a lot of the problems you tend to run into when you’re backpacking while managing to stay out of your way the entire time. That’s the best kind of design in our minds.
When you forget you’ve got a piece of equipment on your back until you need it, then you’re carrying something that knows not to rear its head until it’s time to set it up. The biggest selling point of this backpacking tent is how light and roomy it is. You’re going to have a luxurious, relaxing experience if you bring this tent along on your trips.
We love roomy backpacking tents because they combine the best of two worlds, comfort and function. If you’re carrying this tent along for the ride, you’re going to be saving yourself a lot of headache in the form of an overall reduced load, and the comfort of a tent this roomy can’t be overstated once you’re on the trail.
Beyond having a ton of space for your sleepers, this tent is pretty low-fuss and accessible. There are a pair of easily accessible doors on this tent that will allow you to set up and enter your tent from essentially any orientation.
The addition of the small set of vestibules on this tent gives you and your things a little bit of extra coverage from the elements without adding on any additional weight.The rugged weatherproof design is also one of the best ways to protect yourself from the elements. The build quality of this tent and the shelter it provides
- Made from long-lasting nylon that protects you from harsh rain and wind
- The built-in humidity vents make hunkering down in the rain a breezy affair without
- ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT: Naturehike's Cloud up 3-season, 2-person backpacking tent offers the most spacious and comfortable accommodations in an ultra-lightweight design. The Cloud up 210T weighs only 3.75...
This backpacking tent from Naturehike knocks it out of the park. It’s focused primarily on being an ultra-lightweight solution. This tent is a simple 3-season solution to your backpacking problems. This pack weighs in at just under 4 pounds (3.75 to be exact) so it really isn’t going to be taking up much of your weight budget once everything is all said and done.
This tent is great for everything except deep winter backpacking, but that’s not exactly a knock against its quality. If you’re going to be backpacking during the winter, you’re going to need a different tent than usual. This tent is a quality piece of equipment from roof to floor. It’s constructed from durable material that’s nearly impossible to rip.
You’re going to need to pour on some serious abuse before this tent starts showing visible wear and tear. The high-quality YKK zippers are going to last you a long time before they ever show a hint of slippage or misaligned teeth. They create an excellent seal that’s perfect for aiding you in the quest to stay dry and warm at night between days while you’re backpacking.
Speaking of staying warm, this tent comes with a polyester rain fly & bathtub with a PU 3000 coating. That’s all technical talk for “high-quality materials that will keep your tent sealed shut when the going gets tough.” All of this comes standard with your Naturehike tent without requiring a ton of setup.
This tent is low-maintenance and simple to throw together. By our count, you can reliably get it set up within 5-8 minutes consistently.
- Easy to transport
- Quick setup process
- A little spartan in terms of looks and creature comforts
- Ultra-light two-person igloo tent, two D-shaped entrances with two spacious apses for equipment; self-supporting inner tent with upper no-see-um mesh to protect from vermin and for ventilation
This igloo-style tent is the perfect size for 2 to 3 campers (or one camper that loves their personal space). This tent’s biggest selling point has got to be its simplicity and spaciousness. It’s a wide open space to lounge in when you’ve set it up, and setting it up is a breeze. You’re going to be able to set it up in pretty much any orientation with its pair of large D-shaped doors. They add a nice symmetry to the tent, making it an all-around comfortable experience.
It’s designed to be lightweight and comfortable during the warmer months, there’s a lot of open area on the upper half of the tent to create a wonderful breeze on even the muggiest nights. Marmot calls this their no-see-um mesh. It filters out bugs and other pests so you’re properly protected from little intruders, and if you need a little extra coverage there’s a huge rain coverf that will totally seal your tent away from the wet and rain.
All of this comes in a compact package that’s light and easy to carry. It’s an easy addition to your backpacking outings, and if you’re looking for a tent that’s simple, then you’re going to love this one from Marmot.
- UV-resistant fabric keeps your tent from bleaching in the sun and saves your skin from burns
- The roof pocket fits nearly every lantern you could reasonably bring along
- Without the rain fly, you feel pretty exposed
- 3-season, 2-person backpacking tent that offers the most livable accommodations in a lightweight freestanding design. Floor Fabric - 30D ripstop nylon 3000mm Xtreme Shield polyurethane & DWR
This is a flashy-looking tent that backs up the glamour with function. It’s a lightweight, freestanding backpacking tent that’s easy to set up and wonderful to recline in. Altogether we’re looking at about 3 and a half pounds of weight in your pack. That alone is probably enough to earn this tent a permanent spot in your pack, but if you’re a tougher sell, there’s plenty more where that came from.
This is a 3-season tent with plenty of room for an intrepid pair of backpackers and all of their things. The fabric of the tent is a durable and rugged 30D ripstop nylon. It can take plenty of tossing and stomping and all of your gear being thrown around. The windshield is made from 3000mm polyurethane & DWR.
If you’ve ever felt the wet disappointment of a failing rain fly, you’ll be happy to know that this one is incredibly dependable.
- The setup of the tent poles are convenient and wide-set to create a high ceiling and a wide, comfortable space
- Great for anybody looking for a simple tent
- The addition of a small vestibule increases the storage capacity of this tena surprising amount
- If you’re a fan of an open-top tent, the mesh on this one might leave you wanting more
- CRAZY LIGHT TECHNICAL COMFORT - Joining our award winning Platinum line of Crazylight tents, the Tiger Wall Platinum offers two doors and two vestibules for fast and light trial missions where every...
The wall of the Tiger Wall Platinum tent is, by far, our favorite aspect of it. If you’re often finding yourself shaking water or mud off of your gear before you pack it in for the night, or you’re finding that your rain flies aren’t quite doing the job, then you’re going to have a great time with this tent from Big Agnes.
The rain fly on this tent essentially serves to add an entire extra storage segment to your tent. You might like to keep the inside of your tent clean, or if you’ve been caught in the rain. You can take off all of your gear, store it beneath the vestibule created by the Tiger Wall, and rest easy knowing that your tent will be just as comfortable and dry on the last day as it was on the first.
The tent isn’t just a vessel for this impressive rain fly, though. It’s an award-winning addition to the Platinum line of their tents. It’s easy to see why once you’ve had the chance to set this tent up at the end of a long day. It’s seemingly effortless, you can tell that a lot of careful design has gone into the production of this Big Agnes gemstone.
- Color-coded parts make it almost impossible to mess up your setup process
- The low vent on the vestibule doors makes this
- The velcro on the rain fly is a little worrisome. It provides extra stability, but it’s eventually going to wear down
- FULLY REDESIGNED - One of our best-selling, full-featured, ultralight backpacking tents, the Copper Spur HV UL series just got better with new features inside and out, proprietary materials that are...
This tent from Big Agnes has been totally redesigned. We had to put it back to back with the Big Agnes Tiger Wall. They shaved off a little weight while adding in a ton of features that make this tent a must-grab. The awning-style vestibules are a beautiful and comfortable addition to the tent.
They’re also incredibly functional, giving you a much larger space to work with when you’re ready to store your things for the night. The addition of the vestibules makes this tent a much-needed addition to any pack. They make the tent so much more comfortable by extending your effective floorplan beyond the dome of your tent.
This tent is great for anybody backpacking to a scenic destination that wants space without sacrificing weight. This tent includes what Big Agnes calls their 3-D bin mezzanine inside of the foot of the tent. This gives campers a huge amount of storage space off of the floor of the tent. It’s a clever way to give you extra storage space without bulking up the weight of your tent.
This along with other small touches like media pockets and cord-routing built into the tent helps you create an atmosphere inside of your mobile shelter like no other.
- Made with a proprietary ultralight nylon double rip-stop to keep your tent in one piece no matter what
- The overall strength and performance of the tent is drastically increased with small things like a pre-bent span pole and a 4-way high-volume hub
- A lot of the new additions to this redesigned
- 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...
This tent has a distinctly American touch to it that makes it feel like a high-quality investment. It was designed right in the heart of California, and all of the quality of life touches and the basic functionality of the tent reflects the American spirit it was imbued with. This is a 2-person 3-season tent that’s resilient in every single aspect.
The seams are all taped shut after sewing to provide a two-pronged defense against the most torrential downpours. Combining the carefully sealed seams with a bathtub floor design means that the bottom of your tent will keep you protected from wet, uncomfortable campgrounds when the sky starts dumping water all over your trip.
- The tent’s structured around a single aluminum pole which is simple to set up and break down. Everything happens quickly and it’s easy to memorize
- A lot of care went into making this comfortable, rain or shine
- The standing space in here is a little limited
- ✔Ultralight and Portable: With dimensions of 36x 83x 40 in, KAZOO ultralight 1 person backpacking tent can room 1 adult. It weighs only 3.3 lbs. and can be nicely packed into a 20x6in-carrying bag....
If you’re the type to get out there and go on your own, then you’re probably not interested in all of these 2 or 3-person tents. You’re going to want something a lot more like this waterproof tent from Kazoo. It’s even lighter than all of these already incredibly light tents, and, crucially, it’s going to protect you from the elements.
If you’re going to be out there on your own, then it’s even more important that you find a tent that’s capable of keeping you warm and dry no matter what.
- Incredibly breathable
- The ripstop tech built into this tent makes it much more durable than it seems
- Only suited for solitary backpackers
- Short on standing room
This backpacking tent is an easy pick. It’s light and durable without ever becoming cumbersome or fussy to set up. This is the kind of tent that you can depend on when the chips are down and you’re about to get caught in the rain while you’re miles away from home on foot. The extremely light overall weight of the package also makes it hard to pass up on in the face of all of its features and strength.
We love how spacious this tent is once it’s been set up. Space is easily one of the biggest deciding elements when it comes down to whether or not you’re going to want to bring along a tent. Once all of the basics are covered, which this tent does well, you’re going to want to aim for comfort.
This tent will feel just like a portable home away from home when you take the 5 quick minutes it takes to set it up.
There are a couple of extremely important aspects of a good backpacking tent that you should always take into account when you’re looking for the best tent to bring along on your outdoor treks. When we look at a backpacking tent, we’re always looking for a couple of key factors:
A great tent isn’t going to do you a lot of good if it’s too unwieldy to fit on your pack. Likewise, if your tent is teeny-tiny, you’re going to be miserable the entire time you’re out on the trail.
A good backpacking tent is going to strike the perfect middle ground, that’s why we tent to lean towards 3-season 2-person tents, they’re perfect for almost every situation and if you’re backpacking with more than 2 people, it’s easy enough to just add more tents of a similar size onto your pack.
A heavy pack can completely derail a good backpacking trip. You’re responsible for every single piece of equipment you’re going to want to use on the trail, so you’re going to need to make some hard decisions when it comes to the weight of your pack.
A good backpacking tent is aware of this crucial need, and most likely will weigh in around 3 to 5 pounds. Anything more than that, and you’re starting to take on way too much.
A good backpacking tent is only as useful as its leakiest seam. You’re going to want to double-check your tent for any obvious holes before you hit the road, but all of the tents that make this list are either waterproof or water-resistant to a high degree. It’s important to take care of yourself if you’re backpacking
Bonus tip: If you’re not sure what to bring along, this video breaks down some of our favorite essentials!