7 Best Backpacking Tents Reviewed & Rated in 2018

As soon as one think of planning a “backpacking” trip, the first thing to strike the mind is a backpacking tent. On backpacking trips, a shelter will be one of your most important gear choices to ensure safety and comfort.

To select a perfect backpacking tent that matches your requirements can be a difficult decision. Usually, people end up buying products with features which they might not necessarily consider important.

Most people are concerned a lot about the budget while making a purchase. The rule here to remember is that spending a bit more for a quality lightweight tent is completely worth it.

Things to consider while selecting a Tent

Take a look at few of the most important considerations when it comes to selecting a tent for your backpacking travel:

  1. Tent Size and weight– This is the most important consideration that will impact your backpacking experience. Because you have to carry your backpacking tent all by yourself, thus go for a lightweight tent. The larger the tent, the heavier it tends to be and eventually longer it will take to set up. However, with changing technologies, a lot of companies have ventured into making larger tents that are lighter in weight and are faster to set up.
  2. Capacity– Backpacking tents usually are categorized depending on their capacity which may vary from solo to four persons. A two-person tent will be enough for a couple; for more number of people opt accordingly. Tents are usually measured with average-sized individuals so you should test it first and see how it goes.
  3. Set-up– Freestanding tents are generally preferable as they come with a fixed pole system that can be set up almost anywhere, making it easier for the user to pitch. More poles simply mean more complex to set it up. Therefore, prefer a fixed pole system.
  4. Doors and vestibules– If you are buying a tent for two people ensure that there are two doors and two vestibules. Having separate entrances ensures comfort while getting in and out of the tent.
  5. Weather– A 3-season tent is by far, the most popular choice of tents because it suits spring-through-fall weather. However, these tents can only handle a little snow. If you opt to go in severe winter conditions, then opt for 4-season tent. However, 4-season tents use more poles and heavier fabrics than 3-season tents. So, simply think about where you want to go and what kind of weather conditions could come up and make a well-informed choice.
  6. Breathability– This again, is a very important factor when buying a backpacking tent. To boost air flow, usually, tents are equipped with ample mesh panels. So, if you are going to a place where the weather condition is hot, then opt for a tent that has a lot of mesh panels.
  7. Interior Volume– It comprises of floor dimensions, floor area, and the peak height. If you need more space inside your tent, opt for vertical walls. If you want more headroom, opt for a dome-like tent.
  8. Fabrics– Backpacking tents include fabrics such as coated polyester, coated nylon, and cuben fiber. However, Nylon is stronger and more abrasion resistant than polyester. To ensure they are waterproof, a coating is required. Polyurethane (PU) coating is the preferable choice for all budget tents. SilNylon is considerably stronger, lighter, and more durable than PU coated fabrics. Cuben fiber is the most durable waterproof material and is the most expensive one.
  9. Price– If you are a frequent camper, be sure to invest in quality and something durable that will last for several years.

best backpacking tents of 2018

To ease it out for you, we have listed 7 best backpacking tents of 2018. Take a look:

Best 7 Backpacking Tents of 2018

Nemo Dagger 2P Ultralight Roomy Backpacking Tent

Based out of New England, Nemo deals in innovative outdoor gear, including tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp showers, and furniture. The Memo Dagger is one of the best tents for backpacking or car camping.

The Dagger weighs in at a trail weight of 3 lb 12 oz, which makes this tent light enough for ultralight backpacking. This high-quality adventure tent is both super-lightweight and roomy.


Dimensions of 90″ x 50″ x 42” indicate a narrow yet longer tent.The tent features a single hubbed pole design. Dagger comes with easy to use tent clips and stakes which makes for a fast and easy setup that even the first-timers can easily set it up without any assistance.

However, the most impressive thing about this tent is its vertical walls. The tent can easily be divided between two hikers with the “Divvy Sack” dual-stage drawstring stuff sack.

The tent consists of 2 large side doors and the best part is that both doors stake out to two points rather than the usual one creating more area and volume for storage than many other tents.

The 15D Nylon ripstop fly fabric is a bit sound-proof, i.e. it provides calmness even under the harsh wind conditions. The 30D PU Nylon ripstop floor is quite durable.

A wide crossbar lifts the tent and widens out the walls that increase spaciousness on this tent.The overhead light pockets are made of the light diffusing material to evenly distribute torch light within the tent.

The roomy interior mesh pockets can be used to pack in all your essential stuff. All the exterior-facing connection points such as guy out loops and zipper pulls are reflective for nighttime visibility. The built-in privacy panel provides for extended coverage and security. The No-See-Um-Mesh gives great visibility while keeping insects at bay.

Overall, it is one of the best lightweight hiking tent currently on the market. With wide-open interiors and the unique vestibule configuration, this tent is quite impressive with its functional features and is worth the buy.

Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking Tent 2P

Nemo Hornet is an ultralight, well-ventilated double-walled two person tent. This tent is simply based on the concept of number two. Two people, two doors, two vestibules and weighs around two pounds.

With its 2-pound weight, it is the topmost choice for ultra lighters as it packs down much smaller, too. As far as design is concerned, it is a semi-freestanding backpacking tent with 2 doors and 2 vestibules.


It features a three-pronged hub pole design where two holes stake into the front, with just one point in the middle of the back. Nemo has used advanced DAC Featherlite NFL aluminum poles that are comparatively lightweight. With 28 square feet of floor space, this tent is wider at the head and slightly narrower at the feet.

This tent is spacious enough for two people to sleep in unless they are too tall. However, due to the tight quarters, it is recommended to sleep with your partner only. With an additional pole clip over the knee area, moving around inside the interior is much easier.

The best part about this tent is its door positioning. The vestibules provide ample gear storage and are long enough so you can get out of the side doors without moving your gear.

Nemo has used 7D Silicon impregnated, polyurethane coated nylon for its fly, 10D ripstop for its floor, and no-see-um mesh for its body. The Divvy Sack dual-stage drawstring stuff sack allows you to easily split the tent between 2 people for carrying on the trail.

Dual interior side pockets and an interior overhead pocket. NEMO offers a lifetime warranty for this tent, which includes manufacturing defects and issues of workmanship.

Overall, this highly livable backpacking tent features amazing functions at a competitive price. This tent is durable enough to withstand the weather conditions of all the three seasons.

Big Agnes Copper Spur Hv UL 2 – Two Person Tent

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 is a two-person dome style tent with two side doors that add to the convenience. The HV in the name indicates High Volume, i.e. it is a plus-size model with extra headroom and floor area. With vertical sidewalls, it offers enough space to sit around and have fun. This tent is a far better version of the original Copper Spur.

UL stands for Ultra Light. The Copper Spur HV UL 2 weighs 2 pounds and 12 ounces which means that it is an extremely backpacking tent for two people.


The Copper Spur is more than seven feet long, measures 52-inches wide at the head end of the tent and 42 inches at the feet. Twenty-nine square feet of interior space provides enough room to spread out.

The tent is virtually freestanding and the only parts that need to be fixed are the side vestibules. It includes stuff sacks and 8 superlight aluminum J-stakes.

It uses a single hub pole structure, with a horizontal cross pole which provides for quick and easy set-up. The rainfly and floor material are made of 20-denier silicone-treated patterned double ripstop nylon with waterproof PU coating that adds to the durability.

The body material is made of proprietary patterned random rip-stop nylon breathable and polyester mesh that is extremely light.

There is the well-placed guy out points at each corner and the full coverage rainfly offers adequate protection to handle the 3-season conditions, i.e. it is completely capable in the rain, wind, and light snow.

However, it’s not designed to be a winter backpacking tent.

The best part about this tent is that it has been built in a very eco-friendly way. The DAC Featherlite NSL poles are anodized without the use of harmful acids. The poles are also color coordinated that makes pitching this asymmetrical tent easier.

In total, it features 5 interior pockets. With two mesh pockets, one for each occupant it provides enough space to store-in your essentials. It also features a tent-wide mesh pocket on the ceiling and two media pockets. Altogether, they create a ton of usable storage in the tent.

The tent comes with Lifetime warranty against manufacturing or material defects. Two zippers open each main body door on the Copper Spur, which makes both the doors easy to open and close.

With fantastic ventilation, it is a “livable” ultralight tent.Quick and easy to pitch, it is one of the best-engineered tents available in the market. It may seem a bit pricey but it’s well worth the cost.

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

MSR is a producer of camping, hiking and mountaineering equipment, such as portable stoves, water filters, snowshoes, snow tools, and tents.

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 is a lightweight two-person tent Weighing about 3 pounds 13 ounces. This tent comes with a well-designed spacious interior and asymmetrical floor. It features a single-hubbed pole configuration and a freestanding design.


Set up and take down is easy, but due to thin fabrics, you need to take extra care while setting up the tent. The MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent comes with an ultra-compact compression sack so it fits easily into a backpack.

Use of mesh in the upper portion of the tent provides excellent ventilation. The built-in vents at either end of the rainfly draw out humid air effectively in both the weather conditions. For personal entrance, it is equipped with two large StayDry doors, one at each side. These doors ensure that the water doesn’t drip into the tent when doors are opened.

The DAC Featherlite aluminum poles are arranged in such a way that it provides a generous headroom and elbow space throughout the tent. With 18-square-foot floor and 36-inch peak, it is roomy enough for you to move around.

The 20-denier rainfly is made of high-tenacity ripstop nylon that’s Durashield polyurethane and silicone-coated. The 30-denier floor is made of high-tenacity ripstop nylon and is covered with Durashield polyurethane coating.

The fabrics may seem thin at first but are quite tough and durable.

Overall, this tent is worth the money spent.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2 Tent

Founded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear is a California -based company that manufactures high-tech outdoor clothing, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, and gloves. In 2003, this brand was purchased by Columbia Sportswear.

Weighing about 2 pounds and 7.2 ounces, Ghost UL 2 Tent is one of the lightest double wall two-person tents. It is just 20 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. However, it is a tight fit for two people thus it is preferable only for a couple or one person.


The design and construction of this tent are fairly simple. Pitching this tent is way easier as it features a truly freestanding design. It consists of one single DAC pole system that features a ridge and a Y intersection at each end.

The DAC Featherlight NSL poles are made of 100%aluminumm. there is only one door

The tent body is half mesh and the fly is basically just large enough to cover that mesh area fully. All the fabrics are made of nylon that adds on to the durability of this tent. The denier count comprises a 10D fly, 15D mesh and 20D floor.

the fly doesn’t cover the entire canopy of the tent, which significantly reduces the overall weight of the tent. It comes with two mesh pockets for interior storage. The interior space is 27 square feet.

From an ultralight tent you don’t expect this feature but surprisingly this tent is weather resistant. Overall, this is an ultralight tent made for smaller campers and couples who don’t mind sharing tight spaces.

Kelty TraiLogic TN2 Tent

Kelty builds quality tents, sleeping bags, backpacks & camping gear for any outdoor adventure from the backyard camper to the experienced backcountry hiker. Kelty TN2 weighs in at 4 lbs, 4 oz and the walls of the tent rise almost vertically to a 42″ height and a width of 50”.

This spacious tent has a floor constructed of 70D Nylon, a fly constructed of 40D count Sil Nylon, and a No-See-Um mesh wall allows maximum airflow and keeps insects at bay.


A unique window on the fly allows occupants to survey the weather while staying safe and dry.

Kelty TN2 tent is an excellent 3-season tent. However, not suitable for extremely harsh winters. The rainfly features 2 vestibules, taped seams, DAC Jake’s Foot attachments, airflow vents, welded clear windows, noiseless zipper pulls and guy out points.

It features a roll-up Stargazing Fly design that allows campers to admire the sky and surroundings in class.

Three DAC Pressfit aluminum poles easily unfold for a quick tent set up. They are color-coded with green ends to match up with the correct tent feet. The freestanding design of the TN2 allows you to pitch the tent anywhere you want conveniently.

The interior walls of the tent, however, are simple mesh, which allows great ventilation.

Talking about waterproofing. TN2 scores a point here have taped floor seams. Thus, TN2 works reasonably well for climates that are mild hot and get some rain. Another impressive factor of this tent is its generous headroom.

The TN2 provides 27.5 square feet of cozy interior space and the internal storage pockets provide enough space to store in all your essentials.

It features two big doors and two vestibules that adds to the comfort. Footprints are waterproof groundsheets intended to prevent groundwater from seeping into the tent.This tent does not come with a footprint, but you can always buy that additionally.

It is simply a smaller tent than many other two-person models, thus only suggested for couples. Overall, this is a reasonably priced tent that performs exceptionally well.

MARMOT TUNGSTEN 2P UL

Marmot is an outdoor clothing and sporting goods company founded in 1974. Marmot claims that the Tungsten UL has “more space per ounce than any other freestanding ultralight tent”. And surprisingly, they stand true to their claim. The Marmot Tungsten UL 2P is much lighter at only 3 lbs, 3.8 oz.

The interior footprint of 32 square feet provides measurably more space which, along with the 42-inch peak height, offers a greater space. The two D-shaped doors are huge and allow easy entry and exit.


The rainfly comes spacious dual vestibules for your gear. Zone Pre-Bend Construction Creates Vertical Walls.

The tent has a freestanding design and features a two-pole design. The poles and attachments are color coded which makes for easy setup. A no-see-um mesh tent body keeps the small insects away to ensure a sound sleep.

The interior pockets provide enough storage space to store-in all your essentials. The lampshade pocket securely holds your headlamp, so you can use it to light up your living space.

An extensive amount of mesh has been used on the walls and ceiling that provides excellent ventilation.

One of the main reasons behind its lighter weight is the use of lightweight fabrics- 30 Denier nylon in the floor and 20 Denier in rainfly. A compatible custom-fit footprint is included to further protect the floor of the tent from sharp objects mud and groundwater.

The catenary-cut floor with straight edges at the perimeter increases floor space and is seam-taped to help prevent leaks. The Tungsten UL with its seam-taped rainfly and the bathtub floor prevents water from attempting to soak you from the grounds, keeping you dry inside.

If weight is the most important factor that you are considering while making a purchase, then this one is the best fit for you. Overall, this 3-season backpacking tent is a great option for 2-person outings.

Comparison Table of best backpacking tents of 2018

Below mentioned is a comparison table that will filter out the main options to make it easier for you to make an informed choice:

BasisWeightFloorPoleInterior floor area

Nemo Dagger 2P 3 lb 12 oz 30D Single DAC pole system 31 square feet
Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking Tent 2-pound 10D Three-pronged hub pole design 28 square feet
Big Agnes Copper Spur 2 pounds and 12 ounces 20D Single- hubbed pole configuration 29 square feet
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 3 pounds 13 ounces 30D Single- hubbed pole configuration 29 square feet
Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2 Tent 2 pounds and 7.2 ounces 20D Single DAC pole system 27 square feet
Kelty TN2 4 lbs, 4 oz 70D Three-pole design 27.5 square feet
Marmot Tungsten UL 3 lbs, 3.8 oz 30D Two-pole design 32 square feet

Choosing a right backpacking tent is equivalent to choosing the right home. Invest in the same amount of time you would have done in case of buying a house.

Rating Table of best backpacking tents of 2018

Best Backpacking Tents of 2018
  • Nemo Dagger 2P Ultralight Roomy Backpacking Tent
  • Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking Tent 2P
  • Big Agnes Copper Spur Hv UL 2 - Two Person Tent
  • MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
  • Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2 Tent
  • Kelty TraiLogic TN2 Tent
  • Marmot Tungsten 2P UL
4.8

Conclusion

Finding the right backpacking tent can be difficult if you aren’t sure what it is you should be looking for. Be sure about what you want when choosing a backpacking tent and make a wise purchase.

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