Are you an enthusiast outdoor-person who likes backpacking light? If you are, then you will need a backpacking tent. Usually, a standard tent weighs more, making it heavier and unsuitable for backpacking.
You will especially need a lightweight tent if you are the kind of person who likes to pack lots of items. You do not want your sleeping gear to add the unnecessary weight. The lighter your backpack, the easier it will be for you to hit the trail and reach your campsite in time (Source).
Choosing a lightweight backpacking tent is not easy as most of you would imagine. There are many products flooding the market. We recommend the best backpacking tents. They are lightweight and suitable for even the tightest of budgets.
Best Backpacking Tents 2018
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Backpacking Tents 2018
- 2 1. Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent – Best Overall
- 3 2. Campla Outdoors 3 Person Backpacking Tent – Best 3-Person Tent
- 4 3. River County Products Trekking Pole Ultralight Backpacking Tent – Most Versatile
- 5 4. Winterial 3 Person Camping and Backpacking Tent – Best with Superior Ventilation
- 6 5. Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking Tent – Best with Bathtub Floor Design
- 7 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Backpacking Tent
- 8 Our Final Review
|Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent|
|Campla Outdoors 3 Person Backpacking tent|
|River County Products Trekking Pole Ultralight Backpacking Tent|
|Winterial 3 Person Camping and Backpacking Tent|
|Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Ultralight Backpacking Tent|
1. Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent – Best OverallIf you love adventure during the holidays, you should look no further than the Alps Mountaineering Lynx One-Person Tent. It makes a fine option for your solo out-of-doors expedition without costing a fortune.
It installs easily with its freestanding structure and pole clips that attach to the aluminum poles quickly. It is fitted with extra-large zippers on the vestibule and door. You should never worry about ventilation because tent’s walls are mostly meshed for superior airflow.
The vestibule provides great storage space for all your outdoor gear. It is fitted with excellent vents, which you can open (even from inside the tent) when you need more ventilation and close when you don’t.
No corners are cut in this design. Instead, the floor seams and the fly are factory sealed. The floor is coated with 2000 mm coating that ensures you are completely protected light rains. Your beddings will not get wet.
This is a solid tent, which is wind-proof. However, it is not ultralight by any means. It collapses and folds into a 4.85 pound package, which may not be super light, but manageable.
2. Campla Outdoors 3 Person Backpacking Tent – Best 3-Person TentThe Campla Outdoors 3 Person Backpacking Tent offers a good number of features at an affordable price. It is a breeze to set up and take down. It comes with a stylish tent design for outdoor lovers.
The first impressive feature is the superior ventilation. It is fitted with a mesh top and mesh door for excellent ventilation. You also get a clear view of the constellations of stars during summer nights. More ventilation is provided through the air vents.
It comes with a waterproof and anti-wear rainfly, which provides double protection from pouring rain and wind. The tent fabric is polyester, which is highly waterproof. The poles are made from aviation grade aluminum, making them lightweight and durable.
The tent is fitted with an LED USB light strip, which is detachable and waterproof. You can conveniently power the LED USB light strip with a power bank, which is not included in the package.
3. River County Products Trekking Pole Ultralight Backpacking Tent – Most VersatileThe River County Products Trekking Pole Tent has a modified structure that has been designed for an easy setup. Therefore, it will not be a problem if you arrive at your campsite let and you need to assemble the kit fast.
This is an ultralight backpacking tent for the money. At 42 inches high,; 62 inches wide, and 7 feet long, it provides you and your partner more space than any other tent in its category. Basically, it is comfortable for couple, and roomy for one.
A feature unique to this product is the use of trekking poles for setup; so, poles are not required. You can also use 42 inch long sticks for installation in case you forget your poles at home or you lose them along the way.
It is fitted with two layer door, which is equipped with an inside mesh layer for keeping the bugs out. This also allows you to leave the door open for superior ventilation in summer. The tent collapses into a 2 pounds 12 ounces pack for ultralight backpacking.
4. Winterial 3 Person Camping and Backpacking Tent – Best with Superior VentilationIf you are looking for a spacious and lightweight camping and backpacking tent, you should look no further than Winterial. It measures 46 inches high, 64 inches wide, and 82 inches long, which is comfortable for three occupants and roomy for two.
This is a three-season tent designed to be used during fall, summer, or spring. Its tough design is built from heavy duty nylon material for superior protection against rain and wind. A removable rainfly ensures you stay cozy and dry in wet conditions.
You get plenty of airflow, thanks to its two large ventilation screens. The floor is waterproof, but for advanced protection, you can buy the compatible footprint from the same company.
Comes with two large doors for easy entry and exit. You will hardly step on your camping buddies with such large doors. Also, there is a spacious vestibule area for storing wet gear and taking off your shoes.
5. Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking Tent – Best with Bathtub Floor DesignTrust the Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Ultralight Backpacking Tent to keep condensation buildup to a minimum, thanks to its breathable micro mesh construction. It also does an amazing job of keeping bugs out.
The breathable and durable construction is made of tear resistant fabrics, which are highly durable. It is a commodious tent for one person, and comfortable for two campers or backpackers.
It is conveniently designed with two doors for ease of entry and exit, and two vestibules for adequate storage. You can store your wet clothes or muddy shoes on the vestibules.
The seam taped construction and rainfly provide superior protection against rain. The bathtub floor structure elevates the base of the tent in order to provide better protection from wet grounds.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Backpacking Tent
Cabin or Dome
The very first consideration you will have to make is choose between a cabin and a dome shaped tent. Cabin style tent do usually have a small house shape. Most of the larger models look like tiny houses.
A cabin tent does have high walls, a very high center height, many large windows, big floor area, a larger door or doors, larger vestibules, and a larger rainfly. These large tents are quite convenient for car camping trips.
However, they may not be the best choice for light backpacking since they carry a lot of weight. They take a significant amount of time to setup, and in most cases, the setup may require more than one person.
A dome style tent is the most popular type of tent among the outdoors community. This tent style is favored by many because of its lightweight nature. Even the largest models would weigh less than cabin style tents.
For ultralight backpackers, smaller dome tents come in handy. Smaller dome tents will hardly weigh more than 5 pounds when collapsed and stored in a package. They are remarkably easy to setup.
The size of the tent you choose depends on the tent’s backpacking capacity, which includes: one-person, two-person, three-person, four-person, and six-person. However, there are other larger capacities than the ones mentioned.
Light backpacking may be viewed differently by campers and hikers. Car campers would look at backpacking differently than campers and hikers on a trail. They may consider a dome shaped 6-person or 8-person tent to be a lightweight option.
However, the same cannot be said for trail hikers or campers. Logically speaking, hikers or campers on foot would prefer lighter sleeping gear to avoid the unnecessary weight. Now, if you are a solo backpacker, you should settle for 1-person tent and so on.
There is only one problem with the sizing of backpacking tents. The indicated capacity is not normally comfortable. For instance, a 2-person tent would provide a spacious and more comfortable sleeping area for a solo backpacker than a 1-person tent.
Therefore, we recommend you to choose a larger size or capacity than the intended one for maximum comfort. So, if you are a couple, you should settle for a 3-person tent instead of a 2-person tent for superior comfort.
Backpacking tents come with different seasonality. The most popular options in the market include: 2-season, 3-season, and 4-season. In most cases, the seasonality of a tent determines its resourcefulness, versatility and durability.
A 2-season tent is mostly an ideal choice for camping in fairly good weather in summer. This particular type of tent is capable of protecting you against mild wind and rain. Strong winds and heavy rains may ruin the design.
A 3-person tent is mainly designed to withstand strong winds as well as heavy rains. It may have a number of air vents that can be closed and opened at will. This tents have a stronger construction compared to the 2-person tents.
A 4-person tent is the ideal choice for snowy and winter conditions. This type of tents can protect you against heavy rains, strong winds, and snow. They usually do not contain air vents so as to avoid snow, heavy rains or strong winds from penetrating.
There are so many thing you have to consider as far as the construction is concerned. For starters, the tent fabric has to be made of ripstop materials for durability. The tent poles should also be made of strong, lightweight and durable material.
For a 2 and 3 person tent, you should consider a model with adequate ventilation. The best backpacking tent under $100 would contain mesh fabric curtains for better ventilation and keeping bugs out of the tent.
Tent fabric should be highly waterproof. In addition, the best backpacking tents come with high quality, high performing rainfly that reinforces rain protection. You should also consider a model with a well-built floor to help protect the base of your tent from wet conditions.
Our Final Review
When choosing the best backpacking tent under $100 for backpacking in the woods, make sure that the tent accounts for space, potential weather conditions, and wind. Not all tents with the same listed capacity are the same size.
Space depends on the floor dimensions as well as pole structure. If you and your partner do not mind a cozy fit, choose a smaller and lighter tent. If you like your personal space, you should consider roomier options.
Do not forget to factor in seasonality. If your adventures take place in occasional summer storms, then a 3-season is the ideal choice. However, if your adventures take you to exposed terrain where the weather is snowy, consider a 4-season.