Top 10 Best Backpacking Tents in 2018 – Complete Guide

Best Backpacking TentsThere has never been a better time to rediscover yourself. The mercury for travel and freedom from urban shackles has been on a rise and even businesses are encouraging their employees to get away to a serene retreat. The spike in hiking-camping trips makes a discussion on the best backpacking tents and other hiking gears pertinent. When you are off in the wilderness chasing the meaning of life, a sturdy and lightweight backpacking tent is the only companion you need. With backpacking tents you may not just hike to the middle of mindless natural marvel, you can also set up shop there for a couple of nights. There’s nothing like a night under the stars to bring you to terms with the inevitability of life.

What are backpacking tents?

Backpacking tents are light shelter than can be rolled up into a space-saving package. They are springy and easy to setup on a variety of terrains. They are designed considering a number of details like size, seasonality, headroom, preventing condensation and easy foldability. The best backpacking tents are customized for the requirements of globetrotters in a number of aspects. These tents are available in 1 to 4-person capacity. Some carry one opening and vestibule while others have multiple entrances.

Are backpacking tents waterproof?

Rejoice! All the best backpacking tents are either single-walled and made of a waterproof fabric or double-walled with a rainfly to protect against outside elements. Cuben has been unanimously voted to be the lightest and most efficiently waterproof material for backpacking tents. The trade-off is cost. There are several other materials to choose from which may be slightly heavier but not on your pocket.

Which backpacking tent should I buy?

That depends on your needs. Use this checklist to round up your requirements:

Capacity: How many of you travel together? Just your lone soul roaming the face of the earth? Your significant other is making the journey memorable with you? Your kids are up for the fun hiking trip? Choose between 1,2 ,3 ,4-person tents. There are plus-size tents as well for folks who are sized higher than average.

Weight: Remember that you are going to be on your feet a lot with the heavy backpack burdening your shoulders. So keep the weight of the tent on the down low. Your extra prowess can be saved for other supplies like good food and loads of liquids.

Season-rate: 3-season tents will work in spring, fall and summer. They are made of breathable fabric for plentiful air circulation. 4-season expedition tents are for the daredevils who scale and conquer snow-clad mountains for thrill. They can withstand a brush with unruly gale and the onslaught of snow. All season tents are a cross between 3 and 4-season tents. They can combat the heat and also moderate amounts of snow.

Design: Other amenities like footprint, holders inside the tent, number of entrances, space etc. will further mold your opinion on the backpacking tent of your dreams. Always buy them from a source that offers returns. Try them out in your backyard and see how well these camping tents hold up.

Top 10 best backpacking tents in 2018 – Chart

Tent Area
Tent Area
1. Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent  35 square feet $$$ 4.6 
  2. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Tent  20 square feet $$ 4.6 
  3. ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2 Tent  38 square feet $$ 4.6 
  4. Slumberjack 2 Person Trail Tent  33.3 square feet $$ 4.5 
  5. MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent  29 square feet $$$ 4.5 
  6. Kelty Salida 2 Tent  30.5 square feet $$ 4.5 
  7. Mountainsmith Genesee 4 Person Tent  56 square feet $$ 4.5 
  8. Eureka Apex 2XT Tent  36.9 square feet $$ 4.5 
  9. Alps Mountaineering Chaos 2 Tent  33 square feet $$ 4.5 
  10. Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Tent  30 square feet $$$  4.5

1. Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent

Best Backpacking TentsFolks cannot stop gushing about the Mountainsmith Morrison 2-person 3-season tent. It whipped off the trophy of Killer Deal at Backpacker Gear guide awards not just because it’s a pretty tent. Its beauty is Polyester deep.

Weight vs space

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 backpacking tent can easily accommodate 2 people and their camping gear like the best backpacking hammocks in its 56×92 inches flooring. It is 43 inches tall and gives your enough room to sit up and enjoy the view out of mesh windows. The vestibules spanadditional 17 square feet leaving you enough storage space without cluttering the interiors. This entire expanse is covered in a 4 lb 11 ozweight.


Mountainsmith Morrison 2-person tent is a freestanding backpacking tent with 2 pole architecture. One tent body and one fly cover can be erected into a solid construction with one anodized gold pole, one silver pole, 8 stakes and 2 guy lines. It has two doors and two vestibules which mean that you don’t have to climb over your mate to get out. The design has mesh wall panels for thoroughfare of air. Reflective guylines provide you with flexibility of adjust the tension of the cord. The rainfly also has vents on either side that can be closed if you are camping in the cold. The design of this tent resembles that of much more expensive ones. No wonder it scaled the best backpacking tents list.


Bathtub floor curves upwards on four edges of the Mountainsmith Morrison 2 backpacking tent to keep the water out. The seams are taped to hold up in face of Mother Nature’s terror. There are mesh pockets inside the tent and removable canopy rack for easy access to essential supplies.

• Color coded; setup under 5 mins
• Extremely Weatherproof for 3 seasons
• Roomy and effective ventilation
• Reasonably priced

• Stakes need improvement

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent>>

2. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Tent

Best Backpacking TentsALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 tent is an all-season shelter designed for the popular tastes of backpacking horde. Its petite body can suffer the abuse of rain and snow without batting a vestibule.

Weight vs Space

The Mountaineering Lynx 1 backpacking tent by ALPS clocks a 3 lb 8 oztrail weight. The entire structureincluding stakes would take the scale to 3 pounds 15 ounces. Tent floor covers a square face with a tent area of 20 square feet. A vestibule adds 10 sq. ft. worth of space to this camping tent where you can stow your backpack. The peak of this tent stands 3 feet tall from the base.


Extended season tents cannot be constructed better than the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 backpacking tent. This freestanding home-for-one is assembled out of two Aluminum poles and pole clips that attach the tent body to them. It has half mesh walls on all sides except the entrance which enhances ventilation in warm regions. The Polyester taffeta fabric used in construction holds up well, come storms or snow. Rainfly is easily configured with elastic straps to lock it on four corners.


What makes the Lynx 1 backpacking tent reliable are the factory-sealed seams that brace the joints against external forces. Bathtub-styled floors keep water from seeping in through the corners of the floor. Mesh convenience pockets and gear loft can help you make yourself at home inside one of the best backpacking tents.

• Lightweight 4-season tent
• Impervious to heavy rain and moderate snow
• Hardy tent poles
• Plenty of headroom and footroom
• Big bang for bucks

• Material of the footprint is very thin

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Tent>>

3. ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2 Tent

Best Backpacking TentsALPS is not done with being on the best backpacking tents list. Its mountaineering Meramac 2 tent is space-smart and surrounds you with protection in the wake of raging rains or fierce winds. This two person tent is worth twice the greens it costs.

Weight vs space

Owing to the extra coverage of the rainfly and convenient doors and windows on the ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2 backpacking tent, it weighs 6 pounds 2 ounces. Weight totals to 6 lb. 14 oz. when accessories are counted. Center height is 4 feet at the peak which will easily house a tall human without ruffling her/his hair. Tent has a carpet area of 38 square feet. With minor adjustment this camping tent will harbor your better half and their backpacks.


Architecture is where the Meramac 2 backpacking tent dazzles. ALPS has gone for shock-corded Fiberglass poles for this dome tent instead of Aluminum. These hold the tepee stable and guard its position against howling winds. This 2-person tent has two doors with one mesh half window each that can be zippered close against a dusty breeze. There are large mesh panels on the sides to maintain a cool atmosphere inside. The weather-shield fly forms a nurturing cover over the bare bones of this tent. There’s an air buffer between the fly and the tent which prevents condensation inside.Assembly operations are aided by the clips used to attach the tent to poles.


The seams of this ALPS mountaineering backpacking tent are sealed via factory machines to hold strong. Storm flaps on the mesh windows allow you to manage your privacy. The overhang of rainfly over doors keeps the zippers dry. Carry bag, gear loft and guy ropes are provided along with the tent itself. Mesh pockets for storing nightlights and knickknacks are provided.

• Easy to set up
• Affordable
• 2 doors 2 windows
• Fiberglass framework
• Rainfly hoods the doors

• Footprint is not part of the pack but its needed

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2 Tent>>

4. Slumberjack 2 Person Trail Tent

Best Backpacking TentsSlumberjack 2 person trail tent bears a sweet reprieve from the sour weather when you go camping with a backpack. It serves as the humble abode where you can lay back and figure out your role in the grand scheme of the universe.

Weight vs space

The heavy duty Polyester rainfly and fiberglass poles shoot up the weight of the Slumberjack trail tent to 6 pounds 5 ounces including the stakes. The tent, poles and rainfly alone weigh5 lb. 7 oz. When packed it transforms into a roll of 6 inches diameter and 21 inches length. Its bulk covers a tent area of 33 square feet. Vestibule for the good people of backpacking cult covers another 8.2 sq. ft.. Fiberglass frame can be replaced with Aluminum poles to reduce the weight because this backpacking tent is worthy of the upgrade. Its sturdy build earned it the place in our best backpacking tents list.


The freestanding might of Slumberjack 2 person backpacking tent has been tested under persistent rain and snow by the users. And it broke through the ceiling of everybody’s expectations. Though it is essentially a 3-season tent, it has proved its mettle as a 4-season guy. Mesh walls keep the air circulation on the up-and-up. While the rainfly shuts off the tent completely from the outer world.


You can get Slumberjack trail backpacking tent up and ready in no time with the color-coded clip fasteners and buckles to hold down the rainfly. This camping tent comes with loops for gear loft and a loop on the ceiling as well. There are mesh compartments on its walls for your readily accessible items.

• Budget-oriented
• Very sturdy and reliable
• Reasonable floor area with vestibule
• Color-coded setup process

• Slightly heavier than some other backpacking tents on this list
• Gear loft has to be bought separately

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Slumberjack 2 Person Trail Tent>>

5. MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent

Best Backpacking TentsMSR has the real idea of what compact and portable means. Its Hubba Hubba NX backpacking tent is a roll of wonder that can open up into a freestanding gutsy 3-season tent. They have used innovative materials to reduce the weight of this tent and added utility features that pitch it directly in our best backpacking tents list.

Weight vs space

MSR Hubba Hubba NX backpacking tent weighs a measly 3 lb. 7 oz. at its lowest. The tent gear adds their weight. However, you can also use the Hubba Hubba in two fast-and-light modes which bring down the weight to 2lb. 2 oz. One of these modes is pitching the rainfly alone over the tent frame. At this meagre weight, this MSR backpacking tent covers a floor area of 84×52 inches. Moreover, it has decent headroom and if you stick out your arms, you won’t rip through the tent. MSR has invested heavily into the livability of the tent, simultaneously balancing weight and space.


Banking on ripstop Nylon, MSR Hubba Hubba NX comes off as almost a 4-season tent. With adequate venting, it is perfect for summers and rains and can withstand some real snow pounding too. Ventilation is managed through the mesh on all 4 sides around the peak. It also yields you a clear view of the bright starry night if you are camping in summer. Once you put on the rainfly, you can open its kickstand vents to control condensation. You can roll the vestibule halfway up from the bottom to increase airflow.The poles are symmetrically aligned to give you more shoulder room than usual tents. There are 2 doors and 2 vestibules which is optimum for a 2-person tent.


MSR Hubba Hubba backpacking tent takes extra measures to keep you dry by building rain gutters in the doors. This way you don’t get dripped upon while entering into the tent. Rainfly has color coded buckles to clip it to the stakes. You can dry-pitch this tent by first putting up the rainfly and then building in the tent. When you disperse, you can roll it into a tight wad with compression straps on the carry cover.

• Ultra-lightweight and rolls into a compact pack
• Spacious, even near the peak
• Has different configurations for setting up
• Mesh placing allows you sky view
• Robust and reliable

• Footprint has to be bought separately

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent>>

6. Kelty Salida 2 Tent

Best Backpacking TentsKelty Salida 2 backpacking tent is your safest bet if you are planning to camp. It’s a jack of all trades with compact and moderately lightweight build. As real estate goes, this one has an awesome view while also retaining your privacy. Though a 2-person tent, Kelty Salida 2 can serve as a luxurious temporary home for a single happy camper.

Weight vs space

Fully packed, the weight of Kelty Salida 2 backpacking tent comes up to 4 pounds 9 ounces. That’s not the lightest on this list but it’s definitely ahead on the portable route. Inside, the tent covers 30 square feet of ground with an extra vestibule are of 10 square feet. If you use it as a solo tent, these figures can easily make your freedom from world happen. Stow your luggage in the vestibule and have 30 square feet to yourself to gaze dreamily at the stars. A 43-inch height allows you to sit upright.


Kelty Salida 2 backpacking tent draws its strength from the entirely taped seam joints. Any amount of gushing wind is not going to rip it off. It has one D-shaped door into the Nylon realm. The sides are covered by solid Nylon while a 360-degree skylight meshhandles air circulation and view. Folding poles connect to the tent via the Kelty hug clips. A vestibule area serves as storage space for your backpack. The overall look and feel of the tent hails it a place in our best backpacking tents list.


The poles of Kelty Salida 2 backpacking tent folds into smaller fragments making it smart for packing.Rainfly is a UV-resistant affair that can brave many a natural element. The stakes that come with Salida are the best at their job. You don’t find the need to replace them like in Coleman tents. The carry case of this tent provides you more modes of packing: as a roll or as separate pieces into the backpack. There are side pockets in the tent to put up your night things.

• Highly portable with many packing options
• Lightweight and moderately priced
• Skyview with ample privacy
• Sturdy 3-season tent
• Color coded rainfly and clips attachments

• No gear loft. Only loops are available.

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Kelty Salida 2 Tent>>

7. Mountainsmith Genesee 4 Person Tent

Best Backpacking TentsMountainsmith Genesee is a family backpacking tent with a maximum capacity of 4. With trademark Mountainsmith dexterity, this tent has been designed to be used with ease over a wide range of terrains and climates. With proper guying, it can save you from being swept off by dire winds and rains that just won’t give up. That’s the stuff the best backpacking tents are made of.

Weight vs space

For a 4-person tent, the Genesee backpacking tent is quite light. It’s an engineering marvel to pack 4 people in a trail weight of 6lb. 9 oz.and a total packing weight of 6 ounces more. If you are a camping couple then you can easily divide this weight amongst yourself and have a vast tent all to yourself. It boasts of a 56 sq. ft. floor area with vestibules adding 21 sq. feet more. Peak height of 52 inches affords you enough space to sit upright gathered around an in-tent family lunch.


Mountainsmith Genesee backpacking tent is a 2-door, 2-vestibule, 4-person tent. It can be used across the three seasons of summer, spring and fall. Both its doors are the D-shaped openings. No-see-um mesh paneling keeps the air flowing in and out of this structure. Tent fly also has kickstand vents that can be opened to avoid condensation on rainy nights. Fly is attached to poles via Velcro straps and tent through clips.


The floor of Genesee tent for backpacking is bathtub shaped which keeps the rain water from entering the tent. It has taped seams holding against the rush of water. Reflective guy lines have elastic lock cord adjustments. There are internal pockets on the corners. A gear loft with lantern loop descends from the center. Setup instructions are permanently printed on the gear bag.

• Systematic protection against natural elements
• High space to weight ratio
• Easy to assemble and break down
• Packing size is very low
• Affordable

• Vestibule is relatively small

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Mountainsmith Genesee 4 Person Tent>>

8. Eureka Apex 2XT Tent

Best Backpacking TentsEureka Apex 2XT backpacking tentis the ultimate match for nature. It is a full fledged 2-person tent that can actually harbor two campers and has all the gongs of a many-fold pricier shelter.

Weight vs space

Eureka Apex 2XT backpacking tent records a trail weight of 6 pounds 5 ounces. Divided between two people it is a reasonable figure. Brownie points emerge at the 37 square feet floor space and 13.8 sq ft. for each vestibule. Together these dimensions can pack twin mattress and still have space for your backpack in the vestibule. Some backpackers may argue that two is a tight fit, but it’s definitely one of the bigger 2-person tents out there. With a height of 46 inches at the peak, it has ‘arrived’ at the best backpacking tents list.


The Apex 2XT backpacking tent from Eureka! is a 2-door construction. Both doors are flanked by roomy vestibules. These doors hold closable windows that encourage the true enjoyment of nature. Doors and the back side of the tent are no-see-um mesh for unobstructed airflow. Rainfly with this tent is factory sealed at seams and puts up a real fight during rains keeping the interiors cozy and dry.It also has protruding vent channels.The poles are made of fiberglass to keep the prices down.


Eureka Apex 2XT backpacking tent comes attached with a Nylon footprint. A gear loft is also included even at its shy price. There are inner storage pockets for torches, caps, medicine tubes and what not. Hi/Low ventilation options can help you regulate condensation and air circulation. It is also fire retardant and suitable for kids camping.

• Unparalleled protection against rain
• Has plenty of space
• Extremely reliable even at the low cost
• Nylon footprint and gear loft come free with it
• 2 doors with windows
• Excellent ventilation

• Weight is relatively high if carried solo

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Eureka Apex 2XT Tent>>

9. Alps Mountaineering Chaos 2 Tent

Best Backpacking TentsEncore ALPS. Their Mountaineering backpacking tent line has thrown up another serendipitous product, the Chaos 2 tent. 3 seasons cannot beat its spirit or raise the temperature inside it any more than what’s comfortable. There’s also a 3-person version of the same tent.

Weight vs space

At 4lb. 14 oz. trail weight, the Chaos 2 backpacking tent is appropriately light. With stakes, the figure will go up to 5 pounds 6 ounces.It covers a 56-inch wide and 86-inch long area. That’s plenty of space for a 6’4” person to fit in with grace. Two people can manage to fit with their backpacks going into the 2 voluminous vestibules. The three-person Chaos is even larger and will easily watch over three adults.


ALPS Chaos 2 mountaineering backpacking tent is a 2-person, 2-door and 2-vestibule design. It is assembled by hooking flat clips on to the shock-corded Aluminum poles. All walls and roof have no-see-um mesh ports to keep things cool inside the tent. The stakes are aluminum as well, which curbs the weight.


The interiors of the ALPS Chaos 2 backpacking tent can be organized well with the 4 mesh pockets. The vestibules have adjustable vents to allow passage of air. Floor of this tent is bathtub-styled with taped seam. Gear lofts are included with the pack. External guy points and guy lines hold it stable against stubborn winds.

• 2 doors and 2 vestibules
• Favorable space to weight ratio
• Quick setup and break-up
• Vestibules are big enough to hold luggage
• Rational price

• Taped seams are not sturdy for long use

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Alps Mountaineering Chaos 2 Tent>>

10. Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Tent

Best Backpacking TentsKelty Grand Mesa 2 backpacking tent holds two people and a whole lot of fun camping. Priced moderately, this tent is can easily house one person and their backpack. Fitting two people in requires some clever maneuvering.

Weight vs space

The minimum weight of Kelty Grand Mesa 2 backpacking tent is 4 pounds 1 ounce. With added knickknacks, it comes up to 4 lb. 12 oz. This weight covers a 30 square feet plot of ground. A vestibule adds 6 square feet more to this equation. At 43 inches, this camping tent is tall enough that you don’t have to hunch over.


Grand Mesa 2 is a 3-season backpacking tent. It can be accessed via one D-door. This door is hosted by a limited vestibule which is appreciated when you are camping in a windy area. Although Mesa is meant for 2 people, it would be a tight fit for backpackers with their bags. However, it is the perfect size for a solo venture into the woods. Most area of this UV resistant Polyester tent has mesh panels for stargazing. Kelty hug clips and buckles are used to erect the tent and pull on the rainfly. Tent poles are made of weight-saving Aluminum. But the stakes are steel. If you spend on Aluminum stakes you can cut down its weight considerably.Guyout points are available to keep the tent steady in the face of winds that blow with gusto.


Bathtub floor and taped seams make an appearance in the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 backpacking tent. This is the reason why Mesa will stay dry as a bone when it’s raining cats and dogs outside. Overhead gear loft is optional for use. There are other pockets on the inside to stack the essentials. The blueprint of this tent is optimum to catapult it into the best backpacking tents hall of fame. A must-have for any camping trip.

• Easy to install
• Highly portable in roll Top Tent cube storage bag
• Fully ventilated with panning mesh
• Solid and rainproof construction

• Heavy for solo backpacker
• Small vestibule

<<Latest customer reviews and prices of Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Tent>>

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