Backpacking Tent Comparison Tables

To separate the best from the rest of the herd of backpacking tents available, we researched the most popular comparative reviews of backpacking tents. Based on those reviews, we aggregated their findings. These backpacking tents consistently get the highest marks from the most reviewers at Outdoor Gear Lab, Outside Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Wirecutter, Switchback Travel, Section Hiker, Adventure Junkies, Gadget Review, and The Big Outside.

From there, we narrowed down the 14 most popular tents. Then, we read hundreds of customer reviews on Amazon and REI. From there, we verified those reviews against FakeSpot, a platform that flags fake reviews.

Using the professional sources, our own experience, and conversations with dozens of users, we established the most important criteria for two-person backpacking tents. From there, we narrowed our list down to the seven best backpacking tents.

See the Comparison Tables

Backpacking Tent warranty and notable features

The table below summarizes the notable reviews and features of our top picks.

TENTWARRANTYWHO LIKES ITNOTABLE FEATURES
LifetimeOutdoor Gear Lab (#2)Two doors + two vestibules; vestibules = 9 sq ft each; color-coded poles and tabs; a lot of storage; optional gear loft; MTNGlo option with integrated lights; 2.75 lbs if pitched freestanding
Limited lifetimeOutside (Best 1P)Two doors + two vestibules; shorter than many; might be slightly less comfortable for tall people
3 years (limited)Gadget Review (#2)Integrated gutters on doors; symmetrical floor
LifetimeGadget Review (#5)Single door; thin fabrics; tapers to 42w at foot
1 yearOutside (Best Tents of 2018)Dual doors; 10 sq ft vestibules; more durable material = weight penalty; gear loft and plenty of storage; color-coded for easy setup
Guaranteed against fabric and workmanship failureSection Hiker (#8)Two doors + two vestibules; seam sealing costs extra; a liner cutting down on condensation costs extra, adds to weight; sleeves for the poles instead of clips; trekking poles can be used instead of tent stakes to stake out corners
1 yearSwitchback (#2)Great for tall people; ton of storage in roof pockets, side pockets, vestibules; two stakeout points on vestibule; color options; four vents to decrease condensation
 

Backpacking Tent weight and dimensions

Need a longer tent for tall people? Want a lightweight tent? The table below summarizes our top picks for easy comparison.

TENTWEIGHT (lbs)LENGTH (inches)WIDTH (inches)HEIGHT (inches)FLOOR SPACE (sq ft)PACKED SIZE (in)
3.06885242294 x 19.5
2.4855040285 x 19
3.81845039296 x 18
2.3865240284 x 19
4.888554230.66 x 20
2.688524327.54 x 18
5.392564435.87 x 20.5
 

Backpacking tent setup Comparisons

Prefer 2 doors or 1? Single or double wall tent? Sort the table below if you’re looking for a specific setup.

TENTFREE-STANDING?WALL TYPENUMBER OF PEOPLE (STATED)NUMBER OF DOORSNUMBER OF VESTIBULES
YesDouble222
SemiDouble222
SemiDouble222
SemiDouble211
YesDouble222
SemiSingle222
YesDouble222
 

backpacking tents We Excluded

While researching, six tents came to our attention that looked promising. However, after digging in further, we decided to not do a full write-up on these models. Why? Sometimes, despite good media coverage, customer reviews revealed a fatal flaw. Other times, the tent may have been great, but a similar model from another maker was just as good and costs less. Of the dozens of models of backpacking tents available, we still think these are towards the top.

MODELREASON FOR EXCLUSION
Nemo Dagger 2May be on the outs; no longer available for purchase from the Nemo Website.
Nemo Hornet EliteBriefly mentioned as a part of the Hornet review.
Kelty TraiLogic TN2Fakespot grade F
MSR Hubba Tour 2Mixed reviews + High price
REI Quarter Dome 2Briefly mentioned as a part of the Half Dome review.
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2Briefly mentioned as a part of the Copper Spur review.