Picking a backpacking tent is much different than picking any other tent. This tent must be dependable when you are heading into the bush. So, I narrowed down the various factors to these 15 tents with one as my top pick.
My pick for the best 2021 backpacking tent to buy is the Bessport 3-Person Backpacking Tent and here is why. It weighs 5 lbs., measures 7x4x4 fully assembled, quick and easy set up by one person, is a three-season tent, has various storage spaces inside, two entrances, rainfly can be detached, and the mesh roof provides excellent ventilation. It has 463 reviews with 4.5 stars rating and costs $85.
My spreadsheet of my Top 15 Backpacking Tents for 2021.
Below is my deep dive into each of these tents.
Coleman Hooligan Backpacking Tent
Starting off on a high point, the Hooligan is a great backpacking tent to use for you and the family. They come in 2, 3, and 4 person tents. Here I'll speak on the four-person-sized one. As a rule of thumb, I wouldn't suggest using the tent for four people; otherwise, there will be little space left for moving around or gear.
· The base measures 9x7 feet and has a height of 4 feet, so taller campers will be comfortable laying down but will have a hard time moving around the tent.
· The tent weighs twelve pounds but has a carrying case when broken down, so moving from place to place won't be too difficult.
· The roof and body of the tent entirely mesh, allowing for excellent ventilation and, on clear nights, a great view.
· In addition, there is a superb rainfly that reaches all the way to the bottom of the tent to ensure it stays dry.
· Along with the rainfly, the tent's floor is bathtub style and waterproof to provide total coverage.
Despite it being a bit heavy at 12 lbs., it is very reliable.
Bessport Backpacking Tent
When broken down, weighs 5 lbs., it is a moderately light tent and comes with a great carrying bag with a strap to help carry it.
The tent measures 7x4x4 when it is fully assembled. Setting up and taking down the tent is quick, easy, and can be done by one person.
This tent is a great three-season tent, but I would not suggest using it in winter as it does not trap heat well.
It can stand up to wind and rain while keeping the inside dry.
There are various storage spaces in the tent to place small items and two entrances, so no one has to struggle to get out.
With the rainfly detached, the mesh roof provides excellent ventilation on dry summer nights, and with it on, there are vents built into the fly to still allow air in.
Just be mindful when putting down the stakes because they might bend.
Overall, still, a great purchase if you are looking for a slightly cheaper option for your next hiking trip.
Weanas Professional Backpacking Tent
When they decided to name this the Professional Backpacking Tent, they ensured the title fit the product. This is a tremendous three-season backpacking tent, and with a good enough sleeping bag, you can use it year-round.
· Measuring at 7x7x4 feet, the tent is plenty spacious for three people, and with doors on both sides, no one feels trapped.
· When broken down, it weighs five pounds. This weight is still great, in my opinion, since the poles are aluminum and not fiberglass like many other backpacking tents.
· Aluminum poles mean this tent is made a bit sturdier and will last you that much longer overall.
· The rainfly can be adjusted to allow ventilation on two sides of the tent without taking the entire thing off and provides an excellent view while the mesh covering the interior keeps pests away.
· There are also vestibules on either side that can store gear outside the tent to provide more space inside.
If you are going on a hiking trip, this tent is a great choice to take with you.
Coleman 10-Person Cabin Camping Tent with Instant Setup
Plan on taking a larger group hiking with you? Looking for something easy to set up but still get the job done and fit everyone?
This tent is for you—the tent measures 14'x10'x6'7", which is the largest tent I will have on this list.
As you can tell by the size, this tent is heavy, so whoever ends up carrying it may deserve to have a lighter pack.
However, despite its size, the tent assembles very quickly and even includes a built-in rainfly.
Calling this tent, a cabin is not an exaggeration. The tent even comes with a divider to make it into two rooms.
The 10-person capacity is a bit of a stretch if it is all adults, in which case I would limit it to 8 at max.
The weatherproofing is good but not great. Again, I would limit this to a spring and summer kind of tent.
You could close the windows and rainfly completely, but that cuts down on ventilation.
The darkroom technology will help keep the inside cool even if the vents are closed by blocking much of the sun and keeping the tent dark.
This would not be my first choice for a backpacking tent, but it is good to bring a large group.
Marmot Crane Creek Backpacking Tent
The Marmot Crane Creek Backpacking tent is artfully made to do its job. Compact, even when disassembled, sleek, durable, and reliable. This is a tent any camper would be happy to own.
· Coming in at a whapping 4'7'3.5', this tent is geared to the minimalist camper.
· Its diminutive dimensions mean it packs small and weighs in at just under 5 lbs.
· It has aluminum poles and a rainfly that does its job well, meaning you can use this tent even on the not-so-sunny days and be fine.
· There is a door on each side of the tent so each person can climb out without bothering the other.
· The tent is also freestanding, so you do not have to fuss with stakes and ropes to secure and hold it up on calm days.
This is an easy tent to hit the trails with, making hopping from one location to the next a breeze.
Seatosummit Telos RT2
It is one of the pricer backpacking tents on this list. The number of benefits and innovations this tent provides make it worth the cost.
One of its features is it allows the tent to be broken down and carried by two hikers, so no one is burdened by the additional 3 lbs. of the tent by themselves.
In addition, the roof of the tent has a unique arch system that allows for more headspace—bearing that in mind, the tent measures in at 7'x4.4'x3.5', so it is still relatively small, and the floor space is the same as many other tents.
This tent is user-friendly and versatile. The poles are marked and coded to help with assembly.
There are also several ways to set the tent up to fit the needs of the camper.
One example is putting the tent up rainfly first to make a quick shelter from the rain or keep the tent dry while assembling it.
A backpacker's best friend.
REI Co-op Half Dome SL
This tent can count as one of the toughest on the list in regards to materials and durability.
Not only does this tent include a footprint to put down under the tent, but all the materials are thicker and more rigid than many of the bargain tents on the market.
The higher quality materials also make for a heavier tent, so weighing in at close to 5 lbs. is not a surprise at all.
The Half Dome does also have plenty of room, with the floor and ceiling measuring 7.5'x4.5'x3.5'.
The tent can be bulky and have some difficulties assembling it, but the finished product makes it worth it.
Great for car camping or short weekend hikes over the weekend, this is a great tent to use.
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1
For the soloists out there, I have included the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-person tent. It does come in larger models if you want to bring friends along.
· This is a great and very simple tent. There is not a ton of space, as expected, with a one-person.
· With the rainfly, the tent weighs 4 lbs, all packed up.
· The inside is just as compact as you would think, with the inside width measures 90 inches and the max height, is 36 inches.
· There is a vestibule included so you can store some gear outside to save space.
· The poles are aluminum, and the rainfly is sturdy so that the elements will have a hard time taking this tent down.
· On windier days, be sure to use the included guy lines and stakes to give the tent some added stability. The shape should also help with the winds.
· The most noted flaw is that the floor may tear, but this should be a nonissue as long as you are mindful of placement.
Feel safe when heading out there alone, knowing this tent will do its job while you rest.
Alps Mountaineering Mystique
If you are new to this backpacking and hiking niche of camping or even backpacking in general, this is an excellent tent for you. This tent provides plenty of space in and outside so you can bring anything you need for your trip.
Coming in at 8'x4'x3' single person (comfortable enough), even if they get their pack inside.
All packed down and stored in the sack, the tent weighs a little over 4 lbs. All of these numbers equal an excellent tent to pack along with you into the woods.
The tent with the rainfly holds up well against the weather.
Unlike other tents on this list, it is not a freestanding tent, so you will need to place the stakes and guylines to hold it up.
Ventilation in the tent is not an issue as most of the tent is mesh, and even the rainfly has mesh-covered vents to help keep air circulating and the inside dry.
For the solo trekker, here is a good start.
Winterial Single Person Bivy Tent
When you aim to go backpacking with as little as possible and still feel secure, the Bivy tent is what you need in your bag.
· This tent is tiny, measuring in at 7'6"x3'2"x2'4".
· Do not expect to sit up in the tent.
· This tent is designed to keep you dry and covered while you sleep, so it is a true outdoorsman's tent.
· Because it is so compact, the materials used on it are rigid, so the cords to the tent materials will hold up and keep nature outside.
· The tent breaks down and stores at 3 lbs., so carrying it will be no issue.
Hiking with this will be as easy as setting it up and laying inside it.
REI Co-op Passage 1
Yet another crowd-pleaser by REI, the Co-op Passage is a great backpacking tent.
Laying out to be 7.3'x3.5'x3.3', this tent provides plenty of space for a single person to enjoy.
Once it is packed up, the tent weighs 3 lbs. 14.5 oz, which is about the average weight for backpack tents.
While there is not a lot of space inside, the rainfly and vestibule provide plenty of coverage so you can keep your gear outside without anything getting to it.
Most of the tent's materials are tough, and only a few plastic pieces are used to hold up the tent.
It is still a bargain for its price and can be trusted to last a while, even with constant use.
REI NEMO Hornet 2 Tent
Another great suggestion from REI but this time on the pricier end. The NEMO Hornet is a very "skin and bones" design but what is left is a lean and sturdy backpacking tent.
· The Hornet is a 2-person tent, but that only works if the other person doesn't ever want any personal space.
· This tent is ideal for a single camper because the measurements, 7'x3.5'x3.25', do not leave a lot of room to do anything but lay down.
· In addition, the shape of the tent narrows at sections giving less space to move.
· The lack of space is evident when you look at the fact that it weighs only 2 lbs. when packed.
· The tent has two doors and two vestibules, so you have ways to store plenty of gear outside the tent leaving yourself room inside to stretch out as much as you can.
While not super spacious, it is excellent at keeping out the rain with a bathtub floor and a rainfly covering the tent while allowing ventilation.
Zpacks Duplex Tent
The top spot in terms of price belongs to this tent, but when all the pros that come with this tent, the price hardly can't be seen as a con. While the price may seem like the main thing to set this tent apart, it is not.
The is an A-frame tent which I have not covered on this list yet. The A-frame is unique in its design as it is held taught on all sides by lines and stakes and poles, so it is not freestanding.
The design ensures that it can stand up to climate weather and the tarp itself is water-resistant, so there is no chance of a coating or protective layer washing away.
The design of this tent allows for a lot of room inside while keeping the weight down.
The tent's dimensions are 7.5'x3.75'x4', along with having doors and vestibules on each side; there is plenty of space for campers to unpack and relax inside.
Once it is time to tear it all down, the tent only weighs a pound and 5 oz.
Because of the A-frame design setting the tent up is not as easy as the other tents, but I consider that a fair trade-off.
Marmot Limestone Tent: 6-Person 3-Season
This is our second largest backpacking tent on this list. This tent is a six-person tent, but the rule of thumb means you will want to expect to fit at least one less person than that.
· Being 8'x10'x6.3' means the tent has room for everyone to stand and rest.
· The total weight is 17lbs, so maybe have two people carry the tent or stick close to the car as a base camp.
· This tent holds up well against the rain, but the square design makes it take the brunt of winds blowing into camp.
· Staking and setting the lines will help keep it standing, but this tent is not recommended for stormier weather.
· With the vestibules set and the tent standing, this tent has plenty of covers to enjoy any time out in the wild.
While better for short treks, if you find yourself obliged and the weather permits, this is a great tent to bring the family hiking.
Mountainsmith Conifer 5 Plus Tent
Here we have the third-largest tent on our list, but you will realize that it is significantly smaller than the other two big tents.
That is because this is specifically designed to be much more for backpacking.
It breaks down like the other dome-shaped tents, and without the vestibule, it is freestanding.
If the vestibule is being used, it has to be staked down to move it freely.
The tent is shaped like a hexagon, but the dimensions are at 10'x10'x6' which is a little odd to me.
It weighs in at 14 lbs., so still quite heavy for a backpacking tent but understandable given the included vestibule and rainfly as well as the size.
A considerable amount of the inner tent is mesh, so this tent is good at ventilation and keeping cool.
Overall, the Conifer is excellent for three seasons out of the year but not in winter.
Kelty Grand Mesa 2
Finally, we have the Grand Mesa 2-person tent. This is a decent bargain tent for someone looking to head out for a few days at a time and not wanting to spend too much on a backpacking tent.
· It is small, which comes with some benefits and drawbacks.
· The dimensions given for the tent are 7'x4.75/3.6'(head/foot) x3.5'. As you can see from the measurements, the tent narrows like a cone, so you lose space towards the back.
· Because of the shape and size of the tent, it holds up well in bad weather.
· Winds don't affect the small surface area of the tent as much, and the rainfly and the waterproof flooring keep the tent dry inside.
· The tent packs down to 4 lbs., so it is of average weight for this kind of tent.
· Included with the tent are some guy lines for each spot to attach to the tent, so you may want to invest in more and stakes to pitch the tent with, but they are not the most outstanding quality to get spares.
However, as I said before, this is a bargain buy, so it has its benefits and drawbacks.
Thanks for reading.