Backpacking Tent Reviews
It is important to note, that when determining the quality and value of a lightweight backpacking tent, the two features that we take into consideration first and foremost are portability (size and weight) and protection. These should be the most important things for hikers and backpackers to manage.
By shedding a few pounds and choosing a lighter tent, you become able to take more important things with you on your journey such as extra food, water, cooking utensils and more.
We have also included some lightweight camping tents that have more of a focus on comfort and spaciousness, while the differences might not seem too great, once you settle down in your tent you’ll come to appreciate the extra comfort these tents offer if you’re only undertaking lighter hiking trips.
Features To Look For In A Tent
Assess tents on the following aspects:
The ventilation system must allow sufficient air to flow in.
- Ease of set up
Setting up the tent should be easy.
- Trail weight
You are probably comfortable with a tent weighing less than 5 pounds. 8-lb tents are also available.
Don’t look into the square footage alone. Check also the dimensions of the tent.
- Number of doors
2 doors or 1 door only.
- Design type
There are five different types: wedge, pyramid, tunnel, A-frame and modified A—frame.
- Pole material
Aluminum, fiberglass or carbon fiber.
- Season compatibility
3-season or 4-season design.
- Sleeping capacity
Capacities available are 1, 2, 3, 4 and multi-person.
Additional storage space.
- Protective quality
The tent is UV-resistant and must be waterproof.
In this review, we will talk about five bestsellers in the 1 to 2 person category. Let’s kick it off with two of the highest-rated 1-person backpacking tents.
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
Stretching 7’2” on its longest side, this tent has a comfortable width of 32” (2 2/3 ft) and a vestibule that covers another 32” of length.
Additional vestibule space can accommodate gears or pets. Given these dimensions, it can accommodate no more than one person.
The tent’s greatest strength is its ventilation.
What We Liked About The ALPS Mountaineering 1 Man Tent
- It is a freestanding tent and comes with a fly that covers it all over. The fly’s made of polyester, making it UV-resistant.
- Poles are made of aluminum which is of the 7000 series type. This type of aluminum is 60% stronger than normal aluminum.
- The floor uses polyester taffeta as its material. The code for this material is 75D 185T. The D represents the thickness of the thread used. For the 185T, the meaning is that the fabric has 185 threads per inch of it. The floor has a 2000-mm coating, making it hard for water to penetrate it.
- The seams are factory-sealed. This is true for both the floor and the fly seams.
- The tent uses a #8 zipper. The number represents the size of the teeth of the zipper.
- The side walls and the back wall are mesh, which is good for ventilation. The walls are not 100% mesh, making them able to provide insulation during cold weather.
- Assembling this tent takes only a few minutes. Breaking it down is easy as well.
What We Didn’t Like
- The tent is not for people who are too tall or too wide. It’s probably good only for people who are a little bit over 6 ft or less.
- There’s an issue with the fly. It touches the back of the tent. Tie a rope on that part to pull it away farther.
- This ALPS mountaineering unit is not an ultralight backpacking tent. Some people noticed a discrepancy with the weight. It says in the description that it’s 3.7 lbs but is actually 4.2 lbs.
Big Agnes – Copper Spur Backpacking Tent
If you’re looking for a tent for one person that has a tunnel form, this Big Agnes tent is highly recommended.
Being of this type, it is not freestanding. It implies that it requires adequate staking in order to achieve its tunnel shape. Tunnel tents’ greatest advantages are “weather resistance” and “weight”.
What We Liked About The Copper Spur Tent
- It’s a very light tent (2.8 lbs). That’s about 1.3 kg.
- The tent’s quite spacious for one person. Some people are talking about how it can accommodate two people and a small dog.
- The tent’s head room is large. That’s because it uses a cross over system for its poles.
- The guy lines and the webbing at the corners are capable light reflective.
- There are media pockets close to the sleeping space. You can use them for holding your phones and other gadgets.
- The fabric is durable though it looks thin. It is indeed thin, but that should not cause any worry. The tent uses a waterproof nylon material.
- It’s a 3-season tent. Some people ventured using it in winter and learned that it can stand strong winter winds. It might have been appropriately tagged as a 4-season.
What We Didn’t Like
- It has only one door and one vestibule. Moving in and out of the tent might not be that easy.
- This tent is way more expensive than other models.
- This Big Agnes unit looks thin. It is not far that others would think your tent is unreliable or fragile when they see it standing.
Coleman Sundome 2-person Tent
This tent is for everyone who is trying to cut down on the budget, yet ensuring that they have a nice unit that would at least protect them from the elements.
Don’t judge the Sundome 2-person tent too early for the low price that it has. It carries features that can rival more expensive tents.
What We Liked About The Coleman Sundome
These benefits are what you get for the small investment:
- The tent has 2 windows, which is great for people who love viewing the outdoors. For the inside of the tent, the two windows allow for good ventilation.
- Compared to some Coleman units, this tent has is water-resistant. The company said that they made this tent able to resist water more by 33%.
- The tent’s offered with a warranty. It’s a one-year limited warranty.
- There’s a flashlight loop on the ceiling. Also, there’s a storage pocket where you can tuck your gadgets in.
- This tent’s easy to erect. The instruction guide is attached on the carry bag, so it’s easy to check it out in case you forget a step on the set up.
What We Didn’t Like
- The space inside might not be adequate to sleep two people, unless they are a couple. Don’t bring with you many gars if you are using this tent.
- You have to exert effort to really take good care of this tent to make it last. Durability is an issue, which has prompted some reviewers to suggest not using it too often.
Still, this Sundome tent from Coleman gets the highly-coveted 5 stars. It is rated 4.5 stars on the average.
Kelty Salida 2 Tent
The Kelty Salida 2 tent is a good alternative to the Sundome unit above if you’re willing to stretch out a bit on the budget. The tent’s designed to be truly backpacking-friendly, which is noticeable in most of its features. This is another unit that comes with a great ventilation system.
What We Liked About The Kelty Salida Tent
Strengths for this tent include:
- The tent’s bag gives users more options when it comes to packing. With every part put into the bag, total weight will be 4 lbs. That can be reduced to 3 if you remove the guide chords, not add the loft, ditch the bag and only bring with you 4 stakes.
- The poles are short, which makes the entire tent more stable and sturdier.
- There’s an extra fabric to this tent, which gives extended cover when the vestibule is open. The vestibule itself covers a large area for more gear protection.
- The door is D-shaped, which means it supports easy entry and exit.
- The zip is super quiet when it is operated to close or open the door.
- There are lots of mesh to this tent, which makes it perfect for summer camping.
What We Didn’t Like
- The space inside does not guarantee convenient movement and sleeping time for large-sized people. It is ok for people who are slim and if they won’t mid sleeping close to each other.
- The fly and the tent are so close to each other and might stick together in the presence of moisture. It requires a cord that pulls the fly up just to avoid this from happening
Bryce Two Person Ultralight Tent
This Bryce 2P tent is another model that people who put premium on weight must consider. Average weight for this tent is 3 lbs 14 oz.
Without the tent body and the footprint, the weight is reduced to 3 lbs.
It’s an ultralight backpacking tent with good pricing and loads of features to enjoy.
What We Liked About The Bryce 2P Tent
Aside from the weight, other nice features include:
- The fly is UV-resistant with its 20D ripstop polyester material. The ripstop thing implies that the fly doesn’t tear easily.
- The same goes with the floor and the footprint. They are much more durable with their 70D polyester material.
- The poles are made of the aluminum alloy of the 7000 series.
- Waterproof coating is 3000 mm, plus the seams are factory-taped.
- The tent’s originally-designed as a 3-season tent, but some people have used it in winter on days with moderate snow.
- One-year limited warranty is offered for this tent.
What We Didn’t Like
- It says in the description that the stakes are Y-shaped, but you might find them to be V-shaped actually. Check that out with the manufacturer.
- Some reviewers said that their unit comes with rips on either the fly or on the tent near the pole connections. But since it comes with some guarantee, be ready to return just in case you encounter the problem.
If, after reading this article you are also interested in learning more about family camping tents, read our reviews here!