Review Of The Ten Top-Selling Backpacking Tents

A tent is essential for any camping trip, and packing a functional and reliable backpacking tent is a sure way to increase safety and comfort in the wild.

But, when you’re looking to buy a new tent, you’ll soon realize that there’s a lot to choose from. Figuring out which one is best for you can be a challenging task.

Don’t fret. This review can help narrow down your options, and guide you on choosing the backpacking tent that suits your needs.

Our top picks for the best backpacking tents

Best Overall Backpack Tent

The best selling backpacking tent is the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-person tent

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx

Runner Up Best Backpack Tent

Runner up for the best selling backpacking tent is the Mountainsmith Morrison tent

Mountainsmith Morrison 2-person Tent

Best Value Backpack Tent

The best value of the top selling backpacking tents is the River Country 2-person tent

River Country 2-person Tent

The Top-Selling Backpacking Tents On Amazon

Best Overall Backpacking Tent

1. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-person Tent

The ALPS Mountaineering 1-person tent is the top selling backpacking tent on Amazon

Key Features:

Base Dimensions: 2’8” x 7’6”

Center Height: 3’

Weight: 4.25 lbs.

Features:

  • Free-standing;
  • Gear storage;
  • Water resistant

PROS:

  • Quick Setup
    As a free-standing tent with clips that instantly attach to the poles, set up is quick and will only take an average of three minutes. Pitching this tent is so easy. You’ll have no trouble doing it even in the dark – perfect for when you arrive at the campsite late.
  • Water Resistant
    The water-resistant polyester rainfly can hold up well under light rain for several hours. To keep this tent light, the space inside is limited. However, the rainfly is designed to create a vestibule for gear storage, so you’ll have sufficient room for yourself.
  • Ventilation
    The mesh walls not only increase ventilation. When camping in good weather, you may opt not to use the rainfly. They’ll allow you to star-gaze while keeping the bugs away.

CONS:

  • Dusty when windy
    The downside of walls that are made mostly of mesh is that when you camp in dusty areas and it’s windy, there’s no way that you can keep the dust out of your tent. Even when using the rainfly, dust can still easily get in because the fly’s edges are too high off the ground.
  • Not waterproof
    This tent is not waterproof. When camping under continuous heavy rain, don’t expect it to keep you dry.
  • Snug size
    Larger and taller people may find the size of this tent restrictive.

Runner Up Best Backpacking Tent

2. Mountainsmith Morrison 2-person Tent

Our runner up for the best backpacking tent is the Mountainsmith Morrison 2-person tent

Key Features:

Base Dimensions: 4’8” x 7’8”

Center Height: 3’7”

Weight: 5.75 lbs.

Features:

  • Free-standing; with two doors and two vestibules;
  • Mesh wall panels;
  • Reflective guy lines

PROS:

  • Easy Set-up
    The color-coded pole ends and tent hooks make tent set-up foolproof and much faster.
  • Two door design
    The two-door and two-vestibule design is convenient. There’ll be no need to climb over your tent-mate if you have to go out in the middle of night. And you’ll be able to have separate space to store your gears.
  • Water resistant
    Although it’s not completely waterproof, the material and the seams don’t leak in moderate steady rain.
  • Reflective guy lines
    A thoughtful detail, the reflective guy lines will keep you from tripping on it at night.
  • Storage Pockets
    Detachable interior mesh storage pockets and ceiling loft allow quick-access and storage for your valuables.

CONS:

  • Tight for two people
    The two vestibules may not be spacious enough to store gears of two campers.
  • Slanting Walls
    At 3’7”, the central height is decent. However, the slanting walls make sitting inside the tent uncomfortable.
  • Folded size too large
    The folded size is too big and poles too long that it will occupy a lot of space if placed inside the backpack.
  • Loose stitching
    Even though this tent has proven its durability in the backcountry, lots of loose stitching make this tent look flimsy.

Best Value Backpacking Tent

3. River Country 2-person Tent

Our runner up for the best backpacking tent is the 2 person trekking tent by River Country

Key Features:

Base Dimensions: 5’2” x 7’

Center Height: 3’6”

Weight:  2.75 pounds

Features:

  • Ultralight;
  • Packs down small

PROS:

  • Lightweight
    The River Country Tent is designed for backpackers who want to cut down weight. At 2.75 pounds, it’s the lightest tent that you can get in its price point.
  • Roomy
    For an ultralight tent, it has a lot of room, which can accommodate even your gears.
  • Packs Small
    This tent requires trekking poles rather than the usually delicate regular tent poles. This means that you’ll never need to worry about them breaking during your trek. It can also be packed smaller that a football, saving a lot of space in your backpack. The material used is quite durable, and can definitely survive harsh conditions in the backcountry.

CONS:

  • Can leak if it sags
    This tent is made from waterproof fabric but it tends to sag in the middle where water can accumulate and eventually cause leakage.
  • Ventilation
    Its ventilation isn’t that effective so you’ll need to keep the door flaps open if you don’t want to wake up in a wet tent. This set-up isn’t ideal when it’s raining.
  • Not ideal for rocking ground
    With this tent (or any other tent of this type), you may encounter some problems when camping in rocky areas where setting up the poles is nearly impossible.

Base Dimensions: 7’ x 8’ (approximate)

Center Height: 4’10’’

Weight: 6.9 lbs.

Features:

  • One large side-entry door;
  • Gear storage;
  • Protected seams and zippers;
  • 3-Person and 4-Person variants also available

PROS:

  • Durable
    Considering the price of this tent, it is well-built and durable. The taped seams and water-resistant polyester fabric keep you dry under light rain. The poles are responsive to wind so they won’t break in high winds.
  • Easy set-up
    The single-pole design makes set-up simple and the entire tent sturdy for moderate use.
  • Roomy
    The size of this tent is roomy for two people, and allows you to cram in one more person. The rainfly creates space for storage gear. Unlike other tents, the Hooligan is tall enough, so you can move and sit inside without having to bend your back.

CONS:

  • Very heavy
    Using fiberglass for poles instead of the usual aluminum makes this tent heavy. At more than 7 lbs., it is too heavy for a backpacking tent.
  • Lack of ventilation
    Ventilation is also not that great. Even if the fly can keep the rain out, you’ll have to deal with condensation inside the tent.

     

  • Not free-standing
    This tent is not free-standing, so it takes a relatively longer time to set up.

  • Requires guy lines for support
    If you want to make this tent stable when camping in strong winds, you’ll need to stake out a lot of guy lines, which can take time.

Check for the best price at Amazon for the best selling backpack tent

Base Dimensions: 4’7” x 7’4”

Center Height: 3’7”

Weight: 4.5 lbs.

Features:

  • Free-standing;
  • 1-Person and 4-Person variants also available;
  • Oversized D-door;
  • Waterproof rainfly

PROS:

  • Lightweight
    The Kelty Salida is one of the lightest tents you can get in its price range.
  • Waterproof
    Waterproofing is excellent, keeping your tent dry inside. The fly is made from durable waterproof material, which can withstand harsh weather conditions.

     

  • Oversize door
    The oversized D-door makes it convenient to get in and out of the tent.
  • 3-season tent
    Designed for 3-season use, only the top is made of mesh. This provides more protection when used in the cold.
  • Easy Setup
    The color coordination system makes figuring out how to orient the fly easier, allowing you to set the tent up much faster.

CONS:

  • Can leak if rainfly touches the tent
    The rainfly has a tendency to touch the tent, particularly at the ends, even when it’s tightly guyed out. This can lead to leaks from condensation when it’s raining.
  • Lack of ventilation with rainfly
    It also lacks vents so it can be quite hot inside when the rainfly is completely zipped up.

     

  • Single door design
    The single-door design makes sharing this tent less convenient.

  • Storage
    There’s only one vestibule for storage and it may not be big enough for two campers’ gears.

Check for the best price at Amazon for the best selling backpack tent

Base Dimensions: 4’7” x 6’11”

Center Height: 3’7”

Weight: 3.46 pounds

Features:

  • Two-way zippers;
  • Rain fly vented roof;
  • Durable glass-fiber poles

PROS:

  • Price
    The Yodo is an affordable tent that lives up to its promise. It’s clearly a fair-weather tent and it doesn’t pretend that it can work for you in harsh weather conditions.
  • Lightweight and easy to set up
    For its purpose, it has a decent weight and it’s easy to set up and take down.

     

  • Functional
    Its design is standard but functional. It has enough mesh for ventilation. And the rain flaps work just fine to keep the inside dry when it’s drizzling.

CONS:

  • Smallish size
    This tent is shorter than most tents, so taller people may not find it comfortable.
  • Durability
    The material and construction isn’t that sturdy. Don’t expect it to last many years.
  • Not water resistant
    The fabric is also not water resistant. It can’t keep you dry unless you’re only dealing with a short drizzle.

Check for the best price at Amazon for the best selling backpack tent

Base Dimensions: 3’3” x 7’10”

Center Height: 2’4”

Weight:  3.3 pounds

Features:

  • Low-profile;
  • Waterproof;
  • Small and compact

PROS:

  • Low profile
    The low profile of the Snugpak Ionosphere makes it sturdier compared to other tents, and a great companion when camping in windy locations. It’s also ideal in crowded campsites due to its small footprint.

     

  • Lightweight
    At a little over 3 lbs, it’s light enough for a 1-person tent. It might look complex, but set-up is rather easy.

  • Waterproof
    The waterproofing and ventilation system is excellent so you can rest assured that you’ll stay dry in very wet conditions, provided that you set it up properly.

  • Roomy
    Although compact, it has plenty of room for gear storage.

CONS:

  • Low profile can be challenging
    A tent with a low profile is not for everyone. Getting in and out is challenging and uncomfortable. It’s also impossible to sit inside without your head touching the walls, especially if you’re a tall person.

     

  • Not freestanding
    Because it’s not free-standing. You’ll always have to stake it out even in fair weather. However, the included stakes are quite sharp, which can easily wear or tear the staking loops.

Check for the best price at Amazon for the best selling backpack tent

Base Dimensions: 4’2” x 7’1”

Center Height: 3’9”

Weight:  4.6 pounds

Features:

  • Waterproof;
  • Lightweight;
  • 2-3 Person and 3-4 Person also available

PROS:

  • Waterproof
    This tent is waterproof and it can hold up well in snow, rain, and hail. It can also withstand strong winds. The rainfly runs close to the ground, providing complete coverage.

     

  • Vestibule
    The front vestibule zips open in such a way that you can tie its ends to two trekking poles, doubling as sheltered area where you can cook in inclement weather.

  • Two-door
    The two-door interior makes it convenient to get in and out of the tent.

CONS:

  • Size
    Unlike other tents, the sizing of the Weanas is in the middle. This might lead to confusion when you’re choosing which one to buy. In addition, the dimensions run smaller than advertised.
  • Storage
    It also has only one vestibule, which isn’t big enough. You may have to share the interior with your backpack and other gears.

Check for the best price at Amazon for the best selling backpack tent

Base Dimensions: 4’2” x 7’1”

Center Height: 3’9”

Weight:  4.6 pounds

Features:

  • Waterproof;
  • Lightweight;
  • 2-3 Person and 3-4 Person also available

PROS:

  • Waterproof
    This tent is waterproof and it can hold up well in snow, rain, and hail. It can also withstand strong winds. The rainfly runs close to the ground, providing complete coverage.

     

  • Vestibule
    The front vestibule zips open in such a way that you can tie its ends to two trekking poles, doubling as sheltered area where you can cook in inclement weather.

  • Two-door
    The two-door interior makes it convenient to get in and out of the tent.

CONS:

  • Size
    Unlike other tents, the sizing of the Weanas is in the middle. This might lead to confusion when you’re choosing which one to buy. In addition, the dimensions run smaller than advertised.
  • Storage
    It also has only one vestibule, which isn’t big enough. You may have to share the interior with your backpack and other gears.

Check for the best price at Amazon for the best selling backpack tent

Base Dimensions: 4’2” x 7’

Center Height: 3’3”

Weight:  3.8 pounds

Features:

  • Free-standing;
  • Waterproof;
  • Color-coded hub-and-pole system;
  • Two-door design;
  • Clip pole attachment

PROS:

  • Lightweight
    At less than 4 pounds, this 2-person tent is definitely lightweight but it doesn’t sacrifice durability.
  • Durable
    Made from high-quality materials, this is a tent that can last many years.
  • Spacious
    Even though its base is narrower and center height is lower compared to most tents, it actually feels more spacious because the semi-vertical wall and unique pole configuration maximizes elbow space and headroom. The color-coordination system ensures a quick and foolproof set-up.
  • Two-door design
    The two-door design makes access convenient while the two vestibules provide ample space for gears. The vestibules also open strategically so if it’s raining, water won’t drip into the tent.

CONS:

  • Rainfly set up
    The edges of the MSR Hubba Hubba’s rainfly are a little too high from the ground even when completely stretched out, allowing wind (and sand) to go freely inside the tent. When not set-up properly, the rainfly has a tendency to press onto the mesh wall, especially if it’s windy, enabling condensate to leak through.
  • Wide footprint
    With a wide footprint, taking this tent in crowded campsites in not ideal.

Check for the best price at Amazon for the best selling backpack tent

Choosing The Right Backpacking Tent For Your Needs

Before buying a tent, make sure that you take these into consideration:

  • Weight
    Keeping weight down is important if you want to enjoy backpacking trips. The tent is one of the heaviest items you’ll carry, so it’s a good idea to keep it as light as possible.
  • Price
    Backpacking tents come in a wide range of prices. A good tent doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. But, for the majority on the market, you get what you pay for. If you want a tent that is lightweight, is heavy-duty, offers excellent protection, and will get you many years of use, it makes sense to spend more. If your budget is limited or you’ll only be using a tent occasionally, then you can go for an affordable one.
  • Protection
    A tent’s main purpose is to protect you from the elements. Most backpacking tents are either water resistant or waterproof, but the cheapest ones rarely offer these features. Taking fair-weather tents on your hikes could be dangerous.
  • Interior space and capacity
    Backpacking tents are designed to accommodate one, two, or three persons, four at the most. Tents keep their weight down by restricting interior space. For example, two-person tents usually have room enough for two people but not their gears. This is where vestibules come in handy. But not all tents have vestibules or if they do, they’re not spacious enough. In these cases, you may opt to bump up one size. Just keep in mind that the tradeoff for interior space is weight.
  • Setup
    Freestanding tents are easier and quicker to setup compared to non-freestanding tents. The latter will always require stakes and guy lines. But, they save weight by excluding tent poles.
  • Doors and vestibules
    A tent with two doors and two vestibules provide more convenience and space if at least two people are going to use it.
  • Footprint
    Most tents available on the market these days don’t come with a footprint. Footprints add durability to your tent’s floor by protecting it from abrasion. While they add some extra carrying weight, they’re important if you want to extend the life of your tent.

Conclusion

Reliable backpacking tents are necessary for any adventure in the backcountry. Considering the huge number of tents on the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. Understanding the different factors to consider can significantly reduce your options.

In the end, you’ll have to decide based on what exactly you want from your tent and what you’re willing to compromise.