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GEERTOP 2-person 4-season Silicone Ultralight Outdoor Tent - backpackers tent - camping tent

Backpacking Tents Buying Guide

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When backpacking, choosing the right backpacking tent is like choosing the right home. It should be a homestay that is different from other types of tents. With this in mind, it is important that a buyer must consider different factors when choosing a backpacking tent to help one to make a careful and well-informed purchase.

Brand & ModelPersonsSeasonsWeight (lbs)More Info & Price
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Tent 1-Person 3-Season backpackers tent
133.5Click here
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2 Tent - 2 person backpackers tent
236.9Click here
Marmot Alpinist
Marmot Alpinist 2 person 4 season backpack tent
245.5Click here
Weanas® Waterproof Double Layer
Weanas Waterproof Double Layer 2, 3, 4 Person 3 Season Aluminum Rod Double Skylight Outdoor Camping Tent - backpackers tent
234.5Click here
GEERTOP® Silicone Ultralight
GEERTOP 2-person 4-season Silicone Ultralight Outdoor Tent - backpacker tent
244.6Click here
Kelty Grand Mesa
Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Tent - 3 season backpackers tent
234.7Click here
Kelty Salida
Kelty Salida 2 Tent 3 season backpackers tent
234.5Click here
Vaude Hogan Ultralight
Vaude Hogan Ultralight 2 Tent - 2 person 3 season backpackers tent
234.1Click here
Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2
Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2 Person Tent 3 seasons backpackers tent
235.8Click here
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3 Tent 3-Person 3-Season - backpackers tent
335.3Click here
HIGH PEAK South Col 3 Person 4 Season Backpacking Tent
349.7Click here
MSR Hubba NX
MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Tent 3 season backpackers tent - front opening
132.4Click here
Snugpak Ionosphere
Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Tent - backpackers tent
143.3Click here

Here’s a list of things you should consider when choosing the right backpacking tent:

Will you be backpacking on your own or are you with someone? Backpacking tents usually are categorized depending on their capacity which may vary from solo to four persons.

Backpacking tents are usually snugly fit to keep the weight at a minimum as possible. With that, a two-person tent will be enough for a couple; however, larger people might want to opt for a three-person tent for a cozier sleep. If you have a pet or a child, you might want to choose a tent with another extra space.

  • Weight

Because you have to carry your backpacking tent, you have to consider its weight as well. Solo tents usually have weight that ranges from 2 to 4 pounds, two-person tents weights 3 to 6 pounds but some may as weigh as much as 7 or as dense as 2 pounds. When you look for a 3-seasons tent, aim for a tent that weighs less than 3 pounds per person (1-person tents are normally just a little bit heavier per person); just know that lesser weight means snug interior. Due to the fact that 4-season tents are made to withstand more severe weather conditions, these tents are usually heavier.

  • Price

How much do you have to buy for a backpacking tent? Two person-tents have prices that usually range from $100 to $500. Check out our overview of backpacking tents under $200. However, a higher pricetag means more accessories and lesser weight. But if you are only backpacking once or not often, then you may opt for tents lower than that range.

  • Kelty Salida 2 Tent 3 season backpackers tent - in snow weather
    Kelty Salida 3-Season 2-Person outdoor tent

    Setup Process

Generally, if you’re backpacking tent has more poles it’ll be more complex to set it up. Most tents these days however, are freestanding which means it can stand on its own without the need for stakes. This makes setting up so easy and fast. It also allows you to reposition the tent just by simply lifting the poles and carry them on to a next spot.

  • Weather

What weather conditions do you expect to encounter while on the outdoors? For most backpackers, a 3-season tent is a good choice because it suits for spring-through-fall weather. If you will be camping out in a warm area, then a tent with mesh panels is a better choice as it allows you to do stargazing.

There’s also this 4-season tent that can withstand wind or during winter months. The thing is, its best for you to bring along a backpacking tent that can stand strong against worst conditions you might face during your traveling. Think about where you want to go and what kind of weather conditions could come up. Even in summer in certain areas the weather can be very unfriendly and you need a more robust tent than going to a tropical paradise area.

  • Features

Little things matter too. What do you want for your entry way? Light tents usually have one door, but if you want separate entry and exit points for you and your companion, then there’s another backpacking tent for that.

Vestibules are the sections of your tent that serve as extensions usually requiring stakes for it to stand. It serves as another shelter outside your tent. They are always included in tent specs.

  • How comfortable will be the tent is inside?

Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Tent - backpackers tent
Snugpak Ionosphere 1 Person Tent

Although weight is important when choosing a backpacking tent, do not comprise livability because you want to achieve a lesser weight.

While it is true that you most spend time inside the tent lying down, sitting up space also does matter especially if the weather is not friendly at the time and that you have to spend some more time inside the tent a little longer.

Generally, when choosing a tent based on its capacity you have to assume a closer fit that is if you are alone. But if you are with another person that is large, afraid of closed spaces, does a lot of turning and tossing while sleeping, wants to have more than an average elbow room, a small child or a dog, then consider upsizing your tent capacity to 1.

  • Interior Volume

There are three specifications that you have to look into when shopping for a backpacking tent, which includes the tent’s floor dimensions, floor area and the peak height.

Basically, the more vertical the walls of your tent are the more space it has inside. Tents that are round and dome-like provide more headroom while wedge-shaped tents have minimal space at its foot end where sit up space is slightly lesser but weighs denser.

  • Breathability

MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Tent 3 season backpackers tent - inner partAirflow is also a consideration when buying a backpacking tent. It actually is a key for you to have a good sleep while on outdoors. If the weather condition is hot, then opt for a tent that has a lot of mesh panels. For rainy weathers, look for a tent that has a lot space between the rain fly and your tent.

If you’re going to an area where you can face a lot of rain or wind, you might want to think of where to cook. Set up your tent with the opening away from the wind direction so you keep the wind out of your tent and the tent will create a shield against the wind so you can cook your meal. Never use a camping stove inside your tent but use the shielded area outside.

  • Try it first before you buy

If you have a candidate, make sure that you try it. Crawl inside so that you’ll know how snug or fit it is inside.

Backpacking is one of the most exciting activities one must do in their entire lifetime. It’s a breather and allows one to see the splendor of the natural world. When backpacking, one of the key components to achieving the best experience is having the right tent as it provides you not only with a good rest at night, but also keep you safe from natural elements in the area. With so many backpacking tents available in the market today, purchasing the right one can be time consuming and mind boggling. But that is with more outdoor hiking gear like proper hiking boots (men and women) and backpacks.

Before purchasing, backpackers should have already determined the key factors in choosing the right backpacking tent. Once you have determined it, it’ll be easy for you to make the right decision.

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