If you’re planning a backpacking trip, you’re probably looking for the lightest weight tent on the market with the most space that will keep you dry. This list has you covered!
Whether it’s just you or you and your dog, child, or significant other, this post will walk you through the best 2 person backpacking tents for 2023. These tents also make great tents for scouts or backyard camping with the kids.
Keep reading until the end, because this article will also cover the essentials you need to know before making your purchase, including frequently asked questions by other buyers.
Our Top Picks
Big Agnes Copper Backpacking Tent
REI Co-op Trail Hut 2 Tent
Big Agnes Copper Backpacking Tent
The upgraded Big Agnes Backpacking Tent is the best 2-person backpacking tent for backpackers looking for something lightweight, easy to set up, and stays dry during inclement weather. This tent also has the best design for livability and space usability.
This 2-person backpacking tent is available in two colors: Olive Green and Orange. It has a packed weight of 3 lbs. 2 oz. Its floor length is 88 inches, with a peak height of 40 inches.
- Big Agnes is a US-based brand that is trusted and loved by campers
- The lightest weight and longest backpacking tent on this list
- Color-coded system for making setting up the tent a breeze
- Comes with mtnGLO technology, which provides enough light to read a book or find an object without a blinding headlight
- 3-D mezzanine storage at the food provides massive off-ground storage
- The awning provides extra livable space
- Big Agnes recommends using a matching footprint to protect the floor from water, and it is not included
NEMO Dagger OSMO Ultralight Backpacking Tent
The NEMO Dagger OSMO Ultralight Backpacking Tent is a fantastic lightweight choice for backpackers. Its durable polyester/nylon ripstop fabric is designed to keep you four times dryer than previous versions of this tent.
Although this tent is marketed as a 3-season tent, it’s sturdy enough to possibly withstand four seasons!
The packed weight of this tent is 4 lbs. 2 oz. It has a floor length of 87 inches and a peak height of 42 inches.
- OSMO fabric does not stretch nearly as much as other fabrics when wet, so this reduces sag, wind, and rain
- The Landing Zone storage tub in the vestibule protects gear from the outside elements
- Divvy Cube rectangular stuff makes it easy to split the weight with your companion
- Color-coded poles for easy set-up
- Protected by NEMO lifetime warranty
- Protective footprint is not included.
- On the heavier side for a backpacking tent.
REI Co-Op Trail Hut 2 Tent
The REI Co-op Trail Hut is the best 2-person backpacking tent for budgets. Its packed weight, length, and peak high are in line with some of the more expensive 2-person backpacking tents.
The Trail Hut has a packed weight of 5 lbs. 15 oz. Though heavier than higher cost items, it is manageable for shorter trips and beginners who are not ready to commit to a bigger price tag without sacrificing quality.
- Ridge pole creates more living space in a compact footprint
- Inexpensive 2-person backpacking tent from a high-quality brand
- Footprint included
- Heavier than other options at 5 lbs. 15 oz.
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 Solution-Dyed Tent
Don’t be fooled by the name, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall is the lightest backpacking tent on our list. With a packed weight of 2 lbs. 8oz., you will be sure to have valuable space for your other essentials. It’s low weight is not without it’s set backs, as peak height is also on the lower end at just 39 inches.
The tent and included rainfly are made of high-quality ripstop material ad the trademark TipLock corner construction ensure set-up is quick and easy.
- Ultralight weight at 2 lbs. 8 oz.
- High quality materials
- Rainfly included
- Ultralight stakes included
- Footprint is not included
- Packed weight increases to 3 lbs. 14 oz. when rainfly and footprint are included
Clostnature Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Though the brand may be unfamiliar, the Clostnature Lightweight Backpacking Tent has racked up over 2,000 Amazon reviews for 4.6 stars. If you are stepping into the world backpack camping and are overwhelmed by the costs of quality gear, this is a great option.
At 5.7 lbs., it is heavier than some of our other options, but the lower price point allows you flexibility to try backpacking without breaking the bank. It is also waterproof and easy to set-up, which are important features regardless of your skill.
- Low cost without sacrificing ease of use
- Good for first-timers
- Large windows for excellent ventilation
- Heavier than some of the other options
- The large windows also cause it to become chillier at night
Best 2-Person Backpacking Tent Buyer’s Guide
When selecting the best 2-person backpacking tent for your camping needs, you need to look at the length, width, and height dimensions.
Length and Width
Each person requires 25 inches of width and 80 inches of length. Taller backpackers will want to look at tents closer to 90 inches long.
The “peak height” of the tent measures the tallest point in the tent to the ground. You need to consider both the number as well as its location.
A large peak number in the middle of the tent means you will feel roomier sitting in the middle of the tent, whereas a larger number in the corner of the tent means you will feel comfier while lying down.
Consider the shape of the 2-person backpacking tent. A pyramid will feel more cramped than a cube, even if the floor dimensions are the same.
The 2-person capacity rating will tell you how many people will tightly fit in a tent, though most tent campers feel this capacity rating is exaggerated. Most often, a 2-person backpacking tent is considered lavish for one person; however, these tents will fit two regular-sized sleeping pads.
The best 2-person backpacking tents are going to be marketed as three-season or four-season tents.
There’s only one big difference between a three-season tent and a four-season tent, and it is that four-season tents are designed to handle snow and heavy winds whereas most three-season tents are not.
Four-season tents are designed with stronger poles and fabric, giving them a sturdier design, to handle camping in all weather types. They’re also heavier than three-season tents, but this also means they can handle the weight of snow and strong winter winds.
You will often see several weight descriptions on tent listings – but you will want to pay close attention to the one marked “packed weight.”
The first is packed weight, which is how much the entire tent weighs when you purchase it, including the body of the tent, poles, stakes, stuff sacks, and other accessories that come with the tent. This is the weight you will carry with you on a backpacking trip.
When backpacking, every ounce matters, so the heavier the tent’s packed weight, the fewer other essentials you’ll be able to carry. Ideally, you want to select a tent that weighs around 3-4 lbs.
When you’re backpacking, your tent is your home! You want to choose a tent that will be livable and enjoyable to relax inside. When considering the livability of your 2-person backpacking tent, think about the following:
- Ease of Setup: The best 2-person backpacking tents need to be easy to set up, so you don’t have to waste time figuring out how to get your tent together.
- Ventilation: The best 2-person backpacking tents come with mesh windows or panels to increase the airflow throughout the tent.
- Storage: Vestibules are rainfly extensions that offer storage for boots and other camping gear. Consider how much storage room you will have in your tent. Typically, the more storage a tent has, the heavier the tent.
Light and bright colors allow more light to come into the tent during the day, allowing for the interior to appear more spacious. On the other hand, darker-colored tents provide better sun protection. Dark-colored tents are ideal for hot summer days!
The number one complaint you will start to notice about 2-person backpacking tents (or any tent) is their zippers. If you have done any amount of tent camping in the past, you know that zippers will break easily if not taken care of properly.
When you buy any tent, take extra special care to open and close your tent slowly to ensure your zippers last the life of the tent. Zippers are not intended to be rough-housed.
Most commercial tents are made from material to ensure durability in rain and wind. The most popular materials include the following:
- Polyethylene (PE): The most popular material you will see in tents generally, but probably not lightweight backpacking tents. PE is heavy fabric and durable. It’s hard to damage, so it can be used several times.
- PVC: PVC is a controversial fabric that many environmentalists insist is toxic to human health. However, it is durable and quite heavy. It’s not commonly used in backpacking tents because of its weight.
- Ripstop: Many of our picks are made from ripstop blends. Ripstop is a higher-quality material that is more expensive. It’s woven often with nylon to provide a sturdy, weather-resistant material.
- Nylon and Polyester: These are the two most common materials used in backpacking tents because they are lightweight, durable, and weather resistant.
Best 2-Person Backpacking Tent Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good weight for a 2-person backpacking tent?
Tents ranging from 3-4.5 lbs. are lightweight and tend to provide you the comfort you need on backcountry roads. Hardcore backpackers will appreciate the lighter weight of tents in this range, especially on long hikes.
Tents that weigh more than 4.5 lbs. may be more durable in the wind and tend to be lower cost. These tents are often the best value for casual backpackers and very short trips in harsher climates.
Should I get a 1- or 2-person backpacking tent?
Most people, even solo campers, prefer 2-person backpacking tents. Unless you’re a short person, you’re probably not going to feel comfortable in a 1-person backpacking tent.
A 2-person backpacking tent doesn’t just provide more stretch room, it also provides more storage room for gear. You won’t have to worry about leaving your personal items outside the tent with a 2-person backpacking tent.
Also, a 2-person backpacking tent is going to be much better at withstanding heavy winds and rainstorms than a 1-person tent. You can also bring more of your objects inside the tent with you to keep them safe!
How wide should a 2-person backpacking tent be?
The best 2-person backpacking tents are four to four and a half feet wide.
What is better: Fiberglass or Aluminum Poles?
Aluminum poles are lighter, more durable, and a better choice for backpacking tents. You typically see fiberglass poles in budget-friendly tents because they are cheaper to produce.
Wrapping up the Best 2-Person Backpacking Tents for 2023
Before you leave, read these tips on how to pack a tent in a backpack to make your backpacking journey a little easier!
- About the Author
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Nicole Kinkade grew up in campgrounds in the Midwest with her family in their RV and has many fond memories around the campfire. She and her husband took many tent camping trips at the beginning of their relationship, and she looks forward to sharing the outdoors with her young son as he gets older.
She loves discovering new camping techniques and sharing them with the world. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Media Communication, she is a passionate writer who loves sharing her knowledge online.
Nicole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org