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Best Backpacking Tents: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide (2018)

If you’re a fan of thru hikes, you know how important it is to have lightweight equipment. Backpacking tents are arguably the heaviest item any backpacker will carry with them– and their low weight and simple setup are crucial. If you’re looking for the best backpacking tents for thru hikes, look no further. We put together a list of the ten best backpacking tents you can find.

Whether you’re going on a thru hike, trekking a long uphill distance for a snowboarding excursion, or going on a weekend hunting trip in the woods, these tents are perfect for you.

Check out our list below!


Our Picks Best Backpacking Tents

10 Best Backpacking Tents

These backpacking tents are the best of the best.


  #10:  Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2

Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2

It’s tough finding a backpacking tent that is both light and full of functions. The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2 has everything packed into an ultra-light tent:

  • Tons of interior space
  • Hubbed pole structure
  • Two doors
  • Anti-condensation mesh circulation
  • Tons of interior pockets

At a low weight of two and a half pounds, this tent is truly one of the best for backpacking.


  #09:  Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II


Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II


HMG is definitely a trendsetter in the industry. They don’t disappoint with the Echo II, a massive backpacking tent that weighs in at a measly 1 pound 14 ounces.

The additional specs are great too. The Echo II boasts 24 square feet of floor space and seven feet of height.

If you want a double walled force to be reckoned with, the Echo II can protect one or two people with ease and durability.


  #08:  Nemo Hornet

Nemo Hornet

If you want over twenty square feet of floor room, freestanding structure, and the convenience of a side door, then the Nemo Hornet in either of the 1 and 2 person varieties would be perfect for you.

This 2 pound tent has a unique structure and practical architecture.

The low-zipping design of the side door also provides additional protection from harsh cold winds if you’re backpacking in a cooler climate.


  #07:  Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2

 Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2

Another Big Agnes tent makes the list in its Fly Creek UL 2 model. This tent is super lightweight– at only a pound and a half, it’s perfect for the individual backpacker.

This model is also ideal for the hiker who needs a tent that is super easy to set up. The Fly Creek UL 2 boasts one three-armed pole that is incredibly easy to pitch.

The mesh and solid fabric materials are also great for ventilation and protection from harsh weather conditions.


  #06:  MSR Hubba Hubba

MSR Hubba Hubba

Interesting name aside, this tent is a product to be taken seriously. The MSR Hubba Hubba is the perfect backpacking tent for two people.

Although the Hubba Hubba isn’t quite freestanding, it does provide close to vertical walls and two separate doors.

At 3 pounds and 8 ounces, the Hubba Hubba would be ideal for two people rather than the individual hiker.


  #05:  Tarptent ProTrail/MoTrail

Both the single and double versions of this Tarptent product aren’t just super functional– they are also two of the best non-freestanding tents available on the market. And at an ultra low weight of one and a half pounds, both variations are perfect for the backpacker.

This tent is made from a super thick 30D silnylon, making it one of the most durable and lightweight tents around. Perfect for trekking harsh weather conditions.


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  #04:  MSR FlyLite 2

MSR FlyLite 2

If you’re a sucker for unique design and innovation, you’ll probably love the MSR FlyLite 2. This two person tent feels more like a castle than a tent with its enormous opening door, 83-inch ceiling, and extra pole support.

The setup time is also brief for this tent and its 2 pound 4 ounce weight makes it one of the lightest two person tents you can find.

There are only a couple of downfalls of the MSR FlyLite 2. There is the issue of condensation– you’ll need to keep the front door totally shut to avoid it in chillier weather. The design of the roof, while attractive, is known to pool water during rainstorms.


  #03:  Sea to Summit Specialist Solo/Duo

Sea to Summit Specialist Solo/Duo

Sea to Summit is one of the most innovative backpacking gear manufacturers ever, and they don’t disappoint with their Specialist tent in both the Solo and Duo variations.

While the floor space isn’t too generous at 14 square feet, the Specialist is incredibly light at only a pound and six ounces.

The minimalist look of this tent is attractive and the compact nature of it is awesome. You can easily pack the Specialist down to the size of a water bottle and the miniature poles are both easy to pack and easy to set up.

  #02:  YAMA Mountain Gear 1 & 2 Person Cirriform DW 

If you’re looking for a tent that weighs in at only one and a half pounds and has ultra-breathable double walls, then the YAMA Mountain Cirriform DW is for you.

The Cirriform is a non-freestanding tent composed of crazy thick 30D ripstop nylon. The large boxy design of both the single and double variations is great and provides over seventeen square feet of floor space.

YAMA Mountain Gear was created by experienced thru hiker Gen Shimizu, so you can expect products that have a minimalist Japanese functionality as well as perks that any thru hiker would enjoy.

This tent isn’t as convenient to set up as other tents on this list, but it is definitely one of the most well-designed.


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  #01:  ZPacks Solplex and Duplex 

The lightest tent on our list is definitely ZPacks’ Solplex, a 21 square foot tent that weighs an unbelievable 15.5 ounces. The Duplex variation is just over a pound in weight.

If you really need to keep your pack light, the Solplex or Duplex would be worth investing in. While the stakes and poles make setup a little more difficult compared to other tents, the weight of the tent makes up for it.

In addition to its light weight, this ZPacks tent also boasts super durable material and a 90 inch ceiling. Roomy and light? We’re sold.


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How was our guide to the best backpacking tents around? Tell us what you think, along with your personal favorites, in the comments below!

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