What Is The Best Backpacking Tent In 2017? Reviews & Top Rankings

Do you happen to be looking for a tent for your next backpacking trip that is desirably lightweight, durable, and weather adaptable? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This article will show you what to look for in a backpacking tent, and especially the reviews of the best backpacking tents in 2017 which might help you make up your mind more easily.

Our Choice For The Best Backpacking Tent in 2017

** Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can click links above to see current prices and read customer's review on Amazon

Why Do You Need A Backpacking Tent?

Investing in a backpacking tent is always a wise investment to any backpacker. Why? It's because it enables you to carry everything on your back, your clothes, your shoes, your personal belongings, your gear, and even your tent if you want to camp on the way.

Camping always promises to bring you amazing experiences, but you must be very thoughtful in selecting a tent- a great contributor to the pack weight.

best backpacking tent

You don’t want to log extra weight on your tired back during long-distance hikes or treks, do you? How could you have really enjoyable trips, especially the long ones with a painful back because of heavy load?

Your tent, thus, should be as light as possible, yet comfortable and strong enough to protect you from unwanted weather conditions because it is your home away home.

How Is Backpacking Tent Like?

Backpacking tents come in various styles, but generally they are light and compact. For this reason, their poles and stakes are quite short and lightweight. Hence, you will find it a little bit inconvenient to move around inside the tent, but in return, it doesn't cost you much effort to carry it, which is a great advantage for hikers.

As the tent has simple design, it doesn't worry you about the installation. There isn’t any kind of tent that can be set up more quickly and easily than backpacking tents. Just several minutes, and the tent will be there ready for use.

Note: Because of its very basic design to lower the weight, backpacking tent doesn’t cater for large groups. Do keep this in mind to have suitable solutions if you go in a large group.

Types of Backpacking Tents

There are several ways to classify backpacking tents. Here I’ll show you the basic ones:

  • Number of wall

Double-wall tents

A double-wall tent consists of two main parts: tent body and a rainfly that make up two layers of the tent to make it waterproof and breathable.

More than that, the tents of this kind are characterized by more than one door and vestibule, so there is more room to store your gear.

​But the comfort trades off the weight. In other words, buying a double-wall tent means logging extra weight on your back as compared to single-wall tents.

Single-wall tents

This type of tent has one layer of fabric that is robust waterproof and usually non-breathable as a result of the efforts to make ever-lighter tents.

People often buy single-wall tents for the set-up ease and light weight as compared to double-wall tent of its same category and size.

But the tent of this kind often has condensation inside and small space for gear storage.

  • Tent seasonality

Three-season tents

This kind of tent is designed for use in the three seasons of spring, summer, and fall. They are characterized by light weight, ability to hold up in rain and wind, and open mesh walls and lots of vents to allow fresh air to flow in and prevent condensation.

Four-season tents

This kind of tent works well in four seasons, but is normally set up in winter only. Their walls are designed without mesh and made of polyester or nylon to minimize heat loss and block strong winds out.

Four-season tents, thus, are heavier than those of the three-season type.​

  • Tent Capacity

Sleeping capacity is another criterion to classify tents in general and backpacking tents in particular. So, we have backpacking tents for one person, two person, three person, etc. But do remember that backpacking tent doesn’t suit a big group because of the matter of weight.

What To Look For in A Backpacking Tent?

Don’t skip this part for it tells you how to choose an ideal backpacking tent. You should put the following factors in account when buying a backpacking tent.

Weight and Packed Size

These are the factors that make backpacking tents different from others. Ideally, the more lightweight and compact the tent is, the more it is preferred for all backpackers desire the tents that makes their steps lighter. That’s definitely true.

Materials: Fabric, poles

A wide range of fabrics are used to make tents these days and each is found with advantages and disadvantages. In fact, the materials have a lot to do with tent durability and weight, so just choose whatever based on your need.




Cotton canvas

Keep you cool in summer and warm in winter

Less prone to condensation



Not waterproof

PVC coated canvas

Slight condensation


Polycotton canvas


Prone to condensation



Do not shrink when wet

Less affected by sunlight

Dry quickly

Poor insulation

Prone to condensation




Poor insulation

Prone to condensation

Affected by sunlight

Poles are bent into an arc shape to build tent structure, so they must be flexible, strong, yet lightweight enough. Among others, aluminium alloys and fibreglass are most used to make tent poles.


Aluminium alloys









Less expensive

More expensive

Tent Sleeping Capacity

It doesn’t make sense to bring a two-person tent for three persons. Even if there are two of you, a two-person tent may not well fit. You don’t want to leave your gear and even dogs outside, do you? So, you’d better mind the number of persons and the space needed for gear or dogs.

As there is no standard on per-person dimensions for tents, you should first identify a close fit based on the two above factors and increase the tent capacity by one person for your comfort, especially if you are big and toss and turn at night very often.

Length Of Tent Floor

Put tent floor length into consideration, or else you will find your head touching one side of the tent and your feet touching the other and have to sleep in a worm shape night through.

Ease of Tent Set-up

Fewer poles make the set-up faster and easier. Color-coded corners and pole clips are of great help in this, too. A pop-up tent even costs you no effort to set up like this.

Mesh that is often found in tent ceiling, doors and windows gives us views of the outside world and especially means a lot to increasing ventilation and reducing condensation inside the tents. If it’s hot and humid, just bring along a tent with lots of meshy spaces.

Reviews Of The Five Best Backpacking Tents in 2017

Here comes the review of every of the five superior tents in the list.

best backpacking tent

Weight: 3.8 pounds

Floor Area: 29

Occupancy: two persons

Number of door: 2

Materials: PU coated nylon, aluminum

The tent is superior thanks to its high-quality materials. With the poles made of aluminum, it is surprisingly strong, yet light. The compression stuff sack makes it an ultra compact tent that all backpackers look for.

What's more, this tent also provides campers with great comfort owing to the head and elbow room throughout it and large space for gear storage thanks to the large side-entry vestibules incorporated with built-in rain gutters.

The ease of set-up and take-down also makes it a much wanted tent. The clips are color-coded to make sure that campers will easily find their match. Especially, the tent is designed in the way that all of its poles can be put up or collapsed at the same time.

The reasonable distance between the rainfly and the tent body is worth mentioning for it means a lot to creating awesome ventilation for the tent. The mesh is nicely and wisely designed to ensure the breathability of the tent and avoid condensation.

However, this two-person tent well fits two average size persons. If you and your partner are big, I’d like to recommend you ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent that I’ll review hereafter.


  • ​Extremely light and compact
  • Easy to put up and take down
  • ​Wind and water resistant
  • ​Good ventilation and no condensation
  • Light, yet strong poles


  • Narrow for 2 persons
  • High price
best backpacking tent

​Weight: 5.1lbs

Floor Area: 38

Occupancy: two persons

Number of doors: 2

Materials: polyester, fiberglass

I love the four-side mesh windows and top vent of the tent. Each of the windows has a flap to let air into or block wind.

There are a net over your head that can hold your mobile phone or iPad for you lying watching movies from and side pockets for you to store small stuff.

The tent is quite roomy for two persons. The set-up and take-down are fast and easy, and you can put everything back into the sack without any stuffing.

Generally speaking, the tent is great for the price.


  • Easy to put up and take down
  • Good ventilation
  • Large space
  • Rainfly included
  • Low price


  • Quite heavy for its size
  • Does not appear to be sturdy in windy condition

best backpacking tent

Weight: 5lbs 9oz

Floor Area: 35 square feet

Occupancy: two persons

Number of door: 2

Materials: Polyester, Fiberglass

This Mountainsmith Morrison 2-Person 3-Season Tent is easy to pitch. As hooks are used instead of loops, you don’t have to put tent poles through loops, which helps save you much time and effort. This, coupled with the color-coded poles and corners makes it easy for anyone to identify tent parts and put them together. This must be of great help to first time campers.

The big mesh that ensures proper airflow in the tent is also what makes this tent worth the money.

However, its main drawbacks lie in the vestibules that are too small to keep dirty shoes, raincoats, etc. and not so good waterproof tent fabric.

I also want to mention here its fiberglass poles that are easy to break and folded a little taller than others that takes up more room than others.


  • Easy to set up
  • Have 2 side doors
  • Good ventilation and little condensation
  • Many internal storage pockets


  • A little bit heavy
  • Poles folded too long
  • Limited vestibule area
  • Poor waterproofness
  • Footprint not included

best backpacking tent

Weight: 8.3 pounds

Floor Area: 49

Occupancy: three persons

Number of door: 1

Materials: polyester , fiberglass

This tent features large air vents which are a great advantage as well as disadvantage.

The vents ensure fresh airflow in the tent and lessen condensation, yet fail to hold in heat and the tent may easily get wet in rain because vent cover isn’t included.

The pole segments are connected together by elastic strings that can break easily, which is really an inconvenience when you set up or take down the tent.

The good point is that the tent fits a queen size air mattress and has some room for shoes, gear, and backpacks.

The tent quality deserves the price, but this tent should be used for occasional camping only. If you are a regular camper, you’d rather buy a better one.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to pack, set up, and take down
  • Good ventilation and little condensation
  • Roomy
  • Very waterproof
  • Low price


  • No vent cover
  • Leaking
  • Fragile poles
best backpacking tent

Weight: 5.1lbs

Floor Area:

Occupancy: three persons

Number of doors: 2

Materials: Oxford fabric, fiberglass

The set-up can be done within a couple of minutes, which is the biggest advantage of this tent.

With Oxford fabric that is thicker than the common fabrics and the poles that are sturdier than many other tents of the same type, Mountaintop Waterproof 3-Season Tent can hold up firmly.

However, the tent is not ideal in rain for it allows water in through the zippers even during light prolonged rain.

This tent is too small for three persons to stay in and too short for adults to fully stretch their body.


  • Being firm and sturdy
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Reasonable price


  • Not roomy
  • Leaking zippers
  • Rainfly with small coverage

My Choice

Among the five good backpacking tents mentioned above, MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent is my choice for the best backpacking tent for it has what I and many other backpackers look for. Being lightweight, compact, yet strong, comfortable, and durable, what else do you look for in a backpacking tent?

Its price, though, is a little bit high, but it really deserves your money.

If you have ever tried any of the five, feel free to share with us. We’d love to listen to your sharing and comments. Don’t forget to share this article with your buddies if you find it useful!

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Callie Moore

I’m Callie Moore, truly and deeply addicted to travel, worldwide cultures, and outdoor activities. I’m on the way of pursuing an adventurous life that enables me to earn the experiences of a lifetime. My blog is the place for those who are looking for inspiration to live a life filled with adventures as well as sincere and useful sharing about travel tips, gear, etc. for fun-packed trips. Just go on board, and we’ll together explore the world in our crazily cool and amazing way!

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