Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Backpacking Tent - 2021

Last updated on April 20, 2021

We looked at the top 7 Backpacking Tents and dug through the reviews from 17 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Backpacking Tents.

Best Backpacking Tent

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Backpacking Tents

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Person Backpacking Tent

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

ALPS Mountaineering

Lynx 1 Person Backpacking Tent

Overall Take

Built-in Ground ClothThe ground cloth on this tent ensures you're protected from all directions.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Outdoor Meta and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" This tent has a built in tarp and ground cloth that keeps you warm during the cold weather. It has 3 mesh sides for good ventilation."
Cons
"It is a bit heavy for true backpackers."
  Lightweight Pick

Clostnature 3 Season Lightweight Backpacking Tent

Clostnature

3 Season Lightweight Backpacking Tent

Overall Take

Ultra-Light DesignWeighing only 3.7 pounds, this tent will give you plenty of space without being difficult to carry.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Family Enthusiast, Project Camping. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The tent is lightweight, easy setup and fashioned from 210T polyester with waterproof coating."
Cons
"There is only one entrance and it doesn't have a footprint."
  Built for Two

Kelty Salida 2 Person Camping and Backpacking Tent

Kelty

Salida 2 Person Camping and Backpacking Tent

Overall Take

2-Person TentWith enough space for two people to sleep comfortably, this is a great tent for your camping trips with a friend or significant other.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Outdoor Gear Lab, Mountains for Everybody, TakeOutdoors, Heavy. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" It's inexpensive and easy to set up. It also offers enough space for two people to sleep comfortably."
Cons
"It has only one door and has small mesh pockets."
  Simple Build

Drop + Dan Durston X-Mid Double Walled Backpacking Tent

Drop

+ Dan Durston X-Mid Double Walled Backpacking Tent

Overall Take

Pole ShelterThis shelter sets up using just a couple of trekking poles to keep things simple.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Adventure Alan. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" What sets it aside from the competition is a winning combination of low cost, low weight, a ton of livable area and great condensation control."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
14

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the backpacking tents available to purchase.
7

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

17

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: BestReviews, Outdoor Meta, Adventure Alan, Hood MWR, Project Camping.

11,642

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 7 Backpacking Tents and also dug through the reviews from 17 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Backpacking Tents.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Person Backpacking Tent


Our Expert Score

10.0
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.4
2,699 user reviews

Our Take

This tent gives you everything you need to stay comfortable and dry when you're camping out, including a built-in tarp and ground cloth to keep the interior insulated. The material resists water and UV damage, and mesh on all three sides provides ventilation. Easy setup will ensure you can spend more time enjoying the great outdoors.

What other experts liked

This tent has a built in tarp and ground cloth that keeps you warm during the cold weather. It has 3 mesh sides for good ventilation.
- BestReviews
This tent is the best freestanding solo tent you will find for less than $100. It gives you great head room and plenty of space between the loft and vestibule.
- Territory Supply
This tent is both durable and easy to set up. It's made of polyester fabric, allowing it to be waterproof and resistant to UV damage. It has two storage pockets and two extra vestibules.
- Z7 Premium
It is easy to set up, good value for your money and has an ALPS mountaineering level of quality
- Outdoor Meta

What other experts didn't like

This tent is not great for tall people and has some performance problems with the sealing on the end of the rain flap.
- BestReviews
It is a bit heavy for true backpackers.
- Outdoor Meta

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Clostnature 3 Season Lightweight Backpacking Tent

Our Expert Score

8.1
3 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
1,142 user reviews

Our Take

Easy setup makes this tent stand out, requiring only one person to get it ready. The material is 210T polyester with waterproof coating to keep you dry and comfortable even in bad weather. The interior walls are made from mesh for great ventilation, and you'll get a D-shaped door for easy entry and exit.

What other experts liked

The tent is lightweight, easy setup and fashioned from 210T polyester with waterproof coating.
- BestReviews
This tent has a 35 foot floor space with a two doored design. It weighs 5.4 pounds and uses a full mesh interior to improve ventilation.
- Family Enthusiast
Pitching this tent takes a total of 2 minutes. The entire roof of the tent can be removed as well as it being lightweight.
- Project Camping

What other experts didn't like

This tent isn't a great choice for winter camping.
- BestReviews
There is only one entrance and it doesn't have a footprint.
- Project Camping

Overall Product Rankings

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Person Backpacking Tent

1. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Person Backpacking Tent

Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 6

Clostnature 3 Season Lightweight Backpacking Tent

2. Clostnature 3 Season Lightweight Backpacking Tent

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 4

Kelty Salida 2 Person Camping and Backpacking Tent

3. Kelty Salida 2 Person Camping and Backpacking Tent

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 7

Drop + Dan Durston X-Mid Double Walled Backpacking Tent

4. Drop + Dan Durston X-Mid Double Walled Backpacking Tent

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 3

GEERTOP 4 Season Backpacking Tent, 2 Person

5. GEERTOP 4 Season Backpacking Tent, 2 Person

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 2

Bessport 2 & 3 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

7. Bessport 2 & 3 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

Overall Score: 7.1
Reviews Included: 3

Our Backpacking Tent Findings


ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Person Backpacking Tent

What We Liked: This tent gives you everything you need to stay comfortable and dry when you’re camping out, including a built-in tarp and ground cloth to keep the interior insulated. The material resists water and UV damage, and mesh on all three sides provides ventilation. Easy setup will ensure you can spend more time enjoying the great outdoors.


Clostnature 3 Season Lightweight Backpacking Tent

What We Liked: Easy setup makes this tent stand out, requiring only one person to get it ready. The material is 210T polyester with waterproof coating to keep you dry and comfortable even in bad weather. The interior walls are made from mesh for great ventilation, and you’ll get a D-shaped door for easy entry and exit.


Kelty Salida 2 Person Camping and Backpacking Tent

What We Liked: With folding poles, this tent is not only backpack friendly, but it’s easy to set up. The material is polyester with mesh and a nylon floor. The interior pockets will give you a way to handily store items like toiletries and camping supplies.


Drop + Dan Durston X-Mid Double Walled Backpacking Tent

What We Liked: You’ll get plenty of space for sleeping and relaxing in this pole shelter, which can be supported by the same trekking poles you’re using for hiking. This simple design means you can save space in your backpack while still ensuring you have a place to sleep at night. Setup is a breeze, thanks to a design that lets you just insert the poles into the grommet and adjust until it’s taut.


Night Cat Lightweight Waterproof Backpacking Tent, 1 & 2 Person

What We Liked: Available in five different colors, this tent weighs only 4.4 pounds and measures only 16.5 inches by 4.7 inches. 210D waterproof fabric and waterproof tape on every seam ensures it keeps water away. You’ll also get pegs and guy lines that keep it in place even on a windy day.

Our Backpacking Tent Buying Guide

If you enjoy backpacking, you know the value of being able to pitch a tent at the end of a long day of hiking. But the problem with backpacking is that you have to carry your tent to the campsite.

Luckily, there are plenty of tents that are built with backpackers in mind. These lightweight tents are designed to be both durable and easily portable. If you’re buying a tent to use on your backpacking trips, it’s important to search for one with a lightweight, compact design. But you also won’t want to sacrifice usefulness.

With many backpack-geared tents, you’ll find that the tent poles fold down. Some will even use your own trekking poles to hold the material in place. That means you’ll have the poles to use during the day.

The weight of the material itself comes into play. Some is more lightweight than others, and lighter-weight material won’t take up much room in your backpack. But if you’re going for a lightweight design, make sure it’s durable enough to hold up if conditions turn windy or rainy. Many backpacking tents are built with materials that resist water.

Another consideration is size. If you’re backpacking alone, you can find tents that sleep one person. Even if you’re backpacking with a buddy, though, you may each want to pack separate one-person tents. You can find tents that sleep more people if you want more room or you’re traveling with your family.

Most tents are rated for three seasons: spring, summer and fall. You can go on overnight backpacking trips in the winter, especially if you live in an area where winters are mild. But many tents aren’t built to keep the interior warm in extremely cold conditions. Bringing items like thicker sleeping pads may load you down too much to make it worth it to backpack during the chillier months.

DWYM Fun Fact

In the early 1990s, German hikers stumbled upon a discovery that made humans rethink the origins of backpacking. The hikers discovered a partially buried body on the Austria-Italy border. The body was found to have been in the location for 5,300 years. But the real surprise was that he was found with a backpack made from larch tree materials and leather. Researchers found traces of grain inside the backpack, which indicated the man didn’t live in the area and had possibly traveled there to find food. Historians believe that these primitive backpacks may have been used by early hominids on long trips taken to gather food.

The Backpacking Tent Tips and Advice

  • Before buying a tent, consider the size of the pack you’ll be carrying, along with the other supplies you’ll be taking along with you. You’ll want to make sure you have enough room for everything.
  • Even if a tent is made from water-resistant materials, make sure there aren’t cracks and crevices that might let water in. You could find that you’re getting moisture from a corner or doorway.
  • Ventilation can come in handy when the weather is warmer. Many backpacking tents are built with mesh walls so that you can let air flow through the tent without having to fight off bugs.
  • Having coverage is important when you’re camping, but also consider the floor of the tent. If you’re sleeping on the ground, you may find that doesn’t work so well after a strong rain. Some tents come with flooring built-in so that you’re protected from all directions.
  • The poles can often take up the most room in a backpack. Look for collapsible poles designed to be space savers. You may also find tents that will let you use your trekking poles as tent poles to save space.
  • You can backpack on your own, but it’s usually safer to have a buddy along. Either way, usually you’ll each want to pack your own tent.
  • There are different types of backpacking trips. Typically, if you’re buying backpacking tents, they’re geared toward short trips, such as those that have you sleeping in a tent only one or two nights. If you’re going on an extended backpacking trip, consider choosing a top-of-the-line tent that will get you through multiple nights.
  • If you’re new to hiking, you can find guidebooks specific to hiking in an area that will help you navigate the trails. An app that will work offline can also be a great option. Just keep in mind you probably won’t have cellphone reception once you get deep into a trail. Make sure your app will work without that connection before you leave home.
  • There’s a reason summer is a popular time for backpacking. The weather in the summer is typically a little more predictable and the daylight hours are longer, helping you travel a farther distance. Still, if you live in an area where temperatures are dangerously hot in the summertime, you may want to save your backpacking trips for early fall or late spring.
  • If you’re new to backpacking, it’s a good idea to load your backpack up and take it on a test run at a local park or campground before you commit to a long-term trip. This will give you a feel for just how much you can weigh your backpack down before it fatigues you. It may take an hour or two of walking with the backpack in place for you to truly get an idea of how it will feel over the long haul.
  • For sleeping, you’ll need something that gives you cushioning without weighing you down. Sleeping pads are the go-to product for that. You can find insulated ones that will protect you from the ground temperature, but pay close attention to the weight. Your sleeping pad will likely be one of the heaviest items in your pack.
  • Also keep in mind that you’ll need clothes to wear throughout your backpacking trip. Many backpackers opt to dress in layers so that they can remove items as conditions merit it. But extended backpacking trips can require more changes of clothing, which will quickly consume the limited space in your backpack.
  • It’s important to start loading up your backpack well in advance of your trip. That will help you identify things that you might be missing. You can find printable checklists online that will help you see exactly what you need.

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous blogs. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written content for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011. In addition to her online content, she is also the author of eight novels for Simon & Schuster, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series.