A backpacking tent can either make or break your camping, hiking or traveling. So, if you want to have an excellent experience during such a period, you need to find the right type of tent.
Have you ever wondered how many types of backpacking tents are there in the market? Besides, what are the odds you will find the right kind of shelter at a friendly price?
Indeed, there are numerous types of tents in the market and find the best cheap backpacking tent, undoubtedly a daunting task. That is why we have curated this well-researched review of the best ten backpacking tents. If you plan to buy one, stay on this page.
Short reviews on each product
HIGH PEAK South Col 4 Season Backpacking Tent 3 person 9.7 lbs
The beginning of frustration during camping is usually a tent that is complicated to set up. I bet no one would want to spend most of their time on pitching a tent rather than enjoying the tent.
High Peak South Col 4 has an easy setup design. First, the tent has a free-standing design that allows you to set it up within a few minutes. Second, it comes with clips and rings at the bottom of the pole. These features further to make it easier to install the tent.
The other amazing feature you’ll find in this tent is its stability. The tent performs very well against winds. The main poles are 9.5mm aluminum poles (shock-corded), while the main fly is opening poles are 8.5mm. Aluminum poles are known to be the strongest when it comes to tents. You can use the guy ropes to make the tent further stable.
The tent material is polyester, which performs well against weather elements. The inner tent and the rainfly are made from the breathable ripstop polyester. The rainfly is long, and in addition to the polyester, it is coated with Polyurethane to make water resistant. It can withstand up to 3000 mm water column. Similarly, the floor is of polyester and coated with Polyurethane to resist water (5000 mm).
The two meshed doors have storm flaps and have an inverted U shape, to allow easier access of the tent. The two vestibules created by the rainfly offer an excellent point of storage of gears. Besides, it has four pockets sewn conveniently on the sides act as an exceptional point for storage of smaller stuff.
The tent is excellent for two or three campers, and its light weight makes it best two-person backpacking tent.
Tips: if you want the vestibule to work well, peg the fly down firmly. Besides the tent can be a bit heavy for backpacking, so, you might consider adjusting your loadout in some areas to accommodate any additional weight.
Eureka! Timberline SQ Three-Season Backpacking Tent
Eureka tents remain one of the most classic tents. The uniqueness of Timberline SQ three season tents makes it perform exemplarily during summer, spring and autumn. It is lightweight making it an excellent choice for those who love backpacking, ultra-light hikers and anyone who wants a super lovely sleep.
Undoubtedly, the tent is spacious, offering an interior spacing of 60.8 square foot. This space can comfortably accommodate four people. The height of the tent stands at 4 ft. 9 inches making it a reasonably tall tent.
The setup of the tent is pretty straightforward. The DAC DA17 aluminum alloy poles snap together quickly and confidently. This results in the proprietary SQ Frame design. Such frame design is durable and as well as strong to withstand wind. The ten is an A-frame style.
Another amazing feature you’ll find with this tent is that it is fully covered to protect the interior from adverse weather elements completely. Besides, this coverage creates a sizeable front vestibule, i.e., 15.3 square foot. In the vestibule, you can store most of your gears, including utensils, boots and storing packs among others.
The D-shaped doors make it easier to enter and leave your tent while the large window makes the interior of the tent well lit and ventilated. Further, the tent features a unique vent system that controls airflow into the tent, ensuring that you remain comfortable regardless of the weather condition outside. With this tent, be sure of sufficient ventilation.
The stand stands well against the rain thanks to the rainfly that runs down to the ground. Besides, the outer material is heavier, ensuring more protection.
Tips: to make it lighter, you can pack the ground tarp separately.
Clostnature Lightweight 2-Person Backpacking Tent - 3 Season Tent
You should not compromise on the performance of a tent. Your search should lead you to the best tent. In this case, the Clostnature! This tent performs just as advertised, thanks to its hi-tech specs.
The tent is completely waterproof. That means even with the heavy rains; the tent will still keep the interior completely dry. This is made possible because the tent comes with a durable 210T polyester rain fly and groundsheet that is coated with PU 5000 to make it firmer.
The floor is bathtub style further protecting the interior from water entry. In addition, the seams are factory-sealed, making it a tent for all seasons.
The tent is spacious but lightweight. The interior dimensions are 7’3” x 4’11” x 3’10” making it larger than most 2 person tents. The best part is that it is easy to pack the tent in a bag. Amazingly, the large-sized tent comes at only 5lb 8oz.
You need not have the experience to set up this tent. One person can pitch it in a matter of minutes. The free-standing tent features a two aluminum pole design.
When it comes to ventilation, the Clostnature 3 season tent is sufficiently endowed. The whole interior wall is meshed, allowing free flow of air. Besides, it features 2 D-shaped that besides offering easy entry, they are an excellent ventilation feature.
The tents feature 2 vestibules for entry and exit as well as enough storage space for your luggage and shoes.
The exciting part is when you buy the tent you get a lot of goodies, i.e., a carry bag, a fly sheet, an inner tent, two aluminum poles, 14 aluminum stakes, four ropes, and an emergency repair kit. There is a one year warranty.
Tips: the tent doesn't come with a footprint. You'll need to buy a 5'6x7'6 tarp instead
Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
Like other tents, the Kelty Salida is easy to set up the free-standing tent. It comes with DAC Pressfit poles as well as color-corded clips, and it stands as a two pole design tent. The two aluminum tent poles are easily collapsible
What sets apart this tent from the rest is that it comes with standard features such as the Gear loft loops which other manufacturers will sell to you separately. Besides, the tent has a very minimal weight of only 4.57 pounds, hence an ultralight tent.
The interior of the tent is 30.5 ft² making it spacious enough to hold two people and their luggage. The wall is near vertical, creating enough headroom for taller individuals aside from creating space. Also, the tent has a single vestibule of area 10 ft² creating room for your luggage.
You can easily organize the interior of your tent considering the presence gear loft loops and numerous storage pockets conveniently sewn. These loops are important also if you want to hang wet clothes.
The Salida 2 person tent is created to be completely waterproof. Polyester is the primary tent material. While the wall is made of the 68D Polyester fly and a 40D No-See-Um Meshed interior, the floor features a 68D Nylon that withstands water seepage up to 1800mm.
The rainfly has a dome shape and it perfectly to sit over the inner meshed tent like a second skin. You'll use it when it is raining, or you want the interior of the tent warm. The downside is that it compromises ventilation and natural lighting. If it doesn't rain, you can sleep without your rainfly on.
What makes this tent one of the best is that its construction has a fully taped seam style. This further prevents water entry.
The tent has two D-shaped doors
Tips: This tent is very good quality on affordable price. In the price segment this kelty salida will win.
Campla Tent Camping Outdoors
Are you planning to camp with your partner? Then this is the type of tent to buy. It offers enough floor space for two adults. Its lightweight makes it easier to carry it to the camping site.
Besides, the tent is very easy to set up, plus you'll get a straightforward manual to assist you in setting it up. Insert the shock-corded poles through the sleeves to pitch it. Tearing down the tent is equally comfortable. That means, you can carry, pitch and tear down the tent easily whatever the outdoor activities you are engaging in.
The Campla Tent comes with an inner meshed tent that allows you to view the sky on cool nights. Besides, being meshed is an excellent feature for ventilation. The ventilation is further enhanced by the 2 triangle windows as well as two oppositely placed zippered and meshed doors.
The tent is accompanied by a waterproof rainfly that offers excellent protection against the rain of any intensity and wind, thus offering double protection. When the weather gets bad, snap into place the sturdy flysheet for utmost protection!
The floor designs are bathtub style to protect you against seepage of water. Besides, the stitching is firmly done to act efficiently against any water, trying to enter the tent. A fantastic feature in this tent is an extra floor space which you can convert it into a vestibule where you can store some of your luggage.
Stability of many tents is usually questionable. This tent comes with wind ropes to reinforce its structure. While the tent stakes reinforce the tent's frame making it static at one place.
Moreover, within the tent is a waterproof LED light strip that you can easily and conveniently power using your power bank. But, the power bank is not included.
Tips: remove the tap when you want to have cool day resting and return it when the weather gets gloomy
Kelty Grand Mesa Tent
If you want a tent that will work for you exemplarily backpacking adventure at a pocket-friendly price, the Kelty Grand Mesa 2 person tent is your best option. The tent is durable, considering it is built from a functional material.
This 3 season tent is in a free-standing design making it easy to move around to an ideal place within your camping site. Besides, being lightweight makes it easier to carry it around. It weighs a meager 4 lbs 1 oz / 1.84 kg making an ultra-light tent.
The tent is a simple two-pole design. It is built with compact 7000 shocks corded series of the aluminum poles. The pole set is compact, making it easier to pack.
Note that pitching the tent is very easy and quickly.
The tent has huge color-corded clips on the poles where you can securely, easily and quickly set up your best 2 person backpacking tent. The advantage is that it eliminates the hassle of feeding the poles through the sleeves, which is undoubtedly a cumbersome task.
The aluminum 7000 series poles are known to be strong. Therefore they offer superior strength as well as confer the tent with utmost stability. The guy-out points attached on the fly is helpful for additional stability, especially on a windy day.
The tent's interior spacing it spacious for two people. On top of it, the tent features a single vestibule 6ft square, that can be essential for the storage of your luggage.
All tents strive towards being waterproof, and the Grand Mesa is not an exception. The seams are factory taped to offer maximum protection against weather elements. Additionally, the tent has a perfect fitting polyester rainfly that is also resistant to UV. The fly is fastened to the tent using the straightforward release buckles.
The inner tent covering is made of a no-see-um mesh. The mesh offers excellent ventilation on a hot day. This is essential in keeping condensation to the minimum level. Besides, at night, you can watch the stars from the comfort of your tent.
Tips: if you are not using the vestibule for storage, you can cook in it. However, ensure that the fly is not on.
River Country Products Trekker Tent 2
Among the tents we have reviewed, this is the lightest tent. It has a total weight of the tent is a meager 2 lbs. 12 oz. this weight is the total weight, including aluminum stakes and a carry bag. And the good news is that the tent comes at a price way below under $100. Such features make it the best budget backpacking tent. Every part of this tent is created to be ultra-light.
The tent packs compact, forming a tiny package. The package can be likened to that of a football package. When you place the tent in the bag, much space will remain, and this gives you room to add some other essentials.
Given the lightness of its components, the tent, it is straightforward to set up the tent.
On average, you need about ten minutes.
The tent material is a solid form of nylon that is well put. This guarantees you a longer usage life. Besides, the strength of the nylon allows you to pull it stout without the fear of ripping it apart, while you are pitch your tent.
The tent comes with netted side walls that can help keep away mosquitoes. The netting is vital in giving you the much-needed ventilation, especially on hot days. Both the front and the rear doors have nettings. However, you can curtain back the front door and the front screen separately using two sets of toggles found on the door flaps and screen flaps.
The bottom of the tent features a robust and thick polyester tarp like material while the skeleton of the tent is built of ultra-light aluminum stakes. Remember that all the seams are well stitched. However, if you need better results, you'll have to seam seal all of them.
The tent is roomy for one person and luggage. However, for two people, there will be no room for luggage. The interior of the tent is 7 feet long and over 5 feet wide while the height stands at 42 inches. This is spacious that the majority of the two-person tent.
This tent is meant to be used with trekking poles. These poles are not included in the package, and so you’ll have to buy them separately.
Tips: to reduce condensation keep the doors open. Just let the mesh protect you.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
The backpackers keen to save on their money but maintain the comfort of camping can take a deep look into the MSR Hubba Hubba NX. While many cheap tents will pretend to hold on, and when things get tough, they give away, this tent proves otherwise.
On a general note, this tent is a clever combination of toughness, lightweight material, quality, and utmost comfort.
Any two backpackers intending to camp can have enough space in this tent together with their luggage. Besides, its configuration allows for much headroom, so that you can move your head with comfort.
Essentially, the tent has a floor area of 29 sq. Feet and a peak height of 39 inches. On the other hand, the vestibule is 17.5 square feet, allowing enough space to store your stuff.
With two doors you get a smooth in-and-out motion, the meshed panel allows sufficient ventilation, and if you need some warmth and privacy, then the solid panels work well. The doors are uniquely built to act as rain gutters.
The Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person comes with a highly functional rainfly. If the interior is warmer than required, you can easily roll up the rainfly to allow the meshed parts to let in the breeze of fresh air. Moreover, if you and your partner want to stargaze, roll up the fly.
With this tent, you can choose from 2 available configurations. You can opt for the DuraShield Coating and the DAC Featherlite NFL poles. This set up will give you an average of setup weighs 3 pounds. On the other hand, selecting the Xtreme Shield Waterproof Coating with premium Easton Syclone Poles, you get a more durable tent with an average weight of 3 pounds.
Tips: the poles are straight at first. However, they will keep on bending until as you use them
Eureka! Assault Outfitter Four-Person, Four-Season Backpacking Tent
This is another excellent piece from Eureka. The tent is a free-standing, weatherproof and utilizes three poles. One thing that Eureka put in this tent is functionality.
The four-person tent performs well in all four seasons, thanks to its ultra-sturdy design. The tent mimics the Marine Corps design and therefore has proven potential to withstand blowing sand, driving rain, and the arctic cold.
The tent is weatherproof, and that is why it is called a four season tent. When snowfall or rain falls, the tent is sufficiently prepared to protect you. It comes with a cleverly crafted rainfly that covers the tent fully. The fly is a storm shield with 1500 mm fabric coating to efficiently keep away rain and snow.
Though the rainfly is considered to be associated with condensation, the Outfitter Four-Person tent has two doors, both of them meshed and vents that can be closed and opened as a need to control ventilation. To reduce the moisture, the tent is equipped with a High/Low Air Exchange venting system.
The fantastic part is that this tent is a free-standing design that only uses three poles. How to set up the tent makes the next breathtaking thing about the tent. The tent utilizes the post and grommet assembly design. The pole sleeves are lined with polyester oxford to make them stronger. To install, push your poles through the sleeves.
The tent is described as a lightweight tent because the material that built it is lightweight. For instance, the three DAC poles are very light.
Four individuals can get enough sleeping spaces, with their luggage stuffed in the two vestibules. This tent differs from another backpacking tent for its very surprisingly lovely height. It has a height of 4 feet, 8 inches. Such a height provides adequate headroom for most people.
Tips: you can multi-configure the front vestibule to reduce moisture inside the tent. Besides, you can use as an awning.
Naturehike Cloud-Up 1, 2 and 3 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tent with Footprint
Any backpacker wishing to buy the best backpacking tent under 200, then Naturehike Cloud-Up should not miss on the list.
The most noticeable thing with this tent is its lightweight. The tent packs compact with a weight of 3.5, 3.75 and 4.9 lbs. for the 1, 2 and 3 person tents respectively. This weight encompasses mass for all accessories.
Taking a critical look at the Naturehike Cloud-Up 2 person tent, you’ll notice how spacious the tent is. It has internal dimensions of 83(L) by 50(W) by 40(H) inches. Besides, it has an extended vestibule 24 inches long.
The functional size of this tent is, however, not appealing. The tent only fits 2 small or medium sized individuals. For more significant people, only one person fits comfortable.
Like the majority of tents, this is a double wall tent. However, it has a unique design where it utilizes an interlocking 1.5 y-pole configuration. This interlocking pole gives a single pole crossing with an advantage of saving on the weight as compared to other similar tents.
Such a design doesn't compromise on the durability as well as the stability of the tent. To make it more stable, you’ll need to utilize the guy-lines if you have pitched your tent on a windy day or season. Note the poles are made of king standards 7001 aluminum poles. The lower side of this tent is that it is vulnerable to side-on winds.
The interior tent is crafted from highly breathable mesh that is extremely light. Such mesh is excellent for ventilation and preventing the entry of bugs. The floor features a bathtub design style, whose nylon material (4000mm) is coated with Add 20D silicone.
Note that the floor is lightweight, so you’ll need to purchase a footprint to reinforce its strength. In essence, the floor is prone to punctures and tears.
The flysheet has similar properties to the floor material, and in addition, it has a double stitched as well as a sealed seam. The best part is that it has convenient guy-line attachment points.
Tips: properly secure the guy-lines on a windy day to retain the integrity of the tent.
Buyers Guide Of Best Cheap Backpacking Tent
When you buy a tent, you expect to get the most of it. It should give you the best protection and comfort. I bet you've heard about tent terms such as vestibules gear lofts, free-standing tents, partitions, vents, and all-season tent among other terms.
Have you ever taken the time to look at what these terms mean? If you'd know the details of such terms, then it would be easier for you to select the tents. However, you need not worry about that. We have listed the most important features you have to consider when you buy a tent.
Weight of the tent
The weight of your tent determines the type of camping you'll partake. In most cases, lightweight tents are excellent for bike camping or backpacking. Specific models come with their specific features which might or might not meet your standard.
A light eight tent can perform as well as a massive tent. The significant difference between them is the size. However, small sized tents might be missing some features present in the larger counterparts.
Also, consider the fact that there are free-standing and none free-standing types of these tents.
Bottom line is if you’ll be carrying your tent on the back, settle on an ultra-light tent.
Consider the weather
As it pertains to weather, you can get a 2, 3, or 4 season tent. If you plan to camp in winter, you better get a 4 season tent. Such tents are uniquely built to withstand the harsh conditions such as snowfall, strong winds, and constant rains.
If you plan to camp in summer, you can probably use a 2 or 3 season tent. In such weather, you'll need just a tent to protect you from the sun and should have sufficient ventilation to keep the interior fresh. That means you should buy a tent that has a meshed interior.
Does the tent fit in your backpack perfectly? Much as you put the weight of the tent first, consider how the tent packs. Modern tents can pack compact thanks to their compressible poles.
Ensure that the tent fits in your backpack or at least can strap to the outside correctly.
It is excellent to practice packing your tent either in a single bag or to distribute the weight in many packs.
It is tricky to know how durable a tent is unless you've tried it. The other way is to do an in-depth research. The easiest way out is to read reviews about a particular tent. Different people will give different reviews based on their personal experience.
Besides, the materials that make the tent determine their durability. Aluminum poles and polyester covers make one of the best combinations.
Ease of setting up
You’ll only know how easy it is to pitch your tent if you itch first. So, you need to pitch it up before you purchase.
Size of the tent
The number of people to use the tent dictates the size. A backpacking tent is good for 2 people. You have to check the dimension, however.
For anyone intending to go camping, the bottom line is you need a product that will protect you. For backpacking, you need a lightweight tent but if you plant to go for car camping, you any tent can do.
Also, your tent needs to have a rainfly that is large enough to cover your tent. Remember, the rainfly acts as your tents umbrella. Besides, the seams of your tent must be double stitched and inverted to prevent the entry of water. Still, some are factory sealed.
If you want to keep water away, also consider the floor. A tub like a floor can be an excellent choice for your tent. Both the rainfly and floor should be made of waterproof material.
Maintaining your tent should be a paramount consideration. Avoid any foods within the tent. Food might attract rodents, which will gnaw the tent. So, clean your tent after eating. It is essential to have a separate screen room where you can store the extra food or leftovers.
If your tent has ground tarps, it is good practice to use it because this structure is built to withstand the toughness of stones and sticks found on the ground. It will make your tent last longer.
And before you store your tent after camping, wash it and air it out before packing it.
FAQs Of Best Budget Backpacking Tent
What is the importance of a seam seal on a tent?
Majority of tents being produced currently have their seam sealed as opposed to factory seam taping. The seal sealed tent offers maximum protection against water. This is because they are stitched with precision, ensuring that no water will enter your tent, hence giving an ultra-long lasting solution.
How should I store my tent?
After camping you should clean your tent. in that case, never pack the tent when it is wet, damp or even dirty. If you expose your tent for long to moisture, it will undergo hydrolysis, causing the breakage of the waterproofing material.
Always store your tent in a cool and dry place.
What happens in case a pole breaks?
You’ll have to repair it. That means you should be carrying your tape every trip you take. Besides, some tents come with a pole repair sleeve. In case of breakage, slide the sleeve over the broken section and firmly tape it.
How do tents get mildew?
Tents get mildews if they are stored while moist. The wetness encourages the growth of fungi, especially in warm weather. Mildew can grow on your tent in as less as 24 hours. The dangers of mildew are that it can permanently destroy the waterproofing material of your tent.
What is a water tent?
A waterproof tent is simply a tent that is totally impermeable to water. This is achieved because such tents have external fabrics that are coated with polyurethane material, and its seams are factory taped.
Conclusion: It is no longer a difficult task for you to spot the best cheap backpacking tent. This simplified guide outlines what you should look for while buying the tents. Besides, it outlines the best ten tents for you to consider.
A critical look at these tents will show how exhilarating a journey of finding the right tent can be. For a fact, your money should not go to waste. Whatever tent you spent money on must be able to give you the service you require.
On your part, you have to take great care about your tent if you want it to last longer. A simple practice of proper cleaning, proper drying, and proper storage can make your tent last longer. Note that where and how you pitch your tent matters a big deal. Avoid areas with sharp objects as they can pierce and cause small tears on your tent.
Always be on the lookout on more information about tents. Staying informed will make you have the best experience whether you plan backpacking or car camping. So, whatever budget you are working on, be sure you can find the best tent.