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If you’re just starting out with a backpacking hobby, one of the first things you’ll need to purchase is a lightweight tent. Having the right tent can make or break your trip (and break your back in the process!) so this guide will help give you an understanding of all the factors involved when picking a backpacking tent.

The most important factors to consider when wondering how to choose a tent when backpacking on a budget include:

1. The weight of the tent

Consider weight when choosing a budget backpacking tent

Keeping the weight of your pack low is important if you are walking long distances each day or taking the tent camping.  Even though you might think a few ounces might not make a difference, it can add up over the course of a few days or weeks of backpacking. This is why so many ultralight backpackers are picky over every last ounce.

For most backpackers, the tent that you choose will be one of the heaviest items they are carrying, with the others being the backpack itself and a sleeping bag.  If you can shave off a few ounces on the weight of your tent, you will find it easier to walk long distances and you will enjoy your time backpacking much more.

2. The type of materials used

The materials used to make a backpacking tent are important as they will determine how durable, lightweight and waterproof the tent is.  When you are looking at backpacking tents, you will often see the material descriptions like:  20D x 200T ripstop nylon 2000mm Durashield™ polyurethane & silicone.  This is clearly confusing for a person who is wondering how to choose a tent for backpacking for the first time!  Let’s break this down into each component:

  • “20D” is this tent’s Denier rating
    The denier rating is used to describe the thickness and durability of material.  It represents the thickness of each fibre within the fabric.  1 denier is about the thickness of a silk strand, so a 20D fabric has strands that are as thick as 20 strands of silk woven together.  Fabrics that have a higher denier rating will be thicker and more water resistance as water droplets will find it harder to push through.
  • 200T” is the thread count
    The thread count is the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch.  The higher the thread count, the softer and more pliable the material is.  The materials used to make tents will have a denier and thread count that provides the most durability, pliability, and water resistance.
  • “2000mm Durashield™ polyurethane & silicone” is the fabric’s coating
    The last component refers to the water-resistant coating that is applied to the tent’s materials.  In this case, it is a 2000mm thick coating that consists of polyurethane and silicone.  In most cases, a thicker coating will result in a more waterproof tent.  Durashield™ is a brand name for the coating that is applied to the tent.

When looking at each tent, remember to compare the denier, thread count, and coating thickness to determine how water-resistant and durable it is.

3. Interior space

Interior Space is a consideration when buying a backpacking tent

Most lightweight backpacking tents are intentionally designed to be on the smaller side.  However, they always should provide enough room for you to comfortably stretch out and to store your backpack inside the tent.

It is common for 1-person backpacking tents to have an unusual shape that provides you with sleeping space and vestibules for placing your backpack.  This is done to minimize the size of the tent when it is folded up. 

One important consideration to keep in mind when comparing the size of tents is the maximum height.  Make sure you choose a backpacking tent that you can sit in cross-legged without your head hitting the ceiling.

4. Season rating’s for backpacking tents

Modern tents often provide a season rating, which refers to how many seasons the tent can be used outdoors.  The most common season rating for a budget backpacking tent is 3, which means the tent can be used in Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

Check the season rating when choosing a backpacking tent

Ultralight or lightweight backpacking tents usually have a 3 season rating because they are designed to be low weight, which often means they are made from thinner materials.  This reduces the amount of protection that you would have in colder climates.  You can find 4 season backpacking tents, but they will usually be on the heavier side.

5. Protection from the elements

Tents will never provide as much protection from the elements as staying indoors, but they should at the very least keep you dry and provide some shade.  Even a typical backpacking tent will be water-resistant, but the level of water resistance they provide can vary.

The best modern backpacking tents will have a polyurethane hydrophobic coating on the tent’s exterior.  However, the thickness of the coating can vary and will usually be between 2000mm and 5000mm. 

If you are concerned about water entering the tent, choose a backpacking tent with a thicker coating.  Also, look for a tent with a “bathtub” floor.  This kind of floor goes above the ground and covers the bottom of the tent, providing protection from water that might penetrate the sides of the tent.

Another important consideration is UV protection.  Some cheap tents use material so thin that UV light can penetrate, causing you to get sunburned even when you are sitting in your tent all day!  High-quality tents usually use thicker materials with a higher thread count, which reduces the amount of light entering the tent.

Finally, think about the creepy crawlies.  Does the tent have fly screens on any windows?  Most high-quality backpacking tents will have two layers, an inner mesh layer, surrounded by a waterproof layer to keep you dry.  If you are visiting a region known for its mosquitos, make sure you choose a backpacking tent that has excellent bug-proofing.

6. Size of the tent when packed

When you are backpacking you will find yourself taking your backpack into many different environments.  You may find yourself hiking for long periods, using public transport, or trying to fit your backpack into a locker for temporary storage.

It is much easier to handle your backpack if it is smaller in size.  This means that having a tent that collapses into a small package when packed can be very advantageous.  Most of the best backpacking tents will indicate the packed size in their description, so keep this factor in mind when comparing tents.

7. Price of backpacking tent

Most people go backpacking for two reasons — they have the freedom to choose where they travel and it is a cheaper way to travel.  If you are backpacking because it is cheaper, then your budget will be a big factor when deciding how to choose a tent.

Fortunately, it is possible to get a budget backpacking tent that is still very high quality.  Saving money on your tent will give you room in the budget to buy a great pair of hiking boots or some high-quality clothes that will survive life on the road.

8. Tent pitching time

If you are often on the move while backpacking, you may find yourself setting up and packing your tent every day.  This can eventually become tiresome if your tent has a complicated pitching process.  Look for a lightweight backpacking tent that only has a small number of components and can be pitched in a matter of minutes.

9. The functionality of the tent

The best backpacking tents will usually have useful functionality like interior pockets, rain flies, and even LED lights.  Compare the additional functionality that each tent offers and have a think about what you would use on a tent.

10. Durability and strength of the tent

The durability of a tent really comes down to the quality of its materials and the construction techniques that are used.  In addition to the fabric used to make the tent, you should consider the types of zippers and fasteners used. 

The quality of the tent pegs and poles can also be an important factor, as low-quality parts will bend or break more easily.  In terms of construction, look for tents that feature double or triple stitching as they will have much stronger seams.

11. Interior capacity

One person backpacking tent

Should you get a one or two-person tent?  Even if you are the only person using the tent, you might enjoy having a little extra room available to move around or store your things. 

Most 2 person backpacking tents are only a pound heavier than a 1 person backpacking tent, so there isn’t much difference in terms of weight.  Additionally, you never know when you might meet someone who wants to share your tent!

12. Wall construction

When exploring how to choose the best budget backpacking tent, be sure to look for one that is double walled.  This kind of tent has an inner mesh shell surrounded by a rainfly.  Having these two layers separated creates a moisture barrier that will keep you dry in wet weather.

13. The number of doors

If you are going for a two-person tent, consider getting one with 2 doors and 2 vestibules.  This will make it easier to get into and out of the tent, and each person will have their own section for storing their backpack.

14. Footprints

The floor must be the most durable part of a backpacking tent as it is constantly stepped on and often sits on sharp objects.  That’s the reason why the best backpacking tents have thicker material on the floor.  The floor also needs to have stronger waterproofing as it is often exposed to water for long periods.

Some backpacking tents will come with a footprint.  It is an additional piece of plastic that covers the bottom of the tent to protect it.  If you think your tent will be used in locations with rough terrain, choose a backpacking tent with a footprint.


We hope this was helpful! The good news is that we’ve done the work to figure out the best backpacking tent, taking all of the above considerations into account. If you’re in the market for backpacking tents, be sure to check out our recommendations for the best backpacking tents.

Although freeze dried food is the light-weight way to build your hiking menu, any seasoned backpacker will be familiar with the struggle to find a tasty option. To save you the trial and error, we’ve gathered a ranked list of the best freeze dried meals from the backpacking community, plus some expert tips to take your meals to the next level.

1. Chicken & Dumplings by Mountain House

Mountain House makes some of the best freeze dried meals in the backpacking industry. The company was founded in 1969, is readily available in backpacking supply stores, and has a loyal following. The long shelf life of Mountain House (30 years!) also makes their freeze dried meals popular among survivalists looking to stock their emergency kits.

The Chicken and Dumplings meal is one of the best Mountain House meals according to backpackers and even has 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. I think the flavor is closer to a chicken pot pie than to traditional chicken and dumplings, but either way, it’s delicious comfort food on the trail!

Recipe Tip: Be sure to add enough boiling water, seal the bag while it soaks, and wait a little longer than the recommended time so that the dumplings get nice and soft. To bring this meal to the next level, sprinkle on some French’s Crispy Onions to add crunch and extra flavor.

Mountain House is the most popular brand in freeze dried backpacking meals
Get it on Amazon

2. Beef Stroganoff with Noodles by Mountain House

It’s difficult to find freeze dried backpacking meals that taste like their original, but the Beef Stroganoff from Mountain House comes close. Even as new freeze dried food comes onto the market, this classic is on solid rotation for many backpacking menus.

Recipe Tip: As is the case with many of the best Mountain House meal recipes, let this one soak for at least 5 minutes more than the recommended time to make sure the noodles can fully rehydrate.

Get it on Amazon

3. Vegetarian Thai Curry by Good to Go

Made by a fellow backpacker out of Maine, Good to Go makes some of the best freeze dried food in the industry because of their commitment to locally-sourced, healthy ingredients. The healthy freeze dried meals are more expensive than other options, but if you’re focused on sustainable backpacking, the extra cost is worth it.

The vegetarian freeze dried Thai Curry meal is the most popular meal from Good to Go, both for its flavor and texture. It rehydrates beautifully and comes very close to what you’d make at home. One packet of Good to Go has less protein compared to the best Mountain House meals, so you can double the portions if you tend to get ravenous at the end of the day, or add a scoop of freeze dried chicken if you’re not a vegetarian.

GoodtoGo - a new freeze-dried backpacking meal company focusing on local ingredients

Get it on Amazon

4. Louisiana Red Beans & Rice by Backpacker’s Pantry

Backpacker’s Pantry is another industry leader in freeze dried backpacking meals. Their food tends to be less expensive compared to other options. The best Backpacker’s Pantry meal is their Louisiana Red Beans recipe, probably since beans and rice are the easiest base ingredients to rehydrate and make the best freeze dried meals for backpacking. Not only is it a delicious blend, it’s also one of the best freeze dried vegan meals!

Recipe Tip: My pro-tip is to add a little less water than the recipe calls for, check it half-way through, and let it soak for up to 10 minutes longer than the suggested time. Otherwise, you run the risk that the beans won’t fully rehydrate.


Get it on Amazon

5. Lasagna with Meat Sauce by Mountain House

Lasagna is great comfort food after a day hiking in the great outdoors, and the lasagna recipe from Mountain House is the go-to for many people in the backpacking community. The result is pretty close to the taste and consistency of a deconstructed lasagna. 

Get it on Amazon

6. Vegetarian Mexican Quinoa Bowl by Good to Go

This flavorful vegetarian freeze dried Mexican Quinoa Bowl is packed with plenty of protein thanks to the generous amount of quinoa and black beans. With cumin, chile, and Mexican mole in the mix, it has a more interesting flavor profile compared to typical freeze dried backpacking meals, which are usually on the bland side to appeal to the masses. And the Good to Go company focuses on local and sustainable ingredients, which makes it a winner in our book.

Get it on Amazon

7. Spicy Southwest-Style Skillet by Mountain House

This gluten-free Southwest Skillet Mountain House food packet has potatoes, shredded beef, black beans, green chilies, and veggies. It’s has a wonderful flavor but is the spiciest recipe that Mountain House offers so proceed at your own risk.

Recipe Tip: To make a balanced meal and take the edge off some of the heat, we like topping the Southwest Skillet with shredded cheese and wrapping it in a tortilla.

Get it on Amazon

8. Three Sisters Stew by Backpacker’s Pantry

Packed with rice, black beans, and quinoa, this stew is one of the best freeze dried vegan meals from Backpacker’s Pantry. It’s a hearty, tasty meal after a day in the wilderness–  perfect if you’re looking for something that will appeal to all taste buds.

Get it on the Backpacker’s Pantry Website

9. Creamy Macaroni & Cheese by Mountain House (Vegetarian)

It’s Mac & Cheese, no frills here, just no-fuss comfort food. What makes this one of the best Mountain House meals is the fact that it tastes exactly as you’d expect at home. 

Recipe Tip: In our experience, the recommended serving of water can result in a soupy consistency. Add a bit less than you think and check it half-way. This basic Mac & Cheese is an excellent candidate for adding mix-ins, like bacon cubes, French’s Crispy Onions, dehydrated meat, or dehydrated broccoli.

Get it on Amazon

10. Chicken Pesto Pasta by Peak Refuel

Peak Refuel offers a lot of alternatives to Moutain House if you’re looking to mix up your backpacking menu. This Pesto Pasta is their most popular meal featuring ziti noodles, chicken, and a creamy pesto sauce.

The flavor is amazing and comes close to restaurant taste, actually. Our one gripe with Peak Refuel is that it has a shorter life (4 years) compared with Mountain House’s 30-year shelf life, but if you’re buying for an upcoming trip, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Recipe Tip: Be sure to soak the meal long enough in boiling water so that the chicken and noodles become fully rehydrated.

Get it on Amazon

Runners Up:

Chili Mac with Beef by Mountain House

The taste of this Chili Mac exceeded our expectations. However, some others in the backpacking community have warned that they had some, so to speak, lingering effects after eating this meal, so it’s best enjoyed as a solo backpacker in the summer when you can air out your tent!

Recipe Tip: You should definitely let this one soak for longer than the recommended time, otherwise the meat might end up with a chewy consistency, which means the freeze dried pieces haven’t fully rehydrated yet.

Get it on Amazon

Chicken Teriyaki by Mountain House

A well-rounded mix of green peas, carrots, peppers, and onions, this Chicken Teriyaki has a great flavor.  If you can get the consistency right, it’s nice comfort food on the trail!

Recipe Tip: Be sure that you mix it with boiling water and let it soak for the full time. Otherwise, the rice has a hard time rehydrating, and you might end up with a soupy consistency.

Get it on Amazon

Pasta Primavera by Mountain House

A great vegetarian freeze-dried meal, this Pasta Primavera recipe has spiral macaroni in a parmesan cheese sauce, along with zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, red & yellow peppers, and green peas. We are always pleasantly surprised at the flavor and the consistency of the cheese sauce. Our one complaint is that there is a lot more pasta compared to the ratio of vegetables, but the overall flavor is delicious.

Recipe Tip: If you’re not following a vegetarian diet, you could add a scoop of Auguson’s Farms freeze dried chicken to round out the meal.

Get it on Amazon

Yellow Curry by Mountain House

Yellow curry with vegetables and chicken always hits the spot after a long day on the trail. It’s a good option if you’re after a little more kick. It’s not too spicy but it has a robust flavor. It’s also a gluten-free recipe.

Recipe Tip: Based on our previous experience with Mountain House, we ended up adding more water than the recipe called for, and ended with more of a soup. It was still delicious though! For this recipe, we recommend following the directions for the water amount. This one is also a great contender if you want to add additional dehydrated vegetables to stretch the meal further.

Get it on Amazon

Breakfast Skillet by Mountain House

Once one of the best Mountain House meals, the Breakfast Skillet recipe has been recently revamped, and the jury is still out on whether it’s an improvement or not. The new recipe has less fat, but also a smaller portion than before.

Loyalists claim that the new one isn’t as good as the former recipe, but most still agree that it’s still one of the best freeze dried meals for backpacking. Good for more than just breakfast, this one contains shredded Potatoes mixed with scrambled eggs, pork sausage, peppers, and onions. 

Get it on Amazon

Recipe Hacks for the Best Freeze Dried Meals

Take your freeze-dried meals to the next level

Take your freeze-dried food to the next level

To bring your packaged dehydrated meals to the next level, we’ve identified some of the best add-ons that make your food feel more special than just eating out of a bag. Add a portion of these mix-ins to your backpack so that you have them on-hand at meal time. Our favorite recipe hack add-ons are:

  1. French’s Crispy Fried Onions – Instant yumminess that can pretty much be added to any savory backpacking meal. The crunchy, salty, caramelized flavor of crispy fried onions can save a mushy meal and makes each bite better.
  2. Crushed, Roasted Nuts – As a high-nutrition add-on, nuts provide a great crunch when sprinkled over a backpacking meal. Peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts would work.
  3. Sesame Seeds – Sesame seeds are an easy way to add a nice texture to curries and noodle dishes. A little goes a long way to spice up your backpacking food along the trail.
  4. Shredded Cheese – Sometimes you just need a little real cheese to add extra yumminess to a freeze dried meal. You can add parmesan cheese to pastas or cheddar cheese to stews.
  5. Chili Flakes – if you’re looking to add a little heat, chili flakes can be used in almost any style of dish, whether it’s mac & cheese, chicken & dumplings, or a curry dish. Most of the best freeze dried meals are made to appeal to the average palate, so they are usually mildly flavored. If you want a little more heat in your meal, bring some chili flakes on the trail.
  6. Freeze dried Chicken – If you want to add some protein, most freeze dried meals can be elevated by adding a scoop of freeze dried chicken. Auguson Farms has a bulk pack that you can bring on your trip and add to meals as you like.

The Best Freeze Dried Food Companies

the best freeze dried meals for backpacking

Mountain House and Backpacker’s Pantry have been the leaders in dehydrated backpacking food, but there are many new companies on the market that offer amazing options. Some of them are focused on Paleo, no-carb, or vegan freeze dried meals. While we haven’t been able to try all of these yet, we are hearing good things in the community and they are definitely worth a shot!

  • Mountain House – Founded in 1969, the company was created to sell military-style freeze dried food to the outdoors community. They can be found in most outdoors-supply shops and thanks to their constant innovation, they’ve remained the industry leader. Famous for the extra-long shelf life, Mountain House is also popular for people stocking emergency food supplies.
  • Backpacker’s Pantry – Another industry leader, Backpacker’s Pantry has a variety of meals that cater to different dietary restrictions like gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and more.
  • Good to Go – The Good to Go backpacking food company prides itself on being homemade and dehydrated in Maine, USA using healthy ingredients for their freeze dried meals and sustainable business practices.
  • Next Mile Meals – Next Mile Meals focuses on Keto-friendly and low-carb backpacking meals. Beyond the typical rice and beans, Next Mile Meals has recipes like Italian Beef Marinara and Beef Tacos.
  • Stowaway Gourmet – Stowaway Gourmet makes backpacking meals featuring gourmet ingredients like wild boar and bison. Their portions are pricier than a typical backpacking meal, but worth the splurge now and then.
  • PackIt Gourmet PackIt Gourmet is another company focused on gourmet backpacking meals. They have a variety of cold soak recipes, hot water recipes, as well as individually-sold ingredients if you want to make your own concoction.
  • Harmony House – Harmony House focuses on non-GMO, high-quality shelf-stable foods. They sell packaged meals as well as individual freeze dried ingredients so that you have a variety to play with.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about choosing a backpacking tent on a budget.  We’ll also share several of the best backpacking tents on the market, some that are even less than $100.  Let’s get started…

Backpacking is one of the most exciting ways to explore the world and meet new people. When you are backpacking, you enjoy an incredible amount of freedom because all of your belongings are literally strapped to your back.  You can change your travel plans at the drop of a hat and explore interesting locations that you saw while on your way to your next destination.

If you take a lightweight backpacking tent with you on your journey, the freedom you can enjoy is even greater.  Having a tent available means you can camp in the most spectacular locations that each area has to offer.  It also means that you will save a ton of money on accommodation costs — allowing you to make your trip even longer!

This guide will take a closer look at the best budget backpacking tents.  We’ll give you an idea of the kinds of features that are useful in backpacking tents and explain how to choose the best tent possible.

The 5 best budget backpacking tents

Let’s cut to the chase. We’ve done the research (which you can read about below). You’re here for our findings.

There’s a lot that goes into choosing the right backpacking tent. To save you the hassle of comparing dozens of tents, here are 5 of the best budget backpacking tents that have the perfect combination of features, ease-of-use, and durability. 

Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking 2-Person Tent Hyke & Byke Yosemite 1 and 2 Person Backpacking Tents ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent Clostnature Lightweight 2-Person Backpacking Tent WolfWise 2 Person 3-4 Season Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Rating: 4.5/5 Rating: 4.4/5 Rating: 4.6/5 Rating: 4.6/5 Rating: 4.8/5
Floor Size: 84” x 51” x 43” (W x L x H) Floor Size: 88” x 110” x 45” (W x L x H) Floor Size: 32” x 90” x 36” (W x L x H) Floor Size: 87” x 59” x 46” (W x L x H) Floor Size: 82.7” x 55.1” x 43.3” (W x L x H)
Weight: 4lb Weight: 2.5 lb for 1-person, 3.2lb for 2-person Weight: 4lb 4 oz Weight: 5lb 8oz Weight: 4lb
Materials: 75-denier Ripstop Polyester Rainfly and 210-denier Ripstop Polyester Floor (3000mm PU) Materials: 63-denier Ripstop Polyester Rainfly (2000mm PU) and Floor (5000mm PU) Materials: Water resistant Polyester (2000mm PU) Materials: Ripstop Polyester Rainfly (5000mm PU) and Bathtub Floor (5000mm PU) Materials: 190 Thread Ripstop Polyester Rainfly (2000mm PU) and 150 Denier Floor (3000mm PU)
Design: Freestanding Design: Freestanding Design: Freestanding Design: Freestanding Design: Freestanding
Cost: $$ Cost: $$ Cost: $$ Cost: $ Cost: $

Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking 2 Person Budget Backpacking Tent
Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking 2-Person Tent
Rating: 4.5/5
Floor Size: 84” x 51” x 43” (W x L x H)
Weight: 4lb
Materials: 75-denier Ripstop Polyester Rainfly and 210-denier Ripstop Polyester Floor (3000mm PU)
Design: Freestanding
Cost: $$
Hyke & Byke Yosemite 1 and 2 Person Backpacking Tents
Rating: 4.4/5
Floor Size: 88” x 110” x 45” (W x L x H)
Weight: 2.5 lb for 1-person, 3.2lb for 2-person
Materials: 63-denier Ripstop Polyester Rainfly (2000mm PU) and Floor (5000mm PU)
Design: Freestanding
Cost: $$
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
Rating: 4.6/5
Floor Size: 32” x 90” x 36” (W x L x H)
Weight: 4lb 4 oz
Materials: Water resistant Polyester (2000mm PU)
Design: Freestanding
Cost: $$
Clostnature Lightweight 2-Person Budget Backpacking Tent
Clostnature Lightweight 2-Person Backpacking Tent
Rating: 4.6/5
Floor Size: 87” x 59” x 46” (W x L x H)
Weight: 5lb 8oz
Materials: Ripstop Polyester Rainfly (5000mm PU) and Bathtub Floor (5000mm PU)
Design: Freestanding
Cost: $
WolfWise 2 Person 3-4 Season Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Rating: 4.8/5
Floor Size: 82.7” x 55.1” x 43.3” (W x L x H)
Weight: 4lb
Materials: 190 Thread Ripstop Polyester Rainfly (2000mm PU) and 150 Denier Floor (3000mm PU)
Design: Freestanding
Cost: $

Featherstone Outdoor UL Granite Backpacking 2-Person Tent

This affordable backpacking tent from Featherstone strikes the perfect balance between weight and comfort.  It is a highly durable, breathable, and lightweight tent ideal for backpacking.

The Featherstone Outdoor UL is a spacious lightweight two-person tent measuring with floor space of  84 x 51 inches.  It includes two doors and two vestibules for storing backpacks.  This product is a 3-season tent made from 75-denier Ripstop Polyester with a 3000mm polyurethane hydrostatic rated coating.  The floor is made from thick 210-denier Nylon with the same hydrostatic coating.

One of the best features of this tent is how weatherproof it is.  The seam-taped construction forms an impenetrable barrier against moisture — critical when backpacking in the rainy season. The bathtub floor design also prevents water from the ground from leaking into the tent through the walls.

The Featherstone Outdoor UL is fairly easy to set up, with a single aluminium pole design.  It is a freestanding tent, so you can quickly pick it up and move it to another location when necessary.  The generous lifetime warranty, price, and features make this tent an excellent choice.

Pros:

  • Excellent weatherproofing
  • Spacious for two people
  • Lightweight tent
  • Packs into a small space

Cons:

  • Could have stronger zippers


Hyke & Byke Yosemite 1 and 2 Person Budget Backpacking Tent

Hyke & Byke Yosemite 1 and 2 Person Backpacking Tents 

Hyke & Byke have built a reputation for making excellent backpacking tents that are both affordable and highly durable.  Their Yosemite tents are no exception.  This tent is available as both a one-person and two-person tent, with the lightweight one-person tent measuring 88” x 75”, and the two-person tent measuring 88” by 110”.  There is plenty of headroom in these tents with the one-person and two-person having 42” and 45” respectively.

The Yosemite is very easy to set up.  It uses 2 poles with a clip-pole attachment that can be assembled in a couple of minutes.  The poles and stakes are both very lightweight, which is handy for backpackers who are already carrying a fully loaded pack.  The entire tent weighs just 3.2 lbs for the two-person model and 2.5 lbs for the ultralight one-person tent model.  This tent also collapses down to a small size (17.75” by 6.3”).

The materials used to make the Yosemite are all very high quality.  The rainfly is 63 denier polyester with a 190 thread count and 2000mm polyurethane coating.  The inner tent body is made from the same material but also has a B3 Net yarn.  The floor is identical but with a 5000mm polyurethane coating for additional waterproofing.

Pros:

  • One-person tent is ultralight at 2.5 pounds
  • Two-person tent model is particularly spacious
  • Rip-resistant material

Cons:

  • Lower denier compared to some other budget backpacking tents


ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Budget Backpacking Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx One-Person Tent

This freestanding one-person tent from ALPS Mountaineering is highly durable, lightweight, and simple to set up.  It has been designed to be an ultraportable tent that packs into a small form factor.  It is perhaps the easiest tent to assemble from the 5 being reviewed in this guide, which makes it useful for when you quickly need some shelter.  Simply thread the two aluminium poles through the tent and stake it in 4 places.

The proportions of this tent are perfectly suited to the solo backpacker or camper, coming in at 32” x 90” x 36”.  The weight is also quite reasonable at 4 lbs 4 oz or 3 lbs 8 oz if you only take the essentials.  This tent is made from high-quality materials including water and UV resistant polyester, and aluminium poles.  A great choice for solo backpackers.

Pros:

  • High-quality zippers
  • Lightweight tent
  • Perfect for the solo backpacker
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Very long, so great for taller backpackers

Cons:

  • The stakes could be higher quality
  • May not stand up to extremely wet conditions


Clostnature Lightweight 2-Person Budget Backpacking Tent

Clostnature Lightweight 2-Person Backpacking Tent

This 2 person backpacking tent from TNH has been designed with convenience and comfort in mind.  The tent measures 7’3” x 4’11” x 3’10” with a maximum height of approximately 45”.  When it is packed up, it measures 16.5” x 5.9” x 5.9”, which is quite compact compared to many other budget backpacking tents. It is by far the best budget backpacking tent under $100, in fact, it’s the most affordable one on our list.

This is another freestanding tent design that uses two aluminium poles and a small number of pegs.  The curved design of this tent makes it a great choice if you expect to be camping in windy conditions.  It also has interior mesh walls, which provide plenty of ventilation if the weather becomes hot.  The two D-shaped doors open up the spacious interior which features 2 vestibules offering plenty of room for storing your backpacks.

This is one of the most waterproof backpacking tents reviewed, thanks to its 201 thread polyester rainfly (5000mm PU), groundsheet, and bathtub design.  The water-resistant coating is quite thick and performs well in harsh weather.

Pros:

  • At under $100, the tent is remarkably affordable for these specifications
  • Very spacious
  • A high level of water resistance
  • Interior accommodates very tall people

Cons:

  • Slightly heavier than some of the other tents at 5lb 8oz


WolfWise 2 Person 3-4 Season Lightweight Budget Backpacking Tent 

WolfWise 2 Person 3-4 Season Lightweight Backpacking Tent 

This WolfWise two-person 3-4 Season tent is made from high-quality anti-tear polyester with 190 thread count, double-stitched seams, PU coating, and stitch taping.  The floor is made from 150 denier anti-tear Oxford cloth and has a waterproof index of 3000mm.

The tent expands to a size of 82.7” x 55.1” x 43.3” from its folded size of 20.9” x 6.7” x 6.7”.  It comes with some fantastic features including a USB LED roof light, wind rope, and shock-corded pole.  The oversized doors make entry and exit simple.

This tent combines high-quality materials with ease-of-use and some excellent features.  The LED roof lights are very useful and the professional construction tent makes it capable of operating in all weather conditions.  The affordability of this tent is a major selling point, especially given the quality of its construction.

Pros:

  • Handy LED roof lights
  • Easy setup
  • Large size

Cons:

  • At over 5 pounds it is heavier than some other tents

How to look after your backpacking tent

Here are a few quick tips for caring for your new backpacking tent!

Storing your backpacking tent dry

If you can, avoid rolling the tent up while it is wet.  This will cause mildew to form on the tent, which will ruin its appearance and may cause a health hazard.  Leaving moisture on a rolled-up tent can also damage the polyurethane coating that is on the rain fly.  A budget backpacking tent with a polyurethane coating will dry very quickly, so simply hang your tent out of the rain for a few minutes or wave it around to remove moisture.

Wash your tent when it needs it

Backpacking can be a dirty business!  You may often be camping in locations that are muddy or dusty.  It is important to remove any debris from your tent as soon as possible because mud, salt, and dust can damage the water-resistant coating on a tent.

Fortunately, cleaning your tent is simple.  Just spray a water hose on the tent until the debris is off.  Never use chemical cleaners on your tent and don’t place it in a washing machine as they may also damage the coating on the tent.

Re-sealing your tent

The water-resistant coating that is applied to your tent’s surfaces is not permanent.  It will gradually wear out over time as it is exposed to harsh weather, dirt, and other contaminants.  Fortunately, you can purchase spray-on water-resistant coatings for tents.  Once you have owned your budget backpacking tent for a year or two (depending on how often you use it), test how water resistant it is by running a hose over it.  If water seems to penetrate into the tent, apply a layer of water-resistant coating.


Thanks for reading Our Gear Review of The Best Budget Backpacking Tent.  For more outdoor gear reviews check out our other blog posts.