Posts

Going camping is always exciting, and it gets doubled when it’s with family, right? If you’re embarking on a group trip, choosing the right family tent is an essential part of the trip.

The right-sized tent determines the comfort level throughout the camping trip for you and your family, but choosing the right size isn’t an easy task. To help with the process of how to choose a family tent, we’ve assembled this guide.

Tent Size – Why Is It So Important?

The tent’s size holds the utmost importance for your camping trip. Its size determines your trip’s comfort level, not just for you but for your family as well. No matter the family size it’s better to get a slightly bigger tent than you need. Otherwise, you and your family members will feel cramped inside throughout the trip.

If you don’t select the right-sized tent for the family camping trip, you’ll face discomfort while staying inside. Not only that, you won’t have enough room to move around and sleep comfortably.

That’s why it’s crucial to choose the right-sized family tent. However, as mentioned at the beginning it’s not as you might think. Without the right know-how, you might miss something that’ll ruin the whole trip.

Not to worry, our following segments will help determine the right-sized tent for your family trip.

Different Types Of Family Tents

As we mentioned earlier, there are quite a few types of tents but not all of them are well suited for your family and conditions.

In the following segment, we’ll have a brief discussion about a few types of family tents, which will help you have a better understanding of your needs.

Pop-Up Tents

A typical pop-up tent with external flexible poles

A typical pop-up tent with external flexible poles

The Pop-up tent is the most portable tent on our list. It’s built with light aluminum looped framing which is confined with a tension strap.

When you release the tension strap from the framing you’ll have your tent ready to set up. Once the tent is popped you need to locate the braided loops at the bottom of the tent.

They are the stakeout points of the tent. Just stake out the braided loops and you’ll have your tent ready for camping. It’ll take about 2 to 4 minutes to complete the setup.

Yes, it’s true that pop-up tents are easy and quick to set up. However, it has a significant drawback, which is that it can’t withstand bad weather conditions. Because of its light aluminum framing, it can’t withstand bad weather such as heavy rain, wind, and snowfall. So if you know it’s going to be bad weather where you’re going then the pop-up tent is probably not the one for you.

Instant Cabin Tents

A large 'instant cabin' style family tent

A large ‘instant cabin’ style family tent

Instant cabin tents are square or rectangular-shaped tents that provide a huge vertical space.

The instant cabin tents are structured with large aluminum pole framing, which makes them sturdy. That makes them withstand bad weather with ease.

It takes roughly 5 to 7 minutes to set up this type of tent for a single person. However, the larger cabin tents are harder to set up and require at least 2 people.

One of the major drawbacks of this type of tent is that it’s hard to carry because of the large size even after being folded in a box. So if you wish to use the instant cabin tent then you’ll need a much larger space inside your car.

Dome Tents

A typical dome tent for families

A typical dome tent for families

Dome Tents are the most popular tent, the reason being they’re widely available, unlike the other tents, also they’re very cost-effective.

That being said dome tents are designed with versatility in mind. That means these tents can easily withstand any kind of weather.

It’s because of its structure. Dome tents are made from a flexible interlocking frame that supports the main body of the frame and helps withstand bad weather conditions.

One thing that makes the dome tent different from the other two is that it’s a double-wall tent. This means it’s both properly ventilated and well protected at the same time.

The only drawback when you choose a dome family tent is the setup process, which is quite complex. One missed alignment will make your tent set up unsuccessful.

So if you are planning on using the dome tent for your family camping trip you should learn the setup process.

Factors to Consider When Choosing A Family Tent

As we mentioned earlier, determining the right size of your family tent depends on many structural factors as well as your personal situation.

The variety of tents available on the market can easily overwhelm you if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In this segment, we’ll review the factors you’ll need to consider while choosing a family tent for your next trip.

Tent’s Shape

The tent’s size and shape is the factor that will influence your comfort throughout the camping trip. Tents come in different shapes, and not every shape will provide the best support for you.

No matter the size of the tent, if the shape is not suited to you, it’ll cause hindrance to movement freedom and thus lead to discomfort.

So make sure you choose the right shape along with the size that’s suited to your needs and comfort for the tent. It’ll help ensure a successful trip for you and your family.

Living Space for a Family Tent

A family tent will offer plenty of space for the group

A family tent will offer plenty of space for the group

When you’re choosing a tent, you must consider the living space, and while considering the living space, you must include a few things. Such as:

  • Family members (How many members of your family you’re bringing along)
  • Trips duration (How many days are you going to stay for camping)
  • Whether you’re spending a lot of time inside the tent or not

According to these considerations, you must choose an ideal living space for your family tent. The rule of thumb is to plan for at least 20 square feet in the tent for each person. But if you plan to spend more leisure time in the tent, you will want to allow for even more space.

Entry Points

Along with shapes and sizes, there are different types of entry points that you can leave open or close as per requirements. You might be thinking that fewer entry points on the tent would be good for better protection of your tent. Well, just like living space, it depends on your needs.

Most tent doors are designed with nets that will keep the insects out and will let you enjoy the view without opening the whole door.

While choosing the entry points, you should also consider the number of members using the tent. For example, if you’re buying a large tent for 16 people, you should look for a tent with multiple entry points on each side.

Ventilation System

A proper ventilation system is necessary to allow for proper airflow inside the tent. Just having a few entry points can’t provide the required ventilation for you and your family.

So it’s a good idea to choose a tent with several windows. It will ensure the necessary influx of air, which will provide the proper ventilation system inside the tent.

Ease of Set Up

Setting up a tent can be easy or hard according to the methods. Some tents have an easy setup system that can be done by one person and some are so hard that it needs more than two people to set up properly.

So unless you want to go through a complex tent setup process you should choose an easy-to-set tent. It will not only save you a lot of hassle but also your valuable time. It’s also a good idea to run thru the setup process before your trip.

Organizational Features

Keeping your necessary items organized inside the tent is a hassle, especially if you have children.

You should know that there are tents that come with features that help you better organize your essential items and tools. If this is something you’re interested in, look out for tents that have organizational features like vestibules, gear lofts, and tent dividers. This will help keep the interior of your large family tent organized and make your camping experience more enjoyable.

Portability

It’s ideal for a tent to be portable, and as we all know, portability makes traveling much easier.

Before you buy a big family tent, you must consider its portability as well. Otherwise, you’ll face trouble and complexity while traveling.

Logically, a bigger tent takes a lot of space even after being folded in a box. So make sure you plan out enough space inside your vehicle for the large tent.

Rainfly

The rainfly is a water-resistant material that stops the rain or condensed water from coming inside the tent. If you’re looking to buy the cheapest possible family tent, the quality of materials may not be the best. If the rainfly material is of poor quality, it can lead to water condensing inside the coating, causing water to leak inside the tent.

On the flip side, buying a tent with a proper rainfly will help prevent the heavy rainwater from getting inside the tent, which is especially important if you’re faced with bad weather conditions. While buying your family tent make sure to check reviews that mention the rainfly.

Durability

Family tents need to be much more durable than your regular tents. The more people who will be using the tent, the more wear and tear will occur. The sturdiest tents are those built with aluminum framing. These are more resistant to damage.

Just so you know, aluminum frames bend if stressed, however, they can be easily repaired and you don’t need any special expertise for it either. So while buying a tent make sure you get the one with aluminum framing.

Final Considerations for Choosing a Family Tent

Not only is it important to choose the right-sized family tent, but there are also plenty of factors to consider before making your purchase. Luckily, now you can follow the above-mentioned factors and easily find the right tent for your family camping trip.

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.