Best Tent Brands for Hiking and Backpacking

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Going on multi-day hike, although incredibly detoxifying, could definitely be a burden if not well planned. One of the most important items on the list is where you are going to spend the night. Frequently torn between 2 bad options; booking an expensive night in one of the huts and renting a tent, I decided to create my own destiny and buy a tent.

Best Tent Brands for Hiking and Backpacking

Of course, after searching in big outdoor gear stores for days, I came back to my senses and started online shopping for the best tent brands for hiking and backpacking. And trust me, this is no easy task. So here, this article is my attempt to give back to the internet and maybe ease the confusion for some fellow backpackers.

Best Tent Brands:

The wait is over. In this section, I’ve compiled some of the best tent brands, in my opinion, based on durability, versatility, comfort and price range.

1. Big Angus

Big Angus is no doubt one of the big names in the hiking gear industry. It has a big variety of tents accommodating to every taste. Sizes vary from 1 person up to tents big enough for 6 people while maintaining its light weight. It’s also known for its durability and sturdiness; guaranteed to survive through the worst of conditions. All these perks, of course, come at a price, and unfortunately quite a big one. But it’s a matter of cost benefit analysis that doesn’t work for everyone equally.

Best Selling Big Angus Tent Model

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Backpacking Tent, Grey/Orange, 2 Person

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV

Weight : 3 lb 1 oz
Packed Size: 4 x 19.5″
Head Height: 40″
Seasonality: 3
Price: Check the latest price here

One of the best features of the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL tent is its quick and easy setup and take down. Simply stake out the corners, insert the color-coded poles, clip in, and you’re done! This tent also features a conveniently small footprint that measures 52 inches wide at the head end and 42 inches at the feet.

Famous for being called a “livable” ultralight tent, it also has excellent interior space and remarkably lightweight design. It features a new pole structure that provides a clean, single hub with a sloping rectangular shape and flat roof. That, its nearly vertical walls, and a peak height of 40 inches at the middle, add more room and increase the volume by 20 percent!

Related: Good Camera for Hiking and Backpacking

Surprisingly strong and durable, the Big Agnes is also designed to withstand pretty tough conditions. You can’t let its slightly thin floor fool you – the material is incredibly tear resistant. Comprised of silicone treated, proprietary patterned, random rip-stop nylon with 1200 mm waterproof polyurethane coating and reinforced (with waterproof, solvent-free (no PVC or VOC’s) polyurethane tape) seams, this sturdy tent was created to endure most three-season weather, including rain, wind, and even light snow. Water is kept out by its efficient full coverage rainfly.

Its double walls and mesh material offer fantastic ventilation and its two zippered doors provide easy access and maximum convenience. Its downfalls are its tapered design that probably allows you to only sleep in one direction and its thin (but strong) floor may provide less than ideal comfort.

What I like

  • Easy setup and take down
  • Great ventilation
  • Ultralight with small stuff size (weighing only pounds, two ounces, with stuff away size of 4.5 inches x 19.5 inches)
  • New, less complex pole design provides greatly increased interior space

What I don’t like

  • Small tapered footprint only allows for two snug regular width sleeping pads (20 inches each) and sleeping in one direction

Check Latest Price & Reviews


2. Nemo

First thing that strikes me in Nemo’s website is how organised it is. That’s one Nemo you won’t get lost with. It asks about your needs and carefully provides without having to go through option paralysis. Moreover, it possibly offers the lightest tents in the market in its ultralight collection. It’s easy to set up and comfortable to stay in. However, some reviewers think the lighter weight comes with the disadvantage of poor quality and an exaggerated price.

Best Selling Nемо Tent Model

Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking Tent

Nemo Dagger Ultralight Tent

Weight : 3 lb 10 oz
Packed Size: 4 x 19.5″
Head Height: 39″
Seasonality: 3
Price: Check the latest price here

The Nemo Dagger Ultralight Tent offers tremendous interior volume that comfortably fits two fairly tall people, along with all of the bulky backpacking gear as well! With two trapezoidal vestibules and a large rectangular floor that measures 90 inches x 50 inches, it provides 42 inches of overhead space and 52 inches of vestibule space.

Extremely easy to set up and take down, the Nemo Dagger includes updated pre-bent DAC featherlite poles and easy pole design, making setting it up a simple task that takes only three to four minutes. Another major update is a lengthened main pole for increased volume. Its two large doors provide easy entry and exit and its zippers and guyout loops are reflective for maximum visibility, especially at night.

Featuring a strong and durable design, the tent is capable of withstanding tough weather conditions. Its waterproof material prevents rain from getting in, and the wind doesn’t budge its sturdy setup. Another fantastic feature is the mesh pocket area at both ends of the overhead where you can place lamps. Comprised of special light-diffusing fabric, your light will evenly cast a glow throughout the entire tent.

The Nemo Dagger Ultralight Tent includes an easy connect sturdy rainfly and has a travel weight of three pounds, five ounces. Two negative qualities are that it can be a bit heavy to carry and its large footprint may make finding a camping area less easy at times.

What I like

  • Enormous interior provides maximum room and comfort
  • Quick and easy setup and take down
  • Durable material and sturdy setup capable of withstanding harsh conditions
  • Easy access with two large zippered doors

What I don’t like

  • Large size may make camping in smaller areas more difficult
  • May feel a bit heavy to carry, at almost four pounds

Check Latest Price & Reviews


3. MSR

MSR stands out for its spacious designs and well ventilated tents putting its livability score on top. It can fit the specified number people with an extra space for extra comfort, as long as they’re not NFL linebackers. It also has most of the other benefits; lightweight, intuitive setup, and attractive design to name a few. Nevertheless, some reviews raise the concern of durability and lifespan which doesn’t seem to last very long under harsh conditions.

Best Selling MSR Tent Model

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent, with Xtreme Waterproof Coating

MSR Hubba Hubba NX

Weight : 3 lb 10 oz
Packed Size: 4 x 19.5″
Head Height: 39″
Seasonality: 3
Price: Check the latest price here

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent is a champion in maximizing space. Its large single hub design provides a massive amount of volume and an ideal space for two people to sleep comfortably. It features extra easy access, with a huge D-shaped door that zips from the side rather than its center, and it is very easy to set up and break down.

This tent is super lightweight, yet durable enough to withstand harsh three season weather. In it, you can camp in wind, rain, and snow. Its innovative pole design increases structural rigidity for extra windy conditions and its clever built-in gutter system guides rains right down the side. Despite its lightweight feel, the Hubba Hubba’s coated 30 denier rip-stop nylon is sturdy and difficult to tear.

It provides remarkable ventilation with 15 denier nylon mesh throughout the upper part of the tent and built-in vents at both ends of the rainfly that help to draw out humidity as well. Excellent for stargazing, its full coverage rain fly can be configured in a number of ways.

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent is easy to break down and store, especially with its large mouth stuff bag with compression straps that let you squeeze it down to 6 x 18 inches. Its weight of three pounds, seven ounces is not very heavy but may feel a bit hefty to carry for long distances for some.

What I like

  • Massive interior space
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to break down and store
  • Extra easy to enter and exit

What I don’t like

  • May require additional stakes for high winds and extra tough weather conditions

Check Latest Price & Reviews


4. Marmot

Marmot comes to prove that durability and cost effectiveness can go hand in hand. One of the few brands that can combine the two in a perfect balance. Its tents are spacious with footprints which can keep you warm and prevent wear and tear. Furthermore, it has used predominantly simple designs which usually mean an easy setup and a minimalistic look that enrich the hiking experience.  

Best Selling Marmot Tent Model

Marmot Tungsten 3P Tent - Blaze/Steel - O/S

Marmot Tungsten 2P UL Tent

Weight : 3 lb 10 oz
Packed Size: 4 x 19.5″
Head Height: 39″
Seasonality: 3
Price: Check the latest price here

Although the Marmot Tungsten 2P UL Tent is extremely easy to set up and take down, with its color-coded, press-fit, hubbed poles, it’s not so easy for the weather to take it down. Capable of withstanding gusty winds (over 25 miles per hour) and heavy rain (phenomenal rain coverage), it contains a 30 denier nylon bathtub floor and a 20 denier rainfly, both reinforced with heavy duty tape.

A favorite feature of this tent is its innovative ceiling pocket that makes your lamp look like a lantern. The pocket’s translucent white fabric diffuses the light and spreads it evenly throughout the entire tent. Along with the ceiling pocket, there are several interior pockets as well, for storing items.

Also offering excellent interior space, its DAC pre-bent poles and one short eyebrow pole over the top provide vertical walls and incredible volume, with a peak height of 42 inches. The two vestibules offer 15 square feet of combined space and it has a 32 square foot footprint. It measures 88 inches long and allows for two tall people to sleep comfortably. Despite its large size, it stores compactly at just 18 inches x seven inches when folded down.

Two extra large D-shaped doors provide unbelievable ease in entering and exiting the tent, as well as putting in and removing bags and gear. The doors roll back to offer an excellent view of the sky and you will experience great ventilation while inside. Two setbacks are stakes that may bend and lack of loops or guylines at the end walls.

What I like

  • Extremely durable design for harsh conditions
  • Remarkably easy access for entering and exiting
  • Superior rain coverage with tape reinforced seams
  • Pre-bent pole design provides extra headroom

What I don’t like

  • Stakes could be stronger
  • End walls lack loops or guylines

Check Latest Price & Reviews


5. Mountainsmith

Feedback about Mountainsmith is overwhelmingly positive with more than 90% satisfied customers. You don’t stumble upon that a lot on the internet. First, several people found that the taped seams in some tents were extremely useful against rainy days. Second, it comes with stakes, footprints and all things necessary to set up the tent. Third, some found it particularly suitable for larger backpackers that usually struggle to find a good match. 

Best Selling Mountainsmith Tent Model

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent (Citron Green)

Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent

Weight : 3 lb 10 oz
Packed Size: 4 x 19.5″
Head Height: 39″
Seasonality: 3
Price: Check the latest price here

One of the easiest tents to set up, the Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent features a simple two-pole color-coded design with master hooks. It’s easy to reinforce as well, with end guylines and cord adjusters. It also offers incredibly easy access, with two huge doors that zip almost completely off for maximum ease and convenience.

The Morrison provides great volume, measuring 92 inches x 56 inches and featuring an impressive peak height of 43 inches. With more than ample headroom, it fits two adults comfortably, sleeping head to feet, and the doors zip in opposite directions, providing convenience for both individuals.

This tent includes a useful removable gear loft and triangular stash pockets for item storage. Downsides are that the poles may seem a bit skinny and the material may degrade over time if not stored properly. It features less mesh, which equals less ventilation, but it does provide more warmth and rain protection.

What I like

  • Great interior volume
  • Excellent durability against weather
  • Incredibly easy to set up and take down
  • Two opposite zipping doors

What I don’t like

  • Fabric, stakes, and poles could be better quality
  • Slightly heavy to carry

Check Latest Price & Reviews


6. Alps Mountaineering

Last but not least, Alps Mountaineering’s name really says it like it is. This one is great if you frequently hike in extreme weather conditions. It can withstand storms and strong wind without breaking and without you freezing and fearing for your life. It’s also a great bargain on the long term. One frequently mentioned problem is its small size and incompatibility with people who are bigger than average.

Best Selling Alps Mountaineering Tent Model

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1 Tent

Weight : 3 lb 10 oz
Packed Size: 4 x 19.5″
Head Height: 39″
Seasonality: 3
Price: Check the latest price here

Perfect for one person, the Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1 Tent has a base size of two feet, eight inches by seven feet, six inches and a center height of 36 inches. One of its best features is its super convenient side vestibule that adds an extra 10 square feet of covered space for gear and other items. Its simple two-pole design makes it a breeze to set up, take down, and store as well.

This resilient tent is water and UV resistant, and its bottom section is made of durable waterproof fabric with sealed seams. The top part and side door are comprised of mesh for excellent ventilation and breathability.

Another fantastic feature is that it includes everything you need, from stakes, loops, grommets, and guylines, to storage pockets, canopy clips, zippers, and a gear loft. Also included is a convenient carry bag that has buckles, straps, a drawcord, and a handle. A minor drawback is that its weight of four pounds, four ounces may feel a bit heavy for a one-person tent.

What I like

  • Excellent interior room for one person
  • Sturdy construction
  • Extremely easy setup and take down
  • Includes everything you need, including convenient carry bag

What I don’t like

  • Only one door and no footprint
  • A bit heavy to carry for a one-person tent

Check Latest Price & Reviews


How to Choose A Hiking Tent?

If you reading this, then I’ve already convinced you of the value of bringing along a hiking tent. Now to a more difficult step. Buying one is a lot like playing minesweeper. Take a wrong step and you waste good money to be stuck with a heavy backpack and an uncomfortable night. If this sounds like a nightmare, you’re gonna want to consider the following points.

Livability and Comfort

Livability is a vague term that implies comfort. It’s also relative; we all have that friend that can go to the worst of hostels and still manages to be undisturbed. However, for the rest of us normal humans, there some tips that can help us spend the night in the wild, but not wake up with sore muscles feeling groggy.

Capacity: How Many Hikers Can You Fit Into A Tent? 

Not too many, or it’s all downhill from there. Okay, terrible pun. Jokes aside though, hiking tents are categorized by their per person capacity; from 1 to 4. Companies usually include the number in the tent names.

Related: Choosing the Right Hydration Bladder for Hiking

Here’s where it gets tricky. In order to save weight, tents are normally designed to be cosy, so although a 2 person tent is the best option for backpacking, it could get uncomfortable if you don’t like snuggling.

Moreover, if you’re taller or bigger than average or if you want bring along your dog, again, it’s go big or go home. Also, consider weather conditions in which you might need to store backpacks, boots or gear which might require extra space.

Dimensions

Height:

Peak height is measured from the floor to the top of the tent’s outside. So to calculate the interior height significant to your comfort, it’s safe to subtract around 7 cm from the peak height.

Related: Best Ultralight Folding Chairs for Backpacking

Generally, a spacious tent is usually in the range of one metre high. Also, search for one with vertical walls that offer more shoulder room. If you’re shopping online, look for walls that angle less steeply toward the roof. 

Floor

Many tent floors don’t have perfectly rectangular floors, usually a tradeoff for a lighter overall weight. Some are hexagonal to add stability, but again on the expense of heavier weight. It might seem like you can’t win. But here’s a rough guide to finding your match: Look for tents with about 25 inches of width per person and about 80 inches of length. If you’re, however, taller than average or camping with a dog, you may want to look at tents that are closer to 90 inches long.

Doors

You gotta keep in mind 2 important questions. One, how many? It’s certainly more convenient having as many doors as there are campers. You don’t want anybody stepping over you in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. That, however, can compromise the weight. Two, where? A good option is having the door at your feet instead of along the sides, making entry and exit easier for multiple people and proving tough in bad weather conditions.

Vents

Vents are of utmost importance, because, you know, you gotta inhale air that wasn’t inside somebody else’s respiratory tract. Surprisingly, they’re usually overlooked. For more ventilation and a less stuffy atmosphere, look for tents with mesh panels or vented rain flys.

Related: Hiking with the Ultralight Sling Backpacks

Color

This isn’t just for your inner fashionista. Color actually plays a big role in your perception of space. Lighter colours transmit more light which can help you sleep better, make it less gloomy in harsh weather, and make the tent seem more spacious.

Weight: How Heavy A Tent Should Be Ideally?

It’s tempting to think in one and zeros, and assume that light weight is a no brainer. However, most of the tents that weigh less than 5 pounds don’t have a tent floor which could let more insects in and provide less insulation. You still don’t want to get exhausted carrying your tent around. A good rule is aiming for a per person weight of under 3 pounds.

Weather Resistance: How Many Seasons Are You Going For?

The main options are 3 and 4 season tents. Give some thought to when you’ll use your tent the most.

3 Season Hiking Tents

3 season tents are usually suitable for most hikers. They’re designed to shelter you through summer, spring as well as the coolish nights of the fall.

For the warm nights, you wanna look for tents with mesh panelling that are well ventilated for a cooler atmosphere. More mesh means lighter weight, but may also mean less durability. Mesh panels are also ideal for stargazing.

Although not intended to be used in winter, 3 season tents can withstand light rain and snow, but are not built for strong wind or heavy snow.

Extended Season Hiking Tents

If, however, you occasionally camp on chilly nights in late fall or if you hike longer paths in which you could encounter snow, you might want to go for 3-4 or 3+ Season tents. They’re usually equipped with strong fabric panels and one or two more poles that keep snow out and keep warmth in.

4 Season Hiking Tents

4 season tents are for all the white walkers wanna bes out there. Snow and wind aren’t gonna stop you from hiking, are they? I get it. Empty trails, spectacular views and an extra challenge. Well, a 4 season mountaineering tent has got your back. With heavy duty fabrics, dome designs, rain flys and less mesh, they can withstand even harsh storms.

Setup: How Long Will It Take You To Rest?

It’s important to pick tents with easy setup, considering that after a long hike, the last thing you’d want to do is spend half an hour pitching your tent. A good idea is to try it out in the store to make sure you understand how it works.

 Although, it would seem complicated at first, setting up a tent usually becomes instinctive with time.

It could be helpful to look for the following 4 characteristic features while navigating through tent setup: 

Freestanding design

It’s a tent that can stand up entirely by itself, as in without the need of stakes. This usually means faster setup and easier relocation. Most tents in traditional camping are freestanding. However, non-freestanding could be lighter in weight. Recent models include a semi freestanding tent that’s secure, comfortable as well as light.

Pole hubs and clips

Pole hubs makes assembly a lot simpler and allows tent to be more vertical thus adding space and comfort to your stay. Moreover, clips are easy to attach and allow more ventilation.

Color coding

Color coding helps you remain oriented to what goes where. You don’t want an Ikea like situation; spending hours lost in parts.

Final Words

In conclusion, a hiking tent can give your hikes the freedom and flexibility they need as well as the spectacular views. However, in life and in hiking, there’s really no one size fits all. That’s one reason why it’s essential to navigate carefully through options, especially ones you’re going to spend good money for.

I hope I’ve made it a little easier for you to find what you’re looking for. As always, hit me up with any questions or comments. Thank you for reading!

Learn more about hiking & backpacking

If you found this review informative and useful, you might want to check the rest of our article related to backpacking and hiking.

Happy trails!

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