Tents for backpacking have seen amazing innovation and variety – whether you prioritize weight, living space, performance in inclement weather, or unique features.
Blogger Michael Lanza has put many tents to the test, the below list being his five top-performing backpacking tents. All tents on the list are lightweight, two-person tents.
Marmot Tungsten UL 2P
Weight: 3 lbs. 4 oz.
The Tungsten UL 2P offers more square footage than any comparable freestanding, three-season, two-person tent, while still weighing in just ounces over three pounds—and costs less than virtually all competitors in its category. If you’re taller and willing to deal with a tad more weight, this is a sturdy tent at a good value.
Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz.
The FlyLite is the most nontraditional tent on this list, but it delivers an incredible space-to-weight ratio that renders it big enough for two but light enough to use solo. Pitching with two trekking poles, it ventilates well enough to avoid condensation. If low weight is more important to you than having a freestanding tent with traditional poles, this is an ideal choice for you.
Sierra Designs Flash 2 FL
Weight: 3 lbs. 10 oz.
The Flash 2 FL is a hybrid design, combining the benefits of single- and double-wall tents by integrating the interior tent canopy with the rainfly. A partial rainfly and weatherproof side walls block wind and precipitation, and the side doors have both mesh and solid, weatherproof, zippered panels. The design eliminates a step when pitching—so it goes up fast—and keeps the interior dry when erecting the tent in the rain. Its living space, ventilation, and sturdiness in wind are exceptional.
Exped Mira II HL
Weight: 2 lbs. 14 oz.
The Mira II HL is a partly freestanding design. Weighing in under three pounds, it has two doors and still manages to be very sturdy and easy to pitch quickly. Plus, interior space is good for a shelter in this weight class—the peak height of 43 inches, 85-inch length and 49-inch width is more than enough to accommodate two taller people.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2
Weight: 2 lbs. 12 oz.
The new freestanding, DAC Featherlite NFL hubbed pole structure creates steeper walls that make the tent feel roomier than its 29 square feet. Plus, it has two doors and a 40-inch peak height and 88-inch length. If you’re looking for an ultralight tent that feels super spacious, this is a great choice.
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