Do you need to buy a travel tent? With an abundance of hostels, airbnbs and trains to sleep on, you may well be wondering if modern backpackers need to burden themselves by hauling a tent around with them.

But a backpacking tent offers you a home. Anywhere you go, be it parks in the urban sprawl or glorious remote vistas in the wilderness, you’ll have your home with you!

Camping out in the woods, on the beach, or at the foot of some mighty mountain is a truly amazing way to reconnect with nature. I love to camp and have been lucky enough to camp out in over fifty different countries across five continents. I saved a lotta dough on accommodation costs in the process too…

But how do you pick the best backpacking tent for hiking and camping adventures?

In this in-depth post, we’ll review the best tents for backpacking for all budgets and styles of travel – cheap tents, light tents, hiking tents, travel tents. It’s a goddamn tent city and we’re finding you a sweet crib!

Ready to check out the top tents for backpacking? Let’s get this thing going!

A group of the best hiking tents at K2
Tent city population you!

Quick Answer: Best Backpacking Tents for 2023


MSR Hubba Hubba 2

  • Price > $$$$
  • Weight > 3.25 lbs.
  • Capacity > 2 Person
  • Free Standing > Yes

Nemo Hornet

  • Price > $$$
  • Weight > 2.5 lbs.
  • Capacity > 2 person
  • Free Standing > No

REI Co-op Trailmade 1

  • Price > $
  • Weight > 4.6 lbs.
  • Capacity > 1 Person
  • Free Standing > Yes

Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock

  • Price > $$
  • Weight > 4.25 lbs.
  • Capacity > 1-2 Person
  • Free Standing > No

The 5 Best Backpacking Tents of 2023

#1 Overall Best Tent for Backpacking: MSR Hubba Hubba

MSR Hubba Hubba 2 Tent
  • Price: $549.95
  • Weight: 3 lb. 4 oz
  • Dimensions: 84 x 50 inches
  • Size when packed: 4.5 x 19 inches

Wow! $500…. shit. Never fear amigo, there are some cheaper options on here but I had to start with the MSR Hubba Hubba as this is hands down the best backpacking tent that money can buy. It’s one of the best lightweight tents for backpacking, designed for stormy conditions and is one of the most waterproof backpacking tents around… I’ve waited out many storms inside this tent.

The MSR Hubba Hubba is great for two people and is really quite spacious for a two-person tent; it is shaped to allow you to sit up throughout most of the tent. I’ve traveled with both the two-person and the three-person MSR Hubba Hubba and loved them both dearly. The two-person is one of the best couples backpacking tents – there’s room to roll around.

MSR is one of the most respected brands in the backpacking tent and gear industry and they have seriously decent customer support – when you buy an MSR tent it comes with a lifetime warranty so you can see it as an investment, it’ll be the last tent you ever have to buy!

MSR Hubba Hubba comes in three sizes, 1 man, 2 man and 3 man.

I have not personally tested the MSR Hubba one person tent but I do have extensive experience with the Hubba 2 and 3 and they have both performed absolutely fantastically.

The only real drawback is that MSR gear is pricey, so if you don’t think you’ll be using your tent very often it probably isn’t worth the money. However, if you are planning on camping out a lot then I would recommend making the investment as this will be the last tent you ever need to buy.

I tore a hole in my Hubba Hub 3 (which was totally my fault) and sent it back to MSR, they quickly repaired and returned it – free of charge. I am a big fan of MSR and now tend to always recommend them for tents and camping stoves, the two things that they make really, really well.

Of course, our team just loved this tent and pretty much all of them rated it as their best and really couldn’t fault it… other than the price. But the good news is that they felt the price was at least justified and well worth it if you can afford it. They were particularly impressed by just how protected they felt inside this tent. One of the team took it on the Appalachian Trail and their first night consisted of 40mph wind, snow and icy rain! It stood up to the test and kept them dry and warm!

  • Ultra Light Weight
  • Great weight to space ratio
  • Leading material in technology
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Expensive (but the lifetime warranty makes it worth it!)
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#2 Best Ultralight Backpacking Tent: Nemo OSMO Hornet

NEMO Hornet OSMO Ultralight 2P Tent
Specs (2 person)
  • Price: $429.95
  • Weight: 2lbs 8 oz
  • Dimensions: 85 x 51 x 43 in
  • Size when packed: 7.5 x 12.5 inches

Check out our epic full review of the Nemo Hornet here!

The award-winning Nemo OSMO Hornet is the best lightweight backpacking tent on the market; not only is it ultralight, leading in material technology and design for quick set-up, but it is also acclaimed as one of the best waterproof backpacking tents available.

However, there have been reports of the external section not being optimized for the protection of your stuff against the elements and some have even said that the materials are so thin that they are easily pierced by twigs. But this is the most compact tent on our list so there are always compromises.

These two problems make it very hard to justify such a high price tag, but do note that these could be quite isolated issues. I have tried the Nemo Hornet out whilst hiking in Turkey and if you are on a long multi-day hike, the exceptionally low weight makes the Nemo Hornet stand out as the best ultralight tent.

Our team rated this as their best tent for hiking mostly due to just how darn light this thing is and how easy it felt to carry even for days on end. Other than the fact that this tent is super light they loved that it wasn’t fiddly to put up and down as well as the fact that the vestibule was super roomy.

Check out another great tent comparable to the Nemo Hornet 2 in this North Face Storm Break 2 review.

  • Ultralight
  • Well designed
  • Two doors
  • Waterproofing has mixed reviews
  • So does it’s strength
  • No lifetime warranty

#3 Best One-Man Tent: REI Co-op Trailmade 1 Tent

REI Co-op Trailmade 2 Tent with Footprint - Nic
  • Price: $159
  • Weight: 4 pounds 9 ounces
  • Dimensions: 88 x 36.5  inches
  • Size when packed: 7.5 x 22.44 inches

Are you a backpacking enthusiast searching for a practical yet sustainable tent? This 1-person, 3-season offering might just be the one. The REI Co-op Trailmade 1 prioritizes usability with eco-friendly construction. REI is a Climate Neutral Certified brand, meaning it’s a great way to look after our planet whilst backpacking.

Weighing in at 4 pounds 9 ounces, this tent won’t slow you down either on the trails or backpacking around a new town. Packing down to an incredibly small 7.5 x 22.44 inches, it’s the perfect compact companion for your next adventure. Where it might be small when packed down, it opens up like a tardis when pitched. With floor dimensions of 88 x 36.5 inches, it offers a spacious 20 square feet of floor area and a height of 41 inches. On top of that, you’ve also got a super useable 9.5 square feet of vestibule area which is perfect for storing your gear.

One of the areas that we really love about this tent is the way in which its construction reduces its carbon impact. REI’s commitment to sustainability can be seen in its use of recycled materials and solution-dyed mesh meaning no harmful chemicals have been used during the process to make it fire retardant.

Need more options? Check out our list of the best one-man tents for some more ideas.

  • Lightweight
  • Pretty durable
  • Low Price
  • Center seam can tear
  • Entry level

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     #4 Best Camping Hammock Tent: Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge

    Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock Tent
    • Price: $199
    • Weight: 4.25 pounds
    • Dimensions: 90 x 42 inches
    • Size when packed: 6 x 22 inches

    Hammock camping tents are awesome… These bad boys are designed to be suspended taught so that they provide you with a flat surface to sleep on, rather than you sinking deep into a cacoon as you tend to do with traditional hammock designs

    Hammock tents are super versatile, well made and can be set up like a normal tent on the ground if needs be – this offers the best of both worlds.

    If you are looking for a quality one-man tent for backpacking but also want to hang out on the beach in a hammock during the day, the Lawson Hammock Tent offers incredible versatility and best of all these bad boys are tough and you can put them through hell.

    This particular hammock tent comes with an integrated mosquito net to keep bugs out and a waterproof ripstop nylon rain fly to keep you dry.

    If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional travel tent then our team loved this option. Is this the best backpacking tent on amazon? Maybe, maybe not, but our team enjoyed giving this one a go and getting to know how it worked in practice. They felt it wasn’t overly complicated to put up despite being a very different design than they were used to. One of the team got caught in a tropical rainstorm and were pleased to report they stayed bone dry throughout and even enjoyed the experience!


    Super lightweight
    Best of two worlds
    Seriously cool


    Not cheap for a hammock
    Not everyone likes hammocks

    Backpacking sleeping bags
    NameWeightTemperature RatingPrice
    Feathered Friends Swift 20 YF1 lb 15 oz (Just under 1 kg)20 F (-6.7 C)$479
    Sea to Summit Spark Quilt12 oz (.5 kg)54 F$399
    REI Magma 151 lb 14 oz (Just under 1 kg)16 F (-7 C)$389
    Marmot Trestles 203 lbs 1 oz (1.4 kg)30 F (0 C)$179
    Sea to Summit Trek TKII2 lbs 6 oz (Just over 1kg)18 F (-8 C)$319
    Kammok Thylacine 201 lb 15 oz (Less than 1kg)15 F (-9.4 C) with liner$349
    REI Co-op Joule 21 Sleeping Bag – Women’s2 lbs 3 oz (1kg)21 F (-6 C)$320
    Marmot Never Summer Sleeping Bag3 lbs 3 oz0 F$301
    Nemo Disco 152 lbs 3 oz (1kg)15 F (-9.4 C)$319.95
    Feathered Friends Hummindbird UL 20/3024 oz20 F (-6.7 C)$539
    Nemo Forte 35 Sleeping Bag2 lbs 2 oz35 F$159.95
    Exped MegaSleep Duo 25/405 lbs25 F$239
    REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 301 lb 4 oz30 F (-1 C)$299
    Feathered Friends Swallow YF 20/3028.7 oz20 F (-6.7ºC)$469

    How to pick the best backpacking tent for you?

    Ten years ago, I hit the road with almost no money in my pocket, a battered tent and an old camping stove. I hitchhiked my way across Europe, thriving on a shoestring budget and having an incredible adventure. Since then, I’ve personally tried and tested dozens of backpacking tents in my travels.

    If you’re a long-distance hiker, your needs will be pretty different to a backpacker traveling around the world. Weight is arguably the most important factor to look at when choosing both a travel or hiking tent and personally I would never carry a tent that weighs more than 5 pounds – it’s just too heavy.

    Personally, I opt to go for a light and compact tent which I can pitch quickly. All of the tents that I’m reviewing weigh under 5 pounds and are quick to set up but some of them are lighter, or faster to set up, than others.

    And then you get views like this.

    Price is obviously an important factor and if you’re on a budget, your choices are plentiful! Once upon a time, cheap backpacking tents were dogshit, falling apart and breaking before long. These days, however, many kickass companies have stepped up to the plate and offer some seriously good cheap tents; so much so that we have a roundup of the best budget backpacking tents!

    Think carefully about what you need your personal tent for and how many people you envision sleeping in it. Most of the time, three-man backpacking tents only weigh a little bit more than two-man tents so if you will be camping with a buddy, it’s well worth picking a three-manner and taking the extra sleeping space.

    Two-man backpacking tents can be pretty cramped, especially if you want to roll around a lot. 😉

    Considerations to make about your backpacking tent.

    When choosing the best backpacking tent for yourself, here’s what you should consider…

    • Size when packed
    • Size when open
    • Price
    • Weight
    • Pitching time
    • Season
    • Functionality
    • Durability and strength

    Having a backpacking tent with you opens up a whole new world of possibilities – you can save a ton of money by camping and if you’re hitchhiking you really MUST have a tent as there is no way of knowing where you’ll end up sleeping!

    Morning like this!

    If you are on a long-term budget adventure, having a tent for camping really is a necessity as it will save you so much cash and gives you so many more options. A backpacking tent not only saves you money in the long run but frees you up to stay in a place you otherwise could never have stayed in. Some of my most memorable travel experiences were only possible because I was camping.

    Check out the comparison table and detailed tent reviews below so that you can choose the best backpacking tent for your needs.

    The best present of all… is CONVENIENCE!

    Now, you could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

    So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card! REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

    Buy on REI!

    Thoughts on Camping Hammocks  

    If you just don’t want to take a tent, at least take a hammock! Camping hammocks are compact, light and give you a ton of freedom.

    If you’re travelling solo then I would suggest getting a hammock rather than a tent (depending on where you are travelling) or even getting both as a hammock opens up a whole new world of outdoor sleeping… Check out The 10 Best Camping Hammocks to find the best backpacking hammock tent for you or, if you’re feeling lazy – buy this one; it’s the best value camping hammock around (but it can’t be pitched on the ground like the Lawson Blue Ridge).

    Also, if you ever want to step up your camping game to another level, check out our epic review of the best rooftop tents.

    the best tent for backpacking
    Best Travel Tents
    NameWeight (lbs)Capacity (People)Dimensions (CM)Price (USD)
    MSR Hubba Hubba3 lbs 4 oz2213.36 x 127 x 101.6549.95
    Nemo Hornet2 lbs 8 oz2215.9 x 129.54 x 109.22429.95
    REI Co-op Trailmade 14 lbs 9 oz1223.52 x 92.71 x 104.14159
    Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge4.25 lbs1228.6 x 106.68199

    How and Where We Tested To Find The Best Backpacking Tent

    The only way to really test a tent out, to be honest, is to get all up inside it! So in the name of science we took each tent out for a proper few nights camping to give them all a proper old test drive and find you the perfect backpacker tent!

    In order to fairly and consistently assess and compare them to one another, our testers applied the following metrics to each of them;

    Packed Weight

    You can go onto a tent manufacturer’s website and find out what the packed weight of a tent is but that KG/Ibs number only really comes into sharp focus once you’re 5 hours into a hike, halfway up a mountain and your shoulders a screaming bloody murder!

    The lighter a tent feels when strapped to your back, the better, simple as that! Either way, you’re going to want a compact tent for backpacking.

    Packability (Packing and Unpacking!)

    One of the most annoying features when it comes to tents is twofold. The first is pitching and unpitching. No one wants to be messing about with an overly complicated tent in gale-force winds and a downpour! Equally, many tents can be a nightmare to pack back into the inhumanly small bags they come in. Again, having to be a master in origami to get the thing back into its bag is no fun for anyone!

    Our testers awarded each tent points for being easy to pack and unpack and deducted points for being difficult. Fair enough right?

    Warmth, Waterproof and Ventilation

    When you spend a night sleeping in a tent, you really get to know it. Nothing brings into reality those temperature ratings until you’re freezing your arse off for hours on end or alternatively spending the night rolling around in what feels like a tropical swamp!

    Insulation and ventilation are key components to a good tent and an enjoyable experience!

    Obviously, when assessing the warmth and ventilation capabilities of a tent our testers took into account the weather and the sleeping bag they were using.

    In terms of testing out the waterproofing, if our testers ended up somewhere dry, they just went back to basics and threw a whole heap of water over it! Leaky mofos were sent packing!

    Spaciousness and Comfort

    Tents are not exactly designed for throwing parties (ok, some are) unfortunately… but I mean, we can try! Either way, you still want to have enough space to sit up and store your gear.

    Again, this is something you only really get a feel for after spending a night inside a tent which is exactly what we did. 

    Build Quality and Durability

    All of our testers were instructed to subject tent poles to a good bit of good-natured force, look closely at the seam sewing and take notice of the thickness of the fly sheets.

    As a side note, ultralight tents are not as durable as heavier ones so there is always a tradeoff between longevity and packed weight when it comes to this type of tent.

    FAQ about the Best Backpacking Tent

    Still have some questions about the best tent for backpacking? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

    Our GREATEST Travel Secrets…

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      So, what is the best tent for backpacking?

      I decided to break down all the information you really need to pick the best tent for backpacking so hopefully, you have found this post useful and can now pick out the best tent for your needs.

      If I had to pick one overall epic tent for backpacking I would say go for the MSR Hubba Hubba.

      So pick up the best budget solo backpacking tent and head out there! Happy camping amigos!

      Found the right tent? Now check out the best backpacking sleeping bags to put inside!

      And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!