A top two-person backpacking tent could cost as much as $500, however it’s not necessary for everyone to have top-of-the-line performance. Anyone who is who are just beginning to explore backpacking can save lots of money using the cheapest design. The tents tend to be more heavy and less efficient than high-end models, but they’re still well-constructed and will protect you during an avalanche. REI Co-op dominates the value market, but our selection includes tents from other companies like Nemo, MSR, Big Agnes, The North Face and others. The following are the best backpacking tents for the price of 2022. For more details, check out the table of comparisons as well as buying suggestions in the section below the choices.
Our Team’s Budget Backpacking Tent Picks
- The Best Budget-friendly Backpacking Tent for: CO-OP Passage REI 2
- A High-Quality Backpacking Tent that costs less than $300: REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+
- Best Budget Tents Family Friendly: The REI Trail Hut Co-op 4
- Best Backpacking Tent for Budget for Poor Weather: MSR Elixir 2
Best Overall Budget Backpacking Tent
1. REI Co-op Passage 2 ($159)
Weight of the package: 5 lb. 10 oz.
Floor dimensions: The dimensions are 88×52 inches.
Capacities: 1P, 2P
We like: The entire tent that backpackers require for $159.
What we can’t do: It is possible to spend the money on more space in the interior and an easier, lighter style.
The in-house brand of REI Co-op offers excellent value for money and their selection of backpacking tents is amazing. In the end the only tent manufacturer can match their quality and price, which is the holy grail for anyone looking for a bargain. Passage 2 is their entry-level model. Passage 2 is their entry-level product, which keeps costs down by using a simpler pole structure and a material set which focuses on durability over weight savings. Although it’s not a budget-friendly model it’s the perfect tent for what you need for backpackers with plenty of interior space to accommodate two sleeping areas as well as two vestibules and doors and a fully-coverage rainfly to shield against the rain and wind.
We’ve spent a fair amount of time in tents–and many times in tents costing $500, and we’ve always come returning to the Passage to be one of the top value options that are available. If you’re not a frequent backpacker or only go camping only a couple of times per year it’s not really necessary to have anything else. Yes, the Passage isn’t lightweight, but it’s true that it’s possible to have a larger living space inside with a design with a central pole for the ridge and a steeper wall (for more livability you should check out the $199 REI Hut 2 Trail Hut 2.). If you’re planning to spend long periods of the time in your tent or wish to keep the weight of your pack lower it’s this Half Dome SL 2+ below is a good alternative for $170. If you want a strong and sturdy footprint and shelter for less than $200 The Passage is the top of our list for cheap tent for the year..
A High-Quality Backpacking Tent Under $350
2. REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ ($329)
Weight of the package: 4 lbs. 11.5 oz.
Floor dimensions: 90 x 54 inches.
Capacities: 2+P, 3+P
What we likeabout: The ideal combination of both for less than $350.
What we do not: They are still larger and heavier than the top of the line backpacking tents.
The Passage model from REI above is a functional tent that can make you save a significant amount of dollars, but their mid-priced Half Dome SL 2+ is the more balanced design. At $329, you’ll get the most substantial improvement in living spaces due to its larger dimensions and contemporary features such as pre-bent poles as well as the ridge-pole design and ridge-pole structure, both of which expand the headroom and build steeper walls throughout. This all amounts to plenty of room to accommodate two adults. thanks to an added “plus” designation there’s plenty of room to accommodate an additional smaller person like an animal or a kid also. It’s impressive that it’s the Half Dome still manages to be 14.5 pounds less than the Passage and the overall set is noticeably more expensive with finishes such as a DAC-branded pole set with a hubbed finish and bigger vestibules and vents provide the tent an elegant look that competes with the best designs available.
The primary reason why the Half Dome SL dips into the category of budget is its weight. While it’s light in comparison to the base models, like those in the Passage above, it’s not able to be competitive with tents of the top quality like Big Agnes Copper Spur. Big Agnes Copper Spur ($550 3 pounds. 2 oz.). In simple terms, if you’re going out for months at a time, or are planning to cover lots of ground in a day, it could be worthwhile to invest in. You can save 8 pounds by leaving the footprint and the durable 40-denier flooring is built to withstand branches and rocks. If you’re looking to keep weight and price at a minimum, a tent such as that of the Big Agnes C Bar is worth considering, however you’ll lose a degree of comfort by having a floor plan that is tapered and a single-door design. If you want the most luxurious of options with a price of less than 350 dollars it’s the Half Dome SL is without any competition. It’s actually the one we’d recommend the most to our family and friends..
The most affordable tent for Families
3. REI Co-op Trail Hut 4 ($299)
Weight of the package: 8 lbs. 1.6 oz.
Floor dimensions: 90 x 88 inches.
Capacities: 2P, 4P
We like: A large four-person tent that has a the ridge pole to give you extra headroom.
What we do not: It’s worth looking into buying two tents for two people instead.
The majority of tents we have are made to accommodate two people. We do this to compare the designs and also because two-person tents are the most popular and adaptable size for backpackers. However, if you’re planning to travel with kids and want to add some camping in the car or carry the extra weight for more space in your shelter, a tent that can accommodate four people is an ideal option. In this class it’s you can choose the Trail Hut 4 is our preferred model. For $299, it provides space for four separate sleeping pads as well as two vestibules and doors as well as a massive 48-inch top height. It’s also different from the 90’s REI tent we slept numerous nights in as kids and beyond, the Trail Hut here tacks on a center ridge pole that will give more headroom throughout.
If you’re considering a 4-person tent, be aware that this isn’t the only option for backpacking with your family. With a weight of 8 pounds 1.6 grams The Trail Hut 4 is undeniably large and heavy for human powered travel. Even when split in two bags. Choosing two tents for two people will give you more room overall (including the vestibule space) and may provide an improved night’s rest for all. Furthermore you can find two smaller flat sites is usually simpler than finding a large campsite, based on the area you’re in. You won’t find a better price for the capacity of four sleeping bags and, despite its weight it will save you some weight by using the four-person version. No matter what the specs We wouldn’t trade it for the experience of enduring an icy storm in the high country with your entire family including a deck cards and a great novel..
The Best Backpacking Tent for Budget for Rainy Weather
4. MSR Elixir 2 ($290)
Weight of the package: 6 lbs.
Floor dimensions: 80 x 50 inches.
Capacities: 1P, 2P, 3P, 4P
We like: Solid pole structure with sturdy poles and canopy fabric provide additional protection against the elements.
What we do not: It is more dense and less breathable than other mesh-heavy designs.
We’ve come to trust the Seattle-based MSR for their sturdy and safe backpacking tents, from the legendary Hubba Hubba to four-season designs such as the Remote. The Elixir will be their entry-level tent however don’t let its budget name fool you. Just like its higher-end counterparts, this one is geared for weather that can be harsh. Some design aspects are a little more heavy than its competitors, such as massive panels of solid material in the canopy (more resistant to wind as mesh) and the unique pole structure that crisscrosses. Along with a ridge pole this form of structure allows plenty of headroom and you’ll be thankful for when you’re tent-bound during a storm.
There are however a few alternatives to the Elixir’s durable design. Its primary concern is weight. with a weight of 6lbs, this is the largest two-person tent on this list. In addition, since there’s less mesh than other tents it’s clear that it’s MSR isn’t the most air-conditioned choice, and it isn’t helped that the vents on the fly are located at a low level to the feet and the head. Additionally, the Elixir’s dimensions are only about 84 inches long, which is a half-foot smaller than a tent such as that of the Half Dome SL 2+ above. A majority of backpackers in summer will be content by one of these heavy-mesh designs, but If you’re looking for solid protection against harsh three-season weather The Elixir will be our best weather-proof option for 2022.
Best of the Rest
5. Nemo Aurora 2P ($280)
The weight of the package 5 lb. 7 oz.
Floor dimensions: The dimensions are 88×52 inches.
Capacities: 2P, 3P
We like: The huge interior space is complemented by a top feature set.
What we do not: It’s not as big or weather-proof like that of the Half Dome SL above.
Nemo is a maker of some of the top camping tents on the market So the recent launch of their budget-friendly Aurora certainly caught our eye. A contemporary approach to the standard tent that is a basic model Aurora is a modern take on the basic tent. Aurora provides a lot of living space because in prebent poles (the inside is very open with the four walls that are near vertical) Hubs on both the foot and head end as well as a ridge pole located in the middle. A well-balanced design and Nemo’s user-friendly technology make setting up the tent easy and includes features such as light-diffusing pockets and Snaps to secure Nemo’s Pawprint Liner (great to protect the floor of the tent from your dog). If you’re a casual backpacker who are looking for a boost in space inside and superior quality from the majority of budget tents this Aurora is definitely worth having a take a look.
At around $280 (with an additional footprint) It’s a bit more than the Aurora can be found on the costly end of the “budget.” The Aurora is less expensive by $49 to the well-known Half Dome above and get better quality materials (68D instead of. 40D on the flooring) however, the REI is a pound smaller and lighter with an additional 4 inches of both length and the width. We also discovered that the REI has the edge in wind protection, as the slender design of the Nemo makes it more prone to bowing during strong winds on an excursion through the Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. People who are concerned about weight and carry often will probably prefer more space in the Half Dome, but the Aurora is still a sturdy and budget-friendly option that is hard to beat the luxurious quality and finish of the Nemo style. If you want more room it is possible to upgrade on an Aurora 3P (88 72 inches.) for $350.
6. Big Agnes Blacktail 2 ($250)
Weight of the package: 4 lb. 15 oz.
Floor dimensions: 90 x 52 inches.
Capacities: 2P, 3P, 4P
What we likeabout: A flexible budget design by one of the most reputable tent makers on the market.
What we do not: More expensive that the Trail Hut 2 and not as spacious than the Aurora.
Big Agnes manufactures a variety of our top lightweight backpacking tents. They are constructed with high-end materials and offer an ideal balance between performance and weight reduction. In the category of budget they have the Blacktail is their top all-arounder. It is basically Big Agnes’ version of the REI Trail Hut 2 model, the Blacktail 2 offers a roomy layout and plenty of headroom thanks to pre-bent poles as well as a ridge pole located at the end of the. Ventilation is good thanks to mesh throughout the body, and two rainfly vents. two vestibules as well as two doors allow for a comfortable living space for two. The Blacktail features the same premium quality finishes that we have seen at Big Agnes’ pricier designs with features like the Quick Stash doorkeeper, media pockets that have cord routing and pre-cut guylines.
The Blacktail 2 retails at $250. Blacktail 2 will cost you $50 more than Trail Hut 2, and unlike the REI model, it’s less likely to be sold for sale. The other side of the coin is that the Blacktail is over a one pound lighter and is made of durable 68-denier materials on the fly and the floor. However, it’s true that the Big Agnes does fall a slightly between the two categories: If we are looking to save money and save money, we’ll choose an option similar to the Passage above. However, if the headroom is a top concern and you want to maximize headroom, you’ll find that the Nemo Aurora is a better choice. For a tent that brings everything together The Blacktail 2 is a great model that is built with Big Agnes’ tried and reliable quality.
7. The North Face Stormbreak 2 ($185)
The weight of the package 5 lbs. 14 oz.
Floor dimensions: The dimensions are 87×50 inches.
Capacities: 2P, 3P
What we likeabout: Good quality fabrics and living quality for a bargain.
What we can’t do: No rainfly vents and heavy.
The North Face makes a lot of top-quality tents designed for expedition and camping, yet their more casual collection also has plenty to provide. At just $185, which is the its retail price The Stormbreak 2 is a great bargain for a tent for backpacking. It has everything you need the Stormbreak is spacious with a non-tapered form with 50 inches of length, and a soaring 43-inch peak (thanks the two poles that ridge). It also provides adequate weather protection by having a complete fly and features two huge vestibules and doors to store your gear during the night. For durability it is a tough and durable product. TNF has a sturdy 75-denier canopy as well as a 68-denier flooring and is pet- and child-friendly. In the end, it’s an enormous amount of value.
What are the disadvantages that come with Stormbreak 2? What are the drawbacks of Stormbreak 2? With a total capacity of five pounds and 14 ounces, it’s one of the largest two-person tents in this list, beating out those like the REI Passage above. It’s also important to know that TNF’s Stormbreak’s fly doesn’t provide any venting it means that it can quickly overheat during a storm (on dry nights you can also open the vestibule doors to let air flow in). In the end, TNF’s budget-friendly options aren’t going to knock it out the park as much as those from REI however, the Stormbreak appears to be a bit less expensive and less luxurious overall. The price is fair and it’s an excellent replacement to Passage. Passage above for those who prefer some extra space inside.
8. Big Agnes C Bar 2 ($200)
The weight of the package 4 lbs.
Floor dimensions: 56 x 52/42 in.
Capacities: 2P, 3P
We like: Lightweight and compact for a budget tent.
What we can’t do: Two living spaces that were cramped and not wind-proof.
If you choose an affordable tent, you can’t go with a few compromises regarding interior room or even weight. However, there are a variety of options that some tents add some extra pounds in order to make it more livable and others optimize the construction to reduce weight. Big Agnes’ C Bar 2 is in the latter category, featuring a sleek style that resembles the lightweight Fly Creek. It has a single vestibule and door, the canopy is made of mesh, with the floor and roof are tapered, with a area that keep the materials at an absolute minimum. It’s a space for two people. You will not be able to stand up with your tentmate and be forced to crawl across the walls to enter and exit. However, at only 4 pounds C Bar 2 weighs just 4 pounds. C Bar 2 is the most light two-person tent that’s on this list.
If you’re a solo hiker or seeking to trim weight off their pack The C Bar 2 is a very affordable option. However, the inside space is a way from those of Nemo Aurora or Half Dome SL above, and you’ll need to ask whether it’s worth it to sacrifice the one less pound. Additionally, the simpler design of the pole (just one pole on in the middle of the spine) and the mesh-heavy design is likely to have a hard time in strong winds. If you’re determined to streamline your camping experience you should consider the more expensive tents like that of the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 2 ($400) or Tiger Wall UL 2 ($450) or using an outdoor pole-supported shelter such as the one-pound, 6-ounce Gossamer Gear The One ($300). However, Big Agnes is one of the most reputable manufacturers of tents and it’s hard to find a more lightweight freestanding tent for $200. at this point.
9. Marmot Tungsten 2P ($249)
The weight of the package 5 lbs. 4 oz.
Floor dimensions: The dimensions are 88×54/46 inches.
Capacities: 1P, 2P, 3P, 4P
What we likeabout: Unique combination of features that slide between REI Passage and Half Dome SL above.
What we can’t do: Headroom is limited by this tapered design.
We’ve previously mentioned REI as a fantastic one-stop shop for quality but Marmot isn’t too far from the pack. At a price that is reasonable of $249, the recently upgraded Tungsten is a sturdy three-season tent that has all the features backpackers on weekends require. Similar to C Bar above, the Marmot has a tapered floor plan. C Bar above, the Marmot has the floor plan that is tapered (8 in. shorter on the bottom) This helps to save weight, while providing plenty of space for two side-by-side sleeping bags. The tent’s body is the combination of mesh and nylon offers good ventilation , as well as privacy and protection. The updated colorways provide a lot of style. When you add it all up this is a good option to REI Half Dome and Passage models above, with an affordable price that falls with the other.
The Half Dome SL above devotes precious ounces of weight to an over-sized floor design The Tungsten here puts a premium on durability, above all else. In comparison the Marmot’s floor as well as fly fabrics are 70 and 68-denier respectively. the REI comes in at 40and 30 denier. The tapered design, however, isn’t suitable for all: It requires you to sleep shoulder-to-shoulder with your tent companion (some prefer a head-to-toe configuration to maximize space) Also, there’s little space to sit in a row. In the end, REI’s quality is suitable for the majority of people, but the Tungsten can be a good combination of car camping and backpacking alternative that can cost you less than 100 dollars. It’s important to note that Marmot has a similar tent at a reasonable price with the Limelight2P ($299) that provides more space with the addition of additional weight.
10. Kelty Late Start 2 ($160)
The weight of the package 4 lbs. 8 oz.
Floor dimensions: 85 x 54/45 inches.
Capacities: 1P, 2P, 4P
We like: Durable, inexpensive and light.
What we do not: There are no rainfly vents, and the entire body suffers from high winds.
For the budget-conscious of us, Kelty’s late Start is another good tent for backpacking at a low cost. The tent is as basic as they come, sporting an all-mesh body , bathtub floor, an easy pole structure that crisscrosses, and only one vestibule and door. The setup is easy with pole sleeves on each corner (this may be a little archaic however it can be used to accomplish the task) And despite the strong 68-denier fly as well as floor The Late Start is competitively lightweight at only 4 and a half pounds. If you’re a summer backpacker and want to keep the weight of their backpack at a minimum, this is an ideal alternative to the C Bar 2 that is cramped. C Bar 2 above.
The Late Start falls towards lower in our ranking due to a number of reasons. For starters, unlike models such as Aurora and the Passage as well as the Aurora above The Kelty isn’t sold with footprints. Most of the time we’d not hesitate in to put it directly onto the ground (the flooring is strong enough to withstand the impact of sharp branches and rocks) however, it’s an important absence. Additionally it is that this Late Start features a tapered floor, which limits your interior space, forcing you to lie shoulder-to-shoulder with a partner. The mesh canopy doesn’t work when it’s blowing hard as the absence of venting on the fly makes condensation likely to become trapped inside (in dry conditions it is recommended to open to let air in). For a camping tent that’s lighter than the majority tents, the Late Start deserves a place on our list of.
11. Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1 ($96)
Weight of the package: 4 lbs. 1 oz.
Floor dimensions: 90 x 32 inches.
Capacities: 1P, 2P, 4P
What we likeabout: A bargain-basement rate and a good feature set for backpackers on their own.
What we can’t do: High-end build quality and budget friendly.
Alps Mountaineering is not at the forefront of technological advancement However, they stand out when it comes to price. With a price of just $140–and typically on Amazon at less than $100, the Lynx 1 is a great price for solo backpackers. It’s spacious enough for one person it offers great airflow and protection from the elements, including two vents in the top and comes with a huge vestibule and door to store your gear in the evening. This Lynx is also very sturdy with a robust 75-denier floors and heavy zippers that are great for those who can be rough on their equipment.
If you are someone who frequently travels on their own on backcountry trips, a 1-person tent is a great option to look into. There’s no way to replicate the flexibility of a two-person model however, there’s not any disadvantages for the minimalist plan of the floor and it even has enough space for a canine pet. The market for one-person tents is crowded is worth a look at two other options: the REI Co-op Passage 1P ($139) and the MSR Elixir 1P ($240) however the Lynx is the winner in terms of the price and weight (it’s more than a half-pound lighter that both Passage or it’s lighter than the Elixir). This is the reason why Alps has built a loyal following among backpackers with no experience as well as those on a limited budget. Be sure to make realistic expectations of quality of construction and materials.