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The 8 Best Backpacking Tents of 2021

Backpacking differs from an activity like car camping in that the further you hike out the further you are immersed in the wonders of nature instead of everyday life. But this added distance doesn’t come easy and you want to save your energy for soaking it all in, rather than expending it lugging a heavy tent around. Backpacking tents are designed with lightweight in mind to solve for this. At the same time the need to provide all the usual conveniences you would expect from a tent - like roominess, durability, and keeping you dry. These are some of the best backpacking tents that do a great job at keeping you comfy and safe while keeping things light:


Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 Tent

Best 2020 backpacking tents
 
 

Big Agnes goes against the saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and saw room for improvement in their longtime popular go-to ultralight backpacking tent. The newly redesigned Copper Spur HV UL 2 Tent is the result, with the added features taking an amazing step forward. The most noticeable update is the addition of two awning-style vestibules providing a number of options layout and access. A new tent corner construction with Tiplock Tent Buckles has streamlined tent set up by combining multiple functions - this makes setting the tent up with one person a breeze. The addition of a 3-D bin mezzanine keeps things clean with off the floor storage inside the tent, while a new pre-bent span pole sheds rain & snow keeping it tidy on the outside. All these features while weighing in at a light 2.68 lbs makes the Copper Spur HV UL one of the best lightweight backpacking tents.

SeasonsCapacityWeight Original Price
3 Season2 People2.68 lbs$449.95

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MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent

Best 2021 backpacking tents
 
 

Calling all gearheads! The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is the kind of tent that does not falter when it comes to weight, size, or weather protection. Take from the 235 people that have already given it five-star ratings. This measures up as MSR is one of the most reputable brands when it comes to backcountry gear, so its no surprise that they make some of the best backpacking tents, too. The features are endless. Ultralightweight, head to elbow room for two people throughout the tent, Xtreme Shield Waterproof Coating (that lasts up to 3 times longer than standard waterproof coatings, cross-ventilated rain fly, unified hub-and-pole system, we could keep going. And all that fits into a compression sack that fits well into a fully-stuffed pack. If you’re willing to spend it, we recommend sending it on the MSR Hubba Hubba NX.

SeasonsCapacityWeight Original Price
3 Season2 People3lb 8oz$499.95

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Nemo Firefly 2P Tent

Best 2020 backpacking tents
 
 

Nemo was born after a gnarly backpacking trip on Mount Washington, and their experience shows up in their designs. The Firefly 2P Tent is a lightweight yet spacious rectangular backpacking tent made for 3 seasons camping. Colored coded poles and matching webbing make for quick setup, while the rainfly securely snaps on to poles for a quick addition. Like a little privacy? Nemo’s privacy mesh allows full visibility of the sky while limiting visibility into the tent. And because backpacking is best experienced with a buddy, the Divvy Sack, a dual-stage stuff sack, allows you to split the load with a hiking partner. It’s small touches like this that make the Firefly one of the best two=person backpacking tents.

SeasonsCapacityWeight Original Price
3 Season2 People2.87 lbs$349.95

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Marmot Tungsten UL 2P Tent

Best 2020 backpacking tents
 
 

Marmot took their simple freestanding two-pole design, added in ultralight materials, and came out with the Tungsten UL 2P Tent. This fast set up backpacking tent features a zone pre-bend construction which helps to create vertical walls that result in a more roomy sleeping area and greater headroom. An interior lamp shade pockets give a great location for ambient light, and the jingle-free nylon zipper pulls allow you to focus more on the sounds of nature. The Tungsten UL 2P is a great option for someone looking for the perfect backpacking tent who doesn’t want to sacrifice either comfort or a low pack-weight.

SeasonsCapacityWeight Original Price
3 Season2 People3.53 lbs$348.95

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Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1 Bikepack Tent

Best 2020 backpacking tents
 
 

While for many of us hiking is the first thing that comes to mind when brainstorming a solid backpacking trip, others are more inclined to use wheels rather than feet as their mode of transportation. Big Agnes is here for you if you’re in that category and has modified their popular Copper Spur tent with some bikepacking specific features that make a huge difference for your pedal adventures. Elastic helmet straps, shorter poles for super compressed packing, and a stuff sack with daisy chain webbing to help you mount the tent onto your bike frame are just some of the additions. Whether you're hitting the trail or the tarmac the Copper Spur HV UL 1 Bikepack tent is one of the best bikepacking tents to strap to that bike frame.

SeasonsCapacityWeight Original Price
3 Season1 Person2.31 lbs$399.95

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Marmot Nighthawk 2P Tent

Best 2020 backpacking tents
 
 

Marmot provides a clean and simple offering with the Nighthawk 2P Tent. Its classic two-pole design gives optimal stability and when paired with color-coded poles provides added ease of use for setup. Jingle-free nylon zipper pulls keep things quiet for your tentmate when you have to pop out in the middle of the night. The strategic placement of clips has resulted in greater interior volume for the backpacking tent as no one likes to be cramped while inside.

SeasonsCapacityWeight Original Price
3 Season2 People4.26 lbs$368.95

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Kelty Late Start 2P Tent

Best 2021 backpacking tents
 
 

Are you more of a slow-roller, the kind of camper that likes to sip a nice cup of joe in the AM, enjoy a little fire, listen to some tunes, and bask in the early morning golden light? Then the Kelty Late Start 2P Tent is for you. This tent is built for comfort, ease, and enjoyment while on a fun weekend getaway with friends, a partner, or you and the dog. Shoot, if you want some extra space to post up for the weekend, take it on a solo trip! Kelty’s Quick-corner technology guarantees fast setup and take-down times. A waterproof rain fly protects against the elements, while a breathable, open mesh frame provides access to the Milky Way if you like to stay up past moonrise. I mean, it’s not called the “Late Start” for nothing, right? This is the lowest-priced tent on our list, which does come with a bit of a weight penalty, but it also makes it one of the best cheap backpacking tents that we’ve found.

SeasonsCapacityWeight Original Price
3 Season2 People4.5 lbs$159.95

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EXPED Lyra 2 Tent

Best 2021 backpacking tents
 
 

Headed into the backcountry? Need a roomy shelter to rest your head after a long day of logging miles? Look no further than EXPED’s Lyra 2 Tent. This tent is large and liveable. Two doors and extra headspace make it accessible for multiple parties, or those of us that like a little more space to ourselves. Interior pockets are ideal for keeping miscellaneous gear like headlamps, journals, and snacks accessible. And a rollback rain fly ensures insulation and protection from that morning dew, while also offering the option to take a look at the stars before heading to bed. We love the roomy 47” peak height and all of the various configurations that can help you dial in your temperature, airflow, and protection from the elements.

SeasonsCapacityWeight Original Price
3 Season2 People4.6 lbs$279

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