3 Of The Best Backpacking Tent Brands

While living out of a backpack and hiking 10 miles a day may seem like torture to some, to hard-core hikers and backpackers, it’s heaven. There’s something raw, natural and undeniably rewarding about sticking to the basics while embracing the great outdoors. And while many campers enjoy being close to amenities, this special type of weekend warrior finds pleasure in the lack of so-called conveniences.

An essential component of this life is an awesome tent. In this article, we’ll look at a few elite backpacking tent brands, and let you know why we think these are the best on the market today.

How We Choose Our Ratings

We understand the importance of relying on brands and products you spend your hard-earned cash on. This is why we’ve made it our mission to offer the most reasonable and responsible ratings online. We take into account customer reviews, brand reliability, product quality, and material and price when rating our products. This is so you can continue shopping with ease, knowledge, and confidence.

White Tent


Best Backpacking Tent Brand

A tent is your home away from home. As a portable home, it needs to be reliable and convenient. It should be easy to assemble, light enough to carry for miles, durable through any weather or storm and spacious enough to keep your other belongings you rely on. A tall order to say the least. However, thanks to some incredible outdoor gear brands, this perfect portable home is actually possible.

We’ve searched for the best brands on the market and have listed them here, along with our favorite tent they make.

Which one is your favorite?

1. Agnes

Features

Big Agnes, founded in 2000, holds the intention of making the best outdoor gear available today. Despite the intense competition in this industry, they’ve been able to penetrate this saturated market by creating incredible outdoor gear.

Big Agnes focuses on producing sleeping pads and bags, outdoor apparel and high-quality tents. They manufacture mountaineering, backpacking and camping tents which all carry two similarities: low weight and high quality.

What’s great about Agnes tents is that you can find any size of tent you need, along with a range of different accessories to make your tent absolutely perfect. We love Agnes, and we’re sure you will as well.


Our Favorite Tent from Agnes

The Copper Spir HV UL 2 tent is everything Agnes stands for. It’s durable and the highest in quality. While this is definitely a fantastic backpacking tent, if not the best, it’s also perfect for any type of outing. Everything in, this tent weighs a mere three pounds which is light enough to take on the trail for days, leaving enough room in your bag for extra socks and undies - you know, the essentials on long trips.

While its weight is impressive, the sleeping area is what makes this tent our favorite. Despite being light and compact, it’s exceptionally roomy. Somehow, Big Agnes has discovered the secret in making more room while maintaining light feel. The bit of extra room at the head and shoulder area helps you feel like you’re in a home, rather than a cramped, synthetic material doom cave.

There are two vestibules and two doors that add to the roomy feel and allow for a place to store extra gear. It also offers two ways to exit, which is always super convenient. It also comes with a two-tone mesh system that offers privacy to backpackers who love stargazing. Among the best aspects of this tent are the color coded tent poles that make tent set-up a cinch. After a long day on the trail, this is essential.

PROS

  • As much as we absolutely love this tent, it does come at a price and is definitely not the cheapest option on the list.
  • You won’t be able to find a tent at three pounds offering all the features it does anywhere else.

CONS

  • It also has a bit of a condensation issue. However, it’s quite manageable.

Rating 

2. MSR

Features

MSR was created in 1969. However, they only began producing tents in 2000 once merging with the company, Edgeworks.  This company was a manufacturer of high-quality tents which were then sold as the MSR tents. In 2001, MSR was taken on by Cascade Designs, which owns many reputable outdoor brands such as Platypus and Therm-a-Rest.

Since then, MSR has made itself a cozy seat in the reputable outdoor brand list, creating some of the highest quality mountaineering and backpacking tents. On top of tents, MSR also offers backpacking stoves, snowshoes and water filters.

However, above everything else, MSR tents take the cake. They’re known for their high quality, low weight, and super durable make. They can also accommodate anywhere from one to eight people, depending on the style you choose. MSR’s most popular tents are the Hubba Bubba 2-person and 3-person tents.


Our Favorite Tent by MSR

We love the two-person Hubba Bubba tent by MSR. Backpacking is best done with companions, and sometimes, that companion is your significant other. However, trying to keep your pack light while carrying a two-person tent can be difficult at times. However, with the 2-person Hubba Bubba, you don’t have to worry about weight or lack of post-hike snuggles.

MSR has designed the Hubba Bubba around an innovative pole configuration which allows for more elbow space and headroom, giving both people lots of room to get comfortable for a good night’s rest, without feeling like a couple of cooped chickens. At 3 pounds and 13 ounces, this extra room doesn’t add to the weight at all. Also, if camping in wetter climates, or if you experience one of those out of the blue storms, the Hubba Bubba offers two StayDry doors which direct water away from the doors when they’re open, making sure you and your gear remain dry.

While many tents have difficulty mastering the waterproof part of the equation, MSR seems to have it nailed down. This is a super important characteristic for many hikers, and with the Hubba Bubba, you can rest assured.

Breaking down the tent is like magic. It can pack itself into a super compact compression bag that’s absolutely perfect for easily slipping inside your pack. The lightweight feature makes this tents perfect for trips that require intensive hiking during the day. If you’re searching for a compact, lightweight and highly dependable tent for you and your main squeeze, this is the one you’ll want.

PROS

  • It sleeps two individuals comfortably by offering increased elbow and headspace while maintaining a weight of just over three pounds.
  • It’s easy to take down and set up.
  • And it is super compact thanks to the compression sack.

CONS

  • It is a bit heavier than the Nemo Hornet or the Big Agnes Copper Spur, it also definitely won’t be a strain on your back.
  • Setting up this tent takes only a few minutes since the color-coded design makes it almost entirely fool-proof.
  • The only downfall is it doesn’t offer too much warmth while in colder climates.

Rating

3. Black Diamond

Features

Black Diamond is known for manufacturing high-quality climbing equipment. However, they also create some very impressive shelters, apparel, and accessories as well.

Black Diamond tents are intended for backpacking or mountaineering in difficult conditions, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you see most of these tents with single-walls, therefore perfect for colder conditions. That being said, this brand also created many two and three-person double-wall tents for backpacking. These tents are extremely lightweight and durable, which are able to withstand extreme weather conditions in the high mountains.

Black Diamond also produces incredible sacks for alpine ascents. If you’re looking for a spacious camping tent, however, this brand is probably not your cup of tea since the biggest tent they offer accommodates only three people. This is largely due to their priorities, though.


Our Favorite Tent by Black Diamond

First Light Tent is our favorite tent by this brand. It’s a compact two-person, four-season tent made for climbers who are more conscious of weight. It’s designed with steep walls and a classic floor shape to help optimize living room and boost headroom. All seams on this tent are double sewn, and the stress points have been reinforced to offer the greatest durability possible. It comes with two DAC Featherlight poles which fit right inside the tent along with a loop and hook wrap. It’s simple to set-up, even if you’re working from the inside.

The tent also comes with a small back window and the main door which are covered with a special mesh for cross-ventilation. The canopy is made with breathable and water resistant NanoShield fabric and the interior side area some with mesh pockets for organization.

PROS

  • It’s lightweight, offers an optional vestibule for gear storage and can be used comfortably in any weather condition or climate.
  • It has mesh panels for proper ventilation and NanoShield fabric for water resistance and breathability.

CONS

  • We saw there have been some issues with the fabric of this tent, however.
  • Many people complained about condensation and water resistance issues.

Rating

Buyer’s Guide: Best Backpacking Tent Brands

These are only three tents that have caught backpackers' attention over the last few years. There are many more that do an exceptional job at making high-quality, lightweight backpacking tents: Nemo, The North Face, Kelty, and REI, just to name a few.

The best way to find a tent that’s right for your backcountry adventure is by visiting your favorite outdoor equipment shop. Show up with all the questions and a detailed description of what type of hiking excursion you’re planning.

The best tent for your backcountry excursion depends heavily on the type of trip you’re planning on taking. While a multi-day trip in the high mountains may require a heavy-duty tent, a weekend away with friends in a national park may call for a super light option.

Three tents with different color


Final Thoughts on the Best Backpacking Tent

While packing a bag with hike-worthy clothes seems simple enough, packing the perfect tent can truly make or break your backcountry adventure. Choosing a tent that’s too heavy will create an unneeded challenge from day one, while packing a flimsy sheet and a couple poles will have you fearing for your life whenever the sun sets.

By taking the time to find the best backpacking tent, you can feel confident that you’ve hit the sweet spot. It’s light enough to keep you walking for hours without strain, yet durable enough to offer proper shelter in any type of weather.

Your dream portable home is out there, and the hiking adventure of a lifetime comes with it.

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