Best Backpacking Tents of 2023 ( Reviewed & Tested)

Best Backpacking Tents Reviews & Buying Guide

Whether you are a family of backpackers, a mountaineer or simply a fan of outdoor adventures, here you will find the best backpacking tents for your nights outdoors or to shelter you in the event of unfavorable weather conditions.

All our recommendations are top-quality products that are suitable for 3 season use and have been thoroughly examined by our team.

We also offer you our dedicated buying guide so that you can choose a hiking tent, suitable for your use with complete peace of mind!

Best Backpacking Tents Reviews of 2023

Take a close look at our comparison table of the top 10 best backpacking tents in 2023…

1. MSR Hubba Hubba Nx Tent – Best Backpacking Tent of all Categories

2. MSR Zoic 3 Tent – Lightweight and Breathable, for Family or Friends

3. Ferrino Sling 1 Person Tent – Excellent Value and Perfect for Trekking

4. Camp Minima 2 Pro – 2-Person Tent with Double Roof, Compact & Light

5. MSR Elixir 3 – Extremely Livable Backpacking Tent At an Affordable Price

6. Vaude Campo Compact XT 2P – Spacious & Comfortable Tent

7. MSR Habit 4 – Excellent Protection Against Tough Storms &  Weather

8. Camp Tent Minima 1 SL – Double-Roof Tunnel Tent, Compact and Light

9. Ferrino Proxes 4 – Good Ventilation, Resistance and Habitability

10. Vaude Taurus 2P – Reasonable Space for Two Person in All Categories

MSR Hubba Hubba Nx Tent


  • Number of people: 2
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Weight: 1,720 g
  • Room dimensions: 213 x 127 x 100 cm
  • Materials and coverings: 20 denier x 330T ripstop nylon flysheet; Durashield silicone and polyurethane coating; 30 denier x 262 T ripstop nylon floor with Durashield silicone and polyurethane coating
  • Water column and waterproofing in mm: 3000 mm floor / 1200 mm roof
  • Apses: Yes, two


  • Excellent weather resistance
  • Premium materials and quality construction
  • Spacious and comfortable interior


  • Expensive, but the price is justified

The MSR Hubba Nx may cost more than all of our other picks, but it’s an option we encourage you to seriously consider if you’re looking for a durable two-person backpacking tent that combines unrivaled roominess with generous space. Considering the build quality and features, it’s a smart investment that you won’t regret.

While this is not the lightest or roomiest tent on the market, this premium backpacking tent positively ticks almost all the boxes, thanks to an “Optimized Symmetrical Geometry” design that has been studied to offer enough comfort.

It has enough space to accommodate sleeping systems for two people. Whether you want to relax sitting or kneeling, it will allow you to feel perfectly at ease where others may seem cramped and claustrophobic for two.

Unlike many ultralight models, it features two doors and vestibules as well as nearly vertical walls, which ensure excellent habitability. Added to this, there are adjustable integrated installation loops that speed up installation.

The MSR Hubba Hubba Nx is very well-built and ready to follow you for adventures in 3 seasons. This model also has a solid bed that can withstand rough use. In this regard, it performs very well in wet and windy conditions. Its weather resistance is excellent, and its pole-to-hub design guarantees rock-solid stability.

Other good things about the MSR Hubba Hubba Nx: it has superior ventilation to suit summer hiking and includes full coverage to effectively protect occupants in rain showers.

Many other great features make this backpacking tent a premium product: the easily movable and tilting freestanding structure for perfect positioning, the twin D-shaped doors (each with a large porch) to give each occupant their own entrance and space to store a backpack and boots….

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2. MSR Zoic 3 Tent – Lightweight and Breathable Design for Family or Friends

MSR Zoic 3 Backpacking Tent


  • Number of people: 3
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Weight: 2,670 g
  • Room dimensions: 223 x 191 x 100 cm
  • Materials and coverings: flysheet in 40 denier Ripstop polyester coated with Xtreme Shield polyurethane and silicone; Floor in 70 denier Ripstop nylon, Xtreme Shield polyurethane coating and hydrophobic protection
  • Water Column and waterproofing in mm: 3,000 mm on the ground / 1,500 mm on the roof
  • Apses: yes, 2


  • Excellent ventilation and airflow performance
  • Durable and water-resistant floor
  • Affordable price for the level of quality
  • Effective protection against heavy downpours


  • Smaller than most 3-person models

If you are looking for MSR quality, but cannot afford some of their higher-end tents, then the MSR Zoic 3 is an option worth considering. It is designed to accommodate up to three people and is ideal for traveling with family or friends.

This backpacking tent is equipped with three geared lofts for custom storage options and has two easy-access doors that make it easy to get in and out in the middle of the night when needed. The Zoic 3 comes with durable and lightweight aluminum poles (proven MSR design geometry) with a long-lasting Xtreme Shield waterproof coating…

This backpacking tent offers decent storm protection and can count on its 1500mm waterproof rating rain fly that covers the whole body from top to bottom. That said, one of the main draws of the MSR Zoic 3 is its excellent performance in terms of ventilation and airflow.

The ultra-breathable canopy is made from micro-mesh panels. For your hot weather adventures, you can count on a cool, dry interior. To ensure maximum breathability, the Zoic 3 also benefits from optimal moisture control and offers beautiful views from the inside as it is composed of very little fabric obstructing the view.

Also, while the wide floor plan and steep sidewalls create a spacious interior, this tent is slightly smaller than most 3-person models, so it might be a little tight for you and two other campers.

To install this tent, you will not have to break your head. Because the MSR Zoic 3 has a self-supporting structure, that can support its own weight on any terrain and does not even need to be staked in most cases.

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3. Ferrino Sling 1 Person Tent – Excellent Value for Money and Perfect for Trekking

Ferrino Sling 1 Person Backpacking Tent


  • Number of people: 1
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Weight: 1,250 g
  • Bedroom dimensions: 220 x 80 x 65 cm
  • Materials and coverings: double roof in 70 D diamond polyester, 75 g/m² and thermally insulating polyurethane floor
  • Water column and impermeability in mm: 2,500 mm on the ground / 2,000 mm on the roof
  • Apses: no


  • Excellent build quality
  • Small footprint and easy transport
  • Quick and easy assembly


  • May be too narrow for some large person

If you’re on a tight budget and need a good one-person tent, look no further than the Ferrino Sling 1. It offers the most basic of tents and could be everything that you need for your solo adventures.

It is lightweight (just 1250g) and compact in design. This 3-season one-person hiking tent sets up easily and provides you with adequate shelter in mild climates.

The package comes with aluminum anchor pins, a carry bag, and a repair kit. This backpacking tent measures just 32cm long and 12cm wide when folded. However, this compact design does not prevent it from offering a spacious interior to make you feel comfortable.

The Ferrino Sling 1 has a chamber that is 220 cm long and 80 cm wide at the shoulders. As for the transport dimensions, they are only 33 x 12 cm, which takes up almost no space in your backpack.

Other advantages of the Sling 1 that are worth mentioning: this tent has interior pockets where you can store your personal items. Similarly, a hook is provided so that you can hang a lamp. It is waterproof and able to withstand the most adverse weather conditions. It is therefore equipped with a water column of 2000 mm.

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4. Camp Minima 2 Pro – 2-Person Tent with Double Roof, Compact and Ultralight

Camp Minima 2 Pro



  • Number of people: 2
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Weight: 2,100 g
  • Bedroom dimensions: 220 x 120 x 100 cm
  • Materials and coverings: flysheet in 30D Ripstop nylon, and floor in 70 D 190T/N nylon polyamide
  • Water column and waterproofing in mm: 5,000 mm on the ground / 3,000 mm on the roof
  • Apses: yes, two


  • Large vestibules on both sides for extra capacity
  • Very good ventilation
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Two large zipped entrances


  • Nothing to say

If you’re looking for a compact and lightweight two-person backpacking tent, the Camp Minima 2 Pro might be just what you need to fully enjoy your next hiking or camping adventure.

Although it is very light and intended to accommodate two people, it demonstrates great stability and relies on its double-walled design to guarantee effective protection against the elements.

The package includes a compression carrying bag, pegs, additional guy lines and a repair kit. The Camp Minima 2 Pro is also appreciated for its manufacturing quality which guarantees durability despite the apparent fragility of its construction materials (flysheet in 30D Ripstop nylon and platform in 70 D 190T/N nylon polyamide).

So you don’t have to fear unpleasant surprises when you venture into difficult conditions. Also, the Camp Minima 2 Pro promises to keep you dry, thanks to its light, strong, and completely waterproof rain fly. Likewise, it has a waterproof index of 5,000 mm for the floor and 2,000 mm for the roof.

That being said, if we recommend this 3-season tent, it’s also for the good climate that reigns within it. Camp’s Minima 2 Pro features an all-mesh main frame and a rain fly with two large windows and cross-vents for this purpose. This allows a sufficient amount of air to enter, as well as effective moisture management.

Another interesting feature: the bedroom has dimensions of 220 x 120 x 100 cm, and therefore offers enough space for two people to sleep there. You and your partner will be able to enter the tent at the same time as it has two large zipped entrances (one on each side).

Let’s finish by noting that the Camp Minima 2 Pro offers plenty of storage options with its four pockets on each side and its two large vestibules that provide the extra space needed to curl up in bad weather.

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5. MSR Elixir 3 – Extremely Livable Backpacking Tent At an Affordable Price

MSR Elixir 3 Backpacking Tent


  • Number of people: 3
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Weight: 3,190 g
  • Room dimensions: 213 x 172 x 104 cm
  • Materials and coatings: flysheet in 68 denier Ripstop polyester with polyurethane coating and DWR coating; floor in 70 denier nylon taffeta, polyurethane coating and DWR coating
  • Water column and impermeability in mm: 3000 mm on the ground / 1500 mm on the roof
  • Apses: yes; 2


  • Effective protection against adverse weather conditions
  • Good ventilation without compromising warmth and privacy
  • Excellent value
  • Very good habitability
  • Easy setup


  • Not the lightest or most compact option

Although it weighs a little more than other 3-person tents in its class, the MSR Elixir 3 is a great backpacking tent in almost every way. The perfect combination of comfort, lightweight, quality and affordability, it is ideal for most camping or hiking situations.

It is very easy to set up in about a minute or two. All of its poles are strong enough not to come undone. As long as you pitch the tent correctly, you’re guaranteed to end up with stable shelter, even in a windstorm.

The MSR Elixir 3 is certainly not made to withstand very cold weather or snow, but for a 3-season tent, it handles rain, wind, and chilly nights surprisingly well and is well-armed to handle different adverse weather conditions without failure.

This tent further manages to offer excellent ventilation without compromising privacy or warmth. So you won’t have to fear on hot days as the Elixir 3’s micro-mesh canopy guarantees maximum breathability.

We also recommend this backpacking tent because it is extremely livable. The Elixir 3 indeed adopts a unique geometry of the poles which optimizes the headroom. This design offers plenty of headroom and is roomy enough (especially for two people with their gear) and comfortable.

However, the floor space may be too small for three tall people to sleep comfortably inside.

One thing we like about the MSR Elixir 3 is that it offers excellent views, thanks to its adaptable rain fly. Other features like built-in lofts and glow-in-the-dark zipper pull enhance livability. This tent also features two large doors for easy entry as well as two large vestibules for storing your muddy or wet boots and clothes.

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6. Vaude Campo Compact XT 2P – Spacious, Compact & Comfortable Backpacking Tent

Vaude Campo Compact XT 2P


  • Number of people: 2
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Weight: 2,700 g
  • Room dimensions: 215 x 140 x 105 cm
  • Materials and coverings: 100% polyester 75 denier polyurethane flysheet; 100% 70 denier polyamide coated polyurethane floor.
  • Water column and impermeability in mm: 5,000 mm on the ground / 3,000 mm on the roof
  • Apses: yes, 1


  • Excellent value
  • Canopy is big enough for meal prep
  • High wind resistance
  • Compact folding design


  • The assembly process is a bit tedious

Vaude Campo Compact XT 2P backpacking tent is built with a versatile structure suitable for camping and trekking. It has been designed to allow occupants to sleep and live in comfort.

Vaude overlooked no detail. For example, the outer layer of the tent has been darkened for greater sleeping comfort while the inner material is lightweight to make living inside easier.

The 215 x 140 x 105 cm bedroom offers enough space for two without the tent having too large a footprint. Likewise, the Vaude Campo Compact XT 2P demonstrates great stability in strong winds, thanks in large part to its solid aluminum frame that withstands many assemblies and disassemblies cycles.

When it comes to deployment, it’s not the fastest-to-assemble model we’ve encountered. It usually takes about fifteen minutes. This somewhat long time is not due to the fact that the assembly is difficult.

However, there is a multitude of connectors which can be a bit confusing and make assembly tedious. Fortunately, the hoops or hoops elements as well as the tubes are marked with a color code that guides the orientation of the poles.

The Vaude Campo Compact XT 2P stands out positively and protects against bad weather greatly. With a water column of 3000mm and a waterproof rating of 5000mm for the floor material, you are sure to have a dry refuge even with the heaviest downpour of rain.

Vaude has also done a nice job with ventilation and humidity management. For this, the inner tent is made of 68 D polyester (a material whose properties prevent condensation). And the walls like the door (of the inner tent) have ventilation inserts in anti-mosquito mesh to let in a quantity of air.

Note that the Campo Compact XT 2P has a wide entrance which also contributes to a good climate within the shelter. This 3-season tent has the advantage of having pockets inside for storing various objects. Above all, a large awning offers enough space to store equipment or cook in case of bad weather.

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7. MSR Habit 4 – Compromises on Ventilation, but Good Protection Against Tough Storms

MSR Habit 4 Backpacking Tent


  • Number of people: 4
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Weight: 5720 g
  • Bedroom dimensions: 241 x 241 x 185 cm
  • Materials and coverings: Flysheet in 68 denier polyurethane-coated Ripstop polyester; Parterre in 68 denier polyester taffeta with polyurethane coating
  • Water column and impermeability in mm: 10,000 mm on the ground / 1,500 mm on the roof
  • Apses: yes, 1


  • Large and spacious enough for two adults and two children
  • Integrated vestibule with full coverage rain fly
  • Excellent aluminum pole structure
  • Many pockets of different sizes


  • Ventilation can do better

Even though the MSR Habit 4 sacrifices ventilation somewhat, it is one of the best backpacking tents you will find in terms of durability and weather protection. This tent is designed to withstand rough and intensive use, so don’t have to worry about harsh campsites or bad weather.

Its sturdy construction made from lightweight, high-quality materials is joined by one of the best post systems we have seen. So this family dome tent can support its own weight on any terrain without having to be staked in most cases.

But in strong winds, it is always better to secure it to the ground with the Steel stakes and guy lines included. Once in place, the MSR Habit 4 provides safe and comfortable shelter, even in harsh conditions.

It’s durable and has a water-resistant floor. It also has a rainfly that completely covers its body from top to bottom. The robust construction and full-length rain fly ensure good resistance in case of strong winds.

This model has a waterproof rating of 1,500 mm, which means that you will be effectively protected in the event of heavy showers. Likewise, the MSR Habit 4 includes a vestibule that provides enough space for storing shoes and other belongings.

One of the main features of the MSR Habit 4 is that it can accommodate up to four people. However, we find this tent works best with two adults and two children. Besides this, the high height (about 12% more headroom compared to similarly sized tents) offers plenty of headroom.

All in all, the MSR Habit 4 may be a little more expensive than most four-person tents, but on closer analysis, it’s a worthwhile investment. Because it will serve you for many years. It also offers solid performance even in difficult conditions with very good habitability compared to most other cabin-style family tents.

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8. Camp Tent Minima 1 SL – Double-Roof Tunnel Tent, Compact and Light

Camp Tent Minima 1 SL


  • Number of people: 1
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Weight: 1,150 g
  • Bedroom dimensions: 220 x 80 x 65 cm
  • Materials and coverings: 30D Ripstop nylon flysheet and 70 D nylon polyamide floor.
  • Water column and waterproofness in mm: 5,000 mm on the ground / 2,000 mm on the roof
  • Apses: NC


  • Surprisingly stable considering the lightweight
  • Compact and super lightweight design
  • Quick assembly and disassembly
  • Very small packing volume


  • Average ventilation when the front vestibule is closed

Weighing just 1150g (including frame and poles), the Camp Minima 1 SL is the lightest tent in our top 10 list. Its small size allows it to be easily transported in the supplied bag or in another. This tent is made up of small diameter poles, a 30 D Ripstop nylon flysheet, and a 70 D nylon polyamide bed.

This backpacking tent is made of fairly solid materials that provide good resistance, which is a big advantage given its size. However, you must ensure that you configure it correctly. Another thing we like about this one-person tent is that it can withstand a lot of weather conditions.

Fortunately, assembling the Camp Minima 1 SL is not at all difficult and won’t take you more than 10 minutes if the ground does not present any particular constraints. The aluminum stakes and guy wires provided for assembly are easily identifiable.

Besides a waterproof index (2,000 mm for the outer canvas and 5,000 mm for the ground) that exceeds the characteristics usually found on ultralight tents, the Camp Minima 1 SL has a structure mesh fabric for optimal ventilation. As for its outer fabric, it guarantees good heat distribution.

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9. Ferrino Proxes 4 – Perfect Combination of Ventilation, Resistance and Habitability

Ferrino Proxes 4 Hiking Tent


Number of people: 4
Seasonality: 3
Weight: 9,000 g
Room dimensions: 210 x 240 x 170 cm
Materials and coverings: flysheet in Diamond 70D polyester, 75 g/m2, aluminized heat-insulating polyurethane coating; floor in 70D polyester, 80 g/m2
Water column and impermeability in mm: 2,000 mm on the ground / 2,500 mm on the roof
Apses: yes, 1


  • Good balance of ventilation, resistance and habitability
  • Spacious bedrooms and a living area
  • Very good value for the money


  • Heavyweight

The Ferrino Proxes 4 may not be the best 4-person tent on the market but great value for money. Its large structure, spacious bedrooms & living area, and affordable price make it an option that deserves serious consideration.

This backpacking tent has tunnel-shaped and composed of three fiberglass poles with drawstrings. The Ferrino Proxes 4 offers a perfect combination of ventilation, resistance and habitability.

Even though the solid construction of this tent implies a rather heavy weight of 9 kg, you are assured of having a safe shelter that effectively protects its occupants in all weather conditions during 3 seasons of use.

The Ferrino Proxes 4 is also appreciated for its ability to provide good ventilation, which makes it suitable for camping in hot weather. The “Air” system with a large mosquito net, sleeves, and ventilation windows (which joins the water-repellent polyester interior) promotes good maximum breathability. That being said, the rather closed structure makes it work best in a cool climate.

As mentioned above, one of the biggest attractions of the Ferrino Proxes 4 is that it offers really generous space. Ferrino states a capacity of up to four people, but the dimensions (210 x 240 x 170 cm) of the room mean that four medium to large adults will feel cramped.

On the other hand, this tent is perfect for three adults or for family camping with two adults, children, and all their equipment. Let’s finish…you won’t have any trouble installing it as long as you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. A video is available for configuration with the activation of the tent’s QR code.

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10. Vaude Taurus 2P – Reasonable Space to Comfortably Sleep Two in This Robust Tent

Vaude Taurus 2P - Best Backpacking Tent for 2 People


  • Number of people: 2
  • Seasonality: 3
  • Weight: 2,600 g
  • Room dimensions: 230 x 130 x 95 cm
  • Materials and coverings: 100% polyester 75 denier polyurethane flysheet; floor 100% 70 denier polyamide, polyurethane coated
  • Water column and impermeability in mm: 5,000 mm on the ground / 3,000 mm on the roof
  • Apses: yes, 1


  • Clever ventilation system with openings in the roof
  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Easy assembly
  • Small footprint but enough space to sleep two


  • Slightly short pegs

With its 2.6 kg on the scale, the Vaude Taurus 2P is not the lightest two-person tent, but its relatively heavy weight is a fair compromise to benefit from typical German quality.

Two people can live comfortably. The Taurus 2P is perfect for camping & hiking and inspires confidence with its construction. It is able to perform well even in inclement weather conditions.

With a canopy dome structure and made from materials offering a good compromise between lightness and resistance, this pretty three-season tent includes a flysheet in 75 denier polyurethane polyester and a floor entirely in coated 70 denier polyamide of polyurethane. So you can use it for camping on small rocks and twigs without problems.

Also, the interior of Vaude Taurus 2P provides enough space (230 x 130 x 95 cm) for two people to sleep. On the other hand, the walls of this tent are low and inclined and the space is narrow for two people to sit at a time. Thus, it is not particularly pleasant to shelter in this tent while waiting for a storm to calm down.

However, the Vaude Taurus 2P stands out positively when it comes to weather protection, thanks to its double-walled design and rain fly.

The ventilation inside the tent is very good. This is made possible by the design of its interior walls in polyester and by the clever ventilation system with openings in the roof. Likewise, the vestibule has four zippers through which you can open it from either side or from the top to increase the incoming airflow.

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Best Backpacking Tent Buying Guide

You want to go hiking and you have planned to spend the night under the stars?

Today, there is a wide range of tents on the hiking equipment market. However, not all models will be equal in terms of performance (depending on your uses) and what you want to do with them. Our guide will reveal the keys to a good investment in terms of a backpacking tent.

Choose a tent according to your use

Depending on your uses (static or roaming use), the choice of a backpacking tent will be decisive for a good night’s sleep outdoors. Here are the different situations that may lead you to choose one model over another:

  • Camping: in this situation where you will probably spend several days in the same place, a comfortable, spacious tent that is large enough to store equipment will be preferred. Here, the weight will not be a problem. Theoretically, you will bring your camping equipment by motorized vehicle.
  • Hiking: if you plan to go hiking or to be constantly roaming, it will be necessary to favor the purchase of light and practical tent model, suitable for several seasons.
  • Ultra-light hiking: if you want to go hiking but from a more “minimalist” angle, without encumbering yourself with superfluous, extremely light tents designed with innovative materials and generally suitable for one person will undoubtedly be the ideal tent model.
  • Expedition in the high mountains: to face the elements and the sometimes difficult climatic conditions, it will then be necessary to opt for four-season tents.
Hiking Tent Rock Snow Mountain Scene
For your safety, it is essential to choose a tent adapted to the weather conditions of the season in which you want to go hiking.


Tents are classified according to their seasonality. This is an index that will determine the insulation capacity of the tent against the elements but also the solidity of its design:

  • 2 seasons: generally suitable for spring and summer. These tents can be used in mild and mild weather conditions.
  • 3 seasons: these tents will generally be usable from spring to autumn and sometimes more but will not be suitable for withstanding very harsh winter weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall and blizzards.
  • 4 seasons: these tents can be used all year round regardless of the destination. They are supposed to guarantee optimal protection against all the elements and climatic conditions while having a robust design.

The different forms of tents

There are three types of tent shapes on the market:

  • Tents in the shape of “domes” (also called “igloo”): this is a widespread model of tent, easy to set up and generally self-supporting (they stand up on their own) using their two poles which intersect at the top to ensure stability. Geodesic tents are part of this same family of tents, except that they have more poles to further strengthen their resistance.
  • Tunnel tents: often spacious and suitable for use by several people. They can also shelter equipment due to their surface area. Because of the non-self-supporting design, they will require full guying to stand up. Their assembly is generally simple and their structure is made up of semi-circular arches which form the tunnel.
  • Tipi tents: in the form of a pyramidal structure, they can sometimes be compartmentalized for more practicality and conviviality. There are also models compatible with the use of a wood stove.


There are three types of tents:

  • Self-supporting tents: these tents stand upright without the need to use pegs, but the absence of the use of pegs will allow them to be installed on all types of ground even the most difficult such as sand. They will require little floor space and will be very versatile. You can buy these tents to guarantee increased safety and stability in the wind.
  • Non-self-supporting tents: these tents do not stand up without fixing and guying with sardines. What could be likened to a disadvantage is however only a formality in reality: nothing could be simpler to install a non-self-supporting tent. On the other hand, its installation will require a ground compatible with the use of sardines.
  • Semi-freestanding tents: these tents stand up almost on their own but will require the use of one or two pegs to optimize their volume.

The type of roof

There are two types of roofs for tents:

  • Single-wall: these tents do not have the “inner room and double-roof” combination, but only have a simple single-wall roof. The main advantage of these tents is their incredible lightness and small size. On the other hand, they are sensitive to the formation of condensation inside and do not offer good evaporation of humidity.
  • Double-walled: these tents have an inner chamber and a double roof which allows them to optimize protection against the elements: wind, rain, and humidity. The outer canvas is generally made of water-repellent material.

The type of structure

There are several types of structures that make up the frame of a tent:

  • Inflatable structure: these are inflatable tubes. Learn more about inflatable tents from here
  • Hoop structure: they can be made of aluminum, carbon, or composite materials.
  • Structure with poles: in steel or aluminum which makes it possible to support the structure of a tepee tent or a tarp.
  • Structure provided by hiking poles: generally used in addition to minimalist shelters in order to optimize the weight and size of the tent.

The capacity

The capacity corresponds to the number of people who can shelter in the tent. To determine it, it will be necessary to take into account:

  • The dimensions of the tent: the width and length of the tent room will be important. Because a hiking mattress is 51cm wide. Also, make sure the height under the ceiling will allow you to sit in the tent.
  • The shape of the interior space: a tent made up of vertical interior walls will be more spacious than a tent whose walls are at an angle.
  • The presence of an apse: apse will allow you to store your hiking equipment and to be able to prepare a meal in case of rain.

Obviously, the greater the capacity, the more its weight and the area required for its installation will increase.

Man Taking Rest in the Tent
For a restful rest, it is important to choose a comfortable tent.


The comfort of a tent is obviously determined by the capacity of the tent and its layout. The number of doors and openings will also be considered. Because the more doors you have, the easier it will be to move around if there are many of you sheltering in the tent.

Several openings will also allow good ventilation. The number of apses will also be important because it will allow the equipment of all the occupants to be stored.

The materials

The type of fabric

To be of good quality, a tent must be solid, waterproof, and must protect you from both harmful insects and UV rays. To do this, it will be necessary to consider the type of fabric used in the design of the tent:

  • Nylon (polyamide): this is a synthetic fabric that has the advantage of being flexible, light and resistant. However, being UV sensitive and subject to expansion when wet, it will often be treated on its outer surface to make it UV resistant and waterproof.
  • Polyester: it is also a synthetic fabric but it is heavier and less elastic than nylon. It does not absorb water and holds its shape, but will be less durable than nylon.

The weaving process

The process of weaving the fabrics of a tent will also be decisive:

  • Ripstop: used for nylon and polyester, this weaving method increases resistance to tearing and abrasion.
  • Taffeta: it is a process also used for nylon and polyester that gives the fabric excellent durability, in addition to being able to dry quickly and being waterproof and windproof.

The deniers

The deniers are a specification that can be found in the descriptions of the products and will give a good indication of their robustness. For example, if the expressed deniers are 150D, it will mean that the fabric used is a yarn of fabrics with a weight of 150g for a length of 9000 meters of yarn. The higher the number, the more robust but also heavier the fabric will be.

Coatings and treatments

Coatings and surface treatments will guarantee the durability, impermeability and UV resistance of a tent:

  • Polyurethane (PU ) coating: applied in layers on the fabric, it makes it possible to obtain waterproof values ​​of between 800mm to 10,000mm in water columns (see our article on waterproofing). However, the thicker the PU layer, the more waterproof but also heavier the fabric will be.
  • Thermoplastic polyurethane coating (TPU): this coating is more resistant to wear than conventional PU coating.
  • Silicone coating: it is generally found on nylon tents and increases tear and UV resistance while increasing the life of the colors of the tent.

High-end tents use a silicone coating on both sides of their walls. However, silicone and PU coatings degrade over time and successive uses (folding, unfolding, handling, etc.). It will therefore be recommended to choose tents with a high water column index.

The seams

The seams are often the weak point of tents because they can come loose and/or facilitate water infiltration. To make sewing threads waterproof, manufacturers use two methods:

  • Silicone treatment on the seams (for nylon fabrics).
  • Heat-sealed or heat-sealed strips on the seams (for polyester fabrics).

The poles

The materials used in the design of the poles are also important:

  • Fiberglass is generally used for entry-level tents: they are often heavy and fragile poles.
  • Aluminum: has a very good weight/strength ratio. They can sometimes be designed in alloy with other metals and trace elements guaranteeing the various properties. The aluminum poles are also flexible enough not to break under tension.
  • Carbon: it has a very good strength/weight ratio ensuring excellent rigidity and durability.
  • Composite fibers: light and strong, they are more flexible than aluminum or carbon.

The diameter of a pole will also influence the sturdiness of a tent.


Finally, sardines can also be made of several materials:

  • Stainless steel will guarantee good solidity at the expense of high weight.
  • The aluminum will make them light.
  • Titanium will be even lighter but much more expensive.
  • ABS plastic will be strong and inexpensive.
  • The fabric will be suitable for soft ground etc.

Pegs are also available in different shapes for different uses but should not be an essential point when buying a tent because they can be purchased separately and later.

Interior of the Backpacking Tent
The different openings of the tent contribute to its good ventilation.


To avoid the condensation that accumulates in a tent, it will be necessary to choose a model capable of limiting the problem. To do this, there are models equipped with:

  • Ventilation systems (the number of openings and doors can help renew the air) – fabric panels such as mosquito nets (mesh).
  • A double roof allows the air to pass at ground level.
  • Additional mats (footprint) that will protect you from humidity.

Size and weight

As we saw in our first point, the weight of your tent will be conditioned by the use you want to make of your equipment. For an extended hike where you want to carry only the bare minimum, we advise you to choose a compact and light model.

For more sedentary or very short-term hiking, the weight will probably not be a determining factor for you.

Ease of assembly

The structure of your tent and its dimensions will determine its ease of installation. A freestanding small-capacity tent will be easier to set up quicker than a non-freestanding tent with a capacity of four or six people.

The colors

This point may seem secondary but it can be important. If you are hiking in winter or in environments with little sunlight, choose a clear backpacking tent that will allow you to benefit from more light inside the tent.

On the other hand, a colored tent will be a guarantee of safety and will allow you to be visible if you should ever get lost and the helpers go looking for you.

The price

Depending on the type of tent, capacity and the materials used in its design, the price will obviously vary from model to model. For entry-level small capacity models, you can find tents for around $150 while the most elaborate and top-of-the-range models can come close to $1000 or more.


How do I maintain and clean my tent fabrics?

To ensure good longevity for your tent, it must be properly maintained after each use. To do this, use a damp sponge and mild soap. You should avoid washing machines and abrasive detergents so as not to damage your tent canvas. Let it dry before folding it up for the next use.

I would like to hike in winter, what type of tent should I go for?

To hike warm and safe, you will need to buy tent models capable of dealing with the snow and guaranteeing optimal insulation. Go for 4-season tents and above all do not overlook equipment adapted to the cold and winter to be able to camp in complete safety while preserving yourself as much as possible from the cold without risking your life.

Do not hesitate to discuss your hiking project with a seasoned professional and prepare yourself physically in anticipation of your winter camp.

I hesitate between several models, what should I do?

Before making a purchase, it is essential to read the description of the models that interest you to check whether the product meets your expectations and the use you will make of it. Do not hesitate to ask all your questions to a seller authorized to answer you and ask for advice.

Sometimes these two steps will be enough to determine which tent is best suited for your project.


A backpacking tent differs in many ways from a traditional camping tent. It must be light to carry easily in a backpack.  I hope this little guide to choosing the right hiking tent will have helped you to know which model is best suited to your practice.

Do not hesitate to tell me in the comments which tent you choose or the one you have already fallen for.

See you soon!

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