With a wealth of hostels, Airbnb’s, and trains to sleep on you may be wondering whether the modern backpacker really needs to burden themselves with carrying a tent around with them. But actually, when you have a tent with you, it allows you the freedom to explore and experience nature in a way that these hostels, hotels, and Airbnb’s don’t offer. They also provide a movable home that goes wherever you do, whether that’s a glorious remote vista or a canopy under the trees in a dense forest.
When you go backpacking you don’t want to have to haul around heavy equipment especially when camping out in the middle of the woods or at the foot of a mighty mountain that you trekked to. What you need is something lightweight, easy to carry, and is relatively small in size, which is why travel tents are now becoming more and more popular. But how do you know which is the best backpacking tent for your needs?
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide so that you know what to look for as well as the seven best backpacking tents on the market for 2022. So you can enjoy a stress-free backpacking adventure that reignites your soul and reconnects you with nature.
What To Look For When Choosing A Backpacking Tent
When choosing a backpacking tent for yourself, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration as they can open up a world of possibilities for you. So what should you look for when choosing a backpacking tent:
You will need to have in mind the number of people you are likely to share the tent with. They are normally categorized by capacity from one to four persons. You’ll also need to remember that there is no standardized size for per-person dimensions so a 2 person tent, for example, can vary from brand to brand.
Another important factor to consider when looking for a tent is the season you will be using it for. Your main choice is between a three-season and a four-season tent. The majority of hikers, especially newcomers will opt for a three-season tent and frequently backpackers will often choose to have more than one tent.
Three-season tents can withstand downpours and light snow but are not designed to withstand harsh storms, violent winds, or heavy snow. Other key features of three-season tents are ample mesh panels to boost airflow, more upright walls for increased interior headroom, and fewer poles to keep weight down.
Four-season tents on the other hand are engineered to withstand fierce winds and substantial snow loads, however, they tend to have less ventilation so can feel stuffy in milder weather. Other key features of four-season tents are that they tend to contain more poles and heavier fabrics, rounded domed roofs to eliminate the chances of snow and rain collecting, and rainflys that extend close to the ground for better anchorage.
Some four-season tents are lightweight single-wall tents that have waterproof and breathable walls with no rainfly. These tents are best for cold, dry conditions as humid conditions can mean condensation accumulates inside the tent.
The weight of your backpacking tent is a huge part of your overall load, that’s why tent designers work hard to keep the weight of your tent low. As a compromise to your backpacking tent being lightweight you will lose space, have fewer features and may be less durable over the long haul. That’s why looking around is always a good idea as you are likely to find some lightweight tents that feel reasonably roomy and comfortable for you.
As the word suggests livability is a word for features that make spending time inside your tent more enjoyable. Backpacking tents traditionally have steeply sloped walls, minimal floor space, and hardly any headroom, but thanks to advances in materials this is now a thing of the past. You’ll want to bear in mind the floor dimensions, the floor area, peak height, and wall shape as this will help provide you with a comfy backpacking tent that you will enjoy sleeping in. If possible go to a shop and ask to set up your desired tent so you can hop inside and test it out.
The Best Backpacking Tents For 2022
Backpacking is a fun and adventurous way to reconnect with nature and to explore the world with the ultimate freedom you need to be able to pitch up anywhere. Having a travel tent is the perfect way to do this, so here’s our list of the seven best backpacking tents for 2022.
1. Weanas Waterproof Double Layer Aluminum Rod Double Skylight Outdoor Camping Tent
While tents are often used for shelter, protection, and comfort they can decrease your visibility of the world. The Weanas Waterproof Skylight Camping Tent has this key factor in mind. It features a large skylight that opens at the top of the tent to reveal a see-through panel for ventilation and more importantly a view of the starry night sky without any fabric in the way. But that’s not all this tent has to offer. This three-season tent weighs just five pounds and can accommodate up to three people.
It’s easy to install with high-strength, lightweight aluminum poles and as it’s freestanding you can move it without having to disassemble it. The tent is dual-layered for waterproofing, however, the inner label can be used alone for better ventilation and the outer layer can also be used alone for sunshade on a warm day. The Weanas tent can be used for multiple purposes and is the perfect addition to your backpacking tool kit.
2. First Gear Cliff Hanger Single Person Camping Backpacking Tent
If you’re looking for a solo backpacking adventure then the First Gear Cliff Hanger Tent is a great addition to your backpacking tool kit. Weighing only three and a half pounds you’ll barely feel this tent on your back. Covered in a polyurethane coating, this backpacking tent is durable and can withstand all types of harsh weather. The tent features two air vents for better ventilation and the fiberglass poles help keep this tent lightweight while making it easy to set up even for a novice. The Cliff Hanger tent also comes with its own storage bag with a handle so you can easily attach it to your backpack.
3. Texsport Saguaro Single Person Personal Bivy Shelter Tent for Backpacking
Backpacking tents don’t have to be expensive and the Texsport Saguaro Bivy Shelter Tent will fit most budgets. Weighing only four pounds, this tent is designed specifically for outdoor activities like backpacking or hiking. This single-person tent is perfect for solo backpackers or those who prefer their own space, just like the Cliff Hanger tent, it’s equipped with a polyurethane coating making it resistant to harsh weather such as sun and rain.
The two-pole frame system with shock-corded fiberglass poles makes setting up and disassembling this tent a breeze. The polyester taffeta walls with silver lining keep this tent cool in hot weather and helps to protect against harmful UV rays. This tent also comes with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
4. Wenzel Ridgeline Three Person Tent
Like many backpacking tents these days, the Wenzel Ridgeline has a high-quality polyurethane coating so it can handle harsh weather conditions. It’s been designed to fit up to three people so is relatively large in comparison to some, however, being a three-person tent does mean it weighs more at around seven pounds. The tent has multi-diameter fiberglass poles for extra headroom and more livable space.
The Dutch ‘D’ style door gives you easy entry and exit from the tent and the mesh window, door, and roof provide superior ventilation. The polyethylene tub-style floor has been welded and not sewn eliminating needle holes that could create a potential area for water seepage. This backpacking tent is large enough for up to three people yet compact enough to fit conveniently into a backpack or saddlebag. It’s the ideal tent for all types of camping, hiking, and weather conditions.
5. Alps Mountaineering Lightweight Backpacking Tent
There are several choices out there for lightweight single-person tents, however, none quite compare to the Alps Mountaineering Backpacking Tent. This tent has a whole range of features you never knew you needed until now. With a simple two-pole design this tent can be set up in a matter of minutes and as it’s free-standing you won’t need to disassemble it to move it. It also features a vestibule to store your gear and keep it dry in wet weather.
Another great feature with this backpacking tent is the overhead gear loft and side mesh storage pockets so you know your valuables are within reach when you’re inside your tent. The half mesh walls increase ventilation and the UV resistant fly helps keep you protected against harmful UV rays. Weighing just four pounds the Alps Mountaineering tent can be carried easily in your backpack.
6. Hyke & Byke Yosemite Backpacking Tents with Footprint
One of the best backpacking tents for 2022 is the Hyke & Byke Yosemite Tent. It features a ‘no-see-um’ mesh and an ultra-lightweight polyester fabric to keep you dry and warm. The tent is designed to be the ultimate backpacking tent for everyone to enjoy whether you are backpacking, hiking, or even car camping. The Yosemite backpacking tent comes as either a one-person or a two-person tent and weighs between four and six pounds.
The premium aluminum poles were designed to save space and shave weight, they also make setting this tent up super easy. This tent also boasts a superior weight-to-size ratio, a fully encompassed fly, and a durable waterproof double wall with ventilation. Additional features include a gear loft pocket, proprietary stake presser, 2 corner pockets, and four reflective guy lines.
7. Naturehike Four-Season Cloud-Up Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Naturehike is a professional outdoor product brand that was established in 2005 with the concept of light outdoor travel in mind. They are committed to providing high-quality outdoor products and the Cloud-up Backpacking Tent delivers on their promise. This four-season tent is both waterproof and windproof. It’s designed for 2 people and provides good thermal insulation and UV protection and weighs just over four and a half pounds.
The lightweight aluminum poles can easily support this tent in heavy snow and strong winds, they also make setting up the tent really easy. It has additional fixing points for durability and stability as well as additional vents for superior ventilation. When not in use it folds down to just 40cm which allows it to easily fit inside most hiking backpacks. The tent is multi-functional as the free-standing inner tent can be used as a mosquito net and the flysheet can also be used independently to save weight.