Do you need to buy a travel tent? With an abundance of hostels, airbnbs and trains to sleep on, you may well be wondering if modern backpackers need to burden themselves by hauling a tent around with them.
But a backpacking tent offers you a home. Anywhere you go, be it parks in the urban sprawl or glorious remote vistas in the wilderness, you’ll have your home with you!
Camping out in the woods, on the beach, or at the foot of some mighty mountain is a truly amazing way to reconnect with nature. I love to camp and have been lucky enough to camp out in over fifty different countries across five continents.
But how do you pick the best backpacking tent for hiking and camping adventures?
5 Best Camping Tents
If car camping is a feasible—and responsible—way to get yourself and your loved ones outdoors right now, you’ll need a comfortable place to sleep
MSR Hubba Hubba
The MSR Hubba Hubba is great for two people and is really quite spacious for a two-person tent; it is shaped to allow you to sit up throughout most of the tent. I’ve traveled with both the two-person and the three-person MSR Hubba Hubba and loved them both dearly. The two-person is one of the best couples backpacking tents – there’s room to roll around.
MSR is one of the most respected brands in the backpacking tent and gear industry and they have seriously decent customer support – when you buy an MSR tent it comes with a lifetime warranty so you can see it as an investment, it’ll be the last tent you ever have to buy!
The award-winning Nemo Hornet is the best lightweight backpacking tent on the market; not only is it ultralight, leading in material technology and design for quick set up, but it is also acclaimed as one of the best waterproof backpacking tents available.
However, there have been reports of the external section not being optimized for protection of your stuff against the elements and some have even said that the materials are so thin that they are easily pierced by twigs.
These two problems make it very hard to justify such a high price tag, but do note that these could be quite isolated issues. I have tried the Nemo Hornet out whilst hiking in Turkey and if you are on a long multi-day hike, the exceptionally low weight makes the Nemo Hornet stand out as the best ultralight tent.
REI Co-op Passage 1
The REI Co-Op is one of the best budget one man tents on the market. If you’re on a solo adventure, then this is a solid entry level choice The steak design, coupled with decent fabrics makes it hard to beat in terms of efficiency.
If you’re looking for a tent with an easy set up, and an overall versatile tent, this one might be for you. The free-standing build makes it easy to pitch almost anywhere. Of course you do get what you pay. This is a GREAT tent for the price but perhaps not hardy enough to withstand years of abuse or weather extremities.
Lawson Hammock Blue Ridge
Hammock camping tents are awesome… These bad boys are designed to be suspended taught so that they provide you with a flat surface to sleep on, rather than you sinking deep into a caccoon as you tend to do with traditional hammock designs
Hammock tents are super versatile, well made and can be set up like a normal tent on the ground if needs be – this offers the best of both worlds.
If you are looking for a quality one man tent for backpacking but also want to hang out on the beach in a hammock during the day, the Lawson Hammock Tent offers incredible versatility and best of all these bad boys are tough and you can put them through hell.
This particular hammock tent comes with an integrated mosquito net to keep bugs out and a waterproof ripstop nylon rain fly to keep you dry.
Kelty Wireless 6
Many of the tents on this list are $300 and up, but budget-oriented Kelty always seems to do a nice job at mixing quality and value. Released last year, the Wireless is affordable at $270 for the six-person version but includes a number of upgrades compared to cheaper tents like the Coleman Skydome above and Sundome below. Namely, you get two doors and two vestibules (both Colemans only have one), along with a full-coverage rainfly for rainy and windy conditions (the Sundome’s covers just the top). Kelty also uses more mesh in the construction, making it easier to keep cool in the summer heat. Throw in a decently roomy interior with a center ridgepole that stretches the walls up and away (again, both Colemans lacks this), and you have one heckuva value.
What do you sacrifice with the Kelty Wireless? First, the floor material and mesh are thinner than the more expensive options on this list. This does help keep weight reasonable, but it means that the tent will be less durable over time. Second, the fiberglass poles won’t hold up as well as aluminum in rough weather. Finally, the Wireless is a very popular budget option, and you may have a hard time getting your hands on one-at the time of publishing, Kelty is sold out, but a couple other retailers have stock. These issues aside, the Wireless is a great camping tent option for those looking to stay under $300. And for another good value from Kelty, check out their Discovery series.