The Best 2 Person Backpacking Tents in 2021

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A backpacking tent is a must-have for any great wilderness camping experience. However, finding precisely the right one for your trip is difficult because two-person tents are jam-packed with features.

Here are three features that make for an amazing backpacking tent:

  • Compact. The best backpacking tents will have a packed size of less than 24” x 10” (60.1 x 25.4 cm).
  • Lightweight. For wilderness trips, a tent that weighs less than 6lbs (2.7kg) is ideal.
  • Weatherproof. Your backpacking tent needs to be sturdy and durable enough to withstand a storm.

Read More : 7 Things to Know Before Buying Two-Person Tents

We know how important it is that you get the right backpacking tent for your future adventures. So, we’ve put on this page our favorite tents.

Here are the best backpacking tents for two-persons.

Tent Model Floor DimensionFloor AreaWeight
REI Co-op Groundbreaker 2 88” x 52”31.8ft² 4.8lbs / 2.2kg
Kelty Wireless 284” x 50”29.0ft² 7.3lbs / 3.3kg
Marmot Tungsten 2P84” x 54”32.0ft² 5.3lbs / 2.4kg
The North Face Stormbreak 287” x 50”30.6ft² 5.9lbs / 2.7kg
Sierra Designs Summer Moon 2P84” x 50”29.2ft² 3.5lbs / 1.6kg
MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 284” x 52”30.0ft² 1.1lbs / 0.5kg
Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 2 84” x 54”33.0ft² 6.0lbs / 2.7kg
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 86” x 52”28.0ft² 2.4lbs / 1.1kg
NEMO Hornet 2 85” x 51”27.5ft² 2.3lbs / 1.0kg
Crua Cocoon 280” x 52”30.0ft² 15.0lbs / 6.8kg
Exped Lyra II85” x 51”30.1ft² 4.6lbs / 2.1kg

REI Co-op Groundbreaker 2 Tent

REI Co-op Groundbreaker 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : REI
  • Floor Dimension : 88” x 52”
  • Weight : 4.8lbs / 2.2kg

Designed with the budget-conscious camper in mind, the REI Co-op Groundbreaker 2 is an affordable backpacking tent for occasional camping trips. It’s the cheaper and slightly heavier version of the superlight REI Half Dome SL 2 tent.

It has a simple no-frills freestanding half dome design that’s sturdy enough for summertime camping trips in the mountains. Thanks to its equal-length poles and pole clips, the tent is quick and easy to set up. The poles are also made from fiberglass, which helps to save a bit of weight in your pack.

This tent really shines when it comes to ventilation. It has mesh roof panels and zip-open screen windows that allow you to get great views and increase airflow at the same time.

Finally, the REI Co-op Groundbreaker 2 tent has a unique oblique ridge pole design that allows for easier entry and exit by placing the tallest part of the ceiling right above the door.

What We Like

  • Affordable. One of the best two-person backpacking tent options available.
  • Easy entry. Off-set pole design allows for easier door access.
  • Well-ventilated. Mesh roof and zippable screen windows for airflow.

What We Don't Like

  • Not fully waterproof. Rainfly doesn’t cover the whole tent.

Kelty Wireless 2 Person Tent

Kelty Wireless 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : Kelty
  • Floor Dimension : 84” x 50”
  • Weight : 7.3lbs / 3.3kg

Designed to accompany you on more remote adventures without breaking the bank, the Kelty Wireless 2 is a simple, yet comfortable abode in the backcountry.

Boasting Kelty’s proprietary Quick Corners system, this tent can be pitched in just a few minutes. Its pre-shaped poles simply need to be clipped into place on the tent body and then the fly can be attached to the corners of the body using a set of plastic buckles.

One of the best features of the Kelty Wireless 2 is its two-door, two-vestibule design. This makes getting in and out of the tent easy and makes it possible for you to store gear outside the tent. Plus, the two vestibules are fully seam-taped and have an easy-access zipper to simplify the entry/exit process.

What We Like

  • Fast setup. Quick corners system allows for speedy pitching.
  • Gear storage. Vestibules are perfect for stashing wet gear.

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy. Fairly hefty for a 29ft² tent.

Marmot Tungsten 2P Tent

Marmot Tungsten 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : Marmot
  • Floor Dimension : 84” x 54”
  • Weight : 5.3lbs / 2.4kg

For backpacking trips where having plenty of legroom is a must, the Marmot Tungsten 2P is a good choice. Made by and for backpackers that crave vertical walls and added headroom, this tent provides a good amount of comfort without adding too much gear weight to your pack.

Its pre-bent HD Velocity 7000 Series aluminum poles provide a nice mix of durability in high winds and internal tent volume for added interior space.

Although its doors are somewhat small for the size of the tent, there are two entry points, as well as two vestibules for gear storage. Inside the tent, there are also multiple built-in pockets for organizing all your small pieces of equipment.

Other cool features on the Marmot Tungsten 2P tent include jingle-free nylon zipper pulls that help to reduce excess noise at night. There is also a lampshade pocket that can instantly convert your headlamp into a light source for the whole tent.

What We Like

  • Durable. Burly aluminum poles for strength in windy conditions.
  • Livable. Built-in lampshade pocket to create in-tent lighting.
  • Big floorplan provides 32ft² of living space.

What We Don't Like

  • Small doors relative to the size of the tent.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent

The North Face Stormbreak 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : The North Face
  • Floor Dimension : 87” x 50”
  • Weight : 5.9lbs / 2.7kg

Offering a good mix of comfort and performance, The North Face Stormbreak 2 is a solid option for backpackers that like to camp in style. It offers a high ceiling height and a good size interior for maximum lounging space at the end of a camping day.

With this tent, you get two large doors with twin zippers that provide easy access in and out of your shelter. Each door is covered with its own spacious vestibule for plentiful gear storage while camping.

Plus, the vestibules can be configured as awnings for some sunshade if you stake out their large doors using your trekking poles. Alternatively, the doors can be rolled up for better airflow on a sunny day.

The North Face Stormbreak 2 tent is also built with an easy-pitch design, thanks to its color-coded poles and quick clips to save you time.

What We Like

  • High ceiling height. 43” (109cm) of headroom.
  • Multi-configuration vestibules. Can be set up as an awning.
  • Easy pitch. A color-coded system with quick clips for easy setup.

What We Don't Like

  • Breathability concerns. 75D polyester taffeta rainfly isn’t very breathable.

Sierra Designs Summer Moon 2P Tent

Sierra Designs Summer Moon 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : Sierra Designs
  • Floor Dimension : 84” x 50”
  • Weight : 3.5lbs / 1.6kg

An ultralight backpacking tent, yet budget-friendly, the Sierra Designs Summer Moon 2P is a summertime home away from home in the mountains. Thanks to its equal-length tent pole construction, this tent is easy to set up and has a freestanding tent design.

To ensure weather resistance on wet ground, it’s built with a high-back bathtub floor made from durable 68D polyester taffeta fabric. Plus, Sierra Designs crafted this tent’s rainfly using the same durable fabric to ensure maximum waterproofing.

Although this tent only has one door, its access is large and spacious, providing enough room for easy entry. The vestibule on this shelter is also large enough for gear storage and it has a huge D-shaped door so you don’t have to struggle to get into your tent.

To top it off, the Sierra Designs Summer Moon 2P Tent comes with a burrito-style stuff sack, which makes it easier to quickly roll it up for storage or transport.

What We Like

  • Bathtub-style floor. Provides ample protection from wet ground.
  • Simple set-up. Equal-length poles make setup easy.
  • Large vestibule. Plenty of storage space and a convenient opening.

What We Don't Like

  • Only one door. Less ideal for longer backpacking trips.

MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2

MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : MSR
  • Floor Dimension : 84” x 52”
  • Weight : 1.1lbs / 0.5kg

When weight savings are critical, the MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2 is ready for action. Designed with the ultralight backpacker in mind, this tent provides protection from bugs on more remote hiking adventures.

With a minimum packed weight of 1.1lbs (0.5kg), this trekking pole tent is one of the lightest tents on the market if you choose to use your own trekking poles. However, it still has enough interior space to accommodate up to 2 campers, 2 large sleeping pads, and a whole lot of gear.

This tent comes only with a bug net, which is made from micromesh to provide optimal ventilation. It also has an Xtreme Shield waterproof floor for moisture protection but should be used with a separate tarp system for shelter from the rain.

Additionally, the MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2 is an industry leader in terms of packed size. The bottom line is, with packed dimensions of just 10” x 4” (25x10cm), it’s one of the most compact backpacking tent on the market.

What We Like

  • Ultralight. Tips the scales at 1.1lbs (0.5kg).
  • Compact. Packed size of just 10” x 4” (25 x 10cm).
  • Breathable. Made with micro mesh fabric for ventilation and bug resistance.

What We Don't Like

  • Not waterproof. Tarps are sold separately.

Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 2 Tent

Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : Mountain
  • Floor Dimension : 84” x 54”
  • Weight : 6.0lbs / 2.7kg

If you’re looking for a tent that’s designed for livability, the Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 2 might be the answer. Boasting a high ceiling height and a symmetrical design, this tent has plenty of interior space for maximum comfort in the outdoors.

Perhaps the most innovative feature of this tent is its roll-back fly. On a clear night, you can pull back the fly on this shelter so you can get a great view of the stars and the surrounding area.

Additionally, the entire tent is seam-taped and has a durable 75D Ripstop Polyester fabric for weather resistance.

The Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 2 Tent even provides plenty of gear organization options, thanks to its 5 built-in pockets. It also comes with two full-sized vestibules that provide a sheltered entry point from the rain and extra gear storage.

What We Like

  • Spacious. High ceiling height and symmetrical shape for maximum livability.
  • Roll-back fly provides great views of the starry sky.
  • Gear organization. Plenty of storage options to stay organized.

What We Don't Like

  • On the heavier end of the backpacking tent spectrum.

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Tent

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : Big Agnes
  • Floor Dimension : 86” x 52”
  • Weight : 2.4lbs / 1.1kg

A fully featured shelter for ultralight backpackers, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is a wilderness adventurer’s best friend.

This tent is one of the lightest options on the market that features a fully-seam taped and waterproof ripstop nylon fly. Its bathtub-style floor keeps water out while its structured corners simultaneously provide straighter walls and more interior living space.

For ease of set up, Big Agnes designed this tent with a single hub-pole system. These poles are also purposefully angled to provide extra shelter above the doors from the rain to keep the inside of the tent dry in foul weather.

On the inside, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Tent also has plenty of interior loops for hanging up the gear and staying organized. Gear can even be stored inside the shelter’s two spacious vestibules to maximize your interior living space.

What We Like

  • Ultralight. Just 2.4lbs (1.1kg) for a fully-featured tent.
  • Single pole design allows for quick set up and weight savings.
  • Fully waterproof. Seam-taped silicone-treated rainfly and bathtub floor.

What We Don't Like

  • Durability concerns. Ultralight fabrics are prone to tearing.

Nemo Hornet 2 Tent

NEMO Hornet 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : NEMO
  • Floor Dimension : 85” x 51”
  • Weight : 2.3lbs / 1.0kg

When you need both livability and weight savings, the Nemo Hornet 2 is an ideal choice. Made with the company’s proprietary Flybar volumizing clip system, this tent provides more headroom and interior space without adding extra weight to your pack.

For added weight savings, this lightweight tent is designed with a burly single pole construction made from DAC Featherlite poles. This high-end design allows for a simplified setup process so you can save time in camp.

Unlike many ultralight shelter options, this tent also offers two spacious vestibules with built-in volumizing guylines to provide even more gear storage space.

Nemo didn’t slack off on features with the Hornet 2, either. They included Light Pockets so you can use your camping headlamp to illuminate the entire tent. Additionally, their unique Divvy stuff sack makes it easy to split up the weight of this tent and share it between you and your adventure buddy.

What We Like

  • Highly livable. Designed to provide maximum interior space.
  • Unique stuff sack. Easily splits the weight between two campers.
  • Large vestibules provide great gear storage.

What We Don't Like

  • Durability issues. Thin 10D rainfly requires special care for longevity.

Crua Cocoon 2 Person Insulated Tent

Crua Cocoon Insulated 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : Crua
  • Floor Dimension : 80” x 52”
  • Weight : 15.0lbs / 6.8kg

Shoulder-season camping during the late fall and early spring can be chilly, so staying warm can be a challenge. That’s where the Crua Cocoon 2 comes into the picture.

Built for those chilly nights in the mountains, this tent features full-coverage insulation, thanks to its synthetic insulation quilt. This quilt also blocks out most sunlight and a lot of sounds to provide a more comfortable sleeping area while you’re outside.

It also has a simple setup system. Designed with air beams instead of poles, this tent can be pitched in just a few minutes using a hand pump.

For maximum versatility, the Crua Cocoon tent can be used as a standalone shelter in dry conditions. Alternatively, it can fit inside many other two to four-person tents for added protection from the elements.

What We Like

  • Insulated. Provides ample warmth in cold conditions.
  • Blocks out sunlight for a better night’s sleep.
  • Simple set-up. Airframe technology eliminates the need for poles.

What We Don't Like

  • Very heavy. Best for less remote adventures.
  • Not waterproof. Should be used with another tent in the rain.

Exped Lyra II Tent

Exped Lyra II 2 Person Tent for Backpacking
Photo Credit : Exped
  • Floor Dimension : 85” x 51”
  • Weight : 4.6lbs / 2.1kg

Compact and livable, the Exped Lyra II demonstrates that you don’t need to carry around a bulky shelter just because you like to have plenty of space to stretch out at night.

Featuring multiple different set-up modes, this tent is ready to be optimized for all the conditions you face in the mountains. For maximum ventilation, you can set it up without the fly, or, you can roll back the fly partially for views of the night sky.

Plus, this shelter has two large vestibules for gear storage, as well as multiple interior pockets and gear loops for staying organized in the mountains.

With its innovative stuff sack that has a separate stake and pole pockets, the Exped Lyra II Tent is crafted to make packing up each morning a lot simpler. The tent also has a quick set-up and take-down design, thanks to its single, hub-pole design.

What We Like

  • Versatile. Multiple setup options for stargazing and weather protection.
  • Spacious. Lots of interior space for comfort.
  • Large vestibules provide ample gear storage.

What We Don't Like

  • Thin poles result in some durability concerns in windy conditions.

2 Person Backpacking Tents Buying Guide

Buying a backpacking tent is a major investment as you want to be sure that you’re getting the right shelter for your needs. With so many great options available, it can be difficult to determine which tent is truly the best for you.

Here are 7 things to keep in mind as you shop for your backpacking tent.

25 to 30ft² of interior space

The amount of interior space in your tent will have a direct impact on how comfortable it is inside. On average, you can expect a backpacking shelter to have between 25 to 30ft² (2.3 to 2.9m²) of floor space.

While some, such as the Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 2 Tent, have more surface area at 33ft² (3.1m²), 25ft² (2.3m²) should be considered a minimum for two people to comfortably sleep inside.

Keep in mind, however, that backpacking tents are not designed to be overly luxurious space-wise in an attempt to keep packaged weight and bulk at a minimum. So, while more living space is nice, it comes coupled with deceased packability.

The other feature to consider when deciding on how much interior space you need in a tent is the peak height. For backpacking tents, it’s important to remember that they are designed with lower peak heights than car camping tents in an effort to save weight.

You can expect a peak height of around 43” (109cm) with a backpacking tent. Some tents, like the Exped Lyra II Tent, have tall ceiling heights of 47” (119cm), which provides even more headroom at night.

Doors, windows, and vestibules

2-Person Camping Tent Door

Side doors, windows, and vestibules all serve important functions within a backpacking tent so it’s critical that you know how they affect performance in the field.

1 or 2 doors

The majority of backpacking shelters will have 1 or 2 doors; however, 2 doors are ideal. This is particularly true if you plan to share your tent with another person as having 2 doors on a tent such as The North Face Stormbreak 2 allows you to easily enter and exit the tent without stepping on your friend.

No windows

Most backpacking tents don’t come with purpose-built windows, however, their tent canopy is almost always made of mesh. This mesh provides ample ventilation in the summer months, as well as protection from bugs.

That being said, one tent, on our list, the REI Co-op Groundbreaker 2, does come with mesh windows that can be fully zipped up for weather resistance in a storm.

Smaller vestibules

Vestibules are covered areas around the doors of a tent that are essential for longer backpacking trips. These areas provide the perfect space for storing gear that you don’t want to bring inside the tent.

Larger vestibules, such as those on the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Tent, also offer a covered doorway to prevent water from getting inside your tent during a rainstorm.

Read More : 15 Tips for Camping in the Rain

Easy to set up compared to larger tents

2-Person Camping Tent Set Up

In general, backpacking tents are easier to set up than 4 and 6 person tents because they are smaller, have fewer poles, and have fewer tent stakes.

In fact, many two-person tents have freestanding designs or at least semi freestanding so you can set up the body, stake it down, and then place the rainfly on top for a simpler pitching process.

Three key features to look for in a tent when it comes to ease of set up are hubbed poles, equal-length poles, and color-coded tabs.

  • Hubbed poled tents, like the Nemo Hornet 2, have just one pole that folds open and snaps together to simplify the tent’s setup.
  • Equal-length poles, such as the Sierra Designs Summer Moon 2P have poles that are the exact same size and shape and can be put anywhere on the tent, minimizing frustration during the pitching process.
  • Color-coded tabs, such as what’s found on The North Face Stormbreak 2, help ensure that you place non-equal-length poles in the right spot. These tabs also make it easier to properly orient the doors of your tent fly with the doors on the tent body during set-up.

Read More : How to Stake A Tent Correctly

Weighs less than 6lbs

Backpacking tents are designed to be highly portable for use in remote environments. So, they’ll almost always be lighter than 6lbs (2.7kg), making them much more practical than 4 and 6 person tents for backpacking.

The lightest two-person tents will be under 4lbs (1.8kg) in weight, while some, like the MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2, tip the scales at a surprisingly low 1.1lbs (0.5kg).

Keep in mind that the packed weight of a backpacking tent is generally different than the trail weight. The trail weight refers to how much the tent body, poles, and fly weighs. It doesn’t include the weight of tent stakes or stuff sacks, while the packed weight includes all of these items.

For maximum portability, it’s also best to look for a 2 person tent that has a packed size of 24” x 10” (60 x 25cm) or less. Backpackers have limited space in their packs, so getting a compact tent is a must while living on the trail.

Read More : How to Pack Light for Your Next Camping Trip

Fabric materials

The majority of backpacking tents are made with ripstop polyester or nylon for the tent floor and fly. This material provides an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, particularly when made in a thickness above 60 deniers.

Some ultralight tents, like the Nemo Hornet 2 are made using much thinner rainfly fabrics with a minuscule 10D thickness. This provides ample weight savings but decreased durability. So, these types of tents require special care when backpacking so that the tent is not damaged in a storm.

For maximum weather resistance, you’ll also want a tent whose fly and floor fabric is treated with silicone to prevent water from seeping through. Taped seams are also a must to ensure complete waterproofing during a storm.

The final fabric used in backpacking tents is mesh. Most three-season tents will have a mesh canopy, which provides ample ventilation in the summer months. Interestingly, most backpacking tents, such as the MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2 use a similar type of micro mesh fabric, which keeps the bugs out but allows for plentiful airflow.

Sold without footprint

For the most part, two-person tents are sold without a footprint.

Footprints can be helpful for protecting the floor of your tent if you’re camping somewhere with particularly rocky and rugged terrain.

Alternatively, if you have a tent with a floor fabric that’s below 60D, it’s wise to get a footprint to protect it from damage. While footprints do add some weight to your pack, it’s often better to carry some extra weight than to put holes in your tent floor.

Buying the tent online

Buying a tent online can seem like a daunting task, but it’s more than possible if you shop from a reputable dealer. Retailers, such as REI, Moosejaw, and EVO are all good sources for gear in the United States.

Important things to consider when deciding on a retailer to purchase a tent from include:

  • Return policy. Most major retailers will offer a great return policy, giving you up to a year to decide if you want to return your gear. Keep in mind that most gear, including tents, needs to be returned brand-new and in the original packaging to get a refund.
  • Shipping. These days, big retail outlets often offer free or discounted shipping, though you usually need to pay the cost of return shipping if you choose not to keep your tent.
  • Price. Interestingly, many tent brands actually regulate the retail prices of their gear. So, unless a major retailer is having a big sale, the cost of a tent will generally be similar from one outlet to another.

It’s worth noting, however, that when it comes to tent warranties, your gear retailer is generally not responsible. Unless the tent was manufactured by the retailer (e.g., REI tents), you’ll generally need to contact the gear manufacturer directly to process a warranty claim.

Gaby Pilson

Gaby is a professional mountain guide with a master’s degree in outdoor education. She works primarily in the polar regions as an expedition guide, though she can be found hiking, climbing, skiing, sailing, or paddling in some of the world’s most amazing places when not at work.