MY BEST HIKING TENTS COMPARISON:
BEST TOP OF THE RANGE HIKING TENTS
- What we like: Super light, enough interior spaces, Great features
- What we don’t like: Material is relatively thin, Pricey
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 is a top range hiking tent you could actually put your money on today. This legendary tent is all about spacious interior, incredibly low weight and most importantly ease of use. Coming in at around 3 pounds, we could say this is one of the lightest tents in this category, making it an amazing option for hikers who are looking for a top of the range, but super lightweight hiking tent.
It’s extremely lightweight feature has not compromised on the number of features you can net from the tent. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 comes equipped with 2 doors coupled with vestibules. The tent also offers a near-vertical wall, thus giving you enough space in the inside.
Yes, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 has a huge price tag, but it comes with some few issues. Its durability has generated a lot of concerns in recent months. The zipper and the fabric that has gone into the creation of the rainfly are quite thin. With this tent, you will be forced to handle the zippers and the mesh gently so as to avoid tears and snags. For a 500 dollars tent, we expected more to have been done by the designers.
- What we like: Unique pole design, Durable, Easy to set up
- What we don’t like: Expensive
Joining the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 right at the top of the list is MSR HUBBA HUBBA. If you are looking at sacrificing a bit of weight for a top of range hiking tents with amazing durability, the MSR HUBBA HUBBA is a more practical option. Although it has been designed to weigh a little bit lighter from the previous model, many people still find it quite heavy. It comes with 30 denier fabric, giving it the kind of durability we all want to see in our hiking tents.
When it comes to floor area, coming in at around 29 square feet, we could say there is plenty of interior room for two or even more hikers. The tent also comes with two doors, plenty of storage and vestibules. Another excellent feature about the tent is that it comes with a sort of a symmetrical design. With that, if you are sharing it with another person, you can sleep in either direction. For hikers who are looking for superb reliability and amazing design, the MSR HUBBA HUBBA can be their best bet.
- What we like: Enough room for 4 people, Easy to set up, Taped seams for waterproofing, Weatherproof design for extreme weather conditions
- What we don’t like: Quite bulky to pack, Heavy to bring along on long hikes and treks
If you are 4 and you all want to share a tent, the Marmot 4-Person Limelight Camping Tent is all you ever wanted. Coming with a very spacious interior, this particular tent is going to be more practical for 4 campers. Plus, other than its spacious interiors, the Marmot 4-Person Limelight Camping Tent is quite easy to set up. In fact, it won’t take you more than 5 minutes to put together everything.
The Marmot 4-Person Limelight Camping Tent does come with nearly vertical walls, meaning you get a lot of interior space. The design is also premium; the tent features a Zone Pre-Bend design that also adds a bit of extra space. The tent features a footprint, which comes in handy during bad weather.
Another unique feature that will get you excited is its super-sized door. It allows you to access or exit the tent with so much ease. The tent basically employs a d-shaped design making it a great choice for multiple tent users. Overall, with this choice, there is no way you would go wrong. You will find the most value out of your hard-earned cash.
BEST MID-RANGE HIKING TENTS
If you just want something that is not too expensive and not so cheap; well, there are plenty of options for you too. Here is a list of mid-range hiking tents.
- What we like: Completely waterproof, Lightweight, Quality design, Light pockets, Great protection and ventilation
- What we don’t like: Mesh tend not to last long, Design is said to sag over time
The Nemo Hornet 2P is a more practical choice for outdoor trips. It is incredibly lightweight, and compact, making it an amazing addition for backpackers. Despite coming with a reasonable price tag, that has not in any way compromised on its quality. The tent comes with a solid construction that can provide much-needed protection from extreme weather conditions and patterns. The taped seams that have been included makes this tent tight and rugged for any kind of weather
For maximum volume; the Nemo Hornet 2P features a triangulated guy out design. It helps enhance interior spaces. That is not all; the tent employs volumizing clips alongside a single hub design for poles, giving you strength and most importantly volume maximization.
Other great features you can net from this tent include a ripstop purely made from nylon. It provides great coverage and much-needed ventilation. The tent also features 2 doors and vestibules. It is also freestanding. You can get quick access or exit.
- What we like: All about strength and excellent protection, durable fabric, well-designed zippers, Stable
- What we don’t like: It said to wear out after a few uses.
Coming from a big name in the industry, there is no way the UL 3-Person Copper Spur Tent was not going to feature on our list. As the name suggests, this is a great choice if you are three and planning on sharing your tent together while you are out there in the wilderness. This tent features a wide range of functionalities all meant to give you a wonderful time out there.
The UL 3-Person Copper Spur Tent features a 4-way design that astonishingly increases its overall strength up to 20 percent. Compared to a number of models in the same price range, the UL 3-Person Copper Spur Tent is probably one of the most spacious tents you could put your money on today. The inside is all about space and volume; the tent can take in 3 people without any issues. As for features; there are quite a number of you will net. The tent is equipped with 2 vestibules as well as a door that feature tough zippers and flaps.
The ripstop has also received some major updates. It is made of nylon; that means two things; strength and durability. Additionally, for privacy reasons, the UL 3-Person Copper Spur Tent is an amazing choice. The mesh fabric offers a great level of privacy. The tent also comes equipped with plenty of pockets for additional storage. In the end, really, if you are looking for great hiking gear, there is no way you will go wrong with this piece of equipment.
- What we like: Designed for extreme winds, Noiseless zipper, Great ventilation, Offer plenty of storage space, Taped seams for excellent protection
- What we don’t like: Inadequate headroom height, Clips that hold rain fly are said to run small
The Kelty 2-person TN tent is another outstanding mid-range tent you could put your money on today. This legendary tent from a big brand has become one of the biggest choices for hikers and campers all over the world. It comes loaded with plenty of useful features.
This particular tent features aluminum poles that measures only 14 inches, meaning you can pack them with so much ease. When it comes to wind protection; the Kelty 2-person TN tent is like no other. It offers excellent resistance from the wind and great protection in extreme weather conditions.
The Kelty 2-person TN tent features a free-standing design. With that, you can’t just imagine how easy to assemble. Other great features you can net include taped seams for great protection, plenty of pockets for additional storage and mesh panels among others. Another feature that has seen this tent become very popular is its noiseless zipper. You can open, or close your tent without bothering your roommate.
BEST BUDGET HIKING TENTS
- What we like: Cheap, Tough, easy to set up, 2 doors, Easy to set up
- What we don’t like: Not as spacious, not equipped with top crossbar for more space
If you are looking at striking both functionality and great price all at the same time, the REI Co-op Passage 2 is all you have got. This tent comes with an incredibly low price and amazing features, making it an excellent option if you are on a budget. The tent weighs around 5 pounds and comes with a handful of features including a full-coverage rainfly, 2 doors on each side, ample storage and durable materials.
Compared to some of the tents from the same brand, the REI Co-op Passage 2 has seen a lot of updates go into it. It now comes with more mesh and the pole design has made sure you get much greater interior volume. As for durability, the REI Co-op Passage 2 is also a more practical option. It has been designed to withstand tough usage.
The REI Co-op Passage 2 is pretty much like the rest does come with some issues. Most people feel that the tent is not as modern as it should be. Secondly, is all about its interior space. It is not very spacious as such. But again, we can’t help, but love the low price it comes with. Compared to other brands in this price range the REI Co-op Passage 2 does a great job. It is worth checking out.
- What we like: Inexpensive, Easy to assemble, Great rainfly cover
- What we don’t like: Not great for severe weather
The Alps Mountaineering LYNX 2 is another amazing budget-friendly hiking tent. After those long hours of hiking, obviously, at the end of the day, you will need an easy to assemble tent making the Alps Mountaineering LYNX 2 all you ever wanted. This tent is practically easy to set up; comes fully equipped with a freestanding 2-pole design: it takes you less than 5 minutes to put it up. When it comes to ventilation, this tent is also another great choice.
As for interior space, there is no way you will go wrong with this tent. There is enough room in the inside to keep you feeling comfortable and cozy all night long. The mesh walls will also ensure you enjoy the 2great breeze. The tight polyester the tent comes with will also come in handy during rains.
The Alps Mountaineering LYNX 2 just like the rest does come with its own share of issues. The 2-pole system is said not to hold up quite well in severe weather conditions. Nevertheless, this option is a great option for warm weather.
- What we like: Incredibly cheap, Equipped with a footprint, durable
- What we don’t like: Not great for severe weather conditions
If you are looking for a tent that can withstand the test of time without necessarily having to dig dipper into your pocket checking Marmot Catalyst 2P is worth checking out. The tent has been built to withstand tear and wear, making it a great fit for any serious hiker.
This tent is one of the most affordable hiking tents you could actually lay your hands on today. The footprint, nylon zipper, and aluminum poles also make this tent worthwhile for it is more durable than your average hiking tent.
The tent might look a little bit smaller when compared with other tents, but the Marmot Catalyst 2P does offer a very spacious interior.
The inside also features plenty of pockets for easy storage. For your portable light or headlamp, you will get a lampshade pocket right at the top of this tent. In the end, really, if you are going hiking for the first time, this tent will meet all your needs.
How To Choose Your Hiking Tent
Your Needs, Budget, And Constraints :
How much are you willing to spend on your tent?
How much money have you saved for that new tent? This very crucial as it will dictate what you are going to go for. Many at times, a tent that can comfortably house 2 or even more people tend to fall on the higher end of the price range. Mostly, these do come with a wide range of reinforcements and features. Nevertheless, if you are not a frequent hiker, you may opt for a lower range. However, know you will have to sacrifice a number of features.
What about Space?
Technically, your tent must in a way deliver enough space depending largely on the number of people who will sleep in it. Although, this may sound so obvious, choosing the right size is not as easy as it sounds. It is at this pointing time that you may want to factor in the number of people who are going to use the tent. This is usually the starting point as will dictate if you are going to go with a small or large tent.
How cozy is your tent?
If you are going to spend a considerable number of days in the wilderness, definitely, you would require something that is comfortable and cozy as well. Normally referred to as livability, many at times, even a two-person tent doesn’t necessarily bring enough comfort for two people. Depending largely on how much room you require and how compact you want the shelter to be, it is practical to go up in size. This will ensure you get a greater level of comfort and coziness.
What conditions are you likely to experience?
The kind of condition you are going to use your tent dictates what to buy. Are you going to use it in windy areas? It is going to be wet? It is going to be really hot? It is important you know exactly the kind of weather conditions you are going to deal with. Some tents do well in windy conditions while others don’t. It will make sense to go for a design that performs well in an area you are going to hike. It won’t make sense to go with a casual tent design to places prone to severe windy conditions. It will be blown away.
How light is the tent?
Weight and cost are two key factors that directly affect what you are going to buy. When shopping, you will come across terms like ‘packed weight’. This is basically the weight of the tent itself, guy ropes, poles, and tent pegs. If you know you are going to move from one point to another, going for a relatively lightweight tent will make a lot of sense. On the other hand; if weight is not a big issue and you just want to get a wide range of features, a heavier tent is also available, but for a price. Below are two weights you may want to consider when choosing your hiking tent.
- Trail weight: This covers those essential kits like the poles, tent body, and rainfly only. Trail weight is the lightest weight you can carry. It acts as a great benchmark if you are thinking of carrying the bare minimum.
- Packaged weight: This is basically all the gear you normally get when you buy your hiking tent. We are talking about stuff sack, poles, rainfly, tent, packaging instructions, stakes among others. This is the heaviest weight you can carry. It is an accurate guide that allows you to know how heavy the tent will be when carried in its complete package.
How durable do you want your tent to be?
After spending a considerable amount of money on a tent, obviously, you would need a design that can withstand the test of time. For harsh weather conditions, a more robust and strong tent is more practical. For great durability, you may want to go for a tent that uses a groundsheet. This is basically a sort of a barrier right at the base that can effectively protect your great investment on a rock ground that has a lot of protrusion.
How easy is it to set up?
Pitching your tent, at times, can be all about a matter of urgency. It is not going to be fun if it takes around 30 or even more minutes to set it up. So when picking a tent, ensure you go for an option that takes less than 5 minutes to set up. After all; who wouldn’t want an easy to set up tent especially when it rains all of a sudden and you are tired or even hungry.
The Different Tents Designs And Styles :
As the names suggest, this type of tent comes with a tunnel-like design. Many at times, 0ne, two or even three hoops help it form the tubular pocket. These tents often do have a self-supporting feature. They are designed specifically for one or two people.
- What I like about this design
Tunnel tents are incredibly lightweight, making it the best option for longer hikes.
- What I don’t like
This tent comes with very little space. Most people often find it very difficult to sit in it, and it comes with very little indoor height. So if you are very tall and looking for a more practical option, this tent is going to disappoint you.
This option usually comes equipped with one or two straight poles. Its protection is quite amazing; it features light tarpaulin. These types of tents are mostly used in fast bivouac with great weather conditions.
- What I like about tarp tents
Pretty much like the tunnel tent, the tarp tent is also extremely lightweight, making it an amazing option for backpacking. It is also quite easy to set up. It will take you around 5 minutes to assemble everything.
- What I don’t like
Despite coming with a number of great benefits, this option does also come with its own share of issues. It does not in any way guarantee great protection from wind and cold. It is not a type of tent you would want to take to those extreme weather conditions.
These tents come with a dome-shaped design. This option is quite popular, and you won’t fail to see it in stores near you. This option provides enough room and the much-needed protection from rain and wind.
- What we like about dome tents
Coming with enough space, this option is quite practical if you are looking for comfort and room for two or more people. It is also incredibly easy to set up and is self-supporting.
- What we don’t like
Coming with a handful of amazing benefits, obviously, that will come at a cost. Dome tents are quite expensive. Compared to other options we have in the market, it falls at the higher end of the price range, making it completely out of reach for people on a budget.
These tents are pretty much like dome tents. But for stability and amazing resistance to the wind, additional poles have been included. This is a way to increase its strength and provide a robust construction. This option is the best for mountains, where there are strong winds.
- What We like
If you are looking for robust construction and astonishing durability, the Geodesic tent is what you should be looking at putting your money on today. This tent comes with great comfort and most importantly security.
- What we don’t like
The great feature comes at a price and sacrifices, as well. The Geodesic tent is quite expensive. Plus, it is a bit heavy. So if you are looking for something you can carry with ease, this is not a practical choice.
Pop Up Tent
This, practically, is one of the easiest to set up. The pop-up tent takes its shape and can open up without any prior construction. It is a bit small and can house a maximum of two people.
- What we like
This type of tent is incredibly easy to set up. It is a great choice for inexperienced hikers.
- What we don’t like
It is a bit small. The interiors space can take only two people, and that can be a challenge if you are as a group and would want to share a tent.
If you are looking for something you can perfectly fit into your backpack, a backpacking tent is more practical. These tents are some of the lightweight designs you could find today. There are a couple of designs when it comes to this option.
- Bivy Sacks
If you looking for a backpacking tent with the least space, the Bivy is an amazing choice. This tent is super small and reasonably confined. It only has enough space to sleep; you won’t find a place to sit or even to place your belongings.
- Floorless backpacking tents
There are not actually the main forms of tents. They provide temporary shelter during the rain. You can also set it up if you want to protect yourself from the sun.
Tents Seasonality and Ratings :
There is a wide range of tents we have in the market today that suit different configurations and conditions.
These tents are all about strength and robustness. They are well built and offer a sturdy design. They come equipped with the minimum number of poles and the material that goes into their construction is incredibly thick. With that, you will get adequate protection from heavy to even fierce wind or snowfall.
- Where they can be used
This is an amazing choice for mountaineers: people who have to deal with strong winds, cold temperatures and snow.
These are quite popular among hikers. This option often comes with a mesh panel that can effectively prevent insects from getting into your tent. Although they protect you from those light rain and snow, they cannot withstand bad weather.
- Where they can be used
This is an ideal choice for summer spring or even fall seasons. It is built to handle conditions experienced in such weather conditions.
3-4 season tents
This normally comes with one or two poles. They are great in providing ventilation and warmth. They are not as robust as 4-season tents, but they do a great job than the 3-seasons tents.
If you only go hiking during warm, a 1-season camping tent is what you should be going for next. It comes with excellent ventilation and breathability. They are designed to cope with those light shower and also mild wind, nothing beyond. They are super light and do not come with a lot of features. There are not meant for those harsh weather conditions are often recommended for those fair-weather camping activities.
Top Features Of Hiking Tents You Need To Consider :
Pretty much like when you are shopping for any hiking equipment, there are a few things you need to consider when buying a hiking tent. Sieving through the market and looking for what works and what doesn’t can be a hassle when it comes to hiking tents. There is a lot that goes into the whole purchase. Here is what you need to always look out for.
Hiking tents come made of different materials. The kind of material used, largely contribute to its durability and weight, making it a key point to consider when buying a tent. Here is a rundown of popular materials you will find today in the market
- Polyurethane Coated Fabrics
A pretty good number of budget hiking tents come made of this material. This particular fabric is relatively durable and waterproof, as well. However, because of its extremely low price tag, that will come with a price. This material is prone to chemical breakup. That in a way strip this material its properties to resist water.
- Cuben Fiber
Cuben Fiber is another widely used material. It is the best choice for outdoor gear. It is one of the strongest, durable and lightest material you could actually go for today. Tents made from this material are waterproof, making it practical in a variety of climatic conditions.
This material is much better than the two mentioned, and you will find it in high-end hiking tents. It is an incredibly water-resistant material and can withstand a wide range of climatic conditions, as well as, patterns. That not even all; it is astonishingly lightweight and most durable. That is the reason why it is a top choice for serious hikers.
One major issue though; coming with incredible features, be sure to dig dipper into your pocket, as well. Tents made from this fabric sit right at the top of the price range.
This is another material that has been used for ages. Even for an industry that has seen new and much better materials being created, this material is still an option. It is one of the heaviest materials you could get today. It also comes with excellent durability as well as breathability, making it the best for warm and colder weather conditions. It can keep you warm when it is a bit cold and a bit cold when it is hot.
Single skin vs. double skin?
- Single skin tent
Normally referred to as one layer tent, this is a type of tent that comes with only one layer. This option is incredibly lightweight, making it the best for longer hikes and treks as well. This tent can be packed down to a relatively smaller size. It does come with few drawbacks though; it experiences condensation issues, especially if you are going to push up against the end of your tent.
- Double skin tent
On the other hand; double layer tents are a bit heavy but come with very fewer condensation issues. It is one of the most versatile options, as it can be erected in a wide range of configurations. You will find it to be a better option than a single skin tent.
When it comes to floor area, obviously, you wouldn’t want to look at just the square footage. You need to also pay attention to the dimensions of the floor. This is key if you are tall. Ideally, more space means you will have enough space to enjoy your stay and keep your belongings.
Design and ease of use
- Self Supporting tents
Self-supporting or fixed? Which one should you actually go for? There are a number of things that will come into play; your needs and what you can afford.
A self-supporting tent can stand upright without the use of guy ropes and pegs. The pegs often anchored it on the ground for stability. This option does come with a few advantages;
You can actually move it to a different location without being forced to disassemble the whole thing. Secondly, you can easily drain it with some ease after the rain. You can smoothly flip the top upside down without any problem.
- Pole hubs
This makes any tent assembling process easy and hassle-free. You just take the folded sections and unfurl the skeleton and seat the segments as you move on. Although those small cross poles can be separated from the hub, they can easily be identified after the primary pole assembly is complete. There are a couple of things you like about pole hubs. They make the walls of your tent more vertical, giving you an incredibly spacious interior.
- Poles clips
Clips usually help connect tent canopies to poles. Poles clips are reasonably lightweight and a bit easy to attach. They often allow airflow right beneath the rainfly, helping reduce condensation.
Level of protection the tent offers
One of the key reasons you are buying a tent is for protection from harsh weather conditions and animals, as well. For that, you need to pick an option that offers a greater level of security. Here are three main characteristics that will help you make a wise choice.
This is pretty much important, but most people tend to overlook it. If you are tall, obviously, you will need enough space to stand up and possibly change your clothes. For better flexibility and comfort of a high ceiling, then look for a tent that comes with a tall peak. These are some of the options you could choose from today.
- Cabin style tents: These normally come with near-vertical walls, giving you greater peak height and livable space. Most tents that fall in this category also come equipped with dividers and awning making it a more practical option if you are hiking as a family.
- Dome style tents: This type of tent offers superior strength and superb wind shedding capabilities. This tent also comes quite in handy during stormy nights. They stand quite tall right at the center giving you the much needed peak height. However, their walls are more of a slope and that reduces livable space.
Level of stability in the wind
If you are going to camp in the mountains, the chances of you having to deal with strong winds are high. It is because of this you may want to consider how stable the tent is in such weather conditions. It must be able to effortlessly resist these conditions. A 4-season tent often falls under this category. They offer great level of stability even when the winds are extremely strong
Doors and Vestibules
How many doors does your tent come with? If you are going to share the tent with another person that means at times you will need to enter or even exit at different times. So if you can get a tent that comes with 2 doors that would be more practical. You can go about your business without having to disturb one another.
In other cases, a tent that comes equipped with 2 vestibules is also quite beneficial when dealing with more than two people. After all, each one of you can have their belongings safely stored without taking up that valuable space in the tent.
Breathability and Ventilation
One of the biggest headaches we have to deal with in our tents is condensation. Many times, hikers are advised to fast understand the condensation of their tents in the mountain areas and how to counter the problems. Tents that come with double waterproof walls with the breathable interior rooms are more practical when dealing with condensation.
There are quite a number of accessories you may want to consider. Most of these accessories come with great benefits.
- Pockets and organization
It is for a fact, keeping track of your belongings and gear in a tent can be tricky. Thankfully, if your tent comes with pockets as well as organizers, that will come in handy. Most tents come with either 1 or 2 pockets, but those high-end tents may have plenty of them.
Also known as a ground cloth, a footprint is a custom-sized piece of material normally placed under the tent. This accessory does come with great benefits. It provides protection from abrasion and ensures a waterproof coating right on the floor is provided at all times. Most of these materials come quite in handy if you are going hiking with a lightweight hiking tent.
- Gear Loft
If at some point you find your tent didn’t come with any pockets or organizers consider bringing a gear loft onboard. These shelves are perfect for storing lightweight gear such as a flashlight and extra socks.
Nowadays, a good number of tents come with built-in lights. They have a loop right at the top where you use to hang a lightweight battery-powered lantern.
Other Features To Look Out For When Choosing Hiking Tents
A pretty good number of double-layer hiking tents do come with seamless rainfly features. This feature can actually be drawn back to offer access to the tent, while at the same time protecting you from the rain. So going for an incredibly lightweight tent with this great feature will see that you enjoy your stay even when it rains.
For incredible protection from harsh elements, folded seam coupled with double stitching is more practical. There are quite durable and will ensure water is kept out than single seams. Moreover, taped seams also do come with extra strength and protection. They often come with some sort of extra layer of fabric.
As a hiker, you are always advised to bring along an extra footprint tarp. This can be seamlessly laid under the tent, giving you much-needed protection from punctures often caused by stick, or even rooks. However, most tents come equipped with a custom-sized tarp. If yours, however, doesn’t come with one, go for a regular tarp and tuck it right at the edges. This feature provides excellent protection.
Yes, it is true to color will not have any direct effect on the performance of your tent. However, always keep in mind; dark colors will absorb more heat and that can in a way leave temperatures of the interiors going up. This can be quite beneficial in extremely cold weather, but can also have some serious effect in excess heat. Additionally, super-bright colors are quite catchy. They do not blend well with the environment and you can be spotted easily. Go for camouflage or earth tones patterns.
Updated on January 20, 2021 by Ben