Best Backpacking Tents
Reviews of the 5 Best Tents for Backpacking

Discover the 5 best backpacking tents with expert reviews of the best ultralight, 4 season & 2 person backpacking tents. Brands include MSR, Big Agnes & Sierra Designs

The first step to purchasing a new shelter for your camping needs is to understand what your camping needs are.

This is because the best ultralight backpacking tent is different than the best 4 season backpacking tent .

If you're an ounce counter, you need ultralight. If you only camp with your significant other, you want the best 2 person backpacking tent. See where we're going with this?

Luckily, Camping Tent Reviews is here to show you the best backpacking tent in every category.

Here are the factors that must be taken into account when buying your new backpacking tent:

  • Size - Is this tent going to comfortably fit you and your fellow campers, along with your packs and gear?

  • Weight - Are you going to be dragged down by the weight of the tent you're carrying?

  • Performance - Is this shelter going to stand up well in the climates you want to use it in?

Best Backpacking Tents
Reviews & Ratings

For those of you who want a bit of a helping hand in determining which tents you should have your eye on, we here at Camping Tent Reviews have compiled a list that details the best of the best.

Below, you'll find the best in ultralight backpacking gear, non freestanding shelters, four-season tents, and 2 person tents.

Here is easy navigation for you:

Best Ultralight Backpacking Tent
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3 Review

big agnes seedhouse sl3

The unquestionable king in the best ultralight backpacking tent category is, the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3.

With an area of 36 square feet, a peak height of almost four feet, and a vestibule that offers 11 square feet of space, it's almost unbelievable to think that the Seedhouse SL3 weighs less than four pounds.

Yes, you read that correctly. Four freakin' pounds!

This tent is the ultimate in lightweight design, but it's also an incredibly durable 3-season tent that will stand tall against the elements.

Each of the three factors mentioned above are addressed and satisfied to the extreme with this tent.

Here's a look at the best features in the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3:

  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Very spacious
  • Tough DAC Featherlite NSL poles
  • Factory sealed seams for watertight construction

Learn more about the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3

Best 4 Season Backpacking Tent
REI Arete ASL 2 Review

If you are in need of a shelter that will keep you well protected through even the worst weather conditions, take a gander at the REI Arete ASL 2.

The online consumer review community almost unanimously agrees that this is by far one of the best backpacking tents you could possibly own.

Here are just a few reasons why the REI Arete ASL 2 is the best 4 season backpacking tent:

  • Tough pole structure means camper security in rough weather
  • The Dual AirLift fly uses the wind to your advantage, venting it to add strength to the Arete's integrity
  • Color-coded tent poles lend to a speedy and simple assembly
  • Overhanging vestibule keeps the rain out of your doorway

Learn more about the REI Arete ASL 2

Best 2 Person Backpacking Tents
Sierra Designs Vapor Light 2 vs. REI Quarter Dome T2

When it comes to the best in two-person backpacking tents, you have many options.

sierra designs vaporlight

Most of the best backpacking tents are 2 man tents. Why? Well, 3's a crowd in the ultralight backpacking gear world.

There many good products available to you, including a handful of truly great ones, but the top spot is dominated by two different brands and models vying for title of 'Best'.

These are the incredible three-season Sierra Designs Vapor Light 2 and the masterfully designed REI Quarter Dome T2.

Each shelter has its own advantages and drawbacks over the other, but they seemed to have evened out enough to share number one status.

Until now.

Let's take a closer look at these two products and see if we can't decide, once and for all, which of the two is the ultimate 2 person backpacking tent.

The first thing we need to do is compare their finer points:

Sierra Designs Vapor Light 2

REI Quarter Dome T2


3 lbs., 14oz.

3 lbs, 15oz.

Interior Space

30.5 square feet

29.7 square feet

Packed Size

19" x 5"

20" x 7.5"

Price Tag



When it comes to how the consumers feel, the result is pretty equal: everyone loves them both, wholly and equally.

So, what's the final verdict?

While the Sierra Designs Vapor Light 2 barely edges out the REI Quarter Dome T2 in terms of weight, floor area, and packed size, the Quarter Dome T2 costs $50 less.

The size and weight differences are almost too small to notice. The price, however, is not.

In the top spot fight for the best 2 person backpacking tent on the market, it is the REI Quarter Dome T2 that finishes victorious as the best backpacking tent for 2 people.

Learn more about the Sierra Designs Vapor Light 2

Learn more about the REI Quarter Dome T2

Best Non Freestanding Backpacking Tent
MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Review

Not only is the MSR Carbon Reflex 2 the best non freestanding tent on the market, it may just be the best overall tent, too.

MSR is the manufacturer of many quality tents that work hard to never let you down.

And the Carbon Reflex 2 is sitting on top of that line as the absolute cream of the crop.

Weighing in at less than many bivy sacks on the shelves, the MSR Carbon Reflex 2 is a two-person, 3 season backpacking tent that can be carried with you wherever you go.

And even though it weighs less than three pounds, this tent offers you ample living room inside.

Having 29 square feet on the interior and a height of almost three and a half feet, you won't find another lightweight, non-freestanding tent that will come even close to offering you as much living space.

Here are some the Carbon Reflex 2's best benefits:

  • Incredible portability
  • Exquisite fly design keeps the bugs at bay while the breeze flows through
  • Pitching this shelter is a snap and lightning quick

Learn more about the MSR Carbon Reflex 2 tent.

Camping Tent Reviews Rating

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