A backpacking tent is by far, one of the most important things that you need to enjoy your trip. It gives you a place of shelter in the wild. The availability of more and more options have made the choice harder. This guide covers all the best options for an affordable backpacking tent for your next outdoor trip.
Quick Gear Recommendation
Below is a list of our favourite backpacking gear that you check quickly if in hurry. Scroll down to read the rest of the article.
- Best Tent Under $100: Winterial Single Person Personal Bivy Tent
- Best Hammock Tarp: Eno, Eagles Nest Outfitters Profly Rain Tarp
- Best Pillow: Trekology Ultralight Inflating Travel/Camping Pillows
- Best Knife Fixed Blade: Spyderco Delica Folding Knife
- Best Chair: Helinox Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair
- Best Mess Kit: Light My Fire 8-piece Bpa-free Meal Kit
- Best Cookset: Stanley Base Camp Cook Set
- Best Towel: Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
- Best Flashlight: Peakplus Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight
Hatchet: Gransfors Bruks Wildlife Hatchet
- Best Multitool: Gerber Suspension Multi-plier
- Best Power Bank: Portable Charger Jackery Bolt
- Best Binoculars: Carson High Definition Waterproof Binoculars
As an outdoor trekker, the weight of the backpack you are carrying is most important. You need to take only the bare minimums with you to be more efficient. A good backpacking tent should be lightweight, affordable, compact, and reliable. It also needs to come under your specified budget.
A good backpacking tent should not weigh much. It should offer a comfortable stay regardless of the climate outside. At this price point, the extra features are not desired. The tent should serve its purpose, and that is all what is needed. It must cover all the basics that are required for a comfortable stay in the wilderness.
We are going to review below Backpacking Tents under $200:
But first let’s take a look at what are the important things you need to look at when buying a camping tent:
What to Look for When Buying A Camping Tent?
Worried about what things to look for when purchasing a backpacking tent? You do not need to worry anymore; we got you covered about that right here.
Weight of the tent
For a backpacking tent, the main deciding factor is the weight. It should be easy to carry on your shoulders. Internal space offered by the canopy is inversely proportional to its weight. The struggle lies in balancing both the criterion. An ideal tent should be lightweight and provide functional inside space as well. The materials used for the frame of the tent mainly decide the weight. The poles are made up of fiberglass, aluminium or carbon fibre.
Tents are available in different styles as you like. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it comes down to your personal preferences to pick a style.
Frame tents are the most basic type of tents you see around. They offer little less headroom than the others. Frame tents are not suitable for rough and severe weather conditions.
Dome-shaped Tents are a somewhat improved form of a framed tent. They offer ample interior space and hold up the ground well in harsh weather conditions.
Tunnel tents need extra support as they are not freestanding. Once correctly set up, they can tolerate strong winds easily. Considering that they do not weight a lot and offer stiff resistance, they are mostly preferred as the best backpacking tent.
Pyramid tents use a single pole at the centre for support. It consists of a rainfly supported on that pole. As it may seem, they do not have a designated floor. It makes them highly undesirable for rainy conditions.
A good backpacking tent should offer ample space inside. However, if you want more space, it will also increase the weight. A 2-person tent can ideally provide shelter for two adults plus some of the stuff. So, you should pick the tent according to your trip conditions and the number of persons.
Your tent should have no design flaws as they can ruin your entire trip. For better accessibility, it is recommended to buy a tent with more than one door. Seamed flooring should be there for comfortable use in rainy weather. If your tent comes with windows on the side, it is a bonus. It should offer enough headroom inside. You do not want to be always lying inside the tent. There should be proper ventilation setup and cross-flow of air. Lacks of vents will lead to an undesirable amount of condensation. If your tent is double skinned, it will help you with better protection in cold weather.
Interior pockets add to the comfort if multiple people are using the tent. It is great for storing additional gear that can not be placed on the floor. Having a vestibule is a considerable advantage.
A footprint will prove to be durable for the floor of the tent. The footprint should be thick enough. It will protect your floor from the ground and prevents wear and tear.
The ideal backpacking tent should be easy to set up for everyone.
The materials used should be of high-quality and ensure long-lasting durable use. Tents with 3-season ratings are the best.
Waterproofing capability for a tent is a must.
It should not break your bank. You can get a good, reasonable tent under 200$ quickly if your research is proper.
An accessible tent is highly preferred if you are going with a group. For that, your tent needs to have at least two doors. Otherwise, people would be jumping over each other if they want to go out.
Always buy from trustworthy brands and do look for the warranty and return policy. Return the tent if you feel it weighs a lot or it is not right for you instantly.
Worried after seeing all the different options for the backpacking tents available in the market? This guide is written just to help you make the right decision and choose the best backpacking tent within your budget. Let’s find out!!
Kelty is not a new company in this market domain. They have been offering great products from a very long time, and this one is no exception. This Backpacking tent checks all the boxes for a great budget tent for your needs. Its ample interior spacing differentiates it from the rest.
Compact folding poles make it easy to set up and take down in no time. The frame is very lightweight and easy to carry. These things are much necessary for a backpacking tent, and Kelty has taken care of them all very efficiently.
It is designed for personal use only. Means it is only recommended if you are going on a solo trip. Considering that, it offers a spacious interior for you and your stuff. Kelty also includes a vestibule with a tent for extra space. It can be used to store your gear.
The frame folds easily, means you won’t have to work hard to set it up. The wall material is high grade. The polyester is durable and sturdy and employs a no-see mesh for better ventilation and privacy. Floors and wall are seam taped. It means there is absolutely no path for entry of water. It is certified to last at least three complete seasons. It can go even higher depends upon the degree of use and how you take care of it. This tent gives you excellent value for your money.
- Tough materials are used
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to set up
- Freestanding design
- Durable and long-lasting product
- Spacious interior
- The floor is prone to water seepage
- A low-quality zipper is used
MountainSmith Morrison offers an excellent solution for a couple going on an adventurous trip. It is a fantastic choice for your trip in any of the season. The thing to like about this tent is its style. The crossing poles make sure that the tent remains stable under the action of strong winds.
However, it does not have straight walls because of these poles. It reduces the inner space. But still, the dimensions of Mountainsmith Morrison are extensive and offer a vast area inside for you and your luggage.
The ventilation ability is not very good as the material has partial mesh only. It has two doors for better accessibility. Two see-through windows on the side make the overall experience a lot better. The centre height is 43 inch which ensures good headroom when sitting inside. For storage of gear, inside mesh pockets are also provided.
The fabric is not structural, and it can be removed to improve the airflow in a humid atmosphere. The waterproofing capability of this tent is exceptional. There is no chance that water is getting inside. The quality of the tent at this price is just unmatched.
- Offers excellent value for money
- Spacious interior
- Good headroom provided
- Two doors and two windows
- Excellent waterproofing
- Strong construction
- Not great ventilation
- A little heavy
If you prefer an aesthetic option, Chillbo Cabbins Backpacking Tent will serve you well. It is a lightweight and portable option that offers incredible space inside. It provides some great looks wherever it is set up. You can pick your desired option from the six different styles available.
The highly durable design means that it can be used up to 3 seasons without any problem. Chillbo has two doors on either side of the tent to ensure better accessibility for more people. It uses crosswind poles to add to the overall stability of the tent. This also makes it ideal for use in extremely windy conditions as it holds well under it.
Usually, the privacy of camping tents is a big concern. The outside fabric of the tent is a complete no-see.
The thing to like about it the most is its excellent waterproofing ability. It can sustain up to 2000mm of rain without seepage problems. The welded floor makes sure that no water comes inside from the bottom side. Flooring provides a comfortable night experience. There are two internal pockets for storing your gear.
Designed to last in stormy weather, Chillbo Cabbins comes with a rainfly that covers the entire tent. Although being advertised as a 2-person tent, it has a spacious interior that is good enough for more than two people. It seems ideal for a small family with one or two little kids.
- Top grade materials
- Comes with carrying back
- Excellent weather protection
- Better accessibility with two doors
- Great design and looks
- Spacious interior
- Ventilation capability is not good enough
- It is a little bit heavier than the other options
The most affordable option amongst all is the Teton Sports Mountain Ultra Backpacking Tent. It is specially made to resist harsh weather conditions without any performance impact. The ventilation capability is top-notch. It has exit vents on the roof side to prevent the gathering of vapours. The top has meshed fabric which means you can see the stars and enjoy the sky view while lying inside your tent.
To enhance its waterproofing ability, it comes with an extra rainfly that covers the whole tent. Teton Sports Tent is easy to set up and take down in almost no time even by a beginner. The experience is smooth and hassle-free. With an ample interior, it can accommodate you and all of your gear comfortably. Due to its compact size, it weighs a lot fewer i.es around 5 pounds so you can easily carry it around with you. The stability is excellent as well. It can hold its ground well in tough windy situations. Overall, it is a recommended option for those looking for something suitable on a tight budget.
- Amazing waterproof materials
- Inside pockets
- Meshed top for a scenic view
- Longlasting construction
- Easy to set up and takedown
- Good ventilation
- Low-quality zippers
- Untied sides of the tent
Alps Mountaineering uses a robust aluminium construction for much better weather resistance. The assembly is straightforward to set up. As for the material, polyester is used on the outside. The company includes two extra vestibules in order to expand the space if you need for storage of your gear. The material has an entirely meshed structure. It comes with two doors for better accessibility as it is going to be used by more than one person.
Mesh storage pockets are also integrated inside. The addition of a full rainfly makes it almost untouchable by the rain. The ventilation from the meshed doors is great; it allows cross airflow. There is no problem with condensation in this tent at all. One of the most important things about a backpacking tent is its weight and Alps Mountaineering counters that well too. At just a touch above 5 pounds, it is very lightweight for the space it offers. It comes at a really affordable price. For customer satisfaction, ALPS provides a limited lifetime warranty too.
- Allround option
- Great value for money
- Spacious insides
- Strong and sturdy construction
- Entering of water is almost impossible
- Bad quality tent stakes
The North Face Backpacking tent offers a spacious headroom for sitting and other activities while being inside. Cross poles are installed on the top for better stability. It also serves the purpose to keep away the rainfly from the main tent body. It reduces the seepage of water to the main tent to almost none. Uniquely designed two doors offer great accessibility. With two extra vestibule tents, the space provided by North Face Backpacking Tent is just excellent. Following a strong and sturdy construction and durable design, this tent is a highly recommended option and a solid buy. It will serve you well in any kind of difficult situation. The only downside with it is its bulkier weight.
- Can resist harsh weather conditions
- Suitable for those on a tight budget
- Great assembly
- Spacious interior space
- Ample headroom for any kind of activity
- Two separately zippered doors
- Heavier in weight
- No interior pockets
Alps Mountaineering comes with yet another great product. Its free-standing design makes it a breeze to set up. It uses a cross pole structure to ensure its stability under the action of wind. The poles are made up of aluminium which provides durable protection.
Designed for two adults, it also comes with two vestibule tent for storage of your gear. The material used is polyester that is waterproof as well as UV rays resistant. You can use it under the direct sun as well without having to worry about anything. There are two doors on either side for easy access.
Though it lacks a top crossbar for the sidewalls, adding that would add much more to the already bulky Lynx Tent. The difference is not much noticeable either unless you are using it in a location that has extreme wind. The ventilation is excellent, thanks to its half meshed walls. Due to this, the problem of condensation is also reduced up to some extent. The fly and floor are factory sealed to avoid the seepage of water in case of heavy rain.
- Easy assembly
- Meshed walls for better ventilation
- Good waterproofing materials
- Two doors for easy access
- Vestibules to increase the space
- The fly is hard to unzip
- Weighs more than the rest
The Marmot Catalyst 2 Persons Tent is a versatile, light-weight, and quite a comfortable tent with a lot of space all around it, ideally for 2 people. It has excellent headroom with two side D-Shaped doors and two vestibules. It also comes with a ‘front’ side and a ‘back’ side, allowing for the possibility of privacy at a crowded campsite, even without the fly. Although you may have some issues with ventilation and fly tensioning. Its dimensions are 10 x 10 x 24 inches.
The included footprint is a nice bonus that only a couple of other products in this review can match. It is a free-standing design in Rusted Orange / Cinder color. Its poles are made up of Aluminum. Designed as a roomy, livable tent, it has all the ideal features for a casual camping trip, like a seam-taped catenary cut floor, color-coded poles for easy set-up along with enough room and pockets to stash and organize all your necessary gear. Lamp Shade pocket securely holds your headlamp to provide ambient light.
- Footprint Included
- Strategic Clip Placement Provides Larger Interior Volume
- Seam Taped Full Coverage tent Fly with Vents
- Waterproof and Weatherproof
- Heavier as compared to its counterparts
- Does not hold good against strong winds and hail
- You might need extra stakes.
Kelty Dirt Motel offers a 2 Vestibule Freestanding Design with Stargazing Fly, DAC Poles and Stuff Sack included. Offering exceptional room for your head and shoulders, this 3-season Kelty dirt Motel for 2 person tent offers you an unobstructed view if you peel back the protective rain-fly. A portion of Stargazing Fly can be quickly and easily rolled up from inside the tent. Secure the rolled fly with simple clips and you’re free to enjoy a view of the stars and reap the benefits of increased ventilation.
It’s compact and lightweight, and features an ultra-roomy interior, plus a compact hubbed aluminum pole set for easy packing and lightning-fast setup. Lightweight yet durable Sil-Nylon fabric construction. All seams are tape sealed to further ensure weather protection.
It has 2-doors with tons of storage space inside. The tapered tent measures 84” x 50” (at its widest point), with a peak height of 42. 5 inches. The interior space is 28 square feet. It also has two vented vestibules. It has vertical walls, which provide more overall living space inside the tent, instead of a peak in the center.
- Over-sized doors and super-spacious interior.
- Exceptional head and shoulder room.
- The tent floor is made up of polyurethane-coated 70 denier nylon with a 3000 mm water-resistant rating.
- Rain-fly is 40 Denier siliconized nylon rip-stop rated to 1500 mm.
- No-see-um mesh walls provide ventilation and keep out insects and mosquitoes.
- Reflective guy lines.
- Package does not include a foot print.
- Post-purchase customer service is questionable.
- Can collect water at the top during rain.
- Does not come with footprints and stakes. Sold separately.
The best backpacking tent amongst those, reviewed, comes out to be Kelty Salida Backpacking Tent. It offers all the features that you would need from an ideal tent coming at an exceptional price point. It is a highly durable and long-lasting option for those looking to use it for more than three seasons. Your search for the best backpacking tent should end at Kelty Salida’s offering.