When heading out into the wild your tent will be one of the most important pieces of kit you bring. You’ll need something that can bring comfort, safety and be strong enough to withstand nasty weather. As each year progresses, tents are getting lighter as thin yet strong fabrics and lighter poles are developed. Getting a good lightweight two man tent also doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. These days you can pick up a lightweight backpacking tent for a good price and still get great protection from the elements.
But with so many tents to choose from it can be bewildering trying to find the right one for you. Because we want to make sure you get the best tent possible for your needs we’ve combed the net looking for the 5 best lightweight backpacking tents available. Our selection is based on customer experience, value, and quality. Some of these tents are very affordable while still offering great protection but we’ve also included some high-end tents for bigger budgets. Also, note that a few of the tents in our list come in 1, 3 or 4-person sizes.
I hope this list helps you find the perfect tent for staying warm and protected in the years ahead. Be sure to check out our more detailed reviews for each tent.
1. Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent
Weight: 4lb 11oz
Dimensions (L x W x H): 92 x 56 x 43in
Features: 3-Session, 2-Person, Double-Wall, 2-Doors, freestanding
What we like: Very affordable price tag without sacrificing quality and size too much. Setup is also so easy and straightforward that a child can do it.
What we don’t like: As a lightweight tent for backpacking it’s a bit heavy compared to some of its competitors.
The Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent looks great with its stealthy gray and green color. Mountainsmith went out of their way to make this tent as livable as possible. At 92 x 56in in diameter, it’s one of the most spacious 2 man tents available. Both doors can be almost completely zipped open allowing for a more open-air feel and extra views. It has a lot less mesh than other tents like the MSR Hubba Hubba which makes for less ventilation but warmer nights.
It’s simple color-coded, two-pole design makes it one of the easiest tents to set up and it does a good job against rain resistance. Many customers were very happy with the rain resistance but keep in mind this is only so when you have the rainfly on tight. For durability, this is where it falls low, like other budget tents the cheap polyurethane coating tends to degrade over time, especially when it’s not dried and stored properly. It’s also quite heavy for a backpacking tent making it only good for limited hiking. If you’re on a budget the Mountainsmith Morrison 2 is a great deal for what you get.
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2. Kelty TN 2 Person Tent
Weight: 4lb 4oz
Dimensions (L x W x H): 83 x 50/46 x 42in (wider at head, narrower at front)
Features: 3-Session, 2-Person, 2-Doors, freestanding
What we like: Incredible unrestricted 360-degree views when the top is removed. Nylon design makes it both rainproof and highly durable.
What we don’t like: One door is smaller than the other for some reason and they only provide guy-lines and stakes for one side – also for an unspecified reason.
For unobstructed views of the night sky and the morning camping site, the Kelty TN 2 Person Tent is truly breathtaking. The rainfly has been designed to roll up over the head of the TN2 allowing for an unimpeded view of the stars. Kelty claims this can then be rolled back down again without having to leave the tent. One customer, caught in a nighttime rainstorm, found that this was so but it means you can’t stake it down against the wind.
At 4lb 4oz the TN2 is slightly lighter than the Morrison 2 which can make a difference with backpacking when every ounce counts. It’s also a slight bit smaller than the Morrison 2 but the nearly vertical walls make it feel bigger. Although one door is a bit smaller than the other it still allows for easy entry and exit when two people are using it. The TN2’s build quality is surprisingly good for what is regarded as a ’budget’ tent. The 40D nylon floor is durable enough that you won’t need a tarp which saves you on space. The aluminum stakes are also above average in quality and the rainfly, also made from 40D nylon, makes it rain resistant.
Overall this is a great tent that is a cut well above the Morrison 2 in durability and weight but, naturally, comes with a slightly higher price tag.
3. MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Weight: 3lb 7oz
Dimensions (L x W x H): 84 x 50 x 39in
Features: 3-Session, 2-Person, 2-Doors, freestanding
What we like: Great ventilation, has two different pitch options and strikes an even balance between space, weight, and strength
What we don’t like: Not enough guy-lines or stakes included.
For backpackers that want to go far, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent is one of the best all-round tents on the market. Yes, there are lighter tents (and cheaper) but the Hubba Hubba strikes a good balance between weight, comfort, ease of setup and price. In its most recent upgrade, MSR has managed to reduce the weight to 3lb 7oz while still keeping the interior roomy and spacious.
Once you’ve got it properly staked and guyed out with the rainfly on this tent can take a real punishing. A ridge pole in the center allows the walls to stay vertical and maintain structural integrity even in strong winds. Overall though, It’s the little features that make this tent special. The vestibule zips from the side rather than the center allowing for a large D-shaped opening. A built-in gutter system allows rainwater to run down the side rather than accumulate in a puddle on the rainfly and like the Kelty 2, the fly can rollback halfway in stargazing mode though not completely back like the Kelty 2. What also makes it great is its ventilation, liberal use of mesh in the upper portion along with vents on both ends of the fly allow humid air to flow out in both cool and warm conditions. Rather frustratingly though MSR have included only six stakes which won’t be enough to hold it down in a storm.
4. Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 2 Person Tent
Weight: 1lb 15oz
Dimensions (L x W x H): 86 x 52 x 38in
Features: 2-Person, 3-session, 1-Door, ultralight design
What we like: Ultralight design means you can go almost anywhere with it
What we don’t like: very delicate materials and may not hold up in heavy rainfall and winds.
When lightweight is of prime importance the Fly Creek by Big Agnes is one of the best you can find though it does this at the cost of durability and comfort. This upgraded version has been able to get the weight down from 2lb 5oz to an almost weightless 1lb 15oz making it great for long-range hiking. The lightweight though makes its very cramped for two people (unless you like to cuddle) and the single door design will make getting in and out more difficult with two people. The walls tend to sag a bit and when pulled tautly the floor is lifted a bit off the ground making it feel smaller.
It’s important to understand that your sacrificing durability for lightweight with the Fly Creek. The rainfly and inner floor are made with 15 denier silicone treated nylon rip-stop with a 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating, making it very thin and easy to rip when stuffing it in the carry sack with the poles. The bathtub only comes a few inches off the ground which may result in some splashback in heavy rains. Customers have also had it collapse on them in heavy winds because the back pole was not reinforced enough.
If you’re looking for something super lightweight that’s easy to pitch then you’ll struggle to find anything lighter than the Fly Creek. Just make sure your careful with it.
5. Hillberg Niak 2 Person Tent
Weight: 3lb 5oz
Dimensions (L x W x H): 86 x 47 x 38in
Features: 2-Person, 3-session, double-wall 1-Door,
What we like: The best weather protection of any tent in this list and superior build design for weather protection and durability.
What we don’t like: High price tag, limited ventilation in warm weather and single door design means its unsuitable for two people.
Now for the heavyweight. If you have the money to spend and are looking for a tent that will take extreme conditions then the Hillberg Niak 2 Person Tent is one of the best lightweight 2 man tents on the market. Weighting 3lb 5oz it’s just light enough to take on extended backpacking into the wilderness and has the durability to make it a true 3-session tent.
Hillberg is a Swedish company that specializes in making tents for tough climates like Scandinavia. A double wall design makes it both breathable and water resistant against even heavy rainstorms. Since it’s made for cold climates it has very little mesh so it won’t be suited for humid environments. This lack of mesh though makes it very tough. If conditions are dry you can leave open the very large single door for better ventilation and the vestibules can be rolled back for even more air. Even though it comes close to the same dimensions as the other tents in this list its design allows it to make the most of its 28 sq. ft, so that two people side by side won’t feel too cramped. It’s only issue as a two-person tent is the single door which will mean one person has to crawl over the other to enter or exit. The two-pole design is easy to set up and unlike other tents, it actually comes with enough stakes to use all the guy-lines. For extreme build quality, weather protection and mobility the Niak2 is one of the best lightweight tents out there.
I hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Be sure to check out the more detailed reviews of whichever tent here catches your eye. If you want to give some feedback or make your own recommendation for the best lightweight 2 man tent then drop a comment below.