The Best Backpacking tents: 9 models to discover in 2024


May 9, 2024


Facebook Email
Backpacking tent

When hiking, there is nothing worse than carrying a heavy backpack all day, only to end up having a lousy night’s sleep in a damp tent. That’s why the tents recommended by SAIL are ultra-light and made of breathable high-tech materials, making them ideal for hiking, cycling or canoeing expeditions. Here are nine models to help you narrow down your search for the perfect backpacking tent. 

In this article, you will find out more about the following backpacking tents:

  1. Nemo Dagger Osmo 2
  2. Nemo Hornet Osmo 2
  3. Eureka El Capitan 2+ Outfitter
  4. Marmot Tungsten
  5. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2
  6. The North Face Stormbreak
  7. MSR Hubba Hubba
  8. MSR Elixir
  9. SAIL Toundra: The budget-friendly option
  10. FAQ

Nemo backpacking tents

Nemo is a relatively new brand, but don’t let its young age fool you. For the past 20 years, the business has dedicated itself to creating camping equipment that lasts a lifetime. Its tents are known for their easy-to-assemble innovative design, which provides ample living space.

Nemo Dagger Osmo 2: The one with all the gizmos

Nemo Dagger Osmo 2

The Dagger Osmo tent stands out for all the right reasons. It features high-tech fabric that prevents sagging when wet, advanced waterproofing and a roomy interior. But what truly sets it apart are the many little features that take this backpacking tent to the next level of comfort. For example, its packing system that allows two people to share the weight, a landing zone for wet and muddy gear, strategically placed vents for increased airflow, and an overhead night light diffuser that turns your headlamp into a tent lantern.

  • Capacity: 2 (also available as a 3-person tent)
  • Weight: 1.7 kg (3 lb. 12 oz.)
  • Pole: 1
  • Waterproof rating: 2,000 mm
  • Ceiling height: 106 cm (42 in.)
  • Flysheet and floor: OSMO Ripstop

Nemo Hornet Osmo 2: Best for living space

Hornet Osmo 2 Nemo

The Nemo Hornet Osmo model doesn’t compromise: this 3-season tent is both ultra-light and quite spacious. Its atypical shape provides plenty of living space thanks to a triangular structure of guy wires and an integrated “FlyBar” pole clip which further widens the space at the ceiling. Made of high-performance 100% recycled materials (poly-nylon ripstop), this lightweight 2-person or 3-person tent impresses with its unfailing solidity. Hikers will also appreciate how compact the tent is once packed, making it easy to slip into a backpack.

  • Capacity: 2 (also available as a 3-person tent)
  • Weight: 1.14 kg (2 lb. 1 oz.)
  • Poles: 3
  • Waterproof rating: 1,200 mm
  • Ceiling height: 98 cm (39 in.)
  • Flysheet and floor: OSMO Ripstop

Eureka! backpacking tents

Durability and quality are two of Eureka’s benchmarks. Its camping products cater to every clientele, from families hoping to enjoy a few s’mores by the campfire, to minimalist backpackers looking for reliable gear that won’t break in the middle of the wilderness. Its El Capitan Outfitter tent is well worth looking at.

Eureka El Capitan 2+ Outfitter: Built to last

Eureka El Capitain

Recognized for its unmatched dependability, the El Capitan backpacking tent is built to outfitter standards. Its heavy-duty construction is abrasion-resistant, and its roomy two-door design ensures campers don’t have to crawl over each other to reach their sleeping bags. The two vestibules also let you store two backpacks on each side of the tent, and internal pockets help you stay neatly organized.

  • Capacity: 2 (also available as a 3- or 4-person tent)
  • Weight: 3.9 kg (8 lb. 8 oz.)
  • Poles: 2
  • Waterproof rating: 2,000 mm
  • Ceiling height: 109 cm (43 in.)
  • Flysheet and floor: 75D 190T polyester ripstop and 150D polyester oxford

Marmot backpacking tents

Initially a mountaineering brand, Marmot quickly expanded to other types of outdoor pursuits. The innovative business was even one of the first to use Gore-Tex technology in the design of its products. Today, it creates quality outdoor equipment using high-tech materials that protect adventure seekers from the elements.

Marmot Tungsten: No hassle assembly

Marmot Tungsten

The Tungsten tent is a staple in Marmot’s range. It offers plenty of benefits, including double doors, two vestibules for storage, durable materials, a mesh ceiling for stargazing and an optional rainfly for days when the weather threatens. However, it is widely known for its super-easy-to-set-up, colour-coded clips and poles. Snap the clips to their corresponding poles, bring the tent up and voilà! A roomy, breezy shelter for two in just a few minutes.

  • Capacity: 2 (models range from 1- to 4-person tents)
  • Weight: 2,670 g (5 lb. 14.2 oz.)
  • Poles: 2
  • Ceiling height: 107 cm (42 in.)
  • Flysheet and floor: Polyester taffeta

Big Agnes backpacking tents

Many Big Agnes products could easily rank among the best backpacking tents. If you’re wondering which ultra-light tent to go for, you may want to add this American brand to your shortlist. One model in particular impressed our camping team: the Copper Spur HV UL.

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2: the all-rounder

Cooper Spur HV UL2 Big Agnes

The Copper Spur HV UL tent from Big Agnes was designed with long hikes and backpacking expeditions in mind. This 3-season tent is reserved for minimalist backpackers for whom every gram counts. Made from lightweight and durable top-of-the-range materials, the tent features everything you could wish for: two doors and two vestibules, pockets, storage, ripstop nylon, and waterproof seams.

  • Capacity: 2
  • Weight: 1.42 kg (3 lb. 2 oz.)
  • Pole: 1
  • Waterproof index: 1,200 mm
  • Ceiling height: 102 cm (40 in.)
  • Flysheet and floor: nylon and polyester

The North Face backpacking tents

The North Face designs both recreational tents and high-tech expedition shelters cut for the most extreme of conditions. And somewhere in this range, hikers and backpackers alike can find their perfect tent.

The North Face Stormbreak: Best for longer expeditions

Stormbreak The North Face

When it comes to longer hiking trips, our camping team recommends the Stormbreak model. The quality of its materials and its smart design make it an excellent lightweight 3-season tent. With its two doors, its modular vestibules, and its higher ceiling, it provides the comfort you need to recover from your long travels. Its affordable price also puts the Stormbreak model on the list of the best backpacking tents.

  • Capacity: 2 (also available as a 1- or 3-person tent)
  • Weight: 2.67 kg (5 lb. 14.2 oz.)
  • Waterproof rating: 1,200 mm
  • Flysheet and floor: polyester

MSR backpacking tents

MSR is the benchmark when it comes to backpacking tents. So much so that our team struggled to pick only one model from the brand’s range, and had to settle on two: the Hubba Hubba and the Elixir. Both perfect for backpacking trips, these 3-season tents stand out for several reasons.

MSR Hubba Hubba: Featherweight

Hubba Hubba MSR

Seasoned hikers looking for a 2- or 3-person tent that is as light as it is spacious should look at the Hubba Hubba by MSR. This top-of-the-range model mostly stands out thanks to its unbeatable weight, but its strong points do not stop there: almost unrivalled ceiling height, optimal waterproofing, quick setup… A safe bet for all adventurers looking for a 3-season tent that’s suitable for any type of expedition.

  • Capacity: 2 (also available in a 3-person tent)
  • Weight: 1.47 kg (3 lb. 4 oz.)
  • Poles: 2 Easton® Syclone™ made of advanced aeronautical composite material
  • Waterproof rating: 1,200 mm Durashield™ coating
  • Ceiling height: 101 cm (40 in.)
  • Flysheet and floor: 20D ripstop nylon

MSR Elixir: A small tent that packs a lot of features

Elixir MSR

The MSR Elixir tent is a great alternative to the Hubba Hubba. It is designed for adventurers who need to reduce the weight of their backpacks, but still want a certain degree of comfort and good value for money. Very easy to assemble, it features a roomy interior and ultra-practical vestibules for gear storage. The Elixir tent is a more traditional 2-person tent: it is modular and spacious. Perfect for a restful sleep after a long day of walking.

  • Capacity: 2
  • Weight: 2.24 kg (5 lb.)
  • Poles: 2 poles in 7000 series aluminum
  • Waterproof rating: double roof at 1,500 mm and floor at 3,000 mm
  • Ceiling height: 102 cm (40 in.)
  • Flysheet and mesh: polyester
  • Interior: nylon
  • Floor: nylon taffeta

SAIL Toundra: The budget-friendly option

SAIL Toundra

Going on a long hike without spending all your budget on a high-performance tent is possible. The SAIL Toundra, available as a 2-, 3- or 4-person tent, was designed for one purpose: offering the best value for money. It may not be the lightest tent in its category, but it has a few arrows in its quiver: ease of assembly, durability, waterproofing… The Toundra tent is versatile and makes for a great family tent.

  • Capacity: 3
  • Weight: 2.77 kg (6.1 lb.)
  • Poles: aluminum
  • Waterproof rating: floor at 5,000 mm and flysheet at 2,000 mm
  • Flysheet and floor: polyester

Caring for your backpacking tent

After your outing, make sure your tent is fully dry before putting it away. Otherwise, mould could develop on the fabric and the coating on the seams could break down.

Don’t try to fold your backpacking tent to store it: simply stuff it in the storage bag. This way, you won’t damage the material by folding it over the same spot time and time again.

Keep in mind that a light hiking tent isn’t built to be used daily or left in the sun for too long. On average, its optimal lifespan is about 40 to 50 outings, or about 3 to 5 years. The sun is also one of a tent’s worst enemies, so try to set up camp in the shade whenever possible.

Depending on what you use your tent for, it’s important to waterproof the rainfly as well as the seams, even if it is not used often. Come see us in-store to find out how to do this.

And for a great night’s sleep under the stars, don’t forget to take stock of your sleeping bag and sleeping pad.


What Is the Best Tent?

Which Tent for Hiking?

How do you carry a tent when backpacking?

You might also like