The best tents for a backpacking trip

After materials research and some phone calls with experts at REI and EMS, we’ve found three tents that will hold up on your next trip.

camping tent mountains
When you bring the camp essentials on your back, your options for a stunning, not crowded campsite increase exponentially.Zach Betten via Unsplash

There are dozens of high-quality, cost-effective tents on the market these days, but if you’re planning a backpacking trip, you’ve got factors like weight and portability to consider. Your tent needs to be easy to carry without sacrificing waterproofing and campsite comfort.

We spoke to product experts at both EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) and REI to help point us in the right direction for tents that will carry well, withstand rain and wind, and provide hikers with a cozy home-away-from-home while on the trail.

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2
One of the lightest on the market.Amazon

Clocking in at just two pounds and twelve ounces, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is ultralight, easy to use, and super durable. While the tent is certainly a bit pricey, it’s a worthwhile investment if you plan to do a lot of backpacking and want a strong, full-featured design. There is a four-way high volume hub, double rip-stop nylon fabric, dual-zipper large doors, and two-toned mesh (hello, stargazing).

MSR Hubba NX
Holds up against the rain.Amazon

If you know it’s likely that you’ll encounter rain, the MSR Hubba one-person tent is the way to go. (It’s also available for two people). Opt for the additional Xtreme Waterproof Coating, which lasts up to three times longer than a standard coating. At just 2.9 pounds, the set-up features a freestanding design with 18 square feet of floor area and plenty of vestibule space.

EMS Velocity Two
Easiest to pitch. Amazon

This tent from Teton sleeps one and weighs in at only 4.6 pounds. Hikers will find nice airflow and reduced condensation, thanks to the mesh canopy. This tent is on the more affordable end of ultralight backpacking tents.