Backpacking is one of the best ways to experience the outdoors, especially if you love to explore the wild outdoors. And if you intend to couple your backpacking trip with camping, you will need good quality backpacking equipment that can withstand weather elements. Chief among them being a backpacking tent.

However, as tents go, they tend to cost an arm and a leg, especially if you want a weather-resistant tent made from high-quality material that is also lightweight. The cost of the raw material and other factors can propel the final price pretty fast. Fortunately, technology has made it possible to buy a backpacking tent for less than $100.

What to consider when choosing a backpacking tent

To get maximum bang for your buck, you need to ensure your backpacking tent has all the right qualities to serve your camping needs. here are the key factors to consider when selecting a backpacking tent;

Backpacking Tent Capacity

How many people do you need the tent to hold? The standard tent size is a two-person tent, but you can also get a one-person tent if you only need it to house one camper. But the extra room is always an added advantage. However, the smaller size will help to reduce the weight of the tent. Also, bear in mind the tent dimensions and the size of your luggage when selecting the tent.

Backpacking Tent Seasonality

Will you be using your tent in summer only? Or do you need it to be versatile enough for use during other seasons? The two main tent season categories are the 3-season and a 4-season tent. The most selected backpacking tent is the three-season tent, as no one camps during the winter season.

Backpacking Tent Weight

tent weight is crucial if you are going to be carrying it in your backpack. The lower the load, the easier it is to carry and the less space it takes up in your backpack. Opt for a hybrid material tent that is weather resistant.

It is also more likely to be lightweight and occupies less space without sacrificing features and durability. Be sure to take into account packaged weight and size when selecting the tent. To ensure it fits into your backpack.

Backpacking Tent Livability

A cramped tent with minimal floor space and headroom will ruin your camping experience and make overnight camping a nightmare. However, the tradeoff is unnecessary when you pick a backpacking tent made from revolutionary fabric and raw materials. The fabric used should be lightweight while offering breathability for improved tent livability.

Tent Set-up

The tent should be easy to assemble and take down. The last thing you need is a tent that requires rocket science knowledge to set up. Not to mention takes a whole century to take down. It should also be sturdy and should be easy to reposition should you decide to move it after you set it up.

Tent Materials

 Aside from the fabric used to make the tent, you will also need to consider other materials used to make the tent. Aluminum poles are a better option as they are low weight and can be ultra-slim while still providing sturdy support.

What Backpacking tent best suits my style?

Ideally, the best backpacking tent is one you can pack and carry with ease, as well as fit in whether you are camping alone or with other parties. It should also have the characteristics mentioned above for ease of use and increased durability.

That said, these are the three main backpacking tent categories you can choose from;

Free-standing:

As the name suggests, this type of tent does not need stakes to stabilize it. It can pretty much remain upright on its own due to the tent frame used to set up the tent. They are usually dome-shaped and can accommodate taller individuals comfortably.

Their sturdy poles or frame makes them ideal for windy areas. However, they are also best used on uneven camping grounds or rocky areas unsuitable for staking tents.

Semi-freestanding:

This is a downgraded version of a free-standing tent. They can be able to remain upright without staking but require the staking for increased stability. They usually feature a tent body, a rainfly, a pole system, and stakes. For optimal use, it is essential to stake them. They are lighter and smaller in size than free-standing tents.

Check this too: How Do You Get Tent Stakes into Hard Ground?

Tarp-tents:

These tents cannot stand up on their own. You have to use trekking poles and stakes to support them. In addition, they feature a single wall, which leads to condensation buildup, making them less ideal for extreme weather camping. Finally, they are incredibly lightweight but tough to set up.

Top 5 Best Backpacking Tents of 2021

Clostnature Lightweight Backpacking Tent

Clostnature Lightweight Backpacking Tent

This tent features two Aluminum poles designed for fast pitching. One person with no experience can easily set it up. The tent comes with a lifetime warranty and a 100% risk-free satisfaction guarantee.

It is made from 210T Polyester that is waterproof and highly durable. It also has a rain fly and groundsheet with PU 5000 coating and factory sealed seams guaranteed to keep you dry and comfortable in all weather conditions.

It also features mesh walls designed to offer excellent ventilation. And two D-shaped doors and two vestibules on the side designed to provide convenient entry and exit points. The tent also has extra storage for your backpack or shoes.

Features

  • Tent Material: Polyester
  • Item Weight: 5 Pounds
  • Occupancy: 2 Person
  • Shape: Round
  • Closure Type: Zipper and Velcro
  • Pole Material Type: Aluminum

Pros

  • The large vestibule offers more room and protection.
  • D-shaped doors on each side allow you to enter or return without crossing over your partner.
  • The free-standing structure allows you to move and relocate the tent without having to disassemble

Cons

  • Not ideal for tall people

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Bessport 2-3 Person Tent for Camping

Bessport 2-3 Person Tent for Camping

This water-resistant tent features a welded floor designed to elevate the bottom of the backpacking tent to protect you from wet grounds. It also comes with a full-coverage rainfly for added protection against rain. It is made from a durable but lightweight fabric that is breathable.

It has no-see mesh walls, and it comes with 7001 Series aluminum alloy stakes and a reflective guyline for wind resistance. The tent also features two poles with a Clip-pole attachment making it easier to set up. In addition, it is free-standing, which enables you to move the tent without having to disassemble it first. The tent also has two D-shaped doors and two vestibules to accommodate up to two people.

Features

  • Tent Weight: 5.2 Pounds
  • Occupancy: 2 Person
  • Shape: Round
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Aluminum

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Multi-weather

Cons

  • The mesh walls are somewhat fragile

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Wind Tour 2-3 Persons Instant Automatic Camping Tent

Wind Tour 2-3 Persons Instant Automatic Camping Tent

The Wind Tour tent is made of high-quality waterproof 210D Oxford. The fabric can also block ultraviolet rays well on sunny days to prevent the skin from being exposed to the sun. It comes with one set of poles, and it only weighs 4.3kg (9.5lbs).

The tent is relatively roomy, and it can house 2-3 individuals. It measures 84.6*84.6*53 inches making it easy to store and carry.

Features

  • Color: Blue
  • Material: 210D Oxford Fabric
  • Weight: 4.3 Kilograms

Pros

  • UV resistant
  • Spacious
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Not ideal for tall individuals

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Camppal 1 Person Tent for Camping Hiking Mountain Hunting Backpacking Tents

Camppal 1 Person Tent for Camping Hiking Mountain Hunting Backpacking Tents

The Camppal tent has a height of 8.2ft, making it ideal for tall individuals. The tent is also easy to set up, making it perfect even for amateur campers. In addition, it comes with a carry bag for easy storage and carrying.  

It is made from 3500~4000mm rip-proof fabric that is 100% waterproof and fire retardant. It also features seam taping on the zipper, Velcro wrap, and the four bottom corners to prevent the water from entering even under heavy rain.

Additionally, the tent’s front door can be pulled straight and held up with the two trekking poles or sticks to create a vestibule or sunshade. It also has a mesh pocket sewn into the tent’s walls for the storage of personal items. Lastly, the zipper head has a fluorescent cord that makes it easier to identify and find at night.

Features

  • Material: Fabric
  • Weight: 1.23 Kilograms
  • Occupancy: 1 Person
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Pole Material Type: Aluminum
  • Maximum Height: 2.95 Feet

Pros

  • Water-Resistant
  • Windproof
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Low ceiling height

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Forceatt Camping Tent 2/3/4 Person

Forceatt Camping Tent 2/3/4 Person

Forceatt camping tent is made of high-quality 70D polyester fabric that is windproof and waterproof. It has 7001 aluminum rods that are wind resistant. In addition, the tent’s welded floor design makes it waterproof. The tent also features two D-shaped doors and two vestibules.

The upper part of the tent has a large mesh window and two ceiling vents. It can be set up in three minutes and disassembled in 2 minutes, making it perfect for backpacking. Additionally, the tent’s mesh interior increases its breathability making it more comfortable for summer camping.

Features

  • Size: 2 Person
  • Color: Gray
  • Materials: Polyester, Aluminum, and Fabric
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Maximum Height: 43 Inches

Pros

  • Windproof
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not ideal for rainy weather

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Conclusion:

 As mentioned above, the best backpacking tents under $100 should not be of lower quality because they are cheaper. Instead, they should be able to offer you the protection you need from the elements as you camp. Ideally, opt for a multi-season tent that can be used for both summer and fall camping. Lastly, ensure the tent is light enough for backpacking.