If you need somewhere fast and cheap to pull up for the night, having a compact tent in your backpack can be a godsend.
As one of the must-have accessories for any backpacker, knowing how to find the best budget backpacking tent will ensure you’re ready for anything.
What makes a good backpacking tent?
A backpacking tent should be compact enough to fit in your bag, have the correct capacity for your party size, suit the weather, and have good livability to suit the situation.
Good quality and construction are always important in backpacking tents as they’re your shelter for the night and must be reliable.
The knowledge that you have the best tent for backpacking on you at all times can give you great peace of mind on your travels.
To help you acquire it, we’ve reviewed some of the best lightweight budget packing tent options in all shapes, sizes, and prices, so you’ll always have trustworthy shelter with you.
Best Overall: Clostnature Lightweight Backpacking Tent
The Clostnature Tent also comes with a carry bag, inside tent, flysheet, four ropes, two aluminum poles, 14 aluminum stakes, and a pole emergency repair kit, with the total package weighing just 5.4lbs.
As our pick for the best budget 2 person backpacking tent, Clostnature has packed a lot into this one package.
The tent and all accessories weigh just 5.4lbs and the interior of the tent measures 7’3 x 4’11 x 3’10 so there’s plenty of room for a small amount of weight in your backpack.
When packed up, the tent measures 16.5 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches so it’s small enough to fit in your backpack and ready to go when you need it.
The tent comes with 14 aluminum stakes and this was the only part that people chose to upgrade if they were camping in particularly hard soil.
However, the rest of the tent was durable and protected users from the weather, as well as having an impressive limited lifetime warranty that vouched for its high quality.
There’s plenty of room in the tent and it features two D-shaped doors and vestibules for easy access, as well as a repair kit and all of the other accessories you need to install and enjoy it.
If you camp in crazy weather, this is the best budget waterproof backpacking tent and it’s covered with PU 5000, 210T polyester rainfly, and sealed seams to keep you dry.
Underneath, the walls of the interior tent are made of mesh for good breathability and comfort.
The Clostnature Lightweight Backpacking Tent is our favorite find and excellent quality to keep you sheltered when you need it.
- This tent is solid and durable and has a lifetime warranty to prove it, which many other tents in this price range don’t.
- It’s incredibly lightweight and rolls up to a smaller size to take easily with you in your backpack, making it a quality budget ultralight backpacking tent.
- There’s lots of room inside and two doors so you won’t feel cramped even sleeping with another person.
- You’ll be protected from rain thanks to the waterproofing and sealed seams.
- The overall cost for the tent of this quality and all of the accessories is low and it’s a great bargain for a backpacker.
- The included aluminum stakes don’t work in harder soil so it’s advisable to get a backup set of something stronger and switch them out before you go.
- Although Clostnature claims one person can set it up, the process can be time-consuming if trying it on your own.
Runner Up: Eureka Timberline SQ Outfitter
The Eureka Timberline SQ Outfitter is an impressive four person tent designed for durable camping, and it weighs just over 9lbs with an interior footprint of 60.8 square feet. The tent is made with their sturdy SQ frame, a spreader bar to give more internal space, and polyester taffeta construction that protects you from getting wet.
There are lots of extras like interior pockets and mesh windows, giving campers everything they need.
If you want a premium backpacking tent that feels roomier than most, the Eureka Timberline SQ Outfitter is the way to go.
This four person tent measures 8’7” x 7’1” x 4’9” to comfortably fit the family, and includes a mid-span spreader bar that you can extend out and give yourself up to 24% more space inside of the tent.
Although an expensive option, the quality of this tent is undeniable, and it’s made with waterproof polyester taffeta and a breathable mesh window at the rear.
Eureka has also included a high/low venting function that you can adjust so you stay cool in summer and warmer in winter, but it’s a three season tent only not intended for really cold temperatures.
The Eureka Timberline SQ Outfitter is made with an A-frame and has a larger than most D-style door at the front with raised entry.
Inside, you’ll find two interior pockets, and you can lengthen the fly when it’s raining to create two vestibule wings which give you even greater protection against wet weather.
As a heavier option at 9lbs14oz, it’s not the most lightweight but does come with all the features a camping family could want.
- The quality and construction of this tent are above and beyond the competition, and you can clearly feel that it’ll last a lifetime with the right care.
- The unique spreader bar means you get more room than a regular tent and people reported feeling less squashed in this when sharing with their family.
- Premium ventilation throughout the tent means you stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Good wet weather protection thanks to the rainfly and added vestibules on either side, so nobody will feel a thing when it rains.
- Larger than average doors cater to more types of users and mean less chance of disrupting the tent’s construction as you come in and out.
- Although technically lightweight, the overall weight of this tent is close to 10lbs and some might find it to be a burden to carry.
- This is one of the more expensive options and might be out of the price range of some, especially if you’re only using it for infrequent camping trips.
- Can take a bit of work to assemble and will require two users to install the A-frame and get the tent up and running.
Alternative: Moon Lence Camping Tent
Constructed with 100% polyester and a 190T PU rainfly, and loads of extras like mesh windows, D-shaped door, and ground vent, it ticks all of the boxes for a budget friendly tent.
If you’re after the best budget 1 person backpacking tent this will suffice, as it’s the perfect weight and size, and a lot cheaper than the competition.
The Moon Lence Camping Tent is extremely light at less than 6lbs for the whole package and once unfolded, it measures 83.8 x 59.8 x 8.48 inches which is more than enough space for two adults to live comfortably inside.
Although it’s rated as waterproof, you may have some issues with the rear flap letting in water during a heavy downpour, so be prepared for this.
Otherwise, the 190T PU and polyester material can provide up to 1000mm resistance against water and is made with a rainfly so you get two layers protecting you against wild weather.
Setup is a breeze because of the two shock cord poles that are already connected, but to save time we recommended having a helper.
The Moon Lence Camping Tent also provides UV protection and has nine lightweight iron pegs and four ropes to hold it down.
You get all of the extras that a more expensive would offer, like a ground vent, two windows, mesh lining, D-shaped door, and two zippers, so it’s a great bargain for this price and a dependable way to go lightweight camping.
- Setup is easy and can be done with just one person in around 20 minutes, because Moon Lence has already pre-assembled some of it.
- This is a cheap alternative to the more expensive backpacking tents for those who only camp every now and then, and the price to quality ratio is good.
- It’s incredibly lightweight and the total package is just under 6lbs so you won’t feel a thing while it’s in your backpack.
- Even though it’s on the cheaper end of the scale, there are lots of upmarket features to be found on this tent.
- There’s plenty of room inside for two adults and an even roomier set up for just a single user, and possible to do up by yourself.
- The zippers on this tent could be a little tougher and you should be careful not to pull on them too hard, otherwise, they’ll get jammed.
- Some users reported a leak at the rear when it was raining heavily so bring along something to keep this covered if you’re expecting wet weather.
- You only get one entry door in this tent so everyone has to come and go through the same access point.
Alternative: Bessport 2 Person Backpacking Tent
The Bessport Tent has plenty of features for camping enthusiasts like two D-shaped doors, factory sealed seams and waterproof up to 5000mm, and aluminum poles and clips for easy assembly.
If you crave simplicity in a camping tent and don’t want to spend a lot of cash, the Bessport 2 Person Backpack Tent is worth a look.
This tent is the lightest of all, weighing 5.5lbs in total, and it rolls up to a tiny size to pack away in your bag.
Inside, the height of the tent is 43.3 inches but it’s 93 inches in length so even the tallest users will feel they have plenty of room to stretch out at night.
There were some downsides, like the plastic clips used on the poles and the fact that there’s no warranty coverage, but for this price point, we can overlook them.
You’ll still get all of the usual features of a more expensive backpacking tent, including two D-shaped doors, durable and extra large zippers, and two vestibules on either side.
As far as weatherproofing goes, the Bessport Tent will protect you from the rain and wind, with a 5000mm waterproof index, taped seams, and wind responsible frame made from 8.5mm aluminum poles.
It can be set up in less than two minutes with two capable helpers, and you don’t have to spend a fortune just to get quality and basic shelter for your next backpacking adventure.
- With two people helping, you can install this tent in less than two minutes so it’s one of the easiest options out there.
- The weight of 5.5lbs makes this tent from Bessport the lightest on our list and less of a load to carry in your backpack.
- For something so affordable, there’s ample room in this tent, and even taller users reported having plenty of space to stretch out when they were laying down.
- The mesh skylight is a nice touch and makes it feel as though you’re sleeping directly under the stars and with good breathability.
- You can use the Bessport Tent in all kinds of weather thanks to the rugged frame that keeps it in place.
- The plastic clips weren’t that durable and you’ll have to be careful during assembly not to snap them as there’s no backup.
- This tent doesn’t have any warranty coverage but rather a short satisfaction guarantee period so it might seem like a risk to buy if you want protection.
Alternative: Camppal 1 Person Tent
The Camppal Tent can extend to 8.2 feet to suit taller users, with an overall weight of just 3.4lbs, and rolls up to a small size for easy portability.
For solo travelers, an ultra lightweight tent like the Camppal option is ideal, weighing just 3.4lbs and being capable of extending up to 8.2 feet for ample space.
Setup takes three minutes for one person and the included carry bag is larger than most, so getting the tent in and out is a cinch.
The biggest concern of this tent is that it’s not covered by warranty or guarantee from the manufacturer, so it might not be the best long term option.
However, the tent is made with durable PU-coated fabric that’s also anti-tearing, and features an outer tent with a 3500 – 4000mm waterproof rating.
Even in the wildest weather, there’s no chance of a drop of rain getting in, so you’ll always be cozy.
The Camppal One Person Tent doesn’t have any fancy features, but it comes with a rain fly, aluminum poles, pegs, inner tent, and carrying bag.
The inside measures 8.2 x 2.95 x 2.95 feet and it’s made with fire retardant and weather proof materials, so it’s got everything you need to sleep comfortably overnight.
- This tent is ultra lightweight and easy enough for one person to carry on their back without feeling a thing, and it has a larger carrying bag than most.
- Although a one person tent, it can extend further for taller users which means you’re not sleeping in a cramped position.
- Setup can be done by one person in a few minutes as Camppal has designed it for solo use.
- The tent is made with anti-tearing fabric so even with rough use and wild weather, it’ll keep its good shape.
- As a four season tent, you’ll get a lot more use out of this and be able to sleep in it during winter, so it makes it even more cost-effective.
- There is no warranty or satisfaction guarantee on this tent so you’re taking a chance buying it, and only have the good reviews of others to go by.
- This isn’t a fancy tent with lots of features so would only suit backpackers who want something basic to do them for the night.
Budget Backpacking Tent FAQs
There’s much more than finding the best budget backpacking tent under 100 dollars, as it has to tick all of the other boxes too.
We’ve answered some commonly asked questions about tents used for this purpose to steer you in the right direction of your next purchase.
What Is A Good Weight For A Backpacking Tent?
A rough guide for a backpacking tent is one that weighs no more than 2.5 pounds per person that has to use it.
This includes all of the components of the tent, like the rain fly and poles, as well as the tent itself, so the weight can be distributed between people in your party if need be.
How Much Should I Spend On A Tent?
The cost and quality of a tent will depend on its purpose, with something lightweight and simple used for backpacking and made for one person is the cheaper option starting at around $50.
Larger capacity tents for camping trips and with premium features can cost a few hundred dollars and up, so the price varies quite a bit.
Is Camping An Expensive Hobby?
Camping can be an expensive hobby if you’re just starting and have to buy all brand new equipment. Some accessories shouldn’t be skimped on, like a quality tent, and others you can find for a good price.
Over time, you’ll build up the essentials and the hobby will become cheaper, as long as you know where and when to camp.
How Can I Camp Cheaply?
There are a few ways to camp cheaply, including finding free campsites and grounds and bringing along all of the food and drinks you’ll need.
When traveling with others, have a plan regarding who will bring what so there’s no doubling up and split the costs to keep everyone’s overall expenditures low.
Affordable Shelter on the Move
A backpacking tent doesn’t have to be fancy or come with all of the bells and whistles, as long as it provides you with a safe, warm, and dry roof over your head for the night.
Thanks to our picks for the best budget backpacking tents, you’ll have a reliable place to sleep whenever you need it, and all without breaking the bank, or your back.