How to choose a Backpacking Tent

A backpacking tent is designed as a shelter to safeguard hikers / campers from the weather, a little bit of personal privacy from other campers and a shield from nasty sand flies or other insects. Selecting the proper one consists of being aware of your personal preferences and probable climatic conditions. Discovering the appropriate balance between space, weight and price.

Backpacking tents are graded according to the number of sleepers and the weather season.


The key question to ask is “How many people will sleep in the tent”?

Backpacking tents are typically found by their capacity sizing ranging from 1 to 3 person. To retain minimal weight as the major marketing point, tents are intentionally designed to fit compactly without any excess space for storing your gears and utensils. Hence, for solo camper, it is highly recommended to opt for a two person tent in order to be able to always keep you backpack, food and shoes safely inside the tent. In case you bring along a pet or a child, be sure to increase the capacity accordingly.

To be sure, pay the store a visit as most have at least a few of the tents already set up for you to peek inside and judge what dimensions and brand name matches your needs comfortably.


Another significant factor to judge is the weight. What is the tolerable limit for your backpack?

Single person tents normally weights between 2 to 3 pounds. Two-person tents quite often are between 3 to 5 pounds. As a general rule, tents that offer per person weight of 2 pounds or less, is definitely a good option.


What weather condition are you expecting?

Backpackers favor a 3-season tent as it is best suited almost year round moderate, spring to fall climatic conditions. An extended season tent is more appropriate for cold and windy natural environment. If you choose to camp out during winter month, it is best advised to go for the expedition tent, also categorized as 4-season tent.

Lastly, experienced backpackers own at least two good quality tents to cope with the weather conditions they anticipate to encounter at different month of the year.


Tips: Two small but important tent features to look for.

1. Ultra lightweight tents frequently is a single door design. For a two man tents, it is prudent to pick a two doors version as it provide each sleeper a separate zipper door to use. This is especially convenient in case if one wish to sleep early while the other may like to watch the stars or stay late. Each door usually comes with Vestibules, an extendable rainfly forming a small but precious storage space for your backpack, gears and shoes.

2. Modern tents are simpler, with fewer poles and very easy to set up, just grab the poles and the tent can be moved easily to a new spot