The need for a safe and cozy shelter is one of the primal human needs. It always was. When the weather turns bad we need to be sure our tent will be able to keep our spirits high.
The biggest and most important difference between an expensive high-end tent and a backpacking tent (other than price) is the weight. For this reason, it’s very important to add it to the equation next to the quality and price.
The market for this product is truly rich in quality, but this only means that the best product doesn’t have to be the most expensive one. The best budget backpacking tent should fulfill the following criteria:
- high durability,
- good protection from the outside elements
- easy to carry
- low cost
The following list is the one to be used as a shortlist if you are trying to pick the best budget backpacking tent for the exploring adventures in 2021.
REI Co-op Trail Hut 2
REI Co-op Trail Hut 2 is a happy place for the pause after the long walk. This is the 3-season, dome-shaped middle ground between comfort and low price. Plus installation is super easy.
The ridge pole supports the door walls for increased storage space and some extra room next to the comfortable living space. 2 equal-length poles and pole clips support the dome architecture. The experienced campers are familiar with this setup. Bulk and weight are reduced by the integrated door venting. Condensation is reduced with fly doors rolled up over the roof. This feature provides a clear sky view and reduces the need for additional venting.
Big “D” doors provide smooth entry and exit for 2 people. Fly doors can be pitched out in order to make a sizable awning cover. 2 large vestibules keep equipment away from the elements.
Essentials and valuable items can be stored in well-placed internal pockets in gear loops. Additional features to be found in this lightweight shelter are stakes and guylines with tighteners, footprint, and rainfly. It’s made with solution-dyed mesh so water and energy are saved during manufacturing.
NEMO Aurora 2P
With its vibrant colors, Nemo Aurora shouts good time. The angular patterning aligns nicely with the mountainscapes. With a reasonable price, it calls out to both: seasoned backpackers and entry-level adventurers.
Livability is ensured with two doors and two vestibules. Even the experienced campers won’t argue about the quality of the materials. Respect is instantly earned. The included footprint will extend the life of the tent floor. Snaps for Pawprint are built-in so the pets can join. All dog lovers in the world will vote this to be the best budget backpacking tent only for this reason.
Excellent air ventilation is provided by strutted vents on the fly. The side walls are steep, almost strikingly vertical and they provide the massive interior volume. For this reason, this tent is an inviting home for camping, not only backpacking.
The package would not be completed without the included footprint, divvy sack, light pockets for your essentials, and gear pockets. Imagine, this is not the end of the features: Without significantly encumbering your back, you won’t have to carry stakes, guy-out cord, and a repair kit.
Mountainsmith Morrison 2
Here we have an award-winning freestanding backpacking tent, suitable for 2 people. The Morrison 2 has two doors and a bit smaller maximum center height than the average height of the similar 2-person tents. It is a little bit larger than some other tents in the same category, and it should be comfortable enough for you and your companion during the 3-seasons.
It’s a snap to put it together with the color-coded poles. The two vestibules help with the airflow. Two side deep mesh pockets and a gear loft in the top make finding things in the dark a breeze. Deep sides on the walls are handy in the rain. Inside you can find a removable gear loft, split in the middle so the lantern can be hanged to the center of the loop above you.
Black Diamond Distance Tent with Adapter
Made for superlight mountain and hill adventures, the Black Diamond Distance tent uses almost any trekking poles (can be purchased separately) to create an easy shelter on the run.
100% 30-D polyester construction is what makes this tent stand out. The Black Diamond Distance Adaptor Tent is ultra-performing in winds, light rains, and storms. If placed and oriented properly, it uses the wind as a form of airflow. This feature helps in keeping the space ventilated. This goes both ways, so if winds are not there or the tent is oriented the wrong way, ventilation will be limited. This would become worse if the mesh window needs to be closed during the stormy weather. For this reason, it’s a good choice for the winter and cold months, but not so great during summer.
Set up is quite simple with only two poles on the exterior. Even so, it offers just enough room for two companions to sleep close to each other. Even though it’s not the most ‘liveable’, it’s a great solution for all those searching for a warm, safe, single-walled tent that is compatible with their trekking or even ski poles.
The North Face Stormbreak 2
With The North Face Stormbreak 2 Person Tent, you can have cozy, lightweight, and aesthetically great looking protection for you and a friend through 3 seasons. It sets up and disassembles quickly and without complications. Thanks to its large doors and new vestibule design, it provides you with coziness and great views.
It features a fully seam-taped canopy and floor and allows you to stuff doors into the adjacent mesh pockets, instead of rolling them up.