Best Tents For Hiking 2023

A red tent in Barrington Tops National Park surrounded by yellow flowered plants and fog.
Credit: Josh Fotheringham

A red tent in Barrington Tops National Park surrounded by yellow flowered plants and fog.
Credit: Josh Fotheringham

Choosing the best tents for hiking can be a daunting task, particularly when you consider the various sizes, weights, and weatherproofing features available to provide optimal comfort during your outdoor adventure.

For instance, some tents, like the MSR Habitude, are built for large families with their spacious floor plan and high ceiling height, but adding size tends to increase weight.

Moreover, a tent built for hiking needs to be able to withstand harsh weather in the exact same way as a top pair of hiking boots. That doesn't mean the tent should completely block out the elements though, as there still needs to be some form of ventilation to minimise condensation and keep you cool.

In order to help you find the right hiking tent, we've selected our top picks, covering a variety of sizes, weights, and materials to ensure your needs are covered.

Whether you're looking for something for solo trips, like this ALPS Mountaineering Lynx, or you're after something for two-person adventures, like this Blackdeer Archeos, we've got you covered.

We've also answered a few of the most commonly asked queries at the end, so stay tuned if you're struggling to work out exactly what it is you need from a hiking tent. Let's get into it...

Best tents for hiking

  1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL
  2. MSR Habitude
  3. The North Face Stormbreak
  4. MSR Freelite
  5. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx
  6. Blackdeer Archeos
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL product image of a large grey tent with shade extensions.
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Credit: Big Agnes

1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL

Best tent for hiking overall

Occupancy: 2 Person
Material: Nylon, Aluminium
Dimensions: 88 x 52 x 40 inches

The Big Agnes Copper Spur looks to be an excellent all-rounder for hiking due to its versatility and smart design.

Firstly, the tent is ultra-light, weighing just 1.4kg packed. It's also designed to keep you dry and warm, no matter the weather conditions, thanks to its waterproof outer shell and interior skin.

Moreover, the tent is incredibly spacious despite its deceptively low weight, meaning it can house two people comfortably whilst also having enough room for you to store your winter running shoes for instance. You also get the option to extend the front entrance to give you even more room for outside furniture, for instance.

It's also worth mentioning the tent comes with dual low-vent vestibule doors and a high fly vent to maximise active and passive airflow and, as a result, reduce condensation. Plenty to like then, so make sure you check it out for your next adventure.

Read More: Best hiking watches

MSR Habitude product image of a turquoise tent with a red inner.
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Credit: MSR

2. MSR Habitude

Best family tent for hiking

Occupancy: 4 Person
Material: Polyester, Aluminium
Dimensions: 95 x 95 x 73 inches

If you're hiking in a larger group or as a family, then this four-person MSR Habitude tent could be the kit for you.

MSR boasts that its tent features a sturdy construction that is able to withstand kids as well as the rigors of outdoor camping, especially as it is made from ripstop polyester.

Furthermore, the tent features a high ceiling which should allow a large party to move comfortably whilst changing, for example, and comes with storage pockets for each occupant to keep all your items secure and in one place.

MSR also states that its tent is easy to pitch thanks to its hubbed poles and colour-coded clips, meaning you can spend more time exploring and less time setting up during your adventures.

Read More: Best hiking boots under 100

The North Face Stormbreak product image of a yellow tent with a grey inside.
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Credit: The North Face

3. The North Face Stormbreak

Best budget tent for hiking

Occupancy: 2 Person
Material: Polyester, Aluminium
Dimensions: 47.63 x 18.42 x 12.7 cm

The North Face Stormbreak looks to be a top-of-the-range tent from one of the leading names in the outdoor industry.

This two-person bit of kit is said to be easy to pitch with its vestibule design and is perhaps even easier to enter thanks to its unique two-door and twin-zip entry system. This also helps optimise airflow along with high-low ventilation for improved breathability, particularly when zipped at night.

Ultimately, this tent looks to be incredibly well-rounded whilst also being relatively inexpensive, making it one of our top picks for you to take into consideration.

Read More: Best Garmin watches for hiking

MSR Freelite product image of red tend with the outer layer off to unveil a grey mesh inside.
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Credit: MSR

4. MSR Freelite

Best lightweight tent for hiking

Occupancy: 2 Person
Material: Nylon, Aluminium
Dimensions: 84 x 50 inches x 100 cm

Back to MSR and its Freelite freestanding tent which, as its name suggests, is ultra-light, weighing at its minimum just 0.91kg, whilst still having enough room to house two people.

This is down to MSR's clever build using lightweight materials like DAC NFL aluminum poles and its rectangular floor plan. As a result, you should find you have plenty of room for your camping gear, including a portable charger.

Moreover, the elements are kept outside thanks to the DuraShield-coated rainfly, floor, and taped seams to ensure you remain warm and dry at night.

MSR also integrates micromesh to reduce condensation and improve breathability whilst making sure any bugs remain outside, thus making it ideal for two-person hiking trips.

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx product image of light grey and navy blue tent.
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Credit: ALPS

5. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx

Best solo tent for hiking

Occupancy: 1 Person
Material: Polyester, Aluminum
Dimensions: 90 x 32 x 36 inches

For solo adventures, we feel it's hard to look past this spacious yet light ALPS Mountaineering Lynx freestanding tent.

With its two-pole design, it should be incredibly easy to put up by yourself, which is made even easier with the simple snap-in-place pole clips. The tent is also adjustable with its fly buckles which are also weatherproof to keep you protected from the elements along with the factory-sealed fly and floor seams.

All in all, the Lynx tent looks to be a well-rounded bit of kit for solo hiking trips and adventures.

Blackdeer Archeos product image of dark green and grey tent featuring white branding on the side.
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Credit: Blackdeer

6. Blackdeer Archeos

Best two-person tent for hiking

Occupancy: 2 Person
Material: Polyester
Dimensions: 18.5 × 5.9 × 5.9 inches folded

For two-person excursions, this Blackdeer Archeos looks to be the ideal bit of kit for the job.

Blackdeer boasts its tent features a large space thanks to its extra cross-pole over the top, which has been designed to significantly increase its volume to give you that little bit more room.

However, the tent folds down to a relatively small size and weighs just 5.7lbs in total, making it a great option to consider for your two-person hiking trips.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

With so many different sizes and shapes of tents available, you probably have a number of questions about them. Don't worry though because we're here to clear up some of the most commonly asked queries.

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What should you look for in a tent for hiking?

Perhaps the number one factor to take into consideration when choosing a tent is its weight as you'll want something light enough that it's easy to carry with you whilst hiking.

You also need to consider the space. Tents will often come with several size options measured in the number of occupance, so make sure you select one with enough space for your hiking party.

Finally, make sure you select a tent with some kind of weather protection as you'll want to make sure you remain dry and warm whilst zipped inside regardless of the conditions around you.

What's the difference between a regular tent and a tent for hiking?

One of the biggest differences between a regular tent and a hiking tent is that the latter tends to be much lighter, making it easier to carry in a backpack whilst on an adventure.

Due to the need to be light, you may also find the majority of hiking tents to be slightly smaller than regular camping tents, although that doesn't mean you won't find a hiking tent built for more than one occupant.

Finally, you'll usually find hiking tents are more expensive than regular tents due to being lighter in weight which, in the world of camping, is incredibly favourable. However, this isn't always the case as we've highlighted a few great but relatively inexpensive hiking tents in our list for you to consider.

What weight should a hiking tent be?

Leading on from the last question, it's important to know what sort of weight to be looking for when selecting a tent for hiking.

Macs Adventure says a good general rule to follow is no more than 3kg per person, with less weight being optimal.

You do also need to balance this with space and quality though, so it's worth balancing the weight with these other factors when selecting the right tent for hiking.

How much should you spend on a tent for hiking?

Generally speaking, the more you spend, the higher quality of the 'tent.

This tends to be teamed with lightness as well, so it's worth keeping this in mind when trying to figure out how much you should splash on a new bit of gear for hiking.

That being said, our list shows that you don't necessarily have to spend loads to pick up a high-quality bit of kit packed with advanced technology to ensure you remain comfortable and dry and night.

Ultimately, how much you spend comes down to personal preference as well as your available budget. If you hike regularly though, we'd recommend investing slightly more to improve your experience.

Are tents easy to put up?

The ease of setting up a tent largely depends on the specific tent model, its size, and the experience of the person setting it up. However, in general, modern tents are designed to be easy and straightforward to set up, with most models featuring colour-coded poles, clear instructions, and intuitive designs.

That said, larger and more complex tents can take more time and effort to set up properly, and factors such as wind and rain can make the process more challenging.

It's always a good idea to practice setting up your tent before your camping trip to ensure that you are familiar with the process and can set it up quickly and efficiently.

How long do hiking tents typically last?

A tent's lifespan will vary depending on how often it's used and the conditions it's used in.

You'll also want to ensure you correctly store your tent to avoid causing any damage. Therefore, we'd recommend cleaning and drying out your tent after your hike to improve its longevity.

Back to how long a tent will last. In theory, a good quality tent can last a lifetime if maintained as per above. If you use your tent regularly, then you should still get several good years from it before it might be time to seek out a replacement.

Signs you may need a new tent may include: it no longer being waterproof, increased condensation when inside, or physical damage such as holes or tears.

What is the difference between single-wall and double-wall tents?

Single-wall tents are made with a single layer of fabric that combines the outer rainfly and inner tent into one. They do not have a separate mesh inner tent. As a result, they're usually lighter and more compact compared to double-wall tents. They are also designed to be highly breathable and are often used for fast and light backpacking trips or in environments where weight is a critical factor.

However, single-wall tents can be more prone to condensation buildup because the moisture from your breath and body heat does not have a separate inner tent to escape through. That said, many modern single-wall tents incorporate ventilation features to mitigate condensation.

By contrast, double-wall tents consist of two separate layers, an inner tent and an outer rainfly. The inner tent is typically made of breathable mesh and provides insect protection, while the rainfly acts as the waterproof outer layer. They usually offer better versatility and comfort along with better airflow. They're also more suitable for extended camping trips and camping in various weather conditions.

But... double-wall tents generally weigh more than single-wall tents due to the additional layer and materials. However, this weight difference may vary depending on the specific design and materials used.

It's important to note that both single-wall and double-wall tents have their advantages and disadvantages. Single-wall tents excel in weight savings and compactness, while double-wall tents prioritise comfort and better ventilation. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your specific hiking needs, expected weather conditions, and personal preferences.

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