Best Backpacking Tents Under $100

The right backpacking tent can make your camping trip enjoyable or just plain miserable, but not everyone has hundreds of dollars to spend on a single piece of gear. For new backpackers, spending a lot of money starting may not make sense, as you probably don’t know your gear preferences and needs.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the three best backpacking tents under $100, so you can stay dry and bug-free – without breaking the bank.

Quick Summary

  • If you’re doing looking for the best tent on a budget, the BISINNA 2-person Backpacking Tent may be the best way to go:
    • Sleeps 2 people
    • Free-standing design with double fly sheets
    • Well-ventilated
    • Weighs 4lbs, 12oz
  • If you’re looking for the best value tent for 1 person, check out the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-person Tent:
    • Sleeps 1 person
    • Free-standing 2-pole design is easy to set up
    • Water-resistant tent fly
    • Weighs 4lbs, 1 oz
  • If you want our best overall recommendation, take a look at the Clostnature 2- to 3-person Backpacking Tent:
    • Sleeps 2 people
    • Waterproof with factory-sealed seams
    • Compact and portable
    • Weighs 5lbs, 5oz

Who Should Get This?

This selection of backpacking tents is best for those who are just getting started backpacking, as well as those who don’t go backpacking very often. While these tents are suitable for backpacking conditions, they won’t hold up as well over extended periods.

Conversely, this list of backpacking tents may not be suitable for frequent backpackers and large groups. If you are someone who spends every weekend in the woods, it might be worth spending a little extra cash on a more durable option.

Best Backpacking Tents: What to Look For

Seasonality

When choosing a backpacking tent, seasonality is crucial because it determines how heavy-duty your tent will be. Many backpackers will have two tents, one for warmer conditions and one for winter conditions. Consider the weather and climate of your intended backpacking destination and decide if you need a:

  • 3-season tent: built for spring, summer, and fall, and can hold up to mild rain
  • 4-season tents (sometimes called 3+ season): designed to be sturdier, more waterproof, and able to withstand substantial wind and snow
  • 4-season/Mountaineering tent: suited to harsh winter and high elevation elements, such as heavy snow, rain, and wind

Weight

Your tent’s weight takes up a large portion of your maximum weight allowance, so it’s essential to choose a tent that is lightweight enough to carry long distances. When looking for a low-weight tent, you want to examine:

  • The minimum trail weight, or the weight of just the tent, its poles, and the rainfly
  • The weight of the tent plus its stakes, footprint, and carrying bag (if it has one)
  • How much space the tent plus its extra equipment takes up in your backpack

Livability

Livability is a term that encompasses all of the features that make your tent homier. A significant factor in livability is a tent’s size – but the bigger the tent, the heavier it is. When you consider livability, be sure to take into account:

  • Peak height: the distance from floor to ceiling
  • Wall shape: curved walls make a tent feel smaller, while taller walls feel roomier
  • Floor area: how many square feet of space you have to move around
  • Vestibules: rainfly extensions that increase your storage space for gear and free up floor space

Best Backpacking Tents: Our Picks

1. Best Backpacking Tent on a Budget: BISINNA 2-person Backpacking Tent

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The BISINNA 2-person Backpacking Tent might be one of the better options if you’re looking to go backpacking at the cheapest possible cost. This 3-season tent is easy to assemble, as one person can set it up in ten minutes or less. Furthermore, the tent is easy to pack and transport, as it weighs less than five pounds and comes with a travel bag.

The BISINNA Backpacking Tent comes with lightweight aluminum poles, 8 alloy ground pegs, and 2 wind ropes that can withstand most heavy winds. Moreover, the polyester-taffeta rainfly is guaranteed to keep your tent water-resistant up to industry standards.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Room enough for 2 people
  • Rainfly doubles as extra storage space
  • Water-resistant

What We Don’t Like:

  • The tent material is thin
  • Some users reported that the stakes were too small

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. Best Value Backpacking Tent for 1 person: ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-person Tent

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ALPS Mountaineering is a well-known name in the outdoor community, and although their products tend to be more expensive, they can be worth the price. Their 1-person Lynx-series backpacking tent comes as a free-standing, aluminum two-pole design, which makes the tent easy to carry and easy to move once it’s set up.

This model has one doorway with mesh walls on two sides for breathability.The included rainfly functions as a small vestibule space to put your gear if you need extra storage space. Furthermore, this tent features a mesh pocket on the wall and an overhead gear loft, so you can be sure all of your equipment stays safe and dry.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight at 4lbs, 1oz for the kit
  • Mesh walls allow for plenty of airflow
  • Comes with plenty of storage space

What We Don’t Like:

  • More expensive than some competitors
  • Some users have reported the bottom layer is too thin
  • Handwash only

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. Best Overall Backpacking Tent Recommendation: Clostnature 2- to 3-person Backpacking Tent

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The Clostnature 2- to 3-person Backpacking Tent may be a good option if you like to go backpacking with your partner or a friend. This tent sleeps two people comfortably and comes with a rainfly that adds extra storage space on two sides of the tent. This makes it easy to keep all of your gear dry and safe. Furthermore, while the mesh walls provide plenty of ventilation, the seams and rainfly are both waterproof to keep the rain out.

The construction of the tent is lightweight and easy to put together as well. The kit even includes an extra lightweight aluminum pole in case one of your tent poles snaps in the middle of your trip. The tent fabric and poles fit easily into the included carryon bag for easy storage and transportation.

What We Like:

  • Comfortably sleeps 2-3 people
  • Easy to pack, put up, and take down
  • Lightweight at just under 5.5lbs

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some users reported that the screening rips easily
  • There is no bottom tarp included to protect against sharp objects

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Useful Tips and Resources

When you go backpacking, it’s also important to remember to protect yourself – and your tent – from the ground. Sharp sticks, rocks, and bugs can make for an unpleasant surprise in the morning. Therefore, if your tent does not come with a footprint (ground tarp) or you want an upgrade, it might be a good idea to check out footprint accessories, like the AmazonBasics Waterproof Camping Tarp.

Another consideration is whether a freestanding or non-freestanding tent design is the best choice for where you are camping. If you are unsure of the answer, check out this video on the pros and cons of freestanding and non-freestanding backpacking tents.

Final Words

Backpacking tents are an essential piece of gear for some and a luxury for others, depending on if you like sleeping under the stars with the bugs. At the end of the day, though, it’s nice to know you have a place to put your gear and hide from any unforeseen weather you may encounter on your trip.

Questions or thoughts on our choices? Suggestions on types or styles of backpacking tents, tents in general, or other aspects of choosing the right gear? Let us know!

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