The Best Backpacking Tent Under $100: Quality and Affordability At Their Best
Are you trying to look for the best backpacking tent under $100? If yes is your answer, your search is over because, in this article, I listed the best of the best yet affordable backpacking tents that will surely make your outdoor experience an adventure to remember.
Best 1 Person Backpacking Tent
Backpacking is an excellent outdoor activity to enjoy with your family and friends. At times, however, you may prefer to do it alone. If you plan to do the latter, here is the best 1-person backpacking tent that I can recommend.
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
This tent is a product of the popular and reputable ALPS Mountaineering which will surely make your day an exciting outdoor getaway. It is lightweight which usually poses a problem among other tents because unlike heavier tents, lightweight ones tend to compromise balance.
Fortunately, the free standing posture of Lynx enhances its stability, guaranteeing you that you can go hiking, backpacking, or camping with peace of mind whether it is snowing or windy.
Rest assured that you would not have any problem in setting it up because of the two pole system that it utilizes which complement its shock-corded aluminum fasteners and frame. Also, it airy, and this feature is made possible by its single door and half mesh wall space.
Its vestibule is waterproof, keeping you and your shelter safe from adverse weather. On top of these excellent qualities, Lynx is also 3-season ready because of its factory sealed fly as well as a poly taffeta floor that has 2000mm covering to ensure that it always remain dry.
You also need not worry about your skin during hot days because this tent features a 75D 185T polyester fly which prevents damage caused by ultraviolet rays. The large zippers also add to your convenience as it lessens the trouble of opening and closing the door.
In spite of all these excellent features, this tent has a pretty low price which made me, at first, doubt its quality. Now, that we have used and tested it, and with all the incredible features I have experienced with it, I realized it should be worth more than its actual price. It is one of my favorite tents, and many also consider it the best solo tent available in the market.
The only issues that a few of its users claim are that the quarters tend to be quite tight while others say that its rain fly does not completely cover the tent.
Best 2 Person Backpacking Tent
Whether you go with a loved one or a friend, you and your companion will surely enjoy backpacking at its fullest when you find the best 2 -person backpacking tent to shelter you from this exciting event.
1) ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2-Person Tent
If you will go outdoor with someone else, this tent is what I suggest. It is another product of ALPS which they design for two persons. It has aluminum poles which are quite similar to Taurus, another best-selling tent. However, this tent has more mesh which takes up half of the walls on each tent's side, providing more ventilation.
My fellow backpacker and I personally tried this tent, and we can both attest to the fact that it is incredibly easy to set up and disassemble as well. Also, This two pole rectangular dome style has pole clips which fit perfectly and easily over the poles themselves, making it quicker to assemble.
Furthermore, it has a factory sealed floor and fly as well, two doors for quick entry and exit, weatherproof fly buckles, and two vestibules for additional weather protection and gear storage. It also makes use of #8 zippers that are extra-large. For a tent that costs less than $100, this one is indeed a perfect choice.
Also, with all these features, we can say that the manufacturer indeed made this tent user-friendly and convenient to use although some users say that it is quite big when you fold it. Others also wish that it had come with instructions, but many backpackers claim that it is not a problem because this tent is extremely easy to set up.
2) Chillbo Cabbins 2 Person Tent
If for some reason, your budget does not seem enough for the product we mentioned earlier, I recommend that you try to consider this another excellent two-person tent of Chillbo. Apart from its inviting appearance, this equipment will make your outdoor experience less hassle because it is very portable and lightweight.
It has a huge interior space which and storm proof, guaranteeing that it will keep you from any types of elements. The sealed seams are leak-proof, and its frame is wind responsive which makes this tent an easy shelter while hiking or backpacking. It also provides easy access because of its two large D-frame doors while its mesh window panels will surely offer great ventilation.
You need not have any other tools to assemble it as you can quickly set it up in few minutes. The craftsmanship is also incredible. We said so because it features internal pockets for storage as well as cross-wound poles for extra durability and strength. The material that it utilizes also include an Oxford flooring, 2000mm Waterproofing that has sealed seams.
Some say that, despite, its spacious room, it may not be suitable to use if you are using some types of air mattress especially queen size ones as they can fill almost all of the tent's interior space. Some areas also do not quite have very good stitching although it does not compromise its seal.
These downsides may be the only reasons why you may decide not buy this tent, but many users say that that will not happen because of the tent's exceptional advantages. If it does, however, this tent has a lifetime warranty which means you can return it if this tent does not meet your expectations, and you will be entitled to a full refund of its full cost.
3) ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent
This tent is one of the most economical yet quality tents I have encountered. It is another two-person tent from ALPS, and its 75D 185T polyester fly has 1500mm coating remains taut and serve as a protection from UV damage. The polyester fabrics that make up this tent are lightweight yet sturdy.
The factory-sealed floor seams and fly will protect you from adverse weather. Also, its fly is full length on the sides for extra weather protection, unlike some tents which are 3/4 length.
It has two doors which both have extra large #8 zippers for added durability. The said doors work on a "single-zip operation." Expect excellent ventilation from Meramac because of the two zippered windows in its door. The large side mesh panels also make it even more well-ventilated. ALPS also made the side walls uncoated, so the tent can "breathe" under the urethane coated fly.
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent's weatherproof fly has a ridge pole, providing an awning over each of its doors for rain protection, gear loft, mesh storage pockets, and 8" steel stakes. It also includes guy ropes.
Some owners of this tent claim that the clips holding the fly in place do not seem always to remain tight while others say that it is quite on the heavy side.
Best 3 Person Backpacking Tent
As the cliche says, “the more, the merrier.” The same thing is true when you go outdoor with your workmates or friends. Are you looking for the best 3-person backpacking tent that will surely give you enough comfort and space? Discover some of these shelters with our review and experience with these tents.
1) Coleman Sundome 3-Person Dome Tent
At times, you would like to be with more people when you go outdoor. If you decide to be with two other persons in your adventure, there is this tent that guarantees to provide extreme comfort for all three sleepers inside it without compromising the price.
This tent can fit a queen-sized air mattress. The fact that it weighs less make it a perfect pick for backpacking. Hence, carrying to a distant spot is also not a problem. Setting this tent up never gave us any problem because the first time we assemble it, it did not even take us ten minutes.
This quick set up is made possible by the domed two pole design and Insta-clip pole attachments and color-coded poles. Taking it down is also an extremely fast task.
This tent comes with the Coleman WeatherTec System, a feature that keeps all the rain out through the use of waterproof floors, water-resistant fabric, and zipper protection. The dome-shaped and wind strong frame help the tent withstand any strong wind and challenging weather.
Feel the fresh air finding you inside the tent because of a Privacy vent and a Ground vent. This feature, however, can allow dew to enter occasionally. Standing is also not an option inside the tent.
2) Bfull Camping Tent
Experience maximum convenience, comfort and performance with this product. It has a freestanding design as well as two entrances to offer maximum convenience and ventilation during warm summer nights. The double layer design also enhances ventilation.
This tent utilizes No-see-Um mesh wall panels to improve thermal performance, making this shelter suitable to use even during winter. It also features two pop-up ventilation windows on its fly sheet to allow airflow in the rain. It is also lightweight
Bfull Camping Tent has triangle tent pegs to hold the man tent firm, and the reflective windproof ropes will help you not trip over them during the night. The polyester PU 190T 210T has 2000m/m coating fabric materials for water and moisture resistance.
Also, you can use the rain fly separately as a tarp. The said rain fly is expandable to give more ground covering while the interior C shaped design is spacious for comfort and ease.
This shelter will not only protect you from adverse weather, but it will also save you money because of its very fairly low price. We noticed, however, that the stitching does not seem to be top-notch. Also, the floor's fabric also tends to be quite thin.
Best 4 Person Backpacking Tent
Going with a bunch of other outdoor goers can give you also a bunch of enjoyment by finding the best 4-person backpacking tent. Learn more about this product which we tried and tested, and find out why it becomes a top-favorite of other backpackers.
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4 Person Tent
This product is another tent that comes with two doors, a useful feature especially when there are more than one persons inside the tent.
When sleeping with a group, one important thing to observe is to avoid disturbing other sleepers. Coming out to the door that is closest to you prevents this event from happening. For this reason, we highly recommend ALPS Meramac 4 Person Tent.
The advantages of the two door feature do not end here because, along with the large mesh panels on the sides, it also makes the whole tent well-ventilated. The said mesh also blocks flies, bugs, and other insects.
This tent offers extra weather protection because of its waterproof fly which stands its test. It also stands firmly on the ground, and it features a two pole design that comes with fiberglass poles.
These poles consist of elastic cord which others also call shock cord, allowing the tent to have a free-standing capability with less risk.
Because of its oversized zippers and clip assembly, this tent is extremely quick to set up. It is also spacious, and its central height is about 5 feet.
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 4 Person Tent comes with a gear loft, a useful feature in making your equipment organized. The roof's hooks is also another valuable add-on for hanging some stuff like lanterns and others.
Because ALPS designed this shelter for a group of outdoor goers, it is quite on the heavy side (it weighs approximately 7 lbs). It also comes in a case which is rectangular and which you may find uncomfortable to carry.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Backpacking Tent
As with any product, finding the best tent that will suit your budget entails analysis of each item's features, and understanding of your needs and preferences. To make this task easier, I have prepared some important things to remind yourself before making a purchase.
This factor is an essential consideration of backpackers. Spending too many hours on the trail carrying excess weight can ruin the fun of your outdoor adventure. Hence, choosing a lightweight product makes a big difference when you go camping, hiking, or backpacking.
Even so, it is also important to make sure that being lightweight does not compromise the tent's other essential requirements such as its durability, and space.
There have been various products available in the market, but choosing one that combines quality and affordability do not only add to the backpacking excitement but also guarantees that it will not hurt your pocket.
Fortunately, various manufacturers have come up with less expensive yet top-notch tents, and, in this list, we have compiled all products which we have proven to be the best of the best tents that cost less.
Being meticulous about the tent's weight and the cost is a good habit to practice when buying your outdoor shelter. However, it is also crucial to bear in mind that certain unexpected events, such as strong and powerful winds and adverse weather may occur anytime, and finding a tent that you can rely on during these times give you complete peace of mind.
As a backpacker, you may agree with me if I say that the best backpacking tents are those that have smaller size since you would need to put these shelters into your backpack. You may go after the ones which do not consume much space.
However, the pack down size is as important as the space of the tent when it is erect. You also have to consider your size as well as that of your companion (s). You can also read some helpful reviews to have an idea ahead of time about the dimension of the tent you are planning to purchase.
Ease of setup
Some tents come with an instruction manual while some do not. If you are a regular backpacker, this problem may not be an issue especially if you already have an experience in setting up tents.
If you are new to this outdoor activity, however, it is important to watch helpful videos or ask assistance from other backpackers. The ideal length of time to setup a tent is 5-7 minutes although this factor still depends on the nature and style of the tent.
Choose a tent which is comfortable to sit. Tents that have steep sided wall also offer more headroom. Always consider the number of people you go out with, what gears you have to put inside your tent, and what you will need to do in your tent.
Some guides on choosing the best backpacking tent also recommend at least 30 square feet of space for every person in the tent.
Flexible poles which cross over the tent's top stabilize dome-shaped tents which allow this design to offer a good amount of headroom. Bigger dome tents, however, tend to be less stable, so it is better to go with a different shape when you plan to sleep with several people in your tent.
Vestibules and entrances
Tents that have a porch are useful during rainy conditions as these types of shelter give you a place for dumping your wet stuff and for leaving your boots and other gears. They also shelter you while you are taking off your wet weather gear.
Tents that have two doors make it convenient for you to clamber in and out of the tent, a feature which is helpful when you are sharing your shelter with someone.
Waking up in the morning and finding out that every stuff gets damp is probably one of the most horrible experiences you may encounter when exploring the wilderness with your tent.
Discovering that your clothes also get wet because they have touched the tent's sides, and realizing that your bedding is damp because condensation is all over your tent even adds to your burden.
Thus, we recommend you look for tents with a ventilation available that have rain fly on, and well-placed vents to eliminate any condensation issue.
To understand these factors better, please check the video below:
While the competitive market of outdoor equipment offers an almost endless list of models and lineups of outdoor shelters, selecting the best backpacking tent under $100 has been very tough decision to make.
Yet the tent that you will use is not only a shelter but is also an important protective equipment to keep you safe and warm during any weather.
Always remember that your goal is not to look for the perfect tent, but purchase one which meets your needs and preferences, and if you want to buy ones that will not hurt your budget, the ones I mentioned can be your top choices.