The search for a backpacking tent can be an overwhelming endeavor. It very well may be the most important piece of gear and choosing the wrong tent will make you lose sleep, literally. There are so many backpacking tents to choose from and many of them reach into the hundreds of dollars, but you don’t have to pay a high dollar amount to get a quality backpacking tent.
Experienced backpackers are more willing to shell out few more bucks for the top of the line gear. While this makes sense for someone who has invested lots of time and effort into the pursuit, this may not be the case with everyone. For those of us who are more casual backpackers, spending less on a quality backpacking tent makes a lot of sense.
One of the problems with buying budget anything is that you risk getting a low-quality product that’ll break down quickly. There’s an old saying that, “you get what you pay for.” Which translates into, if you buy cheap shit, don’t expect much in return. These backpacking tents all find a great balance of price and quality.
The Best Backpacking Tents Under $100
These backpacking tents are all durable, have a proven track record, and are all under 100 dollars. Here’s our picks for the best backpacking tents under 100.
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Person Tent that is a lightweight and durable backpacking tent. Its design and build make it a perfect tent for solo backpacking trips during the Fall, Spring, and Summer months.
It’s a free-standing tent that with walls that are made of mesh to increase ventilation, a rainfly made of polyester for UV protection, and a PU-coated taffeta base that offers abrasion protection and water resistance.
This tent has a 2 pole design that provides quick and easy set up while providing a decent amount of headspace for a solo tent. There is a small vestibule area that gives you room to store your extra backpacking gear. The overall packed weight is 4.4 pounds with everything included.
- Easy to set up and take down
- Well ventilated
- Packs into a small space
- Narrow inside the tent
- 4.4 pounds
- Footprint not included
- There's no assembly frustration with our Lynx tent Series; This free-standing, aluminum two-pole design is a breeze to setup
- Polyester tent fly resists water and UV damage while adding one vestibule for extra storage space
- Fully equipped with #8 zippers, storage pockets, gear loft, stakes, guy ropes and one doorway
- The Alps Mountaineering Lynx tent is on our best sellers list; it’s a must-have for your next adventure
Single Person Personal Bivy Tent Winterial
This tent is not freestanding, which means that you’re going to need to use tent stakes to pitch it. It comes with 2 aluminum poles that set up in a standard cross pole design. It comes with 14 tent stakes, which is a nice addition considering how easy most tent stakes bend and/or get lost.
Overall, this tent weighs 2.9 pounds and comes with pre-sealed seams and a durable rainfly that offers UV protection. The walls of the tent are mesh for those hot summer days and the base is made of waterproof material.
- Low price
- Easy to set up
- Not comfortable for anyone over 6 feet tall
- Tent stakes bend easily
- Condensation can be an issue
- EASY ASSEMBLY: Single Person Tent with Two Hoop Easy To Assemble Bivy Tent
- PERFECT FOR HIKING AND BACKPACKING: Bivy Tent Sleeps One Person take it with you on any trip
- 3 SEASON TENT: Ventilated Roof Mesh With a Full Coverage Rain Fly for Colder/Rainy Weather
- LIGHT WEIGHT: Packed weight: 3 pounds 3 ounces. Packed Size: 18" x 4.5" x 4" Open Dimensions: 38 x 28 x90 inches.
TNH Outdoors 2 Person BackPacking Tent
TNH Outdoors is an outdoor company that’s focused on making quality gear for a reasonable price while preserving the environment. They are actively working to reduce waste by using biodegradable bags, donating gear to the Girls Scouts of America, and ensuring that their manufacturing process is ISO certified.
The 2 person backpacking tent comes in at 4 pounds and 6 ounces including the stakes and poles. The tent is easy to set up and the seams are taped and sealed to keep moisture at bay. It includes the tent, poles, rainfly, stakes, and a stuff sack.
There’s a vestibule in the front of the tent that’s large enough to store wet and dirty gear. The rainfly is designed so you can adjust the venting with velcro to increase or decrease the breeze accordingly. There’s also an aluminum splint that comes in the peg bag, in case one of your tent poles breaks.
- Rainfly included
- Tapes seams on rainfly and tub floor
- Guy lines have reflective material
- No footprint
- Over 4 pounds
- SET UP IS EASY - Single aluminum pole structure makes the tent easy to set up and pack into one’s backpack. It comes with aluminum tent stakes and reflective rope to improve their visibility at night and increase the safety.
- SPACIOUS AND LIGHTWEIGHT - This lightweight 2-person tent was designed for comfort, space, and convenience. It is a roomy tent with plenty of space for you and a family member or friend. When you are finished with your trip, you can simply place the tent components back into the carrying bag to easily pack up and transport.
- GREAT FOR ALL OCCASIONS - Get the most out of your tent during the year! The aluminum poles and ventilation window allow you to utilize this tent for activities in the spring and summer. So, whether you need a tent for traveling, backpacking, hiking, festivals outdoors or whether you are headed out for a weekend camping trip with family and friends, this is an ideal tent to fit your needs.
- STAY DRY IN STORMS - Rakaia Designs (TNH Outdoors) tent is made out of waterproof,durable, breathable and environmentally friendly material, providing a home-like sweet feeling and making the soul close to nature.
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2 tent is a freestanding tent made for 2 people. It’s a budget-friendly tent that is a good starter tent for a backpacking trip or a camping trip. The setup for this tent is easy, it uses two fiberglass poles to support the tent and a third to prop up the fly.
The height of the tent in the middle is 4 feet and the fly attaches to the tent with a couple clips that can be tightened down. There are 2 doors with windows which zip down half way for airflow. The airflow is great in warmer months, but in cold weather it could be an issue.
The tent packs down into a 2 foot bag that is about 6 inches around and it holds everything that you need to use it. The two doors are a nice feature when you’re sleeping with another person, you won’t have to climb over each other in the middle of the night.
- High center of the tent
- Good ventilation
- Easy to pitch and pack
- Tight fit for 2 people
- Fiberglass poles
- Easy assembly with a free-standing, two-pole design and shock corded fiberglass poles
- Polyester fly resists water and UV damage, while providing an awning over each door
- Fully equipped with storage pockets, gear loft, steel stakes, guy ropes, two awning covered doorways, two zippered windows and large side mesh panels
- The ALPS Mountaineering Meramac Tent is on our best sellers list; a perfect tent for your next adventure
Paria Bryce 2P Breeze Mesh Tent
Paria Outdoor Products is a small outdoor company based in the mountains of Colorado. They focus on making high-quality budget camping gear for everyone from seasoned adventure to the beginner backpacker.
As far as lightweight shelters go, the Paria Breeze Mesh Tent is hard to beat. The total weight of the tent with the stakes and guylines included is only 2 pounds! There is no rainfly included, so unless you can magically predict the weather, it’s best to invest in a rainfly.
The setup on the tent is quick and easy, you use the tension from the guylines to support the frame of the tent. The tent floor is made of 30 Denier ripstop
- Great price
- Seams are welded and taped
- Rainfly not included
- Tent poles not included (trees and/or trekking poles work)
- Low ceiling
- ULTIMATE PROTECTION - The 30 Denier rip-stop silnylon floor has a silicon/PU dual-coating and fully taped seams, providing incredible waterproofing. Meanwhile, the lightweight no-see-um mesh will keep bugs and mosquitoes at bay so you can enjoy the backcountry in peace.
- LIGHTWEIGHT - So light, you won't even notice! Our mesh tent comes in at only 24 ounces, which also includes the line and stakes. The included 12 x 4 x 4 inch stuff sack fits everything into a nice and compact package.
- VERSATILE - Pair the Breeze mesh tent with our Sanctuary Siltarp to get the perfect shelter every time! During clear days and nights, use the mesh tent alone for incredible breezes and stargazing. If inclement weather approaches, throw up the Sanctuary Siltarp for the needed protection against the elements.
- PITCHING OPTIONS - We provide two 15-foot pieces of 1.5 mm reflective Dyneema guy line and six 7075 aluminum Y-stakes. Use these to pitch the tent using nearby trees for support. If no trees are available, you'll need our adjustable tarp poles (sold separately) or your trekking poles to serve as supports.
What to look for in a backpacking tent
A backpacking tent is your home away from home and getting a good nights sleep is priceless on the trail. Here are a few of the important features to take into consideration on your search for the best budget backpacking tent.
The first thing to ask yourself is how many people are going to be sleeping in the tent with you. Using a solo tent with 2 people is an exercise in futility and neither of you will get a good night rest.
In general, it’s a good idea to go up one size for the number of people sleeping in the tent. So if you have 2 people, a 3-person tent seems to be the most comfortable size. This isn’t a golden rule, however, backpacking tents by nature are already a snug fit.
Backpackers obsess about weight and for good reason, if you’re carrying everything on your back, every single ounce counts. An ounce here and an ounce there may not seem like a lot, but they add up quickly.
Lightweight tents make backpacking much more enjoyable, and that’s what it’s all about. Your tent is considered one of the big three items along with your sleeping bag and backpack. So saving on all three of those is of upmost importance.
The tents covered on this list are all under 5 pounds and have a balance of comfort, price, and reliability.
Weather is unpredictable and unavoidable on a backpacking trip. Having a tent that doesn’t keep stay dry and keep you warm is worthless. Be cautious with cheap tents, they have a tendency end up in the worthless category more often than not.
Each tent on this list is under 100 dollars, however, they are all highly rated and 100% reliable. We intentionally only put tents on the list are high quality and budget, the best of both worlds.
There are 2 standard season ratings:
All of the tents on this list are rated for 3-seasons, which means their good for every season other than winter. They will all be ventilated in the summertime and built to withstand moderate winds and light rain. In a heavy down pour you’re going to be hard pressed to find any tent that’ll keep you completely dry.
One of the factors that you sacrifice with a backpacking tent is they’re made of thinner materials. This means that they’re not as durable as a 4-season tent but it doesn’t mean they’re not going to last for years. With the proper care, all of these tents are going to last for years.
The majority of tents don’t include a footprint and for the majority of backpackers they are non-negotiable. The biggest advantage of having a footprint is the extra level of protection you get to the floor of your tent.
A footprint protects your tent from holes, scrapes, rocks, and moisture which in turns makes you tent last longer.3
The price of backpacking gear adds up quickly, especially for the newbies. While it’s possible to drop hundreds, if not more, on a full set of gear. However, you don’t have to break the bank to get your hands on quality backpacking gear.
If you backpack often, then spending more is easier to justify. If you’re just getting started backpacking or are on a budget, this list of backpacking tents under 100 dollars are a great place to start.
Backpacking is for everyone and you don’t have to break the bank to get your hands on some great gear. All the tents above are below 100 dollars and have everything that you’ll find in a premium (expensive) tent without the high price tag.
We hope you found this review helpful and if you feel like we missed anything feel free to drop a comment below and let us know! As always, get lost and keep wandering.