Backpacking Tent

The Best Budget Backpacking Tent Under 100 Dollars: A Review of 10 Products

1. Buying a backpacking tent should never be an area where you compromise on quality. This is because your safety and comfort are at stake. This should especially be a priority when the weather decides to play tricks on you and the rain keeps pouring.

Even though many people think buying a quality backpacking tent is equivalent to spending lots of money, the reality is that many high-quality tents don't cost too much. This guide reviews 10 quality backpacking tents under $100, and where to shop for them.

Top Picks for the Best Budget Backpacking Tents

Several factors contribute to the quality of a backpacking tent, and they were all considered when choosing the tents on this list. We can vouch for them, so you can trust in them too.

1. MOON LENCE Wind-Proof Backpacking Tent

OUR RATING

This 2-person tent from Moon Lence is designed to withstand harsh external conditions like rain and wind. Setting it up and dismantling it can both be done within 10 minutes and by only one person. It has two shock cords, through which the poles can be connected via clips.

It’s not a stuffy tent, as the two D-shaped doors are there to provide adequate ventilation. With premium quality materials, you are guaranteed comfort and warmth, regardless of what the outside weather may be. Since you’ll be on the move, you need something lightweight that won’t weigh you down. This lightweight tent fits the bill

Included with the package comes a stylish carrying bag for easy transportation.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 16.7 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Item weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Color: Green
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Max occupancy: 2 persons
  • Max occupancy: 2 persons
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Manufacturer: MOON LENCE
  • Customer reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Roomy enough for 2 people
  • Lightweight and durable
  • It can easily be set up and dismantled

Cons

  • It can feel hotter in the summer
OUR RATING

This tent has 2 spacious doors with zipper closure for convenient entry and exit. It can be set up instantly, using the 2 poles as attachments for a freestanding setup. With this same setup, you can move the tent from one location to another without having to disassemble it.

The material used is a polyester water-resistant material that keeps you warm even when it’s raining or snowing. Its buckle is top quality, capable of holding the tent in place even when weather conditions take a turn for the worse.

Your comfort is never going to be jeopardized due to its extra cushion ground layer, making the tent impenetrable.

Specifications

  • Package dimensions: 17.5 x 8.1 x 5.1 inches
  • Item weight: 2.5 Kilograms
  • Color: Blue
  • Material: Nylon
  • Sport Type: Camping & Hiking
  • Manufacturer: WEAPRIL
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Waterproof and sturdy
  • Lightweight and durable for a maximum hiking experience
  • Can be set up in 10 minutes

Cons

  • Not ideal for group camping
OUR RATING

With one large mesh door and 2 mesh windows, you and your friends are assured of constant ventilation with this tent. The beauty of any tent lies in its installation, and this tent features a design that can easily be set up within 5 minutes.

With a waterproof index over 5,000 mm, you can keep dry and warm inside while it’s wet and cold on the outside. Made to be stronger than other tents, its reinforced poles make it always ready to withstand wind and snows.

The tent has mesh pockets that are easily accessible for you to keep small items in. These mesh pockets are conveniently sewn into the tent itself. The room is spacious enough for 4 adults to sleep comfortably without stress, and the zipper closure makes for easy entry and exit.

Specifications

  • Package dimensions: 18.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Item weight:  2.86 Kilograms
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Style: 3 people
  • Color: Orange
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Max Occupancy:  4
  • Manufacturer: Bessport
  • Customer reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Presence of two-way zippers
  • 5 minute set up
  • Lightweight and spacious
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • The floor is thin and can easily be penetrated
OUR RATING

This backpacking tent strikes an ideal balance between various qualities you want in a tent, like strength, space, lightweight, and comfort. Even though it can only house one adult, it has plenty of headroom for a tall person to conveniently move around and lie down.

It weighs just 5 pounds, even though it has metal stakes, making it easy to carry along with you while you enjoy your hiking. The tent can easily be assembled and set up, all done within minutes. The shock-corded fiberglass material is there to further guarantee the tent’s durability.

Specifications

  • Package dimensions: 24.41 x 5.35 x 5.35 inches
  • Item weight: 5 pounds
  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Outer material: Polyester
  • Size: 1 Person
  • Shape: Dome
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Manufacturer: Gigatent
  • Customer reviews: 3.9 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • It is lightweight and easy to carry
  • It features 48 inches of headroom

Cons

  • Only one adult can sleep conveniently
OUR RATING

This round-shaped camping tent is spacious enough to accommodate a maximum of two people. It is lightweight and breathable, allowing adequate ventilation for you to enjoy your camping experience.

It’s equipped with 7001 series aluminum stakes that keep the tent grounded during windy conditions. It’s also seam-taped to make the tent impenetrable against water from heavy rain. You’ll feel cozy even when it’s cold outside with its full coverage rain-fly.

This is a freestanding tent, so you can expect little effort in setting it up for use. Dismantling it is expected to be simple and fast too.

Specifications

  • Package dimensions: 16.6 x 6.7 x 6.5 inches
  • Item weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Color: 2P-Limeade
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Max Occupancy: 2 persons
  • Shape: Round
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Manufacturer: Bessport
  • Customer review: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Made of water-resistant materials
  • Easy to set up and disassemble
  • Lightweight and durable

Cons

  • Tall people will need to hunch over when inside
OUR RATING

This durable tent is spacious enough for a maximum of 4 people and is available for use in 3 seasons. It has two doors that can be opened by just zipping down, and has two ventilation skylights for the proper recycling of air.

Apart from serving as a tent, it can also substitute as a storage room for storing your personal belongings, like shoes and bags. In case of bad weather, it’s got you covered with a waterproof index of over 4000 mm. And it’s not only made of nylon material, but also has a special UV coating for sun protection.

You can install this tent easily and quickly using its strong poles made of aluminum.

Specifications

  • Package dimensions: 16.93 x 5.43 x 4.72 inches
  • Item weight: 2.18 kilogram
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Style: Dome
  • Skill Level: Professional, Beginner, Advanced, Expert
  • Max Occupancy: 4 Persons
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Manufacturer: Weanas
  • Customer reviews:  4.5 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Lightweight and Portable
  • Easy to install
  • Made of waterproof material
  • Can comfortable fit 4 people
  • UV protection

Cons

  • Doesn’t have much headroom
OUR RATING

Most campers need tents that are cozy and warm to sleep in at night, and this tent can be used in both summer and winter. It’s lightweight and portable, with a floor that’s cushioned to give you the needed insulation for your body. It has enough room for a maximum of 4 people at the same time.

The tent has a freestanding structure that allows you to move the tent without having to dismantle the entire thing. It has mesh fabric inside to allow for cross ventilation of air. It’s also waterproof and ultra-light.

This tent can easily be set up by just one person within minutes, and it comes with extra pockets sewn into it for storing your small items.

Specifications

  • Package dimensions: 16.6 x 9.2 x 5.7 inches
  • Item weight: 2. 53 Kilograms
  • Color: Green
  • Material: Polyurethane
  • Max Occupancy: 4 people
  • Manufacturer: Clostnature
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Freestanding structure
  • Made of waterproof and breathable material
  • Room for 4 people

Cons

  • This manufacturer does not deliver to some locations
OUR RATING

One of the best features of this backpacking tent by Bessport is that it can be set up within 150 seconds. It has a freestanding structure that makes installation and movement of the tent very convenient. In case of bad weather, it guarantees your warmth with its waterproof material.

The tent has a free-running zipper that never gets stuck for easy entry and exit whenever you want. If you’re a hiker, you’ll also enjoy its lightweight build that makes carrying it on your back easy. Its freestanding structure allows for it to be relocated without being dismantled.

The tent’s ventilation is among the best you’ll see, and its floor is cushioned for added warmth in cold weather.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 16.8 x 7.8 x 5.6 inches
  • Item weight: 2.45 Kilograms
  • Color: Grey
  • Max occupancy: 2 persons
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Manufacturer: Bessport
  • Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Super easy to set up and take down
  • Affordable even for those on a strict budget
  • More than enough room for 2 people
  • Waterproof material

Cons

  • May not be the most durable tent
OUR RATING

You’ll need a tent that’s sturdy and strong, capable of withstanding whatever the night might throw at you. While this tent is meant for just one adult, it makes up for what it lacks by including several other features.

A quick installation will save you time, which is why the manufacturers designed the tent to be easily set up within one minute. With a combination of aluminum poles and fully waterproof, double-layer materials, this is one of the lightest backpacking tents you’ll find available.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 16 x 10 x 4 inches
  • Item weight: 2.1 kilograms
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Blue
  • Shape: Dome
  • Manufacturer: Camppal
  • Customer reviews: 5 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Double-layer, waterproof materials
  • Quick set-up 

Cons

  • May not have lots of headroom
OUR RATING

The double-layer stitching of this tent creates a waterproof coating for added comfort and warmth for you and your hiking companions, even when it rains or snows.

The material used is a breathable polyester that makes sure the occupants don’t feel stuffy. It has two doors that not only make it easy to move in and out of, but they also contribute to the overall ventilation of the tent.

Space is another noteworthy feature, as you and other occupants can easily stretch your bodies to full length when lying down. Being lightweight and easy to assemble, this tent is made for use during at least 3 seasons.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 17.63 x 7.75 x 5 inches
  • Item weight: 2.63 Kilograms
  • Material: Polyester, Fiberglass, Aluminum, Taffeta Fabric
  • Shape: Round
  • Closure type: Zipper
  • Manufacturer: BFULL
  • Customer review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Freestanding design
  • Lightweight and easy to set up
  • Enough room for 3 people

Cons

  • The bottom of the tent can be thin

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Budget Backpacking Tent

Even though you might think a lower budget means lower quality, you can still buy quality backpacking tents when you take some vital factors into consideration. The following are some of the features that you should keep in mind when making your purchase.

Tent Price

You want a budget backpacking tent right? Have the maximum amount of money you want to spend in mind before starting your search. Since you’re reading this article, you probably don’t want to exceed the 100 dollar limit. So, if you’re searching for a tent online, narrow down your options by turning the price filter on.

Even though some may argue that you can only get low-quality tents for less money, with a careful search using the other selection criteria discussed, you can find your perfect fit.

Tent Comfort

The purpose of buying a backpacking tent is to give you protection from the harmful elements in the environment where you want to camp, so sure to check out the tent’s resistance to these harmful elements before buying.

One such element is rain. Sunshine can also become harmful if UV protection is not included. The floor of the tent should be cushioned enough to allow you to lie comfortably. The tent should also have vents for allowing enough air in, and the vestibule and doors should be spacious enough for easy movement to and fro.

Tent Material

Backpacking tents are made of various materials, and each customer has their own preferences. To ensure you choose the best quality, make sure your choice is made of a material that’s meant to last. If you buy a tent with material that wears or tears easily, you’ll not only pay more in the long run, but you may also jeopardize your safety.

The material should be able to provide warmth if you’re camping in colder weather, and it should also be breathable, allowing for adequate ventilation.

Tent Space

Only you know what you want and how much space you need. Are you intending to travel alone? Will you be having companions? Consider the answers to these questions when making your choice.

Most backpacking tents tend to limit the space of the unit to two persons only, due to the need to be lightweight. Don’t buy a tent that’s meant for two or three people if it’s only you who’ll be sleeping in it.

If you know that carrying some extra weight is not going to be an issue for you, you can buy a 2-person or a 3-person tent if you want more breathing room. If you’re a solo hiker, a 1-person tent is ideal though. A 2-person tent may have better balance on the ground, but 3 to 4-person tents may be impractical and are likely to be overcrowded.

Tent Weight

To make things easier for yourself, go for a lightweight backpacking tent. Make sure to check the item’s weight in the package specifications. The weight shouldn’t exceed more than a few pounds, or whatever amount of weight you’re comfortable with, so you can easily pack up and transport it in case of an unexpected trip.

If the tent is too heavy, an enjoyable hiking experience can turn out to be a nightmare of a trip with all that extra weight on your back. All the tents on our list are lightweight, so check them out if you want to save yourself some pain.

Is Tent Design and Installation Important?

It can take just one design flaw to make a good quality backpacking tent a bad choice. If you enjoy camping and sleeping in tents, make sure the tent is designed for your taste, or at least close to it. Ordinarily, you would want your tent to be simple, yet roomy.

The inclusion of vents can help keep your breathing easy and comfortable. Other designs might include small pockets to keep small items from being misplaced. When shopping, keep these small details in mind to make your camping trip more enjoyable.

Installation is yet another aspect you should pay careful attention to, because valuable time can be lost while trying to install some tents. Many hikers prefer freestanding types because they are easier to set up and take down when you need to move.

The poles of freestanding models are fixed, and can even be set up on rocky or hilly planes. Other people may prefer backpacking tents that aren’t freestanding and instead use guylines for pitching, thus eliminating heavy poles that contribute to the overall weight of the unit.

Should You Care About Tent Durability?

Each tent material has its advantages and disadvantages. Lightweight tents are usually constructed with thinner materials, while the heavier tents are constructed with thicker materials. Of course, the lightweight materials are less durable than the thicker ones.

However, if lightweight tents are handled carefully, they can last for years and be taken almost anywhere. Even a thick and heavily-constructed tent can falter with little to no maintenance.

If you are naturally careful with your belongings, it will work in your favor if you buy lightweight tents. But, to be on the safe side, the models with thicker materials are typically more highly-recommended, especially if you want a tent that will survive months of intense use.

Why You Should Read Online Reviews

This part concerns only those who like to shop online. Typically, each product has a section for customer reviews that allows buyers to state their opinions and experiences with a given product. Carefully reading these sections can prevent you from making mistakes with buying counterfeit or poorly-made tents.

From these reviews, you can get a pretty good idea of what a tent might be like. If people generally give a certain tent high ratings, that’s a hint that buying that product would be a good idea. If you notice several negative comments, you should probably explore other options.

Frequently Asked Questions About Backpacking Tents

What’s a good weight for a backpacking tent?

Before answering this question, one thing you should absolutely keep in mind is that your tent will almost always be on your back. Think about the strength and energy you’ll expend as a result of extended hiking. When it comes to tent weight, the phrase “light is right” holds true.

If you’re hiking solo, you should consider a 2.5-pound tent an ideal weight for your journey, depending on how much other gear you bring along with you. Anything more than this could easily slow you down and drain your energy.

If you’re hiking in a group, you might have more leeway when it comes to weight, as you can always take turns carrying the tent.

Should I put a groundsheet under my tent?

The answer to this question depends on the type of tent you have. Many people opt for groundsheets under their tent when they specifically want protection from punctures or moisture. Some also enjoy putting sheets under their tents to add to their comfort.

We recommend that if the base of your tent is cushioned properly, you probably won’t need a groundsheet.

When is the best time to buy a tent?

Hiking is seasonal, and it's most popular in the summer. Many stores will largely clear their inventories for new products during the winter. In some cases, many will provide discounts for summer tents in the winter months.

Our recommendation is to buy in the winter if you’re planning on buying an in-store product. If you’re buying online, time of year may not matter as much.

Conclusion

We understand that finding the best budget backpacking tent under 100 dollars might not be an easy task. The market is saturated with many products of varying quality, all claiming to offer the best value for your hard-earned money.

Note that all of the backpacking tents on our list come highly-recommended. They all have their unique pros and cons, but any one of them would make an excellent hiking companion. 

Remember to use the selection criteria to narrow down your options, and we wish you good luck on your search!