Best Backpacking Tents Under $100

by Rishabh Goria | Last Updated: July 8, 2020

Every time you go on a backpacking trip you need the perfect gears which helps you get the ultimate comfort and these gears must be of the best quality and durable as well, as you might need them again and again. One of such gear you might need always is a backpacking tent.

You might have this question in your head, there are so many tents out there, which one to choose from? Which one is the best? Which brand gives the best quality products? Don’t worry we have answered all your questions in this article.

We would be covering all about the types of backpacking tents, the best backpacking tents under $100, what factors you need to consider while getting a backpacking tent and how to maintain it as well, do check out all the sections and let us know whether you liked it or not.

Let’s go.

TYPES OF BACKPACKING TENT DESIGNS

                           These types of tents stand on their own and do not require extra bells and whistles to get it right. You can use these for backpacking, camping and you get the best 1-person and 2-person tents. You can also get a durable, weatherproof design and is the best for rough weather conditions.

                                  These need poles for setting them up, and you need stakes to pitch them to the optimum volume. They are a perfect choice if stability and comfort is your ultimate choice. They are very lightweight to carry because they do not have too many poles when compared to other types.

                         They come with three components, the inside part which has a waterproof floor, a non-waterproof roof, a rain fly or you can say that outer tent with waterproof features and the poles for setting it up. They are user-friendly and are very easy to set up and protect you from rough weather conditions and keep you comfortable all the time.

They are heavy and the freestanding tents, semi-freestanding tents, tunnel tents are all different types of double-wall design.

                  These are a type of semi-freestanding design with distinctive poles and they can have more than one or only one pole in a hoop shape and completely depend on guy lines so that it can remain upright. They also have correct space to weight ratio and are provide great comfort to backpackers.

BEST BACKPACKING TENTS


1. ALPS Lynx 1-Person Tent:

With 36 inches high at the center and weighing just 4 lbs, ALPS Mountaineering Lynx is the perfect one-person tent you can get. It is a compact one but perfectly suited for one person.

It measures 2 feet 8 inches x 7 feet 6 inches at base respectively. It is very easy to carry and perfect for backpacking because of its lightweight and is made of high-quality polyester which means it is ready for challenges on the go.

The waterproof, leak-proof design and the coated floor help the tent to remain dry during rain and there is no way sun rays can penetrate or any damage can be done to the tent because of the high-quality material used in making of the tent.

The tent has also got half mesh walls for proper ventilation which helps the proper circulation of air which prevents suffocation during sleep.

You can also use the vestibule, which is of 32 inches in depth, 10 squares in feet, and serves as additional storage to help you store your valuables.

The vestibule also keeps the interiors dry and comfortable.

The best part about the tent is that it is an all-season product, you can use it in summers, spring or autumn and it proves to be the best. The UV -rays protection feature helps you to use it in summer.

You will need extra backpacking pillows (buying guide for best backpacking pillows) and other backpacking gears for better comfort.

The ALPS is very easy to install as it already comes with two aluminum poles and ropes which makes installation effortless and is less time taking.

When it comes with cleaning, it can be cleaned easily by hand-wash and

If you are someone who loves to be alone or want to spend some private time during a trip with friends or family, then this is a perfect tent for you.

Features:

Pros
  • Very durable.
  • Perfect for all three seasons.
  • Good ventilation.
  • Available in clay/rust colors.
Cons
  • It is not ideal to be used in winters.
  • The stakes can be of high quality.
  • If you are above 6 feet or need more space or weigh higher then you might feel cramped up.
  • You can also face some condensation issues.

2. ALPS Mountaineering Mermac 2-Person Tent

Looking for a 2-person tent with the best features? Here it is.

ALPS Mountaineering has yet again given one of the best products with additional onboard features when compared to the Lynx 1-Person Tent.

It weighs 7 lbs and has dual windows and doors, which makes it easy to use and is designed in a way that two people can easily fit in, have enough space around, and can get out of it very easily without disturbing the other.

It is durable because of the polyester fly which also protects the interior of the tent.

It is very easy to set up and does not consume much time as well. It has the freestanding dome design because of the shock-corded fiberglass poles and the aluminum ferrules protect the poles and keep it strong and stable as well.

The tent is of 48 inches at the centre, 38 square feet floor area, and dual doors providing enough space for two people to fit in perfectly.

The mesh offers great ventilation, also it has dual windows and D-shaped zippers which are durable and strong as well.

The waterproof and leakproof features help to keep the tent dry during rain or wet conditions and have a vestibule that provides you extra space to store your gear.

You can also check the Taurus 2-person tent or mystique 1.5 tents if you want to look out for different possibilities.

Features:

  1. Factory-sealed seams.
  2. Base size: 5’x7’6.
  3. Centre Height: 48 inches
  4. Total weight: 7 lbs, 9 oz.
  5. Waterproof and leakproof.
  6. Available in two colors: sage and rust.
Pros
  • Perfect for two people.
  • Comes with a pocket and helps to store your valuables.
  • Very easy to set up.
  • Strong and stable as well.
Cons
  • It might be not suitable for two people.
  • Slightly heavy.

3. Coleman SunDome 4 Person Tent:

                                                If you are thinking to get a four-person tent instead of spending money on one person then Coleman SunDome might be a good product to invest in.

It is a simple freestanding tent that can accommodate two-person at once.

Made of polyester fly fabric which is of top-notch and makes it durable as well. The mesh walls also provide ventilation and the material gives perfect protection from UV rays and rain.

It is also waterproof and has better seams for resistance against water leakages.

The tent has a floor size of 7 feet and 5-inches and the centre is of 48 inches height, which makes up a compact and lightweight tent.

The dome design and durable fabric help it lasts years. The tent floor is made of 1000D polyester, and the floor is welded as well.

The two windows present on either side also accommodate for perfect ventilation, and the polyethylene keeps away the water leakages from the floor.

The Coleman SunDome also comes with mesh storage inside which helps you to store your gears, valuables, and other things as well to provide easy access during the night.

It is portable and can fit in your truck or canoe or kaya as well. Also, it is so strong and stable it can withstand stand, monsoon, and strong winds as well.

Talking about assembling and disassembling the tent is so easy when compared to other four-person tents, it doesn’t involve much effort and is a breeze to set up.

The only thing you need to be careful off while setting up the tent is that you need to follow all the instructions as mentioned in the user’s manual or you might mess it up.

The best thing that we love about the product is that when you start using the tent you get access to electricity, as it has an electric port, you can charge your phones or use lights inside the tent.

You can also use sleeping bags (best backpacking sleeping bags) for better comfort during the night.

The disassembling is also mentioned very clearly in the user’s manual so you can follow the instructions very clearly to do it in a hassle-free way.

If you are traveling with your family and are looking for a product that is comfortable, durable, and is long-lasting then this might be the perfect product for you.

Pros
  • High-quality polyester fly tent.
  • Durable and easy to use.
  • Very easy to setup.
  • Very comfortable to use.
  • It is available in two different colors: Navy and green.
Cons
  • It might be a bit heavy and bulky.
  • It is slightly difficult to pack all the parts in the bag, so try not to tear or not damaging the fly.
  • It cannot accommodate more than three people.

4. Eureka Solitaire Tent:

If you are here to get the best in budget backpacking tent, then this is the product you are looking for.

Eureka Solitaire Tent is Eureka’s entry-level backpacking tent. There are many premium options offered by Eureka too, so you can surely go for it when you want a high-end backpacking tent.

Talking about the design of the tent it is a double-wall design and has an inner mesh as well.

The top entrance is noteworthy as well, which also enhances the entry and the exit of the tent. The door is narrow, but it won’t restrict you, also you can only use the top entrance you roll the fly, to enjoy stargazing, or to get fresh air as well.

Another advantage of having a top entry is that you can always roll up the top space

It is designed so well that you can sleep directly in the sun and yet it is so comfortable and relaxing. It opens into a bevy-style tent and is just 3 lbs in weight.

The base area is 21 square feet which are kind of ok for one person to sleep inside. The interior is of 2 feet 4 inches in height.

The seams are sealed to prevent water from getting in and the mesh vestibule is also a source of ventilation.

The vestibule helps you to keep your valuables and offers much space.

The tent also has 12 stakes which provide durability, and you can always switch them with aluminum types.

Explaining about the weight of the tent, it is completely lightweight and is portable as well so you can roll it up, pack it and take along in a truck or a car.

It is strong and stable, thanks to the fiberglass poles, and with the rainfly on the top is made of good quality polyester fabric which means no sun rays or rain can get inside it.

The tent is highly durable because of the aluminum poles and because of fabrics used in making the tent. The fabric also has storm shield polyester taffeta, which is highly reliable.

Pros
  • Highly durable and reliable.
  • Very comfortable.
  • It has a double-wall which provides enough stability.
  • Waterproof rating: 12000mm.
  • It comes in with an extra door for better ventilation.
Cons
  • It is not freestanding.
  • The poles are not durable.

5. Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent:

It is the perfect choice if you are looking for a two-person tent, and the only branded two-person backpacking tent in this price range.

Kelty Salida has a great free-standing design along with the compact aluminum press fit folding poles that allow durability and has a D door which helps to get inside the tent very easily.

The base area is of 30 square feet and the vestibule is of 10 square feet under the rain fly which gives you much storage along with the side pockets.

The Kelty Salida also has Gear loft loops for ceiling storage. The tent and the fly are made with 68D polyester and the factory-sealed seam will not allow water to get inside the tent.

The tent offers weather-resistance, durability, and is very easy to set up which provides maximum comfort to the user.

Weighing 3 lbs and 14 oz, the tent is perfectly lightweight and is made for backpacking purposes only. The tent has so much space in it so you can get all your gear in it and sleep with it without compromising your comfort levels.

The inner side of the tent is very comfortable even for tall people or people who need more space while sleeping.

The mesh pockets are very useful as it helps you to store all your valuables in it, but is slightly less so you can store small items like watches, shaving kits, etc.,

The dome shape formed by the rainfly, and because of the internal gear loops, you can hang light bulbs to light up your tent interiors.

You can also try out backpacking chairs so that you can relax after the whole day of trekking or camping, and stargaze during the night.

Talking about the overall qualities of the tent it has a dome-shaped top, one vestibule, one door, and is the perfect one-person accommodation.

If you are looking for two or four-person tents, then you can also look up to Kelty Salida as they manufacture them too.

If you are going for a trip with kids or use it for scouts and want a tent which comes in budget and is perfect for backpacking and camping as well then this might be the tent you are looking for.

If you want to explore more two-person tents you can also try Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2 but it might be of same build quality, slightly cheaper, and about 1lb lighter, you are free to choose between the two.

Features:

  1. Wall material: 68D polyester.
  2. 40D No-see mesh.
  3. 68D Nylon, 180mm Floor material.
  4. Floor area: 30.5 square feet.
  5. Three-season usage.
Pros
  • It comes with Kelty huge clip and fully seams taped construction.
  • It has internal storage pockets.
  • Easy entry D door.
  • Very easy setup with freestanding and mesh tent walls.
Cons
  • There might be condensation issues.

Buying Guide for Backpacking Tents

Talking about the best factors to get the backpacking tents you might have some questions to look out for while getting the best backpacking tents.

                 The material plays a very important role when you want to buy a tent because it helps in making the tent waterproof, weatherproof, and provides durability to the tent.

The material also makes the tent available for use again and again which means the tent can be used for several years. You can check what fabric is used in making the tent, or what polyester is used in making the tent so that you can check whether the tent is durable and value for money or not.

             The most important aspect of getting a tent is the budget. As you have decided you need a tent under $100, so your budget is set, and you need to check which brands provide the best value for money products which are long-lasting as well.

Check the product, the material, the weight, the height, the inner space, whether it is comfortable or not, all the aspects while buying the product, especially a product with low cost, so that you do not regret once the product wears out too quickly.

                                    Talking about the weight, in your backpacking trip weight place a very important part as you need to keep all the gears of the right weight to move ahead at the right pace.

There are tents whose weight range between 5 to 8 lbs and try to get a compact and easily packable tent which is very easy to carry.

Also, try to get a tent which has more center height so that you can get in very easily and get out easily too.

Apart from these, you can also check whether the tent has weatherproofing or not, does it have good ventilation? How many doors does it have? Are there any vestibules or not? Also try to understand what type of tent you want, so that you can maintain it properly to use it for a longer time.

You can also check whether the tent has footprints or not? You can check the capacity of the tent, Is it easy to set up or not? These minute things are an add-on that might level up your backpacking experience and might also increase the comfort levels of your tent.

FAQs:

Is it safe in the tent during lightning?

Ans: Lightning might not directly strike your tent, but your tent floor and the sleeping gear would protect you from the lightning. The tent might not directly get affected during lightning but some objects might get affected, so choose your camping spot very carefully, also when you are expecting storm or rain.

Which is good a 1-person tent or a 2-person tent?

Ans: A 1-person tent is more compact and lightweight than the 2-person tent. Although if you are going alone or even if you are going with friends or family and want some good space for yourself and are below 6 feet then a 1-person tent might do good, if you want more space and are taller then a 2-person tent will be a good choice.
Also, if you are traveling with kids then a 2-person tent would be a better choice as they do not require much space and you can fit in very easily. You can also use a 4-person tent for 2 people which means more space and both of you are super comfortable and do not push each other out of the tent.

What is the minimum trail weight for a tent?

Ans: The trail weight would often refer to the tent, poles, and the rainfly, so on that basis it might weigh from 5 to 8 ounces.

Conclusion:

Concluding the article, we would like to tell you that despite buying a backpacking tent you need to maintain it very well because you need to get the return of investment of the product. So, to maintain you can store the tent in a dry place, wash it at the correct time and reseal if after usage.

We hope you liked the article and find the perfect gear which fulfills your needs. If you have any suggestions, we are open to it and you can write to us in the comments.