Best Backpacking Tents

To Buy For 2023

best backpacking backpacks top review
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NEMO Hornet 2P Tent

Best deal at: REI.com
$399.95
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- 20%

MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent Review

Best deal at: moosejaw.com
$359.99
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Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent Review

Best deal at: Outdoorplay
$449.95
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Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Review

Best deal at: BlackOvis.com
$449.95
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Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2 Tent

Best deal at: Sportsman's Guide
$129.99

Welcome to our pick of the best backpacking backpacks of 2023. Our purpose isn’t just to help you find the best backpack, but to also help you save money as well.

When you find the backpack that you like, view the product page to see who has the lowest price or set a price drop alert and we’ll notify you when the price drops. 

Whether you want the cheapest backpack, the one that has all the bells and whistles or an ultralight that won’t drag you down, our guide has the advice you need to find the best backpack to fit your needs.

Best Overall
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Best Backpacking Tents For 2023

Check out the best overall backpacking tents that you can buy.
9Expert Score
Osprey Atmos AG 65 Rating

The Osprey Atmos AG 65 is by far the best backpack available on the market. The anti-gravity suspension system is crazy comphy!

Comfort
10
Features
10
Weight
9
Adjustability
10
Function
8
Positive
  • The most comfortable backpack
  • Very Durable
  • Ton's of features
Negatives
  • Hip pouch zippers not smooth
  • Snow and debris get's caught in and behind anti-gravity system

Osprey Atmos AG 65 Overview

If you are looking for the best backpack with ton’s of features that’s really comfortable, this is the backpack for you. 

I can’t stress enough how comfortable the anti-gravity suspension system is. It really does make the backpack feel way lighter than it really is. 

This is an excellent 3-4 day backpacking backpack as it is really durable and has all the features you need for all types of backpacking adventures. 

8Expert Score
Kelty Coyote 80 Rating

The Coyote 80 backpack is a close 2nd behind the Atmos 65 backpack and because of it's price, it's our favorite budget backpack.

Comfort
9
Features
9
Weight
8
Adjustability
9
Function
9
Positive
  • Best Overall Budget Backpack
  • Very comfortable
  • Same features as packs twice the price
Negatives
  • Bottom fabric should be thicker
  • No rain fly

Kelty Coyote 80 Overview

If you are looking for the second best backpack on the market, but are more budget minded, then this is a no brainer!

This backpack has all of the same features of the other backpacks, but at a fraction of the price. 

Really, really quiet and is our best hunting backpacking backpack. 

8Expert Score
Gregory Deva 70 Rating

We loved the Gregory 70 backpack due to the comfort, features and the small daypack that comes with it called the "sidekick".

Comfort
9
Features
8
Weight
8
Adjustability
9
Function
9
Positive
  • Comfortable in all the right places
  • Convenient Features
  • Great lumbar support
Negatives
  • No Stow-on-the-go for trekking poles

Gregory Deva 70 Overview

This is the best women’s backpack that we’ve tested. It has comfort in all the right places and adjustability for a wide range of women’s body types. 

The sidekick is a great feature for the backpack as it has two shoulder straps compared to other backpacks that make the top lid merely a fanny pack. 

We really liked the water bottle holster as it comes with a draw cord! I can’t tell you how many of these have elastic that fails within the first year!

8Expert Score
Gregory Baltoro 75 Rating

The Gregory Baltoro 75 has a ton of amazing features compared to the other backpacks, but there are durability concerns.

Comfort
9
Features
8
Weight
6
Adjustability
9
Function
7
Positive
  • Comfortable - hip belt rotates independently of frame
  • Custom raincover included
  • Waterproof hipbelt pocket
Negatives
  • Durability Concerns
  • Tad heavier than reported

Gregory Baltoro 75L Overview

Similarly to the women’s Deva 70, this backpack has a ton of amazing features. We loved the waterproof hip belt feature. Just make sure that it fits your phone size. 

Suspension system is really comfortable and the zippers are smooth. 

As we only used this pack for a short time in our review, we didn’t have  durability issues… however, TON’s of people online had issues with the fabric around the hip belt coming apart. 

 

8Expert Score
Osprey Exos 58 Rating

The Osprey Exos 58 is a crazy light backpack that's really comfortable. Great backpack for the minimalist and ultra-light backpacker.

Comfort
9
Features
7
Weight
10
Adjustability
7
Function
7
Positive
  • Super Light
  • Very comfortable fit
  • Easy to load
Negatives
  • No hip pouches
  • Color options are just ok

Osprey Exos 58 Overview

Yes, this backpack is on the small side of things for a multi-day backpacking trip. And this is for a reason. This is one of the best backpacks on the market for the ultra-light backpack. 

The Exos 58 is really comfortable as it uses the Airspeed suspension system (similar to the Anti-Gravity of the Atmos 65), but it surprisingly lacks hip pouches. 

What To Look For Before You Buy

Before you buy a backpacking tent, here are the biggest tips that will help you narrow down your search.

Backpacking Tent
Buyers Guide

Are you getting ready to start your new backpacking adventure?

Good, you’re in the right place, welcome to our complete buyers’ guide to backpacking tents. Bellow, I’m going to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

My the end of this article, you’ll know everything you need to know from the tent seasons to their most essential features. Sound good?

Great, let’s get started:

Tent Season Rating

Tents come with different season ratings, and you must pick the right one. The most common grade is a three-season tent, but what do the ratings mean? And why are they important?

Let’s take a look:

Two Season Tents

Retailers group one and two season tents together, they’re the most basic tents you can purchase on the market. They’re mainly used in hotter countries due to their poor insulation qualities, they just don’t hold up in heavy storms.

They usually come without a rainfly, so in any type of rain, it’s unlikely it will perform well. And even if your two-season tent does come with a rainfly, the chances of it making it through a storm are very unlikely.

Three Season Tent 

I mentioned earlier that three-season tents are the most popular, but why is that?

Well, they’re the most balanced tent that offers impressive versatility. The tents are light enough not to be an issue carrying, yet strong enough to keep you safe from the elements. As the tent suggests, you’re more than capable of using the tent from spring to fall (Three seasons clever, right?).

The insulation of the tent will keep you fresh in summer, by remaining breathable and removing the mugginess of camping. They can even perform well in light snow, but when it comes to harsh snowstorms, it just won’t provide you the right protection.

Some of the most common characteristics you might find with three-person tents are more headroom, lighter fabric, Rainfly’s and mesh panels for extra airflow.

Four Season Tent

Now, if we go by the same logic as the three-season tent, then you’d expect this to be the crème de la crème of seasonal tents. Well, yes and no. Four season tents are aimed more towards winter nights, then summer days.

In the summer, you’ll notice a four-season tent far too stuffy, which is why serious backpackers have multiple tents. But, when it comes to harshest cold weather, I wouldn’t be caught without a four-season tent. The insulation qualities are second to none.

The problem with four-season tents is the weight. Traditionally they use more poles and thicker materials, which is necessary to keep you warm. As I said, this can make the tent very heavy and not appealing to some backpackers.

Which Should You Choose?

When it comes down to choosing a season, your default setting should be to go for a three-season tent. It offers the most versatile protection while remaining lightweight and durable.

Before you make a choice, ask yourself a few questions, where am I planning on staying? And what will the average temperature be? Answering these questions will help out, but at the end of the day, it’s your decision to make.

Tent Size

So by now, you should have an idea of what season you’re going to need for your trip. Now it’s time to think about what size of tent you’re going to need. Why?

Well, get a tent which is too small, and you’re not going to be very comfortable spending time in there. And if you get a tent that’s too big, you’ll have a lot of unnecessary weight you’ll have to carry and be cold at night.

Backpackers usually pick between three sizes, so, let’s take a more in-depth look into tent sizes:

One Person

It’s the most popular choice for solo travelers and outdoor enthusiast. As the name suggest it sleeps one person. One thing to note is the dimensions depend on the manufacture. But, One thing is for sure, it’s doubtful that you could get two people in there.

If you’re traveling with friends or you’re expecting to find friends along the way, then a one-person tent just won’t do it. 

They rarely have more than one door, so you have to take note of which direction you set the tent up. Finally, if you’re looking for a tent with a vestibule, then you’ll be lucky to find one.

Two Person

These ones the most popular among tent buyers; it’s large enough to get a couple of people comfortably but light enough for it not to be an issue carrying it. Again dimensions will vary from manufacture to manufacture.

Chances are your two-person tent will only have one door, but it’s not unheard of to have two.

Three Person

It will more than likely be around 20-22 inches wider than the two-person tent, and you might be lucky enough to get a little extra length and legroom. But hey, nothing is guaranteed, right? If you’re backpacking with a friend, I’d actually recommended getting a three-person.

Yes, it will be heavier to carry, but you have two people to split the weight with. Another bonus is the extra room you and your buddy will have. Trust me, it makes all the difference.    

Tent Features

Now time for the fun part, looking at all the features tents have to offer. Different manufactures and brands all offer different things. Which is why it’s worth checking out what they are, and what it means for you.

Take a look:

Ultralight

Ultralight tents tend to pack down a lot smaller than your average double-walled tent. This usually results in the tent being lightweight (I know it’s in the name again), which is highly important when you’re traveling long distances.

Heavy backpacks can take its toll on your knees and back; it’s the constant bouncing pressure as you walk. So, if you can shave off any weight off the tent, then it’s a good idea.

Let me explain:

That being said, ultralight tents do tend to be far more expensive than their cousins. And to make it worse, at times, there not even that much lighter. As technology progress, manufactures can adapt their gear to shave weight off.

So, what weights can we expect from ultralight tents?

  • One Person Tent: Two Pounds
  • Two Person Tent: Three Pounds
  • Three Person Tent: Four Pounds

Size & Space

However close you and your friend are, there’s a good chance you don’t want to get woken up by them spooning you. And for this reason, size really does matter.

Here’s the deal:

Backpacking tents aren’t known for being roomy, in fact, quite the opposite. And it makes sense why. Backpackers need something that will fit in their backpack without taking up too much space. The thing is, this results in tiny and cramped living spaces.

Our best option is to test pitch the tent first, and you can do this in a couple of ways. Your first option is to go to a camping store to see if they’ll pitch the tent for you. This way, you can jump inside and get a real feel to it.

Although this might not be an option for everyone. Which brings me to your second option. Find the dimensions online and then map it out with rope in the garden. Now, this isn’t as effective as the first test, but it will give you some idea if the backpacking tent is suitable.

Weight

It’s one of the most crucial factors when buying a tent for your backpacking journey. Remember, you’re going to be carrying the tent around with you for a long time.

If you’ve already been looking into tents before, you might have noticed manufacturers are talking about two weight categories, but what do they mean?

Let me explain:

Packed Weight

This is the overall weight of every part of the tent, including:

  • Tent
  • Poles
  • Lines
  • Fly
  • Stakes
  • Stuff sacks
  • Footprint
  • And much more

As I said, it literally means the weight of everything in the bag. This is the primary reading you can trust, for reasons that I’ll get into soon.

Minimum Trail Weight

Now, this is reading that can hard to trust for one main reason. The industry does not have a standard to calculate this measurement. This means manufacturers are free to include or exclude an item they deem unnecessary.

For me, and many other people, the minimum trail weight should include all items the tent needs to function correctly.

backpacking backpack trail guide

Tip #2: Different Types of Backpacks

external frame backpack

There are 3 main types of backpacks.

1.   External frame

  • Best for hikers who have a thing for “old school” hiking
  • Less expensive than internal frame packs
  • Superior ventilation
  • Heavy
  • Large in size
  • Requires skill in packing

internal frame backpacking backpack

2.  Internal frame

  • Most commonly used pack amongst backpackers
  • Keeps gear inside the pack
  • Lighter than external frame packs
  • Excels at stabilizing the load for a more comfortable experience
  • Can be expensive
  • Mediocre to poor ventilation

3.Frameless

  • frameless backpacking backpackBest for ultralight backpackers or short trips (loads in the 20 lb. range)
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightest option
  • Not designed for carrying heavy loads for long periods of time
  • Mediocre to poor ventilation
  • Requires a knowledge of proper packing technique
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