Through backpacking, you can explore exciting locations and enjoy an incredible lot of freedom. It is possible to tweak your travel plans at the snap of a finger. By taking a budget backpacking tent with you, you not only get to enjoy more freedom but also have it easy on your bank account.
Our review and guide take you to the top 10 best backpacking tents under 100. Ultimately, you will not only settle for the best budget backpacking tent but will also learn the features to consider when shopping for one and a host of other important information.
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent - Best 1 Person Backpacking Tent Under $100
ALPS Mountaineering Meramac 2-Person Tent - Best 2 Person Tent Under $100
Eureka! Solitaire One-Person Tent - Best Waterproof Tent Under $100
Coleman Sundome Tent - Best Value for Money Tent Under $100
One and Two Versions
Two, Three, And Four
Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent - Best Tent Just Over $100
The ALPS Mountaineering Tent is a one-person tent that has received many plaudits from many backpacking enthusiasts. The tent is compact, but it has sufficient space for one person.
It measures 2 feet 8 inches x 7 feet 6 inches at the base. The center height stands at 36 inches while its overall weight is just 4lbs, although you can compress this to about 3 lbs 5 oz. This shows that the tent is lightweight. You can pack it away for backpacking without a hassle. Into this ALPS Mountaineering Tent construction, is high-quality polyester for the fly.
You might not have to worry about UV light penetration or untimely damage. The fly is also waterproof and leak-proof, and you will remain dry in case of rain.
For ventilation purposes, you have half mesh walls that allow for proper air circulation. If you need additional space for storage, make use of the vestibule. The vestibule measures 32 inches in depth and covers 10 square feet. It provides extra storage space you may need just in case. Besides, the vestibule keeps the interior always dry and comfortable.
The ALPS Mountaineering is a three-season tent. You can use it for spring, summer, and autumn when temperatures are not mild cold to extremely hot. The tent is very easy to install - it comes with storage pockets, aluminum poles, and ropes for setting up.
Overall, ALPS Mountaineering Tent is a choice for individual backpackers who need their privacy. Thanks to the one-person space, it provides.
This two-person tent from ALPS Mountaineering comes with additional features when compared to the one-person tent reviewed above. For example, the tent has dual doors and windows. The Meramac is designed to be lightweight thanks to its 7lbs. 9 oz. weight. It is one of the models on the market that is easy to carry for transportation. Coming with a compact footprint, this tent integrates a durable polyester fly that offers protection on the interior.
Setting up this unit is effortless, and you do not need to take a lot of time. The tent utilizes the freestanding dome design featuring two shock-corded fiberglass poles. Then there are aluminum ferrules that are used to secure the poles so that they are strong and stable. With a vast floor area of 38 square feet, 2 dual doors, and 48 inches center height, this tent is set to accommodate two people just fine. For better comfort, the large mesh sides offer occupants increased ventilation. There are two zippered D-shaped doors and widows to cater for the two people.
This tent also comes with factory-sealed seams. Hence, it is waterproof and leak proof to keep the interior dry and warm even in wet weather. Additionally, you have a storage pocket on the inside of the wall. If you wish, this space provides excellent storage for your gear. ALPS Mountaineering is a three-season tent. However, it is not the perfect choice for use in winter or very cold months.
Overall, we like this tent for its freestanding design. The poles used to raise this unit are top-quality. It is durable and provides excellent ventilation.
Eureka Solitaire Tent is a three-season tent that is designed to accommodate just one person. Coming in at less than 3 lbs. in weight, Eureka Solitaire opens up into a bevy-style camping tent. The tent is extremely lightweight and, thus, portable. The tent’s dimensions are as follows: interior height is 2 feet 4 inches. The total living area for sleeping is about 21 square feet.
Unlike the freestanding tent designs, Eureka Solitaire assumes a hoop design when installed. The frame is strong and stable, thanks to the fiberglass poles. The rainfly installed on top of this frame is made from high-quality polyester fabric. With this material, no UV-light or water entry is going to be an issue. The rainfly is zippered to ensure that you have an extra ready-made entry/exit on top. However, you can also roll the cover on the living space to open up more ventilation and enjoy stargazing.
The walls of the tent come with mesh walls for improved ventilation. The convertible mesh roof provides further ventilation. You can also enjoy the flow of air from the front mesh vestibule. Besides, the seams are sealed to enhance the tent’s waterproofness. While you will get extra storage space from the two storage pockets, store your gear and other personal effects into this space. Other critical accessories to this tent include steel stakes. They are 12 of them, and they offer excellent durability, although you may also switch them for aluminum types.
Overall, this tent comes as one of the most valued tent options as far as waterproofing, and leak-proof choices under $100 are concerned.
Coleman Sundome Tent is a simple freestanding, dome-shaped tent that accommodates two people at a time. Coleman Sundome Tent features a durable overall construction thanks to the coated polyester fabric rainfly and the mesh walls. The coated polyester rainfly is of top quality and offers excellent ventilation apart from protection against UV light and rain. Besides, the rainfly is also waterproof and boasts quality seams for improved resistance against water leakages.
This tent comes with a floor size of 7 feet 5 inches, a center height of 48 inches, while the weight is 7.2 lbs or 3.26 kg. This accounts for a compact and lightweight structure, which is spacious to contain two campers at a go. The presence of two windows offers further ventilation. Polyethylene is used on the floor of the tent to keep off water leakages coming through the floor. Coleman Sundome also boasts mesh pocket located on the inside walls. With this pocket, you may keep all your essential effects and gear in an easy-to-access place.
When it comes to setting up this tent, there is not much hassle. As long as you follow the instructions on the bag, you will be good to do it alone. In the same way, disassembling the tent is pretty simple and straightforward. The only challenge comes the time of packing the different parts back in their spaces. Be careful not to tear or damage the fly when packing the tent.
Overall, the canvas is a reliable option if you want an easy to use tool with enough space to accommodate a couple of backpackers.
The Bessport tent is one of the roomiest 2-person tents on this list under $100. It packs a punch in terms of on-the-go features, including a lightweight design for easy portability. In terms of size, there are two versions of this tent.
The first version features a tent for one person and measures 87.8inches x 33.5inches with 42.1 inches central height. The second version is a two-person tent with 86.6ft x 48.4ft dimensions. The central height sticks out on 43.5 inches. The tent contains two vestibules and storage bag to provide extra space for storing your gears and other vital necessities. Another essential feature is water and wind resistance. The polyester fabric offers top-quality protection as a cover. It is waterproof, and with heat-sealed seams, there is no chance for water leakages.
The frame of the tent is engineered to be sturdy and stable. This means that your structure remains firm in its place, even during windy or rainy conditions. As for ventilation, the Bassport Camping Tent stands out as one of the best systems. The mesh panels on the sides provide proper ventilation. To open the doors on the tent, use the double-zippers (found on doorways and vestibule) for easy entry and exit. The floor of this tent is welded to guarantee occupants maximum protection from on-the-floor water leakage.
Overall, this tent comes top of the pile for lightweight models.
The TETON Mountain Ultra falls in the popular category of lightweight tents thanks to the low weights. For a backpacker, the lightweight parameter is an essential aspect if you are to fetch the tent for extended backpacking trips without feeling the pinch of carrying it. There are different versions of the Mountain Ultra tents; we have Mountain Ultra 1, 2, 3, and 4 versions, which offer living space for one to four individuals, respectively. Just choose which one fits you, of course, depending on the number of campers going for the outing.
Coming with a single pole in the pitch, setting up the Teton Sports Mountain Ultra is a cinch and happens fast. This model is also a freestanding design - often, this design offers convenience while using the tent. The overall construction of this tent features a sturdy design. The rainfly is largely micro-meshed but also waterproof to resist water from leaking through. The bathtub flooring offers warmth and comfort, and you also enjoy a dry sleep without having to worry about water percolating through your bedding.
In addition, the tent offers two large pockets on the walls. You can pack your stuff in there and be peaceful; they are safe. You will love the seams and corners of each of the versions mentioned above. All are braced and thermally taped to provide extra protection against weather elements.
More: Check our Review of Teton Sports Camp Pillow Here
Overall, these tents offer a welcome versatility. The different sizes present campers with a variety of options to choose from.
Hyke & Byke is a proven company that produces some of the best outdoor gear and tools. The Zion Backpacking Tent is one of the best tents in the market. The tent is durable and lightweight. Thanks to the high-quality ultra-light materials used in its construction. The tent is also stable and sturdy courtesy of the 12 7000 Series aluminum alloy stakes. You will not have to hassle installing this tent. Besides, this three-season tent comes with one pole and a clip-pole attachment that offers easy setup and breathability.
Moreover, it packs plenty of space. Apart from the main living area, you get two vestibules for extra storage of your small gear and tools. The waterproof rain fly includes proper seams in corners to keep the interior of the tent dry during the rainy conditions. What’s more, two doors on this unit provide easy entry and exit. Hyke and Byke Zion Tent is a compact footprint, which is why it packs conveniently into a small size to fit into its carrying bag. This compactness makes it easy to haul it around in the backpack.
Overall, this tent offers an excellent warranty for the lifetime.
The Coleman Hooligan Backpacking Tent is a top-performing unit that comes with many useful features. The design of this tent is available in three different capacities: two, three, and 4-person capacities.
Coleman Hooligan is a waterproof tent that holds you through the wet and rainy conditions just as long as you could expect. The rainfly is a polyester product with a coating that helps to prevent penetration of UV light into the interior. Given that the rainfly remains intact (does not surge) when wet, your security inside is guaranteed in stormy weather. The structure also features stable walls made of polyester fabric. On the floor of the tent is a high-standard bathtub floor. This is not only a long-lasting solution but also it comes welded on the walls for extra protection against water leakage.
Coleman Hooligan also comes as an easy-to-use tent. Set up is a breeze and takes less time. A front vestibule offers more space and protection against rain outside. For ventilation, this tent is nearly all mesh. The large window and door provide extra air circulation.
Overall, it is a good product offering value for money.
With Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent, you get a long-lasting backpacking solution. The tent combines weather resistance, durability, and ease of setup for your maximum comfort.
The tent’s weight is 3 lbs. and 14 oz., making for lightweight choice for backpackers. Better yet, Kelty Salida is a freestanding design that pitches quite easily. This backpacking tent is very spacious so that you can sleep inside alongside your gear. If you are a tall individual, the inner space is sufficient enough to accommodate your tall stature.
Light up the interior of your tent by hanging your light bulbs on the internal gear loops. You can make use of the mesh pockets to store your small items like watches. The rainfly forms a dome shape. You have one front vestibule, one door, and the tent itself allows for one-person accommodation, although there are two and 4-person tents also.
Overall, this is an excellent option if you are looking for a feature-packed tent.
Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking 2 Person Tent is relatively new in the market. Nevertheless, the tent packs exceptional features such as high breathability, durability, and a lightweight body. The tent offers you a roomy interior for two persons. Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking 2 Person Tent is not your best tent for winter and other cold months. However, it is a three-season tent that covers you over spring, autumn, and summer.
It sets up pretty fast and efficiently. Thanks to the freestanding design, that incorporates the use of one aluminum pole. Additionally, this tent comes with a high-quality rainfly and weighs around 5 lbs. Besides, its floor is made to be durable and resistant to damage by water or other weather elements. The seam-taped construction ensures that the rainfly does not leak water inside your space.
The Featherstone Company offers a limited lifetime warranty for its tents, given it is a U.S. manufacturing company. Other vital accessories that come along this tent include 12 strong aluminum stakes and the reflective guy lines. These are very vital during the installation of the tent.
Overall, this is one of the most lightweight tent choices on the list. It weighs in at just 5 lb, which is excellent news for backpacking enthusiasts needing to travel the distance.
If it is your first time to purchase a budget-backpacking tent, deciding on the best one can be tricky. This is especially true if you do not have criteria to guide you. The following backpacking tent-buying guide should be handy in helping you settle for nothing short of the best affordable backpacking tent:
Because many backpackers do not desire much time pitching their tent, they are into tents that they can construct real-time. This is particularly true if it is getting dark or the weather is becoming harsh. How quick it is to pitch a tent is mainly dependent on a tent’s design.
Here are some of the things you need to be aware of:
Simply put, livability is how comfortable one feels when he or she is inside a tent. Many factors affect the livability of a tent. It is prudent to consider every point below when shopping for a budget-backpacking tent:
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When we talk about capacity, we mean the number of people that a tent can hold. Tents range from 1 – 12 person tents. For backpacking tents, they usually are 1 – 4 people as the large ones are usually tailored for group or family camping. Do you prefer sleeping inside a tent alone or backpacking by yourself? If yes, then a one-person backpacking tent is enough. Lone backpackers might also choose to purchase a two-person tent for more comfort and space.
If you are into backpacking with a couple of friends or as a couple, then you need a larger-capacity tent like 4-person or 6-person tent. Larger individuals might also prefer buying a bigger tent. Do you have gear that you need to store? Then it is prudent to buy a bigger tent.
Generally, the larger your tent is, the greater weight it has. Considering the weight of a tent is important because you will be carrying it in your backpack.
Finally, yet importantly, capacity can determine the price of a tent. Therefore, choosing a smaller one can cost less money and vice-versa. When shopping for a budget backpacking tent, you need to stick to the minimum size required.
As aforementioned, a tent’s weight is an essential consideration for a backpacker. Remember you will always carry it whenever you are on the move. In terms of weight, here are some terminologies that will help you understand a tent’s weight more:
When it comes to seasonality, backpacking tents are categorized based on the seasons they are suitable for. The different categories are:
It is prudent to settle for a double-walled tent. What does this mean? It simply means that the tent features an inner mesh shell that is surrounded by rainfly. By having these two layers separated, the tent will have a moisture barrier that keeps you dry during wet weather.
The materials utilized to manufacture a backpacking tent are crucial as they determine how waterproof, lightweight, and durable a tent is. When you look closely at a backpacking tent, you will material descriptions such as:
As you compare different budget backpacking tents, always remember to evaluate each tent's coating thickness, thread count and denier to establish how durable and water-resistant it is.
The following quick tips will be handy at taking care of your backpacking tent:
If it is possible, you should avoid rolling up your backpacking tent while wet. When you roll it while it is wet, mildew will form, which might run not only its appearance but also cause a health hazard.
On top of that, when you leave moisture on your rolled-up tent, you can severely damage the rainfly’s polyurethane coating. The best attribute about tents with this kind of coating is that they tend to dry quickly. Therefore, all you need to do is hang yours for a couple of minutes and then wave it around to get rid of moisture.
Backpacking can turn out to be a dirty process. Often, you might go camping or hiking in dusty or muddy locations. For this reason, it is prudent to get rid of any debris from your tent Asap as dust, salt, and mud can harm the water-resistant coating. The good thing is cleaning your tent is a walk in the park. All you need to do is spray a water hose on it until you eliminate the debris. Avoid using chemical cleaners or placing them inside a washing machine as it can damage the tent’s coating.
When it comes to re-sealing your tent, you can buy a spray-on coating to use on your tent. Once you have used your tent for some time, it is normal for it to wear out gradually due to exposure to contaminants, dirt, and harsh weather. When water starts to find its way to your tent, it is prudent to re-seal your tent by applying the water-resistant coating.
Shopping for the best backpacking tent under 100 can be challenging and time-consuming for both the experienced and newbie campers. Due to the different seasons, and materials used to make tents, making a decision can be difficult. Lucky for you, we did all the hard work for you and came up with this comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.
From our extensive research, we settled on the Coleman Sundome Tent as our best backpacking tent under 100. In addition to boasting sturdy construction and being spacious inside, it is also lightweight and made with durable materials.
Since the age of 10, Tim, a writer at Outdoor With J, has enjoyed camping in the great outdoors. Although he loves the peace and quiet of the outdoors, he also likes his creature comforts. Tim’s mission is to make camping a fun and comfortable experience for all. You can find more about him here
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