WHEN WHERE YOU SLEEP MATTERS: THE BEST AFFORDABLE 2-PERSON TENTS
There’s nothing quite so frustrating as the moment when the drizzle begins and you notice that it’s making a pool right where you intend to sleep. Or when all you want to do is sleep, yet you still have hours to go before the tent doesn’t feel like it’ll blow over from a mere whisper of wind. Whether you’re camping for the week or just a weekend getaway, packing the right tent is imperative.
After testing dozens of two-person tents in a variety of weather conditions, our field testers compiled their favorite five. These reviews can help you discover the appropriate tent to fit your precise needs.
BIG AGNES RATTLESNAKE SL2 MTNGLO
The Wow Factor: What this tent lacks in size it more than makes up for in other features, specifically the built-in lighting system. The string of LED lights brings the perfect ornamentation and convenience. This is the first backpacking tent of such a caliber to offer an accompanying lighting system. With just three AAA batteries, you have a set of 24 adjustable bulbs. On its highest setting, there’s enough juice to last for 96 hours. And if you want to lessen the weight, you can ditch the battery pack and opt to use the accompanying USB connection.
Other Reasons to Cheer: The tent has a color-coded system of poles and clips that make set-up super quick and simple. The whole system, including the battery pack, weighs a mere two pounds, which means this is a feasible option for backpacking. Its A-frame style helps deter the rain, and its full-size fly keeps wind and rain manageable. Even without the lights, this tent is an affordable option. With them, this is a solid option for anyone wanting to backpack and camp.
BIG SKY SOUL
The Wow Factor: Set-up can’t get more convenient. There are no stakes to wrestle with for this tent to be sturdy. Even the vestibules connect to pole ends rather than stakes.
Other Reasons to Cheer: With a 42-inch peak, there is enough room here for most campers to comfortably sit up and change clothes. Even after a week along the rain-soaked Oregon coast, the all-mesh walls prevented any condensation from collecting inside the tent, and only a minimal amount along the underside of the fly.
The Wow Factor: It may seem odd, but when there are two people clambering to get situated, doors matter. This tent has that feature figured out. Shaped like a teardrop, the opening zips from both sides to create an oversized entrance. The door then stows away in an overhead pocket for convenience.
Other Reasons to Cheer: Despite the abundance of features, this tent comes at an affordable price. It packs down fairly small (22x 8 inches), and is relatively lightweight (under 5 pounds). There’s enough overhang to prevent drips of rain from landing in the door, and the arching does a solid job at reducing rain and wind from being a problem.
SIERRA DESIGNS TENSEGRITY
The Wow Factor: This two-person tent features an innovative shape that offers unparalleled headroom and unobstructed views. It’s like an inverted A-frame, with the head space boasting a width of 57 inches. The design also prevents water from dripping into the open doors.
Other Reasons to Cheer: It is smaller than a soccer ball when folded up. The pitch remains taut regardless of weather conditions and the style employs a unique “front porch” that prevents the entrance from becoming cluttered.
MOUNTAIN HARDWARE OPTIC 2.5
The Wow Factor: With a length of nearly eight feet and a 48-inch head height, this tent can rightly be considered a mini-mansion among affordable 2-person tents. It can readily fit an air mattress for comfy camping.
Other Reasons to Cheer: This is truly a three-season tent due to the heavy-duty fly design and extra-thick walls. There are two, easily-used doors that make entering and exiting a cinch.