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5 Best Small 2-Person Tents for Backcountry Adventures

Whether you’re scaling mountainous terrains, navigating dense forests, or simply setting up camp under a canopy of stars, having the right gear is essential. At the heart of this gear list is the 2-person backpacking tent—a haven that offers shelter, warmth, and a sense of home in the wilderness.

Lightweight, durable, and designed for the most intrepid of adventurers, these tents are more than just a place to sleep; they’re a testament to human ingenuity and our desire to connect with nature. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of 2-person backpacking tents, exploring their features, benefits, and how to choose the perfect one for your next expedition.

What Is a 2-Person Tent?

A 2-person tent is a compact and lightweight shelter to accommodate 2 individuals during camping trips. Unlike single-person tents for solo travelers, a 2-person tent provides enough space for two occupants to sleep side by side. However, while it is for two people, the comfort level may vary depending on the size of the occupants and the gear they bring. Be prepared to get comfortable with whoever you are camping with while sharing a 2-person tent.

A 2-person tent is generally around 7 by 4.5 feet. A double mattress usually measures approximately 6 by 4 feet, while a queen mattress is approximately 6.5 by 5 feet. As a result, the sleeping area in a 2-person tent may feel cozy but won’t be as spacious as a typical home mattress. Campers need to consider these dimensions when choosing a 2-person tent, particularly if they desire more personal space or plan to store additional gear inside the tent during their camping adventures.

2-person tent by truck at campsite
Cozy up in a 2-person tent on your next backcountry camping adventure.

5 Best Small 2-Person Tents for Backcountry Adventures

If you’re ready for an epic backcountry adventure, these 5 best 2-person tents are useful options to add to your packing list.

For Epic 3-Season Adventures: REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent with Footprint

Enjoy 3-season camping in this REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2-person tent. While this tent weighs 3.15 pounds and has a floor area of 33.75 square feet, it can comfortably fit two people, gear, and even a furry friend. The tent measures 3.5 feet high. You can configure it into two floorplans for added privacy.

This 2-person tent comes with mesh panels for ventilation and provides scenic views of your camping surroundings. The lower portion has ripstop panels for privacy and wind resistance. With ripstop nylon, the REI Co-op Half Dome 2-person tent is sturdy enough to withstand rain and wind. Additionally, the kit comes with a rainfly and footprint for camping in less-than-ideal weather.

2-person tent at night
Sleep safe and sound under starry skies in a 2-person tent.

For Lightweight Packing: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL – UltralightBackpacking Tent

Don’t let your 2-person tent weigh you down on your adventures. The Big Agnes Copper Spur is an ultralight backpacking tent practical for backcountry camping. This tent weighs 3.5 pounds and can comfortably accommodate up to three people, or two people with gear. The tent is waterproof nylon, and all doors and window vents have double zippers to help withstand wind. 

Sale
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent, 3...
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  • AWARD-WINNING COMFORT - New awning-style vestibules expand...
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The 2-person tent comes with pre-bent poles to help set up the tent in under five minutes. It also comes with awning-style vestibules. This additional space can expand the living area and help you escape the rain or intense sunlight while still enjoying the outdoors. 

This is the tent we have for backpacking and have enjoyed it, however the price is quite steep on these.

big agnes tents

For Affordable Adventures: Kelty Grand Mesa Backpacking Tent 

For epic adventures at an affordable price, the Kelty Grand Mesa Backpacking Tent is a 2-person tent option. Made in the USA from 68D polyester, this weather-resistant tent is a lightweight option for backcountry camping. This 2-person tent weighs 4 pounds and is 7 by 3.8 feet. 

Sale
Kelty Grand Mesa 2P Backpacking Tent – 3 Season...
  • Fully featured and refreshed for 2020, the reliable backpacking...
  • 2020 Updates: Kelty Quick Corners keep poles in place during...
  • Dependable Materials: 2 compact folding, DAC pressfit aluminum...

The Kelty Grand Mesa Backpacking tent is quick to set up and comes with a rainfly for camping in the rain. The mesh ventilation windows help facilitate airflow and release humidity so you don’t wake up damp. The tent is rated for 3-season use.

For Spacious Sleeping: Nemo Aurora Backpacking Tent

A 2-person tent doesn’t need to feel cramped! The Nemo Aurora Backpacking Tent provides spacious sleeping for you and your trail buddy. Measuring 7.33 by 4.33 by 3.67 feet, the steep side walls of this tent provide impressive interior volume. Additionally, the tent has 2 doors and 2 vestibules for more space for you and your gear.

The tent is waterproof nylon and can withstand high winds for all-weather camping. While durable, the tent weighs only 6 pounds, making it manageable on backcountry camping trips. The Nemo Aurora Backpacking tent kit includes a footprint, storage pockets, a duffel storage bag, and additional gear pockets.

installing a rainfly on a backpacking tent

For Easy Set Up: NEMO Hornet OSMO Ultralight Backpacking Tent

Set up camp in minutes with the NEMO Hornet OSMO Ultralight Backpacking Tent. This tent is 7 by 4.2 by 3.2 feet and can comfortably fit two campers and gear. The minimal pole structure allows for quick setup. The tent comes with 2 vestibules and 2 doors with tie-back doors. 

NEMO Hornet OSMO Ultralight Backpacking Tent,...
  • High-performance, proprietary OSMO poly-nylon ripstop fabric has...
  • Large doors and vestibules provide ample gear coverage for each...
  • Patent-pending Flybar volumizing pole clip adds more room at the...

The NEMO Hornet OSMO is 100% recycled yarn and has poly-nylon ripstop fabric. The design of the tent allows it to have 4 times better water repellency when camping in inclement weather, making it beneficial for camping in the spring, summer, and autumn.

What Is Backcountry Camping?

Backcountry camping is an adventurous form of outdoor recreation that involves venturing into remote or less-traveled natural areas. However it can also mean camping anywhere that does not have any services. Unlike traditional camping in established campgrounds, backcountry camping takes place far away from crowds and modern amenities, providing a more immersive and authentic wilderness experience. It allows campers to connect with nature on a deeper level, away from the distractions of everyday life. 

Backcountry campers typically hike or backpack into their camping destination, carrying all their necessary supplies and equipment on their backs. This self-sufficiency and reliance on minimal resources enhance the sense of adventure and self-discovery during the camping trip. If you want to give backcountry camping a try, check out our article on Backcountry Camping: The Beginner’s Essential Guide.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a 2-Person Tent?

A 2-person tent offers advantages and disadvantages for campers. On the positive side, these tents are lighter and more compact than larger models, making them an excellent choice for backpackers and hikers who need to carry their shelter over long distances. Their portability makes them well-suited for backcountry camping, where campers explore remote areas away from established campsites. Additionally, sharing a 2-person tent can enhance the camping experience by promoting bonding and intimacy among companions, making it an ideal choice for couples or close friends. Moreover, 2-person tents are often more cost-effective than larger tents, offering a practical option for budget-conscious campers. 

However, there are some downsides. The reduced size of a 2-person tent means limited interior space, which can be a drawback during prolonged stays or bad weather conditions. While it should accommodate two people, some campers may find the close quarters less comfortable, particularly during extended trips. Additionally, the living space in a 2-person tent may feel cramped compared to larger tents that offer more room to move around. It’s crucial for campers to carefully assess their needs and preferences before choosing a 2-person tent. Ensure that the benefits of portability and cost-effectiveness outweigh the potential limitations of space and comfort.

Pro Tip: If you’re camping in a large group, you’ll want one of these 7 Best 10-Person Tents for Big & Memorable Camping Trips.

Setting up tent campsite
At only 5 lbs our backpacking tent provides shelter with minimal weight.

Why Choose a 2-Person Tent?

Choosing the right tent is essential to getting the rest you need on your backcountry camping trip. We took a closer look at all the different types of tents, and knowing the benefits of the tent you are choosing is crucial. We examined why you may want to choose a 2-person tent.

Lighter

One of the primary reasons to choose a 2-person tent is its lightweight design. These tents are generally easier to carry during hiking or backpacking trips, reducing the physical strain on campers as they trek through rugged terrains or long trails. The lighter weight allows for increased mobility and less fatigue, making it a practical choice for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to minimize the load on their backs.

Good For Backcountry 

We recommend 2-person tents as an option for backcountry camping due to their compact and portable nature. Backcountry campers often need to venture into remote areas away from established campsites, and carrying a heavy and bulky tent can be impractical. A 2-person tent’s convenient setup and lightweight build make it preferable for off-the-beaten-path adventures, enabling campers to explore wild landscapes.

Coziness Level

Sharing a 2-person tent with a camping partner can create a cozy and intimate atmosphere, enhancing the overall camping experience. Whether camping with a significant other, close friend, or family member, the proximity fosters camaraderie and connection during the trip. The shared space can also add a sense of security and comfort, especially in unfamiliar and secluded wilderness settings.

Cost Effective 

Opting for a 2-person tent can be a cost-effective choice for campers on a budget. Compared to larger tents for more people, 2-person tents generally come at a more affordable price point. This affordability makes them accessible to a wider range of campers, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to invest in quality equipment without breaking the bank.

View from inside 2-person tent
With many types of tents to choose from, you’ll want to consider your needs for your shelter before you buy a tent.

What to Consider When Purchasing a 2-Person Tent

When deciding what 2-person tent is right for you, there are a few things you may want to consider. Keeping the following things in mind can help ensure you have a successful camping experience in a 2-person tent.

Size

When purchasing a 2-person tent, consider the dimensions and weight of the tent to ensure it meets your camping needs. Look for the tent’s length, width, and height specifications to ensure it comfortably accommodates two occupants and their gear. Additionally, check the tent’s overall weight, usually in pounds, to ensure it’s manageable for your intended outdoor activities.

Set-Up 

Evaluate the ease of setting up the 2-person tent. Look for tents with straightforward assembly processes, especially if you anticipate pitching the tent in challenging weather conditions or after a tiring hike. Quick and hassle-free set-up can save time and energy, allowing you to focus on enjoying your camping experience.

Material

The material of the tent plays a crucial role in its durability and performance. Look for tents with high-quality and weather-resistant materials like ripstop nylon or polyester. These materials can withstand wear and tear, provide protection from the elements, and ensure your tent lasts for numerous camping trips.

Weather Resistance

Consider the tent’s weather resistance capabilities to ensure you stay dry and comfortable during inclement weather. Check if the tent features a waterproof rainfly and if the seams are sealed to prevent water leakage. Additionally, look for tents with a sturdy and stable design to withstand strong winds and adverse weather conditions.

Ventilation

Because a 2-person tent often means close quarters, ventilation becomes even more critical to maintain a comfortable and pleasant camping experience. Proper airflow helps reduce stuffiness and prevent condensation buildup, making the tent’s interior more enjoyable for the occupants. Adequate ventilation ensures that campers can breathe easily and stay cool during warmer nights, enhancing the overall quality of their backcountry camping.

Pro Tip: Get a good night’s sleep in one of these 7 Best Blackout Tents for Sleeping Late in Your Tent.

2-person tent at campsite
Make memories while camping in a team of two.

Enjoy an Epic Backcountry Adventure in a 2-Person Tent

Embarking on a backcountry camping journey with a 2-person tent promises an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The lightweight and compact design of these tents allows campers to roam freely through remote landscapes without feeling burdened by heavy gear. Sharing the cozy space of a 2-person tent with a close companion fosters bonds and creates cherished memories amid the beauty of nature.

Whether you’re traversing rugged trails or gazing at starry skies, a 2-person tent is your gateway to a backcountry journey filled with exploration, connection, and the beauty of the great outdoors.

Which 2-person tent would you take on your next adventure? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

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