Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

2-Person Backpacking Tents

Marmot Tungsten UL 2P

87

2017

Marmot Tungsten UL 2P

Straddling the fine line between lightweight and roomy, the Marmot Tungsten UL manages to be the rare tent that does both.

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

90

2017

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 is a lightweight, simple, and feature rich tent.

KUIU Mountain Star

86

2017

KUIU Mountain Star

The KUIU Mountain Star is ideal for hunters and backcountry campers looking for a durable and dependable tent in a lightweight package.

REI Quarter Dome 2

83

2017

REI Quarter Dome 2

The REI Quarter Dome 2 is a lightweight and roomy backpacking tent.

Mountain Hardwear Hylo 2

78

2017

Mountain Hardwear Hylo 2

The unique single wall hybrid design of the Mountain Hardwear Hylo 2 creates a rugged tent that can handle alpine excursions in three seasons.

Sierra Designs Nightwatch 2

82

2016

Sierra Designs Nightwatch 2

The integrated fly and body design of the Nightwatch makes it a snap to erect into a roomy feeling tent even when sitting up. It’s compact when packed and it’s airy design is best kept to summer use.

MSR FreeLite 2

82

2016

MSR FreeLite 2

The MSR FreeLite 2 is made to pack small and is very light. The square footage is minimal, but efficient poles help make it feel roomier.

LL Bean Microlight UL 2

81

2016

LL Bean Microlight UL 2

Like the name says, the LL Bean Microlight UL 2 is a super lightweight tent, ideal for backpacking or bike packing expeditions. A great price makes up for the tight interior.

Hilleberg Niak 1.5

83

2016

Hilleberg Niak 1.5

The Hilleberg Niak is a rare marriage of lightweight and bomber construction. It’s not a roomy two person tent, but for high mountain trekking right into the shoulder season we’d pick this over just about any other tent for its dependability in uncertain weather.

Marmot Limelight 2

88

2016

Marmot Limelight 2

Marmot gave one of its best selling backpacking tents a makeover and made the Limelight 2 one of the most livable tents we’ve tried. Testers loved the interior room, easy set up and plenty of user-friendly touches. It’s a great one-quiver tent and ideal for anyone more interested in comfort than shaving down weight.

TentLab Moonlight 2

92

2015

TentLab Moonlight 2

The TentLab Moonlight 2 is a veteran tent designer's independent effort to fix all that's missing, overlooked, and eliminated from most backpacking tents on the market. It doesn't look revolutionary, but is full of thoughtful, handy features and ready for nasty storms from mountain tops to canyon bottoms.

REI Half Dome Tent

86

2015

REI Half Dome Tent

The Half Dome is REI’s newly made-over best selling backpacking tent—now lighter, more vented, easier to set up, and more customizable. 

Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL2 mtnGLO

87

2015

Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL2 mtnGLO

Big Agnes’ Rattlesnake SL2 mtnGLO is a lightweight backpacking tent with integrated lights.

Marmot Tungsten

75

2015

Marmot Tungsten

The Marmot Tungsten is a budget priced tent for all around camping use. 

NEMO Losi LS 2P

85

2015

NEMO Losi LS 2P

The Nemo Losi LS 2P is a backcountry tent with updates that cut 10 ounces from the previous model, without sacrificing roominess. 

Slingfin 2Lite

84

2015

Slingfin 2Lite

The Slingfin 2Lite is a non-freestanding tent that's all about weight, but doesn't sacrifice too much livable space in the process.

Kelty TN2 Tent

85

2014

Kelty TN2 Tent

This tent is a steal. For $250 you get a relatively lightweight and highly packable tent with lots of room and excellent weather protection.

Sierra Designs Flash 2 UL

83

2014

Sierra Designs Flash 2 UL

Sierra Designs' Flash 2 UL is one of the nicest tents to set up, take down and hang out in.

Nemo Galaxi 2P

79

2014

Nemo Galaxi 2P

The Nemo Galaxi is a great choice as your go-to tent for a variety of activities from canoe camping to weekend backpacking trips.

Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5

77

2014

Mountain Hardwear Optic 2.5

Mountain Hardwear's new Optic 2.5 is a cool tent with a truly new layout idea that works, with lots of room for two people and tons of gear and great weatherproofing.

The North Face Tadpole

74

2014

The North Face Tadpole

The North Face Tadpole is probably your best bet for shoulder season use, particularly in the mountains.