Best two-person tents 2022: for camping with a buddy

Collage of the best two-person tents
(Image credit: Future)

The best two-person tents hardly weigh much more than their smaller, one-person counterparts, which makes them not only a go to for camping couples, but also solo campers and backpackers who value that little extra room at night.

Whether you're heading to a campsite, a music festival, or hitting the backcountry trails in search of an awe-inspiring wild camping venue, the best two-person tents are a versatile option.

As you'd expect from some of the best camping tents available, the finest two-person shelters come with many useful features. From clever freestanding structures intended for maximum headroom, to essential storage options like gear lofts and oversized vestibules, the best two-person tents are designed with comfort and usability in mind.

We love the near vertical walls and high ceilings of Sea to Summit's new Alto TR2 for ultralight backpacking, while Big Agnes' Tiger Wall UL 2 Bikepack is a must for adventurers on two wheels. In the colder months, you'll find us in the Terra Nova Laser Compact, our pick of winter-ready tents. Whichever model you choose, rest assured you're selecting from the best two-person tents available today.

Best ultralight two-person tents

Sea to Summit Alto TR2 two-person tent

(Image credit: Sea To Summit)
A first-class three-season shelter with quality ultralight components

Specifications

Weight: 1.15 kg / 40 oz
Pack size: 12 x 12 x 52 cm
Dimensions: 111 x 244 x 223 cm
Compatibility: 3-season wild camping and car camping in all but the worst conditions

Reasons to buy

+
Innovative design
+
Loads of headroom
+
Lightweight with load sharing capability

Reasons to avoid

-
Gear loft sold separately
-
Not as weather resistant as some

Sea to Summit's new range of Alto and Telos tents feature patent pending Tension Ridge Architecture, which features a cross bar that cantilevers upwards, creating near vertical walls, a high ceiling and unrivalled roominess. This unique and innovative architecture paves the way for myriad other benefits: high doors, large vestibules and good climate control. This all adds up to a superbly liveable tent space, especially for a backpacking tent.

Other features include five separate setup options depending on the weather, oversized Apex Vents in the ceiling to combat condensation and an illuminating Lightbar that is used in conjunction with headlamp. With ultralight DAC poles and lightweigh fabrics throughout, the Alto TR2 weighs in at just 1.15kg and this weight can be split into three storage units for the trail. Perfect for wild camping expeditions in the warmer months, this is one of the best 2-person tents out there.

Read out full Sea to Summit Alto TR2 review

Black Diamond Distance Tent with Z-Poles two-person tent

(Image credit: Black Diamond)
A brilliant, lightweight marriage between tent and trekking poles

Specifications

Weight: 1kg 200g (tent 820g + trekking poles 380g)/2lb 10oz
Packed size: 13 x 30cm (5 x 12in)
Dimensions: 147 x 241 x 104cm / 58 x 95 x 41in
Compatibility: 3-season adventures

Reasons to buy

+
Clever combo of tent and trekking poles
+
Reasonable price for poles and shelter
+
Good trekking poles

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited ventilation
-
Space tight for two adults

Providing both shelter at the end of the day, and support while you’re on the trails, the Black Diamond Distance tent with Z-poles is an ingenious design that combines a great tent with an excellent pair of trekking poles to produce a robust but lightweight shelter. 

The two-person single-wall structure has just one tiny cross pole, used to connect with Black Diamond’s excellent Distance Carbon FLZ-AR Trekking Poles to make a three-season tent, absolutely perfect for gram-counting thru-hikers and ultralight enthusiasts. The two-person tent is a tight squeeze for two adults, but will fit one with a pack quite easily. 

The poles themselves are very lightweight (380g/13.69oz per pair) but high performing, and have a comfortable EVA foam grip and a breathable, moisture-wicking strap. A classic Z-pole design, they fold down to an impressively small stash size (38cm/15in). Assembly is simple (just pull down on the slider shaft) and the strong and reliable FlickLock feature means you can adjust the operational height of the pole (105–125cm/41–49in) easily while out on the trail.

Read our full Black Diamond Distance review

Vaude Lizard 1-2P Seamless two-person tent

(Image credit: Vaude)

Vaude Lizard 1-2P Seamless

Technically advanced tent for fast adventure races or mountain missions

Specifications

Weight: 1kg 290g /2lb 13.5oz
Packed Size: 40 x 16cm/15.7 x 6.3in
Dimensions: 230 x 110cm/90.5 x 43.3in
Compatibility: 3-season for quick adventures

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely lightweight
+
Pitches all-in-one
+
Good wind resistance

Reasons to avoid

-
Small for two people
-
Only a single entrance

Described as a one- to two-person tent, the Vaude Lizard Seamless 1-2P is palatial for one but snug for two – making it a good option for quick overnighters, but perhaps less ideal for extended trips, unless you’re a couple of adventure racers who are simply too exhausted to care. It is, however, a technically advanced tent that manages to be impressively lightweight for a double-walled tent yet extremely storm-proof too. 

The lightweight nylon flysheet is siliconized on both sides and has minimal seams, offering reliable waterproofing and a clean design that sheds rain superbly. Sil-nylon single-hoop tents can be notoriously difficult to tension consistently, but Vaude’s system utilises a central pole sleeve that is closed at one end, enabling full tensioning from one side, plus easily adjustable central and corner guys with high-quality metal components. Ventilation is also surprisingly good for such a compact and weatherproof tent, with twin end vents and an upper vent placed at the top of the door. 

There’s only a single entrance, with a modest porch, though the inner tent can be pulled aside to offer a little more room. It is an ideal option for weight-conscious solo adventurers who are likely to encounter variable conditions – though be aware that the lightweight fabrics can tend to flap in the wind, so take earplugs for gusty nights in exposed locations. 

As a 2-person tent it is a less comfortable prospect, but if all you plan to do is pitch up late, catch a little shut-eye and strike camp early, it is still a viable option. And though other tents are cheaper and roomier, few match this one for weight or overall build quality – it is meticulously engineered.

Tent for bikepackers

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Bikepack two-person tent

(Image credit: Big Agnes)

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Bikepack

An ultralight off-road shelter built for bikepacking

Specifications

Weight: 2lb 15oz / 1.3kg
Packed size: 13 x 6.5in / 33 x 16.5cm
Dimensions: 86in x 52–42in / 218cm x 132–107cm
Compatibility: 3 season

Reasons to buy

+
Specifically designed for bikepacking
+
Ultralight build
+
Eco-friendly dyed fabrics

Reasons to avoid

-
Small floor plan for some users
-
Extended footprint sold separately

Campers are always looking for new and exciting ways to get deeper into the woods and wilderness. Bikepacking – strapping gear to mountain bikes and riding remote single track trails for overnight adventures – is becoming increasingly popular. To accommodate bikepackers, Big Agnes has designed the Tiger Wall UL2 as a bike specific shelter. 

Every detail of this tent is examined through the expectations and eyes of the cycle-camper. Short 12in/30.5cm pole sections make strapping the tent bag to handlebars or a rack easy.  The proprietary TipLok Tent Buckle makes set-up fast and simple, especially welcome after a long, muddy trail ride. The double-door, two-vestibule set-up offers gear storage and easy access. Overhead pockets keep smartphones and headlamps off the tent floor and close at hand when needed. The stuff sack has attachment points to help secure the tent to the bike. 

Tents for backpacking

REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ two-person tent

(Image credit: REI)

REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+

A luxurious tent for two, with a thoughtfully designed interior

Specifications

Weight: 4lb 13.5oz / 2.2kg
Packed size: 7 x 20.5in / 18 x 52cm
Dimensions: 92 x 56in / 234 x 142cm
Compatibility: 3 season

Reasons to buy

+
Environmentally friendly solution dye
+
Updated design
+
Footprint included

Reasons to avoid

-
No gear loft

The best backpack tent designers worry over the smallest details, and the benefit of their hard work is often found in product attributes you don’t immediately notice, because it’s the things that don’t annoy you. Large door openings and durable zippers translate into easy entry, without snagging mesh or tripping over a door seam that’s too high off the floor. 

The Half Dome 2, a pound lighter than the previous model, is filled with the small details that make the difference between frustration and pleasant memories. The proprietary pole architecture delivers vertical walls, comfortable headroom and floor space. This shelter is big enough for two adults plus a small child or a trail dog, and ventilation is excellent. Internal organization capacity is good too, with pockets and hanging straps to keep gear readily to hand. In addition to extra storage space under the vestibules, the fly can be rolled up and stowed.

MSR Hubba Hubba NX two-person tent

(Image credit: MSR)
A roomy, ultralight tent that pots up in no time

Specifications

Weight: 3lb 12.7oz / 1.7kg
Packed size: 46 x 15cm/18.1 x 5.9in
Max headroom: 100cm /39.4in
Compatibility: 3-season backpacking

Reasons to buy

+
Ultralight and packable
+
Front loading compression sack
+
Quick and easy to set up

Reasons to avoid

-
Tent stakes are tricky to pull out
-
Not for winter camping
-
On the pricier end

This ultralight two-person tent from the long-running Hubba Hubba series from NSR and in almost every way, it’s a backpacker’s dream. Though it easily sleeps two, its weight and pack size are comparable to a lot of one-person tents. It arrives in a front loading compression sack with pull handle and illustrated instructions for set up. When you pull it out of the sack, you can have the inner tent set up in well under two minutes.

Once you’re inside, you’ll be surprised at how much headroom there is for two people, plus enough space for backpacks and gear. You’ll each have two pockets for gear you want close to hand and your own side entrance.

Rather than two poles, it comes with single pole system that clips to the outside of the tent and because the poles stay in the grommets, you can set this up by yourself pretty easily too. If you’re camping in dry weather, the mesh upper lets you do some stargazing and provides plenty of airflow. If there’s wet weather coming, the rainfly adds a little confusion the first time or two, but provides ample protection from the rain as well as two vestibules for muddy hiking boots. MSR calls this tent its 'most liveable tent', and all in all, we heartily agree.

Read our full MSR Hubba Hubba NX review

Wild Country Hoolie Compact ETC 2 two-person tent

(Image credit: Wild Country)

Wild Country Hoolie Compact ETC 2

A palatial porch makes this tent a popular choice for bikepackers

Specifications

Weight: 6lb 15.1oz / 3.2kg
Packed size: 11.8 x 8.66in / 30 x 22cm
Dimensions: 90.5 x 39.4in / 230 x 100cm
Compatibility: 3-season backpacking and bikepacking

Reasons to buy

+
Huge porch
+
Pitches all-in-one
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Modest ventilation
-
Fairly narrow

The most immediately impressive feature of the Hoolie Compact ETC 2 is its cavernous porch. With a total length of some 2 metres, it offers a capacious amount of space for your kit, making this tent a popular choice among bikepackers or cycle tourers, as well as backpackers on extended trips carrying big, heavily-laden packs. Internal sleeping space isn’t bad either, with generous length plus reasonable width and headroom.  

For such a large footprint, the packed size is also impressively compact – hence the tent’s name – so its stuffs neatly into a backpack. It’s short enough to fit in most panniers or onto the frame of a bike too, a considered piece of design from makers Wild Country, which is the entry-level division of renowned British tentmaker Terra Nova. At just over 3 kilos, this is not the lightest 2-person tent around, making use of heavier weight polyester fabrics as opposed to lighter nylon or DCF. That does, however, keep the cost down and ensures it is both robust and reliable, with fully taped seams throughout and 8.5mm Superflex alloy poles. 

The design pitches all-in-one, with the inner pre-attached to the fly and poles that simply thread through external sleeves, saving set-up time and making life much easier in wet weather. The tunnel-type design offers only one entrance and relies on guyline tension for stability, but if securely pitched it is very weatherproof, offering good three-season protection. If there is a drawback to this tent – other than the slight weight penalty – it’s the relatively modest ventilation. There’s only a half mesh door and two fairly small vents at either end. 

Vango F10 Xenon UL 2 two-person tent

(Image credit: Vango)

Vango F10 Xenon UL 2

A sturdy tunnel tent that offers both performance and practicality

Specifications

Weight: 4lb 3oz / 1.9kg
Packed size: 17.7 x 5.9in / 45 x 15cm
Dimensions: 90.5 x 51.2in / 230 x 130cm
Compatibility: 3-season plus

Reasons to buy

+
Pitches all-in-one
+
Plenty of headroom
+
Good wind resistance

Reasons to avoid

-
Multiple pegging points
-
Modest ventilation

The tunnel tent is a preferred design for many adventurers. That’s because it offers a superior space-to-weight ratio, improved internal headroom and good wind-shedding ability compared to other conventional designs. The Vango F10 Xenon UL2 maximises all of these advantages in a lightweight package. In fact, Vango’s clever architecture adds head height without affecting stability, thanks to the tent’s arched poles, which gives steeper walls for better rigidity and improved rain run-off compared to standard hooped poles. Inside, these are braced with the brand’s Tension Band System (TBS), which prevents the poles deforming in high winds. 

So, although this isn’t classed as a four-season tent, it is still very weatherproof and stands up well to the rough stuff. Indeed, it prioritises protection at the slight cost of ventilation, and airflow through the tent isn’t as good as some, which can result in condensation in some conditions. However, it pitches all-in-one, which is a practical solution for wetter climates, and with practice goes up very easily. Having said that, you do need to peg it out well, ideally using all the guylines and pegging points. 

Although the design offers only one entrance and a single porch, it’s a good size for either cooking in or storing packs and wet gear, with a vertical inner door and a hood over the outer door to stop water dripping down into the inner tent. It all makes this a robust tent that is well suited to outdoor adventures in unpredictable weather.

Kelty All Inn 2 two-person tent

(Image credit: Kelty)

Kelty All Inn 2

Easy-pitching tent that offers breezy ventilation for summer nights

Specifications

Weight: 3lb 14 oz / 1.8kg
Pack Size: 18.1 x 5.9in / 46 x 15cm
Dimensions: 83.9 x 52in / 213 x 132cm
Compatibility: 2-3 season

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Twin entrances

Reasons to avoid

-
Modest flysheet coverage
-
Pitches inner first
-
Awkward end door design

As its name might suggest, this likeable tent offers both comfort and liveability. It offers good length, with great headroom and reasonable width for two people, plus a generous porch. Unusually, it boasts twin doors on adjacent sides – offering entry either from the side or the end of the tent. Inside it feels light and airy, with superb airflow that minimises condensation build-up and offers plenty of ventilation. It’s an ideal tent for a balmy summer night. 

The large, open front door makes it easy to admire the view too, and it has a pronounced peak to deflect wind and keep off light drizzle. The door is waterproof, which is just as well since the fly offers no protection at this end of the tent. The door also unzips to the floor, which does mean it tends to get muddy unless you’re careful about rolling it away. But the overall design is very stable, dealing well with moderate to strong winds, and pitching is quick, easy and intuitive once you get familiar with the DAC hubbed pole structure. The pole system tensions the fly easily to ensure a taut pitch every time. 

If we had any negatives, it’s that the single side porch is a little awkward to use for two campers. Secondly, as already intimated, it’s a tent better suited to good weather than bad, since the fly offers only moderate rain protection and all that mesh and ventilation can make it feel draughty. But Kelty is to be commended for its unusual and innovative design approach – the All Inn 2 certainly stands out from the crowd.

Tents for wet conditions

Sierra Designs Meteor 3,000 2P two-person tent

(Image credit: Sierra Designs)

Sierra Designs Meteor 3,000 2P

Backpacking tent that offers plenty of protection and outstanding value

Specifications

Weight: 4lb 8oz / 2.4kg
Pack Size: 11.1 x 6.5in / 46 x 16.5cm
Dimensions: 83.9 x 50.8in / 213 x 129cm
Compatibility: 3-season backpacking

Reasons to buy

+
Great headroom
+
Twin entrances
+
Roomy porches 
+
Protective and weatherproof

Reasons to avoid

-
Pitches inner first

This superb two-person tent is based on US brand Sierra Designs’ bestselling Meteor series but tweaks the build to make it better suited for the wetter climates of northern Europe. As such it features enhanced waterproofing, with a PU-coated polyester flysheet rated at 3,000mm hydrostatic head in an earthy green colourway that makes it far more practical for stealthy wild camps. The fly provides good coverage and there is added wind protection too, thanks to an inner tent that features more fabric and less mesh. 

Sierra has retained the same lightweight, double-door, twin porch design that has made the Meteor such a popular backpacking tent in the US. It offers decent living space, two roomy porches and plenty of headroom, with practical features like two-way door zips for additional ventilation. Pre-bent DAC poles create a vertical front wall while an extra ridge pole creates near vertical side-walls. The flysheet can also be rolled back for added ventilation or a spot of stargazing on warmer nights. 

It does need to be pitched inner-first, which is a minor inconvenience if you’re setting up camp in the rain, and those beefed-up fabrics mean it now tips the scales at just over 2kg, which for some might be the cut-off point for a lightweight backpacking tent. However, we’d urge you to not to discount it, as this is one of the best value options around for British backpackers and wild campers. 

Tents for car camping

Eureka Mountain Pass 2 two-person tent

(Image credit: Eureka)

Eureka Mountain Pass 2

A quick-pitch wilderness home that can cope with most conditions

Specifications

Weight: 5lb 8oz / 2.5kg
Pack size: 6 x 20in / 15 x 51cm
Dimensions: 7ft 4in x 4ft 8in / 223.5 x 142cm
Compatibility: 3–4 season

Reasons to buy

+
Multiple pockets
+
Four season usability
+
Footprint included

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively heavy
-
No windows

The 32 sq ft / 3 sq m floor plan of the Eureka Mountain Pass 2 makes this a comfortable shelter for two adults. Because it’s not the most lightweight 2-person tent out there, it is best suited to backpackers who aren’t intending to venture too far on any given trail day. 

However, the Mountain Pass 2 provides a good level of shelter, and it has zippered, removable panels that can extend the tent to four-season use if required. The pitch is nice and easy too: a hub, three color-coded pole-and-clip system takes the tent from stuff sack to crawl-in comfort in just a few minutes. It is also an easy tent to keep organized and tidy; five pockets and an overhead gear loft swallow sunglasses, smartphones, headlamps, pocket knives and anything else you want to keep handy.

Robens Buck Creek 2 two-person tent

(Image credit: Robens)

Robens Buck Creek 2

A practical and thoughtfully designed tent that stands out in the crowd

Specifications

Weight: 5lb 2.9oz / 2kg 350g
Pack Size: 16.1 x 5.1in / 41 x 13cm
Dimensions: 84.6 x 47.2in / 215 x 120cm
Compatibility: 3-season

Reasons to buy

+
Practical porch
+
Pitches all-in-one
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the lightest

A relatively new addition to Danish brand Robens’ extensive range of tents, the Buck Creek 2 is a very practical and liveable shelter, with an array of little touches that really enhance overall enjoyment. It is robustly made from ripstop polyester, with sealed seams throughout and high-quality 9mm DAC aluminium alloy hubbed poles. This forms a sturdy exoskeleton, to which you simply clip the fabric fly and pre-attached inner, enabling simple, speedy pitching. It’s a largely freestanding design that sheds wind well, with a useful floating ridge pole that extends the porch area. 

The porch has a partial groundsheet to keep packs and other gear dry, while still providing wet access for muddy boots. The single side doorway has a double zip to crack it open for extra airflow. Other nice touches include guy line retainers to avoid tangles, storage pockets for inner doors and an internal adjustable ridgeline to hang a tent lantern or dry your kit. Inside, the doorway has a mesh panel for ventilation, while the floor space will comfortably accommodate two. Headroom is reasonable, with ample space towards the porch, though that aerodynamic design means the ceiling tapers markedly towards the feet. 

At 2.3kg, the weight is middling for a 2-person tent, but it’s still a viable option for backpacking, and we think that slight increase in weight is worth it for the additional creature comforts. In terms of price, the Buck Creek 2 is also good value compared to many other rivals. 

Tents for winter

Terra Nova Laser Compact All-Season 2 two-person tent

(Image credit: Terra Nova)

Terra Nova Laser Compact All-Season 2

A four-season shelter with a tough design and robust fabrics

Specifications

Weight: 3lb 15.5oz / 1.8kg
Pack Size: 11.8 x 6.3in / 30 x 16cm
Dimensions: 90.5 x 41.3in / 230 x 105cm
Compatibility: 4-season all rounder

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and packable 
+
Very protective
+
Pitches all-in-one

Reasons to avoid

-
Not free-standing 
-
Not the roomiest

Put two iconic tents together and what do you get? The Laser Compact All-Season 2, which Terra Nova claims is the ultimate four-season lightweight 2-person tent. It takes the distinctive low-profile design of the Laser, a favourite amongst lightweight mountain marathoners and adventure racers, and adds super-robust fabrics from the Quasar, the brand’s classic mountain tent (for which the appellation ‘bombproof’ was surely invented). The result is a highly resilient and very stable storm-proof shelter that still weighs in at just 1.8kg and packs down to a mere 30 x 16cm. 

For a genuine four-season tent that will hold up in the most fearsome winter weather those are impressive specs. But Terra Nova haven’t compromised on features in order to save weight. In fact, they’ve specced up this version for added toughness. As well as fully taped seams throughout, the twin door zips have vent hoods at the top for additional rain protection. The zip flaps also have magnetic closures, so they snap shut when you zip up the flysheet doors. Three guylines at each end of the tent add extra stability in high winds, and if you really need to batten down the hatches, extra eyelets in the pole feet pull-tabs allow you to double-pole the main central hoop. 

Of course, as anyone who is familiar with the Laser design will know, it isn’t the roomiest. As such, this tent is a snug fit for two, and though there are twin doors, you only get a porch on one side.

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Best two-person tents comparison table
Two-person tentPriceWeightStyleBest use
Sea to Summit Alto TR2$499 (US) / £430 (UK)1.15 kg / 2lb 5ozSemi-freestanding ultralight backpacking tent3 season use: backpacking, car camping
Black Diamond Distance$400 (US) / £400 (UK)1.2 kg / 2lb 10ozUltralight backpacking tent3 season use: backpacking, thru hiking, bikepacking
Vaude Lizard 1-2P Seamless£540 (UK)1.3 kg / 2lb 14ozUltralight backpacking tent3 season use: backpacking, thru hiking, bikepacking
REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+$279 (US)2.2 kg / 4lb 13.5ozSpacious backpacking tent3-season use: backpacking, car camping
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Bikepack$450 (US) / £425 (UK)1.3 kg / 2lb 15ozUltralight bikepacking tent3-season use: bikepacking, backpacking, thru hiking
MSR Hubba Hubba NX$449.45 (US) / £445 (UK)1.7 kg / 3lb 13ozFreestanding lightweight backpacking tent3-season use: backpacking, thru hiking, car camping
Wild Country Hoolie Compact ETC 2£270 (UK)3.15 kg / 6lb 15ozLarge backpacking tent3-season use: backpacking, bikepacking, car camping
Vango F10 Xenon UL2£340 (UK)1.9 kg / 4lb 3ozBackpacking tunnel tent3-season use: backpacking, thru hiking
Kelty All Inn 2$278 (US) / £300 (UK)1.75 kg / 3lb 14ozBackpacking tent3 season use: car camping, light backpacking
Sierra Designs Meteor 3000 2P$250 (US) / £250 (UK)2 kg / 4lb 8ozRobust backpacking tent3 season use: backpacking, thru hiking
Eureka Mountain Pass 2$320 (US)2.5 kg / 5lb 8ozCamping tent with winter capability4-season use: car camping
Robens Buck Creek 2£374.99 (UK)2.35 kg / 5lb 3ozGeneral camping tent3-season use: backpacking, bikepacking, car camping
Terra Nova Laser Compact All-Season 2£550 (UK)1.8 kg / 3lb 16ozWinter backpacking tent4 season use: backpacking, thru hiking, winter walking

How we test the best 2-person tents

At Advnture we endeavor to test every product we feature extensively in the field. That means one of our team of reviewers and writers – all experienced outdoor specialists active across the US, UK, Europe and Australasia – taking it out into the terrain and climatic conditions that it’s designed for. If, for any reason, this isn’t possible, we’ll say so in our buying guides and reviews.

Our reviewers test 2-person tents overnight, sleeping out with an adventure partner in conditions, temperatures and terrain appropriate to the rating assigned to the product by the manufacturers/ brand. They will also carry the tent in a backpacking scenario to test its performance as a shelter for multi day hikes.

For more details, check out how Advnture tests products.

How to choose the best two-person tent

When considering how to choose a tent, there are many factors. 2-person tents are among the most popular pieces of backpacking kit around, a mainstay of many adventurers' camping checklists, and there is a bewildering array of models available, scattered across a broad landscape in terms of features, quality, weight and price point. The best 2-person tent for you will depend on what backpacking, bikepacking, canoeing or car camping adventures you have planned.

First of all, you should consider whether a 2-person tent matches your ambitions. If you're heading for Glastonbury, you won't want to spend a fortune on something that was designed with the hardy souls of British Antarctic Survey in mind. One of the best pop up tents will be probably be just the ticket (not the sort of ticket that will get you through the festival gates, that is).

If long solo trips to the hills and mountains are your cup of tea, then the weight saving you'll make by investing in one of the best one-person tents is more than worth it. Sampling America's best thru-hikes or bagging a handful of Scotland's 282 Munros during a multiday fastpacking trip will be much more pleasant with less weight on your back.

However, a 2-person tent may make more sense, especially if you've got buddies you want to bring along. Though, if you're not too fussed about wild camping and you're unlikely to be carrying your tent too far, the luxury and flexibility afforded by the best 4-person tents might serve you better. There's nothing to stop you using a 4-person tent just to yourself, whilst there's quite a lot stopping you from taking the family on holiday in your one-person shelter. For the car-based camper, this might be the best option. Or you could go positively palatial with one of the best large tents.

However, if a 2-person tent hits the nail on the head for your ambition, before you invest, consider the following factors.

Weight

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If you’re car camping, these figures are less important – but if you’re backpacking or bikepacking, they’re crucial. Make sure the packed dimensions (i.e. total volume of the tent and poles all bundled up together in their stuff sack) are not too bulky to fit inside your backpack alongside your headlamp and freeze-dried meals.

When adventuring with a partner or adventure buddy, you can usually split the weight of the tent and share it – one person carrying the poles and pegs, the other carting the inner tent and flysheet. 

Weight is still a factor of course, especially if you’re walking/running/riding a long distance. Dedicated ultralighters might consider a 2-person tent over 1.5kg as ‘too heavy’, but for most backpackers and wild campers, a 2-person tent up to about 3kg is still reasonably lightweight. 

Nylon flysheets offer better strength for their weight, as do carbon fibre poles. Mesh used in the inner is light and cool in warm weather, but can result in a chilly night in cold conditions.

Inner and outer space

Carefully consider the total floor space of the inner, to ensure you’ll have enough room for you, a partner and both of your sleeping pads and gear. Ideally, you should be able to sit up, at least at one end of the tent.

Most tents have a small space outside the inner tent that’s still protected by the flysheet. This porch or vestibule is a great place to store wet kit and muddy boots, and can also act as a sheltered space to cook on a camping stove in poor weather. Make sure the porch is big enough to accommodate gear.

best 2-person tent: A pair of campers sitting outside a 2-person tent

The best 2-person tents enable you to explore the great outdoors with your mates (Image credit: Getty)

Performance

The primary function of a backpacking tent is to keep you protected from the elements – mainly wind and rain, but sometimes snow too. This is particularly important if you are intent on going wild camping in the mountains. On quality tents, the flysheet and groundsheet fabric will have a quoted Hydrostatic Head (HH) weighting in terms of 1000s of mm – e.g. 3,000mm – which reflects how much pressure the fabric can withstand before it lets water in. So, a flysheet with a HH of 3,000mm could have a solid column of water 3 metres tall standing on it before it fails. 

But, HH isn’t everything, good tents also need decent stitching, well sealed seams and quality zips. Ventilation is another important factor – a tent may be fully waterproof, but without adequate moisture management you’ll still get wet from condensation build-up. 

Ease of pitch

When you're pitching a tent, you need to factor in its design. Tents pitch in one of three ways: inner first, outer first or all-in-one. Some 2-person tent designs are free-standing, meaning that the overall structure is created by the poles alone and does not rely on fabric or guy line tension to keep the tent upright. 

A freestanding tent is ideal for pitching on hard ground when it may be difficult or impossible to drive tent pegs or stakes into the ground. It also makes it easier to move the tent around once it is erect if you decide to alter your pitch to find flatter ground, for example. 

Provided tent pegs are securely staked, however, non-free-standing designs can be just as stable, and they also have lower profiles, enabling them to shed wind well. As well as pegging points at tent corners, most tents have a series of guy lines to help stabilise the tent in high winds. More guy lines add security and resilience, but also means carrying more pegs.

Value

Ultralight tents made from premium materials can come with big price tags, as can four-season or expedition tents designed to withstand extremely high winds and massive snow-loading. But unless you’re a committed adventurer, you don’t need to spend an eye-watering sum. 

Having said that, high-spec, premium backpacking tents don’t always come cheap. Try to think of your tent as an investment. After all, with care and a bit of regular TLC, it ought to last a lifetime of adventures. However, if you are on a budget, it is possible to find a good-quality 2-person backpacking tent for $200 / £150 or less. And it is always worth shopping around, because you can invariably pick up tents for far less than the RRP.