How big is a two-person tent?

Two people in a small tent, but how big should a two-person tent be?
(Image credit: freemixer / Getty Images)

Many tent brands and manufacturers out there often slap a two-person tent label on the end of product names, when really they’re only suitable for one person and their gear. Could you sleep two people in them? Sure, but you won’t have the most comfortable night, nor will you have any room to bring any gear inside the shelter with you whatsoever. To that end, most people opt for a three-person shelter if they intend on sharing their tent with somebody else. But, in 2023, how accurate is that assumption? How much space do you actually get in a two-person shelter on average?

Not all two-person tents are the same

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2

The intentionally tiny Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 (Image credit: Craig Taylor)

Now, the first thing to establish here is that not all tents are the same. Take the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2, for example. This is a two-person shelter that is intentionally tiny. Designed to be ultra-lightweight and compact to carry, it’s a two-person shelter in the same way a single bed can sleep two. Sure, you could share it if you had no other choice, but it wouldn’t be comfortable or advised. 

On the other hand, Nortent’s Vern 1 is a four-season tent for two with oodles of room, offering more than enough space for two large bodies and tons of kit. Seriously, we think you could actually sleep three in this tent. 

All of this is to emphasize that not all tents are built to the same specs. And if you’re looking for a tent of a specific size, pay attention to the floor space and analyze the individual specifications to see the amount of space available. 

How much space do you need for two people?

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 next to a loch

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 next to a loch (Image credit: Julia Clarke)

If you’re camping as a duo, it’s important to understand how much room you need. So let’s take a look…

Most of the best sleeping pads, such as the Therm-a-Rest Neoair Xlite or the Big Agnes Zoom UL, are 21in (or 51cm) wide, which is enough room for most average-sized adults to lie down flat without their shoulders spilling over the sides. Therefore, to pack two of these into a tent, the bathtub needs to be at least 42in (or 102cm) wide. 

The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 is 107cm at its narrowest point, which is legitimately wide enough for two pads. The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 is similar, at 125cm wide, while the two-person Forclaz MT900 from Decathlon is 105cm at the feet end. Maths-wise, then, all three of these shelters can properly fit two regular-width sleeping pads inside, upon which a pair of regular-sized humans should be able to comfortably sleep.

Craig Taylor

Growing up just south of the glorious Brecon Beacons National Park, Craig spent his childhood walking uphill. As he got older, the hills got bigger, and his passion for spending quality time in the great outdoors only grew - falling in love with wild camping, long-distance hiking, bikepacking and fastpacking. Having recently returned to the UK after almost a decade in Germany, he now focuses on regular micro-adventures in nearby Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, as well as frequent trips to the Alps and beyond. You can follow his adventures over on komoot, or visit www.craigtaylor.co for more info.