A durable, easy-to-use and lightweight backpacking tent that delivers excellent value for money, especially when bought on sale during one of the many Mountain Warehouse promotions throughout the year.
Easy to put up and pack away
Small pack size
Two doors and vestibules
Not the lightest
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Meet the reviewer
Craig loves nothing more than pitching up in the backcountry, preferably while taking on a long-distance thru-hike. His adventures usually take place in the hills and mountains of Wales but he occasionally gets away to his beloved Alps. As one of our expert campers, Craig revels in testing camping equipment and knows a sturdy shelter from on that will give up the ghost when conditions become challenging.
The Mountain Warehouse Backpacker tent hails from a well-known high-street brand renowned for selling a vast range of budget-friendly products for hikers and campers. I’ve used numerous pieces of Mountain Warehouse kit over the years, ranging from rain pants and waterproof jackets to hiking socks and gaiters, and I’d say my experience has been positive on the whole.
• List price: £109.99 (UK)
• Style: Tunnel tent
• Weight: 1.9kg / 4.1lb
• Waterproof rating: HH 2,000mm
• Rooms: One bedroom, two vestibules
• Dimensions: 230cm x 220cm x 85cm / 90.5in x 86.5in x 33.5in
• Compatibility: Backpacking for one or two people across three seasons and a little beyond
Though on the more budget end of the spectrum, their kit tends to deliver exactly what you’d expect (in my experience), especially if you’re not heading out on anything overly adventurous or remote. So what about their flagship tent, the Mountain Warehouse Backpacker? Is this shelter worthy of inclusion in our roundup of the best camping tents available at the moment?
Weighing in just shy of 2kg, the Mountain Warehouse Backpacker 2 is a fairly light tent for two people. That being said, in classic two-person tent style, you’d need to be really good friends to want to share this shelter. Although it’s not marketed as a one-person tent, it’s actually much better suited to one person and their gear, though two could probably have a reasonably comfortable night’s sleep in here at a push.
With two vestibules, there’s ample room to store your kit, and you can choose alternating sides for storage and cooking. The tent comes with two aluminum poles and a handful of pegs – enough to pitch it for use in calm weather, though you’ll need to bring some extra tent pegs if you’re planning on pegging out the Mountain Warehouse Backpacker’s pre-attached guylines.
Interestingly, the fly comes with a special foil coating on the inside, which is supposed to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I tested this tent during the recent heatwave, conditions which haven’t been representative of usual UK wild camping weather. It performed well, being easy to pack up and put away, and – thanks to its low profile construction – always felt strong in the wind. The tent also boasts fully taped seams and a flysheet that comes really close to the ground, a combination that means I’m looking forward to taking this thing out in some gentler four-season weather, when I’m quietly confident it will make the grade.
In the field
I camped out in the Backpacker in the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park in South Wales to test how it would cope against the often inclement conditions.
The Mountain Warehouse Backpacker 2 is a classic tunnel design. It uses two poles, one at the head end and one at the foot end, to form a reasonably large living space, and the pegs keep everything neatly in place. Once the inner is up, it’s then simply a matter of lashing the fly to the poles and pegging everything out.
Once everything is done, the tent is an incredibly sleek-looking shelter. The color is perfect for UK wild camping, blending seamlessly into the environment. And thanks to the bungee chords attached to the pegout points on the fly, it’s really easy to get this thing drum-tight.
Inside the tent, there’s ample room for one person and gear. As mentioned above, you could fit two in here at a push, but it would be a bit of a squeeze and your gear would be confined to the rather small vestibules.
This is where one of my main gripes comes in: the zipper on the door is only one-way, meaning the door has to be either opened or closed. Because of the thickness of the fly (and its foil coating) and the space you’ve got to play with in the vestibule, I’d only cook in this thing with a wide open door. Naturally, that’s an issue when it’s raining – something that’s practically a given when wild camping in the UK. For that reason, I’d love to see a two-way zipper here. It would make the tent much more practical for proper three-season and light four-season use.
Inside the tent there are ample pockets for storing various bits and bobs and a loop for hanging a lantern. Additionally, thanks to the robust feel of the tent floor, I wouldn’t think twice about using the Mountain Warehouse Backpacker without a groundsheet, which means you’ve one less thing to carry.
At 230cm in length, the tent is long enough for most people. Its low profile, though, makes it practically impossible for an average user to sit up in this thing. This isn’t an issue in the summer when the nights are shorter, but if you were to spend long winter nights in here this could eventually become an annoyance, especially if you have to wait out a storm.
In my experience, the Mountain Warehouse Backpacker is a very durable piece of kit. Thanks to the thicker fly, the high-quality stitching and the tough bathtub floor, I think it would take some serious effort to break this thing. Naturally, those characteristics do result in a heavier product, but for a shelter that you can often pick up for less than £80, you cannot expect the best of both worlds. In that sense, the Mountain Warehouse Backpacker 2 delivers great value for money.
Overall, I think the Mountain Warehouse Backpacker 2 is a great little shelter that delivers excellent all-round performance and striking value for money when available on sale. It’s reasonably lightweight, robust and simple to put up, and I’d recommend it to anybody participating in things like the Duke of Edinburgh’s award or Dartmoor’s annual Ten Tors event.
Would I happily pay the RRP of £109.99 for it? Maybe, although I think there are alternatives on the market at this price point that deliver more for your money in certain situations.
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.