The Most Important Things to Consider when Choosing a Backpacking TentDon’t be daunted by the prospect of searching for a backpacking tent. Firstly, understand that a backpacking tent is no different to your typical tent; there aren’t a whole bunch of additional gadgets and accessories that distinguish it from your typical camping tent. Essentially, they are just a more manageable version of the camping tents that are available out there.

The object of a backpacking tent is that it is as practical as possible to ensure that the owner is exerting as little effort utilising it as possible. To understand why, we must first ask ourselves what is backpacking? Fundamentally, backpacking is a super-efficient and resourceful camping experience in which the backpacker utilises only a small amount of money for the entire trip. They can sometimes last for several months and everything from food to transportation and accommodation is packed into a backpack and carried for the duration.

There are numerous factors that one must consider before buying a backpacking tent, and they vary depending on the owner’s capabilities. Purchasing the ideal backpacking tent – considering its size and importance – will go a long way to shaping how comfortable your backpacking adventure turns out to be.

Tent Capacity

When choosing a backpacking tent, tent capacity serves purposes beyond being able to accommodate a certain number of campers. For instance, a 2 berth hiking tent will be comprised of more material than a 1 berth and, therefore, be slightly heavier. Moreover, the larger capacity tents will occupy more room in your backpack. Try to seek out backpacking tents that utilise lighter fabrics like mesh, but are still big enough to sleep in snugly. It just stands to reason that the smaller the tent is, the easier it will be to transport.

Tent Season

Yes, different tents do perform differently in different climates; remember this because you don’t want to end up in a backpacking tent that doesn’t keep you completely comfortable for a long trip. Ideally, you want your backpacking tent to be an all-round performer, just in case. 3 season tents tend to be the most commonly chosen backpacking tent for ultralight backpacking. They perform really well in the temperate conditions of spring, summer and autumn. 3-4 season tents are similar but they are also suitable to combat light snowfall. But for the heavy conditions, a 4 season tent is works best as they are engineered to resist fierce winds and snowfall.


The key to ultralight backpacking is knowing about your body – how much weight can you handle? Generally, a hiking tent should weigh around 2.5 pounds per person approximately. Some ultralight backpacking tents weigh no more than a pound, but what you sacrifice in weight, you lose in attributes such as durability and additional comfort features the heavier options have – such as windows, multiple access, pockets for belongings and interior space. There’s a tricky balance to be found marrying weight with the other considerations as well as pricing, so pay extra attention to your physical limitations.

Ease of Setup

As stated earlier in this post, backpacking is all about conserving as much energy as possible. A clever way of doing this is by focussing on finding a tent that is very easy to set up. Fortunately, ultralight backpacking tents, for instance, place great emphasis on their quick pitch tent capabilities. Try to avoid pop up tents though. Pop up tents are good and robust in milder conditions but they’re not suitable for a significant excursion.

In Conclusion

Buying a backpacking tent requires careful and balanced consideration of all of the aforementioned aspects primarily, but there are other factors to pay attention too also – like price, liveability afforded by the hiking tent, as well as the other tools and accessories that will be included in your backpack. Try not to focus too heavily on any one aspect – this will help you to find the ideal backpacking tent for your journey. In our opinion, try to avoid the cheaper hiking tents and pay more (be on the lookout for discounts) for a backpacking tent that is a compromise of quality and practicality. After all, you’re not buying for a weekend kids’ sleepover in the garden, so your choice has to work extremely well in many ways.