how to choose a backpacking tent; a beginners guide

A good backpacking tent is like a movable home in an outdoor adventure. Tents for backpacking are the versatile designed movable structures for hiking, adventure, and backpacking. They are lighter, smaller, and easier to setup.

backpacking tent

There are so many options available out there and may get you confused to decide which one you should choose for yourself. Today, in the next 10 minutes we will talk about what things you should take while finding the best backpacking tents.

What are the Types of backpacking tens?

Backyard tents come in different sizes, styles, and setup features. Here are some basic types of tents that can be organized for an outdoor adventure.


  • They are more versatile
  • They can stand firm in mild wind
  • Good for camping terrain
  • Can be setup easily
  • Can be moved easily
  • A bit heavier
  • Prone to harsh weather conditions

Related post: Best freestanding tents for backpacking, How to pick

Semi freestanding

  • They are more stable
  • Have a separate pole system
  • More feature to protect from harsh weather like, rain, snow, and cold wind
  • Lightweight than freestanding
  • Best for a multiday hike
  • Need more space
  • Should be provided a flat surface to setup
  • Cannot move it easily

Non-freestanding tents

  • The Tarp tents are made from durable materials like polyester and nylon
  • Supported by proper poles to keep it stable
  • They can be moved easily
  • A bit heavier than semi freestanding
  • More room inside
  • Can be dried quickly
  • They are the best of ultra-light backpacking
  • Need more vacant space
  • Require proper tenting skills to setup
  • These tents involve rope or cord attachments to metal stakes

Things to look for picking a backpacking tent

Capacity of Tents

The first thing to consider in choosing the right size tents for backpacking is capacity. The capacity of the tent determines how many people plan to live in it or what time of adventure you are selecting. There is no standard rule for tents. If you are planning for a solo backpacking trip then you may get away with a smaller tent and large if you are sharing it with others.


The weather condition is not always the same and to tackle the worst-case scenario like light snowfall, harsh storm, or hot weather. They should be waterproof and staked up properly to withstand summer storms. For mountaineering camping trip tents should be more robust and strengthen because at high alpine you may counter with heavy rain and snowfall.

According to experts a tent for backpacking should be reasonable for 2-3 seasons. Three season tents have some features like mesh, interior headroom, and lighter weight. The extended seasoned tents can hold in more warmth and zip over mesh fabric to cover cold airflow and snow falling.

Tents weight

The weight of tents is depending on the backpacking trail you are going for. For backpacking trips in summer always use a tent that is lighter in weight. The weight for the tent should be approximately 2.5 pounds per person.

When you are climbing up the mountains and planning to have a camping base at high altitude the weight of tents can be increased from 6-10 pounds. This is because of supported poles, heavy fabric and some other protective layers.


When you trade-off between cutting the weight and enhancing comfort one thing that should not be compromise is durability. The heavyweight tents are more durable than lighter weight.

Comfort ability

Not all tents are equally roomy and comfortable. Some tents will skimp on features to save weight while others have a ton of extra features to make them comfortable. One of these features is having 2 doors of entry into a tent.

If you’re sharing a tent with your colleague or partner it gives you and your buddy own entry and exit way. So you’re not crawling over each other for midnight bathroom breaks. The vestibules provide you extra space to keep all of your other hiking essentials like boots, socks, camping backpack.

Interior space

Another important thing you should look at while considering a tent is the interior space. if you look at the specs online you’ll see the dimensions of the floor plan as well as the peak height of a tent but that’s not going to tell you the exact space you will get. The sloping wall of tents drastically cuts down the extra covered space and gives you leverage to manage your tent efficiently.

How to pack a backpacking tent?

Before carrying your tent for an outdoor adventure first test it near to your backyard so that you can change the features according to your requirements if needed to rest yourself away from any hustle.  Your backpacking tent should be placed in the middle of your backpack. The middle section of a backpack is at the ease point of your body where it can bar less pressure on shoulders and knees. The better will you feel if you put it near to your back?