Best Small 2 Person Tents for Camping or Backpacking

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If you’re in a rush and want to find out what the best small 2 person tent is, we recommend the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 Tent.

Planning an overnight excursion in the great outdoors and need a place to spend the night? As much as I’d like to suggest curling up under the stars with a litter of wolf pups, sadly this isn’t the Jungle Book, and you aren’t a little boy who can talk to animals.

If you’re looking for a tent for 2 (or something a little bigger just for you!) keep reading to find out what we believe are some of the best small 2 person tents on the market.

In this article, we’ll be reviewing the following small 2 person tents:

Features to Consider

Size

 tent on a plain overlooking the sunset

Before you start your journey to find the perfect tent, it’s important to ask yourself a very critical question: How many people does my tent need to fit?

While I don’t mean to sound like Captain Obvious (you are reading a review on two person tents, after all), many people don’t realize how vital the answer to this question is.

The great thing about tent manufacturers is that they know you’ll probably be carrying your tent with you for endless miles. This means that they’re trying to make them light, which is great for you! It won’t be the same as a feather-light bivy sack, but 2 person tents can be surprisingly effortless to carry.

But more on that later.

Because tents are meant to be lighter, they’re made to be smaller. When they’re made to be smaller, they house their occupants (aka, you) a lot more snugly. This can be great if you’re camping in colder temperatures and looking to share body heat with your partner. But…maybe not so great if you like your personal space. Most two person tents land in the range of 30-35 square feet. If that sounds like a lot, keep in mind that it’s about 4.5 feet wide and 7 feet long. You might not be able to fit a queen size camping cot in one of these, but if it’s just you filling the space, it will feel quite roomy.

For some folks, 2 person tents are actually too big, especially if they’re counting ounces for solo backpacking trip. In the event you resonate with this, you’ll probably want to look into a one person tent, instead of continuing on with this review.

Weight

Another key factor to consider when buying any tent is the weight. This won’t be a big deal if you’re driving to a campground and pitching your tent within half a mile of your car, or if you don’t plan on moving around a lot. But if you’re going to be trekking any substantial distance, you’ll realize very quickly that every ounce counts.

You can expect most two person tents to be roughly 5 pounds, which isn’t terrible by any means. (For reference, the ever popular Coleman Sundome 2 person tent weighs in at about 7.5 pounds.) And if you have a good backpacking partner, they may offer to carry half of that weight!

Durability

tent by a lake


The last thing you want happening while out in the wilderness is a tent malfunction. Finding something that’s both durable and convenient is a must, and there are a few key factors to take into account when making this decision.

The first area to look at are the poles. Do you want aluminum or fiberglass? Are the sections linked together with an elastic shock cord for easy assembly? I prefer aluminum poles because of how light and sturdy they are, but fiberglass is a good alternative if you’re looking for something cheaper. Just make sure you aren’t planning any winter camping trips with fiberglass poles, as the cold weather can cause them to splinter.

Also research your tent’s rain fly, which is like an umbrella for your tent. If you’re camping during the popular summer months, it’s important to stay protected against any popup thunderstorms that might threaten to soak you overnight.

Water Resistance

tent pitched next to pine trees on a foggy evening with clouds

Remembering those pop up thunderstorms, keep in mind that no tent is completely waterproof. Most, if not all, are water resistant, but that’s not to say you won’t get a little damp if you fail to set your tent up properly. It’s always a good idea to use tarps and footprints to keep water out. You should also check to see if there are any places on the roof of your tent where water might pool. If you keep everything nice and taut, the water will roll right off, and you won’t have to worry about waking up in a puddle.

Ventilation

a tent pitched on a grassland with a mountain in the background

Good ventilation should also be at the top of your list, especially if you’re camping during the hotter months. The extra airflow will keep you from cooking – just make sure there’s a good mesh liner to keep those bugs out! You’ll appreciate the ventilation when it comes to preventing condensation buildup, as well. That breathing you like to do as you sleep? Yeah, the moisture in it tends to hang out on the inside of your tent walls, growing larger until little droplets start to form. Without adequate airflow, the condensation will start to fall on you like rain, making for a less than ideal night of sleep.

2 Person Tent Reviews

The North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent

  • Best For: Backpacking/Car Camping
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Tent Material: Polyester
  • Weight: 5.8 Pounds
  • Peak Height: 43 Inches
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Comes with Footprint: No

And you thought The North Face only made coats! Their Stormbreak tent is well designed, keeping to the standard of quality they maintain all their other products. With its two door, multipurpose vestibules, it’s easy to stash your gear out of the way when you’re not using it. There’s plenty of mesh for airflow, not to mention those double doors opening up for a cross breeze.

This tent has an easy setup, as the entire process can be done by yourself in about 5 minutes without too much difficulty. It also has a surprising amount of headroom, for a 2 person tent, and it’s long enough to stretch out comfortably during the night with room to spare.

The tent’s most impressive features, however, are its resistance to wind and rain. With a 3,000 mm polyurethane coating, you’ll stay nice and dry even in the middle of a downpour. You will want to purchase a footprint for those rainy nights, though, as one is not included with the tent.

Pros:

– High-low ventilation system for airflow
– Holds up well against the elements
– Plenty of pockets for storage
– Very affordable
– Roomy vestibules for gear storage

Cons:

– Doesn’t come with a footprint
– A little on the heavy side

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent

  • Best For: Backpacking/Car Camping
  • Pole Material: Easton Syclone
  • Tent Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 3.5 Pounds
  • Peak Height: 39 Inches
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Comes with Footprint: No


Though the name makes me laugh every time I say it, the Hubba Hubba is far from being a comedy act. As a spacious 2 person tent with a floor that doesn’t taper near the feet, it somehow manages to stay lighter than many of its competitors. At about 3.5 pounds, I would feel very comfortable going on a solo backpacking trip with this beast.

Thanks to the hub and pole system (my personal favorite setup for any tent), it’s incredibly easy to throw this shelter together. And when it’s time to break camp, the compression sack allows you to pack everything down to a nice, compact size. Sometimes the poles will leave exposed slivers from time to time, which is unfortunate, but they’re quite strong and durable overall. Whether it’s a strong windstorm or rain shower, the Hubba Hubba meets all the expectations you would hope to find in a tent this price.

Pros:

– Lightweight
– Hub and pole system
– Great headspace
– A couple large vestibules
– Large doors on each side

Cons:

– May have some issues with the poles when the product is shipped

Moon Lence Camping tent

  • Best For: Backpacking/Car Camping
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Tent Material: Polyester
  • Weight: 5.2 Pounds
  • Peak Height: 47.2 Inches
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Comes with Footprint: No

How would you feel if I told you there was a 2 person tent that actually fit 2 adults, but was still lightweight enough to carry with you anywhere? You’d probably think I was pulling your leg.

Well, Moon Lence did just that with their 2 person backpacking tent. At just over 5 pounds, it’s not “ultralight” by any means, but is still comfortable enough to bring wherever you might be setting up camp for the night. With two aluminum shock cord poles, not only is the tent durable in extreme weather, but it’s also easy to put together.

Another bonus is how water resistant the material is, even if it seems like the rain will never let up. With 11 alloy pegs and 4 guy ropes, you don’t need to worry about blowing away in strong wind gusts either. The large sections of mesh provide excellent ventilation, and getting in and out is easy to do with the D doors on either side of the tent.

Worried about the harmful radiation from the sun wearing your tent out faster? Don’t be. In addition to everything else, the tent material is UV resistant, so you don’t have to worry about the fabric losing its luster or waterproof coating.

Pros:

– Weather resistant
– Easy setup
– D doors for easy entry and exit
– UV protection
– Good ventilation

Cons:

– No footprint
– A little difficult to pack back up

Nemo Dagger 2 tent

  • Best For: Backpacking/Car Camping
  • Pole Material: DAC Featherlite NSL
  • Tent Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 3.8 Pounds
  • Peak Height: 42 Inches
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Comes with Footprint: No

Though on the expensive side, you certainly get what you pay for with Nemo’s Dagger tent. Weighing in at just over 3 pounds, it’s extremely light for a freestanding tent. But if you’re still worried about the extra pounds in your pack, the Dagger’s unique dual-stage stuff sack allows you to split the weight between you and a partner.

With plenty of space for two (something that can’t be said about all 2 person tents), you’ll have no problem staying comfortable at night. The mesh side walls offer ample ventilation and temperature control. And if it happens to be storming, there are protected strut vents at the top of each zipper flap.

If you’re a solo camper, don’t worry. This tent is light enough for you to carry on your own, and shouldn’t take you longer than 2 minutes to set up!

If anything ever breaks, rips or tears, Nemo does offer a lifetime warranty on this product so that you can feel confident using it aggressively. All you have to do is provide proof of purchase, and Nemo’s got you covered.

Pros:

– Freestanding
– 42 inch peak height for ample headroom
– Good for extreme weather
– Plenty of ventilation
– Can comfortably fit 2 people
– Easy to pitch
– Large vestibules

Cons:

– Price
– Zippers can snag easily

Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Tent

  • Best For: Backpacking/Car Camping
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Tent Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 2.5 Pounds
  • Peak Height: 39 Inches
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Comes with Footprint: No

Nothing says “svelte” quite like the Tiger Wall UL2 tent by Big Agnes. Sleek, elegant, and roomy, it’s the ultimate fair weather tent. You’ll have no trouble fitting yourself and your partner inside, if you don’t mind a snug fit. Otherwise, this ultralight tent is great for solo adventurers who are looking to get away from everything.

While not the most durable tent on the market, it will take care of you as long as you take care of it. If you’re constantly pitching it on jagged rocks, you might find that the material will start to form tiny tears.

What it lacks in durability, it more than makes up for in storage. With an oversized ceiling pocket, and plenty of other nooks and loops, you won’t run out of places to keep your gear out of the way and organized.

The single pole architecture also makes it ideal for campers who will be pitching their tent by themselves. Simple but effective, you should have no trouble getting your tent ready for the night.

Pros:

– Ultralight and sturdy
– Plenty of storage space
– Large rainfly
– Ample room between your feet and the tent wall
– Dry entry door design

Cons:

– Not ideal for extreme weather
– Thin material tears easily

Sea to Summit Telos TR2 Tent

  • Best For: Backpacking/Car Camping
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Tent Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 3.5 Pounds
  • Peak Height: 43.5 Inches
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Comes with Footprint: No

I’m just going to say right off the bat that I’m really impressed with the Sea to Summit Telos. Mostly, I feel this way because of how multifunctional it is, especially when it comes to the rainfly. You can have yourself fully covered when it’s raining, roll up the rainfly to the tension ridge for some stargazing, or convert it into a semi-open shelter affectionately called “hang out mode.” This versatility is incredibly handy, particularly because of how easy it is to switch between these 3 modes.

Aside from that, though, the unique pole design provides an increased amount of space inside by creating vertical walls. Even the doors are taller than what you would normally find in a 2 person tent, so the entire shelter feels very spacious. Ventilation is amazing, and adjustable as well, allowing you to set everything up just how you need it to be for your particular circumstance.

It doesn’t come with a footprint, so I would highly recommend purchasing one separately. Regardless of what tent you have, a footprint is great for extending the life of your shelter by reducing abrasions.

Pros:

– Rainfly can be used in multiple ways
– Lightweight and durable
– Vertical walls provide more space
– Very tall doors
– Great ventilation
– Fun “hang out mode” functionality

Cons:

– Doesn’t come with a footprint

Clostnature Lightweight 2 person tent

  • Best For: Backpacking/Car Camping
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Tent Material: Polyester
  • Weight: 3.7 Pounds
  • Peak Height: 36 Inches
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Comes with Footprint: No


If you’re worried about the weather booming and banging while you’re trying to sleep, this is the tent you’ll want to be in. Clostnature developed a true tank – with a PU 5000 coating, this tent is about as waterproof as you can get. It’s also one of the few tents that claims to prevent condensation build up and actually follows through on this promise. If, for some reason, the tent breaks or malfunctions, it comes with a lifetime warranty so you don’t have to worry about replacing anything.

With 2 D doors and a vestibule on each side, you won’t have trouble getting in or out of the tent or wonder where you’ll have to store your gear. The entire inner wall is mesh, so ventilation won’t be an issue. If it starts to rain, just toss on the rainfly and open up the two vents on top to keep air moving through.

The tent is light enough to carry with you and packs away well. You won’t have any trouble fitting it inside your backpack, making it ideal for long treks.

Pros:

– Durable
– Very waterproof
– Good for all seasons
– Large D doors for easy entry
– Sustainably made
– Lifetime warranty

Cons:

– Small interior pockets
– Stitching quality is hit or miss

Marmot Tungsten 2 Person Tent

  • Best For: Backpacking/Car Camping
  • Pole Material: Velocity HD
  • Tent Material: Polyester Tafetta
  • Weight: 5 Pounds
  • Peak Height: 42 Inches
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Comes with Footprint: Yes

Marmot is easily one of my favorite outdoor gear brands, simply because of how well made their products are. There’s always some special feature to take note of, and when it comes to the Tungsten 2 person tent, that would be the interior walls. They’re nearly vertical, as opposed to the sloping walls that are common among dome tents, which gives you a greater amount of space and headroom. Because of this, your 2 person tent will feel bigger than other similar products, without increasing the overall weight of the shelter.

Setup is incredibly simple, due to the color-coded clips and poles. Should you find yourself in rough weather, you’ll feel safe and secure inside of this tent, as it’s incredibly effective at keeping the wind and rain out. With 2 large vestibules, you’ll also be able to protect your gear during a rainstorm, while keeping the inside of the tent open for you and a partner.

Ventilation could be better, and it’s a tad bulky to try and carry by yourself, but it’s still a great backpacking or car camping tent. Especially if you split the weight between you and a friend!

Pros:

– Vertical walls for extra space
– Durable and strong against weather
– 2 large vestibules
– Weighs about 5 pounds
– Easy to put together

Cons:

– Ventilation needs improvement
– Stakes are flimsy

REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Person Tent

  • Best For: Backpacking/Car Camping
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Tent Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 4.5 Pounds
  • Peak Height: 42 Inches
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Comes with Footprint: Yes

The Half Dome series is one of REI’s best-selling tent lines, and it’s not hard to see why. Personally, I’ve used the Half Dome 3+ tent (a size bigger than this one, but essentially the same in every other way) in different climates and locations all over the US. Mostly, I find it to be a great option for car camping because of the spacious and comfortable design, though I have used it on a couple of backpacking trips as well.

If you plan on camping in a 2 person tent with someone else, you should generally plan on it being a tight squeeze. However, because the Half Dome is a 2+ person tent, you’ll have room to spare, allowing you to spread out a little more. Even the vestibules are pretty roomy, so if you don’t feel like keeping your gear inside with you, there’s plenty of space for it outside under the rainfly.

The first time I ever used my Half Dome, I was caught in a heavy rainstorm in the mountains of Colorado. The waterproofing held up wonderfully, and the durability of the tent was pretty impressive. Even when I was hit with 40 mph wind gusts the next night, I was never concerned about the shelter breaking or collapsing.

Pros:

– Spacious
– Very sturdy and durable
– Waterproofing works well
– Comfortable with lots of storage options
– Easy enough for one person to set up

Cons:

– A little bulky and heavy to be used as a backpacking tent for long distances

Nemo Hornet 2 Person Tent

  • Best For: Backpacking/Car Camping
  • Pole Material: Aluminum
  • Tent Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 2 Pounds
  • Peak Height: 37 Inches
  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Comes with Footprint: No

How would you feel if I told you there’s a 2 person tent out there that weighs less than many 1 person tents? What if I told mentioned that you’re reading a review on one of them right now?

As shocking as it might be, the Nemo Hornet only weighs a mere 2 pounds – you could even shave that down to 1 pound, 11 ounces if you just pack the minimum trail requirements. If you’ve ever owned an ultralight tent before, though, you know that they’re usually a little subpar when it comes to durability. Because the tent fabric is thinner to reduce weight, it’s more prone to tears and punctures. The Hornet is no different in this regard, so you’re bound to get some rips from time to time – however, I don’t see this as being too big of a negative. Because Nemo has such an awesome warranty and customer service, you’ll basically get a brand-new tent anytime something bad happens to your old one.

Simple to set up, and easy on the eyes with its sleek design, it’s an attractive tent in a lot of ways. The interior is a little tight for 2 people to sleep next to each other, but given the weight, you could definitely use it just for yourself.

Pros:

– Extremely lightweight
– Easy to put together
– Nemo has a great warranty
– Sleek design
– Very waterproof

Cons:

– Lacking in durability

FAQ

Is a Two Person Tent Right for Me?

Two person tents are a nice middle ground between the ultralight capabilities of a one person tent, and the roominess provided by a three person tent. However, this lack of specialization can leave you in limbo when it comes to both of these worlds.

A good two person tent is going to be lightweight, but it’s not ultralightweight, like many single person tents. If that’s going to be a problem for you, it’s worth looking at some smaller options instead.

Likewise, despite being roomier than a one person tent, they still can’t compare to a three person tent. People over 6 feet tall may find themselves feeling cramped, even with the extra space inside.

The weight of your shelter becomes a major consideration when you’re planning a trek with it. However, you also need something that can withstand the rugged elements, including strong wind gusts and pouring rain.

The Nemo Hornet is a two person tent that meets all the requirements for trekking. At 2 pounds, you’ll be hard pressed to find something lighter than this for the amount of space you get. And with its aerodynamic design, you won’t have to worry about it collapsing in the wind, and water will roll right off when its been set up properly.

When it comes to two person tents, the price range can vary dramatically. Overall, though, here’s roughly what you can expect to pay for a shelter like this:

Budget two person tents range between $50-$100. These are usually made with fiberglass poles, and have a relatively cheap feel to them, but are great for the occasional solo camping trip.

Average two person tents tend to fall between $100-$300. Perfect for car camping and a few short backpacking trips, this is where most two person tents land.

Ultralight two person tents will often cost $400+. These are for the hardcore backpackers who want to stay ultralight, without cutting back too much on interior space.

Whether or not a two person tent can actually fit two people depends on the tent…and the people. Some two person tents run small, and are more conducive for solo campers who want to keep their gear inside with them. Others are large enough to fit a couple average sized folks who aren’t afraid to get up close and personal. However, if you’re a big person (whether in width or length), you’re better off using it as a one man tent.

The Winner

When it comes to the best 2 person tent on the market, it’s hard to pick a favorite. It really comes down to what you’re looking for in a tent, and that varies by person.

Still, the tent that took the cake for us was the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 tent. Large, freestanding, and light, Sea to Summit outdid themselves in making a tent that covers all the bases. You’ll never have to worry about having enough room to fit you and your partner, and condensation is a thing of the past. You’ll have no trouble regulating the internal temperature, and picking it up is like holding a feather.

Whatever your camping plans look like, this tent has got your back, making it the perfect pick for anyone shopping for a new 2 person tent.

2 person tents too small for you? Check out our 3 person tent review!


Spencer Yeomans

Spencer Yeomans

A lover of the outdoors, and especially the mountains, Spencer has always enjoyed pushing people to step outside their comfort zones. His mission is to help others get out of their homes to have fun and stay active in nature.

1 thought on “Best Small 2 Person Tents for Camping or Backpacking”

  1. Great reviews!! I could have used your advice for a backpacking trip I made last October. I like the Big Agnes Tiger you suggested and will check it out.

    Thanks

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