If you are beginning to enjoy the great outdoors, then maybe it is time to invest in your gears. A reliable tent is one of the most important camping equipment that you need. It is especially critical if you often go on long hiking trips.
Spending the night in nature does not mean that you have to rough it. While the best backpacking tents under $100 are enough for novice hikers, these options will not last if you have regular trips. As such, you need to upgrade your gear to the next price point.
You do not have to spend a fortune on your next tent either. Now that you are no longer a beginner, you can explore features that you cannot find in basic tents. However, you are still testing out your gear, so it is not economical to buy an expensive one.
In this article, we are going to explore the best mid-level entry backpacking tents under $200. Do not forget to read our buying guide as well. We also compiled some of the most common questions that you might have too. Check it out!
Overview of the Best Backpacking Tents Under $200
First, let us take a quick look at the best backpacking tents under $200. We’ve rated the tents based on their prices, features, and functionalities. At this price point, most options that you have are one-person and two-person tents.
Our Favorite Backpacking Tents Under $200
The best backpacking tent under $200 should be able to balance basic features, price, and some extra functionalities. Below is an in-depth review of the tents to help you choose an upgrade for your next trip.
Let’s start with the best camping gear for solo hikers. Paria Outdoor’s Bryce one-person Ultralight tent is the perfect backpacker tent if you want comfort without the added weight. It comes with a trail weight of only around 2 pounds (not including the footprint). That means it is easy to bring in your backpack.
The tent is definitely an upgrade even from the best budget backpacking option out there. The footprint is included, so you will not have to spend extra. It is made of 40D ripstop silnylon/PU, which is thick enough to withstand a rough ground.
The fly is made of premium 20D ripstop silnylon/PU, which is a durable material. Additionally, the included poles and stakes are constructed of 7000-series aluminum alloy. That means you do not have to worry about the construction of your tent in the wilderness.
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent is the best backpack tent if you are looking for an all-around gear. The tent fits two people comfortably. Additionally, it includes two doors for easy entry and exit for each occupant. They are also made of mesh fabric, which ensures air circulation while providing reasonable protection.
The included rain fly is quite easy to pull down. That means you do not have to worry about sudden downpours. It is made of a waterproof material that ensures that you stay dry and warm inside.
The backpacking tent includes two vestibules which extend the livable space when the weather is nice. It also functions as extra storage for your bags and gears. This increases the livability of the internal part of the tent. With a peak height of 43 inches, it increases airflow and comfort even when the doors are closed.
ALPS Mountaineering Trail Tipi 2-Person Tent is a unique looking backpacking tent that will surely catch anyone’s attention. However, the design is not only for aesthetics. It has one of the tallest headroom at about 4 feet and 5 inches at the center. Coupled with the 38 square feet of internal space, it is one of the most spacious camping tents on this list.
If you like spending time outside most of the year, the tent can withstand three seasons. However, it should be noted that it is not a freestanding tent. That means you need to allot some time to properly secure it with the included ropes and stakes.
The fabric is made of 75D 185T polyester with a 1500 mm coating, which is strong and durable. Along with the design, it can withstand heavy rainfall without affecting the livability of the backpacking tent. It is also quite comfortable with the 360 degrees of mesh ventilation.
Eureka Midori 2 is a great affordable option if you are looking for the best gear for your backcountry trips. Its spacious interior is perfect for two people. The dome design is supported by an offset ridge pole to increase the space.
The tent is quite easy to set up even by novice backpackers. It includes a shock-corded aluminum frame, posts, grommets, and clips. While it comes with many parts and accessories, it only weighs about 4 pounds and 13 ounces.
It is perfect for three seasons, which is a suitable upgrade from a basic tent. The floor area measures about 30.6 square feet, which increases its livability. With a height of 3 feet and 6 inches, you can comfortably sit inside even with two occupants.
Marmot is a popular outdoor brand with a line of high-quality products. And, Crane Creek 2-Person Ultra Lightweight Tent is made with the same standards. The lightweight tent is best for hikers, climbers, and campers. It packs light with a maximum weight of 4 pounds and 6.5 ounces.
The interior space measures about 32 square feet, which comfortably fits two adults. It includes two D-shaped doors that maximize the space for better entry and exit. There are two overhead vestibules that serve as extra storage space for your gear. That means you do not have to share your living space with your bags.
Even the most novice campers can set up the Marmor Crane Creek. It includes color-coded, easy pitch poles, fly, and clips. The pole is constructed with HD Velocity 7000 Series aluminum, which means it will not easily break.
REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint is a revamped version of the older version, Passage 2. It can comfortably fit two people with its 31 square feet of internal space. It also comes with a peak height of 40 inches, which means moving inside the tent is not going to be a problem.
Additionally, it includes two stake-out vestibules that provide gear storage. The vestibule area is about 19 square feet and can also serve as a living space during sunny weather. The two doors also ensure that the tent will not feel too cramped even with full capacity.
The three-season tent was designed with comfort in mind. The fly door rolls up over the roof if you want a nice view of the sky. It also improves the tent’s venting and prevents any moisture build-up. The additional ceiling vents also enhances airflow.
The North Face Stormbreak 2 is a great backpacking tent if you are a tall person. It peaks at around 43 inches, which is maximized with the dual cross pole designs. Combined with the 87 by 53 inches floor space, it is more than comfortable for two adults.
We like how it is easy to set up. The standard X-pole design slides easily into the grommets in each corner and at the top. The tent and fly are color-coded to make it easy to orient during the setup. Staking and attaching the fly is also quite easy compared to other tents.
While it has its strengths and advantages, the North Face Stormbreak 2 is also one of the bulkiest backpacking tents in this list. It is also a bit hefty at around 5 pounds and 14 ounces when packed. It makes it up for being relatively more affordable.
If you are looking for a backpacking tent that is towards the affordable end of under $200 price point, then Kelty Late Start 2. It can be considered as the best budget backpacking tent as it does not skimp on features. Additionally, it is also easy to bring on your long hikes as it is lightweight at just about 4.5 pounds.
The tent configuration allows easy setup of the tent. Instead of grommets, the corners have sleeves where you can easily insert the pole ends. The standard two-pole construction should be familiar to any adventurers. The rain fly is also easy to orient.
Kelty Late Start 2 is a competitor for the best lightweight tents in this list. At 4 pounds and 6 ounces, it can be carried during your long trips. The pack size is about 7 by 16 inches, which means it is easy to fit into your bag.
Marmot reappears in this list for the second time and rightly so. The Tungsten two-person combines comfort, livability, and durability in one tent. It is quick to set up with the color-coded “easy pitch” clips even during bad weather conditions. These are also strategically placed to provide a large interior space at 30.6 sq ft.
The tent also offers great weather protection with a full-coverage rain fly. It comes with vents to minimize moisture build-up inside. Additionally, the seam-taped, catenary-cut flooring ensures that you stay dry inside the tent even during heavy downpours.
It includes two large doors to make entry and exit much easier. There is a door around each door that adds extra storage space. We like the included footprint made with 68d Polyester Taffeta 190T 2000mm F/R.
The under $200 budget makes it a bit easy to find a tent that can accommodate more than two people. Mountainsmith Genesee 4 Person tent certainly fits the bill. The 56 square feet internal space can technically fit four people, but it will be a bit snug.
The two vestibules extend the livable space to about 21 square feet, which is also a great storage space for boots and other gear. The three-season tent is perfect for anyone who is looking to expand their adventures beyond summer. The internal mesh walls ensure comfort during warm weather.
The poles are constructed with anodized Yunan 7000 series aluminum alloy, which can withstand rough use. The fly is made of 2000 mm waterproof 185T polyester, which ensures protection during rainy days. The combination of these makes the overall build of the tent suitable for any climate except winter.
Backpacking Tents Under $200 – A Buying Guide
While our pick of the ten backpacking tents under $200 are some of the best options in the market, we would advise you to check out options. Take a look at the features below when choosing your next tent.
Construction and Material
Construction and material are important as they contribute to the tent’s ability to last through different types of weather. For the best tents at the $200 price point, you should expect a decent overall build. If you have scheduled trips throughout the year, then you should pay attention to these characteristics of the tent.
The poles, clips, and other parts used to support the entire tent should be made with strong and durable material. Ideally, you should consider poles made of aluminum as these can withstand rough use. Others are made of fiberglass, which is generally strong but can break with regular use.
The fabric should be made of thick material with a waterproof coating. Tents are typically made from polyester, nylon, cotton, polycotton, or other similar fabrics. They should be coated for better waterproofing and weatherproofing. Take special note of the floor as it should be made of fabric that is between 40D-70D fiber thickness. Thicker fabrics can withstand rough camping grounds.
Weight is another consideration that depends on whether you are going on a solo, duo, or group trips. You do not want to be lugging around a heavy tent pack, especially during hikes. The poles, clips, floor, rain fly, and other parts contribute to the overall pack weight of the tent.
Lightweight tents are between four to five pounds, which are easy to divide between two people. If you are going on a solo trip, consider an ultralight tent, which is 2.5 pounds on average. A family tent is about 15 pounds and up, which is reasonable if you are bringing a vehicle during the trip.
The construction and material of the tent contribute to its ability to last through various types of weather. Your tent will limit your opportunities to schedule your trip throughout the year.
Cheaper options are usually one or two season tents. These are meant for warm weather with occasional rains. They may come with a rain fly, but they only serve as dew protection at night. The trade-off results in lighter tents, but you cannot consider them as your go-to gear.
This best camping tent at this price range should give you decent three or four-season options. Three season tents are enough to be your all-around tent. They can withstand fairly heavy rain, wind, and even a bit of snow without getting too stuffy during summer months.
Four season tents can be found at higher prices. But, unless you are planning on long trips during winter, buying a four-season tent is a bit overdoing it. They can also be a bit heavier, which can be difficult, especially if you are on a solo hike.
Livability and Capacity
Spending the night in nature does not mean sacrificing your comfort. While capacity is a good indication of the level of comfort that the tent provides, it can be misleading. A three-person backpacking tent might be a bit snug in full capacity.
Instead of capacity, consider the floor area and peak height instead. This means breaking out the measuring tape to ensure that you fit inside the tent. But, it is worth the effort if it means comfortable interior space.
You may also want to ensure that the tent allows proper air circulation to prevent moisture build-up. If you are going on a trip with someone, two large doors are definitely essential for better accessibility. Some of the best budget backpacking tents also come with gear storage, such as interior pockets. This means you do not have to share the livable space with your bags.
How Should I Store a Tent?
Store the tent in a cool, dry place during your offseason. A camping tent usually comes with a storage sack, which is a poor choice for storage. Other parts, such as tent poles, may deteriorate faster when left inside a tight sack. Keep it loose by storing it inside a bigger mesh bag or a pillowcase.
How Should I Clean a Tent?
Clean the tent using cold water to remove dust, sand, and other debris. You can use a mild soap to spot clean dirt from the fabric. Use mineral oil or alcohol-based products to remove sap.
How To Prevent Moisture and Mildew?
Prevent moisture and mildew by making sure that the camping tent is dry before storing it. If the weather permits, let the backpacking tent dry before packing it after camp. If not, take the first chance to hang it dry or set it up to prevent further damage during the trip. This will also prevent unpleasant smells from building up.
After your trip, clean it first. Fully dry the tent by setting it up in your backyard, preferably under shade. If not possible, let it air dry inside your house. If you have limited space, hang it dry while making sure that the fabric will not rip.
How Long Does a Tent Last?
On average, a backpacking tent should last about ten years. However, there are different factors that can contribute to its lifespan. If cleaned and stored properly, even a budget backpacking tent should last you more than its average lifespan.
Should I Get a Footprint?
Not all backpacking tents come with a footprint. While the floor is made of thick fabric, leakage is still possible if you pitch in particularly rough ground. While a footprint is not necessary, it can prolong the lifespan of your tent.
If you have an ultra-lightweight camping tent, then a footprint is a good investment. Even the best budget tent cannot last through repeated abuse from pebbles, debris, twigs, and other sharp edges on the ground.
Camping tents under $200 will provide you with great features and more functionalities. Most are three-season tents, which means you can take them to your trips all year round. Some may even come with storage options such as mesh pockets or gear lofts.
Just like any gear, the perfect tent will depend on your budget, usage, and desired features. If you are looking for your go-to tent, then REI Co-op Passage 2 is a great option. It may be one of the most expensive on this list, but we like that it comes with a footprint already.
The North Face Stormbreak 2, Eureka Midori 2, and Marmot Crane Creek are great runner ups. They come with their respective shortcomings, such as lacking footprint, heavy trail weight, or subpar pack fabric. But, their features more than make up for these issues.
You can always start from the functionalities that you need the most during your trips. Do you prefer roomier tents? Or an ultra-lightweight trail weight for your long trips? Perhaps a family tent? Let your needs guide you to ensure that you will get your money’s worth.