What Is The Best Freestanding Backpacking Tent?

Are you looking for the best freestanding backpacking tent? If so, you are in the right place. Whether you are camping solo or you are camping with someone else, you can be sure that, there is a tent that will fit whatever your specific needs are. There are some unmatched qualities that a backpacking tent has over any other tent and that is weight. Having this type of tent ensures that you will not be limited to where you can go, what you can do, or how far you can travel because you have a tent that is just too bulky or heavy.







Check Price

3.94 Pounds

36 x 90 x 32 inches


4 Pounds 16 Ounces

36 x 44 x 86 inches


4 Pounds 12 Ounces

56 x 92 x 43 inches


5.55 Pounds

41 x 74 x 89 inches


5.6 Pounds

55 x 43 x 88 inches


What You Need To Know Before Your Camping Trip

No matter what type of tent you have or are interested in getting, there are a few things you need to know before you actually make your purchase.

How Many People Will Be Camping With You? 

Are you going to be camping alone or with someone else? This is definitely an important thing to think about when picking your backpacking tent because you want to make sure you have enough room for yourself or anyone else that is camping with you.

It is also good to think about the long term so you can keep your tent for a long time and get the best value from it. Will you have more people camping with you in the future? Will you be backpacking with your dog? Another important factor to consider is storage. You will want to make sure that not only does your tent fit you and whomever you may bring, but any luggage that you or a another person may have as well. It also sometimes may be best to go with a backpacking tent that is a little bigger than what you think you might need, just to be sure.

What Will The Weather Be Like?

Most backpacking tents are 3 season, which means that they are great for the Spring, Summer and fall. If you are going to be camping during the Spring you definitely want to make sure you choose a tent that has tough fabric and that is durable against rain. Polyester or nylon fabric would be great for this season, and making sure you have a durable rainfly is crucial as well. If you are camping in the summer you want to make sure that you have a tent with excellent ventilation that can provide a substantial amount of airflow. That means purchasing a tent with preferably plenty of mesh windows and or a mesh door. If you plan on camping in the fall, you want to make sure that your tent can keep you warm during the cold weather. You may want to look for a tent with very few mesh windows and make sure it is properly sealed so no air can seep through.

Important Features You Should Consider When Choosing Your Backpacking Tent

Tent Poles

One of the features that adds to the durability of a tent are the poles Ideal tent poles are going to be light and strong. The main types of poles for backpacking tents are fiberglass, aluminum and carbon fiber.


These types of poles are very lightweight and they are the cheapest option for tent poles. They are not nearly as durable as aluminium or carbon fiber. If you are looking to camp under multiple weather conditions, this pole type may not be the best option for you. Fiberglass is best used when the weather is not going to be changing and you are not going to be moving from campsite to campsite, as these poles to deteriorate pretty fast.

Carbon Fiber 

These poles can be quite expensive but they are able to withstand heavy winds, while being flexible and strong.


These are the lightest type of poles that you can buy and they are very durable and can withstand heavy winds and different terrains. They are fairly common with mid-range to high-end type of tents and are used with mostly dome and tunnel tents.

Tent Material

Another very important factor that contributes to durability is the material of your tent. There are three main types of materials for tent and they are nylon, rip stop nylon, and polyester.


This is a great quality material for tents because it does not absorb water which means this material is essentially waterproof, but water can sometimes pass through gaps in the fabric but the good thing about nylon is that it can be further waterproofed by coating the material with polyurethane.

Rip-Stop Nylon 

This type of nylon is essentially “rip proof” and that is because of the heavy fiber that is made into the material and in the event the material does happen to get a rip, this stops it from traveling.


In a lot of ways polyester is very similar to Nylon except the UV protection on it is better and the material is pretty heavy.


While you are camping, you should be able to move around freely and with ease. When it comes to pitching your tent, it should be as easy and fast as possible, because backpacking tents are lighter they tend to be easier to set-up and especially if they are instant set-up.

Extra Features You Should Consider


Making sure your rainfly is durable is really important especially if you plan on camping in rainy or windy weather. There are rainflys that cover just the roof of your tent and there are others that cover your entire tent.


If you are camping alone, one door may be just fine for you but if you find yourself camping with another person or multiple people you may want a 2 door tent instead for easy access in and out of the tent.

Storage Pockets 

Having extra space for your camping gear is important and there are a lot of tents that come with extra storage pockets and interior loops, it is definitely something that may be worth checking for.

The Top 5 Freestanding Backpacking Tents

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent




Our Rating

The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent is a best selling dome style backpacking tent that weighs 3.94 Pounds and is an ideal tent for a backpacker. This tent is equipped with one door and is made from a durable polyester material. The dimensions are 36 x 90 x 32 inches and has a floor area of 20 square feet. Perfect for a solo backpacker.

  • Extra large zippers makes it easier to zip and unzip
  • Equipped with factory seal, fly and floor seam to protect you against leaks
  • Pole clips easily attach to aluminium poles for quick set-up
  • Included is a vestibule for extra storage space
  • Inexpensive
  • Poly taffeta floor with 2000mm coating, which essentially makes the floor waterproof
  • This tent could be a bit tight if you are over 6 feet tall
  • UV protection is a little low and can get hot if you are in the sun too long

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1-Person Tent




Our Rating

The Zephyr 1-Person tent is an awesome backpacking tent that weighs 4 pounds 16 ounces, equipped with aluminium poles and has a floor area of 23 square feet. This tent has a 2 pole design and has dimensions of 36 x 44 x 86 inches, so you can be sure you will have a sufficient amount of space.

  • Ventilation within this tent is excellent because it has walls that are completely made of mesh
  • There is a vestibule over the door, a great place to place your extra storage
  • The 2 pole design gives you a lot of headroom
  • The door is placed on the end of the tent for easy entry and exit
  • Easy and Quick Set-up
  • May not be the best choice for long hikes
  • The rain-fly may start to leak if it rains too much

Mountainsmith Morrison 2-Person 3 Season Tent




Our Rating

The Mountainsmith Morrison 2-Person 3 Season Tent is a two door, 35 square foot tent that is 4 pounds 12 ounces and has a peak height of 43 inches. The tent poles are made from aluminum and are very durable. With this tent you can rest assured that you will have the durability and the space you need to have an awesome camping trip.

  • Simple clip pole attachment, which creates easy set-up and better breath-ability
  • Tent fly ventilation windows are included
  • The floor has a bathtub style construction, which adds to the comfortability and helps protect against floor leaks
  • The Set-Up instructions are printed on the stuff sack, so you do not lose them
  • The gear loft can be removed to make extra space
  • Mesh storage pockets are included
  • Because the tent poles are aluminum, they are durable against winds but may snap easily during set-up or take-down
  • The windows could be an issue when it is cold outside
  • The position of the fly on this particular tent blocks easy entry and exit
  • If there are points of pressure the zipper may bind

Kelty Salida 2 Tent




Our Rating

The Kelty Salida 2 Tent is a 3 season, dome style tent that is 5.6 pounds and has a vast array of features. The 75D polyester material, ensures durability through rain and strong winds. The dimensions of this tent are 55 x 43 x 88 inches and with a vestibule area of 10 square feet, you will have a sufficient amount of space for not only you and another camper, but for your gear as well.

  • Mesh tent walls allow for a substantial amount of airflow throughout the tent
  • Color coded pole clips, so there is no confusion during set-up
  • Convenient roll top cube carrying bag
  • The polyester is UV resistant
  • No-see-um mesh helps reduce condensation and keep bugs out
  • The tips of the aluminum poles are plastic, which means they could snap fairly easily
  • The stakes can be broken without much force
  • Ventilation is greatly decreased once the fly is put on

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent




Our Rating

The ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent is a 5.55 pound backpacking tent that has a floor area of 40 square feet and is equipped with aluminum poles. This tent has a dome shape and the dimensions are 41 x 74 x 89 inches. Space and comfort-ability are two of the main qualities of this tent.

  • The tent poles are strong and durable
  • Included are two doors so no one has to step over the other person
  • Equipped is a gear loft, vestibules and mesh storage pockets for extra storage space
  • Easy set-up, only one person needed
  • The tent floor is thin, so a footprint may be needed
  • The tent has a tendency to leak through the rain-fly


When it comes to freestanding backpacking tents, there are many attributes that make a great quality tent including, design, durability, space, ease of use and several other factors but when you put all of these qualities together you get one amazing, high quality tent.

I recommend the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent as the best choice. It has all the qualities that you could ever want in a backpacking tent while still being affordable.

About the Author Kyle Grey

Hey Everyone! My name is Kyle Grey and I am the guy behind outdoor intensity. I am an avid camper and have been camping for well over 10 years. Camping and the outdoors is something that I am super passionate about and because of that I decided to share my experience and knowledge that I have gained over the past 10 years.

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