Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The 7 Best Budget Backpacking Tents in 2022

Getting into a new outdoor activity isn’t cheap. If you’re new to backpacking you’ll need a reliable tent, a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad, and a backpack to carry it all. Add in a stove and trekking poles and it can add up. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best budget backpacking tents to help you get out on the trail and have fun without breaking the bank. Each of these camping tents retails for under $300 and they range from 1-person to 4-person tents.

Just because they’re budget tents doesn’t mean they’re not high quality. Tents from the best outdoor camping brands such as Big Agnes, Nemo, REI, and Marmot all appear on this list. When choosing the best tent to buy, spending less often means carrying more weight when it comes to backpacking gear, if that’s a concern you might want to go with our best lightweight budget backpacking tent. But all of these tents are sure to get you outdoors and protect you from the elements. If you want more info on backpacking in general, you might also check out our beginner’s ultimate guide to backpacking. But without further ado, here are our suggestions for the best budget backpacking tents.

Related Guides

Best Budget 1-Person Backpacking Tent – Marmot Tungsten 1

Marmot has done some smart things with the design of this tent to help it feel more roomy. Vertical walls, strategic clip placement, and catenary cut floors provide more floor space and head room. Despite being a budget tent this one weighs in at 3 lbs 12 oz and packs down to 6 x 20 inches, leaving plenty of room for all your other gear in your pack. Some other benefits are an included footprint, color coded clips for easy setup, and interior pockets to keep your gear organized.

Best Budget 1.5-Person Tent – ALPS Mountaineering Mystique 1.5

Image used with permission by copyright holder

You don’t often see 1.5-person tents. But 1-person tents can be kind of cramped sometimes, especially if you have a lot of gear or a dog along for the hike. The Mystique is a great option for backpackers wanting a little more space without carrying the weight of a 2-person tent. Other benefits of this tent is a taffeta rainfly that resists UV damage and can vent to adjust the temperature.

Best 3-Person Budget Backpacking Tent – Nemo Aurora 3

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Nemo Aurora has a packed size of 23 x 7.5 inches which is not too much bigger than the Exped 2. Not bad considering this is a 3-person tent. Where the Aurora scores big points though is its interior space. Floor dimensions of 88 x 72 inches provide 44 sq ft of space with a head height of 44 inches. With two doors and two vestibules you’ll be able to enter and exit this tent easily and store your gear out of the elements.

Best 4-Person Budget Backpacking Tent – Coleman Sundome 4

Image used with permission by copyright holder

As a kid we had all sorts of Coleman camping gear, including a 4-person tent. It was the right amount of space for the family to hang out in and came with the reliability of the Coleman brand. Coleman is a classic name in the outdoor industry and their Sundome is tried and true. Large windows make this a great tent for those warmer summer trips when you want a little breeze. A center height of 4 ft 11 inches means you’ll have lots of space to move around, change clothes, or hang out. Best of all this tent is only $99.

Best Packable Budget Backpacking Tent – Six Moons Lunar Solo

Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s hard to find an ultralight tent for under $300 but Six Moons has done it. Weighing in at 1.6 lbs and packing down to 11 x 4.5 inches you’ll hardly notice you’re carrying this tent. With a unique hexagonal shape and 49 inches of head room, Six Moons has optimized the interior space giving you room to sleep in comfort. 40D nylon makes for a rugged floor and mesh lining provides ventilation. This tent does require one trekking pole to set up and has won a ton of awards so its certainly worth checking out.

Best Minimalist Budget Backpacking Tent – Marmot Agate 2

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Not for everybody or every situation, the Marmot Agate 2 Person Tent is perfect for the minimalist backpacker anticipating great weather. This tent can be pitched with an included pole, or with your trekking poles meaning you’ll carry less weight overall. Weighing in at 1 lb 6.5 oz this tent won’t slow you down and packs to 6 x 23.5 inches leaving plenty of space to carry your other gear. And with a 42-inch center height, you’ll have room to sit up and move about. For those backpackers looking to shave off some serious weight, this is the tent for you.


Benjamin Buckingham
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ben lives in Portland, Oregon where he works as a freelance writer and outdoor guide.
The 7 best Big Green Egg accessories in 2024
Big Green EGGmit BBQ gloves used to cook shellfish.

As far as grills go, the Big Green Egg is incredible. You can use it to cook virtually anything. It's the American version of a Mushikamado, a versatile, southern Japanese, wood- or charcoal-fueled stove. Because of materials, and its design, it can reach temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That's impressive. But as impressive as it is, any professional or skilled griller knows it's the accessories that you use with your grill that make the task worthwhile. From spatulas to meat thermometers, there are a host of options out there, and they all have something to offer you. No serious barbecue chef should be without a good set of tools -- Big Green Egg accessories included -- and here's how you can save big while beefing up your arsenal:
EGGmit BBQ Glove

The Big Green Egg operates at extreme temperatures, so you don't want to be touching it, or the grill surface, with your bare hands. The solution is to wear some EGGmit barbecue gloves designed to protect your hands, wrists, and lower arms. They can withstand temperatures of up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (246 degrees Celsius). While that's not the maximum temp that the Big Green Egg supports, those resistances are high enough to keep you protected while grilling on your beloved cooker.

Read more
From the French Alps to Moab, Utah, these are the 7 best mountain biking destinations to put on your bucket list
Mountain biker silhouette against the sunset concept for achievement, conquering adversity and exercising

Climate and geography are two of the determining factors in finding the next trail to bike through. That's something most bikers would agree on and something beginners to mountain biking should know. Whether you are looking for a muscle-burning climb, an adrenaline-rushing descent, an obstacle-dodging challenge, or heart-pounding speed, you'll find it at one of these top mountain biking destinations, all of which will give you the things you're looking for once your tires hit the trail. Oh! And don’t forget your helmet! And with some of these trails, you’re definitely going to want to wear one.

Must-see destinations from the saddle
Even if you can only do it one time in your life, if you're a gearhead (in the bicycle world) and a lover of nature, you must check off these mountain biking destinations from your list.

Read more
Think you know the best campfire wood? These 7 wood options might have you thinking twice
Stay away from green wood, of course
A smoldering campfire heating up an iron pot in the dusk

Knowing how to build a fire is an essential skill in both recreational and survivalist situations. But if you want to make the most of your fire, considering the type of wood you're using can help you optimize it.
This is useful if you have a small amount of wood, are in an extremely cold environment, want to practice fire safety or plan on cooking meals outdoors. The wrong wood could be too smoky, burn out quickly, or even explode into sparks.
On the other hand, using the wrong wood might not give off enough heat, only produce smoke, and take forever to cook things.
You don't need to be a tree expert to figure out which wood is best for you. Rather, it's best to stick to these top options. They all offer a consistent hot burn, but they also come with unique features that you may find more helpful depending on what you plan on doing near the fire.
So here's a list of the best wood for campfires to use the next time you're warming up under the vast night sky.

Understanding hardwood vs softwood
I know I said you didn't have to learn everything about trees to understand firewood. But you do need to understand one fundamental difference, and that's the distinction between hardwood and softwood.
Softwood is a faster-burning, lighter wood that ignites at a low temperature. This makes them easier to get started and means that you'll get lots of bright, fast-catching flames.
Hardwood logs come from deciduous trees and tend to be much denser than their counterpart. These heavy logs will take a while to heat up and give off more smoke in the process. With patience, hardwood will create a tremendous amount of radiant heat due to its long-lasting burn.
As you can see, these types of wood can make a huge difference in how your fire burns. If you know you want your fire to burn quickly so you can enjoy a quick outdoor meal, go with softwood. If you want to stay by the fire for over an hour, hardwood will work best.
It's a good rule of thumb to go with hardwood if you can't decide. This is because hardwood tends to burn more efficiently, and although it may be harder to start, it can withstand winds, light rain, and even snow.

Read more