Finding a good backpacking tent can be tricky. By design, camping tents must be durable, easy to assemble, and as close to waterproof as possible. But, backpackers also demand that their tents be lightweight to boot. Packing so many features into a compact, featherweight design isn’t easy, especially when that design needs to be roomy enough to sleep three. If you’re in the market for a 3-person backpacking tent, we’ve rounded up the best tent options in 2021.
There is no one best 3-person backpacking tent. But, Big Agnes comes close with its Copper Spur HV UL backpacking tent. It boasts the same features that make its smaller, two-person sibling great, including large side doors, ample headroom, and solid all-around weather resistance. At less than four pounds, it’s also relatively lightweight. It’s a snug fit for three campers, but for those willing to sacrifice a little floor space for portability, it’s damn near perfect.
With a minimum trail weight of more than six pounds, Marmot’s Limelight 3P is one of the heaviest on this list. But, what it lacks in portability, it makes up for in features. It offers a generous, 48-inch peak height, more than 40 square feet of floor space, and two oversized entry doors. Plus, dual vestibules and a highly water-repellent shell ensure both you and your gear stay dry in even the worst conditions.
The Stormbreak 3 backpacking tent offers the reliability and versatility that The North Face is known for. It features a classic design with oversized doors and plenty of screen for panoramic views of the great outdoors. Plus, a solo camper can easily pitch it in minutes. The complete kit weighs north of 6.5 pounds, but the clever modular design allows for a minimum “Fastpack Weight” of just 4 pounds, 5 ounces.
MSR has long been known as one of the most innovative brands in the outdoor gear space. The Mutha Hubba NX3 backpacking tent is a testament to that with a long feature set that includes a sturdy, weather-resistant design, twin StayDry doors with built-in rain gutters, and dual vestibules for stashing plenty of gear. It pitches and packs up easily and, with a minimum trail weight of just over four pounds, is one of the lightest 3-person backpacking tents on the market.
Mountain Hardwear’s Mineral King 3 is an ideal all-in-one solution for those looking to buy just one tent. It’s roomy enough for car campers but light enough for extended trips into the backcountry. With more than 42 square feet of floor space and a 48-inch peak interior height, it offers plenty of room for three campers or two campers who like to spread out with lots of gear. It’s a steal at around $300 with the footprint included.
Another excellent backpacking tent in Marmot’s lineup, the Tungsten 3P is purpose-built for maximum durability and water resistance. The freestanding design features twin D-shaped doors and vestibules with plenty of room for your best camping gear. Color-coded Easy Pitch clips and poles make setup a snap. We also love the built-in lampshade pocket that holds your headlamp, turning it into a hands-free overhead light.
We’ve long been fans of everything REI Co-op, and its iconic Half Dome SL 3+ backpacking tent is a good reason why. The latest design weighs more than a pound less than the previous model while retaining all the features that made the original great. The clever design provides nearly 50 square feet of living space — more than enough room for three campers with gear. Thanks to featherweight aluminum poles and superlight construction all-around, the entire kit boasts a minimum trail weight of under five pounds.
For hikers and backpackers on a budget, Eureka’s Midori 3-Person tent is a solid mid-range shelter. It offers many of the same great features as its premium competition that costs twice as much. The new-for-2021 model is more spacious than its predecessor, with 44 square feet of living space. With a minimum trail weight of nearly 6.5, it’s the least portable option on this list. But, at less than $240, it’s hard to complain.
If you value affordability above all else, Kelty’s Ashcroft 3-Person Dome Tent is one of the least expensive camp shelters with room for three. The 68-denier nylon shell and full-coverage rainfly ensure campers stay dry in all but the worst conditions. Lightweight aluminum poles and pre-attached guylines make setup a snap, even for a solo camper. Did we mention it’s just over $100?
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