Backpacker shown from behind in a misty forest.

Home > Tents

Best budget 2 person tent: review and buyer’s guide

Best Festival Tent
Extremely easy to set up and affordable, ideal for festival-goers and car campers who don’t want to waste a minute of their time.
Best Car Camping Tent
Coleman’s handy little Sundome tent is a great choice for first-time campers, thanks to its low cost and intuitive design.
Best Budget All-Rounder
A small, relatively lightweight tent with independent doors and vestibules for couples who go camping.

Wilderness Redefined is reader supported. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Last Updated: April 23, 2021

Are you ready to find out the BEST budget 2 person tent for you? If so, you’re in the right place!

Camping can be expensive to get started. We’ve spent a lot of the spring preparing our mates for getting out there. Now we’re going to pass on everything we’ve learned to you, dear reader.

Whether you want something to try backpacking for the first time, or if you’re looking for a tent you can take to music festivals, we’ve got you covered.

So stick around and get ready to save as we cover these bargain tents.

Product

Review

Rating

Price

Best Car Camping Tent

Coleman’s handy little Sundome tent is a great choice for first-time campers, thanks to its low cost and intuitive design.

5.0/5.0

Best Festival Tent

Extremely easy to set up and affordable, ideal for festival-goers and car campers who don’t want to waste a minute of their time.

4.7/5.0

Best Budget All-Rounder

A small, relatively lightweight tent with independent doors and vestibules for couples who go camping.

4.5/5.0

Best for Beginner Backpackers

A slightly lighter option than the Bessport, this is also a great budget backpacking tent with great water-resistance.

4.5/5.0

Most Durable

Fully mesh-fabric inner walls for amazing ventilation. Ideal for enjoying the summer and watching the stars.

4.3/5.0

Most Versatile Option

Fantastic and spacious igloo design option for campers with vertical walls.

4.3/5.0

Best for Summer

Fully mesh-fabric inner walls for amazing ventilation. Ideal for enjoying the summer and watching the stars.

4.1/5.0

Best Not-So-Budget Option

At a slightly higher price, but an ultralight tent that offers amazing quality for the price.

4.0/5.0
Table of Contents

Quick Recommendation

If you don’t have the time to read our full review just now, that’s fine. Our favorite budget tent we reviewed was the Coleman Sundome.

Although it might not be the most accomplished tent, it ticks enough boxes for us to be a general recommendation. It’s too heavy to take backpacking but it’s great for car camping trips and music festivals.

What about campers looking to head into the hills?

For campers looking for a budget backpacking tent then we recommend the NatureHike Cloud-Up. It’s a low-cost but high-quality tent that will keep you sheltered on backpacking trips.

Reviews of the Best 2-Person Tent Models in 2021 

Here are the full details of the best 2-person tent models on the market right now.

Best Car Camping Tent

Coleman Sundome Dome Tent (2/3/4/6 Person)

Coleman’s handy little Sundome tent is a great choice for first-time campers, thanks to its low cost and intuitive design.

Weight: 7.3 pounds | Dimensions: 7’ (W) x 5’ (L) x 4’ (H) | Carry Bag Dimensions: 6″ (H) x 6″ (W) x 24″ (L) | Doors: 1 | E-port: Yes | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $

Overall:

Pros

  • Low-cost beginner tent. 
  • Easy to set up.
  • Hinged door.
  • Good ventilation.
  • Water and wind-resistant.

Cons

  • Tight for two people. 
  • Too heavy for backpacking.

This two-person tent from Coleman is an excellent option for beginning campers who want a no-fuss tent that doesn’t take up much room. It’s tight for two people, so we recommend this tent mostly for solo campers or two who don’t mind being close. Those who go out with a group but want some privacy could also enjoy this tent. 

You’ll need weather protection in case of a storm. This one comes with a partial rain fly that keeps you dry in light rain. Coleman’s tents also include welded corners and inverted seams, as well as a bathtub-like construction on the floor to keep water out. However, if you’re in a major storm, you might get some leakage in the tent body.

Even if you decide to put the rainfly on, the large windows and ground-level vent keep air flowing inside.

This model is a little too heavy for backpacking, but it’s ideal for car camping. Use the car for gear storage and sleep here with your dog, or set up a couple of these for you and your buddies on a kayak trip.

What many customers love about this tent is that it includes a high-quality hinged door that automatically closes after you. This way, you can get out of the tent with your hands full.

Easy dome tent setup that shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes, even when you’re on your own. It’s just passing two tent poles, and that’s it. For the rainfly, prepare to need a couple more minutes. 


Best Festival Tent

Coleman Pop-Up 2/4 Person Tent

Extremely easy to set up and affordable, ideal for festival-goers and car campers who don’t want to waste a minute of their time.

Weight: 6.4 pounds | Dimensions: 4’5” (W) x 7’6” (L) x 2‘11” (H) | Carry Bag Dimensions: 2’3” (L) x 2” (W) | Doors: 1 | E-port: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $

Overall:

Pros

  • Instant setup.
  • Good value on a low budget.
  • Large windows for ventilation.

Cons

  • Carry bag is big and awkward.

For those looking for an instant tent, it doesn’t really get much easier than this. If you’re looking for a tent to provide a roof over your head when you’re at a festival, this is your pick.

It’s also ideal for quick getaways in your car for a beginner solo camper who doesn’t want to waste time with the setup. It’s also lightweight, but we don’t recommend this for backpacking, because the carry bag is big and round and awkward to take with you.

The tent comes with large mesh windows for natural light and a multi-position rainfly for protection, and the door has a mesh liner for improved ventilation. If it’s raining, you might get some water inside if you’re not careful, since the door is inset. Otherwise, it holds up well in the rain, at least if you protect the floor with a tarp.

It’s big enough for one person with gear or a pet. In case you want to sleep in this tent with two people, you won’t have much space for anything else. The floor height is also pretty low, so it’s not the most comfortable tent available for tall people.


Best Budget All-Rounder

Bessport 2 Person Backpacking Tent

A small, relatively lightweight tent with independent doors and vestibules for couples who go camping.

Weight: 5.2 pounds | Dimensions: 4’ (W) x 7’2” (L) x 3‘7” (H) | Carry Bag Dimensions: 1.5’ (W) x 5’5 (L) | Doors: 2 | E-port: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: 3000 mm | Price: $$

Overall:

Pros

  • Enough room for two people with gear.
  • Two doors with separate vestibules.
  • Storage pockets and hook to hang a light.
  • Appropriate for light backpacking.
  • Comes in several colors.

Cons

  • Gets heated with the rainfly on.

This tent from Bessport is a good alternative for couples on a camping trip. The tent has doors and covered vestibules on each side, so it’s comfortable for two people to get in and out without climbing over each other. You can also use these vestibules for storing some gear and leaving your shoes. 

The tent has large mesh windows and roof, but when you attach the rainfly, it also offers decent rain protection. When you have the rainfly on, there’s hardly any ventilation, so it does get warm inside.

We love that this 2-person tent also has mesh storage pockets sewn on the walls inside for your small belongings, as well as a hook to hang a light at the center of the ceiling.

It’s not the most lightweight tent in our budget tents review, but it’s still light enough to take with you for light backpacking. For a budget tent, this model is comfortable to carry, and the tube-shaped carry bag is easy to attach to your backpack.

It also comes in several different colors, so you can pick the one that best suits you. 


Weight: 4.7 pounds | Dimensions: 4’1” (W) x 6’10” (L) x 3‘3” (H) | Carry Bag Dimensions: 6 (W) x 18” (L)  | Doors: 1 | E-port: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: 3000 mm | Price: $$

Overall:

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Good 3-season tent.
  • Full-coverage rainfly with 3000 mm hydrostatic rating.
  • Tough floors.
  • Vestibule for storing gear.

Cons

  • Higher price.
  • Not big enough for two people with gear.

A lightweight budget backpacking tent, we recommend this model for new backpackers looking for a budget option for one or two people. It’s slightly higher priced than some of the other models on our list, but we consider it to be a good value for the price.

The 2-person tent features a complete rainfly that protects you well from the elements. If you’re camping in dry conditions, though, you can enjoy the mesh windows and roof.  

Note that this tent is not made for winter weather, and it’s better for use as a 3-season tent. The 3000 mm hydrostatic rating on the rainfly and tough floors make it tough enough to endure most spring and fall weather conditions.

The tent fits two people without gear or one person with gear. With the rainfly on, you have one vestibule, so you have a little extra room for your backpack. However, this tent is probably not enough for two backpackers to store their gear unless you don’t mind being crowded.

As far as the overall design goes, the door is wide and covers nearly the entire wall. This means you’ll be able to get in even though the overall height is quite low. 


Weight: 6 pounds | Dimensions: 5’ (W) x 7’6” (L) x 3‘10” (H) | Carry Bag Dimensions: 7’ (W) x 1’8” (L) x 6‘8” (H) | Doors: 2 | E-port: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: 2000m on the floors | Price: $$

Overall:

Pros

  • Durable and tough fabrics.
  • Two vestibules.
  • Storage pockets and gear loft on the inside.
  • Big enough for two adults.

Cons

  • Door zips can be stiff.

This model from Alps Mountaineering is among the priciest options on our list, but we chose it because it’s also the most durable. Even the best budget backpacking tents don’t last forever, but this one incorporates quality materials that mean you’ll be able to enjoy it for longer.

It’s a typical, two-pole dome tent that’s easy to assemble and has doors on both sides. The inner walls feature large mesh panels on the doors and roof for ventilation. When you put on the rainfly, you’ll get separate vestibules for two people’s shoes and backpacks, and the inside is big enough for two.

What customers value in this 2-person tent is its quality build, all around. From floors with a 2000 mm hydrostatic rating to the sealed seams and large zippers, the tent’s features are well-designed and durable. 

Inside, you’ll find storage pockets and a gear loft at the center for some smaller, personal items or a light. Overall, it’s a comfortable and smart tent that’ll likely last you longer than many other budget models, so we think the extra investment is worth it.


Most Versatile Option

Marmot Limelight 2 Person Camping Tent w/Footprint

Fantastic and spacious igloo design option for campers with vertical walls.

Weight: 5.6 pounds | Dimensions: 4’5” (W) x 7’2” (L) x 3‘6” (H) | Carry Bag Dimensions: 7” (W) x 1’6” (L) | Doors: 2  | E-port: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $$$

Overall:

Pros

  • Smart design with plenty of interior space.
  • Peak height is enough to fit a cot.
  • Lightweight couples’ tent for backpacking.
  • Comes with a separate groundsheet.
  • Interior pockets and lamp shape pocket on the roof.

Cons

  • Higher price.
  • Uncomfortable size for backpacking.

The Marmot Limelight is an option for campers that incorporates a fantastic igloo design with vertical walls, two doors and vestibules on each side. 

It’s not too heavy to use as a backpacking tent, at 5.6 pounds, but we don’t recommend this model as the top pick for long stretches of hiking. The carry bag is big and uncomfortable, so it’s better for use as a car camping tent. 

If you want to sleep a little more protected from the cold ground, the generous peak height of this 2-person tent allows you to fit a cot inside.

This tent is pretty pricey, especially compared to the lower-priced options at the beginning of our list. Still, we found this tent to be a great option because of its smart design and durability. The fabric is not nylon like most tents, but polyester, which is not as strong but often resists water better.

The groundsheet protects you from the rain and cold, making this tent an ideal option for 3-season use. While it’s not meant for winter use, some campers report using it in the snow and the tent holding up well.


Weight: 5.5 pounds | Dimensions: 4’10” (W) x 7’4” (L) x 3‘2” (H) | Carry Bag Dimensions: 7 (W) x 1’6” (L) | Doors: 2 | E-port: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $$

Overall:

Pros

  • Fully mesh-fabric inner tent.
  • Vestibules on both sides.
  • Good water resistance overall.
  • Spacious interiors.

Cons

  • Can be too heavy for backpacking.
  • The plastic window on the rainfly can leak.

This tent is ideal for summer trips to the wilderness. It’s small enough for backpacking, though it may not be lightweight enough for serious trails unless you divide the weight between two people.

It has a two-pole design that’s easy to assemble, with vestibules on both sides. The tent also has a gear loft on the roof and storage pockets on the inner walls.

What customers love about this tent is that the inner walls are completely made of mesh fabric. This means that when you’re not using the rainfly, you can lie back and watch the stars. It also makes for amazing ventilation in heated areas.

If bad weather surprises you, the rainfly fabric is polyester, which resists water much better than nylon does. Some customers have had issues with the sealing of the plastic window on the rainfly, which can cause small leaks.


Best Not-So-Budget Option

Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking 1/2 Person Tent

At a slightly higher price, but an ultralight tent that offers amazing quality for the price.

Weight: 2.6 pounds | Dimensions: 3’7” (W) x 7’3” (L) x 3‘3” (H) | Carry Bag Dimensions: 5.5”(W) x 1’8” (L) | Doors: 2 | E-port: No | Hydrostatic Head Rating: N/A | Price: $$$

Overall:

Pros

  • Ultralight backpacking tent.
  • Amazing quality for the price.
  • White mesh walls for privacy.
  • Surprisingly spacious.

Cons

  • High price.
  • Thin materials can rip if you’re not careful.

This tent has the heftiest price tag of the bunch, but we included it in our review because of the fantastic value for money it offers. Ultralight backpacking tents like this one are usually much higher-priced, so it is an affordable alternative in its category. 

If you’re planning a long backpacking trip or just looking to upgrade from a beginner tent to ultralight tents, this model is more than reasonably priced. It’s also quite spacious for such a lightweight backpacking tent.

The 3-season tent has a vestibule at the front, but if you take the rainfly off, you’ll be able to enjoy the mesh walls and roof. For better privacy, the wall panels are white mesh, which makes it harder to see inside. The tent roof is black and allows you to see the stars better.

While this model’s ultralight poles generally handle winds well without damage, some campers have had some issues with the thin materials. The problems are mostly with the fabrics that can rip when setting up around trees.


Who are these tents for?

Which tent is best for two campers?

Winner: Marmot Limelight 2P Tent

Most 2-person tents are big enough for two people to sleep in, but won’t have much room for gear. You also won’t be able to fit a comfortable queen-sized air mattress and will have to use sleeping bags.

However, you do have bigger options in this selection. Some of them are quite comfortable for two and include a vestibule for storing your gear. If you want to maximize space for storage or for a pet, look for tents that are longer. This way, you’ll have enough room to keep your backpacks by your feet and not inside the tent.

If your intention is to go camping with someone else, you’ll need a tent with a bigger tent floor size. A couple of the models in our review also have vestibules for storing your gear. This maximizes the living space and comfort inside the tent.

In the size category, the Marmot Limelight was a clear winner. It has a wide design with vertical walls, and it’s big enough to fit a cot inside. On the outside, it has two vestibules on both sides, so you don’t have to occupy floor space with your shoes and backpack.

Which tent should you take to a festival?

Winner: Coleman Pop-Up

If you’re planning a music festival in summer, then the Coleman Pop-Up tent is the way to go. It’s setup is INCREDIBLE. Just open the bag and let the tent fly – voila! It’s already about 99% pitched. Stake it down to provide stability in the wind and you’re done.

That’s great for festivals when all you want to do is get the tent up and start partying.

There’s also plenty of ventilation to keep the tent cool throughout your trip as well. We personally think upgrading to the Quechua 2-Second Pop-Up with it’s Fresh and Black Technology is worth the cost in this regard. Relax and sleep in thanks to the dark bedrooms, sheltered from the morning light.

But if you can’t afford the step up, this Coleman does an excellent job for less money.

Which tent is the best budget option for backpacking?

Winner: NatureHike Cloud-Up

If you need a low-cost option for your first backpacking trip, we recommend the NatureHike Cloud-Up. It’s a low-cost tent that comes with high-quality materials. It’s super well-reviewed by users in all sorts of climates.

Got a lot of Gear? which tent can store it for you?

Winner: ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr

This tent really impressed us with the storage options it offered.

A woman setting up the ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr, the best 2 person budget tent when it comes to storage.

Not only are there two vestibules which are great for larger gear storage (like backpacks) but inside there are mesh pockets and a gear loft. Internal storage pockets and gear lofts are great for storing personal belongings safely in your tent.

Which tent is most comfortable?

Winner: Marmot Limelight

If you’re going to spending a lot of time inside your tent, you want to buy one that has a comfortable design.

The igloo design of the Marmot Limelight raises the walls slightly to make the inside of the tent feel bigger and five the roof a more uniform height, rather than the steep slopes dome tents usually offer.

Which budget tent is easiest to set up?

Can one person manage?

Winner: Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent

Generally speaking, 2-person tents are not difficult to set up. Most of them are typical dome tents you can assemble in about 10 minutes on your own. 

For those who hate battling tent poles or simply prioritize a speedy assembly, there’s no beating the Coleman Pop-up. Just take it out of the bag and secure it to the ground. 

Are these tents easy to carry?

Winner: Nemo Hornet 1 Person Tent

If you’re planning a long trip in the wilderness with longer hikes, you’ll need an ultralight backpacking tent. The problem is, ultralight backpacking tents aren’t common in a budget price range. That’s why many campers divide the tent between two packs.

The Nemo Hornet is an exception and the best budget backpacking tent on our list, with a very reasonable price tag for the quality it offers. At only 2 pounds and 6 ounces, you’ll barely even notice you’re carrying a tent on your back.

The Naturehike is also lightweight and comes with a small packed size for backpacking.

The NatureHike Cloud-Up 2 Carry Bag

Weatherproofing

Waterproofing

Winner: Naturehike 2-Person Cloud-Up Tent

Unless you’re only camping in the desert, you’ll need a tent that can endure some rain and winds. 

The Naturehike 2-person tent has a hydrostatic head rating of 3000 mm, which means it will endure common rainstorms without getting you soaked. It also has tough floors that aren’t as likely to break and let water inside as many others.

Other models will likely get you through the night, too, but you may have to treat their seams to maximize the waterproofing.

Which is the best budget 2 person tent for condensation?

Winner: ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr

This tent comes with mesh walls that provide excellent ventilation to prevent condensation being an issue. It can get a little chilly in cold weather because of this, but for summer and the warmer months of spring and fall, this tent is excellent.

Wind

Winner: Nemo Hornet

This tent might come with ultralight poles but that doesn’t mean it struggles in the wind.

The lightweight but sturdy poles provide excellent support to this tent even in heavy winds.

Summer

Winner: ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr

All the mesh that provides ventilation to prevent condensation forming in the Zephyr is great for the summertime. As the temperatures start to rise outside your tent, the mesh design pushes warm air out whilst bringing cool air from closer to the ground into the tent.

Winter

If you’re looking for a tent that you can take out winter camping, you probably should look elsewhere. These budget tents might be versatile enough to deal with the weather from Spring to Fall but as this cool in the winter, none of these tents will cut it.

Durable

Winner: ALPS Mountaineering Lynx

The budget tent that impressed us most in terms of durability was the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx. Although it has a low price tag, this tent comes with quality parts. Those heavy-duty materials were tough enough to last longer than we had predicted they would.

The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Tent

Frequently Asked Questions

How Lightweight Should a Backpacking Tent Be? 

A backpacking tent shouldn’t weigh more than about 6 pounds, but the lighter it is, the better. You’ll find options for backpacking tents starting at around 2 pounds, but budget models are mostly closer to 5 or 6 pounds. If you want an ultralight backpacking tent like the Nemo Hornet, you have to invest a little more.

Are Smaller Tents Better in Bad Weather? 

Small backpacking tents have one major advantage in bad weather against big ones: they’re lower, so they usually don’t get damaged by the wind like tall tents do. If you’re going backpacking on a mountain and you know it gets windy, opt for a smaller tent.

However, if you’re in rainy and humid conditions and you happen to not have a decent rain fly, you may get soaked. The walls of the tent start falling inside, and on a small tent, you’ll really notice it.

What’s the Difference Between Single-Walled and Double-Walled Tents?

Single-walled tents have only one wall that functions as your tent’s inner wall and your rain fly. They’re faster to set up, and usually lighter than double-wall tents.

Double-walled tents, on the other hand, have a separate rainfly and an interior tent that’s often a lighter material and has larger mesh windows.

They’re ideal when camping in humid conditions because they add an extra layer of protection. Sometimes the outer material isn’t enough to repel the water, or you may see some condensation on the inner walls of the tent. Another layer of fabric will prevent this from happening.

This is even possible when it’s not raining. If the place where you’re camping has lots of dew, you may wake up with some condensation on your walls. The walls can start sagging due to the moisture, and you’ll wake up soaked.

In general, we recommend a double-walled tent as a backpacking tent or for camping longer periods, especially if you’re far from civilization. This way, you won’t risk spending the night in a wet sleeping bag.

For short periods, quick weekend getaways and occasional festivals in dry weather, a single-wall tent will probably be fine. You’ll benefit from a faster setup and a lighter carry. To err on the safe side, though, a two-wall tent is better.

Three backpackers walking in the forest.

Do You Need a Vestibule?

A vestibule can be a good option when you’re camping with another person, and you’re tight on space. You can use it to keep your gear protected while not having it take up the precious space in your tent.

A vestibule area is also handy when you’re camping in bad weather conditions. You can leave your muddy boots and rain jackets in the vestibule instead of having them inside the tent with you.

Can you fit a queen size airbed in these tents?

These tents might not be the largest models on the market but you should be able to fit a queen airbed in each of these tents. The Coleman Sundome’s door might be too small to fit the bed through but you can pump it up inside the tent if you need to.

Two people's feet at a tent door with a lake in the background.

The Top 2-Person Tent on a Budget

We found the Coleman sundome 2 person tent to be the best budget 2-person tent on the market. It’s accessible for every pocket, and we love how good the overall quality is.

This tent is easy to set up and endures light rain well. It has a ground-level vent to give you air when you have the rainfly on and an e-port to pass your cables inside. 

Overall, we loved these smart features and the durability of such a low-priced tent. But don’t take our word for it; check it out for yourself!

Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website
James Black

James has been escaping to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. This first started in family camping trips but soon turned into adventure camps and hiking through the Scottish Hebrides. Now he has turned towards trying to make camping more comfortable and accessible.