Tents come in all different shapes and sizes, and can be used for a variety of different activities. Some people need their tents to be light enough to carry on their backs for thousands of miles. Others just have to throw it in the back of the car for a weekend camping trip away.
Some tents are designed to withstand the strongest winds in the wildest of weather, while others are more ventilated and made of lighter materials that enable them to breathe in hotter climates.
So, we have examined what is the best two person tent, but have placed them in seven different categories to help you decide. But we have only considered tents that have two access points, because that means you can get in and out without disturbing your sleeping partner.
Here’s our top picks for the best two person tent:
1. The North Face Stormbreak 2 (easiest setup)
The Stormbreak 2 is something of an all-rounder. At 5 lbs 14 oz, it is just light enough to strap to the outside of your backpack and head off into the wilderness, and performs equally as well for a weekend car-based camping trip. It has two magnetic cross poles and two smaller lateral poles that provide a lot of extra head room.
The internal area is a little over 30 square feet, and as the length runs to 87 inches, it is perfect for those taller people out there.
It has dual access points for when there will be more than one occupant, has more internal pockets than you will ever need, and of course, it is super easy to erect. The outer shell is color coordinated, so you will not be flipping it inside out, upside down, trying to work out which way everything goes.
In fact, it is so easy, that after a couple of practice runs, I can pitch this tent in a fraction less than five minutes; ideal if the weather is nasty and you need to break that storm!
- Super easy to pitch, can be done in about five minutes by yourself
- The tent performed exceptionally well in strong winds
- It was quiet in strong winds
- The tent was completely waterproof, even under heavy rain
- Large floor space and more than enough head room
- Budget friendly.
- Water leaks off roof into vestibule when you open the tent in the morning.
2. Hilleberg Tarra 2 (when price is not an issue)
If you are a money-is-no-object kind of person, then you will naturally want the best of the best. Enter the Tarra, you beautiful, expensive four-season masterpiece.
This tent is kind of a hybrid between and tunnel and a dome, and is meant for those people needing some serious shelter against some seriously cold mountainous environments.
It weighs in at 9 lbs 8 oz, so you will only carry one with you if you have another person to share the burden. It is for these reasons that this Hilleberg can often be found at mountaineering base camps, and some climbers would not be seen dead in anything else.
- Performs exceptionally well in the strongest winds
- Very little chance of moisture penetration due to the kerlon 1800 outer fabric
- Tunnel shape is ideal to streamline tent in strong winds
- Dual entrances with extra external storage space
- The optional footprint covers the entire tent area, including vestibules.
- It is quite heavy
- It is beyond the price range of most people.
3. Marmot Catalyst 2P (the affordable option)
If you are on a budget but do not want to sacrifice quality, then you could check out this tent from Marmot. Traditionally known as the makers of up-market hiking clothes, Marmot, as it turns out, actually make pretty good tents as well.
This roomy dome-shaped, dual access tent features 32 square feet of floor space, while the total weight of 5 lbs 3 oz means that it is still a backpacking friendly option.
It is affordable, yet comes with all those things you expect from a mid-range tent, including taped seams, being completely waterproof and two vestibules areas for extra storage space.
- It is great value for money
- At 88 inches long, it is perfectly suited for the taller humans
- Easy to pitch
- It has a number of internal pockets and a lamp shade/ torch holder
- Peak height of 44 inches means a lot of head room
- Footprint is included
- The waterproof outer does not tighten all the way to the ground
- A little heavy for backpacking, unless sharing the load with someone.
4. Zpacks Duplex (ultra lightweight)
It is not the cheapest option, but if you are heading off into the back country, or are about to embark on an arduous thru-hike, then this tent from Zpacks may be exactly what you need. This tent weighs in at a ludicrously light 19.4 ounces, which is perfect for when you are scrutinizing every bit of gear you plan to take with you.
Being at A-shaped tent it provides you with 48 inches of height at the apex, which is plenty of room for all but the tallest of people to sit up in comfortably.
The tent has four doors that can be operated independently of one another, which is useful on beautiful, still evenings, or when there are excellent views to be had.
They also can be joined for 360-degree coverage for rain and wind protection, or on those colder evenings.
- Easily the lightest tent on the list, perfect for the thru hikers
- Utilizes trekking poles to assemble, so no doubling up on unnecessary gear
- It is expensive
- Not made from the most durable of materials
- If you do not use trekking poles, tent poles must be purchased separately
- 8 stakes are required, but are strangely not included.
5. REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus (roomiest)
This home away from home measures in at a spacious 35.8 square feet to go along with another 22.5 squares in vestibule area.
Throw in 44 inches of vertical space and you can see why this tent is the roomiest of the roomy.
It is another lower-cost tent, but like with the Marmot, you do not have to give up any quality. It is a good tent, well made, with a waterproof ripstop nylon outer fly and a series of built in air vents that provide outstanding ventilation.
- It is relatively inexpensive
- Spacious and comfortable
- Quick and easy to erect
- The tent poles are not the strongest
- Will not stand up to extreme weather
6. MSR Hubba Hubba NX2 (most waterproof)
MSR make great tents. Fact. They also make them incredibly waterproof, and it is no different with the Hubba Hubba.
First we have the ripstop nylon fly that is covered in Xtreme Shield waterproof coating – something the manufacturers claim lasts three times longer than other coatings on the market.
Combine that with the two large StayDry doors that actually feature built in rain gutters, and what you have is a tent that actually thrives in wet weather conditions.
- Outstanding performance in poor weather environments
- It holds up very well in strong winds
- Only weighs 3 lbs 14 oz, so it is well suited to backpacking
- Peak height is only 39 inches – taller people may struggle to sit upright
7. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 (best overall)
The copper spur is light enough – it weighs in at only 3 lbs 1 oz – to be seriously considered a backpacking tent, and yet roomy enough to throw in the back of your car for a weekend camping trip. It offers 29 squared feet of space, and is made from highly durable materials.
People that purchase one of these tents normally end up getting years of service from them.
- It has many thoughtful internal pockets
- Well-constructed and highly water resistant
- Ultra-lightweight and suitable for backpacking
- Great tent for three-season weather.
- Not much room to sit up in
How big is a 2-person tent? The largest internal dimensions you are likely to find for a 2-person tent are roughly 90 – 60 inches, and this will vary greatly for different products on the market. Tents that are made more for backpacking will tend to be a little smaller as manufacturers looks to cut down on unnecessary extra materials, and therefore also on weight.
What is a tent footprint? A tent footprint is a ground cover that goes underneath your tent in order to protect it from punctures and abrasions from the ground. It is not used for waterproofing, or to provide much extra insulation against the cold, which is contrary to popular belief.
How heavy should a tent be for backpacking? Although this will vary from person to person, the general rule is that a tent should not exceed 2.5 lbs per person. So, if two people are sharing the load, one person could carry a tent weighing in at around 5 lbs. For larger and stronger people, carrying tents of about 3 lbs should not be a problem.
What is a vestibule in a tent? A tent vestibule is an exterior sheltered area that can be used for storing gear, or for leaving wet or muddy clothes outside of the main, dry, internal area of the tent. They are normally in the entrance ways of tents and are built into the shape of the rain fly. They can also provide shelter for cooking when there are no other alternatives.
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As a travel writer and photographer, Gordon spent the better part of 2018 visiting 13 different countries as far apart as Chile, Morocco and Vietnam. He is in New Zealand in 2019, writing a third travel book, while exploring pretty much anything that forms a bump on the Earth’s surface.