If you want to stay comfortable when camping (and who doesn’t?) it is essential to pick the right gear. Selecting the proper tent is one of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to choosing camping gear. All it takes is a leaky tent and one good rainstorm to turn a blissful night under the stars into something soggy and miserable. There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable, cold, and a long way from home.
Two person tents are probably the most popular size of tent sold. In this article we will help you determine whether a two-person tent is right for you, give you some features to consider when looking for a tent, and recommend some of our favorites!
Is a Two-person Tent Right for You?
Two person tents are ideal for couples who like to sleep close together or solo campers who get a little claustrophobic at the thought of sleeping in a tiny solo tent.
But they’re not for everyone.
Two-person tents typically range from 25 to 40 square feet of floor space, which if you think about it is really not a lot. If your idea of camping involves you and your significant other setting up a couple air mattresses and a table or having space to stand up and move around, you will probably want to look for something a little bigger.
The upside of these teeny tiny tents is that they are generally lightweight and very packable, making them perfect to cram into a backpack or already stuffed car. If you are two people camping with a small child, a couple dogs, or an awful lot of stuff you may want to look for a 3 or 4 person tent.
Three-season vs. Four-season Tents
|3 Season Tents||4 Season Tents|
|Winter (camp in snow)|
The majority of tents sold these days are three-season tents. These tents are designed to be used during the spring, summer, and fall in climates that get actual seasons. Three-season tents are great in almost any condition … except dumping snow. If you live in a warm climate or have no interest in camping when it’s really cold out, stick with a three-season tent. If your camping plans are a little more extreme and involve camping in the snow in the middle of winter, look for a four-season tent.
Double Wall vs. Single Wall
All tents are designed to be waterproof and ventilated but how they get there varies by model. Most tents have two distinct parts:
- The tent canopy itself and,
- A detachable rainfly
These “double walled” tents are great because they give you a lot of options. Put the rainfly on if you need protection from the elements or want to block out the sun. Take the rainfly off if it’s a warm and dry night and you want to be able to look up through the screen ceiling at the stars.
“Single wall” tents do not have separate rain flies or mesh ceilings. The entire tent is waterproof. The benefit of single wall tents is that they can be lighter than double wall tents and they are quicker to set up because there is no rainfly involved.
Vestibules and Gear Lofts
Two person tents are small and don’t have much floor space for a lot of extra stuff so you’ll want to look for a tent that has other places for you to store your gear. A vestibule is an area that extends from the front of the tent and is protected by the rainfly. While it is not technically inside the tent, it provides quick and easy access to your stuff while also keeping it protected from the elements.
Many tents also have mesh shelves and pouches (or gear lofts) along the ceiling and walls where you can store your belongings. These pockets are a great place to store small items that you want to be able to easily find in the dark (like a headlamp!).
While 2-person tents are generally small and light, some are a lot smaller and lighter than others. The weight of your tent won’t make much of a difference if you are sleeping in a campground but a few extra pounds will be very noticeable ten miles into a long backpacking trip!
If you are looking for a tent to take backpacking, look for one that meets your needs but is also as light as possible. Look for a tent that is 6 lbs. (or less!) if backpacking is on the itinerary.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of our favorite two-person tents!
Our Top Picks for Best Two Person Tents
From the list given below select the best tent for you and your partner for hiking camping.
Kelty Grand Mesa
The Grand Mesa is the perfect tent for the budget minded backpacker.
Why we like this tent:
- While other tents may be a little lighter than the Grand Mesa, not many do it at such a great price point.
- With its color-coded, two-pole design, setting this tent is up in a snap.
- The 35 square feet of interior space and 14 square feet of vestibule space are roomy enough for two people and their gear.
- The detachable rain fly provides plenty of protection from the elements and ample mesh on the main part of the tent allows for lots of ventilation.
- Conveniently located inner pockets near the door hold your stuff secure no matter how much you toss and turn at night.
This is a premium quality tent at an entry-level price that will perfectly meet the needs of car campers while also satisfying all but the most ounce conscious backpacker.
Pick up the matching Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Tent Footprint for additional protection and weather proofing for the bottom of the tent:
Eureka! Apex 2XT
The Apex 2XT by Eureka! is a great three-season option for car campers looking for a comfortable and sturdy tent at a great price.
Why the Apex made our list:
- At 7’5” long, this is tent will comfortably sleep taller individuals or people that like to have more room near their head.
- The tent features two internal pockets for gear storage and one wall that is solid mesh for increased breathability.
- With the tent weighing in at 5 lbs., 12 ounces, this tent is light enough to take on short backpacking trips.
Committed ultra light backpackers may find themselves wishing for something a little bit lighter but most users will find that this tent perfectly meets their needs. Car campers will find this tent to be comfortable and easy to set up.
MSR Hubba Hubba Tent
Why this 2 person tent rocks:
- Weighing in at 4 lbs., 4 ounces, the Hubba Hubba is light in weight but heavy in features.
- With two doors and two vestibules this tent is perfect for backpackers who want a lightweight two-person tent that will keep them comfortable on even the longest of trips.
- For people that want to go even lighter, this tent can be pitched using only the rainfly and the matching footprint (sold separately).
- The mesh canopy provides excellent airflow and a great view of the stars on clear nights and the well-vented rainfly will keep you warm and dry when the weather goes downhill.
While car campers will appreciate MSR’s attention to detail in designing this tent, it is out on the trail that the Hubba Hubba really shines. If you are looking for a lightweight backpacking tent, the Hubba Hubba may be the perfect choice for you.
Update: here is a newer model of the above Hubba Hubba tent:
MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent
Coleman Sundome 2
If you’re new to camping and would like to get your feet wet in the metaphorical sense while still staying dry in the literal sense, consider the Coleman Sundome 2. While it lacks many of the bells and whistles boasted by it’s more expensive cousins, it is a great way to give camping a try without dropping serious coin.
Why this tent does the job:
- With approximately 35 square feet of interior space, this tent, like all other two person tents, will comfortably sleep two people who are comfortable sleeping very close to each other.
- What this tent lacks in terms of additional features (like a vestibule and full rain fly) it more than makes up for in it’s extremely wallet friendly price.
- At around 7.5 lbs., this is not a backpacking tent, but it is the perfect way for the novice or budget minded outdoors person to give car camping a try!
Slumberjack 2 Person Trail Tent
The Slumberjack 2 is a two-person, three-season tent designed for the budget minded car camper. Don’t be fooled by this tent’s low price! This is a sturdy entry-level tent that can handle the elements just fine!
Features we like:
- With it’s full rainfly and mesh roof it is both well-ventilated and weather proof.
- This tent features approximately 33 square feet of interior space and one 8-square foot vestibule for gear storage. The color-coded pole system makes set up a breeze!
- At 6 lbs., 5 ounces, this tent is on the heavy side for backpacking but car campers may find it to be a perfect choice for long weekends at nearby campgrounds.
Whether you are venturing deep into the wild or setting up your tent in very close proximity to the car, there is a perfect two-person tent out there for you! We can’t guarantee good weather for your next camping trip but we can help you find a tent that will tackle whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Happy camping!