Best Cheap Backpacking Tents for 2020

Factors that Affect the Cost of a Tent

Backpacking has become more popular than ever in outdoor recreation. As modern life becomes more stressed and hectic more and more people are strapping on their pack to get away on an outdoor hiking adventure.

The great thing about backpacking is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy the activity. There are many great inexpensive products out there due to increased competition and manufacturers in the outdoor space.

As a backpacker, one of the key pieces of gear you will need is a good quality tent that you can rely on after a long day of hiking. Luckily you don’t have to spend a fortune to buy a great tent for your backpacking adventures. With this in mind we compiled this list in search of the best cheap backpacking tent.

Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1 Person Tent



  • 75D 185T polyester fly with 1500mm coating resists UV damage and stays taut
  • Free-standing two-pole design with 7000 series aluminum poles
  • Mesh storage pockets, gear loft, 7075 aluminum stakes, and guy ropes included
  • Weatherproof fly buckles on for superior adjustability and protection
  • Half mesh walls increase ventilation and breathability
  • Footprint 7’6” x 2’8”
  • Center height 3’
  • Weight 4 pounds 4 ounces

The best cheap backpacking tent towards the top of the list for a single person is the Alps Mountaineering Lynx. Alps Mountaineering has been around for over 20 years making high quality products without the premium price tag.

The Lynx 1 has a ton of great features for your next solo adventure. The tent can easily be set up with the free standing design and pole clips that easily attach to the aluminum poles. With the walls mostly meshing the tent offers great breathability. Don’t worry though if the weather turns sideways on you while backpacking the fly and floor seams are factory sealed and the floor is coated with 2000mm to keep you nice and dry.

Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent


  • Dome Tent
  • Easy 10 minute setup
  • Fiberglass poles
  • Mesh pockets sewn into tent walls
  • Footprint 7’ x 5’
  • Center height 4’
  • Weight 7.17 pounds

If you need a little more room than a single person tent can offer, the Coleman Sundome 2 Person Tent is a great option. We included this tent on the best cheap backpacking tent list because of its popularity and track record.

Coleman is synonymous with outdoor gear and has some of the best time tested products out there.

The Sundome has a compact footprint yet is still spacious inside and if it’s starts raining the Sundome has you covered thanks to the Coleman Weathertech system. The tent has a tub floor, patented corner welds, protected seams, and a covered zipper to keep the rain out. Also included to keep the weather out is a door awning and rainfly. There is no need to worry about ventilation either with a ground vent and two windows.

Teton Sports Mountain Ultra Tent


  • T6 Aluminum Cross and Ridge Pole System
  • 66D 3mm Ripstop 3000mm PU Rainfly
  • Extra-high waterproof bathtub floor is made of strong 150D Oxford canvas
  • Footprint 82″x 32″x 39.5″
  • Weight 4 Pounds

Teton Sports is based out of Utah and known for their great customer service. They consistently have average high user ratings and for good reason, their products are high quality and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

This particular Ultra Mountain Tent comes in four variations from a solo tent setup on up to a four person sleeper. We will be speaking specifically about the single person version here.

The Mountain Ultra 1 features an inner mesh liner for optimal ventilation and uses only one shock cord pole for easy setup and teardown by a solo hiker. The tent offers great protection from the elements due to its extra high bathtub floor, heat taped seams, clip on rainfly, and vestibule.

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent


Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent



  • Two door / Two vestibule layout
  • Free standing tent
  • Bathtub floor construction
  • Footprint 92″x56″x43
  • Center height 43”
  • Weight 4 Pounds 11 ounces

Mountainsmith has over a 30 year history and was born out of the Colorado Rockies. The founder Patrick Smith needed gear that could handle the abuse in the Colorado backcountry and found the commercial gear at the time couldn’t keep up, so he founded Mountainsmith in 1979 and built his own.

Still to this day Mountainsmith is known for their quality products and gear and continued innovation.

This list of the best cheap backpacking tent wouldn’t be complete without the Morrison 2 award winning two person backpacking tent. It offers a fast and easy set up, superior weather protection, and great features like a removable gear loft.

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2-Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2-Person Tent


  • 75D 185T polyester fly with 1500mm coating resists UV damage and stays taut
  • Free-standing two-pole design with 7000 series aluminum poles
  • Mesh storage pockets and gear loft
  • Base size footprint 4’10 x 7’4
  • Center height 3’2”
  • Weight 5 Pounds 8 ounces

Another great tent by Alps Mountaineering that deserves mention on the best cheap backpacking tent list is the Zephyr 2-Person Tent. The tent walls are made entirely from mesh allowing for great ventilation and stunning views in the summer when you have the rainfly off.

The distinctive aircraft Alloy aluminum 2 pole design offers plenty of headroom in the interior. The tent has two doors with a vestibule over each allowing for plenty of extra storage for all your gear that you don’t want or need inside the tent.

This tent offers great value due to excellent ventilation, interior space, and lightweight construction.


Jason Kidd

Jason is an avid lover of camping, hiking, and well just about anything outdoors. He is both a writer and editor for Outside Pulse and has been camping and hiking for over 20 years.

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