TOP 12 Best Backpacking Tents Under $200 for Hikers on a Budget

Outdoor gear can be expensive, right?

Especially once you add up the boots, the pack, the stove, the rain jacket… Unfortunately you usually have to spend a bit to get quality that is worthy of outdoor conditions.

Luckily, choosing a tent doesn’t have to destroy your bank account.

There are some excellent quality options under $200 that easily rival the more expensive models.

I’ve selected 12 of the best backpacking tents under $200 and included a few things to consider when making your decision.

Read on to find out how to get yourself kitted out with an affordable backpacking tent!

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TOP 12 Best Backpacking Tents Under $200

Big Agnes C Bar Backpacking Tent

Review: The Big Agnes C Bar is an affordable but high-quality backpacking tent.

The only compromise you’ll have to make is liveable space inside the tent (it has just a 28 sq. ft. floor area).

But hopefully, you’ll be spending most of your time outside and only be using the tent to sleep so this doesn’t need to be an issue.

Weighing in at 4 lbs., this tent is one of the lightest double walled, 2 person backpacking tents available in this price range.

And, considering you’re getting Big Agnes quality as well, this tent is by far the best backpacking tent for under $200.

Pros

  • Very lightweight.
  • Excellent durability.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Extremely high bathtub floor offers good privacy if you want to go without the fly.
  • A good choice for cold, wet weather.

Cons

  • A tight fit for 2 people. No room for gear.
  • Only 1 door.

Takeaway

This is the best 2 person backpacking tent under $200 owing to its light weight and overall quality.

Marmot Crane Creek Backpacking Tent

Review: This is another high-quality tent from a top of the line tent brand that makes it an easy choice given its affordable price point.

The Marmot Crane Creek tent offers a lot more space than the Big Agnes tent above, but it also weighs more, clocking in at 5 lbs. 5 oz.

This is still very reasonable for a 2 person backpacking tent, especially one that will reliably stand up to all weather conditions and years of use.

Another big drawcard is the two large D shaped doors that make entry and exit a breeze for two people camping together.

You can also lighten the load in warm weather by camping with just the footprint and fly, although the footprint needs to be purchased separately.

Pros

  • 32 sq. ft. floor area is spacious for 2 people.
  • Reliable Marmot quality and durability.
  • 2 large doors.
  • Freestanding design.

Cons

  • May need to purchase extra tent stakes.
  • Footprint sold separately.

Takeaway

This is another great quality, lightweight backpacking tent that is a great size for two people.

The North Face Stormbreak 2

Review: This is an affordable, 2 person, freestanding tent from The North Face that will handle any weather you throw at it while being lightweight.

The easy-to-pitch design makes setting up camp a breeze and it has handy interior pockets which the doors can fold into to avoid having to fiddle with ties.

Pros

  • 5 sq. ft. floor area.
  • High bathtub floors.
  • 2 large doors and vestibules.
  • Lightweight – 5 lbs. 14 oz.

Cons

  • Stakes are a weak point – could do with replacing.

Takeaway

Overall, this tent comes really highly-rated for ease of use and durability.

Kelty Salida 2 Dome Tent

Review: The Kelty Salida is a very lightweight, semi-freestanding 2 person tent.

It’s easy to set up with a good sized floor area and steep walls which give it a nice spacious feel.

It also has an included gear loft and additional pockets built into the mesh inner which is a bonus for keeping your things organized.

The main drawback is the lack of vestibule storage space. There is only one doorway and one small vestibule in front of this so most of your gear will have to be inside the tent with you.

Pros

  • 5 sq. ft. floor area plus 10 sq. ft. vestibule.
  • 3 lbs. 4 oz. is nice and lightweight.
  • Comes with gear loft included.
  • Excellent durability.

Cons

  • Only 1 small vestibule.
  • Minimal air flow when fly is fully zipped up.

Takeaway

This is an excellent, lightweight tent that scores top points for liveability and comfort.

Nemo 1-Person Spike Tent

Review: This is a slightly different option to the 2 person tents on this list. It’s an ultralight one person shelter, designed for thru-hikers who want to keep the weight of their packs as light as possible.

It uses your hiking poles for set up, (if you don’t have hiking poles – you should – find a pair here) and it doesn’t come with any kind of mesh inner or floor (most people pair it with some tyvek) so it won’t be suitable if you need a refuge from insects.

But if ultralight is your game, this is your tent, and on budget too!

Pros

  • Ultralight – 1 lbs. 5 oz.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Can handle strong winds and rain if set up correctly.
  • Perfect size for 1 person and a pack.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with enough stakes so it’ll weigh a little more once you get the required number.

Takeaway

This is an ultralight shelter option for solo hikers looking for something under $200.

Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2 Person Tent

Review: This is a spacious, lightweight and affordable 2 person tent that ticks lots of boxes as well as being under $200.

It has plenty of mesh for good ventilation, a simple design which uses two aluminum poles for set up, plenty of storage space with 2 large vestibules, internal storage pockets and a gear loft.

For this price, there’s not much to fault this tent. It’s lightweight but a good size for two people, and nicely durable.

Pros

  • Very easy to set up.
  • Storage pockets and gear loft included.
  • 2 large D shaped doors and vestibules.
  • 5 lbs. 12 oz. is pretty lightweight.
  • 37 sq. ft. is nice and large for 2 people.

Cons

  • Stakes could be upgraded for a more secure set up.
  • Could benefit from a footprint to increase longevity on rocky ground.

Takeaway

Easily one of the best hiking tents under $200 for its balance of weight and space.

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person Tent

Review: Another well-priced freestanding, three season tent, this 2 person dome tent uses the classic two pole design with a mesh inner, bathtub floor, and rain fly.

It has two doors and vestibules which score bonus points and weighs 5 lbs. 9 oz., but this can be reduced to a 4 lbs. 12 oz. trail weight if you leave some bits behind.

Pros

  • 35 sq. ft. floor area is spacious for 2 people.
  • Reflective guy lines will make it harder to trip over them in the dark.
  • Reliable in all weather conditions.
  • Easy, simple set up.
  • 2 doors and vestibules, gear loft and mesh pockets.

Cons

  • None for this price.

Takeaway

This is an affordable and reliable 2 person backpacking tent.

Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Person Tent

Review: I’ll be honest, there aren’t many occasions where four people will want to share a tent when backpacking.

But, for a young family who are keen hikers, a four person tent could make sense. At this price, this is easily one of the best 4 person tents under $200 for hiking.

The Alps Mountaineering Taurus is a reliable, free-standing four person tent with lightweight fiberglass poles.

If you can afford to spend a little more, the 4 person Lynx (link to Amazon.com) is almost the same tent but uses better quality aluminum poles instead of fiberglass.

Pros

  • Gear loft and mesh pockets for internal organization.
  • 2 large doors and vestibules.
  • 64 sq. ft. floor area is a good size for 4 people.
  • Simple, easy set up.
  • Good quality rain fly for keeping out the elements.

Cons

  • 10 lbs. 8 oz. – you’ll need to share the load.

Takeaway

For the small hiking families out there, this is one of the only 4 person tents available at this price that is both light enough and good quality enough to take out on the trail.

Featherstone 2 Person Backpacking Tent

Review: This freestanding, 3 season tent is ridiculously affordable for what you get.

Very similar to the MRS Hubba Hubba but a fraction of the price, it’s completely weatherproof with a footprint included and a high bathtub floor.

The full packed weight is 6 lbs. but this can easily be reduced if you go without the footprint and get some lighter stakes to replace the ones that come with it.

Pros

  • Waterproof footprint included.
  • 2 doors and vestibules.
  • Can be very lightweight.
  • Stands up to wind and rain really well.
  • Extremely small packed size.

Cons

  • A little tricky to pack into its bag.

Takeaway

This is a very good quality tent at a very affordable price.

Winterial 3 Person Tent

Review: For a more budget option that still manages to be really lightweight, the Winterial three person tent is surprisingly compact when packed up.

It doesn’t have a massive vestibule so it might be better suited to two people plus gear, but aside from this, it’s an impressively lightweight tent that rivals more expensive models in quality and livability.

Pros

  • 4 lbs. is really lightweight for a 3 person tent.
  • 2 doors and a small vestibule.
  • Excellent budget option.
  • Good ventilation/air circulation.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with enough stakes or guy lines for windy weather.
  • Footprint sold separately – would be recommended for wet weather.
  • Not suitable for people 6 ft. or taller.

Takeaway

This is the best budget backpacking tent for its impressively light weight but durable construction.

River Country Products Trekker Tent 2

Review: Throwing a less conventional style into the mix, this ultralight, single walled tent uses your hiking poles for set up and results in the classic A-frame design.

There are factors that come with this type of set up that not everyone will love.

Mostly the condensation factor of a single walled tent. This is unavoidable unless you use an additional tarp over the top with a decent space for air circulation between.

But it doesn’t need to be a deal breaker if the tent is set up properly – ie. nice and taut.

Also, it’s only an option for someone who already hikes with hiking poles.

Pros

  • Very lightweight – 2 lbs. 12 oz.
  • Spacious design for 2 people.
  • Extremely compact when packed up.
  • Easy to set up.

Cons

  • Will attract condensation.
  • No vestibules for gear storage.

Takeaway

Extremely affordable and extremely lightweight, this is a tent for adventurous survivalists who are willing to sacrifice the comfort of a two-walled tent.

Core 3 Person Dome tent

Review: For a reliable tent available for well under the $100 mark, this dome tent from Core is a great choice.

It’s too heavy for serious hikers and it doesn’t come with a full-coverage rain fly so I’d be hesitant to recommend it for areas or seasons prone to wind and rain.

But, if you’re looking for an affordable but durable tent, albeit in a slightly heavier package, for summer hiking trips, this could be your tent.

Pros

  • Nice and durable for the price.
  • Gear loft with lantern hook included.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Copes with rain pretty well considering the half-coverage fly.

Cons

  • Better suited to 2 people than 3.
  • Heavy for backpacking – around 8 lbs.
  • No vestibules for gear storage.
  • Only 1 doorway.

Takeaway

Extremely affordable and extremely lightweight, this is a tent for adventurous survivalists who are willing to sacrifice the comfort of a two-walled tent.

So Can You Get a Good Tent for Under $200?

Thankfully for us, the answer is a definite yes!

A good backpacking tent for under $100 is less likely, I’ll admit, but fortunately, there are some excellent options in the $100 to $200 range, and some of them are even from top camping tent brands like Marmot and The North Face.

backpacking tent near tree on the mountains

But How to Decide Between Them?

This part is a combination of practicality and personal preference.

Practicality factors include things like durability, weather proofing, how easy it is to set up and how heavy it is.

These are all things that most of us will agree on without needing to think about it.

  • You obviously want the tent to be durable and good enough quality that it will handle multiple seasons of use before it’s past the point of repair.
  • You obviously want the tent to be able handle a good downpour so a high bathtub floor, good quality fly and plenty of guy lines are essential features.
  • No one likes arriving at camp tired and hungry and having to fight with the tent before you can relax and get onto cooking dinner. An easy set up important.
  • No one likes carrying a heavy pack unnecessarily! A lightweight tent (ideally sub 6 lbs. for 2 people) is pretty essential.

But what about the factors that come down more to personal preference?

backpacker standing near camping tent

Personal preference can surround things like the number of doors and vestibules, whether a footprint is included, whether there are internal mesh pockets or a gear loft, how much space there is inside the tent, what shape the doors are and how they zip up… and of course price.

These are all things that most of us can agree on.

We all want the best bang for our buck, and more space, more doors and more internal pockets are usually only good things.

But, we can’t have everything. So, usually, there are things we have to compromise on.

A bigger tent will usually be heavier. Likewise, a footprint adds longevity and waterproofing, but can add significant weight.

More doors can also add a bit of weight. And if these extra features don’t add weight, then they’re almost definitely adding cost.

So, some people will choose to forgo some comfort and practicality in favor of light weight or low cost.

Some people might also have priorities that are specific to the type of camping they want to do, or the conditions in their usual hiking destination.

For example, if you know that you’re going to be camping in exposed and windy places, a tent that can stand up to gale force winds is going to be more important than a tent that provides nice ventilation in hot weather.

We actually have a list of the best tents for high winds if this is you.

camping tent near green trees - view from inside of tent

Alternatively, some people might prioritize a tent that can be used without the fly altogether, whether for maximum air flow in hot weather, or for access to the sky for stargazing.

On the other hand, some people might specifically choose a tent that can be set up with just the rain fly, or can use hiking poles instead of specific tent poles for an ultralight set up.

If this is you, you’ll probably be after a lightweight summer sleeping bag too. Check out my list of recommended summer sleeping bags.

Some people know they want a 2 person tent and might decide that it’s worth spending a little more after all to get the best balance of weight to performance.

If this is you, have a read of my guide to the best 2 person backpacking tents.

view from backpacking tent to mountains

Need other affordable gear too?

I’ve done the research and put together quick guides to the best budget sleeping bags and hiking backpacks too so you can set yourself up for some epic backpacking adventures without having to starve for a week first!

That brings us to the end of this quick guide to the best backpacking tents under $200.

There are some really great options on this list so I’m confident that everyone will be able to find something that suits their needs.

Go ahead and comment below if you have any thoughts on this article or the tents I’ve recommended. I look forward to hearing what you think!