So, you need a backpacking tent under 100? A backpacking tent can be a lifesaver as it provides shelter and it could be the difference between an enjoyable foray outdoors and a regrettable one. While getting a quality tent is important for safety and comfort, it does not have to be unaffordable.
What You Should Know Before Buying Backpacking Tents Under 100 Dollars
Backpacking Tent Material
Backpacking tents under $100 typically use a range of nylon and polyester fabrics with polyurethane coating.
The most popular material is nylon because it is affordable, durable, abrasion-resistant, and inherently more lightweight than polyester. While polyester is more expensive, it can be constructed by manufacturers to be lighter.
The best backpacking tent material is nylon because it is more comfortable and durable than other available materials.
Since you are backpacking, you need to pay attention to the weight of your tent because consistently carrying a heavy load can put a damper on your experience.
For ease, a single-person backpacking tent should weigh no more than 2.5 pounds or 2kg. If you are backpacking with people and will be using a multi-person tent, this might not be a concern as you get to split the weight by dividing the tent, poles, and other components.
Available tent sizes include 1-person tents, 2-person tents, and 3-4 person tents. The size of the tent that you should get depends on the space you need and space it will take up in your bag.
While a 2-person tent is more popular because it balances weight and interior space, a 1-person tent is perfect for solo adventurers who are looking for a fast and light hike. A 3-4 person tent is the best for a 2-3 person group who want more interior space for storing their gear. It is also ideal for a long period outdoors.
To reduce weight, most backpacking tents reduce internal space. This is why most 2-person tents have enough space for sleepers and small stuff.
If you need more internal space for comfort or storing more than the basic gear, consider buying a size up in tents. If you prefer a fast and light hike, stick to a 1-person model.
Ventilation & Heat Resistance
Important features of a backpacking tent include mesh windows and an adjustable rainfly. This provides ventilation and heat resistance as mesh windows allow increased airflow and prevent the buildup of moisture in the tent.
Being able to remove or adjust rainfly vents or panels also contributes to this and allows you to stargaze and watch the sky while you are outdoor.
When it comes to durability, heavier tents are a more durable option than lightweight tents. This is because lightweight tents trade off durability for carriable weight by using thinner materials that may not last as long as heavy-duty ones.
However, with adequate care, lightweight tents can last for thousands of miles. One way to ensure longevity is to always check for sharp objects like sticks or stones before setting up.
Water, Wind and Snow Resistance
Manufacturers of backpacking tents under 100 use different features to make their tents sturdier and comfortable in any condition. They use sturdy designs like round dome designs to stop snow from gathering on the tent and a rainfly that extends to the ground for protection against rain.
Poles and stakes are also used to drive the tent into the ground and stabilize it, while heavy-duty water-resistant fabrics are used for protection against rain.
No one wants a tent that will take the whole day to set up. When buying a tent, you want one that you can set up quickly and efficiently. This is why most outdoor lovers prefer freestanding tents as they are easier to use and set up.
While freestanding tents have a fixed pole system that you can set up anywhere, including rocky areas, you need trekking poles, stakes, and guylines to set up non-freestanding tents. This makes non-freestanding tents harder to pitch because they require mastery, time, and space.
The best tents use simple design elements including air vents, multiple doors, adequate space, interior pockets for storage, and enough headroom. This is important as a simple flaw in design can ruin an otherwise good tent.
Additional features of a backpacking tent under $100 include:
Pole and Stakes
Backpacking tents come with strong low-weight poles that are used for pitching tents. Poles are made from aluminum, optic fiber, and other durable materials.
Stakes (or pegs) are used for driving the tent into the ground and holding it there. They are shaped like a spike and made from metal, plastic, or wooden materials. They can either be connected to ropes that are attached to the tent or directly attached to the tent material.
Internal pockets are an essential feature of tents as they allow you to organize your tents and keep your belongings stored away. Tents use lightweight mesh that is sewn into the interior of tents to make these pockets.
Vestibules perform the function of a mudroom in backpacking tents. They are created using rainfly extensions and are placed at the front or along the sides to provide shelter for your gear, muddy boots, and change out of wet clothes before going into the clean and dry section of your tent.
Tent zippers are an essential feature and they can be the difference between an enjoyable camping experience and a horrid one. While manufacturers commonly use a coil zip or tooth zip, the deciding factor is the strength and flexibility of zips and if they are water-resistant.
Every tent has a door, but the question is how many doors are there? I recommend getting a 2-door tent as it allows every sleeper to leave the tent without disturbing others. It also helps with ventilation since you can roll both doors out of the way to allow increased airflow.
Choosing bright and light rainfly colors improve illumination inside the tent and make the interior brighter. It can also make the tent a pleasant place to be during a storm that keeps you inside for long.
What’s the Best Backpacking Tent Under 100 Dollars?
Here are the best backpacking tents under $100. To arrive at this list, I checked available tents, paying attention to their features and reviews from real users. I have also included a FAQ section at the end of this article to answer questions that relate to backpacking tents.
Weight: 7.5 lb (3.4 kg)
Size: 83.8 x 83.8 x 51.9 in (212.9 x 212.9 x 131.8 cm)
Size: 4 people
Fabric: 100% Polyester
The Moon Lence Camping Tent provides all-weather protection that keeps you dry in wet conditions while being UV resistant. It is also a double-layered tent with rain fly and mosquito netting that protects you from bugs.
The tent is breathable as it is equipped with mesh and two windows for ventilation and increased airflow. It is lightweight, wind-resistant, and easily fits into your backpack.
It comes with 9 lightweight pegs and guy ropes for easy setup. It also has 2 shock cord connecting poles that makes it easy to secure to the ground. The zippers are made from waterproof materials for added protection. The tent has mesh pockets sewn into the tent walls for storing your things.
- Breathable mesh and removable rainfly for improved ventilation,
- Mosquito netting on top for bug protection,
- Weather-proof as it is a 3-seasons tent,
- Easy to set up and set down,
- Lightweight and compact for easy moving
- Needs a tent footprint or tarp underneath for extra protection,
- Single door design,
- Actual capacity may be smaller than advertised
Weight: 5.1 lb (2.3 kg)
Size: 84.7 x 43.3 x 41.3 in (215.1 x 110 x 104.9 cm)
Size: 1 person
Fabric: 68D Polyester Fiber, 210T Coating
The Bessport 1-Person Backpacking Waterproof Tent is perfect for solitary backpackers who are looking for a short or extended time outdoors. It has a fairly easy setup process and is freestanding. This means that you can move the tent without disassembling it.
When set up, the tent is breathable and has a lot of mesh for airflow and ventilation even when you are zipped in. It also has high walls that protect you in tough conditions like snowfall and heavy rain.
The tent is waterproof as it is made from quality polyester fabrics and has a waterproof coating. It is completely seam-sealed while the zipper is made from waterproof materials.
On the inside, the Bessport 1-Person Backpacking Waterproof Tent has mesh pockets for storing your things, a hook-up for hanging battery-powered lamps, and an opening for bringing an extension cord into the tent for access to electric power.
- A freestanding tent that can be moved without disassembling,
- Hook up for hanging a small night light,
- A dedicated opening allows you to access electricity inside your tent,
- The high walls protect you in any weather condition,
- Double door design for easy access
- The tent does not come with directions for beginners to set up,
- It has a narrow top so there isn’t a lot of internal space,
- The zippers get stuck easily
Weight: 7.9 lb (3.6 kg)
Size: 108.3 x 82.7 x 60 in (275.1 x 210.1 x 152.4 cm)
Size: 4 people
Fabric: 190T Polyester with 63D and 1500MM water-resistant fabric
Waterproof: Yes (up to 1500 mm)
Families who love the outdoors will find the Pacific Pass Family Dome Tent a great buy at a lesser price. This is because the tent is spacious and is designed for a cozy and roomy experience.
For stability, the tent comes with 7 stakes and 2 ropes. The set up is pretty easy as it will take 2 people an estimated 5 minutes to do so. After use, simply disassemble and pack up by placing the components in the accompanying carry bag. It is also lightweight and will take little space on your family backpacking trip.
The Pacific Pass Family Dome Tent is made from waterproof, durable fabric that keeps you protected in wet conditions. It comes with a rain fly that prevents your family from getting soaked by rain.
The tent has two big windows for ventilation and mesh storage pockets sewn into the body for keeping small objects; along with a net bag on the top for organizing your tent.
- It has a water-resistant floor,
- It is made from thick fabric for durability,
- Big enough to fit a queen air mattress and an additional sleep bag,
- It comes with a rain shield for protection,
- It has a net bag on top for organization
- Some buyers report missing items for set up
Weight: 6.6 lb (3 kg)
Size: 88.4 x 72.7 x 47.2 in (224.5 x 184.7 x 119.9 cm)
Size: 43894 people
Fabric: Polyester 68D, 190T and 210D
Built for rugged conditions, the Bessport 3-4 Person Camping Tent is the best premium choice in this review. It is easy to set up, 3-seasons tent for a group of backpackers. It is spacious with an aluminum pole and clip structure for easy setup.
The tent has tapered seams with flap-covered zips to ensure that you stay dry in wet conditions. It has a to-the-floor full rain fly that shields the tent from pouring rain, with the flairs on each side providing a shield for storing things outside the tent. If you love watching the sky or star gazing, you can remove the fly cover to watch the stars through the mesh top.
For ventilation, the Bessport 3-4 Person Camping Tent has a large mesh door, two mesh windows, and a mesh top for increased airflow. It also has mesh pockets sewn into the side for storing small objects.
- Features an intuitive 1-pole system for easy assembling,
- Comes with a removable full fly cover for protection against rain,
- zipper flaps with velcro for protection in wet areas,
- Has an alcove for keeping muddy boots in the tent
- If the pole breaks, you lose the tent structure,
- It may not be ideal for extremely snowy conditions
Weight: 2.2 lb (1 kg)
Size: 84 x 60 x 48 in (213.4 x 152.4 x 121.9 cm)
Size: 2 people
Fabric: 190T Polyester with PU Coating
Coming at a very low price, the Wakeman Water Resistant Dome Tent is the best budget option in this review.
It is made from a water-resistant material with a polyurethane coating that warms to keep you dry in wet conditions. It also has a detachable rainfly that prevents rain from entering. It is lightweight and spacious enough to accommodate 2 persons.
The tent is easy to set up with its fiberglass poles and stakes components. It has ventilation windows for increased airflow, keeping you cool in warm conditions. Disassembling is also easy and the tent can be stored away in an accompanying storage bag before placing it in your backpack.
It has an electric access port for bringing electricity into the tent and an interior mesh pocket for organizing and storing your belongings safely. The tent bottom is durable and you may not need a tarp as a first layer before setting it up.
- Durable tent bottom,
- Great for someone with a very tight budget,
- Has an electric access port
- It has one mesh pocket,
- It is only ideal for fair weather conditions
Topping the chart as the winner of this roundup is the Moon Lence Camping Tent. It is made from 100% polyester fabric, is lightweight, and can be easily stored in a backpack.
The tent has enough room for 3-4 adults with mesh windows and a large D-shaped door with dual zippers for ventilation. It is water-resistant and easy to set up with two shock cord poles and tent clips. It takes an estimated 15 minutes for 1 person to set up.
Questions and Answers About Backpacking Tents Under 100 Dollars
How much should I spend on a good backpacking tent?
The standard entry-level tent price is $50. With that, you can get decent tents with standard features like waterproof seams. However, spending more on a backpacking tent under $200 would allow you to choose from better products.
How can I maintain my backpacking tent in a good condition so it lasts for years?
Some tents have specific maintenance instructions and you will need to read the product package to get them. However, general backpacking tent maintenance tips include:
- Look out for twigs and stones that can puncture tents before choosing where to set up,
- Use a ground cloth as the first layer on the ground before setting up your tent,
- Do not wear shoes inside your tent and wipe off mud and sand with a small rug inside the tent door,
- Do not keep food inside your tent,
- Remove stones by sweeping the tent floor daily.