We have been testing some of the lightest 2 person backpacking tents out for several years now in various conditions and terrains. In this guide we picked our top 5 favorite backpacking tents for two people.
We believe that a backpacking tent is one of the single most important pieces of gear you will carry. After all it is your shelter which will protect you from the elements. However, most tents are often one of the heaviest items in the pack and we recommend upgrading and going lighter if able to minimize the wear and tear on your body.
Over the years we have narrowed down our selection to focus on lightweight and ultralight backpacking tents. Which we loosely call anything close to about three pounds or less. In our testing we prioritized livable space for two, features, storage of the tents, and of course weight.
Quick Overview: Best 2 Person Backpacking Tents
Among the many tents out in the market we found these tents to be some of our top favorites:
- Best for Versatility: Zpacks Zip Duplex
- Best Space for Two People: Durston X-Mid Pro 2+
- Best UL Freestanding Tent: Zpacks FreeDuo
- Best for All-Season Use: Hyperlite UltaMid 2 Pyramid
- Best Budget-Friendly Option: 3F UL Lanshan Pro 2
Zpacks Zip Duplex
Best for Versatility
- Weight: 20.4 oz
- Material: Dyneema
- Height: 48″ inches
- Floor Space: 28.1 sq ft
Try the Zpacks Zip Duplex
Our Take: The Zpacks Zip Duplex is a dream come true for hikers looking for a versatile tent that could work for two people. First, off it is one of the lightest two person tents and a reliable shelter for thru hiking, bikepacking, or packrafting. The Duplex is made from one of the top durable materials out there Dyneema which provides its super lightweight to durability ratio.
While testing the Duplex specifically we really liked how versatile it was. The Zpacks Duplex could easily be used for a spacious solo backpacking tent and can accommodate two people with a slightly snug fit. Also, if you want to have a easier time pitching the Zpacks Zip Duplex on more difficulty terrain or windier conditions you can use the Freestanding Kit.
Some downsides we found when using the tent was condensation, which can be mitigated by increasing ventilation and the rainbow doors. Another downside we found was the rainbow doors in addition to the trekking pole placement.
We are not a super fan of rainbow doors just because it tends to fall on the outside and always involves having to open the door completely to get in and out of the tent. The trekking pole placement can be a little bit of a nuisance being directly in the middle of the door and takes a bit to get used to.
Otherwise, the Zpacks Zip Duplex is one of the best 2 person backpacking tents when it comes to overall versatility. It is a little snug for two people but will work as we have used it many times. Also, if you are wanting the added ability to make it freestanding add the Duplex Freestanding Kit poles.
Durston X-Mid Pro 2+
Best Space for Two People
- Weight: 19.4 oz (DCF floor), 21.7 oz (Silnylon floor)
- Material: Dyneema
- Height: 49″ inches
- Floor Space: 32.5 sq ft
Try the Durston X-Mid 2+ Pro
Our Take: The Durston X-Mid Pro 2+ shines as an ultralight two-person tent. This was a newer tent we had recently been trying out and were extremely excited to see its new release. During our testing we found the tent to be one of the best ultralight true two person tents that can accommodate two 25 inch sleeping pads.
This is a huge deal because a lot of people will use 25-inch pads just for overall comfort and most two person tents really are only designed to accommodate 20-inch pads. In our testing we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of space in the tent. When setup correctly there is a small amount of space that can be used for storage inside at the head and the foot of the tent.
The vestibule provided ample space for gear storage and is probably one of the most thought-out vestibules I have ever used. The Durston X Mid 2+ Pro is full of these thought-out intricate details in it like vents for ventilation, inside storage pockets, magnet doors. In addition, to the simple 4 stake pitch design
However, with all these pros it does come at a premium price point. And it is without saying does build up a little condensation though this is common with single fly tent designs and can be easily mitigated by leaving one of the vestibules open for increased ventilation and bringing an absorbent towel.
Out of the best 2 person backpacking tents we have tested. The Durston X-Mid 2+ Pro has quickly become my go-to tent for two person adventures due to the amount of space and features.
Zpacks FreeDuo Tent
Best Ultralight Freestanding Tent
- Weight: 16.7 oz (Tent) 12.9 oz (poles)
- Material: Dyneema
- Height: 42″ inches
- Floor Space: 26.3 sq ft
Try the Zpacks FreeDuo
Our Take: The Zpacks FreeDuo is one of the best 2-person freestanding backpacking tents. It fills a very cool niche in the ultralight backpacking community as there are not very many (if any) single wall ultralight freestanding tents on the market.
In our experience though the Zpacks FreeDuo is an awesome ultralight tent that make set up a pure breeze. During our experience we mostly tested the larger Zpacks FreeTrio which was a palace for two. The FreeDuo was snugger but worked well for two.
The Zpacks FreeDuo and FreeTrio are both easy to pitch on various terrains and can go places that might otherwise be increasingly difficult to pitch a non-freestanding tent. Though you can definitely get pretty creative pitching trekking pole tents.
The nice thing about the freestanding version is that the trekking pole is not in the way of the doors. Also, you can literally pitch the tent without any stakes if you want which we did a few times though it is more spacious when you use at least four stakes two for the doors and two for the sides.
This tent is also significantly better than the Duplex with the freestanding kit when it comes to stormy weather as the H designed carbon poles are thicker and more durable. We tested this during a hail/rainstorm during our backpacking trip on four pass loop.
Some downsides we found was typical condensation issues which is common of single wall tents though usually is very minimal and can be easily fixed with a towel or more ventilation. And the high price tag can be a downer as well though the tent is well worth the price.
*Update: The Zpacks Free Duo has been discontinued and is currently unavailable. Pending a new model in 2024!
Hyperlite UltaMid 2 Pyramid Tent
Best for All-Season Use
- Weight: 19.1 oz
- Material: Dyneema
- Height: 64″ inches
- Floor Space: 63 sq ft
Try Hyperlite UltaMid 2 Pyramid
Our Take: The Hyperlite UltaMid 2 Pyramid stakes its claim as the best 2 person backpacking tent for all season. Its standout features include all around protection from the elements in a classic teepee type design. And is designed with Dyneema fabric which is durable and weather resistant.
In our experience with the UltaMid 2 Pyramid Tent, we found it to fit the bill in the ultralight territory. The tent excelled in shielding us from frosty winds and 10-degree cold conditions. When it comes to stormy weather, we believe this tent can do it all whether you are camping or backpacking in wind, rain, and snowy conditions.
Another thing we really liked about the UltaMid 2 Pyramid Tent is how simple the setup process is. The setup process is so straightforward and only requires you to stake the corners and use one center pole, or two trekking poles strapped together. It easily takes us only minutes to setup and take down the tent.
Stand alone, the Ultamid 2 is a very minimalist tent however, it does come with many add ons like the full mesh insert and floor or you can even get a half mesh insert and floor and use the other side as a vestibule space. We stuck to just the tent body and used a Tyvek ground sheet for the floor.
Overall, despite the high price tag the Hyperlite Ultamid 2 Pyramid Tent is well worth it especially when looking for a all-season tent that can conquer all season conditions.
3F UL Lanshan Pro 2
Best Budget-Friendly Option
- Weight: 37.4 oz
- Material: 15D silicone/PU Nylon
- Height: 47″ inches
- Floor Space: 29.2 sq ft
Try 3F UL Lanshan Pro 2
Our Take: After using the 3F UL Lanshan 2 Pro on my recent backpacking trip, I’m thrilled to share my positive experience with this lightweight and budget-friendly tent. General design of the tent is basically a copycat of other ultralight designs, looking at you Zpacks.
But don’t let that bother you because a tent is a tent and if it helps you get outdoors by all means you have my vote. Anyhow, oh yes, the Lanshan 2. During my testing I found the set-up of the Lanshan 2 Pro relatively easy even though it didn’t really come with instructions, you can find them online.
I liked the double-wall construction of the tent; I did not notice much condensation at all in the tent and it stayed well-ventilated during muggy and humid days. Though inexpensive the tent is actually quite durable which I am almost always a little iffy especially when testing gear this cheap.
But really do not let this budget priced tent fool you. It is actually well worth it especially compared to high end tents. The Lanshan 2 Pro works well as a spacious tent for a solo hiker or two hikers wanting to squeeze into a tent together.
The storage and vestibule space is pretty average and the weight comes a little over 2 pounds which is still pretty dang good for a budget tent that is actually durable and fairly easy to setup. If you are looking for a budget pick or just getting started and want to lighten your load the Lanshan 2 or Lanshan 1 Pro is a great pick.
How to Choose: A 2 Person Backpacking Tent
Choosing the best 2 person backpacking tent for you is a personal decision that depends on your specific needs and preferences.
When picking a backpacking tent, I recommend starting by considering the capacity of the tent, which determines how many people can comfortably fit inside. Given that tent interiors are often designed to be snug to save weight, it’s crucial to select a tent size that accommodates the number of occupants you anticipate.
Most two person tents will accommodate two people using 20-inch pads and are fairly snug and also work as spacious tents for solo hikers.
Your hiking experience is greatly influenced by the weight of your tent. A lighter tent means less weight to carry, facilitating a faster and less fatiguing hike. However, it’s worth noting that ultralight tents often sacrifice a degree of durability and comfort to achieve lower weight.
Opting for a lighter tent has several advantages.
- Lighter tents lighten your load, allowing for faster and less tiring hikes
- They are easier to carry and set up
- They take up less space in your backpack However, bear in mind that lighter tents might not be as durable or comfortable as their heavier counterparts.
When choosing the best 2 person backpacking tent, it’s important to understand the key features that contribute to its performance and usability. These include the tent’s weight, materials used, and its design.
Performance and repair of the tent is also greatly influenced by its material. Common choices for ultralight tents include:
- Silicone-coated polyester (silpoly)
All of these materials are favored for their lightweight and durable properties.
Lastly, consider the tent’s durability. The material has a significant impact on the tent’s weight, breathability, and durability. Tents with lower denier ratings, like 10D to 20D are usually more lightweight to ultralight. These are usually great for backpacking.
Conversely, tents with higher denier ratings, such as 40D or even upwards to like 75D are much more durable but are heavier making them suitable for harsh weather conditions or traditional camping.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best ultralight tent for two people?
The Durston X-Mid Pro 2+ is the best ultralight tent for two people, offering a spacious interior and durable Dyneema composite construction.
What is the best budget-friendly ultralight tent?
The 3F UL Lanshan Pro 2 is a great option for a budget-friendly ultralight tent, offering a balance of lightweight design, easy setup, and ample space at an affordable price.
Choosing the best 2 person backpacking tent can be challenging, given the many options available. However, by considering your specific needs and understanding the key features of these tents, you can make an informed decision. Whether you’re a solo hiker or a duo, prefer a freestanding tent, need an all-season shelter, or are on a budget, there’s a 2 person tent out there for you.
In conclusion, we hope you found our review of the best 2 person backpacking tents useful. We are always trying to update our contents and try new products. If you have any suggestions or question let us know