5 Best Budget Backpacking Tents of 2017

This page is currently being rewritten and will be completed soon. Please look through these 2016 top pick while I update the new details. All these tents are likely to stick around for the 2017 version as they're still very solid budget buys. Thanks for your patience!

For more of my top gear recommendations have a look through the following links.

Author: Dave Collins
Last Updated: March 24, 2017

BUDGET TENT BUYS

If you’re looking to minimize the cost of a backpacking tent, but you still want something reliable in the backcountry, have a look at the tents listed below. These tents are all on the heavy side and they're built with lower quality materials. So if you’re in it for the long haul, I recommend checking out one of my favorite lightweight backpacking tents or ultralight shelters. That said, these budget buys still have a lot of good things going for them and they provide an affordable option for price-conscious backpackers.

 

REI Passage 2

The 4lb 14oz REI Passage 2 has a classic rectangular tent design with dual crossing poles. This is my top pick for budget buy tents. This tent doesn’t have a top bar to help make the walls more vertical, so there’s less headroom with this design. That said, it does have two doors, two vestibules, a wide fully-rectangular floor, and interior mesh pockets for good liveability. Pick up the Passage 2 footprint to increase tent floor durability.


The 4lb 11oz Mountainsmith Morrison 2 has a similar design to the REI Passage 2 - classic rectangular tent with crossing poles. Again, this tent doesn’t have a top bar to make the walls vertical, so it has less headroom. It also has two doors, two vestibules, a wide fully-rectangular floor, and interior mesh pockets. I prefer the nylon tent body of the Passage 2 over the polyester of the Morrison, but both designs are similar. Pick up the Morrison 2 footprint to increase tent floor durability.


The 4lb 14oz Alps Mountaineering Chaos 2 costs a bit more than the two budget options listed above, but it’s still a good buy. It has a similar shape to the MSR Hubba Hubba NX with more headroom than the two previous options. It also has two doors, two vestibules, a wide fully-rectangular floor, and interior mesh pockets. The biggest downsides with this tent are the heavy materials it’s built with and the lack of good ventilation with the rainfly on. Pick up the Chaos 2 footprint to increase tent floor durability.


 

Disclosure: The trust of my audience is of the utmost importance to me. That’s why I only recommend equipment I love from companies I trust. I have not been paid to review any of the products listed above. A couple of items were provided to me for free to review, but I purchased most of this equipment myself. Also, I am under no obligation to give positive reviews to any of the products listed above. This gear just rocks. This page contains affiliate links. Check out my terms page for more info.