Tents come in many different shapes and sizes, but we reckon the most useful type to have in your gear cupboard and the one you’ll undoubtedly use most, is a two-person tent (or a two-man tent). After all, there are few better outdoor experiences than being pitched up under the stars, protected from the elements after a big day in the mountains and looking forward to another big one come the following day, while being comfortably ensconced in your very own home from home.
The best two person tents for backpacking should meet a tricky set of demands: they need to provide enough space to be comfortable for two while also protecting you from rain, wind, hail, snow and anything else the mountains can conceivably throw at you. On top of that, ideally they should also be lightweight, packable, low cost and quick to pitch.
Yes, these tents are inevitably going to be heavier than the tents we featured in our Best Solo Tents For Backpacking test, but as these backpacking tents are designed to accommodate two people, you’ll be able to split many of the components between yourself and your partner in an effort to evenly distribute weight. Many of these tents can be split up into four different components; outer (fly), inner, pegs and poles.
That said, there’s also nothing better than having a two person tent all to yourself for maximum comfort in the hills and mountains (as long as you’ve also got your sleeping bag and sleeping mat setup squared away). Those of us who are taller than average will infinitely prefer the space offered in these tents, compared to the much smaller footprints typically found in ultra lightweight solo tents.
The Best Two Person Tents For Backpacking
We’ve put a range of two-person tents to the test and the below came out on top. Some of the tents featured are also found within our Outdoor 100 2020/21 and the Outdoor 100 2019. In these guides, you’ll be able check out a more in depth review of each shelter, including testers’ verdicts and industry trade secrets.
- MSR Hubba Hubba NX – Best Two Person Tent
- Sierra Designs Meteor 3000
- Snugpak Journey Duo – Best Value Two Person Tent
- Heimplanet Fistral 2P
- Nigor Didis 2 – Best Four Season Tent
- Nemo Hornet 2P
- Terra Nova Laser Compact 2
- Snow Peak Fal Pro Air 2
- Robens Goldcrest 2
- Lightwave Sigma S20
- Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2
- Vango Banshee Pro 200
- Nordisk Telemark 2 LW
BEST BUY: MSR Hubba Hubba NX
Photo: Chris Johnson
Best for: Three-season backpacking, bikepacking and cycle touring
Key attributes: High spec materials, spacious and comfortable
‘Hubba Hubba’ – a quick Google search has enlightened us that this phrase means ‘an expression of excitement or approval’. That’s fitting, because this is a tent worthy of getting very excited about. MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX is a positively cavernous tent, with unparalleled liveability and an amazing amount of space. Where other tents can feel cramped and claustrophobic for two, the Hubba Hubba is roomy, spacious and comfortable. This is achieved through the very scientific sounding ‘optimised symmetrical geometry’, according to MSR – but, in layman’s terms, a skeletal pole, which the inner clips to tightly, creates near-vertical walls, maximum head room, superb width, and no excess fabric lulls. It works brilliantly, meaning there is ample space for two to lay out sleeping systems, organise kit, and chill out (including sitting or kneeling up), without getting in the way of each other.
There are numerous other great features too: pitching is intuitively easy and quick; twin D-shaped doors, each with a large porch, give each person their own entrance and space for storing a backpack and boots; vents at each end of the tent provide good breathability and air-flow; the zips are very slick and don’t catch; the freestanding structure can easily be moved and angled for the perfect wild camp positioning; and, over numerous tests in pretty wild Scottish conditions, the Durashield-coated outer never touched the inner, keeping us dry and warm. We also loved the way that, on a sunny summer’s day, it’s actually possible to use the tent without the outer all together, enabling you to experience sleeping under the stars protected from midges and other creepy crawlies.
Of course, the Hubba Hubba NX isn’t without some faults. At 1,720g it is ever so slightly on the heavy side within its category; the three-season status means it isn’t as bombproof or as weatherproof as four-season alternatives; and the inner-first set-up is kind of annoying in the wind or rain. But nothing is ever perfect. All in all, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX is a top-notch, high-quality product which is about as homely as a tent can get, while still being light enough for backpacking. ‘Hubba Hubba’, indeed.
Symmetrical geometry / single large easy-entry door / single porch / side entry zipper orientation / adjustable rainfly (roll-up vestibule & stargazer view) / high-tenacity nylon fabrics / compression stuff sack with pull handle.
Selected for the Outdoor 100 2019/20 – check out our full MSR Hubba Hubba NX review.
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