HomeTentsBest 3 Person Tent for Backpacking (2023 Buying Guide)

Best 3 Person Tent for Backpacking (2023 Buying Guide)

BEST OVERALL
BEST VALUE
BUDGET PICK
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3
The North Face Stormbreak 3
Ozark Trail 3 Person Dome
  • Perfect for backpacking at 3 lbs 8 oz trail weight

  • Great weather performance

  • 2 doors and 2 vestibules

  • Storm-proof (& aluminum poles)

  • Easy to set up

  • 2 door design (39 sq ft)

  • Dirt cheap at only $29

  • What more do you want, it’s $29

  • Again, it’s $29

Wilderness Times may receive commissions for links included in articles to Amazon and other affiliate partners. We take pride in our testing and research, and recommendations are not given out lightly.

In a rush? Our top pick for the best 3 person tent is the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3.

With all the designs, materials, and features available, choosing the right 3 person tent is not an easy task.

There are tons of things to consider including when and how you’ll be using it.

After testing, rating, and examining these 3 person tents, we’ve narrowed it down to some of the best models out there.

Without further ado, I present to you our list:

Best 3 Person Tent for Backpacking:

Best 3 Person Tents for Car Camping:

Best 3 Person Tents for Expeditions:

Best 3 Person Tent: Our Top Picks

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 Tent

big agnes best 3 person tent

Tent Type: Dome | Weight (lbs): 3.87 | Min Trail Weight: 3 lbs. 8 oz. | Max Inside Height (in): 62 | Floor: 90 x 70 inches (43.75 sq ft) | Setup Time: 10 mins


OVERALL SCORE

8.6


  Space & Comfort

9


  Quality & Durability

9


  Value

6


  Weather Resistance

9


  Ease of Use

9


   Intangibles

8


  User Reviews

9.7

This model by Big Agnes strikes the perfect balance between size and weight. With 3 pounds of ponderousness, this is a great backpacking tent.

But unlike most such tents, it’s also pretty spacious.

The floor area is 41 square feet, and you also get two 9 foot vestibules.

This means you can store most of your stuff outside, to have more room to sleep comfortably at night.

The tent has tons of storage options. There are two big pockets, the first one above your head and the other one in the foot, as well as a few smaller side pockets.

I love that media pockets feature earbud cord-routing.

This tent is made of double ripstop nylon, which is a lightweight mixed denier fabric. But while light, this material is tear and puncture resistant.

It’s also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected weather conditions.

Pros:

  • Two awning-style vestibules offer ample covered living area, which will protect you from both sun and rain
  • Tons of pockets allow you to have all the essentials close at hand
  • It weighs only 3 pounds, which makes it great for backpacking
  • Dual low-vent vestibule door coupled with high-fly vent create tons of airflow, preventing condensation

Cons:

  • The sand cand can jam the rain fly attachment clips, making them unusable

Best for: campers that need lots of storage space.

Check Price at REI

Check Price On Camp Saver

The North Face Stormbreak 3 Three-Person Camping Tent

The North Face Stormbreak 3

Tent Type: Dome | Weight (lbs): 6 | Min Trail Weight: 5 lbs 15 oz | Max Inside Height (in): 46 | Floor: 65 x 88 inches (39.72 sq ft) | Setup Time: 10 mins


OVERALL SCORE

8.0


  Space & Comfort

6


  Quality & Durability

8


  Value

8


  Weather Resistance

9


  Ease of Use

8


   Intangibles

8


  User Reviews

9.2

As the name suggests, this tent is designed to keep you safe and dry in stormy weather.

This is a tightly woven fabric that stands well against weather elements while being rather lightweight.

That makes this tent a great option for mountain climbing

This is a standard-sized 3 person tent, with 39 square feet of floor area. It also has a low center height of only 46 inches.

But while it’s smaller than most models on this list, that also makes it ideal for cold and windy weather.

I love that it has double doors so that you can get out during the night without jumping over your camping buddies.

The double door design also allows great airflow, thus preventing condensation.

Most all-season tents are actually too warm for summer, but that’s not the case with this model.

Since the inner tent is made entirely of mesh, you can remove the rainfly during hot nights and enjoy the view of the night sky.

Pros:

  • With a weight of 6 pounds, it’s suitable for thru-hiking and backpacking
  • Since it’s double-walled, this tent can be used all year round
  • Two vestibules allow you to keep your boots outside
  • The rainfly is UV radiation and water resistant

Cons:

  • Slightly smaller than most tents on this list

Best for: campers in need of an all-season tent.

Check Price On Amazon

Check Price at The North Face

Ozark Trail 3-Person Dome Tent

Ozark Trail 3 Person Dome

Tent Type: Dome | Weight (lbs): 5.64 | Min Trail Weight: 5.6 lbs | Max Inside Height (in): 44 | Floor: 84 x 84 inches (49 sq ft) | Setup Time: 10 mins


OVERALL SCORE

7.1


  Space & Comfort

8


  Quality & Durability

4


  Value

8


  Weather Resistance

7


  Ease of Use

9


   Intangibles

5


  User Reviews

7.8

If you think that a decent 3 person tent requires you to loosen the purse strings, this tent will prove you wrong.

For more than an affordable price, you get all the essential features, plus more.

This is a rather lightweight tent at only 5.64 pounds. It’s a great budget tent for backpacking and thru-hiking.

But although light, this tent is by no means frail. The mesh body is protected with a seam-taped and waterproof rainfly.

This tent has several organizing options. A mud mat at the entrance allows you to clean your shoes before entering the tent.

A gear loft, wall hanging organizer and center loop are perfect for keeping important items within stone’s throw.

Another feature worth mentioning is the E-port, which allows you to bring electricity into your tent for charging your phone, power the A/C etc.

Pros:

  • It’s compact and lightweight, making it great for backpacking
  • There are tons of storage options that help you keep your tent neatly organized
  • An E-port allow you to bring a power supply inside the tent while hook-and-loop organizers keep the cords off the floor
  • The mud mat and entryway awning are ideal for storing boots outside

Cons:

  • Somewhat smaller compared to other models on the list

Best for: campers on a budget.

Check Price on Walmart

The North Face VE 25 Tent

north face v2 25 tent

Tent Type: Geodesic | Weight (lbs): 10.3 | Min Trail Weight: 9 lbs 8 oz | Max Inside Height (in): 48 | Floor: 104 x 85 inches (48 sq ft) | Setup Time: 10 mins


OVERALL SCORE

7.7


  Space & Comfort

9


  Quality & Durability

8


  Value

6


  Weather Resistance

9


  Ease of Use

6


   Intangibles

7


  User Reviews

8.6

This 4-season tent is designed to withstand winds in high altitudes.

That’s thanks to its dome shape and its low center height of 48 inches.

Strong guylines with equalizers located around the tent further improve its stability in high blasts.

In fact, this tent stands well against all mountain weather conditions. This is thanks to its double walls, high-quality fabric and tight pitch.

You can rest assured you’ll stay dry and warm in any weather situation you encounter.

The double wall design, along with two doors and two fly vents provide good air circulation.

The tent itself is made of uncoated nylon, which is a breathable and well-insulating material. This means you can forget all about condensation issues.

The tent features two vestibules, which give you a total of 16 square feet of covered area.

You can keep your equipment under the vestibule to have more room for sleeping comfortably inside.

Eight large mesh pockets, together with hanging loops allow you to keep the floor free of clutter.

Pros:

  • Low profile and guylines with equalizers keep the tent in place even during high winds
  • Two vestibules provide a decent storage area for your gear
  • The tent comes with snow stakes
  • Glow-in-the-dark colored zipper pulls allow you to easily get in and out at night

Cons:

  • Somewhat heavy

Best for: camping in high altitudes.

Check Price at The North Face

Gazelle 3 Person Camping Tent

gazele camping hub tent for three person

Tent Type: Cabin | Weight (lbs): 30 | Min Trail Weight: n/a | Max Inside Height (in): 68 | Floor: 76 x 82 inches (43.28 sq ft) | Setup Time: 1-2 mins


OVERALL SCORE

8.1


  Space & Comfort

9


  Quality & Durability

8


  Value

7


  Weather Resistance

7


  Ease of Use

9


   Intangibles

7


  User Reviews

9

Whether you hate cramped space or simply want to be able to change clothes while standing up, a cabin-style tent might be what you need.

This model by Gazelle stands 68 inches tall, which is pretty admirable for a 3 person tent.

With 43 square feet of floor area, there’s enough space for three people to sleep comfortably, with some extra room for equipment.

Since the tent doesn’t have a vestibule, having decent storage space inside is important.

You can also make the best use of the floor area thanks to the ceiling gear loft, two side pockets and four wall-mounted pouch pockets.

Different storage options are great, as they allow you to know where your essentials are at all times.

Since this is a pop-up tent, pitching won’t take you more than a minute. Quick setup is especially important when it’s raining.

The unique roof design prevents rain collection, making this tent a great option for wet weather conditions.

Pros:

  • Six tight-weave mesh windows allow the air and light to come in while sheltering you from weather elements
  • The removable tent floor makes cleaning easy
  • With 68 inches of height, you can easily move around the tent
  • Tons of pockets and a ceiling gear loft allow you to keep the interior nice and tidy

Cons:

  • Heavy compared to other picks

Best for: campers looking for a tent with more headspace.

Check Price on Amazon

Check Price on Walmart

REI Co-op Quarter Dome 3 Tent

rei co op quarter best 3 person tent

Tent Type: Dome | Weight (lbs): 4.5 | Min Trail Weight: 4 lbs. 1 oz. | Max Inside Height (in): 44 | Floor: 88 x 70 inches (40.9 sq ft) | Setup Time: 10 mins


OVERALL SCORE

7.9


  Space & Comfort

7


  Quality & Durability

9


  Value

7


  Weather Resistance

8


  Ease of Use

9


   Intangibles

7


  User Reviews

7.8

Most backpacking tents sacrifice comfort for weight, but that’s not the case with this model by REI Co-op.

This tent has 40 inches of floor area, which is pretty decent for a backpacking tent.

Furthermore, 19 square inches of vestibule area work practically as a garage. You can store all of your gear outside while keeping it safe from weather elements.

That way, you can have all the room inside for sleeping comfortably.

The fly is made of 15D ripstop nylon which is lightweight, tear-free and breathable.

At the same time, the fabric is also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about being wet even during the heaviest pour.

Thanks to two doors as well as a mesh body, this tent has plenty of airflows, so you don’t have to worry about condensation issues.

Pros:

  • A large vestibule allows you to keep your boots and gear outside but protected from rain
  • The fly fabric is breathable and keeps you protected from all weather elements
  • During summer, you can remove the fly to enjoy the night sky
  • Reflective stake loops and guylines prevent falling over them at night

Cons:

  • Takes a bit longer to pitch

Best for: long-distance hiking trips.

Check Price at REI

Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent

Yakima Skyrise Rooftop

Tent Type: Rooftop | Weight (lbs): 115 | Min Trail Weight: n/a | Max Inside Height (in): 48 | Floor: 56 x 96 inches (37.3 sq ft) | Setup Time: 5 mins


OVERALL SCORE

7.7


  Space & Comfort

7


  Quality & Durability

8


  Value

5


  Weather Resistance

9


  Ease of Use

9


   Intangibles

7


  User Reviews

7.6

Going camping with your SUV? Then why not make the best use of your vehicle and enjoy sleeping off the ground and away from bugs and critters?

In that case, you’ll love this tent by Yakima.

The tent is pitched on top of your SUV, so you’re far above the dirty, cold ground.

What’s even better is that you’ll have a pretty amazing view of the surrounding nature from up there, through windows on each side of the tent.

Since the tent comes with a cozy foam mattress, you can rest assured you’ll sleep like a baby every night.

You can leave inflatable pads at home and enjoy the comfort at par with your own bed.

This tent can be attached to most factory and aftermarket crossbars, as long as your racks can withstand that much weight.

The tent is tool-free, so you can take it on and off, as well as lock it in place, without struggle.

Also See: Yakima SkyRise Rooftop Tent Comparison and Review

Pros:

  • Comes with a foam mattress, so you can sleep as comfortably as you do at home
  • It features multiple windows and two skylights to give you a view of your surroundings
  • Requires no additional tools for pitching
  • Comes with a 2-year manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • Rather expensive

Best for: campers that value comfort the most.

Check Price On Backcountry

Check Price at Overlander

Quechua 2 Second Fresh & Black 3-Person Instant Pop-Up Tent

Quechua 2 Second Fresh & Black

Tent Type: Pop-Up | Weight (lbs): 9.3 | Min Trail Weight: 9.3 lbs | Max Inside Height (in): 40.9 | Floor: 70.9 X 82.7 inches (40.72 sq ft) | Setup Time: 1 min


OVERALL SCORE

8.2

  Space & Comfort

8


  Quality & Durability

8


  Value

7.5


  Weather Resistance

8


  Ease of Use

9


   Intangibles

7.5


  User Reviews

9.2

If you’re new to camping, pitching a tent might be overwhelming.

But allowing a hard-to-setup tent to take the steam out of such a fun outdoor activity would be a shame.

Especially when there are tents that can be pitched within two seconds, like this one by Quechua.

If there’s no wind, you don’t even need to use the pegs. But if you need to, you can secure it in place with side guylines.

The shape of this tent doesn’t catch the wind like a sail, so you can rest assured it will stand well against different weather elements.

This tent proves that color choice matters. It’s white on the outside, so it reflects all lightwaves, absorbing very little heat.

It’s also coated with a 50 SPF rating. This means it will keep you safe from UV damage.

The inside walls, on the other hand, are black. This keeps the interior as dark as possible, allowing you to sleep well past the sunrise.

What’s more, blackout tents tend to stay much cooler than regular tents.

Pros:

  • The tent is extremely easy to assemble and fold up
  • Black and white fabric color prevent the heat and sun from reaching inside
  • The flysheet is coated to keep you safe from both UV radiation and moisture
  • If there’s no wind, the tent can stay pitched without pegs

Cons:

  • Bulky when packed

Best for: campers looking to sleep up and off the ground with an easy setup

Check Price on Walmart

Big Agnes Tiger Wall 3 Carbon Tent

Big Agnes Tiger Wall 3 Carbon

Tent Type: Dome | Weight (lbs): 2.1 | Min Trail Weight: 1lb 13oz | Max Inside Height (in): 42 | Floor: 88 x 66 inches (38 sq ft) | Setup Time: 10 mins


OVERALL SCORE

7.5


  Space & Comfort

6


  Quality & Durability

8


  Value

6


  Weather Resistance

9


  Ease of Use

7


   Intangibles

9


  User Reviews

8

If you’re willing to pay a pretty penny for a premium tent, then look no further than this model by Big Agnes.

It gives you the best of both worlds – it’s extremely light yet gives you really good protection against weather elements.

With a packed weight of just 2 pounds, this is probably the lightest 3 person tent you can find out there.

But what’s fascinating is that it doesn’t sacrifice comfort for weight.

Both fly and floor are made of Dyneema composite fabric, which is a combo of polyester and polyethylene sheets.

That’s a thin material that’s highly tear-resistant as well as completely waterproof.

But while pretty durable, the fly is not completely indestructible. Still, the tent comes with a Dyneema patch kit, which includes tape and two patch discs.

So even if unexpected damage happens, you can easily fix it on the trail.

The rainfly has low vent features on the vestibule doors which allow airflow even when it’s raining cats and dogs.

The carbon poles are light and flexible, which gives them a high strength to weight ratio.

Pros:

  • This is one of the lightest 3 person tents on the market
  • Features media pockets above your head that enable cord routing from phones or other electronics
  • There are two vestibules with storm flaps on the vestibule zippers to prevent rain from getting in
  • Precut guylines, color-coded webbing and buckles make pitching a piece of cake

Cons:

  • Very expensive

Best for: camping aficionados willing to pay a lot for a high-quality tent.

Check Price On Backcountry

Check Price at Big Agnes

Mountain Hardwear ACI 3 Tent

Mountain Hardwear ACI 3 Tent

Tent Type: Dome | Weight (lbs): 8.2 | Min Trail Weight: 7 lbs. 1.9 oz. | Max Inside Height (in): 41 | Floor: 110 x 60 inches (45.8 sq ft) | Setup Time: 10 mins


OVERALL SCORE

8.2


  Space & Comfort

7.5


  Quality & Durability

9


  Value

6


  Weather Resistance

8


  Ease of Use

9


   Intangibles

8


  User Reviews

10

If you’re searching for a tent that can endure extreme conditions, you can’t go wrong with this model by Mountain Hardwear.

It’s designed to keep you warm and comfy even in the Himalayas.

An integrated vestibule provides you with a storage and cooking area outside of your sleeping space.

This is especially important during stormy days when you simply can’t get outside.

The tent is made of 50d ripstop nylon, a durable waterproof fabric, that will keep you safe from weather elements.

With 46 square feet of floor area, this tent is pretty spacey for a 3-person tent.

Aside from under the vestibule, you can store your gear essentials in 6 off-the-floor mesh pockets.

This tent is simple to pitch, thanks to color-coded poles and webbing at stakeout points.

It has four adjustable zippered vents and two doors, which provide lots of airflow.

Good ventilation is essential in single-walled tents, as they have issues with condensation.

Pros:

  • The 26 square foot vestibule provides ample storage and a cooking area
  • Four vents and two doors provide cross-ventilation
  • Sleeved-pole design makes the tent more stable, protects the poles, and makes pitching easier
  • With eight pounds, this is a pretty lightweight 4-season tent

Cons:

  • Rather expensive

Best for: mountaineers.

Check Price at REI

Check Price at Camp Saver

What To Look For In A 3 Person Tent

3 Person Backpacking Tents Don't Weigh Much!
3 Person Backpacking Tents Don’t Weigh Much! (Photo Credit: James Willamor)

With tents there is no one-size-fits-all, so choosing the right model depends on a lot of factors.

Here are the most important characteristics to look for when searching the market.

Size

Before we talk about size, let’s see what a 3 person capacity actually means.

The capacity rating gives you an idea of how many people can tightly fit in. In most cases, a 3 person tent won’t mean three people will sleep comfortably.

Depending on the brand, a 3 person tent will have roughly 30 to 45 square feet of floor area.

Having a high ceiling means you can stand up and move around the tent easily. On the other hand, a low ceiling performs better in high winds.

That’s something to consider when choosing the right tent.

A tent should be about 40 inches high to sit up straight and 48 inches to kneel while inside.

But keep in mind that a taller peak height can make a smaller tent area feel roomier.

Ease Of Setup

Let’s be real – who enjoys pitching a tent? Especially when you get to the staking part… To make your job a bit easier, look for tents with color-coded poles, precut guylines and clips.

If you don’t want to be bothered by even that, you can always go for an instant or a pop-up tent. They’re so easy and quick to pitch, you can do it blindfolded.

Weight

Generally, the more features your tent has, the heavier it will be.

If you’re backpacking, you want to carry as little as possible, so you might need to sacrifice a few bells and whistles to save up on weight.

On the other hand, if you’re car camping, then weight doesn’t really matter. Then you can show off your spacy 3 person tent with large vestibules.

Additional Features

3 Person Backpacking Tents
3 Person Backpacking Tents feature Vestibules for Gear Storage (Photo Credit: Justin Hikes)

There are other situational features worth considering in a 3 person tent. Here are the most important ones:

Waterproofing

If you camp in a region with high precipitation, you’ll need a tent with a good waterproof rating.

The rating is typically measured in millimeters (mm) and it shows how much water can sit on top of the fabric before it starts leaking.

If the rating is over 1,000 mm, the fabric is generally considered waterproof.

Awnings & Vestibules

It not only creates a nice little shade around the tent doors, but it also gives you the space for storing your gear and keeping it safe from weather elements.

Storage Options

Pockets and clips for hanging objects can make the difference between a chaotic interior and one that’s nice and orderly, and some tents come with loads of these while others have a token one or two, so it’s definitely worth checking this out.

FAQs

Can you backpack with a 3-person tent?

For backpacking, a 3-person tent offers the middle ground – it’s relatively light but provides enough space for your partner as well as your gear.

Some models, like the Big Agnes Tiger Wall, weigh as little as two pounds, which is among the lightest tents on the market.

Is a 3-person tent too big for backpacking?

If you’re backpacking with a partner, a 3-person tent is ideal. There’s enough room for sleeping and keeping gear, so you’re not sacrificing comfort for weight.

For a solo backpacker, a 2-person tent might be a better choice.

Should I get a 2 or 3-person tent?

That depends on the type of trip you’re going on, as well as the number of people sleeping inside.

If you’re backpacking, then you want to keep your gear as light as possible.

If you’re car camping, on the other hand, then you go with a larger tent.

Is a 3-person tent big enough?

A 3-person tent provides ample inner area for a pair of campers.

Many models are also lightweight, so they’re suitable for all kinds of camping trips.

Do you need a 3-person tent for 2 people?

When choosing the tent size, it’s always better to go with +1.

The number of people indicates how many sleeping bags can fit tightly inside the tent.

But you’ll also have gear and want some extra room, so we always advise going up in tent size depending on how comfortable you are looking to be.

How large is a 3-person tent?

The actual dimensions may differ between models from different brands.

But most 3-person tents have 30 to 45 square feet of floor area.

As for the height, most of them give you enough headspace when sitting.

To Sum It Up

The number of 3 person tents on the market can be overwhelming, but I hope this guide has helped you make the cut.

You can’t go wrong by choosing our top pick, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3. It’s lightweight, yet spacey and durable.

It will keep you comfy and warm even during heavy storms.

More Tents by Size