If you’re in a rush and looking for a great A-frame tent, check out the Naturehike Cotton Retro A-Frame Tent.
A-frame tents…a classic throwback that you rarely see out at the campgrounds anymore!
Nowadays, there are just so many other models available.
But, A-frame tents are still relevant as ever, plus they offer some amazing features.
In this article, we’ll cover the best a-frame models on the market right now:
Best A-Frame Tents for Backpacking:
- Best Premium Backpacking A-Frame: Big Agnes Scout 2 Platinum Tent
- Best Ultralight Backpacking A Frame: Hyperlite Unbound 2p
- 2nd Choice Ultralight Backpacking A-Frame: ZPacks Duplex Tent
- Best Ultralight 3-Person Backpacking A Frame: ZPacks Triplex Tent
- Best Budget A-Frame: River Country Products Trekker Tent
- Best Backpacking A-Frame for Durability: REI Co-op Flash Air 2 Tent
Best A-Frame Tents for Car Camping:
- Best Overall A-Frame: Naturehike Cotton Retro A-Frame Tent
- Best Easy Setup Instant A-Frame: Ozark Trail A Frame Tent with Awning
- Best 4-Person A-Frame: Eureka! Timberline Backpacking Tent
- Best Ultra Budget A-Frame: Stansport Scout 2-Person Backpacking Tent
Best A-Frame Tents for Bushcraft:
- Best Bushcraft A-Frame: OneTigris Backwoods Bungalow Bushcraft Shelter 2.0
- Best Budget Bushcraft A Frame: GeerTop Backpacking A-frame Tent for 2
Best A-Frame Tent: Our Top Picks
Naturehike Cotton Retro A-Frame Tent
Type: A-frame | Size: 2 person | Seasons: 4 | Weight (lbs): 27.12 lbs | Floor: 120.08 x 72.05 x 59.06 in (29.5 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 120 in | Setup Time: 10 mins
While technically designed for glamping, this retro tent by Naturehike is one of the best A-frame tents you can find on the market.
It’s made to last, keep you safe from weather elements and provide comfort in the outdoors.
The tent is made of blended cotton, a material that balances between being splash-proof and breathable.
That’s why this tent is technically considered to be a four-season model. However, the manufacturer suggests against using it in the rain for a prolonged time.
At the first sight, this model may look like a classic A-style tent.
But what makes it stand out from the crowd is the large canopy, which can be pulled open on the side and expands the tent’s space.
Another thing worth mentioning about this tent is its stability.
To ensure it won’t budge from the strong winds, the tent features wind rope webbings and aluminum alloy support rods.
Of course, closing the canopy is necessary for windy weather.
- The soft cotton is treated with an anti-mildew solution and waterproof coating, which allow it to withstand rain
- The canopy can be pulled from the side, expanding the interior area
- Double doors, side canopy and the window below the opposite side can be opened for additional airflow
- Features YKK zippers, which are durable, anti-slip and very dependable
- Rather heavy
- Not suitable for prolonged use in the rain
Best for: overall rating and for glamping.
River Country Products Trekker Tent
Type: A-frame | Size: 2 person | Seasons: 3 | Weight (lbs): 3 lb 5 oz | Floor: 84 x 60 x 42 inches (35 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 42 in | Setup Time: 5 mins
While this is a very affordable A-frame tent, it’s by no means cheap.
The tent body is made of puncture-resistant polyester, while the floor is made of Oxford taffeta.
Both materials are durable but also lightweight, which makes this tent a great option when traveling long distances on foot.
This tent is originally intended to be used with trekking poles, but you can also set it up with tall sticks or tie between the trees.
This allows you quite a bit of versatility when it comes to pitching, and that’s quite impressive for a budget A-frame tent.
To make it so affordable, the brand needs to cut down the cost with certain features.
In the case of this model, that’s achieved by making the back side single-walled.
But don’t worry, the other three sides are double-walled, so you don’t have to worry about condensation during rain.
Two-person tents aren’t very spacious in general, but this model has slightly larger dimensions than the industry standard.
This makes the tent very roomy for a single camper and comfortable for two.
- You can erect the tent by suspending it between two trekking poles, long sticks or trees
- With the price it sells at, this is one of the most affordable A-frame tents on the market
- Weighs just 3 pounds, which makes it suitable for backpacking and trekking
- Offers a bit more room compared to standard two-person tents
- Can be difficult to pitch in tough terrains, such as gravel and sand
Best for: campers on a budget.
Big Agnes Scout 2 Platinum Tent
Type: A-frame | Size: 2 person | Seasons: 4 | Weight (lbs): 2.6 lbs | Floor: 90 x 54 x 40 in ( 29 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 40 in | Setup Time: 7-10 mins
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If you don’t mind splurging on a tent, then you should consider this model by Big Agnes.
This two-person tent is ideal for solo trekkers or backpackers, as there’s practically nothing slowing them down.
To be fair, you can barely feel this one-pound-heavy tent in your backpack.
To stay so lightweight, Big Agnes had to cut on the load wherever possible.
That’s why this model is single-walled and uses trekking poles as an external frame.
But despite the single-wall design, this tent doesn’t have condensation issues.
The tent features multiple mesh vents with protective eaves to keep the rain out.
And thanks to the silicone coating, water drops simply slide down the walls instead of passing through.
I can pinpoint only one feature that’s not up to my liking, and that’s the front door zipper design.
The tent features rain flaps around the door edges, to prevent water from getting in.
However, the door zipper easily snags onto the flaps, which can cause damage if you’re not careful.
- With a weight of one pound, this is one of the lightest models on the market
- Gear loft loops and 3-D bin pockets allow you to maximize storage options
- Double slider zippers allow you to vent the tent from the top or bottom
- Reflective guylines and webbing on tent corners make the tent more visible at night
- Zipper can snag on rain flaps and jam
Best for: ultralight solo trekkers.
REI Co-op Flash Air 2 Tent
Type: A-frame | Size: 2 person | Seasons: 3 | Weight (lbs): 2 lbs. 8 oz. | Floor: 88 x 52/42 inches (28.7 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 42 in | Setup Time: 5 mins
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This tent might not seem like it, given it’s very lightweight, but it’s one of the most durable A-frame tents you can find on the market.
REI uses recycled ripstop nylon for this model, a material that is extremely light but thickly woven for additional strength.
The inner tent body is made of mesh, while the rainfly reaches all the way to the ground.
The tent also comes with aluminum poles, which are anodized to prevent rusting and increase durability.
But if you still need to save up on weight, you can leave the poles at home and use your trekking poles to pitch the tent.
The setup itself isn’t very hard, but it requires a bit more work than a standard tent.
Given it’s non-freestanding and also extremely light, you need to stake the tent out during setup and keep all sides taut.
- The nearly 90-degree roof poles give extra headroom inside
- Has two doors, so you don’t have to cross over your camping companion to get in and out of the tent
- Comes with aluminum poles, but you can use trekking poles or sticks when saving up on weight
- The rainfly can be pulled out, creating an awning during a friendlier weather
- Nice-sized vestibule area of 28.72 sq ft!
- A bit more difficult to set up compared to most models on this list
Best for: stargazing.
Hyperlite Unbound 2p
Type: A-frame, Backpacking | Size: 2 person | Seasons: 3 | Weight (lbs): 1.5 lbs | Floor: 90 x 48 (28.1 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 48 in | Setup Time: 5 mins
This tent by Hyperlite is a versatile and reliable option for backpackers.
Whatever kind of weather and type of terrain you plan on camping in/on, this tent will do the job.
To save up on weight, this tent is single-walled.
The material of choice is Dyneema composite fabric, which is very durable and completely waterproof.
Interestingly enough, the fabric is also breathable, so you won’t struggle with condensation during a rainy day.
When not in use, the tent packs down compactly and can fit into a 9-liter stuff sack.
Of course, you can compress it way further and put the whole sack into your backpack.
The tent also features two decently-sized vestibules. They extend to the ground, so you can use them to store gear and dirty boots.
The vestibules feature YKK zippers, which are durable and have an anti-snag cover to prevent damage to the tent.
- Completely waterproof, meaning you can use it in any weather
- It’s extremely light and compact, making it great for backpacking
- Features two vestibules for storing gear outside
- The tent uses YKK zippers, which are extremely durable and don’t snag on the material
- Very expensive compared to other tents on this list
Best for: ultralight backpacking and trekking.
Type: A-frame, Backpacking | Size: 2 person | Seasons: 3 | Weight (lbs): 1.13 lbs | Floor: 90 x 45 x 48 in ( 28.2 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 48 in | Setup Time: 8-10 mins
This model is voted one of the most popular options for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, and for a good reason.
This tent checks all the boxes for an ultralight tent, and more.
First, this tent has a symmetrical design.
This means that you and your camping companion can lay side by side in either direction.
There are also two storm doors on each side, so both of you can enter and exit without disturbing the other person.
Furthermore, each door can be opened and closed individually, depending on the amount of airflow.
During rain, when all four are closed, overlapping storm doors will protect you from condensation.
On each side, the rainfly reaches the ground, providing you with an ample vestibule for storing gear.
Speaking of rainfly, the material it’s made of is Dyneema composite fabric, which is both waterproof and breathable.
- Features doors on both sides so that you and your camping companion can move without bumping into each other
- Made of Dyneema composite fabric, the tent is lightweight, waterproof and breathable
- The rainfly creates two vestibules for storing gear
- Comes with a two-year limited warranty against defects in materials or workmanship
- Very expensive compared to other tents on this list
Best for: thru-hiking.
GeerTop Backpacking A-frame Tent for 2
Type: A-frame | Size: 2 person | Seasons: 4 | Weight (lbs): 3.3 lbs | Floor: 7 x 5 ft (35 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 45 in | Setup Time: 7-10 mins
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There are so many great things to say about this tent.
First of all, it’s very sturdy and durable, so it’s a great option when you’re camping in a dispersed area, away from any civilization.
The tent is made of 210T polyester, which is a very lightweight material.
The whole thing weighs a little over three pounds, so carrying this tent on your back is not an issue.
Still, we’re talking about a tent that’s built to last.
The tent has a canopy that can be pulled from the side, so there’s a larger roof-covered surface.
If you want to keep the insects out while the canopy is erected, you can close the inner mesh door.
The only thing I don’t like about this tent is that the inner mesh door is also the only entrance to the tent.
It’s pretty big, so opening and closing it to get in and out of the tent can be quite a hassle.
- Affordable compared to most picks on this list
- With a PU rating of 3000 mm, this tent will keep you dry in heavy rain
- A canopy can be pulled from the side, offering additional sun protection
- Rather lightweight, so it’s suitable for on-foot trips
- The door is quite big, and you need to unzip them at least halfway to get in and out
Best for: budget bushcraft.
OneTigris Backwoods Bungalow Bushcraft Shelter 2.0
Type: A-frame | Size: 2 person | Seasons: 4 | Weight (lbs): 3.2 lbs | Floor: 7 ft x 4 ft x 3.8 ft (28 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 45.27 in | Setup Time: 7-10 mins
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This tent has that classic, foxhole WWII look, but the design is constantly upgraded to keep up with new technologies in the industry.
The tent is made of 75D ripstop nylon, which is an extremely durable but rather lightweight material.
The fabric is further coated with a layer of polyurethane, making the tent water-resistant.
One side of the tent extends to create a canopy, increasing the interior when the weather allows it.
The upgraded version features a mesh, keeping all the insects out.
When it rains, you can close the canopy to keep the elements out, while a lower rear mesh door will ensure there’s airflow inside.
Even though it’s a non-freestanding tent, this model is very easy to set up.
You can use your trekking poles, larger sticks, or tied between two trees.
Then, stake down guylines and tie-out points on the back for better stability.
- Features a large canopy that can be used on non-rainy days
- Lower rear mesh door with flap allows better ventilation
- Comes with a waterproof stuff sack for storage
- Features a camping lantern attach point underneath the roof
- Not suitable for use in prolonged rain weather
Best for: camping during warmer months of the year.
Stansport Scout 2-Person Backpacking Tent
“Type: A-frame | Size: 2 person | Seasons: 3 | Weight (lbs): 3.7 lbs | Floor: 78 x 52 x 38 in (29 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): in | Setup Time: 10 mins”
Not mentioning this tent by Stansport in this list would be a disgrace.
For the price it sells at, you get an amazing product that’s at par with more expensive models.
This tent has that classic A-frame design, with a large mesh door on one, and a small vent window on the other side. Given its size, those openings are large enough to provide decent airflow inside the tent.
The tent is super easy to pitch.
You get two sturdy aluminum poles with the purchase, but of course, you can use your trekking poles instead.
When it comes to waterproofness, this tent has a PU rating of just 800 mm.
This means that the tent is designed for use in dry weather, and given its price tag, that’s expected.
Of course, you can still use it when it’s raining, as long as you set up a tarp over the tent.
- The door and window provide decent airflow inside the tent
- Very easy to pitch and comes with its own poles
- Packs down compactly, so it takes up very little space in your gear
- Features a one-year warranty
- Not intended for use in rain
Best for: campers on a budget.
ZPacks Triplex Tent
Type: A-frame, Backpacking | Size: 3 person | Seasons: 4 | Weight (lbs): 1.3 lbs | Floor: 90 x 60 x 48 in ( 37.6 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 48 in | Setup Time: 10 mins
Now, this model is a size up from the Duplex tent by ZPacks.
But we wanted to include on the list, mainly because you don’t see many three-person A-frame tents out there, which is quite a shame.
This model is 15 inches wider than the Duplex, which can make quite a difference when you’re camping with a partner.
Of course, you should keep in mind that you’ll need a wider flat area for pitching a tent, something that you might struggle with finding in tight places.
But when you find such a spot, you can enjoy the ample space the tent provides.
Like other tents from the line, Triplex is made of Dyneema composite fabric.
This means it’s durable, lightweight, breathable, and waterproof.
Those four characteristics are most important for backpacking, so this tent checks all the boxes.
- Offers ample space for two campers and their gear
- Features mesh pockets conveniently located near each screen door so you can access them from inside or outside the tent
- Doors on both sides allow you and your partner to get in and out without disturbing the other person
- One of the lightest three-person A-frame tent you might find on the market
- Extremely expensive, especially compared to other types of tents of the same capacity
Best for: backpacking couples.
Eureka! Timberline Backpacking Tent
Type: A-frame | Size: 4 person | Seasons: 3 | Weight (lbs): 11 lbs 8 oz | Floor: 103 x 85 x 57 in (60.8 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 57 in | Setup Time: 7-10 mins
This model by Eureka! really brought A-frame tents to a whole other level.
This one in particular includes tent poles, instead of relying on trekking poles or sticks to keep your tent erect.
Pitching this tent up is not much different from other tents with poles.
And given the tent also has clips, junction tubes, and ring and pin assemblies, it won’t take you more than a few minutes to set up the whole thing.
While lightweight, the aluminum tent frame is very durable and sturdy in the wind.
Both the rainfly and the tent floor are made of 75D polyester, which is the industry standard for tents.
The rainfly extends slightly above the door and window, creating a small awning that protects you from the elements.
The brand also offers a vestibule, which is sold separately, that you can attach to the awning and create a larger storage area for your stuff.
- The model is available in two sizes, as a two and four-person tent
- Low vents allow air circulation even when it’s raining
- Takes just a few minutes to set up
- It’s freestanding, so you don’t need to use trekking poles or sticks to keep your tent erect
- Only has one door
Best for: a classic camping experience, with modern quality.
Ozark Trail A Frame Tent with Awning
Type: A-frame | Size: 4 person | Seasons: 4 | Weight (lbs): 20.24 lbs | Floor: 96 x 84 x 52 in (56 sq ft) | Max Inside Height (in): 52 in | Setup Time: 2 mins
An instant setup tent that is also an A-frame? Yes, it’s possible.
This freestanding model takes only a minute or two to pitch, without help from another camper.
This is a four-person tent, with standard dimensions for a tent of this capacity.
However, the large door and window covering two sides of the tent give you the impression there’s even more room inside.
What’s really impressive is how well this tent stands up against the wind.
As long as you stake it to the ground, it shouldn’t move a bit.
Another cool thing is the large awning.
Basically, the flaps that cover the door can be extended to cover the entrance and provide you with some nice shade during warmer days.
The tent includes two steel poles for erecting the awning, which won’t budge even when it’s breezing.
- Features a freestanding design that sets up within a minute
- The door flaps can be extended into a large awning
- Comes with a 6-month warranty against any defects in materials or workmanship
- Has a built-in electrical port, which allows you to use electricity inside the tent
- Somewhat heavy
Best for: camping with a partner.
How to Choose an A-Frame Tent
As you can see, there are many great A-frame models out there. So, how do you pick the best one?
Let’s take a look at some variables you WILL want to consider…
Hands down, size is one of the most important features to take into consideration.
When it comes to A-frame tents, they offer excellent floor space, but the headroom isn’t that great – at least not in the entire tent.
Even the extra large ones with a center height that is tall enough to stand up or crouch, the ceiling drops down the closer you get to the tent sides.
This is something to keep in mind when choosing the right size for an A-frame tent.
If you’re driving to your campsite, weight isn’t that important.
But if you’re carrying your stuff on your back, especially long distances, then it’s one of the most important characteristics to keep in mind.
Many A-frame tents like the Zpacks and the Hyperlite Unbound 2p cut on weight by ditching tent poles and using trekking poles, as backpackers are likely to use them for their travel.
Those tents designed for ultralight backpacking also often have single walls and are made from very light but durable materials.
You need to consider packed size as well. There are some very compact A-frame tents, designed for backpacking.
But, many models don’t pack down that well, due to the bulky materials they’re made of.
Bringing tent poles with you adds up to the size of the packed tent.
If you plan on camping in an area where there are enough trees nearby to use them to erect your tent, then you can skip on the poles and save up on space.
Both polyester and nylon are popular options, as they have great abilities and aren’t too expensive.
They’re the industry standard when it comes to material, and they’re the material of choice for most tents on our list.
However, if you plan on backpacking, there are many A-frame models designed especially for that.
And these tents typically use Dyneema composite fabric, which gives you the best of both worlds.
The fabric is extremely durable and waterproof, but also lightweight and breathable.
Of course, there’s a catch. Tents made of this material are very expensive compared to tents made of standard materials.
So in the end, it really depends on how much you’re willing to spend.
There are a few other A-frame features worth mentioning.
Not a lot of A-frame tents feature a vestibule.
And it makes sense, given that the door is typically located at the front part of the tent, so the vestibule would look like a triangle.
With that being said, some models have sides that can be extended into vestibules.
Best of all is the amount of gear storage and shade that these vestibules offer.
Every tent should have at least one opening to provide decent airflow inside. But of course, the more, the better.
Depending on the size of the tent, these openings can range from small vents to proper windows.
If the tent does come with a proper window, make sure it has some kind of weather protection.
Whether it’s a closable flap or an awning above it, it needs to have something to keep the rain out.
Now, an awning is a simpler version of a vestibule, which extends outwards to provide weather protection to a small area.
In most cases, the awning is not big enough for you to sit underneath.
But, it’s a good option for storing your gear outside and giving yourself a little shade during peak daylight hours.
Even if you have enough room inside the tent, an awning allows you to keep the muddy boots away from the spot you’re sleeping at.
Having more than one door means you don’t have to jump over the people you’re camping with just to enter or exit the tent.
However, tent doors have zippers, and zippers add to the overall weight. That’s why most backpacking models have a single door.
History of A-Frame Tents
Does an A-frame tent feel nostalgic to you?
That’s no surprise. If I was asked to draw a tent, I’m pretty sure I’d use the classic A-frame.
And the reason why is that these tents used to be the most popular type for so long.
In fact, A-frame tents probably originate from the prehistoric period, when it was used by hunters and gatherers. However, we have little evidence to back up that fact.
But what we do know for sure is that an A-frame tent was found in remains from a Viking ship excavation, back in 800 AD.
Sure, the remains quite deteriorated, but it’s pretty clear that they used A-frame tents at this time in history.
Now, when it comes to more recent history, A-frame tents were a popular choice during the Civil War.
Basically, they were an upgrade to “dog tents.” Basically, dog tents offer protection from sun and rain, but the sides are open and expose your body to the wind.
So unlike dog tents, A-frame tents would provide a person with not just a body cover during sleep, but actually offer a bit of room to act as a home away from home.
What are the benefits of an A frame tent?
A-frame tents actually offer a few benefits compared to other types of tents.
First and foremost, A-frame tents offer a decent amount of space for their low price.
The floor is wide enough to offer a decent sleeping surface.
On the other hand, the headroom narrows down the closer it gets to the roof.
But when you’re sleeping, you don’t really need that headroom, right?
A-frame tents are the best option when it comes to cutting down the weight and going ultralight.
Unlike most other tents, you don’t need poles to set up an A-frame tent. Instead, you can use trekking poles, large sticks, or can even tie it between two trees.
Finally, the shape of an A-frame tent is suitable for most weather conditions.
Sloped sides prevent water and snow from collecting on the roof. They also prevent the wind from catching on the sides like a sail.
Why use an A-frame tent?
A-frame tents are especially great for traveling on foot, as you can remove the poles to save up on weight (using trekking poles instead).
They’re also usually rather affordable compared to other types of tents, due to their “simplistic” design. However, premium ultralight A-frames can get expensive.
How does an A frame tent work?
Most A-frame tents aren’t freestanding, so it’s important to keep all the sides taut when setting it up.
You’ll also need two poles or sticks to hold the tent’s shape. Alternatively, you can tie the tent between two trees.
What is the advantage of an A-frame tent?
A-frame tents are lightweight, affordable, and offer decent weather protection.
If you’re camping solo or with a partner, an A-frame tent is a great option.
Do I need a trekking pole for an A frame tent?
Most A-frame tents (especially ultralight ones) are designed to be used with trekking poles.
But if you don’t have them, you can find two sticks of the same size as a replacement. Or, if there are enough trees nearby, you can tie the tent between two trees.
How do a-frame tents hold up to the weather?
A-frame tents perform rather well in bad weather.
The sloped sides prevent water from collecting on top, so they’re a suitable choice for rain and snow.
A-frames also do good in wind, as they have a low profile and the sloped sides allow the wind to go above the tent.
To Sum Things Up
The best a-frame on the market is the Naturehike Cotton Retro Tent Outdoor Glamping Camping Cabin Tent.
It’s durable, breathable, and offers quite a bit of room inside.
It’s also very easy to pitch and provides two small vestibules for gear storage!