If you’re in a rush and just want to know what the best small two-person tent is, we recommend the REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent as our #1 pick.
Planning a romantic camping getaway? Or perhaps you are looking to solo it, but want a two person tent for some extra space?
Or maybe you are looking for the perfect tent to go backpacking with. Well you’ve come to the right place!
A tent is the most important piece of camping equipment needed in any camping trip, especially when backpacking.
The great part about two-person tents is that they are small, lightweight, and don’t take up a lot of room in your car or if you are heading out on a backpacking trip.
Best Small 2 Person Backpacking & Camping Tents: Our Top Picks
Now, here are our picks for the best small 2 person tents:
Best Small 2 Person Tents:
- REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent with Footprint (Best Overall 2 Person Tent for Car Camping and Backpacking)
- The North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent (Best 2 Person Tent for Windy and Stormy Weather)\
- Coleman Sundome Tent (Best Budget 2 Person Tent)
- REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint (Best Value)
- Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Tent (Best Premium Winter Tent)
- Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent (Best Pop Up Tent)
- Yakima SkyRise HD Tent (Best SUV Tent)
Best Small 2 Person Backpacking Tents:
- MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent (Best Overall Backpacking Tent)
- REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent with Footprint (Best Overall 2 Person Tent)
- The North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent (Best 2 Person Tent for Windy and Stormy Weather)
- BISINNA 2 Person Camping Tent (Best Budget 2 Person Tent for Backpackers)
- NEMO Dragonfly 2 Tent (Best Ultralight for Backpackers)
- Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Tent (Best Beginner Tent for Backpackers)
- REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint (Best Value)
REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent with Footprint
As REI says “Dropping over a pound from its famed predecessor,” the REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ is the perfect tent for backpacking.
A minimum trail weight of 3 lbs 15oz and a full packaged weight of 4 1bs 11.5oz, you won’t find a higher quality backpacking tent for the money.
At 33.75 square feet, there is enough extra room to comfortably sleep two people, and some gear. Something that not many 2-person tents can realistically accomplish.
- Best weight to value ratio – a lightweight, but spacious tent, makes this great for backpackers
- Easy set up and takedown
- Keeps you completely dry even in rainy conditions.
- Comes with a footprint included in the price
- In a two person tent, headroom is hard to spare, but with a peak height of 42” and the dome design, there is plenty!
- Taller campers rejoice, as anyone 6’5” or even over will have plenty of room to unwind.
- Missing the mesh pocket at the top of the tent compared to the older model
- No grommets on the footprint, so can’t do a fast fly setup
Best for: people looking for the best overall 2-person tent on the market today.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent
This budget tent is a great option for those who want to go camping in a high-wind area without breaking the bank.
Its geometric shape and sporty color scheme also bring a nice aesthetic element to the table.
There are quite a few advantages that this tent holds over the others, but it does have its fair share of cons as well. It’s lightweight, compact, well ventilated and easy to set up.
It’s also got durable poles, as well as a low peak height and structure that helps keep it stable in windy weather. On the downside, the stakes that come with this tent could be better. Staking your tent down well is important when the wind is strong, so I’d strongly recommend spending a few extra bucks on a good quality set of stakes.
- The tent is very lightweight, making it easy to carry for miles without breaking a sweat
- It’s very compact and even comes with a compression bag for easy transport
- Good ventilation takes care of condensation, keeping you dry no matter what
- Spacious for one to two people, but may get cramped with anything beyond that
- Easy and intuitive setup
- Durable poles
- Affordability isn’t an issue with this tent as it can accommodate even the most modest of budgets
- Stakes aren’t perfect – consider upgrading to MSR’s Groundhog stakes which are perfect for high-wind camping
- It could get crowded for large individuals or couples
Best for: big backpackers who want awesome wind protection, or couples who like to cuddle.
NEMO Dragonfly 2 Tent
This is hands down the best backpacking tent that we have looked at.
With a full packaged weight of only 3 lbs 1 oz, you cannot get any better than this.
Stripped down, the minimum trail weight is 2 lbs 9 oz. The Nemo Dragonfly is an ultralight, freestanding tent, with two trapezoidal vestibules that allows enough room for two backpackers and their gear.
Even for taller campers, the NEGO Dragonfly has enough room to go around.
- The perfect tent for backpackers, with a 3 1bs and 1 oz packaged weight!
- Great backcountry tent that will withstand even the worst rain and wind that you can throw at it
- Easy Setup – with only one pole, setup is quick and easy
- Heavy on features between Gear Pockets for person items and a special Divvy Sack that allows you to split the load with a backpacking partner
- Black mesh sidewalls help improve airflow for condensation and a bonus for stargazing at night
- The Dragonfly 2 footprint is sold separately
- On the pricier side – not a low budget option for backpackers
Best for: backpackers, solo campers, and backcountry expeditions
Coleman Sundome Tent
This is one of the most popular two-person tents on the market, and when you consider its price tag it’s no surprise why.
This is a sturdy and solid basic dome tent for car campers, solo travelers, and beginners alike.
Thanks to Coleman’s patented Weathertec technology, it has features such as:
- protected seams,
- a wind-strong frame,
- a waterproof tent floor.
That means you’ll be safe and warm even during the worst showers. All in all, this Coleman tent is probably the best cheap 2 person tent available today.
- Affordable – best value for money
- Can be set up in as little as 10 minutes
- Waterproof – you’ll stay dry even in heavy rain
- Large windows and a ground vent make it very breathable
- Weighs less than 10 pounds making it great for backpackers
- The tent doesn’t come with a footprint
- Not suitable for colder weather
Best for: campers on a budget who still want a great small 2 person tent.
The North Face Stormbreak 2 Tent
With a minimum trail weight of 5 lbs and 5oz, this tent is lightweight, but packs a full weather-proof punch.
It has 2 large doors on either side, offering easy access and great views from within the tent.
This tent is extremely weatherproof, providing stability in windy conditions and keeping you dry in heavy rain.
The North Face Stormbreak is built to withstand mother nature’s finest – a stormbreaker indeed!
Perfect for 2 people, this tent is small and lightweight, exactly what you are looking for.
- A good ratio of size and weight makes it great for backpacking
- High quality materials means strong performance in bad weather
- Easy setup – goes up in a couple of minutes
- Small and lightweight at 5 lbs 5oz
- 30.6 square feet of space, giving you enough room for 2 people and a dog
- Great for taller people – at 87 inches long this tent is long enough for taller people (6’ to 6’ 8”)
- High-low ventilation allows efficient airflow
- Two doors means getting in and out is easy
- The footprint is sold separately
- Pricey – this is not a low-budget option for most campers
Best for: people looking for a durable and small weather-proof 2 person tent
REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint
Coming in at 31 square feet and weighing only 4 lbs and 2 oz, the REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent is a great 2 person tent.
The X-pole configuration makes it easy to set up and teardown, while adjustable ceiling vents help to reduce condensation and provide solid ventilation.
This tent features plenty of interior space along with two well sized vestibules for gear storage, and additional space. It also comes with a footprint, unlike some other tents.
- Easy setup and teardown
- Good ventilation, and includes two vestibules for added space
- Small and lightweight at 4 lbs and 2 oz
- Long enough at 88” to accommodate taller campers (6’ and above)
- Footprint included – thank you REI
- Two doors means getting in and out is easy
- There aren’t too many pockets in the tent
- Needs extra stakes in strong winds
Best for: backpacking trips and campers looking for a solid and sturdy 2 person tent.
Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Tent
Seasons: 4-season | Weight: 9 lbs 10.2 oz | Min Trail Weight: 8 lbs 9.7 oz | Inside Height: 38 in | Floor: 92 x 64 in (40 sq ft) | Setup Time: 15 mins)
If you are looking for a premium, high quality, yet expensive 4-season mountaineering tent, look no further.
If you are looking for a budget 4-person tent, look elsewhere.
At 8 lbs, 9.7oz this is one of the heavier tents we reviewed, but that makes sense as the materials need to be premium and able to withstand the elements.
Canopy fabric is 40-denier ripstop nylon, while the floor and rainfly are made with 70-denier nylon taffeta, rated 10,000mm waterproof, so even if you get caught in a thunderstorm, you’ll barely feel it.
For a two-person tent, it is actually quite a bit larger at 40 square ft. You’ll have plenty of room to keep your gear warm and dry.
Setup and takedown is more complicated than a standard 3-season tent, but that is to be expected given that it is both heavier and bulkier than the other tents that we’ve looked at.
- 4-season tent you can use even in freezing temperatures
- Extremely durable tent – rated 10,000 mm waterproof
- Withstands the elements, including high winds, rain, and snow
- Perfect for high-altitude camping
- More square footage at 40 square feet, than other 2 person tents
- Difficult setup – not the easiest to setup and teardown
- Heavy for backpacking at 8 lbs, 9.7 oz
- Extremely pricey – the most expensive tent on this list by far
Best for: campers willing to pay a premium price for a quality 4-season tent.
BISINNA 2 Person Camping Tent
The best budget two-person camping and backpacking tent that we could find.
The click on rainfly makes this one of the easier setup and takedowns for tents that we have reviewed.
The price-to-quality ratio is high. With over 1,200 five star reviews on Amazon, it is clear that this is a top budget backpacking and 2-person camping tent.
- Easy setup and takedown – the tent assembles in minutes and the rainfly simply clicks on
- Waterproof – you’ll stay dry even in heavy rain
- Budget friendly – will not cost you an arm and a leg
- Weighing only 4.5 lbs, this is a solid backpacking tent
- Features a large vestibule
- The footprint sold separately
- Probably not the best long-term durability
Best for: campers on a budget who want a great two person tent for backpacking and camping
Kelty Grand Mesa 2 Tent
Having a respectable size (30 sq ft) and lighter weight (under 5 pounds), this Kelty tent is a great introductory tent purchase for first-time tent buyers.
It also has great ventilation, easy setup and a durable construction.
All that combined means it’s a good choice if you want a good beginner tent that could last you for years.
Its freestanding tent design allows you to set up camp wherever you want, and its color-coded clip construction means you’ll be up and running in no time.
- Easy setup – can be done in 3 minutes
- It’s 4 lbs. 12 oz. weight makes it perfect for backpacking
- Can handle winds up to 45 mph
- Durable – made with quality materials so it will last you for years
- A large vestibule provides a lot of space for your gear
- Some customers found the tent poles to be of a lesser quality
- More expensive than some of the other tents on this list
Best for: camping beginners who want a quality four person tent that will last them for years.
Yakima SkyRise HD Tent
Seasons: 4-season | Weight: 101 lbs | Inside Height: 42 in | Floor: 84 x 48 in (28 sq ft) | Setup Time: 5 mins
If you are looking for a great 4-season SUV tent, look no further than the SkyRise.
The Yakima SkyRise HD Tent (full SkyRise review here) comes in two different sizes small (2-person) and medium (3-person), depending on your personal needs, and compared to some other high-end rooftop tents, the Yakima tents are priced right.
The rainfly in the HD models is coated with a polyurethane coating so that it’s completely waterproof. They have a 3000 mm waterproof rating, which indicates the pressure at which water is able to press through the material. In this case, the tent can sustain 3,000 mm of water on top of the fabric before it leaks.
As for the height, the S model is 42″ while the M models are 48 inches tall. That’s roughly the standard height, so we can say that SkyRise tents are average in terms of headroom. What’s more, even the rainfly has a clear window. This means that you’ll have a view of the night sky even when it’s raining.
The tent will also go up in just a few minutes.
- A waterproof and windproof tent with 210D Ripstop Polyester, 3000 mm PU waterproof coating that can stand up to the toughest elements
- Leightweight compared to other rooftop tents, coming in at only 101 lbs
- Easy setup that will take only a few minutes
- Users love these, rating them the highest out of any other rooftop tent
- These tents don’t pack small. You’ll need to find a proper moisture-free space for storing it when not in use.
- Pricey compared to some of the other Rooftop tents on this list
Best for: rooftop campers who want to camp in winter weather and have the most durable tent available.
Napier Outdoors Sportz Cove SUV Tailgate Tent
Easily convert the hatch of your SUV into a tent with the Napier Outdoors Sportz Cove SUV Tailgate Tent.
This SUV tent is a simple sleeve that fits over your hatch and attaches with a few bungee cords.
This tent is great for anyone going car camping who doesn’t want to feel claustrophobic by closing the hatch to avoid bugs, weather, and more. It is also very quick and easy to set up.
- If you need to leave the campsite, you simply close the hatch and lock up – everything else will stay in place so all you have to do is open the hatch when you return
- Set up does not take long and is super easy for one person to do alone
- The Cove Tailgate Tent allows you to sleep in your car without having to close the hatch or be swarmed by bugs
- This tent is lightweight, comes with minimal components, and easily folds back up into the provided bag
- Fits most SUVs… but not a perfect fit for all SUVs – double check the size and make sure it works with your vehicle
- It does not give you a lot of extra room, since you are confined to your car
Best for: solo campers who want a simple, affordable tent that slaps right on the hatch
Coleman 2-Person Pop-Up Tent
Seasons: 3-season | Weight: 6.4 lbs | Inside Height: 35 in | Floor: 7.5 x 4.4 ft (33 sq ft) | Setup Time: 2 min
This Coleman tent comes in a 2 and 4 person version.
Usually, these sizes are off and two campers would need a 3 person tent to not feel cramped. But in this case, a 2 person size will provide you and your significant other with plenty of space.
This tent weighs only 6.4 pounds, but thanks to poles and guy-out triangles, it will stay in place even during heavy winds.
Rain is also not an issue for this tent. Inverted seams hide needle holes so the water has no way of getting inside. There’s also a zipper cuff that prevents raindrops from dripping in.
Unlike most pop-up models, this tent has a mesh roof and a removable rain fly. This allows you to partially or fully open up the top of the tent and let the air in.
Plus, everyone wants to stargaze from the comfort of their tent, right?
- Redesigned poles and guy-out triangles that help with keeping the tent in place
- With only 6.4 pounds of weight, this tent is featherweight
- A zipper cuff and inverted seams prevent the rain from leaking in
- There are two storage pockets to help you organize your gear
- A removable rain fly helps provide better ventilation
- The material is a bit thin
Best for: anyone looking for a fast pitch, no hassle, no frills tent.
Key Considerations When Purchasing a Small Two-Person Tent
As with everything in making purchases for camping, purchasing a 2-person tent is no different. For example smaller 2-person tents tend to:
- Be cheaper, due to less materials needed, overall
- Have less room for extra gear storage inside of your tent
- Weigh less, and take up less room in your car than larger 4-person or 6-person tents
- Are harder to stand up fully in, as average height tend to be in the 30-50” range.
- Best for backpacking or solo travelers who don’t need a lot of room
While a 2-person tent can be considered for a romantic getaway, not all tent sizes are created equal, so make sure that there will be enough room for you, your significant other, and your gear!
Factors to Consider When Buying a Two-Person Tent
If you are buying a 2-person tent for the first time, you will want to make sure that you have the basic features covered:
- Weather Resistance
- Additional Features
How big is a two-person Tent?
Two-person tents are ideal for one-person and gear, one-person and a dog, or for backpacking trips where being packed in side by side is expected for the added benefit of hauling a less heavy tent to the campsite.
When a manufacturer says that a tent will fit two people, it typically means that it will fit two people side-by-side with no other room
What size tent should I get for two people?
If you are backpacking, a two-person tent should be considered for two people.
However, if you are car camping, then you’ll likely want a bigger tent. A 4-person tent or even a 6-person tent may be more what you are looking for, especially if you want room to stand up in your tent, store gear, and have a generally more comfortable experience.
I can tell you from my personal experience, that a two-person tent is just big enough for myself and my gear.
For someone who is going car camping and can afford the extra weight and size of larger tents, I would lean towards a larger tent every time.
The difference between packed weight and minimal trail weight.
If you are a backpacker, this is very important. Manufacturers will disclose the difference between the packed weight (the weight of all parts of the tent, including accessories) versus the minimum trail weight (the weight of only the essential components).
Minimum trail weight generally does not include tent stakes, guy lines, and stuff sacks. It will only include the tent body, rainfly and the poles. However, keep in mind that you will likely want tent stakes and perhaps other accessories that are not counted in the minimum trail weight.
Packed weight on the other hand will include anything/everything that the tent comes with. So a smart rule of thumb is to count the packed weight for backpacking trips to give yourself a bit of margin for error in your backpacking base weight.
When backpacking or using a tent for 4-season camping, this is where weather resistance really comes into play.
Most of the tents we review are typically 3-season tents, and hold up well against both wind and rain. They are the best waterproof tents that can find for two people.
But we have also hand picked some 4-season tents which are specifically made with the best waterproofing materials around. If you are looking for a tent with tougher material and thicker insulation, you’ll want a 4-season tent.
Lastly, most two-person tents have varying features from an additional door, vestibules, rainfly, dome or other things to consider.
Some tents come with all of the bells and whistles, while others are more basic in their design.
How We Tested, Reviewed, and Rated 2 Person Tents
We love to test and review gear. You’ll find us testing gear that we already own and love, are purchasing for retail prices (just like you), or items that are sent to us by the manufacturer.
No matter how we procure a product, our goal is to thoroughly test and review each item and rate it against its peers.
Our goal is to remain as unbiased as possible.
We take tedious notes, and compare even the tiniest of details. Everything goes into a spreadsheet for analysis from the dimensions of the product to cost comparisons, user ratings, etc
After hours of testing, reviewing and analyzing twenty-seven 2 person tents we grade each tent on a the following metrics:
- Space and Comfort
- Quality and Durability
- Weather Resistance
- Ease of Use
- Intangibles (unique features and key selling points)
- User Reviews
Depending upon what you are looking for in a tent, you’ll want to pay more or less attention to each specific item.
All of the above metrics are factored into our algorithm to create an Overall Score. The Overall Score is going to be the best for tents that are top notch in every category accordingly.
Therefore only a tent that provides great all-around value, weather resistance, high quality materials, along with intangibles AND great user reviews will score better than a tent that is perhaps specifically made for 4-seasons, but is also extremely expensive.
Min Trail Weight
3 lbs 15 oz
8 lbs 9.7 oz
2 lbs 14 oz
5 lbs 5 oz
4 lbs 12 oz
4 lbs 2 oz
2 lbs 9 oz
4 lbs 1 oz
6 lbs 6 oz
Or perhaps you are looking for a great tent at a great value? In this case, your tent may not be rated the highest, because it may not be using the best of the best materials, but it will surely have the highest value to price ratio.
So while the Overall Score is important, it is not everything.
Space and Comfort
For small 2 person backpacking tents, this is a huge determining factor as to whether the tent is going to live up to your expectations.
You don’t want to get this one wrong…
We rate space and comfort for each tent within their tent category and size. So for a 2-person tent, it is rated in comparison with other 2-person tents. But this does not mean that a 2-person tent will comfortably fit 2 people. It simply won’t. These tents are made for backpacking. You’ll want a 4-person or 6-person tent to comfortably fit 2 people.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the top 2 person tents by height:
Many of the other tents generally come in between 38-43 inches or so, but in the case of a backpacking tent the height can make all the difference, especially for taller folks!
Square footage wise, there is going to be a big difference as well, especially when we are talking about tents that can use every bit of square footage space that you can use out of them:
The Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Tent stands squarely above the others with its additional square footage at 40 sq ft. But that truly is needed for a good 4-season tent.
One of the reasons that the REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent scored so well, is because of the additional space that it has within the tent. When space is at a premium, it can’t be beat!
Quality and Durability
This metric is pretty straightforward. We rate the tents based on their actual materials and the quality of the construction.
We also get feedback from tent owners who put it their tents the test over a long period of time.
Many tents utilize a combination of the same polyester or nylon materials, but their construction can be just as important. This all gets factored into the quality and durability score.
Also factored in the Quality and Durability score is the warranty. While most tents have some sort of Limited warranty, many have Lifetime Limited Warranty’s, but REI for instance, only has a 90 day return policy and warrants only that the product is free from defects at the time of sale.
All tents are not created equally, and not all tents are priced equally either.
Coleman for instance produces a great budget tent, while Mountain Hardwear produces a tent that can withstand the elements. These tents will not be priced anywhere close to each other:
As you can see 2 person tents can come in any price. It is all over the map. But if you are looking for the best budget picks, it is pretty clear that you are going to get a great deal from the Coleman Sundome Tent, or the BISINNA 2 Person Camping Tent.
But, if you are really looking for the best value that money can buy, you should look at the REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprint. It is pretty rare that tents come with a footprint included AND at a good price point. The Passage 2 tent does just that!
Weather resistance is a simple metric.
Does the tent let in water, or does it not? Does the tent withstand high winds, or collapse onto itself? Does the tent have good ventilation during the summer months or does it get too hot and stuffy? This is what matters to us when we rate a tent for weather resistance:
The Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Tent is heads and above the others in terms of weather resistance, BUT due to the nature of 2 person tents in general with their low profile and dome-style designs, many of these tents scored 7+ points for weather resistance.
Ease of Use
How fast can an average user pitch this tent? How easy it is to take down and/or utilize additional features. Ease of use is one of the most important things to most campers and we agree.
Most 2 person tents are rather easy to use. Less material. Less poles. Less trouble.
While the Trango 2 proves to be more of an obstacle than some of the other tents, nearly every other tent on our list comes in with an 8! These tents are all relatively easy to setup in just a few minutes, 10 minutes max.
Last but not least, is the intangibles.
These are the unique features or selling points of each individual tent that give it a leg up on the competition.
Does the tent have two doors? Perhaps the tent has a large vestibule for storing equipment? Is the tent is a two-room tent with a special space for the kiddos or a dog? Maybe the footprint is included in the price?
Lastly, and especially critical for 2 person tents, is this tent light enough to be considered a backpacking tent? What is its minimum trail weight?
This ALL gets factored into the intangibles score.
Last, but not least are user reviews!
We can get a lot of great feedback from user reviews, but they aren’t perfect. The average tent owner won’t ever leave a review, so reviews are typically left by users who either have a really favorable or unfavorable experience.
Of course even that is still good information, because if 90% of tent owners leave a positive 5-star review, then that is really saying something. So we blend reviews together from various sources and come up with an average user rating score. Here is how they shake out for 6-person tents:
Ok, so this chart does a good job showing why we don’t solely ever want to take user ratings into consideration. We have found after reviewing many many tents, that REI users in particular tend to be very particular and since REI tents are only sold at REI, we also get some return/quality issues there too that aren’t really quality reviews. .
So how do we fix this? We go through and read all of the reviews. We read the good, we read the bad, and then we factor in the quantity of reviews and calculate all of into our final User Rating score.
After a lot of research and careful consideration, we found that the REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent is the best small 2 person tent on the market today.
Not only is it a usable and lightweight backpacking tent, but it is perfect for solo campers and couples who don’t need a lot of extra space.
Combine the ease of setup with the durability of the materials and you can see why it’s our top pick.