Best Two-Person Tents

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

26 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
110 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best two-person tents

Last Updated November 2019

A quality tent gives you the freedom to make the outdoors your hotel. If you're camping alone, prefer to travel light, or need to set up at a campground with little space, a two-person tent is the ideal choice. Despite the name, two-person tents are better suited to a single camper and their gear. While you certainly can fit two campers inside, it will be an extremely tight fit with all your gear in there, too.

When selecting the right two-person tent for you, think about what kind of tent you require. Do you want a rugged, lightweight backpacking tent? An easy-to-pitch pop-up tent? Or a simple dome tent for general use? Consider the kinds of conditions you'll be camping in as well. For instance, do you want to camp year-round, and is there likely to be wet weather during your camping trip?

To learn more about which two-person tent is right for you, keep reading our complete guide. If you’re ready to buy, consider one of our top picks.

Think about the head clearance of your two-person tent. You certainly won't be able to stand up inside, but it's nice if you can sit up without your head touching the top of your tent.

Key considerations

Types of two-person tents

You'll find a wide range of two-person tents on the market. Here are the most common:

  • Dome tents have a simple crossover frame that makes them easy to set up and able to maintain their shape without excessive amounts of guylines. They have a decent amount of headroom, but their higher profile means they're not as well suited to extreme conditions.

  • Backpacking tents are designed for adventurous campers who like to hike to far-off camping spots. Not only are they lightweight so that they're not too heavy to carry long distances, they're also often rugged with a low profile to keep them stable in high winds, as buyers may want to use them in more remote spots with harsher weather.

  • Pop-up tents (or instant tents) are designed to pitch in mere seconds. Some literally pop up when you release them from their case, only needing to be pegged down, whereas others need a little bit of encouragement but still only take 30 seconds to a minute to pitch.

Three-season vs. four-season two-person tents

Three-season tents are designed to withstand light rain and wind but are generally geared more toward summer camping or use in the milder parts of spring and fall. As such, they may not truly be usable in three seasons, depending on where you'll be doing your camping. Four-season tents are made for all-weather use, so you can even camp in heavy rain or snowy conditions. That said, they're designed for insulation rather than ventilation, so you might find them a bit too toasty for the hottest parts of the year.

Waterproof rating

The waterproof rating, sometimes known as the hydrostatic head, is given in millimeters and is a measurement of how much rain can fall on a tent before it starts to leak. A tent must have a waterproof rating of at least 1,000 millimeters in order to be classed as waterproof, but we'd recommend a waterproof rating of 3,000 to 5,000 millimeters to withstand heavier rains.

Storage

You'll need space for your gear, as well as yourself, so consider what kind of storage your tent has, if any. It may feature pockets for storing smaller items or hooks to hang bags from. A porch area is a great place to stow gear, too.

All-weather camping

If you want to camp all year round, the Naturehike Cloud-Up is an excellent tent to choose. The 3,000-millimeter waterproof rating will keep you dry in all but the heaviest of downpours while the included footprint offers extra insulation from the cold ground in winter. It's extremely lightweight, so it's not a struggle to take backpacking or on overnight hiking trips.

Features

Footprint

A footprint is an extra groundsheet fitted to the shape of a tent for additional insulation. This is especially useful when the ground is cold, so they usually come with four-season tents.

Rainfly

The rainfly, or flysheet, is the outer part of a double-skin tent. It sits over the top of — but not touching — the inner tent to give it a waterproof outer. Single-skin tents don't have a rainfly; the main body of the tent is waterproof as is.

Taped seams

The taped seams of a two-person tent will help keep water out should it rain during your camping trip. If you'll be sticking to summer camping in a climate with reliably dry summers, you might not need to worry about this too much.

Sewn-in groundsheet

A large percentage of modern tents have a sewn-in groundsheet, attached either to the inner tent or to the body of a single-skin tent. A sewn-in groundsheet keeps drafts, moisture, and bugs out of your tent.

EXPERT TIP

To keep the rain out long-term, your two-person tent will occasionally need to be reproofed. You can buy a reproofing spray to do this yourself.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

We'd highly recommend bringing spare tent pegs on a camping trip in case some break or bend beyond use.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Never attempt to use a barbecue or camping stove inside your tent or move the embers inside after using a barbecue, as there's a serious risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.


Staff  | BestReviews

Two-person tent prices

Inexpensive: Basic two-person tents can cost as little as $15 to $30, but tents in this price range are usually quite flimsy and don't offer much in the way of protection from the rain.

Mid-range: Spending a little more will get you a mid-range two-person tent — usually priced between $40 and $60. These tents are great for use in the summer and in milder spring and fall conditions.

Expensive: If you want a rugged tent for use in all weathers, opt for a high-end model. For a top-notch two-person tent, expect to pay $60 to $120.

Incredible value

Thanks to its range of great features, the Coleman Sundome offers incredible value for your money. While it's more of a summer tent, the welded floors and inverted seams will help to keep the rain out should you meet some showers. The rainfly doubles as an awning for shade, too. It only takes around 10 minutes to pitch, so even inexperienced campers shouldn't find it challenging.

Tips

  • Check what material your tent poles are made from. Microfiber poles are lightweight, but steel poles are stronger. Rugged backpacking tents often have aluminum poles for increased strength while keeping the weight down.

  • Find out how hard or easy your chosen two-person tent is to pitch. Pop-up tents are by far the easiest to pitch, but cheap pop-up tents aren't especially durable — or waterproof. Due to their small size, even more complicated two-person tents often take no more than 10 or 15 minutes to set up.

  • Think about how often you'll use your new two-person tent. If it's for the occasional summer festival or weekend away, you won't need to spend too much. On the other hand, avid campers who get away every couple of months should splurge on a tent that will last.

  • Consider how well-ventilated your tent is. Mesh windows and pop-out vents are essential for breathability. You'll thank yourself for choosing a well-ventilated tent in the heat of summer.

Other products we considered

You may have already seen the list of our top five two-person tents, but there are even more great choices on the market. The Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent is a sturdy choice suitable for three-season use. The compact, lightweight design makes it the ideal backpacking tent. The rugged yet lightweight Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking Two-Person Tent is another excellent option that should be up there on your list if you're looking for a high-end model. The taped seams on the rainfly help keep water out while the micro mesh promotes breathability. The Night Cat Waterproof Camping Tent is listed as a one- to two-person tent but is around the same size as an average two-person tent. The instant pop-up design is super straightforward, however, it does make it bulkier than some similar offerings. The four distinctive pattern choices of the Chillbo Cabbins Two-Person Camping Tent make it easy to spot in a crowded campground or at a festival. The spacious design means it fits two people comfortably.

Some two-person tents feature clear windows to let some light in, though they do have roll-down opaque "curtains" for privacy.

FAQ

Q. What is a geodesic tent?

A. A geodesic tent is a tent with poles that cross over in several places to improve the structural integrity. Geodesic tents have great rigidity and are ideal for use in windy conditions.

Q. Is there room for two adults and a child in a two-person tent?

A. You may just about be able to fit two adults and a young child in a two-person tent, but it won't be comfortable. In fact, even two adults and their gear inside a two-person tent will be a tight squeeze. One adult and a child should fit fairly comfortably in a two-person tent, however.

Q. Can you fit an air mattress in a two-person tent?

A. The majority of two-person tents will have room for a single air mattress but not a full-size or queen model. This is fine if you'll be camping alone in your two-person tent, but if there will be two of you, you'll need to use camping mats rather than an air mattress.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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