Most things are more fun with a friend, and camping is no exception so we thought we would put together a list of the best two-person tent. While trekking solo can be a wonderful experience, there are lots of benefits to going in pairs—but also some extra considerations. One of those is, obviously enough, that you need a bigger tent.
There are certainly two-person versions of most of the ultra-lightweight tents out there, but sometimes weight isn’t your top priority. If you plan to spend more time enjoying the outdoors from your campsite and less hauling yourself and your stuff down the trail, trading a little extra weight for a little more space can make sense. Same deal if you’re expecting any weather on your trip: while lots of lightweights have perfectly good weatherproofing, sitting inside one, with your friend, through the duration of a rainstorm is not going to be any fun at all.
That said, most of the options here really are pretty light—while five pounds is heavy by backpacking standards, consider that it’s still about the weight of a two-liter bottle of soda. All the tents listed here offer easy set-up, good protection from weather and condensation, and a comfortable base for you and your companion.
Best Two Person Tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur
The Big Agnes Copper Sul probably has the best weight-to-size trade-off in the roomier, two-person tent market. With an interior dimension of 90” x 52”, the Copper Sul has ample room for two people to stretch out and get comfortable, but still weighs only 2lb 12oz. It’s the top contender if you’re expecting some weather on your hike, too—not only is it spacious enough to be comfortable while you wait out the storm, it’s got excellent weatherproofing and will hold up and keep you dry and comfortable in most conditions you might encounter. It’s quick and easy to pitch and is a good choice for thru-hiking and alpine adventures. At $385, the price-to-quality ratio on this one is also quite good.
Best Two Person Tent: Hilleberg Anjan
There’s one big drawback to the Hilleberg Anjan: it’s $645. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about why this is probably the best tent for two-person hiking on the market. The Anjan is virtually indestructible. It isn’t quite a four-season tent, but can comfortably handle driving rain, high winds, hailstorms, light snow, sandstorms, and anything else Mother Nature might try to throw at you. Its incredible durability also softens the price tag a little: this is a tent that will last you a long time. It has a tunnel design (exactly what it sounds like—the tent is basically supported by two big hoops) that is a little harder to pitch than other freestanding tents, but not too bad. The interior isn’t huge but is laid out to comfortably accommodate two, and at 58oz the weight isn’t too bad either.
Best Two Person Tent: REI Half Dome 2 Plus
If you’re looking at the two options above and thinking that backpacking is for richer people than you, you are happily mistaken. The REI Half-Dome 2 Plus will do everything you need your tent to do for $220. It’s a little heavier than the other models, 5lbs, and isn’t the most suitable choice if you’re planning on doing a lot of fast-distance hiking, but it’s manageable for short trips. And of course, there’s no rule that you can’t drive to a nice campsite rather than walk to it—if you plan to do more car camping than backpacking, this is definitely a solid option. It’s also durable and handles weather well, and has a spacious and comfortable interior that you won’t mind spending some time in.
Best Two Person Tent: MSR Hubba Hubba
With an asymmetrical, rectangular footprint and interior dimensions of 84” x 50”, the MSR Hubba Hubba is a snug but comfortable option for two people. It’s also an excellently designed tent, with vertical walls that let you sit up comfortably, good air vents for circulation and to cut down on condensation, and handy pockets to put your gear in. At 3lb 7oz, it won’t break your back to carry it around. The trade-off for that lightweight is that it’s not the best tent if you’re expecting serious weather—but if the weather’s going to be good, it also has an option to pitch it floorless, making it super quick and easy to set up.
Best Two Person Tent: REI Quarter Dome 2
Another good, affordable option from REI, the Quarter Dome is lighter and tighter than the Half Dome, and a good value option if you plan to spend more time carrying your tent on the trail. At 3lb 9oz and $300, it’s got one of the best weight-to-price ratios there is. While it’s a snug fit for two people, it has nearly vertical walls, giving you some headroom and making it feel more spacious. The design is a little difficult to set up, and it may not be the most durable tent out there, but if what you need is a solid, all-purpose backpacking tent that you can share, this may be it.
Getting the most from your tent
Tent punctures happen, and tent poles can break. To avoid a nightmare trip, always bring along repair equipment for your tent and your tent poles. Gear Aid and MSR both sell good repair kits. And, while most of these tents are easy to pitch, out in the wilderness in the dark is not the ideal place to figure out how to do it. Practice in your backyard or living room a few times to avoid any surprises.
All the manufacturers for these tents also sell footprints for them—durable plastic sheets that fit underneath your tent—but in most cases, these aren’t really necessary. If you choose a suitable campsite, you shouldn’t have any problems with punctures on the floor of your tent. If you’re really nervous about it, you can also always make your own footprint by cutting out the right shape of Tyvek home wrap or polypro plastic.
Whether you decide to prioritize size, weight, cost, or weatherproofing, the right tent for you and your buddy awaits you. Enjoy the outdoors, enjoy the company, and happy travels.