Our wild camping experts recommend the best two-person tents they’ve tested in 2024

A two-person tent is arguably the most versatile choice of shelter for anything from a long-distance backpacking trip to a wild camping overnighter. Here are our top picks...

Two-person tents being tested by LFTO with LFTO Tried and Tested logo

by James Forrest |
Updated on

In our experience, two-person tents are probably the most popular size of tent chosen by hikers, backpackers, and bikepackers because while they can obviously fit two people, solo backpackers also like them for the extra space on offer.

Granted, there are one-person tents and if you want an even lighter, more compact shelter, or bivvy bags for the ultimate low weight shelter. But for often less than 2.5kg, you can have it all – sturdy weather protection, superb liveability and excellent features.

What are the best two-person tents of 2024?

Best two-person tent: MSR Tindheim 2

Best value: Vango Apex Compact 200

Best for 3-season use: Wild Country Panacea 2

Best lightweight two-person tent: Sea to Summit Alto TR2 Plus

Over the decades (and it really has been decades) our outdoor writers and gear testers on LFTO and our magazine, Trail, have used and abused hundreds of two-person tents in real-world, often gnarly conditions in the British hills and mountains.

Over that time we’ve seen lightweight backpacking tents evolve from simple tarp- or dome-style tents into the high-tech, low weight models you see today. But how do you choose the right two-person tent for your adventure? There’s so much to consider – weight, size, durability, features, comfort, price, and of course sustainability.

There really is a lot to think about. For example, tents with a low-to-the-ground, aerodynamic profile will shed wind better, but the most comfortable tents have roomy interiors with vertical walls and ample headroom. If you’re carrying a tent up a mountain, you’ll want it to weigh as little as possible – but the lighter it is, the less robust or more expensive it’ll be.

We’ve done the hard work for you by testing a range of two person tents in, around, and on the UK hills and whittling them down to our few favourites. We’ll be stunned if one of these doesn’t match the requirements of you and your tent-mate – whoever they may be.

How we test two-person tents

LFTO tester Matt Jones on a backpacking trip
©LFTO

We take our test tents out on proper excursions. Two-person hiking tents we tested spent many hours pitched on hillsides. We, of course, use them for sleeping in on our trips, but we also spend a lot of time examining every detail about them, from living space and ease of pitching to material quality and sustainability.

The two-person tents recommended here were tested by James Forrest and Matt Jones – two of the UK's leading and most experienced outdoor writers. James is our Lake District-based freelance writer who is a highly experienced backpackers and wild camper. Matt is a former outdoor magazine editor and now a freelance journalist based in the heart of Snowdonia National Park. He is one of the most well known and experienced outdoor writers in the UK.

The best two-person tents reviewed:

Best two-person tent

Expert rating:
4.0
LFTO

The Tindheim 2 is a classic tunnel tent that pitches outer first or all-in-one, a first for MSR. It's ideal for wet weather, as you can get out of the elements fast while keeping your inner tent dry.

It's a big beast for a two-person tent but is quick and easy to pitch. Robust hooped poles, sturdy guy lines and multiple pegging points ensure good stability. The internal dimensions are cavernous, so liveability is superb. Basically, this is a tent for sitting out storms in.

There are six inner storage pockets and an overhead gear line to keep your kit organised. There's also a big porch with side entry, which is spacious enough to sit upright. An extended optional footprint is included with the tent too, so you can even keep this area dry, though this adds 430g to the packed weight.

Large, hooded vents at both ends of the tent ensure good airflow, reducing condensation build-up. The mesh sections of the inner (including the door) also have secondary fabric panels, so you can zip them up to keep out draughts and boost warmth in colder conditions. This adds versatility for use across different seasons.

However, weight and pack size are drawbacks, and obviously, as a tunnel tent, it isn't freestanding. We noted a potential weak spot where the vent guys are looped through the main guy lines at each end of the tent. It might be worth adding a metal ring here to prevent abrasion.

Read our full MSR Tindheim 2 review

Pros

  • Good stability
  • Large living space
  • Ideal for longer trips
  • Outer-first and all-in-one pitching
  • Stable

Cons

  • Not the lightest or most compact option
  • Weatherproofing
    4.0
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Features
    4.5
  • Weight
    4.0
  • Packed size
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Sustainability
    3.5
TypeTunnel
Weight3.2kg
Packed size56 x 20cm
Doors1
Vestibules1
Inner68D polyester and 40D nylon mesh
Fly68D polyester (1500mm HH)
Groundsheet68D polyester (3000mm HH)
Poles7000 aluminium

Best Value

Expert rating:
4.0
LFTO

The Vango Apex Compact 200 is effectively the popular Vango Nevis 200 with an eco-friendly upgrade. It’s made from the new and upgraded Protex Eco fabric, which is a 70-denier polyester made from recycled single-use plastics, and is part of Vango’s Earth Trek Collection.

The Apex Compact 200 is a solid option – unbeatable at this price, we reckon – with a proven design, clever features and impressive stats. We found it’s comfy enough, but it is 'cosy' for two people and not as spacious inside as some of the other two-person tents we tested.

In terms of weather resistance it copes reasonably well in windy conditions – it has a relatively low-to-the-ground profile, the tunnel shape is aerodynamic with wind flowing over it smoothly without buffeting, and the structure feels pretty sturdy and stable.

The Apex Compact 200 also boasts impressive hydrostatic head ratings. The Protex Eco flysheet has a 3,000mm hydrostatic head rating, while the inner’s groundsheet (which does not feature recycled materials) is rated at 6,000mm.

While the weight makes it a bit heavier than some of its significantly pricier competitors, at just over 2kg it seems reasonable considering the affordable price-point. All-in-all the Vango Apex Compact 200 is an affordable, entry-level tent with a proven design and good features.

Read our full Vango Apex Compact 200 review

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Proven design
  • Stable structure
  • Vango sells spares and offers repair service

Cons

  • Not the roomiest
  • Heavier than premium rivals
  • Lower quality than more expensive rivals
  • Weatherproofing
    4.0
  • Comfort
    3.5
  • Features
    4.0
  • Weight
    3.5
  • Packed size
    3.5
  • Value
    5.0
  • Sustainability
    3.0
TypeTunnel
Weight2.2kg
Packed size30 x 20cm
Doors2
Vestibules1.5
InnerPolyester
FlyRecycled 70D Protex Eco (3000mm HH)
Groundsheet70D polyester (6000mm HH)
PolesPowerLite 7001-T6 alloy

Best for 3-season use

Expert rating:
4.0
Wild Country Panacea 2LFTO
Price: £289.95 (RRP £360)

outdoorgear.co.uk

As the more affordable sub-brand of renowned Derbyshire tentmaker Terra Nova, Wild Country is known for turning out reliable tents at reasonable prices. And the Panacea 2 builds on that reputation.

It's a freestanding design that pitches outer first or all-in-one, with an external 'exoskeleton' hubbed pole system. It's quick and easy to set up yet feels very sturdy when pitched, with eight pegging points creating a wide, spider-like stance. In really wild weather, you can also add extra stability by inserting your trekking poles into specially designed pockets in the flysheet. You also get two roomy trapezoidal-shaped porches and two doorways sensibly positioned at opposing ends so you can pick the most sheltered side to use.

Inside, there's decent headroom and a rectangular floor area with good length. Steep inner walls further improve overall liveability. Airflow is good too, thanks to four flysheet vents and twin zippered inner vents, plus mesh panels in the doors. These do a good job of managing condensation. One surprising omission is a lack of inner storage pockets, though – there are only two, which are really only useful for stuffing the doors into.

Downsides are that at 2.85kg, it's more than double the weight of the lightest two-person tent tested here. It's a bit of a lump when packed too. For some, it'll just be too bulky and heavy to take into the hills.

Pros

  • Freestanding
  • All-in-one or out-first pitching
  • Very sturdy

Cons

  • Not many storage pockets
  • Not the lightest or most compact
  • Weatherproofing
    5.0
  • Comfort
    4.0
  • Features
    4.0
  • Weight
    3.5
  • Packed size
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Sustainability
    3.0
TypeDome
Weight2.85kg
Packed size50 x 20cm
Doors2
Vestibules2
Inner68D polyester
FlyStormtex P4000 68D polyester (4000mm HH)
GroundsheetAqua Stop P5000 68D (5000mm HH)
Poles9.5mm Superflex alloy

Best lightweight two-person tent

Expert rating:
4.0
lfto

The semi-freestanding design of the lightweight Alto TR2 Plus is nothing new. This two-person, 3-season tent has plenty in common with many other cutting-edge shelters on the market. What we really liked about it, and sets it apart, is its innovative Tension Ridge architecture, which is a cross pole that widens the peak and creates near-perpendicular walls, angling upwards like a bird’s wingspan to maximise head and shoulder room.

It literally raises the roof, creating ample headroom, steep walls, large doors and plenty of vestibule space. The result is a gloriously liveable backpacking tent, despite weighing less than 1.5kg.

Compared to the standard TR2, the Plus version is more robust, featuring a nylon inner instead of the standard model’s mesh, as well as a more rugged groundsheet – a 20-denier nylon with a hydrostatic head rating of 2,500mm, compared to the standard model’s 1,200mm. The Plus is slightly less breathable than the standard Alto TR2, as the inner’s mesh has been replaced by a more robust nylon.

Nevertheless, the tent’s so-called Baseline and oversized Apex Vents provide a good amount of airflow, helping to prevent condensation. The Alto TR2 Plus weighs in at an impressive 1447g according to our scales, which is all the more remarkable considering the ample living space you get.

Read our full Sea to Summit Alto TR2 Plus review

Pros

  • Superb liveability
  • Good headroom
  • Spacious interior
  • Clever design
  • Impressive features

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Not the best in high winds
  • Hydrostatic head waterproofing rating could be
    better
  • Materials are very thin
  • Weatherproofing
    4.0
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Features
    4.5
  • Weight
    5.0
  • Packed size
    4.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Sustainability
    3.0
TypeSemi freestanding dome
Weight1.45kg
Packed size53 x 13cm
Doors2
Vestibules2
Inner20D ripstop nylon
Fly15D ripstop nylon w/ silicone/polyether PU coating (1200mm HH)
Groundsheet20D ripstop nylon (2500mm HH)
PolesAluminum DAC TH72M

Best for space

Expert rating:
4.0
LFTO
Price: £899.95 (RRP £990)

outdoorgear.co.uk

Oppland, meaning ‘the upper countries’ in old Norse, is the Norwegian county that hosts eight of Norway’s ten highest mountains, including Glittertind and Galdhøpiggen, the loftiest of them all. Nordisk’s Oppland tents are named after this spectacular region and this title gives more than a subtle hint to their suitability for the high places.

The Oppland 2 LW is a palatial two-person tunnel tent that is similar to the MSR Tindheim 2 but takes the concept further with greater levels of weather resistance and even more space spread throughout the inner sleeping area and a humongous storage area.

This is thanks to its three-pole structure, which gives it a whopping 4.3-metre length. Considering its size, we almost couldn't believe that the Oppland 2 LW weighs just 1,737g on our scales. If that wasn’t impressive enough, it also packs down into a 40cm x 13cm sack, which compares favourably to other smaller, leading lightweight backpacking shelters.

The 20-denier ripstop nylon groundsheet is polyurethane coated and boasts a high hydrostatic head HH of 8000mm, making it very well suited to cope with our spring test outings in the Lake District and the worst conditions most campers are likely to encounter. The silicone-coated, super-light, 10-denier nylon flysheet also offers very good levels of waterproofing, with a hydrostatic head 2000mm.

Read our full Nordisk Oppland 2 LW review

Pros

  • Loads of living and storage space
  • Impressively lightweight
  • Compact for its size
  • Easy to pitch
  • Very weather resistant
  • PFC-free

Cons

  • Overkill for most
  • Requires larger area to pitch
  • Pricey
  • Weatherproofing
    4.0
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Features
    4.0
  • Weight
    4.5
  • Packed size
    4.5
  • Value
    3.0
  • Sustainability
    3.5
TypeTunnel
Weight1.74kg
Packed size40 x 13cm
Doors1
Vestibules1
Inner15D nylon
Fly10D nylon w/ PFC-free silicone coating (2000mm HH)
Groundsheet20D nylon w/ PFC-free PU coating (8000mm HH)
PolesDAC Featherlite NFL

Best for sustainability

Expert rating:
4.0
LFTO

If you’re an eco-conscious wild camper just as much as you are a weight-conscious who appreciates having plenty of room to stretch out at the end of a long day, the Dagger OSMO 2 is an enticing option. Like the Sea to Summit Alto TR2 Plus, it has generous length, width and headroom, plus twin doors and two very spacious porch areas. Two interior mesh pockets make it easy to stay organised, and there are also translucent overhead pockets for a headtorch, so you can see what you’re doing in the dark.

The design employs a single, hubbed pole structure, with an inner-pitch first setup. That isn’t the best if you’re forced to make camp in the rain, but at least it’s all very intuitive – in fact, the symmetrical footprint means it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong.

Once it’s up, the tent feels stable, despite its generous proportions, aided by two pegging points for each porch that keep the fly fairly low to the ground and prevent flapping. The fly curves upwards at both ends of the tent though. This promotes airflow and helps to ensure a taut pitch, important for sil-nylon fabrics as they can tend to sag when wet. On the other hand, it reduces overall coverage and means rain can sometimes splash in under the fly, though the extended height of the bathtub groundsheet prevents it from entering the inner in all but the fiercest conditions.

In terms of eco credentials, NEMO has developed a polyester-nylon fabric that not only makes the most of the each material's strong suits (water repellency and less strtech from polyester, and strength from nylon), it's also fully recycled and PFC-free.

Read our full NEMO Dagger OSMO review

Pros

  • Excellent internal space
  • Innovative, sustainable fabric
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Doesn't have full flysheet coverage
  • Door zips and Velcro fly tabs are a bit fiddly
  • Weatherproofing
    3.5
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Features
    5.0
  • Weight
    4.5
  • Packed size
    4.0
  • Value
    3.5
  • Sustainability
    4.0
TypeDome
Weight1.86kg
Packed size50 x 16cm
Doors2
Vestibules2
InnerRipstop nylon
FlyRecycled and PFC-free poly-nylon OSMO (2000mm HH)
GroundsheetRecycled and PFC-free poly-nylon OSMO (2000mm HH)
PolesDAC Featherlite NSL

Best for summer

Expert rating:
4.0
LFTO

Worthy of its ‘Hubba Hubba’ name, this dome-like tent is definitely worthy of excitement because this popular model is a positively cavernous tent, with two doors and two big porches.

The pole structure – a single, hub-connected pole, which forks into a Y-shape at both ends and has an integrated, central cross pole – is similar to the Sea to Summit model here and creates near-vertical walls, maximum head and elbow room, and no excess fabric slack, ensuring great liveability. The inside of the tent feels palatial compared to many other tents.

The downsides are that the Hubba Hubba pitches inner first (many British campers hate this approach, fearing the inner will get wet if they are forced to erect the tent in rain), has high walls that can catch the wind on breezy nights, and the mesh interior can feel quite draughty.

But during our test camps, the Hubba Hubba NX coped well in light rain and didn’t let us down – so we aren’t overly worried about the lower-than-expected hydrostatic head ratings. It’s also reasonably low weight considering the spaciousness you get – not the lightest two-person tent we’ve ever tested, but it’s far from the heaviest either. Ultimately this tent is all about its comfy, roomy interior – if that’s what you want, it’s an excellent choice.

Read our full MSR Hubba Hubba NX review

Pros

  • Superb internal space
  • Two doors
  • Two generous porches
  • Excellent headroom
  • Good ventilation
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not suitable for use in strong winds or very wet conditions
  • Weatherproofing
    3.5
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Features
    4.5
  • Weight
    4.5
  • Packed size
    4.0
  • Value
    3.5
  • Sustainability
    2.5
TypeDome
Weight1.7kg
Packed size48 x 16cm
Doors2
Vestibules2
Inner15D nylon micromesh
Fly20D ripstop nylon w/ PU and silicone Durashield coating (1200mm HH)
Groundsheet30D ripstop nylon w/ PU Durashield coating (3000mm HH)
PolesDAC Featherlite NFL

Highly recommended

Expert rating:
4.0
Near Zero Dynalite 2P tentLFTO
Price: £219.00

nearzero.co

You may not have heard of Near Zero before. It's quite a new outdoor brand that's based in Arizona and focuses on making kit that is designed for ease of use and to be affordable, with the ultimate goal of making overnight hikes more accessible to more people.

We like that mission statement, and we like the gear that's come from Near Zero as a result. We tested one of its hiking bundles over a summer and were very impressed with much of it, including the tent.

As a lightweight tent for summer backpacking trips and hikes, there's lots to commend the Near Zero tent for, not least because of the price. At just 1.79kg this is a super lightweight model, which also packs down very small. Yet it offers excellent liveability, thanks to two vestibules and doors and cross section in the pole that gives more headroom inside.

The inner is full mesh and the fly and floor are both 20D nylon. It's therefore not the toughest tent and isn't the most weather resistant either. Sure, it'll happily fend off a bit of vertical rain but the fly doesn't extend all the way to the ground meaning draughts and even some moisture can reach you. The flipside of course, is that ventilation is superb, and if you get lucky with a warm night, you can stargaze unobstructed by removing the fly.

Read our full Near Zero Bundle review

Pros

  • Good value
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Two porches

Cons

  • Not the most weather resistant
  • Weatherproofing
    3.5
  • Comfort
    4.0
  • Features
    4.0
  • Weight
    4.5
  • Packed size
    4.5
  • Value
    4.5
  • Sustainability
    3.0
TypeDome
Weight1.79kg
Packed size48 x 11.4cm
Doors2
Vestibules2
InnerNylon mesh
FlySilicone and PU-coated 20D nylon (3000mm HH)
GroundsheetSilicone and PU-coated 20D nylon (3,000mm HH)
PolesAluminium

Best under £250

Expert rating:
4.0
Matt Jones pitching Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2LFTO
Price: £184.95 (RRP 230)

wildbounds.com

This quick-pitching two-pole tunnel tent has a generous peak height, which provides enough room to sit up in the entrance. It has just the one door and vestibule, but the fly can be porched out with trekking poles to create a useful awning. This is well worth doing as it massively improves overall liveability, giving you a covered space to cook, stash kit, or just sit and admire the view.

The Clip Flashlight 2 weighs under 2kg and has a small pack size. The interior isn't exactly palatial since the ceiling drops sharply towards the feet, but there's still adequate floor space for two. The inner has two storage pockets plus an overhead gear line with a pouch for a tent lantern.

On test, this tent proved sturdy and reliable in the hills, with a low, wedge-shaped profile that sheds wind well. The full coverage flysheet has a waterproofing of 3000mm HH, while the inner is mostly fabric and doesn't feel draughty on cold nights. The materials are high-quality too, with robust hook stakes, DAC Pressfit aluminium poles and a PFC-free recycled polyester taffeta flysheet. As such, it also scores well on the sustainability front.

However, this isn't a freestanding design and needs to be pitched inner first. The porch isn't the roomiest, and the inner is exposed to the elements when you get in or out – though this can be largely overcome by using trekking poles to transform the door into a practical awning.

Pros

  • Recycled and PFC-free fly
  • Lightweight
  • Fast pitching

Cons

  • Availability in the UK can be patchy
  • Not the most spacious
  • Weatherproofing
    3.5
  • Comfort
    3.5
  • Features
    3.0
  • Weight
    4.5
  • Packed size
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
  • Sustainability
    3.0
Type:Tunnel
Weight:1.76kg
Packed size:49 x 16cm
Doors:1
Vestibules:1
Inner:15D nylon mesh
Fly:Recycled 68D 190T Poly Taffeta w/ PFC-free DWR (1500mm HH)
Groundsheet:70D Nylon Tafetta w/ PFC-free DWR (3000mm HH)
Poles:Aluminium

Best two-person tunnel tent

Expert rating:
4.0
LFTO
Price: £790.00

This 3-season tent has a tunnel design with two hooped poles creating a long and thin shape. True, it's not as large as the Nordisk Oppland 2 LW but we think the Starlite 2 is better in certain scenarios where pitching spots can be small.

The Starlite 2 has a relatively low profile and is aerodynamically shaped, meaning it copes well in strong winds and feels reassuringly stable and strong. It is pitched all-in-one, with the inner and flysheet combined together, and only takes a few minutes. The downside is you don’t get as much headroom or interior comfort as dome-shaped tents.

The Starlite 2 is impressively lightweight (1,563g) and made from Terra Nova’s premium materials, which have impressive waterproofing stats. The hydrostatic head rating of the groundsheet is 7,000mm and the flysheet is 3,000mm. These are both high-end, premium ratings that kept us totally dry, even in torrential downpours. For camping in wet and wild weather conditions, this tent is a far safer bet than many other options.

Sadly there’s only one door and one porch, both located at the front of the tent, so you’ll have to share with your camping partner. But, ultimately, this tent isn’t about comfortable liveability. If that’s what you want look at the MSR Hubba Hubba NX, NEMO Dagger OSMO 2P, or Sea to Summit Alto TR2 Plus. But for reliable weather protection and a low-profile, aerodynamic design, the Starlite 2 is a wise choice.

Read our full Terra Nova Starlite 2 review

Pros

  • Premium materials
  • PFC-free inner and flysheet
  • Good hydrostatic head ratings
  • Stable tunnel shape
  • True 3-season performance
  • Very lightweight

Cons

  • Not the roomiest inside
  • Only one door and porch
  • Very pricey
  • Weatherproofing
    4.5
  • Comfort
    3.5
  • Features
    4.0
  • Weight
    4.5
  • Packed size
    4.5
  • Value
    3.5
  • Sustainability
    3.5
TypeTunnel
Weight1.56kg
Packed size35 x 18cm
Doors1
Vestibules1
InnerPFC-free 20D nylon
Fly20D nylon w/ PFC-free Si2 coating (3000mm HH)
Groundsheet30D nylon w/ PU coating (7000mm HH)
Poles8.64mm TN Reflex

Best semi-geodesic two-person tent

Expert rating:
4.0
Price: £219.99

alpkit.com

Alpkit’s Ordos 2 is a lightweight backpacking tent for when low weight and an affordable price are a high priority. It weighs in at just 1,521g, thanks to its minimalist design and use of lightweight 15 and 20-denier fabrics.

It has a hybrid tunnel design, with one long ridge pole linked to a large front hoop and smaller rear cross pole via hub connectors. We found this semi-geodesic, wedge-like shape resists wind effectively, while both the waterproof flysheet and groundsheet have a decent 3,000mm hydrostatic head rating. The fly has an integrated vent to help with airflow and four guylines for stability. At the head end there is a single door and small porch.

Better still, in true Alpkit fashion, the Ordos 2’s price tag compares favourably to similar tents in terms of price point. Admittedly, it’s not cheap, but then this is a high-quality shelter and you can expect to pay around twice as much for a tent of comparative calibre from the likes of NEMO, Sea to Summit or MSR.

It’s a less spacious inside than some, while it tips the scales a little more than the very lightest of lightweight shelters, but for this price these qualms seem positively ludicrous.

Read our full Alpkit Ordos 2 review

Pros

  • Wonderfully lightweight
  • Great value
  • Small pack size
  • Wind-resistant shape
  • PFC-free

Cons

  • Tent footprint sold separately
  • Less headspace than some other tents
  • Only one vestibule
  • Weatherproofing
    5.0
  • Comfort
    3.5
  • Features
    4.0
  • Weight
    4.0
  • Packed size
    4.5
  • Value
    5.0
  • Sustainability
    3.5
TypeSemi geodesic
Weight1.52kg
Packed size13cm x 42cm
Doors1
Vestibules1
Inner20D polyester mesh
Fly15D ripstop nylon w/ PFC-free silicone and PU-coating (3,000mm HH)
Groundsheet20D ripstop nylon w/ PFC-free silicone and PU-coating (3,000mm HH)
Poles7001-T6 / upgradeable to DAC NSL Green (550g alloy)

What to look for in a two-person tent

Wild County Zephyros 2 pitched in a valley at dusk
©Live For The Outdoors

What tent shape is best?

Tunnel tents and geodesic tents are the most stable shapes and best for dealing with stroppy weather. The latter are the best for use in winter and the harshest conditions but are also the least spacious inside and heavier thanks to more poles and often tougher fabrics. Tunnel tents are very popular because they can be compact and lightweight, yet quite spacious and weatherproof too.

Dome tents are a common sight too, and vary quite a lot in design. They benefit from being freestanding and some are very stable. That said, there are certain dome tents that are less suited to strong winds because they have more upright walls to boost internal space, but at the expense of some stability.

What is the ideal weight and packed size for a two-person tent?

When it comes to lightweight tents, users often size up especially for longer trips because of the extra space available in return for a marginal size and weight increase. So, a solo backpacker will often treat themselves to a two-person tent; a pair upgrade to a three-person tent, and so on.

Ultimately, consider your rucksack size and volume, and be sure to check dimensions of a tent's packed size before committing to it. For a good quality, 3-season tent, 1kg or under is extremely light, 1.5kg is good, and more than 2kg is a tad on the heavy side.

How much internal space should a two-person tent have?

For two people to fit, you want a minimum of 60cm of shoulder width per person and a length of at least 2.1 metres. Some tents are asymmetric and are narrower at one end than the other. In terms of height, at least a metre allows you to sit upright, and for vestibule space, well, the more the better.

Do two-person tents pitch differently?

Some tents, particularly from US brands, are pitched inner first because they are best suited to warmer conditions and often used without the flysheet. But, it isn't ideal if it's raining. Others are pitched outer first or all-as-one, enabling the inner to be kept dry while the flysheet is pegged out.

Whichever design you opt for, rest assured that tents these days are all easy to pitch thanks to simple innovations like colour coded poles. It's been a few years since we've come across a backpacking tent that was tricky to pitch.

Wild camping on Snowdon at dusk
©LFTO

How do I ensure my two-person tent is weatherproof?

In addition to the overall shape, which we've mentioned above, for an indication of how waterproof a tent really is, check the hydrostatic head of the flysheet and groundsheet. A lot of lightweight tents' waterproof ratings may seem disappointingly low. However, many other factors, including silicone or PU coatings, the tent's shape, sealed seams, and the tightness of a fabric's weave, affect waterproofing.

As a rule of thumb, however, 2000mm HH for the flysheet and 4000mm HH for the groundsheet are good baselines for a tent if you're expecting to encounter heavy rain on your adventures. You can also boost underfloor water resistance with the use of a tent footprint.

Another key component of a tent's weather resistance is the flysheet.

For maximum weatherproofing, a tent's flysheet – the waterproof outer – should peg out flush to the ground and be easily adjustable via tension straps so that it's taut, stable and well-shaped. Some flysheets don't quite reach the ground, which aids ventilation but risks water ingress and draughtiness.

Near Zero Dynalite 2P tent with mountains in background
©LFTO

Why is ventilation important?

Condensation can be difficult to avoid in humid and wet climates, so good ventilation is key. Mesh vents on the inner and vent windows on the flysheet will help increase airflow, as will mesh panels on the inner's walls. Good clearance between the inner and outer is very important too.

What other features should I consider?

Other important features include: a good-sized porch for stashing your backpack and boots, a wide door for easy entry and exit, sufficient length and width for lying down (check carefully if you're 6ft+), a stormflap over the main zipper, internal pockets for gear organisation, an easy-to-fill carry bag, strong poles, good pegs, sturdy pegging out loops and robust guy lines.

How do I clean my tent?

To maintain the performance and waterproofing of your tent, you need to care for and clean them properly. You wouldn't reasonably expect longevity out of anything that isn't cared for.

Tent cleaning and care is easy and primarily involves cleaning them after use with the correct cleaning products and making sure they're completely dry before storing them away.

If your tent is in need of a repair, get in touch with a specialist repair agent such as Lancashire Sports Repairs, or the retailer/manufacturer. Outdoor gear repair services are continually improving as both brands and customers aim to be more sustainable (repair is also much cheaper than replacing).

Best tent care kit

Grangers' effective and eco-friendly care kit for tents and outdoor gear such as packs. It even comes with a sponge to help apply the Cleaner solution. The Cleaner and Repel are available to buy individually too.

Pros

  • Water-based and PFC-free
  • Easy spray-on water repel
  • Good value

Cons

  • Reproofing spray needs applied quite regularly

Best tent cleaning spray

Nikwax's tent and gear care kit. It's just as good as the Grangers kit and also water-based and PFC-free. SolarWash and SolarProof are available to buy individually.

Pros

  • Water-based and PFC-free
  • Dry bag included

Cons

  • Reproofing spray needs applying quite regularly

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