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Best 2 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tents 2022

Best 2 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tents 2022

We're all about making the most of your time outdoors and for us, that means maximizing comfort wherever we can.

Lightening the load of your pack is one of the best ways to maximize comfort on your next adventure and a great place to start is with a staple piece of gear; the humble tent.

Whether you're sharing tent-space with a partner, a pup or wanting a bit more room to spread out solo, a 2-person lightweight backpacking tent is a critical piece of your lightweight kit.

MSR Hubba Hubba 2 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent at night

Why go lightweight?

Whether you're an ounce counting fanatic or happy to carry the extra weight for some creature comforts, cutting pounds on your tent is certainly something to consider.

But with so many options, which one should you buy?

Short answer? Depends on your priorities.

We've narrowed down our 5 favorite 2-person lightweight backpacking tents for everyone from the truly ultralight obsessed to the discerning backpacker who wants both the weight saving advantages and top-of-the-line livability.

A Quick Glance:

Hubba Hubba™ Fly Creek Salt Creek Copper Spur C Bar 
Best All Around Lightest Most Features A Close 2nd Best Budget
Price 479.95 369.95 299.95 499.95 199.95
Trail Weight
2lb 14oz
1lb 15oz
3lb 11oz
2lb 11oz
3lb 9oz
Packed Weight
3lb 4 oz
2lb 4oz
4lb 1oz
3lb 2oz
4lb
Packed Size
19 x 4.5 in
6" x 19.5"
20.5" x 6.5"
19.5" x 6"
6" x 19"
Floor Area 29sq ft 28sq ft 28sq ft
29sq ft
28sq ft
Head Height 40" 42" 44"
40"
41"
Vestibule Area 15sq ft 8sq ft 20sq ft 9sq ft
7 sq ft
# of Seasons 3 3 3 3 3
# of Doors 2 1 3 2 1
 Jump To:

The MSR Hubba Hubba™ 2-Person Tent - Best All Around

Copper Spur HV UL2 Person Tent - A close 2nd

Fly Creek HV UL2 Solution Dye - The Lightest (and the Greenest)

Salt Creek Superlight 2 Person Tent - Most Features

C Bar 2 Person Tent - Best Budget Tent

Best All Around: The MSR Hubba Hubba™ 2-Person Backpacking Tent

Why not start with our favorite. The quiver-killer, the one tent to rule them all - it's no secret at Native Summit that MSR's Hubba Hubba™ is the hands-down shop favorite.

Versatile, livable, lightweight and packable, "freakin' tried-and-true design ... the gold standard of backpacking tents," according to our store manager Carson West.

But is it right for you? Maybe.

A lightweight backpacking heavyweight, the Hubba Hubba™ certainly isn't new to the market but with a recent 10oz weight shave, we think it deserves the top spot as Best All Around Lightweight 2P Backpacking Tent.

MSR Hubba Hubba 2 Person Tent

Some highlights:

  • With a packaged weight of 3lb 4oz the Hubba Hubba™ offers a significant level of features and durability 
  • The floor space. Where many lightweight tents cut weight with slanted walls that taper toward the feet, making it impossible to sleep head to foot with your partner and requiring mummy-shaped pads, the Hubba Hubba™ offers symmetrical floor space with near-vertical walls. That makes the Hubba Hubba™ the only tent on our list that can fit a double sleeping pad or two rectangular pads side by side without overlap.
  • Weather Resistance. With "virtually unbreakable Easton® Cyclone™ poles" ( designed to flex and return to their original shape—even in very strong gusts—rather than permanently bend or snap like an aluminum or carbon design) a raised bathtub floor and a full-coverage rainfly with the kind of weatherproofing tech we love to nerd out about - inclement weather won't put a damper on your next adventure.
  •  2 Doors. Not always a necessity when streamlining your gear, we like the convenience of a separate entry/exit and vestibule space to keep gear organized and avoid crawling over your tentmate at night.
  • Set-up and take-down are easy with the dual-hubbed pole design, freestanding structure and symmetrical layout. 
  • MSR's repair shop. Committed to keeping their gear in service for the long haul, we're big fans of MSR's repair shop and their commitment to keeping your Hubba Hubba™ in the backcountry. 

Drawbacks:

  • The price. At $479.95, the Hubba Hubba™ is an investment. Like any other piece of high quality gear, it's important to consider 
  • Like other lightweight tents, the floor fabric is thin and you may want to consider purchasing a footprint depending on terrain (avoid puddles and abrasive surfaces).
  • Reduced ventilation. One result of all that weatherproofing is a bit less mesh. To help with interior ventilation, keep the vestibule doors unzipped at the top to create a transom effect and stake out the rainfly over the windows to enhance airflow through the tent.

The Bottom Line:

 If you're in the market for a high quality, livable lightweight tent and the price tag fits your budget, the MSR Hubba Hubba™ 2-Person Backpacking Tent is our number one recommendation.

 Jump To:

Copper Spur HV UL2 Person Tent - A close 2nd

Fly Creek HV UL2 Solution Dye - The Lightest (and the Greenest)

Salt Creek Superlight 2 Person Tent - Most Features

C Bar 2 Person Tent - Best Budget Tent

 

A Close Second: The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Person Tent

A consistent front runner in the lightweight tent category, the Copper Spur is a top choice. Weighing in at 3lb 2oz all in, two ounces lighter than the Hubba Hubba™, the Copper Spur offers the durability, features and livability we would expect at this price range.

Some Highlights:

  • Weighing 3lb 2oz all in, the Copper Spur is highly practical despite the weight. Other tents have a lower weight (see the Fly Creek HV UL 2) but not the livability.
  • Fully freestanding so you can set up on even the most difficult surfaces like rock. Of course we always recommend taking care to preserve the thinner lightweight tent fabric by choosing good campsites (avoid puddles and abrasive surfaces) and/or using a footprint.
  • 2 doors and vestibules make sharing space with your tentmate much more enjoyable. The awning-style vestibules (requiring trekking poles) also increase the useable living space offering additional protection from rain and sun.
  • The four-way, high-volume pole design opens up the interior space and makes livability with a second person much more practical. The 40 inches of headspace means 2 people can reasonably sit side by side.

  • Withstands wind and rain very well with a high bathtub floor and low fly, but retains good venting and breathability.
  • Storage Features. A new mezzanine at the feet provides elevated storage in addition to a ceiling and media pockets. Multiple interior loops offer plenty of flexibility when adding additional storage/lighting.

Drawbacks:

  • Tapered Construction. To save weight, most lightweight tents taper at one end and the Copper Spur is no exception. The downside of a tapered end? No sleeping head to foot and it's necessary to use mummy-shaped pads. Check out the Hubba Hubba™ for a truly symmetrical floor.
  • Even with the advanced fabrics, the 15D x 20D nylon (on the floor in particular) requires extra care. In our experience, the fabric holds up to reasonable use but it's something to keep in mind particularly if camping on an abrasive surface or if you have a pup in tow.

  • Price. The Copper Spur has seen a pretty significant price increase in 2022 at $499.95 making it the most expensive model on our list. 

The Bottom Line:

The Copper Spur has all the features and durability we would expect in a tent at this price. Our biggest drawback? The tapered foot. But if you don't mind sleeping head to head on a mummy pad and you enjoy the additional ventilation (a step up from the Hubba Hubba) the Copper Spur is a quality piece of equipment that will do its' job very well.

 Jump To:

The MSR Hubba Hubba™ 2-Person Tent - Best All Around

Fly Creek HV UL2 Solution Dye - The Lightest (and the Greenest)

Salt Creek Superlight 2 Person Tent - Most Features

C Bar 2 Person Tent - Best Budget Tent

 

The Lightest (and the Greenest): The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Solution Dye

Good for the environment. Good for your back. Big Agnes' Fly Creek is the lightest tent on our list by almost a full pound. Recently retooled with a solution-dyed fabric, streamlined pole clip system, steeper walls, and larger entryway, the Fly Creek is a great solution for the ounce counter looking to go ultralight.

Some Highlights:

  • The weight. The biggest highlight is of course the ultralight weight at 2lb 4oz all in. Split the load between two packs and you're easily carrying just a pound apiece. 
  •  The environment. The Fly Creek's solution-dyed fabric is not only highly resistant to UV fade, but drastically reduces energy consumption and water use during manufacturing. How big of a deal is that? Well considering the Fly Creek in many ways helped bring the ultralight movement to the mainstream, we hope to see it carve a new path here as well; putting the focus on performance and environmental impact.
  • Easy to pitch compared to other non-freestanding lightweight tents.
  • Good ventilation to warmth balance.

Drawbacks:

  • Interior Space. Like most lightweight tents, the tent body tapers toward the feet to save weight requiring the use of mummy-shaped sleeping pads if you want to avoid pad overlap. The Fly Creek features only one door but it has been enlarged in this latest model. 
  • Due to the single pole design, the Fly Creek does not hold up well to strong winds or steady rainfall. We recommend you fully guy out the rain fly including midsections to increase waterproofness but all in all, the tent performs best in mild conditions despite being rated as a 3-season tent.
  • Setup is easy, but because you'll want to fully secure the tent with guy lines, we recommend choosing a site where you can reliably hammer stakes into the ground or secure the lines to rocks/trees.
  • The tent fabric is thin and requires care, particularly the floor fabric. We recommend using care when choosing a campsite (avoiding puddles and abrasive surfaces) and consider purchasing a footprint to extend the life of your tent floor.

The Bottom Line:

The Fly Creek is a solid choice for the backpacker looking for an ultralight 2-person tent option for use in fair conditions. This tent would be a great option for backpackers traveling solo who want some extra space, backpackers traveling with a furry companion (take care with puppy paws on the floor fabric) or tentmates who don't mind sharing very close quarters.

Jump To:

The MSR Hubba Hubba™ 2-Person Tent - Best All Around

Copper Spur HV UL2 Person Tent - A close 2nd

Salt Creek Superlight 2 Person Tent - Most Features

C Bar 2 Person Tent - Best Budget Tent

Most Features: The Big Agnes Salt Creek Superlight 2 Person Tent

Many lightweight tents cut features to cut weight, it's an easy place to start when pairing down a tent, but the Salt Creek doesn't do that and we're surprisingly big fans.

Some Highlights:

  • 3 doors. We have to start with what everyone's talking about, right? The 3 doors. Gimmick or actually useful? We'd vote actually useful, particularly for warm weather when you can open all three doors and get a nice breeze. The doors and vestibules on either side are useful for storing gear and entering/exiting without disturbing your tentmate.
  • Interior livability is pretty standard for tents in this category, but with near-vertical walls, the space feels roomy enough for two. The tent body tapers toward the feet making it necessary to use mummy-shaped pads to avoid overlap, but a generous 44" of headspace means plenty of room to comfortably sit up and move around.
  • Multiple media pockets/stash pockets, etc. inside the tent and two 10sf vestibule spaces provide ample options for storing gear
  • Increased durability and wind resistance with slightly thicker fabric making this a true 3 season option

Drawbacks:

  • Weight.  There's a reason lightweight tents cut features and that's no exception here. In addition to 'Most Features,' the Salt Creek also takes the title of 'Heaviest' on our list at 4lb 1oz all in due to the thicker fabric, pole structure and extra features.
  • Tapered construction. Common in the lightweight tent category, the Salt Creek tapers toward the feet meaning it won't be possible to sleep head to foot or use rectangular sleeping pads without overlap.
  • BYOS (Bring Your Own Stakes). Feedback on this particular tent advises replacing the provided stakes.

Bottom Line:

For car campers, backpackers hitting the trails for just a few days or multi-day base campers who don't mind the additional weight, the features on the Salt Creek SL2 are hard to resist. 

Jump To:

The MSR Hubba Hubba™ 2-Person Tent - Best All Around

Copper Spur HV UL2 Person Tent - A close 2nd

Fly Creek HV UL2 Solution Dye - The Lightest (and the Greenest)

C Bar 2 Person Tent - Best Budget Tent

Best Budget Tent: The Big Agnes C Bar 2 Person Tent

In the market for a high quality backpacking tent without breaking the bank? The C Bar is a great entry-level tent in the lightweight category.

Some Highlights:

  • With a quality fly and solid weather resistance, the C Bar is ready to take on a range of weather conditions.
  • Packing down to 6"x19" the C Bar is one of the best space saving options on our list (second only to the Hubba Hubba™)
  • The single pole structure makes set up and take down easy.

Drawbacks:

  • The biggest sacrifice with the C Bar is space. The foot tapers to just a mere 42" at the feet meaning you'll be in quite close quarters with your tentmate.
  • At 4lb all in, the C Bar is one of the heaviest tents on our list
  • Storage space is very minimal with just one vestibule with 7sq ft of storage directly outside of the one door.
  • No venting makes the C Bar not as breathable as other tents but it does offer solid wind and rain protection.

The Bottom Line:

The C Bar is good entry point for folks looking for lightweight with quality construction at a budget price. The biggest con is lack of space, but this could be a great option for one person looking for a bit more space than the typical 1-person tent, one hiker with a pet (be mindful of paws on the fabric floor), or a tentmate you really like.

Jump To:

The MSR Hubba Hubba™ 2-Person Tent - Best All Around

Copper Spur HV UL2 Person Tent - A close 2nd

Fly Creek HV UL2 Solution Dye - The Lightest (and the Greenest)

Salt Creek Superlight 2 Person Tent - Most Features

MSR Hubba Hubba 2 Person Tent Camping

Things to consider with lightweight tents:

Lighter weight tents have a number of benefits, but they do come with some compromises:

  • To save ounces, fabric on lightweight tents is thinner than their more budget-friendly counterparts reducing durability. We suggest purchasing a footprint (piece of material that sits between your tent and the ground), often sold separately, to extend the life of your tent floor.
  • Poles on lightweight tents can be more prone to bending than standard tents. It's a good idea to check out the company's repair policy before purchasing. MSR for instance, has a stellar repair shop ready to keep your Hubba Hubba™ in tip top shape. 
  • Consider investing in high quality tent stakes to enhance the stability of your lightweight tent.
  • Take care when pitching and collapsing your tent.
  • Oftentimes to save weight, features are trimmed away. Some tents like the Salt Creek SL 2P Tent retain a lot of exciting features but these features add weight. The Salt Creek is the heaviest tent featured on our list at 4lbs 1oz.
  • Interior space decreases in lightweight tents. Forget about tents you can stand in, most allow space for occupants to comfortably sit up but not much else. Many lightweight tents also taper toward the foot end of the tent. Consider investing in a high quality mummy-shaped pad to avoid pad overlap with your tentmate.

Why are lightweight tents so expensive?

Generally, as weight goes down, price goes up.

But if you backpack frequently and enjoy covering long distances, the ounces saved can be well worth the investment, especially if you divide the weight between two people (tent body and rainfly in one, poles and stakes in the other).

High quality lightweight tents are well engineered. Learn how to care for your lightweight tent just as you would any other specialized piece of equipment and enjoy it for many adventures to come.

You know what they say, buy quality and you only cry once.

Is a 2-Person Tent the right size for me? 

Not all 2-person tents are created equal when it comes to size and livability. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Two regular width sleeping pads (typically mummy-shaped pads) will fill most of the floor space of a 2-person lightweight backpacking tent. Space will feel tight and the bulk of your gear will be stored in vestibule spaces outside of the tent.
  • If you prefer two wide sleeping pads, you should consider bumping up to a 3-person tent space. A 3-person tent space offers more breathing room, but the weight of your tent also increases.

Copper Spur HV UL 2 Person Tent with two regular sized pads next to the Copper Spur HV UL 3 Person Tent with two wide sized pads

What is a 3-Season Tent?

All five tents on our list are considered 3-season tents (although we'd argue the Fly Creek should be saved for mild weather). A 3-season tent is generally considered a tent designed for use in Spring, Summer and Fall. 

The build is typically designed to focus on ventilation and protect occupants from wind and rain.

Mesh and vents allow air to flow freely through the tent while providing protection from wind whereas 4-season tents (typically used only in winter) are often built entirely mesh-free to trap body heat and block gusty winds.

Which tent is right for me?

Well that depends on your adventure, goals and budget but whatever your plans, we're here to help you figure that out. 

Comment below with any questions or give us a call here at the store at (405)513-5050 any time. We're here to help!

 

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