20 Best Cheap Ultralight Tents For Backpacking In 2023

Unquestionably, Ultralight Tents are the most crucial component of backpacking equipment.


With the appropriate tent, you can stay dry and warm, impress your friends, and have plenty of room for living and storing things while also carrying less weight and bulk.

We think Ultralight Tents should be the first item a backpacker upgrades because they can have such a significant impact on the quality of backcountry life.

They are also the kit item that is most worth the splurge. We’re delighted to propose a selection of the top tents available in our list, including some interesting new models.


Because of this, we have excellent solutions for all expertise levels, financial situations, group sizes, weight restrictions, and unique use cases. Camping is fun!

We have review a list of the top Ultralight Tents for thru-hiking and backpacking that you can use for your next adventure.

The best, lightest, and most compact backpacking tents are improving. Some of the major manufacturers, like NEMO, Big Agnes, Zpacks, Six Moon Designs, and Hyperlite Mountain Gear, offer fantastic, extra-lightweight versions of their well-liked backpacking tents this year.


The list of the cheap ultralight tents for backpacking has been whittled down below.

RELATED: 30 Best Power Banks For Hiking And Backpacking In 2022

20 Cheap Ultralight Tents For Backpacking In 2022

1. REI Co-op Passage 2

The REI Passage 2, one of the best of Ultralight Tents. It is perfect for devoted car campers who occasionally go on weekend backpacking excursions.

The interior is roomy and welcoming. It has two roomy side doors that make it simple for two people to use.

Its mesh canopy makes it a good choice for observing the stars, while the taller sidewall fabric adds more seclusion.

Its traditional, uncomplicated X-pole construction pitches in a split second. Of course, the price is amazing as well.

Ultralight Tents

Another sizable storage pocket would greatly improve the livability of this tent.

We also believe that if the two vestibules were trapezoidal rather than triangular, the fly’s stability in strong winds could be enhanced. However, for us, the benefits exceed the drawbacks.

2. The North Face Stormbreak 2

Because of its blend of reliable comfort and clever design, The North Face Stormbreak 2 is one of our favourite budget tents. It has flexible vestibules with roll-up flaps that may be secured in a variety of ways.

Additionally, it offers a tonne of storage pockets for anything you want to have near at hand. Importantly, it has outstanding headroom, which means that whether you’re car camping or going on a fast overnight trip, it can provide a better experience than more expensive and lighter tents that are much smaller.

Long-distance travel is not recommended for this model. It takes a lot of effort to carry a tent that weighs almost six pounds.

3. Slumberjack Nightfall 2

The Slumberjack Nightfall 2 gives off the impression of being designed for people who want to set up a tent and spend some time outside. With a pole framework that extends outside of the fly, it provides some of the best weather protection of any inexpensive backpacking tent we tested and can be set up in the rain without getting the interior wet. In bad weather, the lone vestibule may be tented with trekking poles to make a fantastic awning.

The single head-end door has the drawback of being more difficult to enter and exit than a side-door variant. If stargazing is a top priority for you, this tent is not for you because it must be pitched with the fly connected.

4. Big Agnes C Bar 2

For the thrifty traveller who still wants to pack light, there is the Big Agnes C Bar. It’s one of the lightest and most cheap freestanding tents available, weighing in at just under four pounds. We are pleasantly surprised by its weather resistance and stability, and it sets up very quickly.

On the negative side, the interior capacity is sacrificed in order to reduce weight. Instead of being a real two-person tent, this one works far better as a spacious one. It dramatically narrows from floor to ceiling, which reduces the amount of area for shoulders. However, if you like to travel rather than spend your days in a tent, this lightweight, affordable beauty is perfect for you.

5. MSR Elixir 2

The MSR Elixir 2 is a great option thanks to its tough design and steadiness in bad conditions. A durable shelter is created by the distinctive pole structure, and the robust 70D floor cloth and incorporated footprint will withstand abrasion from sand-filled soil. Two side doors that are simple to open with one hand are included (nice when you are in your sleeping bag). We adore the two roomy, functional trapezoidal vestibules for storing and safeguarding goods.

Many of the comfort features are what we don’t like about this tent. Because of its small overall length, it isn’t ideal for tall sleepers. The pole structure’s drawback is that it is difficult for one person to pitch alone.

6. REI Co-op Passage 1

One of the best options for a one-person tent on a tight budget is the REI Co-Op Passage 1. It has many of the same wonderful comfort characteristics as its big brother, the award-winning product. We adore the peak height, which is higher than those of comparable one-person competitors, in our opinion. There is space for both sitting up and moving around. It takes just two identical poles to set up for one person, and its vestibule is big enough for a full-size bag and hiking boots.

The model’s heft is what we find to be its major flaw. If you are on the fence about the capacity of your tent, think about going with a larger size because some affordable 2P choices weigh almost as much as it does overall.

7. REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+

The Passage tent from REI, which is shown above, is a cost-effective, function-first option, but their mid-range Half Dome SL 2+ is a more well-rounded design. You receive a significant improvement in livability for $329 (price, regrettably, increased $50 recently) thanks to roomier dimensions and contemporary features like pre-bent poles and a ridge-pole structure, both of which spread out the headroom and produce steeper walls all around.

All in all, there is plenty of room for two adults, and as it is marked “plus,” there is even enough for a smaller companion, such as a youngster or dog. The Half Dome is impressively 14.5 ounces lighter than the Passage, and the entire set-up feels substantially more expensive.

8. REI Co-op Trail Hut 4

For comparison’s sake and because two-person designs are the most popular and adaptable size among backpackers, the majority of the tents presented here are made to accommodate two sleepers. A four-person tent, though, is a terrific option if you’re travelling with kids, want to mix in some car camping, or are prepared to carry the extra weight for a roomier shelter.

The Trail Hut 4 is our favourite model in this category; it costs only $299 and comes with enough space for four sleeping mats placed side by side, two doors, and vestibules, as well as a large 48-inch peak height. And unlike the REI tent from the 1990s that we slept in countless times as children, this Trail Hut has a centre ridge pole to boost headroom all around.

9. MSR Elixir 2

From the cult classic Hubba Hubba NX to four-season models like the Remote, we’ve come to rely on Seattle-based MSR for their capable and protected backpacking tents. The Elixir is an entry-level tent, but don’t let the low price fool you—like its more expensive siblings, this tent is prepared for inclement weather.

Large solid fabric panels in the canopy (more wind-resistant than mesh) and an unusual crisscrossing pole structure are two design elements that set it apart from the competitors and give it a bit more bulk. This shape also lends itself to a generous amount of headroom, which you’ll appreciate while tent-bound in a storm. It also lends itself to a ridge pole.

10. Nemo Aurora 2P

Since Nemo produces some of the greatest camping tents available, the brand’s recently launched Aurora definitely attracted our eye. An updated version of the basic entry-level tent, the Aurora provides a lot of livable space thanks to prebent poles, hubs at the head and foot ends, and a ridge pole in the middle.

The interior also feels quite open thanks to the four nearly vertical walls. Setup is a breeze thanks to the symmetrical design and simple hardware of Nemo, and you even get extras like light-diffusing pockets and snaps for Nemo’s Pawprint liner (great for protecting the tent floor from your pup). The Aurora is a worthwhile upgrade for casual or frugal trekkers who desire more internal room and quality than the majority of budget tents.

11. Big Agnes C Bar 2

There is no getting away from a small interior area or weight tradeoff when choosing a cheap tent. But there is a range: some tents add a few additional pounds for livability, while others simplify the design to reduce weight. The simple C Bar 2 from Big Agnes, which is evocative of their ultralight Fly Creek, fits into the latter category.

You get a single door and vestibule, a canopy with a lot of mesh, a tapering roof, and a floor area with minimal materials. It’s a little space for two people; you’ll nearly have to crawl over your tent partner to get in and out and won’t be able to sit up at the same time.

12. The North Face Stormbreak 2

The North Face manufactures many high-performance tents for expedition use, but they also have a sizable casual assortment. The Stormbreak 2 is a fantastic value in a two-person hiking tent for just $169 full retail price. Every component is present: The Stormbreak has a non-tapered design, a reported 50-inch width, and an expanded 43-inch peak height, making it spacious (thanks to two ridge poles).

Additionally, it includes a full-length fly that offers respectable weather protection, two sizable doors, and vestibules for stowing your gear at night. The TNF is completely dog- and child-friendly because of its sturdy 68-denier floor and 75-denier canopy. Overall, you get a lot of value for your money.

13. Marmot Tungsten 2P

Although REI has already been praised as a wonderful one-stop store for value, Marmot isn’t far behind. Their freshly revised Tungsten is a sturdy three-season tent with all the features that the majority of weekend travellers need for a respectably low price of $249 (the footprint adds $20).

The Marmot has a tapered floor layout, similar to the C Bar above (8 in. narrower at the foot), which saves weight while still providing enough capacity for two side-by-side sleepers. The combination of solid nylon and mesh on the tent body offers adequate ventilation, privacy, and weather protection, and the modernised hues lend a wonderful touch of flair. All things considered, it’s a good substitute for the REI Half Dome and Passage designs mentioned above at a price that falls in between the two.

14. Kelty Late Start 2

Kelty’s Late Start, one of the best Ultralight Tents. It is another good camping tent at a very low price point for those of us who are truly frugal shoppers. With an all-mesh body and bathtub floor, a straightforward crisscrossing pole framework, one door, and a vestibule, this tent is about as basic as they come.

Pole sleeves at each corner make setup simple (this is a little antiquated, but it works), and the Late Start is extremely lightweight at only 4.5 pounds while having a strong 68-denier fly and floor. It’s a roomy substitute for the congested C Bar 2 above for summer trekkers who wish to minimise the weight of their packs.

15. Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1

Although Alps Mountaineering is not at the cutting edge of innovation, they stand out in terms of cost. For only $140—and frequently available on Amazon for less than $100—the Lynx 1 is a fantastic value for backpackers travelling alone.

It features plenty of room for one person, strong weather protection, ventilation, including two vents up top, and a big entrance and vestibule for storing your gear at night. For individuals who are rough on their gear, the Lynx is perfect since it has a sturdy 75-denier floor and thick zippers.

16. Zpacks Duplex

If you want the lightest full-featured tent with an incredible volume to weight ratio, go no further than Zpacks Duplex, which weighs just 1.2 pounds. A full bathtub floor, mosquito netting, dual doors, dual vestibules, and interior storage pockets on both ends make this one of the lightest 2-person tents available.

It also has all the features of a much heavier conventional tent. Despite having all of these qualities, it still achieves 35.8 ft2/lb. Amazing for hardly a pound! Furthermore, the Duplex can be freestanding with an optional Duplex Freestanding Flex Kit, unlike many “tarptent” style shelters.

Try this if you’re a hiker seeking for one of the most livable and lightest two-person tents available.

17. Slingfin Portal

The only tent in this area that can withstand practically anything that mother nature may dish out! The SlingFin Portal, which weighs less than 3 pounds, is possibly the lightest 2-person, freestanding tent that can withstand all four seasons. As a result, the SlingFin Portal delivers security and protection that the majority of double-walled, 3-season trekking tents, such as the Big Agnes Copper Spur, cannot.

If a hiker is uncertain of finding a protected campsite and is anticipating stormy weather and strong winds, the SlingFin Portal is a great option. It’s also perfect for hikers who don’t want to carry a heavy four-season shelter and want a freestanding tent that can bear a lot of snow loading. But the Portal’s interior is everything but basic.

18. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultramid 2 Review

One of the greatest ultralight tents manufactured of Dyneema Composite (Cuban Fibre) is the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultramid 2.

The trail weight is just 18.85 oz., or 534 grammes. Compared to Zpacks, it is larger, lighter, and composed of considerably stronger fabric.

The tent costs more since it is made of higher-quality Dyneema material. If using in a mosquito-populated area, it also needs to be supplemented with a Waterproof Floor and Mosquito Mesh, weighing 22.1 oz/ 627 grammes. With the floor and mosquito net included, the weight of the tent as a whole is now

Additionally, because the mesh insert is solid, no ground sheet is needed to protect the fabric. It is hard.

19. Six Moon Designs Lunar Review

A fantastic ultralight trekking pole style tent is the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo. The lightweight single hiker who desires a high-quality tent that can sustain a long through walk would benefit from this tent the most.

You won’t need to purchase additional poles to set up this tarp-style tent if you are planning to thru-hike because you will likely be using ultralight trekking poles. This will save you money.

This tent has ample of ventilation, making it ideal for moist routes, but it would also be the greatest affordable ultralight tent for a solitary hiker looking to complete the PCT.

20. Sea to Summit Alto TR1 and TR2

Last on our list of Cheap Ultralight Tents For Backpacking is Sea to Summit Alto TR1 and TR2. The Sea to Summit’s distinctive design offers more inside vertical space than any other tent on our list when it comes to comfort lightweight. Even though the triangular, teepee-style structure may not be the best defence against bad weather, fair-weather explorers will appreciate the extra room.

Ultralight Tents

The two centre ridge poles of Sea to Summit’s Tension Ridge pole system, which slopes upward rather than downward, are what give the area its height. This gives the tent useful headroom, sends everything vertically to increase airflow, and makes the tent resistant to dampness.

Water tends to collect in the curved end area of the poles where the ridge is still being built, possibly leaking through your vents.

RELATED: 20 Best Lightweight Power Banks For Hiking And Backpacking In 2022


This concludes our list of the top ultralight tents for every price range. Your shelter is one of the areas where it is crucial to invest in the correct tools, despite the fact that it may seem pricey coming from a Broke Backpacker. We created this list of ultralight trekking tents for that reason.

A hole in your jeans won’t force you to turn back, but a hole in your tent may force you to cancel your trip, so make your choice carefully.

Ideally, your tent will lead you to summits you’ve never reached. Make sure your tent will meet both your demands today and in five years.


Leave a Comment