Backpacking Tent


Senior Member
I've had an REI half dome 2 for 7 years or so and have really liked it. For just me or me + one of my 2 kids it is great. Not big enough for 3 even when 2 are kids. The tent is a snap to put up and has some well thought out things like the tabs on the rain fly are colored to match the tabs on the tent so it is really simple to line it up right. I've put it up in the dark a number of times.


Senior Member
I got a mountain hardwear lightpath 3 from for $160. Its a 3 person and was plenty of space for my and my ex girlfriend and 2 dogs, and weighs about 5 lbs.
There is a huge difference in true "backpacking" and regular tents, mostly in weight and durability, and you pay dearly for it. If I was just going to use it a few times a year car camping, then I'd get a Coleman tent from Walmart or Academy and be done with it.

I have a Diamond Brand 2 man backpacking tent I bought 15 years or ago or so, and it's held up very well, but it was $300.00 then.

Using a ground cloth, even if it's just an old tarp, and putting it back up in your yard to dry when you get back home will extend the life of any tent x 10.
I agree with all of the good name brand replies. I have, and have used, a ton of tents over the years. What I have found to be great, from personal experience, are Eureka, Marmot, MSR, and Sierra Designs. REI sells very decent, up to high-end stuff, and you can't go wrong there. I still have some I bought over 20 years ago. I have a particular tent for just about any particular purpose.

Coleman (and just about any brand you can buy in a department store, is complete junk. Yes, I do know this from personal experience. Coleman is to true outdoor gear as Stanley is to professional tools. Hint: You can buy both, in blister packs, at Wally World (ChinaMart - seriously). Oh yeah, and did y'all know that Husky hand tools (Home Depot house brand) is made by Stanley tools? Yep, and I will NEVER buy another piece of that garbage.

As they say, "Buy quality, and you only cry once".

And for a ground cloth, absolutely nothing is better than Tyvek. Very light weight, relatively cheap, very tough and does the job just fine. Always, always, always use a ground cloth. You can get Tyvek cut to the size you need on eBay.