The 9 Best Two-Person Tents of 2022

Get a cozy tent for two or a roomy solo option for your adventures

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Best Two-Person Tents

TripSavvy / Chloe Jeong

Two-person tents are a great option for couples that want to keep their gear to a minimum and that don’t mind close quarters. They also work well for solo campers that want a little bit more space inside their tent.

Since tent sizes aren’t standardized, you can find quite a range of tents that are described as “two-person tents,” so we recommend checking out the actual dimensions before making a decision. In our picks below we select several that range from extra-roomy car camping options to minimalist ultralight options that feel more like one-person tents.

Whether you’re a solo ultralight gram-counter or a couple that car camps a few times a year, we’ve got a two-person tent option that should work for you and your camping style.

The Rundown
“One of the most popular tents thanks to a balance of weight, simplicity, and reasonable cost.”
“Not a lightweight tent, but has the features of modern backpacking tents for a fraction of the cost.”
“True ultralight weight but with a reasonably roomy footprint and shape.”
“An ultralight but durable Dyneema tent that uses solution dyes for a cleaner manufacturing process.”
“Streamlined design for exposure above treeline and a light weight to make it easier to get there.”
“Full mesh overhead for unobstructed night sky views or just use the fly which can be rolled halfway back for quick deployment.”
“A unique, high-ridged architecture in an ultralight package and compartmentalized storage system that’s easy to share.”
“A low-profile, easy to pop up rooftop option for two.”
“An expedition-grade tent that doesn’t push over the 10-pound mark and is built for the fourth season.”

Best Overall: REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+

 REI Coop Half-Dome SL 2+ Tent
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Simple design and setup

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky packaged size

The REI Half Dome is a staple tent in REI’s in-house lineup. Go to any campground or backcountry dispersed camping area and you're almost guaranteed to see the Half Dome more than any other single model of tent. The classic Half Dome recently got an update that shaved off a pound and made this an even more compelling all-around backpacking tent option. It’s listed at “2+” for sizing, and unlike some two-person tents, you can comfortably fit two adults sleeping side-by-side. It’s also a simple, fully freestanding structure that weighs in below 4 pounds but doesn’t suffer from the flimsiness of some ultralight, semi-freestanding tents in this category so it can stand up to three-season weather.

Tested by TripSavvy

I got to test the updated model of the Half Dome in late fall high in the Colorado Rockies where nighttime temperatures were in the 20s and high winds buffeted us nightly. I also packed it in several miles to our campsite on a frame pack so I was able to see how it integrated into my normal gear carry.

The update to this tent doesn’t go crazy with a full redesign, but the fully hubbed pole system (it’s essentially one pole, all interconnected via two hubs and shock cords) is a nice touch that makes the setup nearly dummy-proof. The tent is symmetrical so you can’t really place the poles in the wrong spots and they’re color-coded, to boot. We gave it my standard “don’t read the instructions” test and had zero issues getting it fully set up with stakes and rain fly. It’s a sturdy structure even without stakes but we found that proper taut staking is important (as with any tent) to keep the tent flapping noise from keeping you up in high winds. We were lazy with one stake and had to fix it in the night to get the rain fly taut and quiet.

While the weight is very respectable, the one major downside is that the volume of the tent broken down and packaged up is fairly large at 7 x 20.5 inches. Part of this is a result of the hub design which keeps you from breaking the pole system down fully for storage, but also the inclusion of the footprint and slightly heavier-duty materials than more streamlined ultralight tents. This is a trade-off that won’t matter to some but could be a deal-breaker for others more concerned with space in their pack or weight. — Justin Park, Product Tester

Packed Size: 7 x 20.5 inches | Floor Dimensions: 90 x 54 inches | Minimum Trail Weight: 3 pounds, 15 ounces | Seasons: 3

Best Budget: Ozark Trail Outdoor Mountain Pass Geo Tent

Ozark Trail Outdoor Mountain Pass Geo Tent
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Simple design and setup

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky packaged size

Some folks just don’t camp enough to justify spending $200 or more on a tent with benefits that don't translate to the occasional hike-to-camp or car-based adventures. Despite a modest price tag, I've used Ozark Trail shelters over the years, and they've all been reliably adequate. Even the middle-of-the-road options from better-known outdoor brands are at least four times the cost of this Ozark Trail (one of Walmart’s house brand outdoor lines) option and the main thing you get is 3 or 4 pounds of weight savings. That’s a big deal if you camp regularly and an even bigger deal if you frequently hike your camp in several miles. 

But for infrequent, shorter hikes, this tent delivers a solid, simple structure at a reasonable weight of just under 8 pounds. Note: The use of fiberglass poles is a weak link that might cut the longevity of this tent down if you’re not careful with them. However, the upside of the slightly heavier fabric is a durable tarp-like floor that won't need a separate footprint. Plus, the rain fly is still going to provide rain protection just like more expensive tents.

Packed Size: Not listed | Floor Dimensions: 82 x 55 inches | Minimum Trail Weight: 7.8 pounds | Seasons: 3

Best Ultralight: Mountain Hardwear Strato UL2 Tent

Mountain Hardwear Strato UL2 Tent
What We Like
  • Ultralight

  • Able to divide to share weight

  • Actually feels roomy enough with two average-sized adults

What We Don't Like
  • Could use a bit more interior storage

Mountain Hardwear's Strato UL2 is a true ultralight tent that can be as light as 2 pounds, 5 ounces when stripped down to the essentials. But unlike other ultralight tents that can feel somewhat brittle and experimental, the Strato UL2 feels more like a regular tent for the price of a few extra ounces. Setup is simple with a one-pole system using hubbed DAC Featherlight NFL poles which are both ultralight and strong.

The nylon fly is silicone-coated on both sides for maximum water-repelling and while it looks white, that’s actually just what the material looks like when it is not dyed—a move to eliminate energy-sucking, chemical-heavy processes from the tent’s manufacture.

Tested by TripSavvy

While you can informally divide any tent up between partners, we like how the Strato was designed for that with separate stuff sacks. We also enjoyed the simplicity of having dual entrances and vestibules when sharing the tent. (It's truly the small things in life, am I right?) Having your own vestibule when sharing a two-person tent is pretty key since you won’t have much space left on the interior with two adult bodies inside. This is also why we wish there were a few more storage options included inside the tent body. The design of the tent is great and creates a lot of headroom for a small tent, and we wish they used some of that headroom to include some more stash pockets for gear.

We tested the Strato UL2 at both campgrounds and in the backcountry with night time temperatures ranging from below 20 degrees F up to 35 degrees F. That temperature range seemed fine, but one night while camping near 10,000 feet in the Ansel Adams Wilderness Area when the temperatures dropped into the teens, we noticed that some condensation did form inside the tent. Other tents tested on the same night had less—or zero—condensation and more ice built up on the rainfly. This is a three-season tent and the sub-20-degree temperatures were probably the culprit, but it did give us some concerns about the tents venting which could also be an issue in peak summer. — Nathan Allen, Outdoor Gear Editor

Packed Size: 6 x 12 inches (tent body and fly), 2.5 x 16 inches (poles) | Floor Dimensions: 86 x 54 inches | Minimum Trail Weight: 2 pounds, 5.3 ounces | Seasons: 3

Most Eco-Friendly: Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 Carbon Tent

Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 Carbon Tent
What We Like
  • Extremely ultralight

  • Requires staking and guylines for rigidity

  • Eco-friendly

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Questionable durability

This Dyneema fabric (sometimes called cuben fiber) tent from Big Agnes pushes the bounds of ultralight into the nearly unheard-of sub-2 pound (when packed at it's minimum) realm for a tent that feels like the camping equivalent of a concept car. The product even comes with a warning of sorts about its experimental nature from Big Agnes: “These tents are not for everyone. Our Carbon Series products were designed to push the weight boundaries in tents.” Tents this light use materials that can tear more easily and require careful handling as well as expert setup to function the way you’d expect from a tent.

In addition to innovative design and materials, the Tiger Wall uses a solution dyeing process that Big Agnes has pioneered in tent production which they state uses 50 percent less water and 80 percent fewer chemicals, making it a more eco-friendly choice (outdoor gear is notorious for requiring wasteful processes and heavy chemical use).

Tested by TripSavvy

We tested the Tiger Wall in late September and early October in the mountains outside of Mammoth Lakes at both campgrounds and in the backcountry. It stood up well to high winds, morning frosts, and temperatures in the 20s. We were nervous about the delicate nature of the tent—we could see the ground through the floor of the tent—and unfortunately, those fears turned out to be justified. While the Dyneema material seemed durable for how light it is and held up being pitched in areas with sharp rocks and pinecones, we accidentally broke one of the ultralight pole clips while shaking out the tent (it dinged a rock). We were able to jury-rig a fix, but we were annoyed such an expensive tent couldn’t figure out clips that were both ultralight and durable.

The double-entry on such a small and lightweight tent was a welcome feature, especially when actually using it with two people. The fly built up a good amount of ice in the night several times which made us feel like it was doing a good job venting moisture. The setup was also super-easy and took no more than ten minutes with two people to get it fully set up and staked with the rain fly. — Nathan Allen, Outdoor Gear Editor

Packed Size: 6 x 17.5 inches | Floor Dimensions: 86 x 52/42 inches | Minimum Trail Weight: 1 pounds, 6 ounces | Seasons: 3

Best for Car Camping: Nemo Aurora 2 Tent

Nemo Aurora 2 Tent
What We Like
  • Ultralight

  • Able to divide to share weight

What We Don't Like
  • Not enough interior storage

If you’re mostly a car camper or don’t hike very far with your tent on outdoor adventures, it hardly makes sense to pay a premium for an ultralight shelter that can compromise on comfort and durability to shave weight. New England’s Nemo understands this and offers their relatively light (around 4.5 pounds) Aurora 2 as a lower-cost all-around option, full of smart features borrowed from their ultralight line. 

The vertical sidewalls created by the hubbed two aluminum pole frame maximize interior space and comfort. That space is enhanced by lots of interior gear pockets. There are also two doors and two vestibules, making it easy for two people with protected space outside the tent for gear. 

Tested by TripSavvy

We tested the Aurora car camping in the fall in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains with warm, sunny days and cold, windy nights. We found the build and setup of the tent simple and straightforward. The footprint is helpfully included unlike many tents even though most recommend using one. The 68D polyester floor fabric seemed like it could hold up just fine on relatively smooth ground, though if you’re car camping with the Aurora, there’s no reason not to bring the footprint and extend your tent’s lifespan. We also liked how the footprint, tent body, and rainfly all used the same grommets to connect with the ends of the poles.

Despite being a car camping tent, we liked the inclusion of the hubbed pole architecture used in fancier backpacking tents which makes the setup pretty idiot-proof. There is a spreader pole as well, so it’s not a true one-pole setup, but it’s close. One gripe is that although the stakes were nice and lightweight, we’d like to see heavier duty ones included on a tent like this where weight isn’t the top concern. — Justin Park, Product Tester

Packed Size: 7 x 23 inches | Floor Dimensions: 88 x 52 inches | Minimum Trail Weight: 4 pounds, 9 ounces | Seasons: 3

Best Stargazing Tent: Kelty Night Owl 2 Person Tent

Kelty Night Owl 2 Person Tent
What We Like
  • Ultra-durable

  • Built for winter camping conditions

  • Heavy

One of the great things about a tent is you can enjoy sleeping under the stars while still keeping a barrier of mesh between you and dust, dirt, and bugs. The Kelty Night Owl makes this a priority by going for an all-mesh canopy paired with their Stargazer rain fly which can be rolled back partway so it’s ready to deploy fully if weather rolls in.

The Night Owl’s weight is middle-of-the-road and is probably not light or compact enough for the truly hardcore gram-counters, but at just over 5 pounds, it’s not outrageous to hike with for several miles. As a reward for going a little heavier, you get super durable materials and a robust design.

Tested by TripSavvy

We enjoyed the Night Owl right from the first setup thanks to a classic ‘X’ structure design and a super-simple setup process. A hubbed pole system and 'Quick Corner' pole sleeves make it easy to set the Night Owl up quickly, even in the dark. The poles and slots are color-coded but you hardly need it as the design is pretty intuitive.

The materials all feel durable and the Quick Corner sleeves make the tent structure strong and it held up well to wind and light rain in our testing in the Rockies in the fall. The 68D rainfly buckles into the bases of the poles for a connection you feel like you can trust. There are guylines available to really get the tent taut and structure complete and they’re thankfully attached out of the box which encourages you to actually bother using them. — Justin Park, Product Tester

Packed Size: 7 x 16 inches | Floor Dimensions: 90 x 54 inches | Minimum Trail Weight: 5 pounds, 6 ounces  | Seasons: 3

Most Innovative: Sea to Summit Alto TR2 Tent

Sea to Summit Alto TR2 Tent
What We Like
  • Ultralight

  • Excellent venting

What We Don't Like
  • Very tight for two people

The Sea to Summit Alto TR2 is a high-tech tent that achieves ultralight status and includes lots of smart features without feeling like an experimental model. The three-part packaging allows for divvying up the weight of your tent when sharing but connects together as one if you’re using it solo and makes packing the tent straightforward.

The single-pole hubbed structure maximizes the vertical space on the somewhat smaller footprint dimensions while keeping the shape streamlined. Interesting features like the overhead lightbar don’t add much weight or bulk, and with proper setup, this semi-freestanding tent can withstand rough weather.

Tested by TripSavvy

We tested the Alto TR2 for several nights at high elevation in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain backcountry where the tent’s lightweight and small packed size was a relief on our large frame packs. We found the setup very simple because, like most single-pole tents, there are a limited number of wrong ways to set it up and the asymmetrical design made it fairly obvious without instructions (though they’re helpfully printed on the packaging if you need them). We managed the tent-only setup in the dark with one person in less than 5 minutes and the rain fly was added on under duress in surprise overnight light rain. Even groggy at 3 a.m., the rain fly was intuitive and it has a rollback option to leave open for air and stargazing but to also be ready for quick deployment.

The 15D nylon is very light and because of that and its somewhat irregular shape, I wouldn’t set it up without Sea to Summit's custom footprint, which isn’t included. Side gripe: I wish ultralight tent makers would just include the footprint matched to their tents since they all make them and recommend using one to protect the silky ultralight fabrics from the ground. It of course adds to the cost and the listed weight of the tent, but if it’s essentially essential equipment, just include it.

Moving on, we had a great experience in the tent—it held up under rain and wind—and the large Apex Vent system kept condensation down to almost nothing despite low nighttime temps in the 20s. Like most semi-freestanding tents, the tub floor lacks structure compared to more robustly framed tents and that combined with floor dimensions on the smaller side makes me consider this a 1+ person tent. Fitting two people in this tent is theoretically possible with smaller sleeping pads but there isn’t enough square footage for two of my Nemo Cosmo pads due to the taper at the foot end. — Justin Park, Product Tester

Packed Size: 4.7 x 20.5 inches | Floor Dimensions: 84.5 x 53 inches | Minimum Trail Weight: 2 pounds, 9.4 ounces | Seasons: 3

Best Rooftop Tent: Front Runner Rooftop Tent

Front Runner Rooftop Tent
What We Like
  • Low-profile and lightweight

  • Easy set-up

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

While rooftop tents have surged in popularity lately, Front Runner has been making overlanding equipment since the early '90s and their rooftop tent is the lightest and lowest-profile option currently on the market. Bulky rooftop tents can be giant wind-catchers that kill your fuel efficiency. But the Front Runner Rooftop Tent is only 13 inches tall and can be installed with an optional quick-release so you don’t have to drive around with your tent all the time (nor dread putting it back on).

Despite being a minimalist profile, it has all the comforts of a rooftop tent that make them so attractive in the first place. Because weight isn’t the primary concern as it is with backpacking tents, Front Runner uses heavy-duty fabrics for the tent body, rainfly, and cover. The fold-out and pop-up happen in one smooth motion, giving you a ready-to-sleep bedroom atop your vehicle that’s accessed by a built-in ladder. There’s also a high-density foam mattress inside with an antimicrobial cover that doesn't require inflation like many camping sleeping pads.

You’ll need a Front Runner Roof Rack to install the tent on top of your vehicle and Front Runner makes their rugged racks specific to many common vehicles as well as universal options that make it accessible for almost all vehicles. The biggest drawback of this—and most rooftop tents—is cost. You’re looking at over $1,000 for the tent alone while even top-of-the-line backpacking tents are usually $500 or less.

Tested by TripSavvy

I was recently able to spend a weekend testing Front Runner's Rooftop Tent in the Santa Monica Mountains outside of Los Angeles. It was my first time using a rooftop tent, so my initial curiosity was how easy would it be to pitch a tent lofted above a vehicle (we were using Front Runner's Ford F-150 Raptor). I was surprised at how easy it was. We simply unzipped the tent's cover and flopped the top over.

The included mattress is a nice bonus as it's more comfortable than other camping pads that don't require inflation. However, I didn't find it as comfortable as some super-lofted inflating backpacking pads I've used. At first, the side of the tent that's not directly above the vehicle can come off as a bit sketch—it definitely shifts down when you put your full weight on the side hovering above the ground. But once the ladder is securely on the ground and you get a bit used to it, that sketchiness goes away.

The materials used for the actual tent structure are thick and durable. While the rain fly is easy to remove—we took it off in the middle of the night without leaving the tent when some Santa Ana's kicked up—it takes a bit more effort to put it back on (though not much). Speaking of the Santa Ana's, with the rain fly off, a nice breeze was able to move through the mesh walls and windows of the tent. My one nitpick? It took some finagling to get the attached case back on and zipped around the tent when we had it packed back up and were ready to leave. — Nathan Allen, Outdoor Gear Editor

 Closed Size: 52.4 x 49 x 13 inches | Floor Dimensions: 96 x 51 inches | Weight: 93 pounds | Seasons: 3

Best for Winter: The North Face Mountain VE 25 Tent

The North Face Mountain 25 Tent
What We Like
  • Ultra-durable

  • Built for winter camping conditions

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy

  • Pricey

If your camping adventures continue into that fourth season, your tent may have to contend with snow, sub-zero temperatures, and staking when the ground is frozen. You need an expedition-grade tent and, at around 9 pounds, The North Face’s Mountain 25 tent is heavy-duty without being ultra-heavy. The tent body uses pole sleeves extensively to maximize the structure and stability of the frame. The fly is high-visibility yellow and black and there are glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls for easy opening and closing in the dark when days are shorter.

Yes, this tent will feel heavy if you’re used to ultralight backpacking options, but it is built for durability. While the nylon fly material is heavy, it is cold-crack tested to -60 degrees F. Condensation is a major issue when winter camping, so venting is also prioritized with high-low venting.

Packed Size: 7 x 24 inches | Floor Dimensions: 86 x 54 inches | Minimum Trail Weight: 8 pounds, 13 ounces | Seasons: 4

Final Verdict

For most people, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than the balance of the lighter-than-ever weight, simple design and setup, and a time-tested build of the REI Half Dome Two Person Tent (view at REI). The cost isn’t bargain-basement, but it’s half of what most truly ultralight tents cost and easier to use as well.

For those hardcore backpackers that can’t stomach the packed size and are counting every ounce, there are multiple ultralight options within our picks, but the Mountain Hardwear Strato UL2 (view at Backcountry) stood out in our testing for its light weight but more importantly, how it performed like a more robust, freestanding tent.

What to Look for in a Two-Person Tent

Materials

Most tents employ either nylon or polyester. Because it sags less when wet, polyester is generally more desirable for its taut look, though nylon is generally more durable and can be less expensive. Both need coatings (see below) to repel water.

Dyneema (sometimes “cuben fiber”) is a newer lightweight material used for its lightweight strength, but it is still much more expensive than nylon or polyester. Because it has issues with abrasion and requires careful handling, it’s only of interest to the most ultralight weight-shavers at this point.

Denier

Fabrics are rated by denier, which is noted by a number followed by the letter D, as in 10D ripstop nylon. The lower the number, the smoother and more sheer the material. Imagine silk at the low end and canvas at the other. Since denier is also a measure of weight, you can use it to estimate how heavy a material might be.

Footprint

As stated above, the “two-person” designation is self-assigned and non-standardized, so evaluate the dimensions of the footprint. If you have two people and know the widths of your sleeping pads, ensure that there’s enough room for both side by side (ideally with a little extra). Obviously, you also want the length of the tent to exceed the height of the tallest member of your duo by a few inches at least. 

Peak Height

Peak height is another less obvious dimension to consider. Most tents give you enough room to sit up tall in, but not all. Especially if you’re taller, double-check that the peak height offers enough room to sit up and change clothes under shelter.

Packed Size

If you intend to use the tent in its intended packaging, it’s good to check the dimensions of the tent when it’s broken down and packed up. Some packed tents are short and squat, while others are long and cylindrical. Depending on the type of pack you use and where you prefer to store your tent in transit, some shapes and sizes may work better than others. For example, if you prefer to store your tent at the bottom of your frame pack as I do, a long packed tent may not fit between the sides of the pack.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What’s the difference between freestanding and non-freestanding?

    The classic tent design of fabric stretched out against a frame of poles is what’s called a freestanding tent because it has its own support system. Non-freestanding tents generally rely on trekking poles, sticks, rocks, tree limbs, or some other item for their structure and, as a result, are usually lighter and appeal to a minimalist camper. Unless you’re an experienced backcountry camper, a freestanding tent is usually recommended since the weight savings are relatively small as freestanding tents continue to get lighter.

  • What’s the difference between packed weight and minimal weight or trail weight?

    Minimal weight or trail weight is broadly the lightest you can get your tent setup while preserving the core functionality. This means ditching repair kits, stuff sacks, stakes, and any non-essential add-ons. Many backpackers carry individual tent items loose in their packs eliminating the need for ties and stuff sacks. Packed weight is simply the full weight of the tent and all components packed in their original storage bags.

  • How big is a two-person tent?

    Because tent sizing isn’t standardized, this is a subjective assessment and should be viewed merely as a guideline. Always check the actual dimensions listed by the manufacturer to understand the true size of a tent. Many smaller “two-person” tents are realistic for use only by solo campers and some extra-large “two-person” tents could pack in a third. Also, keep in mind that even if two people can sleep side-by-side inside, that doesn’t mean you’ll have enough room for gear storage. If a tent doesn’t have sheltered vestibule areas outside of the main sleeping footprint, you may need to look at the next size up if you intend to store gear inside.

  • How light is an ultralight tent?

    The constant push for lighter gear means the definition of “ultralight” changes nearly annually. That said, by today’s standards, any two-person tent weighing less than 4 pounds could reasonably be called “ultralight.” The tents that take this to extremes are in the 1- to 2-pound range.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Justin Park is a lifelong camper based in Breckenridge, Colorado. He spends several weeks in a tent each year and has camped in snow pits above 14,000 feet and on the beach in the tropics. He prefers to carry a few extra pounds for a more durable tent that he can treat roughly and count on but appreciates what the ultralight revolution has done for his pack weight over the years.

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