Best Freestanding Tents For Backpacking Enthusiasts

Best Freestanding Tents For Backpacking Enthusiasts


Maximising storage space and leave no trace camping are some of the most crucial things for backpackers. While ensuring that they have all their essentials packed into one rucksack, their belongings also have to be lightweight and space-saving so as to save their energy for traveling. Thus, a freestanding lightweight tent is often a crowd favourite because it’s perfect for outdoor stays. 

We have compiled a list of five freestanding tents that are lightweight and great for a backpacker’s journey. Before we get into that, let’s address some terms for tents that new backpackers might not know about.

Freestanding tents are tents that don’t require support from the surroundings to be erected. Most backpackers use freestanding tents, although the weight from the poles does add a little extra weight to the tent. 

Tents that are rated for three seasons means that they have been tested and approved to withstand spring, summer, and autumn seasons. Camping in colder climates or winter would require a four-season rated tent that is approved to withstand the cold weather during winter. If you must use a three-season tent in colder weather, you can do so safely by properly insulating the tent so that it can sustain sufficient heat to keep occupants warm, especially at night.

Without further ado, here are the five lightweight freestanding tents great for your backpacking journey,

1. Bessport

The Bessport camping tent fits one to two pax and weighs about 5.2 pounds. The length, width, and height are 86.6, 48.4, and 43.5 inches respectively. The tent is wind and waterproof and it is durable. Rated for three seasons, this tent comes with two D-door entrances, a welded floor, seam taped construction, mesh top, and a sturdy rainfly that maintains ventilation without bugs or rain getting in. 

Setting the tent is easily a one-man job and the poles are aluminum which is strong enough to withstand heavy winds yet light enough for backpacking. It comes with a lifetime warranty so you don’t have to worry too much about the hassle of returns and replacements. That said since this tent doesn’t have a gear loft, bags need to be stored on the ground. 

2. Featherstone Outdoor

Featuring similar features as the Bessport camping tent, the two-man Featherstone Outdoor backpacking tent has a welded floor, seam-taped rainfly, mesh walls, and aluminum poles that keep campers safe and dry from even the harshest of storms. It is 84, 51, and 43 inches in length, width, and height respectively and it has been rated for three seasons. 

An interesting feature of the Featherstone Outdoor Backpacking tent is the one-piece collapsible aluminum pole that keeps the tent compact. Depending on the setup of the tent, it can weigh anywhere from 3.8 to 6 pounds, 3.8 pounds including on the tent floor, rainfly, and aluminum poles. With all components included, the 6 pounds might be too heavy for some backpackers. It is also recommended that two people set the tent up which might not be as user-friendly as the previous option. That said, the tent is extremely roomy so tall campers might appreciate the space that this tent provides.

3. Kelty Grand Mesa

The result of years of research and experience led to the production of the Kelty Grand Mesa tent. The two-man tent measures 85, 44, and 43 inches in length, width, and height respectively. The whole deal weighs 4.2 pounds which is a pretty good weight that makes the tent a popular choice among many backpackers, beginners, and experts alike. The Kelty Grand Mesa features a single D-door entrance, high welded floor, mesh walls, seam-taped construction, and loops for a gear loft. 

The tent is user-friendly, durable, sturdy, and spacious. It is also rated for three seasons. However, the tent doesn’t include a footprint and the quality of the guy lines are also dubious. 

4. Hyke & Byke Zion

If ventilation is a priority, the Hyke & Byke Zion backpacking tent is for you. Its double D-door entrance and fully-mesh body with protection from a rainfly allow for great air circulation. This 2-man tent is tested for three seasons and includes a bathtub floor, seam-taped construction, a footprint, and a gear loft. 

The Hyke & Byke Zion backpacking tent comes in at 90, 55, and 42 inches in length, width, and height respectively. This is one spacious tent that is sure to give you more than enough space and ventilation as the breeze freely enters and leaves the tent. With the just rainfly, footprint, and poles, the tent weighs only 3 pounds. With everything in, it only weighs an impressive 4.47 pounds. On top of saving backpack space, it also comes with reflective guylines so as to prevent trips in dark conditions. 

That said, users might have to air their tents before actually using them as a chemical smell from the flame-resistant treatment has been detected. The bag for the tent is also pretty tight.

5. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 

The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx is a one-man tent that measures 90, 32, and 36 inches in length, width, and height respectively. This three-season tent is one of the best single-person tents in the market currently. It is user-friendly and includes aluminum poles, pockets, mesh walls, bathtub floor, seam-taped construction, gear loft, and a rainfly. Not only are the materials high-quality, but the weight of the whole tent is only four pounds. It only takes one person to set up the tent and campers can rest assured that they are protected from the elements inside this tent. Tall campers can also comfortably fit inside this tent and even bring their gears in as well since the length is a whopping 90 inches. A small caveat is that it doesn’t come with a footprint.


Choosing the right camping gear is never easy, especially with all the options out there. This is especially true for backpackers as choosing the right gear can help them hike further and go on longer trips. One of the most important gear is the tent. The tents that made it to our lists have proven themselves worthy. They are made well, lightweight, user-friendly, and most importantly, they don’t take up a lot of space. If you are on a tight budget and these tents do not fit within your preferred price range, at least you have an idea of what a good backpacking tent requires so that you can make a more well-informed decision when looking for more affordable options.

With all that said, we hope you find a good shelter for your travels. Happy camping!

Kate Dyson

Kate is the Founder of The Motherload, the 'owner' of one husband, two daughters, two cats and one rabbit. She loves wine, loathes exercise and fervently believes in the power of women supporting women. Find me on instagram: @themotherloadhq

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