When considering your next tent or shelter it’s hard to know exactly where to start. There’s nothing worse than being perched on the side of a mountain realising you are either in the wrong size tent for your gear or you have no idea how to pitch the superb choice you thought you’d made.
Generally speaking, most keen adventurers will prefer to increase whatever the berth of a tent is by one, adding this to the amount of people sleeping inside. This is purely from a comfort perspective.
A 2-man tent is generally ok for two people, but will be cosy and more manageable for just one. The only consideration you need to make in this regard is that of weight, size and whether you think packing light is important.
Here’s a guide to what you might want to look out for when it comes to looking for the best 2-man tent.
What kinds of 2-man tents are there?
It’s simple really, there’s all sorts of things that could potentially trip you up when selecting your shelter for the night, but remembering a few basics can mean you know exactly what you are looking for.
In terms of shape, there’s two main options:
Dome tents and tunnel tents.
Dome tents are usually freestanding, which means they don’t need to be pegged to stand up. This makes them quicker to pitch and are best suited when you are going to be experiencing tougher conditions.
Tunnel tents are sometimes more heavy, but offer more in terms of space.
Whichever design you choose, there will be a variety of different tent entrances,storage, ventilation options and the types of areas such as porches and open, more public spaces will vary too. It all depends on what you need, where you are going and what you are likely to be doing.
Weight - Is it important?
Typically, there are categories for tent weight and there’s a lot to say for really taking your time over deciding what’s best for you.
Simply put, tents can be divided into these categories:
Ultra lightweight - Below 1kg - These are perfect options for day trips or one night
Lightweight - 1-2kg - Lightweight or ultra light tents can be incredibly effective and will normally be very kind on your back and overall load.
Average - 2 -3 kg - These average weight tents will generally perform a little better, especially in tougher weather and won’t feel too much in terms of weight on your back.
Heavy - 3 - 4kg - For the longer expedition, a heavier, bigger tent may be required.
Best value average weight
Sierra Designs Meteor 3000 2 Person Backpacking Tent (£214.90 in our Black Friday sale, comes with a free tent footprint)
This is among the best average weight two man tents available for the price that we would recommend.
At just 2.3kg, this isn’t going to be pulling any muscles and offers a 3000mm 68D Poly taffeta flysheet with a 70:30 solid fabric /mesh inner. This is ideal for Northern European weather conditions meaning you and your gear will stay dry and warm. With two doors and masses of storage room in the two porches/vestibules, it’s also great if you need a separate area for storage or to dry out gear that’s been taking punishment all day.
Best value lightweight weight
Exped Lyra ll 2 Person Backpacking Tent (£259.99)
The Exped Lyra Backpacking Tent is designed to provide phenomenal performance with minimal weight, making it ideal for those taking on either longer trails, or particularly challenging terrains which may entail a lot of climbing.
Providing fantastic flexibility in how it can be set up and deployed, this is a great option for those looking for a tent that is able to adapt to the conditions and requirements that each adventure brings.
Best mid-range cost and lightweight
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 (£404.49)
Big Agnes are known for their innovative yet stylish designs and this is no exception.
Ostensibly a dome tent, but with a boxy appearance, it offers a vestibule style of layout, offering extra storage as well as the room to sleep two comfortably. It’s amazing just how much this Colorado brand can do with the space and the weight available. At just over a kilogram, this is a lot of tent for the effort it takes to carry. Easy to set up and already a best-seller, it comes thoroughly recommended.
Mid-range cost and average weight
MSR Hubba Hubba NX2 (£438.99)
Incredible value and one that has already garnered awards, this is a 2-man tent to die for. An efficient and cleverly designed tent that doesn’t waste an inch, from it’s incredibly easy carry to its non-tapered floor that means you get the full expanse of it’s surface area to enjoy, it’s a comfortable and performance-like model we recommend to those who want to set off on longer and more demanding treks.
Easily able to deal with the rain and more extreme conditions, the Hubba Hubba won’t let you down. With generous headroom, it’s also really spacious considering the reasonably light weight of just under 2kg.
Top range cost and lightweight
Nordisk Oppland 2 LW (£698.99)
Certainly one for stiff winds, this is a lightweight tent that will stand up to any elements and won’t let you down. Spacious and with enough extra room to truly be considered luxurious, the initial porch offers a fantastic amount of storage space as well as height to keep wet gear, food supplies or more bulky items out of harm’s way.
The sleeping area also offers a surprising amount of space for two co-sleepers and enough room inside to be comfy enough to spend time should the rain keep you from exploring the great outdoors. Still at under 2kg, this is an excellent option for those who want to feel comfortable even in the wilderness.
Top range cost and average weight
Wild Country Helm Compact 2 (£213.99)
Compact but with enough room to feel comfortable, this offering from Wild Country is friendly on the wallet as well as the pack size and weight. A classic design for a reason, a dome tent offers stability, rigidity and can be pitched virtually anywhere and easily.
Award-winning and a firm favourite in the wild camping community, the Helm Compact is one of the best examples of the quintessential dome tents we stock. A workhorse of a tent, it can withstand a lot of wear and will stand up to extended use.
Best Heavy 2-man tent
Big Agnes Blacktail Hotel 2 (£224)
One of the standout stars of the enviable Big Agnes range, this heavy, but reliable beast is the Blacktail Hotel 2. With an extended vestibule that we’d put money on being enough for anyone at 2.6m square, you’ll have more than enough room as a solo camper in this, but will not notice if you pair up with someone else too.
Packed to the gills with storage space, it’s perfect if you travel with lots of extras or want space for your canine friend too. Not many tents offer this much versatility at this price point and quality, so if you’ve been looking for something hard-wearing and with enough room to truly spread out even out in isolated areas, this is the tent and shelter for you.
Best 4 Season 2-man tent
MSR Access 2 (£624.99)
Looking for warmth and versatility? This might be the perfect option. Designed for those taking long treks into snowy and cold conditions, this is a snug shelter away from biting winds and will ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.
Mesh keeps the warmth in and the room inside is surprisingly spacious. There’s enough room to sit comfortably and more than enough room to stretch out.
At around 2kg, it still won’t break your back in transit and will perform even in stormier conditions.