Backpacking tents have made our expedition and camping easy. They are lightweight and easy to carry in your backpack. Having a backpacking tent with freestanding feature really makes our camping super easy and convenient. However, most of the backpacking tents nowadays are freestanding and this may leave you confused with options. But having the best freestanding backpacking tent is really important for a camper or hiker. Before going to the review of some of the best lightweight and ultralight freestanding tent for backpacking, you should know what freestanding tent really means.
What is a freestanding tent?
Basically, freestanding tent uses the included poles to stand up. These tents stand mainly due to the support of the poles. This means they don’t need to be staked or pitched to set up. Although they come with cord and stakes to provide extra support and stability against the wind, it is not necessary to peg them into the ground. Once a freestanding tent is set up, you can easily move them to another location which makes this tent convenient if you frequently change your camping position.
Best Freestanding Backpacking Tent:
- MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
- ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
- Kelty TN 2 Person Tent
- Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent
- Luxe Tempo Single 1 Person Tent 4 Season Freestanding for Camping Backpacking Tent
1. MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent:
If you are a solo camper, you will love this MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Tent. This is a premium quality ultralight backpacking tent and is a great companion for hiking or bike camping. Most importantly, this ultralight backpacking tent is a freestanding tent. So can it be the best freestanding backpacking tent? Let’s find out.
Hubba NX Overview
Most freestanding tents are double walled. This Hubba NX 1 is also a double walled freestanding backpacking tent. This means this tent has two part: the inner tent(canopy) and the rainfly.
This 3 season tent’s canopy is constructed of high-quality 20-denier ripstop nylon. For better ventilation, the canopy features 15-denier nylon micro mesh. The floor of the tent is constructed of thick 30-denier ripstop nylon and with a coating of 3000mm Durashield, it will prevent water from getting inside the tent.
If you are solo camping during the rainy season, you will love this backpacking tent as rainfly is made of 20-denier ripstop nylon which is coated with 1200mm Durashield. The waterproof durashield coating will keep you dry and cozy inside the tent when its raining.
This is a single pole freestanding tent. The single DAC Featherlite NFL pole makes stable and sturdy against wind and rain. The rainfly and the stake loops have color-coded webbing, which makes this tent super easy to set up.
The minimum weight of this tent is 2lb 7oz (1.12 kg). This is an ultralight freestanding backpacking tent. You can further reduce the weight by the Fast & Light setup. This setup weighs only 2lbs 1oz (0.93 kg). This setup includes the pole, rainfly, and footprint. However, the footprint is not included with the tent, so you have to purchase the footprint separately to use this setup.
This tent has a floor area of 18 sq.ft. I would not say this is a very spacious tent, however, this tent is very livable for solo campers. This tent has a peak height of 36 inches (3′) which is Ok for sitting up. However, this tent has a large vestibule with an area of 9 sq.ft to store your bags, boots, and gears.
This tent has lots of mesh to enjoy the view of nature and for ventilation. To reduce condensation, the rainfly features kickstand vents. This tent also features one large stay-dry door. The door features rain gutter which will keep you dry when exiting and entering the tent. Overall, this tent has a good weigh to livability ratio.
This tent has a packed size of 18 x 6 inches. This makes this tent compact and ultralight to carry on your hiking or bike camping adventure. MSR claims that this Hubba NX 1 is their best selling freestanding solo tent. So with this tent, your expedition will not go wrong. Overall, the high-quality fabric, the weight, and the compact size make this the best ultralight freestanding tent for solo backpackers.
2. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent:
The MSR Hubba NX 1-Person is a premium ultralight freestanding tent that is expensive and not everyone will be able to afford it. However, if you want an affordable solo freestanding tent that is not poor quality, you may find the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-person tent attractive. This affordable solo tent is also more spacious and thicker fabric tent than the MSR. However, this is a weighs more than the MSR Hubba 1.
The fly of this tent is constructed of 75-denier 185T polyester. The 1500mm coating on the fly makes this UV resistant and waterproof. The floor with thick 75-denier 185T poly taffeta fabric and 2000mm coating will keep the inside dry. Moreover, the seam of the floor and the fly is factory-sealed. This makes this great for the rainy season.
To improve ventilation and reduce condensation, the walls of the inner tent is half mesh. This tent includes 7000 series 8.5mm aluminum freestanding poles. Aluminum poles enhance stability which makes this sturdy during high wind.
The minimum weight of this tent is 3lbs 8oz. This weight is fine for solo backpacking journey, however, compared to the 2lb 7oz of the MSR, this tent is heavy. Nonetheless, this is the best lightweight freestanding tent at this affordable price.
This is a very spacious tent for 1 person. This tent has an area of 20 sq.ft and a center height of 3′. Also, you are getting a large vestibule. With a vestibule area of 10 sq.ft, you can easily store your boots, gears or bag.
Inside the tent, you have plenty of mesh storage pockets and one gear loft to keep your phones, books, and tools handy. For entering and exiting the tent easily, this tent has one large door.
This is a great affordable freestanding tent that provides excellent weather protection. This tent can also be used in light winter season due to the thick denier fabric. However, the thick fabric increases the total weight of this tent. Overall, I personally think this is the best freestanding backpacking tent that is affordable and spacious.
3. Kelty TN 2 Person Tent:
You do not need to spend a fortune to get a good lightweight freestanding tent for backpacking. This Kelty TN 2 person tent is an affordable yet decent quality freestanding tent that you need to have if you are planning to go on the trail with your spouse or partner. This award-winning tent (Outside Magazine Gear of the Year awards and Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice Award) is one of the most preferred choices of many enthusiastic campers who go on backpacking trails.
The inner tent has full mesh wall panels for you to stargaze and enjoy nature. However, note that the mesh wall quality is not that good. The floor is constructed of 70-denier Nylon and the taped floor seams along with 3000mm coating make this tent usable during the rainy season.
One of the main selling points of this freestanding tent is the fly. The fly is made of 40-denier Sil Nylon, 1800 mm taped seam. Most importantly, you can roll up the fly which means the half on and half off rainfly will allow you to enjoy the sky view and when the rain comes, you can easily fasten down the rainfly.
The 14-inches aluminum poles are robust and short enough for easy packaging. It also includes some Guyout points for extra stability during windy condition. So this freestanding design contains DAC Pressfit poles and color-coded huge clip construction for easy and simple setup.
The weight of this tent is 4lb 9oz. This may sound a bit heavy which it is for a backpacking tent. However, for a 2 person tent, this is one of the lightweight freestanding tents you can find out in the market at this price point.
The interior tent dimension 83 in x 50 in (27.5 sq.ft) with a peak height of 42 inches. So it has ample headroom and is very spacious if you are solo camping and still comfortable if 2 people camping.
You are also getting 2 oversized D-style doors for ease of entrance and exit. To not make the interior cramped with gears, it features 2 large vestibules each with an area of 10 sq. ft. You also get internal storage pockets to store your phones and small gears safely and handy.
This freestanding backpacking tent has lots of features: noiseless zippers, Stargazing fly, 2 oversized door, full mesh wall panel, compacts, and lightweight. So if you looking for the best freestanding backpacking tent for 2-person without spending a great amount of money, then take a look at this tent.
4. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent:
Big Agnes is the superior and elite brand to the campers. They provide premium and high-end tents that also comes at a high cost. The Copper Spur HV UL tent comes in different sizes. It ranges from 1-person to 4-person tent. So you have the option to choose the size according to your preference and needs. Also, this tent is one of the lightest tents I have ever seen. The quality and the ultralightweight has forced us to keep this tent in our list of the best freestanding backpacking tent.
|Name||Floor Area||Head Height||Vestibule Area||Trail Weight||Fast Fly Weight||Packed Weight|
|Copper Spur HV UL1||20 sq ft||38||9 sq. ft.||2lb 2oz / 964g||1lb 10oz / 737g||2lb 8oz / 1.13kg|
|Copper Spur HV UL2||29 sq ft||40||9 sq. ft. + 9 sq ft||2lb 12oz / 1.25kg||2lb 2oz / 964g||3lb 1oz / 1.40kg|
|Copper Spur HV UL3||41 sq ft||43||9 sq. ft. + 9 sq ft||3lb 7oz / 1.56kg||2lb 12oz / 1.25kg||3lb 14oz / 1.76kg|
|Copper Spur HV UL4||57 sq ft||50||14 sq. ft. + 14 sq ft||5lb 3oz / 2.35kg||4lb 2oz / 1.87kg||5lb 10oz / 2.55kg|
The tent body is constructed of high quality breathable rip-stop nylon. This makes condensation nearly zero. The inner tent’s wall is constructed of polyester mesh which enhances ventilation and let you stargaze during the night.
The floor and the fly are also made of rip-stop nylon however, they are also silicone treated. Both the fly and floor are coated with 1200mm waterproof polyurethane (PU). This makes this tent a good choice for camping in the rainy season.
The fly and the floor are weaved uniquely with high filament count and high tenacity yarn. This improves the durability by increasing the fabric tear strength by 25% and also improves the water resistant while keeping the weight minimum.
This tent features DAC Featherlite NFL. This freestanding NSL pole system is easy to set up and take down. The pole has a 4-way high volume hub design which maximizes stability and allows you to camp even in heavy wind.
Different size of this tent has different weight. No matter what capacity you choose to buy, you are getting one of the lightest backpacking tents out in the market.
If you are a minimalist, you can further reduce the weight by the Fast Fly setup. This setup includes the fly, poles, and footprint. However, to enjoy this setup, you need to buy the footprint separately as it is not included with this tent.
You might think that this tent might not be very spacious to keep the weight low. Surprisingly, this tent is very roomy and spacious while being lightweight. This tent also has pretty good headroom compared to other freestanding backpacking tents.
All the models come with a two door and two vestibules except for the Copper Spur HV UL1. The vestibules are also large enough to keep your bags and gears. Based on the sizes, you get lots of mesh storage pockets. All the sizes have a massive ceiling pocket. Also for ventilation, all the models have one fly vent.
Nothing can go wrong with this weather protected and cool looking 3-season freestanding backpacking tent. This is a dream tent for many campers that is not only constructed of high-quality materials but also ultralightweight.
You also have the option to choose from 1-person all the way to 4-person capacity. So If you love solo camping, then choose the Copper Spur HV UL1 and if you want to go on a family camping journey, choose the 4-person option. If someone asks me about the best ultralight freestanding tent for backpacking, I would point my fingers toward this amazing tent.
If you are on a budget, then check out: Top 3 Best Budget Backpacking Tent
5. Luxe Tempo Single 1 Person Tent 4 Season Freestanding for Camping Backpacking Tent:
Do you love winter season camping? If yes, you will need a 4-season tent to protect you from the shivering cold. Well, all the tents mentioned above are 3-season freestanding backpacking tent. However, this single person freestanding backpacking tent from Luxe Tempo is a 4-season tent. More than that, this is an all-season tent that will protect you from winter, rain, and windy weather. You can also use this tent for summer camping depending on the location and the temperature. So without further ado, let’s find out why this is one of the best freestanding backpacking tent.
Looking for a budget 4-season tent that will not break your bank? Definitely, check our article on Best Budget 4 Season Tent
First of all, the inner tent is constructed of 210T polyester fabric. This is a breathable fabric which reduces condensation. Most of the tent doesn’t include a footprint. However, I was surprised to see that this affordable 4-season tent included with the tent. The footprint is also made of 210T polyester fabric.
The floor of this tent is made of 210T ripstop polyester fabric. The floor and the footprint are coated with polyurethane (PU). So the floor will keep you warm during cold weather.
The main attraction of this freestanding tent is the rainfly. The rainfly with the construction of ultralight 20D 360T SilNylon features 8000mm coating. So it is 8000mm silicone coated nylon. This makes this tent water and UV resistant.
Also, the rainfly has a slippery surface which means snow or rainwater will not stack on top of the tent and will easily shed off the tent. This tent has high-quality smooth SBS zippers. The zippers feature storm flaps and noiseless pull.
The trail weight of this tent is 3.3lb and the packed weight is 4.18lb. So being a 4-season tent, this tent weighs less than Lynx 1, which is a plus point of this the Luxe Tempo. However, this tent is heavier than most solo tent due to the construction to protect from the winter season and keep you warm.
The floor dimension of 35.4 x 82.6 inches (around 20 sq.ft) makes this tent roomy for the single person camping. This tent also has nice headroom with a peak height of 39.3 inches (around 3’3″). To keep your phone and tools handy, this tent features interior side pockets.
I was again surprised to see 2 doors and 2 vestibules in such an affordable solo backpacking tent. Each vestibule has an area of 6.8 sq.ft and this might not sound much space, however, with 2 vestibules, you can use one to store your gears and the other to exit and enter the tent.
You may know that 4-season tents are priced higher and weigh higher than 3-season tents. However, with this Luxe Tempo, you are getting a good quality 4-season tent that packs a lot of features at an affordable price. And the freestanding feature makes this tent really easy to set up. Overall, I am impressed with this tent and if you are looking for the best lightweight freestanding tent for backpacking in this winter, definitely check out this 4-season tent.