It is a must-have thing if you are intent on hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, or having outdoor experiences on a regular basis. There are tons of options in the market, and the peak season for manufacturers and dealers continues year round. You should know well what you want from your trip, for how long you are going to stay outside of the city, and if you are ready to sacrifice a bit of city comfort. You should choose a shelter based on that.
Why buy a 2-person tent?
This is something to consider for solo campers and couples rather than those who travel in larger groups. There are several reasons why you may want to choose a 2-person (not a 2-room) shelter even if you are used to hiking alone. One reason why hikers choose smaller camps is their size and weight. They look for something they can easily get to the destination.
Buying a 2-person tent is a nice solution for solo hiking and backpacking. Indeed, it does strike a balance, as it appears to be roomy enough to accommodate a person with a good amount of gear while being compact and relatively lightweight. You won’t have a hard time hiking a mountain peak, and there will be enough space for you to sleep comfortably and without curling up. You can even take a partition wall and make it into a 2-room camp. Second, a 2-person camp will keep you ready for a situation when you may suddenly not want to go solo and invite a friend instead. It will be much easier to find extra room in a 2-man shelter.
Third, a larger canopy can give you more comfort. If it rains for a long time, you will need space to stretch out your legs and sit inside comfortably. Lack of space inside can turn your adventure into a very frustrating and disappointing experience.
How do I choose the best 2-person tent?
Hiking is very popular, so there are tons of products with a variety of features and characteristics catering to countless individual preferences and desires. Shelters that accommodate two or more campers differ in shape, size, quality, structure, etc. It takes quite a bit of thinking, browsing, and research for customers to find the right product. So what are the most important points to remember when purchasing a 2-man shelter?
Canopies differ in shapes, and the most common ones are tunnel, dome, etc. Tunnel tents have an elongated form and come with some gear (pegs, guy lines, ropes). Dome-style camps, vice versa, do not need to be pegged, because they are free standing. Besides, they are easier to set up and provide a better protection against inclement weather. Tunnel shelters are more spacious.
As mentioned above, 2-man canopies offer an attractive living space/weight ratio, so you can go backpacking and enjoy freedom inside with an acceptable transportation workload. There will always be some space for your gear even if there are two of you.
Besides, weight depends on seasonality. For example, 1- and 2-season camps are lightweight (1–2 kg); 3-season shelters usually weigh 3 kg. Four- and five-season (expedition) tents are the heaviest, and they weigh 4+ kg.
You should take into account the climate, in which you are going to camp on a regular basis. It is advisable to secure yourself against all inclement outside influences. When choosing a shelter, check information about the type of canvas material and be sure it will protect you against rain, snow, wind, etc. Today, water-resistant polyurethane canvases are increasingly popular thanks to their high reliability and longevity.
Be prepared for a strong wind as well: there is nothing to guarantee that it will be sunny and quiet all the way along your trip. Make sure your camp is stable, and your gear includes the right number of poles, stakes, pegs, and guy ropes. Check all the seams and be sure they are sealed and insulated properly and won’t leak.
These shelters are categorized according to seasonal use. The categorization helps determine a product’s suitability for use in a particular climate and/or location (camouflage). For example, 1- and 2-season shelters are suited for camping on a quiet and sunny day only. They are poorly protected against rain and wind, not good for winter camping, and therefore are less popular.
Most 3-season tents strike a good balance. They can withstand harsh (but not extreme) conditions, so they are sought by various groups of campers. Most of them are sturdy, compact, and relatively lightweight. Manufacturers do their best to make them as comfortable and user-friendly as possible, and that is just one more reason why these shelters are so popular. Last but not least is affordability: you get a whole spectrum of advantages at a reasonable price.
4- and 5-season (all-season) 2-room camps are larger and sturdier. They are designed to withstand strong gales, torrential rain, and extreme winter conditions. They are well suited for expeditions to mountain peaks and upland regions, where the weather gets really harsh. These shelters are used by professional alpine explorers, geologists, etc., so they are the sturdiest, most advanced, and most expensive shelters. In the following section you can read descriptions of specific products. These should give you a clear picture of what makes a good 2-person camp and maybe help you find the right product right now.
All-Season Camouflage Tent with Stove Jack UP-2, RBM
UP-2 is a bright example of how a 2-person shelter can provide extra space. It is designed to accommodate two people (or three unless you use a stove) with beds and up to five people in sleeping bags. Consequently, two people have a lot of room for any amount of gear. UP-2 features a heat-resistant stove jack, through which you can safely run a stove’s flue pipe. Even with a stove, there is still a good amount of room inside. The camouflage canopy includes two layers of high-quality polyurethane material: the outer layer is made of water-resistant Oxford 300 PU 4000, and the inner layer is made of Oxford 210 PU 2000, which is slightly thinner. The layer of air between these improves insulation and reduces condensation. The canopy sports a remarkable camouflage pattern that blends with the outer environment and makes it less visible for wild animals.
This 2-man expedition shelter features an umbrella-style frame. It is made of a sturdy and durable aviation alloy and can be pitched in less than a couple of minutes. The frame withstands heavy loads, and it is impervious to rust. Windows and vent holes are equipped with mosquito nets, and guy ropes feature light-reflecting elements, so your shelter will be visible during dark periods. UP-2 is a winterial tent that is quite so good for year-round use.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX
The name pretty much reflects the emotion this product arouses: most buyers express delight when they see and use it for the first time. Even though it is a 2-person camp, it is big enough to accommodate up to four people. Its unique geometry provides a lot of space and headroom. The canopy is tightly attached to the frame. It is a free-standing outhouse, so you won’t have difficulty pitching it. The rounded shape keeps it stable in a moderately strong wind with just a few pegs and properly attached guy ropes.
The rainfly has a DuraShield coating, which won’t let a raindrop through. The D-shaped doors and porches provide extra room and free movement in and out of the shelter. The doors and vents are distributed in such a way as to provide an effective air flow. The rainfly can be removed, so you can sleep under the stars in a warm summer night.
You should know that it is a 3-season one, so it won’t keep you comfortable during heavy rain, snow, and/or gusty wind. But it is really worth the price. It is great for backpacking, and most campers call it a product of their dreams for the comfort it gives and its compactness.
Lightweight Sigma S22
Lightweight Sigma S22 is a 2-man camp that uses a unique anti-condensation technology, which makes the use of two layers unnecessary. It features a canopy that is made of ripstop nylon with a carbon layer, which absorbs moisture from the inside and passes it through the canvas and into the atmosphere. The shelter strikes two birds with one stone: it removes moist from the inside and significantly reduces weight.
Ease of pitching is another big advantage. The shelter comes with two crossing poles and a brow pole that supports the sides and provides extra space. The frame ensures stability, and there is a good kit of pegs and guy ropes, which help it withstand very strong winds. While most winterial 4-season camps are heavyweight and therefore not good for backpacking, Lightweight Sigma 22 appears to be a bright exception to the rule.
Finally, the shelter accommodates at least two people and spares a good amount of room for gear.
Mont Moondance 2
It is one of Mont’s latest and most remarkable products. The manufacturer has done its uttermost to strike a healthy balance between user-friendliness, transportability, functionality, and all-season performance.
For example, it weighs less than 2 kg, which is very light for a 2-person shelter. The trick is that both the inner canopy and the rainfly are made of a top-quality fabric with an increased threadcount and an effective PU coating (the inner canopy is slightly thinner than the rainfly). The canvas itself is thinner and therefore lighter than in the previous modifications. All seams have been sealed professionally, so you will stay dry inside even in a heavy rain. Apart from the advanced canopy, Mont Moondance sports a laminated floor and large waterhead.
Also, the canopy features a wide ridge-pole, which gives extra width and guarantees freedom of movement for at least two campers. Large inner doors facilitate movement in and out of the shelter and keep the inside of it ventilated. Internal pockets are strong and large enough for keeping various sorts of tools and gear. The camp comes with 10 pegs and guy lines, so it will be stable in the wind and pretty fit for all-season use.
Hyke & Byke Zion Camouflage
This 2-person tent is famous thanks to its compact dimensions, user-friendly design, and longevity. With this portable home at hand you can travel far and wide and enjoy the fresh breath of wilderness.
Like most 2-person shelters, this one presents a healthy weight/room ratio. This 2-man shelter spares a bit of space for gear and backpacks. It comes with a porch, which provides extra space. There are two large doors, which help campers move in and out without bothering each other and can keep it well ventilated in summer. The inner mesh will keep mosquitos outside.
The canopy sports a camouflage pattern of different hues of light and dark brown, red, and yellow lines and curves. The palette can help you stay unseen in the fall. The rainfly has a water-repellent coating, and all seams are sealed properly, which makes this canopy absolutely leak-proof.
Crua Cocoon Insulated Dome
Crua Cocoon is a good example of how manufacturers use innovative approaches in tent design. Right now, the product is stirring up a revolution in production of all-season insulated shelters.
Unlike most year-round winterial camps, this one features an inflatable frame and does not use solid poles at all. Once inflated, the frame stands straight up by itself, so the whole process takes less than a minute.
Crua Cocoon’s canopy can keep the interior cool and dark on a summer day. However, you will stay warm in winter. It is made of synthetic two-layer fire-resistant polyester. Mesh section at the top and in the door guarantee effective ventilation and prevent excessive condensation.
There are several should-know things about the Cocoon. Number one: it is not water-proof, so do not expect it to keep you dry on a rainy day.
Number two: it is not lightweight (6.6 kg) and therefore not good for backpacking
Number three: the Cocoon has no metal parts, and the package does not include pegs and guy ropes. You will need extra tools and effort to keep it stable on a windy day!
🏕 Are 2-person tents good for backpacking?
Many campers say yes to such shelters. They refer to their relatively compact size and not too heavy weight, so it does not take a vehicle to get it to the camping site. In this respect, they say, 2-person camps make the sweet spot in the middle.
📦 Can a 2-person tent protect you against inclement weather?
Yes, a 3-season backpacking shelter can protect you against inclement, but not against extreme weather. Most such shelters come with water-proof rainflies. Some products feature two-layer canopies that provide insulation and keep the air inside warm. Please, don’t expect a 3-season camp to withstand a hurricane or keep you warm if the temperature drops below -40°C.
💡 Can a 2-person backpacking tent accommodate more than 2 campers?
Yes. Most 3-season duo camps offer extra space for gear, and some users say they there is enough space to house 3 or even 4 campers.