2 person lightweight inexpensive tent options


Newly Enlightened
Feb 18, 2019
I'm looking into a new backpacking tent. I have a situation we're my two tents won't do. I have a 3 person tent that weighs 7 lbs (but you can divide out the tent, rainfly, poles to 2.5 lbs a person) and a 1 person non-free standing bivy.

I'm planning a solo 3 day Pemi loop trip in NH, so 7 lbs isn't what I want to carry, and non-free standing will be tough with the tent platforms the AMC has out there.

So I'm looking for a free standing tent, 3.5 lbs or less and a relatively inexpensive price $250 or less. I know a 1 person would do, but I've been wanting to invest in a 2 person for future backpacking trips with the wife anyways. I found a few potentials online, but nothing beats the advice of tried and true use by fellow ADK'ers. I appreciate any advice and experience from others.


Flashlight Enthusiast
Feb 8, 2016
It's going to be tough to be at <$250 and < 3.5 lbs with a big label like Marmot, Big Agnes, or MSR.

I have a Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo. Check out the Lunar Duo. Or the Tarptent MoTrail or Double Rainbow. SMD and TarpTent make some nice shelters. Really nice quality and very light for the price.

Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 is one of the best freestanding, but outside your budget.

I've also used, and can recommend, the REI Co-op Quarter Dome 2.
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Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Oct 13, 2006
For a lower priced but quality backpacking tent, I think the REI Half-Dome 2 is hard to beat. I have the Half-Dome 2 Plus for when me and my backpacking buddy go on trips and it's worked like a charm. The plus gives you just a bit more extra space so you don't feel like you're cramming into the tent, it's pretty quick to setup (not the fastest, but what's an extra 2 minutes), it's fairly light, and it's sturdy. It also has a proven track record, so there's that. No, it doesn't meet your 3.5lb requirement, but honestly, you're not going to find a quality tent that light for that price.