The best hiking tents vary depending on your taste, adventure, and purpose. “One size fits all” is a term you can’t use when choosing hiking tents. There are a huge number of hiking tents on the market making the purchase a difficult exercise. This is where this list of the best hiking tents comes in handy.
To narrow down your hunt for your next hiking tent buddy, we’ve laid out 10 of the best we’ve seen available in Australia right now and what to consider when choosing the right tent to make your next backpacking adventure a blast.
Our Picks for Best Hiking & Backpacking Tents
10 Best Hiking & Backpacking Tents in Australia
- Vaude Hogan SUL 2 Tent
- Coleman Ridgeline Adventure Dome Tent
- Companion Pro Hiker 2 Tent
- Marmot Tungsten 3P Hiking Tent
- BlackWolf Stealth Alpha 1 Person Tent
- Oztrail Hiker 3 Person Dome A-Frame Tent Compact
- Naturehike Upgraded Cloud-Up 2 Person Backpacking Camping Tent
- GEERTOP Portable Lightweight 1 Person Tent
- Night Cat Backpacking Tent
- Hyke & Byke Zion 2 Person Backpacking Tent
Hiking Tent & Backpacker Tent: Buyer’s Guide
Below is a guide with tips to help you choose the right hiking & backpacking tent that’ll suit you best on your hiking journey. We’ve laid out everything you need to know to make sure you’re in the know before you spend your dough!
The Different Types of Tents
1. Dome Tent
The Dome Tent is your stereotypical tent design that stands tall in the centre but the walls are curved.
Standout feature: The tent style that you’ve come to know of when thinking of modern tents—two crisscrossing poles that meet at the top centre and embody a curved pole structure.
2. A-Frame Tent
It’s the type of classic ridge tent design that you see in cartoons.
Standout feature: It’s a classic boy scout tent or a basic survival tent design that you usually see—mostly from old cartoons.
3. Geodesic and Semi-Geodesic Tents
It’s like a dome tent but with more crisscrossing poles for greater stability and internal volume! It’s designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Standout feature: It requires more poles to set up but more stable than dome tents.
4. Pop Up Tent
Also called an “instant tent” or “quick pitch tent” which is deemed the “ultimate festival tent” like the ones you see during Coachella.
Standout feature: Usually used for summer conditions, lightweight, super easy to put up and takedown.
5. Tunnel Tent
Great for larger groups or big families as it has way more liveable space, not to mention spacious headroom.
Standout feature: A Tube-shaped tent that forms like a tunnel with parallel non-intersecting arching poles
6. Inflatable Tent
Relatively new to the camping scene, this type of tent forgoes the use of metal, aluminum, plastic or even fiberglass poles and makes use of air to prop up.
Standout feature: Think “inflatable bounce house” but not bouncy, nor bulky, nor made for kids’ enjoyment. It just has inflatable tubes as tent poles
Hiking Tents: Understanding the Lingo
There are many important details that you need to keep in mind when choosing the right hiking tent. There might be important terms that you need to know the meaning of to make sure you understand exactly what it is that you’re buying.
It’s like a mudroom within your tent. It’s usually located at the front or on each side of the tent. It’s used for added storage space for your gears and other belongings that won’t fit inside the tent with you or that will make the tent dirty.
It’s the outer skin or layer of your tent that’s usually waterproof. It protects your inner layer (usually made of mesh) and you from becoming wet and being exposed from the inside. The quality of the sheet depends on the material used and the water head rating.
Also known as the “tent screen”, mesh is the net-like inner layer of tents. It’s placed to give campers an option of better ventilation while keeping the creepy crawlies, mosquitoes, and other insects outside the tent.
Water head rating
Also known as the “Water Column” (WC) rating. It is the measure of how water resistant the material of your tent is. A 3000mm water head rating would mean that your tent’s material can hold water pressure that’s equivalent to a 3000mm column of water.
It’s the space or clearance between the camper and the top of a tent. Headroom would vary depending on the shape and size of the tent. A-Frame tents have less headroom compared to dome tents because of their shapes for example.
It’s a waterproof groundsheet that’s placed in between the floor of your tent and your camping ground. Not all tents offer this and it becomes an advantage if it does because it helps protect your tent floor from abrasion and prevent water (or condensation) from seeping through.
Hiking Tents: Primary Considerations
The main factor to always consider is the hiking tent’s build quality. For example, no matter how high your tent fabric’s water head rating, if the seams are poorly sewn, then you’ll still most likely experience water leakage at some point in the tent’s lifetime.
You’ll also need to consider the quality of zippers used as you may experience getting stuck inside (or outside!) the tent because the zipper broke. You can do in-depth research as to which tent brands use high-quality and heavy-duty zippers—like YKK zippers.
The material of the tent poles matters a lot because it’s basically the skeleton of your tent. Poles that easily break could cause great disasters, most especially when you’re mid-hike.
Tents vary in seasonality. There are tents that are only good for one type of season—summer, while most are 2 to 3 season tents and then there are the heavy-duty ones (4 season tents) that usually serious hikers used in more extreme hiking environments.
Usually, beginners or frequent hikers would go for 3 season tents for worst-case weather scenarios.
The tent’s fabric and materials are critical to the efficacy of each hiking tent. Consider the pros and cons of each material, taking into account suitability to expected weather conditions, durability and weight.
Weight & Size
This matters because you’ll be carrying your tent on your back for long distances. There are those who look for under 2kg tents because it won’t be too much of a burden to carry. When considering the weight, you have to consider both the tent fabric, the poles, and other things (like sleeping beds) that come with the tent bag.
Budget is of course a primary factor for any purchase, but in this case, some tents offer a lot more value for money than others. Take into consideration the price of the tent and compare it to the quality it offers—is it worth the premium price tag?
Hiking Tents: Secondary Considerations
There are tents that offer double vestibules or just one large one at the front of the tent. Depending on its importance to your trip, you will have to consider how much storage space you need for your gear. The same goes for having extra pockets and hooks—how important are they to you on your trip?
There are tents that offer great ventilation while others lack them. If you’re hiking in the middle of summer then you might need to have a more ventilated tent.
Flysheets cover your tent and you need to factor in which material gives you the best protection from rain and will give you enough airflow to avoid water condensation inside. There’s also the water head rating to look out for.
A footprint provides an additional layer of protection to the floor of your tent, helping prevent thorns, stones or sticks from puncturing the floor. Once your tent floor is punctured or ripped, you’ll have a very unpleasant camping experience. To avoid that, you might want to consider tents with a footprint or buy it separately.
The 10 Best Hiking/Backpacking Tents Available in Australia 2021
Best minimalist tent with high wind stability and extreme durability
Weight: 21 grams | Dimensions (L x W x H): 45 x 15 x 10 cm | Material: Polyamide
Standout feature: High wind stability, extremely durable, and eco-friendly manufacturing
The Vaude Hogan SUL 2 Tent sports a minimalist design and construction but without compromising its overall quality. Because it’s a 3-season tent, it is manufactured to withstand harsher weather conditions, such as rain and high wind.
It’s certainly a premium-priced hiking tent but you do get your money’s worth. The tent has a mixture of mesh and “siliconized” sides for a combination of excellent ventilation, durability and weather protection. The space is sufficient for two people but it’ll be a cosy fit.
It’s great for mountaineers and trekkers who would want an all-around quality hiking tent that checks every box!
Overall Best for Touring and Backpacking
- Compact and lightweight 3 season tent for hiking, backpacking and touring
- Easy to set up 2 pole tunnel construction featuring lightweight aluminium poles and V stakes
- Full ultra fine mesh inner for use as screen tent in warmer climates
Weight: 1.75 kg | Packed dimensions (L x W x H): 44 x 15 x 15 cm | Material: 75D P/190T Polyester
Standout feature: 2 pole tunnel construction for guaranteed easy set-up, wind stability of up to 100 kph, compact and lightweight.
The Coleman Ridgeline Adventure Dome Tent is a very well-made and functional tent for its price point. It doesn’t offer the premium features seen in more expensive tents, but it gets the job done and it does it well.
Being a 3 season hiking tent it can resist all but the harshest Aussie weather conditions. Howeverm it doesn’t do this with over-engineered or heavy materials, instead, it achieves excellent performance while maintaining a lightweight and compact design.
The flysheet has a water head rating of 3000mm—so it is very much waterproof. However, there’s a bit of a downside; because of the way the zip opening was placed, if it rains or if it rained overnight when you zip to open the tent (on your way or out), some water will likely get it in. Just a friendly note!
In warmer conditions, you can choose to take off the flysheet without worrying about bugs and insects feasting on you because of its full ultra-fine mesh.
Overall, this hiking tent is suited towards beginner hikers who need something to get the job done
Best entry-level tent for Aussie conditions
- Lightweight, quick setup dome design
- Dual entry and vestibules for extra protection and storage
- Heat taped seams
Weight: 2.7 kg | Packed dimensions (L x W x H): 45 x 14 x 14 cm | Material: Polyester
Standout feature: Impressive water head ratings, spacious with comfortable headroom, with dual-entry
The Companion Pro Hiker 2 Tent is a great hiking tent from Companion, who has 80 years of experience designing and manufacturing camping gear.
This hiking tent is aimed at those who plan on longer trips in harsh terrain and weather. the Companion Pro Hiker 2 Tent offers more storage space than your average hiking tent in the form of a generous gear loft and vestibule.
It’s stable and durable against harsh Aussie weather conditions. It has a 3000mm Waterhead rating and a UPF50 rating. The ventilation is excellent, preventing even the smallest insects from getting through while maintaining excellent airflow.
For an affordable price, you will be using a fully waterproof tent—assuring that you’ll be kept dry in most, if not all, weather conditions. It’s fairly spacious with an (internal dimensions: 215cm L x 140cm W), but maybe a bit snug for two large adult campers.
Overall best double door tent
- 3-person, 41.5-square-foot lightweight tent is ideal for climbers, campers, and hikers who want comfort and performance while...
- Zone pre-bend construction creates vertical walls for roomier interior; strategic clip placement adds more headroom
- Color-coded "Easy Pitch" poles, clips, and fly for quick and easy setup
Weight: 6 lbs. 4.5 oz. | Packed dimensions (L x W x H): 43.99 x 38 x 16.99 cm | Material: polyester taffeta
Standout feature: Fits 3 persons, double doors and vestibules
The Marmot Tungsten 3P Hiking Tent is, despite being at the higher end, a bargain considering the quality and features present in this 3-person hiking tent.
The quality is present throughout the design and includes features such as double doors, 2 overhead gear lofts for added storage and seam-taped flooring for a fully waterproof floor.
Double doors are almost essential in 3-person tents to make entering and leaving much easier on everybody on the hike. The gear lofts take advantage of the large internal volume and provide a safe spot for your camping gear.
The tent is supported by durable 700 series aluminium poles which are proven to offer incredible durability and support even after a ton of trips.
Overall it’s hard to find a better 3-person hiking tent that offers so much!
Best Classic Looking Tent for Hunters
- Lightweight and compact outdoor shelter
- Waterproof taped seams on fly
- Fly Fabric: Polyester PU 2000mm
Weight: 1.8 kg | Packed dimensions (L x W x H): 39.37 x 98.43 x 39.37 cm | Material: Polyester and HD Polyethylene (floor fabric)
Standout feature: Easy to set up, designed for low visibility and to blend naturally within the environment (best for hunters)
The BlackWolf Stealth Alpha 1 Person Tent is a basic hiking tent that takes us back to simpler times. From the peak of the frame, the tent is 1 meter tall, but on the other side, it’ll only be 0.7m. The inside is as long as 2.1 meters—so a 5’8” to 6” person can lay comfortably inside.
This type of tent is ideal for hikers, backpackers, hunters, and even fishermen. With a 2000mm water head rating, this classic-looking tent can still give you protection from light wind and rain. Its full mesh inner tent, nonetheless, can definitely keep those bugs out at night.
There are no bells or whistles, but for the price, it does a very good job.
Best Overall Tent for Cold and Tropical Weather
Weight: 3.5 kg | Packed dimensions (L x W x H): 54 x 17 x 16 cm | Material: Polyester
Standout feature: Fits 3 campers, double vestibules, equipped with No-See-Um Mesh – Ultra-fine mesh panels for total insect protection
The OZtrail Hiker 3 Person Dome A-Frame Tent is inspired by the traditional A-frame style but is infused by the modern dome tents. Despite being a budget option for a 3-person hiking tent, it still delivers quality in all of the important places.
It offers quite the storage solutions having a large front vestibule and a fairly spacious rear vestibule. The two doors provide easy access and exits, which is a very important quality of life feature in 3-person tents. The included flysheet protects from UV while also offer 100% waterproof in all but the heaviest of downpours.
The fibreglass tent poles are known to be durable and lightweight. Not as durable as more premium tents, but ultimately still good value for money design.
This tent is perfect for a group of buddies who want to experience most of what nature has to offer while saving a few bucks at the same time.
Best Tent for Light Outdoor Travel
- [Double Tent]: Cloud up 2 is a high-quality dome tent, suitable for different hikers and various needs, such as backpacking, camping or...
- [Space Design]: Front-opening tents increase the utilization rate of space. Used to place equipment and other items to expand the...
- [Waterproof] The outer tent is made of 210T nylon fabric. Waterproof index: 3000mm. Waterproof tape is used at the connection to reduce...
Weight: 1.8kg | Packed dimensions (L x W x H): 44.4 x 19.8 x 12.4 cm | Materials: waterproof nylon, silicone coated
Standout feature: Can stand without peg nails, has 2 extra tie-down points for wind rope, and is extremely lightweight
Naturehike are well-known for their quality hiking tents and the [amazon link=”B07HTB2129″ title=”Naturehike Upgraded Cloud-Up 2 Person Backpacking Camping Tent”/] is no different.
It’s most suited to ultralight hikes, alpine hikes, or as a base camping tent. It’s very easy to set up so it won’t take so much of your time settling in. However, don’t let its lightweight and compactness distract you from the comfort it offers.
It does a fantastic job protecting from the elements with its included fly tent that offers 3000mm waterproofing, the B3 breathable mesh guarantees insect prevention while maintaining excellent airflow.
The 7001 aluminium tent poles are some of the most durable on the market and offer complete peace of mind even in high winds. The lightweight of these poles contributes to the ultralightweight of just 1.8 kg.
This hiking tent offers arguably the best value for money of all the tents on this list.
Best Ultra Lightweight Tent
- 【Ultralight Single Person Tent】Geertop 1 person tent only weigh no more than 4 lb, tent dimension - 84(L) x 39(W) x 36(H) inch ; it...
- 【Professional Bivy Tent】Double layer, inner tent + tent fly, flysheet covers the entire tent ensuring no water gets in during a...
- 【Portable & Breathable】2 Ventilation Windows & Doors - allowing for greater airflow throughout the tent; Say goodbye to sultry ,...
Weight: 1.5 kg | Packed dimensions (L x W x H): 213 x 91 x 101 cm | Material: 210 T ripstop PU2500 mm polyester fabric
Standout feature: 3-4 season tent, ultralight, has 2 ventilation windows and doors
The GEERTOP Portable Lightweight 1 Person Tent is a great hiking tent for a sole hiker because of its weight and how compact it is when packed. It comes with a camouflage design for a reason—for extra protection when camping in the wilderness. Its two-door entry makes it easier to manoeuvre around and can also give great ventilation in very warm conditions.
It is waterproof up to 5000mm and prevents build-up due to the design of the shape. The slopes walls offer good protection to not just the rain, but also the wind.
It’s incredibly simple to set up and should only take 10 minutes maximum in both setup and takedown phases. It uses a simple two-pole system, which limits the potential for mistakes and breakages.
There are no corners cut, with high quality seems and zippers found throughout.
This is an excellent hiking tent for the solo hike who wants confidence knowing their tent can withstand pretty much anything Australia can throw at it.
Best Budget Backpacking Tent
- 【Lightweight & Compact】 The backpacking tent only weighs 2KG and the package size is quite compact, only 42 x12 x 12cm thanks to...
- 【Easy Setup & Fast Take Down】 Manually setting up this single layer tent is easy and fun, and it only takes about 1 minute to...
- 【Waterproof & Windproof】 210D waterproof PED fabric PU 3000, oxford bottom fabric PU 3000, waterproof tape on every seam, double...
Weight: 2 kg | Packed dimensions (L x W x H): 220 x 120 x 120 cm | Material: 210D PET Rainproof Fabric
Standout feature: Quick and easy set-up and taking down (2 minutes), lightweight and compact, foldable fiberglass poles
Night Cat Backpacking Tent is one of the best budget backpacking tents on the Australian market. It’s great for beginners who just want to enjoy the calmer aspects of mother nature.
Although it is only good for one camper inside, the tent—having a dimension of 220 x 120 x 120cm—is “very roomy” for one adult (and maybe a small child).
Despite being budget, it still offers good protection from the elements with its 3000mm Waterhead rating and strong fibreglass poles.
This is a great hiking tent for beginners or for those planning on more casual hikes.
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Weight: 1.4 kg | Packed dimensions (L x W x H): 223.52 x 93.98 x 106.68 cm | Material: Nylon
Standout feature: Single pole system, extra roomy, ultra-lightweight no-see-um mesh walls, can accommodate free-standing ultralight set-up
Look like a pro camper with the This product is currently unavailable! There are quite a few noteworthy features such as the gear loft, the corner gear pockets, and the vented rainfly. It has very spacious double vestibules as well, with 2 ft. of space before reaching the actual tent floor.
It’s very easy to set up and to take down because of its 1 pole with a clip-pole attachment. It’s also extra roomy for two people and you can have it as a full-on screen tent in very warm conditions. Plus, it has a footprint that is made from Poly Ripstop – a very durable and protective material.