When the walking’s done, having the right tent to retreat into is essential. There are plenty out there at the moment that are designed to enhance your outdoor experience and make the most of your down time with innovative architecture and features.
Pitching is an obvious priority, so that you’re not wrestling with poles and pegs when you’re already exhausted from your route.
Once the tent is up, you need quality materials that will keep out any overnight weather, in combination with good venting to stop the internal atmosphere turning tropical.
Obviously, weight is crucial if you’re going to be lugging it up hill’s and down dale’s. And the tent needs to pack down so that it doesn’t hog the volume when it’s stowed away in your backpack, but you need to balance weight with strength and space for easy living.
We took all the tents onto Dartmoor and experienced the usual four seasons in one day, so that we could really see how well they stood up to the elements. We wanted to get a real sense of what it was like to live in them during the afternoon, evening and overnight to find the ones that really made us happy campers.
The best backpacking tents for 2021 are:
- Best for liveability – Big Agnes copper spur HC UL3: £499.95, Wildbounds.com
- Best for camping in smaller spaces – Snugpak journey solo: £140, Snugpak.com
- Best for warmer weather – Lightwave sigma S20: £699, Lightwave.uk.com
- Best for getting a good view – Kelty dirt motel: £259.95, Wildbounds.com
- Best for solo short to medium trips – Alpkit ordos 2: £169.99, Alpkit.com
- Best for taller trail hounds – Big Agnes fly creek HV UL2 SDF: £355.95, Wildbounds.com
- Best two-person tent – Big Agnes tiger wall UL2 SDF: £399.95, Wildbounds.com
- Best three-person tent – Sierra Designs meteor lite 3P: £367.95, Wildbounds.com
- Best for trail weight – Vango F10 project hydrogen: £630, Vango.co.uk
- Best for quick pitching – Wild Country zephyros compact 2 V3: £210, Terra-nova.co.uk