How Much Should a Backpacking Tent Weigh?

By Michael Ferguson

When it comes to backpacking, weight is one of the most important factors in deciding which tent to purchase. A lightweight tent can make a world of difference when it comes to carrying the weight of your camping gear for miles at a time. But how much should a backpacking tent weigh?

The answer is that it depends. It all boils down to what kind of camping you are doing, and how much you are willing to carry with you.

If you’re planning on hiking long distances and sleeping in your tent for multiple nights, then a lightweight tent is essential. This kind of tent should weigh no more than three pounds per person — so if you’re bringing two people, your total weight should be no more than six pounds.

If you’re just looking for a basic shelter to sleep in on the occasional camping trip, then you can get away with something heavier — like five pounds per person — as long as it fits within your budget and storage constraints. Keep in mind that the weight will also depend on the size of the tent and how many people it can fit. A two-person tent will obviously be much lighter than a four-person model.

Additional Factors To Consider

In addition to weight, there are some other factors to consider when choosing a backpacking tent such as cost, durability, weather resistance, ventilation and ease of setup.

The cost will vary depending on the type of materials and features that come with the tent — like poles or waterproofing — so make sure to check all available options before making your purchase.

Durability is also important since tents are exposed to harsh elements while out in nature. Look for tents made from materials that can withstand wear and tear over time.

Weather resistance is key since sudden rainstorms or cold temperatures can quickly ruin an outdoor adventure if your gear isn’t up to par. Make sure your tent is rated for whatever climate you plan on camping in.

Ventilation is also important since condensation buildup can occur if there isn’t enough air circulation inside the tent.

Look for tents with mesh panels or windows that allow air circulation.


In conclusion, how much a backpacking tent should weigh depends on what kind of camping you plan on doing and what other features matter most to you. Generally speaking, tents should be lightweight (three pounds per person) if you plan on doing lots of hiking but five pounds per person might suffice if only doing occasional camping trips. Additionally, look for tents with features such as durability, weather resistance, ventilation and ease of setup.