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The Best Backpack Hunting Tent: How To Select

Choosing the best backpack hunting tent in the backcountry may be harder than ever because there are so many good options. We see lightweight bivy shelters, tipis with no floors, wall tents, and much more, and there are pros and cons to each type of tent.

Everyone has different hunting styles and preferences. So we’ll break down some of the most popular backcountry tents to help you find the one that will work best for your hunts! Remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to tents, and if your tent breaks in the backcountry, your hunt is over.

best backpack hunting tent

Weight to pack

Backcountry hunters carry everything they need in the best backpack hunting tent and care a lot about how well they can pack. Tents can take up a lot of space in your pack, so make sure your bag is big enough and your tent is small enough to fit all your gear for your multi-day backcountry trips. If you hunt with someone else, sleeping in the same tent is a great way to save space.

Most of the time, you can share a tent with other hunters and carry less weight if it’s bigger or stronger. Bring something small and light if you’d rather sleep in your tent. Backcountry hunters “count every ounce,” but the better quality gear that is lighter, the more it costs. Since most of us don’t have unlimited money to spend on light, backcountry gear, we must find a middle ground. Still, nature is unpredictable and dangerous in the high country, so a good tent is essential.

Make sure you have a tent that is strong enough to hold up to the way you hunt. Some of us are harder on gear than others, which could mean that the very light materials won’t work for us. I’ve found it easy to keep your tent, sleeping bag, and stove to less than 6 pounds, even on a tight budget.

Singles VS. Double 

This has much to do with weight and how well it packs, but it should also be considered. Most of the tents we use are double-walled, with a tent or mesh on the inside and a fly on the outside. Most traditional tents have a rain fly that goes all the way to the ground, making them a “double wall” design.

Most single-wall tents are made of silk-nylon or similar material that can keep water out without an inner tent or mesh wall. Breathability can be an issue with a single-wall tent. Still, good tents will have venting systems that support condensation from forming. Single-wall tents are lighter and easier to pack. Some tents can be used as a single or double; we’ll discuss that in the recommendations section.

Best Backpack Hunting Tent: Pitch Ability

I’m talking about where you set up your tent. This will depend on the terrain where you are hunting or camping. If you’ve spotted a mule deer or a sheep and know you’ll be sleeping on a side hill, you’ll need to find something you can set up in small spaces with a smaller footprint. Maybe you know you’ll be sleeping on rocks in the high country. Hard rock is hard to drive tent stakes into, so a tent that stands on its own may be a better choice.

Floor VS. Floorless Design

Many of us are used to sleeping in tents that have floors. Still, getting a model without a floor can be a great way to lose weight. Most guys who switch to tents without feet never return to tents with floors. If a tent without a floor is set up right, it still keeps mosquitoes out, doesn’t matter if a bear gets in, and keeps water out just as well as a tent with a floor.

Tipis and tarps are very popular, and you should take them with you when you go hunting in the backcountry, but they may not be the best choice for every hunt.

Space And Height

You might not realize how important this is. I’ve used single-person tents where I can’t sit up. They work fine, but it’s nice to be able to sit up and even better to be able to stand up.

We always have gear with us because we hunt and fish. We have backpacks, bows, rifles, boots, clothes, stoves, food, and more. You can keep your gear safe by putting it in your tent, in a vestibule, or under a tarp. You’ll need to find a place to stay that’s big enough for you and all your stuff.

Best Backpack Hunting Tent For You

Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking Tent

The Nemo Hornet backpacking tent is a good choice if you want a very light best backpack hunting tent for your hunting trip in the backcountry.

The trade-off for being light is taking up more room. This tent is tiny and won’t be as comfortable as a giant canvas tent, but you’ll be able to move camp every night without much trouble.

Even though it is a high-quality camping tent with ultralight fabrics and a strong and lightweight pole system, you will need to take care of it. Durability is lost because of how light something is.

It has two big doors, so you can store your stuff on one side and sleep on the other without climbing over your bed. We think it would be better to consider this a tent for one person since hunters usually have more gear than backpackers.

Overall, it’s a great, light tent for hunters who want to move around and set up camp daily.

Key Features:

  • Large doors and vestibules
  • The unique Divvy dual-stage stuff sack makes it easy for two people to share the load.
  • Light Pockets let you use your headlamp as a lantern for your tent.
  • The existing tub floor construction cuts down on seams and seam tape, making the tent last longer.
  • This tent has a built-in privacy panel for more coverage and security. Hubbed pole intersections make a single pole that is easy to set up and reduces the weight of the bars.
  • The volume-increasing clips with the guy-outs can add up to 15% more space inside.

PROS

  • Ultralight trekking tent for hunting (2lb 5oz)
  • There are two doors for simple access and departure.
  • Two vestibules for storing stuff.
  • Excellent tent pole and weatherproofing materials
  • Setup is simple and fast with one person.

CONS

  • Small.
  • Mesh seems to be readily broken.
  • It needs a footprint, which is sold separately, to make the floor last longer.
  • Only one sitting room inside. (Height: 39 inches / 98cms)

Kelty Late Start 4 Person

The Kelty Late Start 4P tent is big enough for a family and easy enough to put up that the kids can do it. It is ideal for camping or backpacking in all three seasons because it is the best backpack hunting tent, durable and cheap.

The tent is 99″ by 81″, which gives you 55.7 square feet of space inside. The peak is 56 inches high. A single vestibule protects the 9.14 square feet of storage space.

The two aluminum poles are already bent to give the tent more space. A pocket holds one end of the pole in each tent corner while you move around to deal with the other end. This keeps the tent poles from jumping out of the grommets when you leave the tent.

There is only one door to the tent. The walls are made of No-See-Um mesh, and the floor is rugged water-resistant 68 denier fabric. One of the storage spaces is in the ceiling. The tent’s body is protected by a 68 denier rainfly that keeps water out, and the seams are sealed so that water can’t get in. Because the tent can stand independently, you can set it up and move it to find the best spot.

This tent comes with a Shark Mouth stuff sack from Kelty, which is made to make packing easier. The Kelty Late Start 4P Footprint, sold separately but fits your tent perfectly, can protect it even more from wet ground, roots, and rocks.

Key Features:

  • Kelty Quick-Corner Technology allows for lightning-fast and simple setup.
  • The design is tough and spacious for 1P, 2P, or 4P.
  • Vestibule design with one door
  • Complete coverage rain fly that is waterproof
  • Used pre-bent poles to build a massive internal living area

PROS

  • Quick-Corner technology for simple installation
  • Stuff bag with a wide aperture for easy packaging
  • Pre-bent poles increase inner room.
  • Weather resistance and strong aluminum poles
  • On-the-fly pocket for trailing guy ropes
  • Despite the enormous interior, it is pretty light.

CONS

  • Single side door
  • The Pole structure pinches under fly tension.

Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Canvas Tent Deluxe

The Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow Deluxe is a great base tent for two hunters. It is made of canvas and has a different frame that is easy to set up.

This canvas tent should do well as a hunting base tent because it has a lot of room to stand up and a strong base on the floor.

It weighs 58 pounds, so set up your base camp near your car and bring an excellent mallet to drive in the steel pegs.

This best backpack hunting tent stays up with the help of floor pegs and a unique pole system. It doesn’t have guy lines, which is great for people who like to wander around camp at night.

The bag system is a set of straps that make it easy to put this tent into a bag.

Overall, the tent has a high ceiling and is a good base camp for hunters who want to be comfortable on their trip.

Key Features:

  • 100% Cotton Duck Canvas, Hydra-ShieldTM. Long-lasting, waterproof, and breathable.
  • The tent is kept tight. Setup is quick and straightforward, requiring just one person.
  • The generous 6’6″ ceiling height allows for easy walking around.
  • There are four huge windows with no-see-um mesh.
  • The awning is 72×78 inches.
  • You may customize gear loft and organization pockets.
  • Two funnel-flow vents aid with airflow and temperature control.
  • Wire stake loops made of stainless steel.
  • Stakes made of 12-inch steel rod
  • The storage bag has straps and a cinch for an easy roll-up.

PROS

  • Double D doors on both sides provide all sleepers accessible entrance and egress.
  • A front awning offers shade and protection.
  • There are two funnel-flow vents for air movement.
  • Four no-see-um mesh windows
  • Adaptable storage pocket
  • One person can quickly put it up.
  • Almost vertical walls increase usable space.

CONS

  • The zippers seem to be a weakness.
  • It is not a free-standing tent.
  • There is no bathtub floor.
  • The flooring is hefty.
  • To set up the tent, you must tread on it and leave footprints.
  • It takes up a lot of space in the trunk.

Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup in 60 Seconds

Regarding portability, this cabin tent comes with a handy carrying bag that can stretch out. If the company says the setup will take 60 seconds, believe them. The poles for this excellent cabin shelter are already put together. The poles collapse when you fold the tent and pop right back up when you open it.

This is one of the best backpack hunting tent cabin tents and is durable and long-lasting. Also, the mesh windows let in a lot of fresh air while keeping bugs and other insects out. The only bad thing is that there is only one door, and it only opens halfway. This could be a problem for taller people, but it’s a fair trade-off for all the other great features.

Key Features:

  • Because of the pre-attached poles, you can set it up in about 5 minutes.
  • The integrated rainfly provides additional weather protection while also improving ventilation.
  • Season after season, the double-thick Polyguard 2XTM fabric stands up to the elements.
  • Setup time is as little as one minute.
  • 8 x 7 feet in size
  • Height at the center: 4 ft. 11 in.
  • It may accommodate one queen-size airbed.
  • The warranty period of one year

PROS

  • Vents provide adequate ventilation.
  • Poles that have been pre-assembled for ease of use
  • Excellent center height
  • Insect, fly, and bug protection
  • Packability bag for easy transport

CONS

  • Single door opening

UNISTRENGH 4 Season Large Waterproof Cotton Canvas Bell Tent

This bell shelter for a big group of friends is one of the best hunting tents with stoves. It has a great overall quality because the cotton canvas fabric is double-stitched. It is the strongest and most breathable material available.

Most of the time, chemicals make this fabric resistant to water and UV light. Rightly so, I used this shelter on many sunny days for a year and didn’t notice any discoloration or wear and tear.

Because it is a bell tower, its area is measured by its diameter, and based on that. There are five different sizes of shelters. We chose the one with a diameter of 13.1 feet and a maximum height of 8.2 feet. Seven adults were on our hunting team, and the tallest was 6’2″.

It kept water out perfectly on rainy days and stood firm in windy weather. It is one of the best backpack hunting tents. In the summer, the four windows and two vents ensured a lot of airflow through the cotton canvas fabric. Even though it’s a big bell tent, it’s very easy for 2 or 3 people to set up and doesn’t need any tools. Even though it took about 10 to 15 minutes to put up the tent, that’s not too long for such a big shelter.

Key Features:

  • The Bell Tent is sent out from a warehouse in California, Texas, or Kentucky in the United States. 
  • This 4-season yurt tent is a winter tent with a stove pipe vent.
  • It can hold about 6 to 8 more people.
  • The large tent is just the right size to fit a camping bed and a small table and still have room to move around and hang out. 
  • Safe and Easy to Breathe: Material that can’t catch fire is wrapped around the pipe vent opening. 
  • High-strength Cotton Canvas Tent: The camping yurt tent is made of cotton fabric that has been treated to make it waterproof.
  • Waterproof: This canvas wall tent has been treated to make it waterproof, and the seams have been taped.
  • So, there was not a drop of water inside this hunting tent. 

PROS

  • adequately insulated and ventilated
  • Durable felt construction against any weather.
  • Excellent for rough mountain hunts.
  • Fabric that is resistant to fire for increased protection

CONS

  • Mold and fungus may grow if kept damp for an extended period.

Types Of Best Backpack Hunting Tent

There are many different kinds of tents, many of which can be a mix of two or more styles. I wanted to talk about a few of these common styles and the pros and cons of each.

Free-Standing Tents 

The tent that stands on its own is the traditional style many of us used as kids. You don’t need guy lines or stakes to make these tents stand, but you can use them to keep the tent stable and ensure it stays where it should.

The most useful thing about a free-standing tent is that it’s easy to set up in most places. The problem with tents that stand independently is that they usually weigh a little bit more because you have to carry the structure.

Most of the time, you’ll have at least two poles, a floor, and a rain fly. They also tend to have a bigger footprint, making it harder to set up on small hills and flat areas. 

Single Person – Bivy Style Tents

Not to be confused with a bivy sack, the Single Person Bivy Tents have some structure from a collapsible tent pole, a trekking pole, or something similar. Bivy-style tents usually need a few stakes or guy lines to set up.

Even if the ground is rocky, you can tie them to a big rock and make them work. The problem with this kind of tent is that it doesn’t have enough room.

We hunters usually have a lot of gear, which makes it harder to fit in the tent. There are a few excellent choices if you’re interested in this kind of tent. I would always suggest finding a tent that is at least tall enough to sit up straight in. Not all single-person bivy tents are tall enough, so keep that in mind as you look for the right tent. 

Bivy Sacks

Bivy sacks are the best way to feel squished and light simultaneously. They aren’t as bad as they sound and can be very helpful in many situations. I don’t use them very often. I use tarps or bivy tents when I go on short trips instead.

They don’t weigh much, so that you can throw them in your pack for short trips just in case the weather changes. Some guys like bivy sacks, so you could think about them if you think they would work well for the way you hunt. 

Tarps

Men who want to pack as little as possible sometimes use a tarp tent or a tarp. You can make a shelter with a tarp, paracord, or trekking poles. Tarps are the lightest option, but they don’t protect you or your gear as well from the weather as other options.

Tipi Tents: Best Backpack Hunting Tent

I see more additional and more of these every year for a good reason. They are easy to pack, light, high center height, room for your head, and space for your gear. You can carry a single center pole or tie the top to a tree branch.

They have only one wall and can fit a stove. Often, four people can sleep in a tent that weighs less than 2 pounds. Tipis traditionally don’t have floors, but there are ways to add one if you want to. 

Wall Camping

Great, but wall tents are very heavy. I mostly tell guys who hunt horses or mules about these things. They have been the tent of choice for outfitters and guys who can carry them for a long time.

Canvas has been the most popular material for many years, but there are now some lighter options. Wall tents can have floors or not, and many hunters make them out of lodge pole pine to save weight and use them year after year at a traditional campsite.

Final Thoughts

Overall, having the best backpack hunting tent that will survive numerous hunting seasons is essential. However, locating one may be difficult. The material utilized, mobility, size, convenience, and other factors contribute to identifying the ideal product that meets your needs. Consider each one carefully, so you don’t have to buy a new tent every hunting season.

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FAQs

Is a tent required for backpacking?

You don’t require a tent for backpacking, but you will need some rain and/or insect protection in most climes when camping along a route. It could be a tent, a hammock with a tarp, a waterproof bivy bag, a bug shelter, or some combination to give you the necessary protection.

What should the weight of a hunting pack be?

For a 5-day stay, you’ll most certainly need a pack of at least 4000 cubic inches. It should ideally weigh between four and seven pounds empty. I prefer the Sitka Bivy 45.

What size hunting pack do I require?

If you’re new to backpack hunting and still figuring things out, I’d recommend looking at a pack bag in the 3500-4200 cubic inch area (60-70L). It’s a large enough bag to provide freedom in your gear selection but not so large that you have extra space for the stuff you don’t need.

What is the maximum weight capacity of a backpack?

UI Hospitals & Clinics Rehabilitation Services team members advise carrying no more than 10% of your body weight in a backpack. If you weigh 150-pounds, you should limit your backpack to 15 pounds.

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