5 Quality Freestanding 2-Person Tents

When it comes to backpacking shelters there are probably tens of thousands of options. Tent, tarp and hammock are the 3 main types of shelters. Each having it’s own subcategories. The two main subcategories of tents are freestanding and non-freestanding.

If a tent looks like a stereotypical exoskeleton tent without putting stakes in the ground it is freestanding. If it looks like a pile of poles laying in a grocery bag its non-freestanding. I have nothing against non-freestanding tents. My next tent will definitely be non-freestanding. In order to help you to decide which is best for you check out this article by Maggie.

Choosing the right tent can be a daunting task at best. But the research you do ahead of time will help you make the right choice when the time comes. Hopefully this article will help you see what else is out there before making your decision. Finding a 2 person tent to be the common size on the AT the next logical step is to find the lightest ones available.

I currently have a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2.  I highly recommend it to anyone thru hiking or even just weekend hiking alone. It’s also perfect for hiking with a friend with 2 legs or furry and 4 legged. I typically carry it in the Fast Fly configuration. Fast Fly simply means with poles, rain fly, stakes and footprint only.

The tents below are ones I also considered when buying my tent. There are so many tent it’s impossible to take all of them into consideration. I looked at weight, space and price. I only considered ultra-light (under 3 lb.) double wall tents. Saving weight on your Big 3 makes the biggest impact on overall pack weight. No need to cut your toothbrush in half before you save 2 lbs. on a quality UL tent.
In an effort to keep it from being too one sided, each manufacturer was only afforded one tent. This is why you don’t see my current tent listed below. These are all tents I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase.

Big Agnes Fly Creek

Photo courtesy of Big Agnes

  • Trail weight: 1lb. 15 oz.
  • Packed weight: 2 lb. 5 oz.
  • Doors: 1
  • Floor area: 28 sq. ft.
  • Vestibule area: 7 sq. ft.
  • MSRP: $350
  • Notes:  also available in the lighter Platinum version for $550

Mountain Hardwear SuperMega

Photo courtesy of Mountain Hardwear

  • Trail weight: 2 lb. 2 oz.
  • Packed weight: 2 lb 7 oz.
  • Doors: 1
  • Floor area: 27 sq. ft.
  • Vestibule area: 6 sq. ft.
  • MSRP: $450
  • Notes:

NEMO Hornet

  • Trail weight: 2 lb. 5 oz.

    Photo courtesy of NEMO

  • Packed weight: 2 lb.
  • Doors: 2
  • Floor area: 28 sq. ft.
  • Vestibule area: 16 sq. ft.
  • MSRP: $370
  • Notes: 16 sq ft of vestibule is gigantic!

Big Sky Evolution

Photo courtesy of Big Sky Int.

  • Trail weight: 2 lbs 13 oz
  • Packed weight: 2 lb. 13 oz.
  • Doors: 2
  • Floor area: 41.9 sq. ft.
  • Vestibule area: 16.6 sq. ft.
  • MSRP: $375
  • Notes:  very customizable options

 Easton Kilo Carbon

Photo courtesy of Easton

  • Trail Weight: 2 lbs 3 oz.
  • Pack Weight: 2 lbs 13 oz.
  • Doors: 1
  • Floor Area – 29 sq. ft.
  • Vestibule Area – 5.4 sq. ft.
  • MSRP: $400




What tent are you using?  What do you love or hate about it?  Help each other stay high and dry on the AT in the comments below!


H/t Wanderforlife for with photo from Trail days


Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 2

  • Adam : Aug 11th

    My wife and I used the Tarp Tent Double Rainbow for our section hikes this year. It is a good tent, but really it’s a 1.5 person tent.

  • Scrappy Malloy : Aug 17th

    ZPacks Triplex tent for 2 people. I love it to death.


What Do You Think?