Best Backpacking Tents for Rain – How to Choose It

Published on: February 18, 2022
Written by Camila Avery / Fact-checked by David Rowan

Backpacking is the most thrilling form of outdoor activity for adults. Not only it gives you relief from your daily gadget-led busy life, but it also gives you the adventure you lack in your life. Memorable and successful backpacking starts with a reliable tent. Unlike car campers, backpackers are fully dependent on their tent for the days of their trip. There is no misfortune like ending a trip just because of a crappy tent in an unexpected weather change. 

backpacking tents for rain – how to choose it

So, we’re here to help you select the most comfortable, lightweight, and durable tent, which won’t let you down during a trip or in harsh weather. All these tents have passed weather resistance tests and have all the features backpackers look for in their tents. Don’t miss the tips to make the most of your tent and how to select a tent for your backpacking trip.

Tips for Choosing Backpacking Tent

Backpackers should consider the following issue before buying a tent for themselves. A tent is the safest place for a camper or backpacker to store belongings, rest, and shelter against rough weather. If the following matters are overlooked, the tent may fail to provide the safety and comfort the camper was expecting. 


Backpackers keep carrying their tents for a considerable duration throughout the trip. So, weight is the most important issue for a backpacker. The lighter the tent, the better to carry it. But lightweight material sometimes lacks durability, but there are exceptional cases as well. So, one should get the lightest, yet most durable tent he/she can afford. 


Unlike cap campers, the tent is the only place to stretch for backpackers. So, a spacious tent is a must, even if it weighs a couple of ounces more. If the tent seems like a tight space, then a solo camper should go for a 2-person tent and vice versa. Always go a size bigger if the interior is small. Make sure you can sit straight inside the camp, so center height is also an issue to look for. The center height a 6.5 ft tall backpacker needs will not be necessary for a 5 ft camper. So, no need to buy a huge tent unnecessarily because again, it adds up the weight. 

Weather Resistance

All the backpacking tents provide the wind and water resistance index on their site. Don’t forget to check that out. For backpacking in the deep forest, a highly water-resistant tent is required. On the other hand, for hiking and backpacking in the mountains, a highly wind-resistant tent is a must. It is always good to get one that can resist both, but those are usually pricey. 


Resting in the tent will not be comfortable if the ventilation is not working well. Usually, all backpacking tent has a large mesh part making them airy and lightweight. So, ventilation is well assured in these tents. When the rainfly is on, the ventilation reduces due to the water resistance of the fabric. 


For solo campers, tents should be chosen based on how easy it is to set up. There are freestanding tents available, which open up like an umbrella with a single click. Those are good if you want to avoid the assembly. For 2 to 3 backpackers, any design should work. 

Features to Look for in a Backpacking Tent for Rain

When looking for a backpacking tent for rain, some important features to look for include:

  1. Waterproof and breathable fabric: The tent’s fly and floor should be made of waterproof and breathable fabric, such as Gore-Tex, to keep you dry while also allowing internal moisture to escape.
  2. Fully sealed seams: All seams should be fully sealed to prevent water from seeping through.
  3. Rainfly: A full-coverage rainfly that extends to the ground will provide additional protection from the rain.
  4. Ventilation: Adequate ventilation will help to prevent condensation inside the tent.
  5. Durable zippers: Zippers that are waterproof and easy to use will help to keep water out.
  6. Good pole design: A tent with a good pole design will be more resistant to wind and rain.
  7. A rain gutter system: A rain gutter system will help to direct water away from the entrance to the tent, minimizing the amount of water that enters the tent.
  8. A bathtub floor: A bathtub floor is a floor that extends up the sides of the tent, to keep you dry even when the ground is wet.

It’s also worth noting that the tent’s overall design, shape, and size also play a role in its ability to keep you dry in the rain.

Tips to Prepare the Tent Before the Trip

Two days prior to the trip, you should set the tent in your backyard or basement to check if it is working as it did on your last trip. Besides, it also helps a lot to pack emergency belongings for the trip. 

  • First of all, check all the tent’s zippers and seams if there is any tear or a snug zipper. If found, you can fix the tear or replace the zipper on time. Check the frame, guylines, and ropes as well. 
  • Coat the tent with one or two coats of Scotchgard. Take time to spray on the seams and zippers. No matter how reliable the tent is, this part can’t be missed before the trip. Don’t forget to spray on the rainfly. 
  • When the tent and the rainfly are dry, pack it back and prepare other staff for the trip.  

How Can Using a Tent Footprint Help Protect My Backpacking Tent from Rain?

Using a tent footprint can significantly help protect your backpacking tent from rain. By placing the footprint underneath your tent, it acts as a barrier against moisture and prevents the bottom of your tent from getting wet. This simple tent footprint usage can ultimately prolong the lifespan of your tent and keep you dry during rainy camping trips.

How Can Hiking Poles Help with Setting Up a Backpacking Tent in the Rain?

When setting up a backpacking tent in the rain, the benefits of using hiking poles become apparent. They provide added stability and support, especially when trying to secure tent lines and stakes in soggy or uneven ground. Hiking poles also free up your hands, making it easier to manage the tent and stay dry.

Editor’s Note

A backpacking tent, suitable for the forest, may not be suitable for backpacking in the mountains. So, you have to choose a tent depending on your backpacking destination. If required, you may need to purchase more than one to unveil the adventure of different lands. 

We have put our effort into listing the best quality backpacking tent to use in different climates, plains, and terrains. Consider these issues while choosing your tent. Because this is the only thing that saves you from hard weather out there.

View Top 9 Backpacking Tents for Rain, Below

1. Coleman Sundome Tent for Solo Backpackers

  • 7 x 5 feet floor, 4-foot center height;
  • Available in 2, 3, 4, and 6-person sizes.

For a budget tent for summertime backpacking, Sundome from Coleman is the cheapest option. There are various sizes available for backpackers to family campers, but as we are discussing a backpacking tent here, the smaller size would be the wiser decision. The interior is somewhat narrow, so go a size higher than your requirement. Many people go backpacking in a pair, in that case, a 3 or 4-person Sundome tent would do. 

Keep in mind that this’s a summer tent. So the entire tent is well-ventilated and made with waterproof features. Inverted seams, welded floor, and Weathertec system keep this tent dry. No worries, even if you select a rainforest for your next backpacking. Moreover, the high-quality strong frame can withstand wind up to 35+mph. Impressive, isn’t it? Ground vents and large windows keep the interior cool and comfortable day and night. 


  • Cheap price;
  • Withstand high wind;
  • Well ventilated;
  • Waterproof.


  • Packed interior.

2. ALPS Mountaineering-Lynx 4-Person Tent for Hikers/backpackers

  • Weighs 8 lbs, for 4 people;
  • 7’6 x 8’6 floor plan, center Height: 52-inches;
  • 2 vestibules, 2 doorways, storage for gear, and accessories.

The weight of the tent is a big issue while backpacking in the mountains. The lighter the tent, the more enjoyable the backpacking becomes in this case. Because as you hike upward, the baggage feels heavier. Considering this issue, Alps Mountaineering designed this Lynx4 tent for hiker backpackers. It is light, yet large enough to set 4 people in. There are two spacious vestibules to provide extra space to make room for your belongings as well. 

This is basically a 3-season tent. Other than snowy winters, you can practically use it throughout the year. At high altitudes, the temperature falls, so the ventilation is not as detailed as in summer camping tents, but the mesh part on the upper section does a good job of circulating air through it. Even if the price seems pretty high, as a durable yet lightweight solution, this one is a gem!


  • Roomy interior;
  • Freestanding design;
  • Lightweight;
  • Suitable for hiking.


  • Expensive.

3. Bessport Backpacking Tent, 2 to 3-Person Capacity

  • 7.8 x 5 ft base, 43 inches center height;
  • 2 doors and vestibules; 
  • Weighs only 5 pounds.

5 pounds of weight seems unrealistic for a 3-person tent to many backpackers, but it is real. This spacious and super durable tent is feather-light. But the stability, weather resistance, and functionality are not compromised at all, to make it light. Rather, Bessport has incorporated high-quality materials to make this masterpiece. 

To make the tent airy and well-ventilated, there are mesh windows, ceiling vents, a mesh roof, and an additional screen room is incorporated. Needless to mention, the screen room provides extra room for sleeping on dry and humid nights. 

The setting up is very easy for this tent, as the access. A two-way zipper is used on the doors to make it convenient. It has a waterproof index of 5000mm. Need any more proof of how weather-resistant this tent is? I don’t think so.    


  • Affordable price; 
  • Easy to setup and takedown;
  • Ultra-lightweight;
  • Anti-UV fabric;
  • Highly waterproof and windproof tent.


  • No cons found.

4. TETON Sports Pop-Up Tent and Camp Cot

  • 5.6 pounds;
  • 2-person tent.

Basically, I liked the combo of this tent and the camp cot that is meant for it. The cot is sold separately, but you can get both at a reasonable price with this combo offer. There is nothing very special about this tent other than that, and it is super lightweight. The pop-up design literally takes seconds to get to its full height. 

Using a camp cot is always better than using a no-cot. In snow and rain, the cot saves you from getting wet and from venomous and dangerous creatures of nature. A special rainfly is available to cover up the cot and the tent altogether up to the ground. My suggestion would be to get all three of the tents, cot, and rainfly. Because the tent itself is not highly windproof. Keeping your staff inside the tent will give more stability against the wind. 


  • Instant, pop-up setting;
  • Camp cot for convenience;
  • Very light.


  • Can’t withstand heavy wind and rain.

5. KLYMIT CROSS CANYON Lightweight Backpacking for 2 Person

  • 6 pounds, up to 2-person capacity;
  • 20.5 x 6.5 inches base, 46 inches center height;
  • Aluminum poles create a robust and lightweight structure.

The tent is literally made of Polyester all around. This is because the Polyester will let the breeze pass through the tent without letting in any bugs or annoying mosquitoes in the summer. The rainfly is the main coverup of the tent and the main support against wind and water. The rain fly is made so protective that only a small vent is placed on the top to reduce condensation. In my opinion, if it rains for days and you have to spend your backpacking trip like a camper, then the interior of the tent may get steamy. 

However, that is the extreme case, but overall, this is a spacious and airy tent to make your backpacking a breeze. Because it only weighs 6 pounds but gives room for three sleeping bags. Lastly, it is a freestanding style tent, so there is no trouble setting this up or packing it. 


  • Spacious interior;
  • Easy refund or replace policy;
  • Convenient freestanding design;
  • Budget-friendly price.


  • Nothing to mention.

6. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Ultralight Backpacking Tent

  • Copper Spur HV UL series; 
  • Includes 7 DAC superlight aluminum J stakes and 2 awning guylines.

This one is probably the lightest backpacking tent you can ever find. Even play tents for kids come in a much higher weight. With the allover mesh fabric, frame, and thick and durable rainfly, the tent only measures ‎1.13 Kilograms. There is only one pole design available for this tent. This model is gaining popularity for its fast and easy setup and goes out of stock pretty soon. 

The fabric of the tent is so light that Big Agnes has recommended using a footprint. If the foot brought from Big Agnes seems pricey to you, you can find one in the local stores as well. 

The walls & roof of the tent are made from fine mesh fabric. Fine mesh fabric. The floor is tub-like flooring, and there are storm flaps to cover zippers during rain so that water doesn’t get into the tent. 

The only drawback is, the interior is not so spacious to sit straight. So, for a solo camper, the size and ceiling height is enough for a week’s backpacking. For more people, you should get another tent. 


  • Lightest weight as a tent;
  • Allover mesh fabric for superior ventilation;
  • Waterproof.


  • Low central height.

7. Bessport Camping Tent for Backpacking & Hiking

  • 48 x 84 inches floor plan, 43 inches center height;
  • 5.2 pounds, 2-person capacity.

The interior is very roomy for 2 backpackers. Besides, there is ample space for storing gadgets and other handy small items in each corner and overhead of the tent. Does the lightweight of a tent make you doubt its durability? Then take this tent without a doubt, because it is crafted with 68D Polyester tear-resistant fabric. Even regular hiking or backpacking on rocky mountains won’t damage the tent fabric easily. 

There are many backpacking tents available that have mesh walls to offer better ventilation. But it lacks the privacy of the campers sleeping or changing inside. Thanks to this model’s ripstop panels are just high enough to give privacy and ventilation altogether. Read more: 4 Simple Techniques to Clean a Tent with Mold and Mildew

All the seams are thermally heat-sealed in this tent’s interior, just to make it leakproof. The frame has a freestanding design, so, for solo backpacking, setting this up won’t be a hassle. The frame is very durable, just like the fabric. It can withstand high wind flow along with heavy rainfall. For a reasonable price, a tent like this is hard to find. 


  • Leakproof;
  • Reasonable price;
  • Freestanding design. 
  • High resistance against wind and rain.


  • No cons found.

8. Kelty- 3-Season Backpacking Tent for 1 Person

  • 85″ x 40″ floor, 36. 5 inches peak height;
  • Single door and vestibule, weights 3 lbs.

There is nothing more enjoyable for solo backpackers than a tent that is easy to set up. This tent is extremely easy to set up and attaches to the rainfly. The frame has a freestanding design, and there are pockets to all 4 corners of the tent to make it even easier.

The pockets eliminate jumping off the corner while fixing others. Instead, it makes setting the corners well-secured on the first try. There are color-coded corners to attach the rainfly so that it can be attached instantly when it becomes raining without warning. 

The tent has 1800 mm water resistance for light to medium rain. For the high-quality no-see-um mesh, easy setup, and spacious interior, this tent is worth the price it is asked for. 


  • Convenient freestanding design;
  • Roomy interior for one camper;
  • Easy rainfly attachment.


  • Pricey;
  • Low peak height for tall people.

9. MOON LENCE Anti-UV Camping Tent for Backpacking

  • Weight: 2.7kg (5.95lb);
  • Storage Size: 16.5*5.9*5.9 in.;
  • Fabric Material: 63D 190T 1000mm; 
  • Zippers: SBS zipper with the waterproof brand;
  • Tent Poles: Glass Fiber.

For a solo backpacker, this 3 season’s tent is a light and reliable tent. It is not as spacious for 2 adults as the advertisement portrays, so I suggest this one for solo campers. It is made of high-quality material which resists water up to 1000mm. The frame is also very flexible to resist high wind in the mountains. 

I liked the high rip panels under the mesh upper part of this backpacking tent. It restricts light, and wind and gives the privacy one needs during resting time. Moreover, this tent is made of anti-UV fabric. So, it is not only comfortable but also safe from the damage associated with harmful UV rays. 

However, this is a decent tent for the money you can use for backpacking and going fishing, backyard camping, and so on. The anti-UV feature is a plus for female campers as they are the most concerned about the UV. 


  • High wind and rain resistance;
  • UV resistance;
  • High ripstop panel for privacy;
  • Sturdy frame.


  • None.

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About This Writer

camila avery author

Guys, I am Camila Avery and I love to help my mom to do indoor & outdoor activities. As a lady, I have passed my time on gardening, home improvement, and personal or self-care. I have acquired some degrees in outdoor recreation, beauty, and hair care. It is not easy to work with top-level professional beauty experts. But, I got that opportunity and experimented with different hair extensions, hair colors, and cuts.

Guys, I am Camila Avery and I love to help my mom to do indoor & outdoor activities. As a lady, I have passed my time on gardening, home improvement, and personal or self-care. I have acquired some degrees in outdoor recreation, beauty, and hair care. It is not easy to work with top-level professional beauty experts. But, I got that opportunity and experimented with different hair extensions, hair colors, and cuts.

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