7 Best Cheap Tents for Camping | Budget Backpacking Tents under $100
Camping doesn’t need to be an expensive pastime and today we will show you how to do it with a budget of $100.
Whether its a weekend trip camping, backpacking with friends or a couple days hike up Mount Monadnock, we have something affordable for you in today’s list.
These tents won’t break the bank or your wallet, but at the same time won’t leave you soaking wet in a downpour.
We’ve sifted these models through our criteria process, waterproof, UV protected, fastpitch, to name but a few. So you can be sure you’re not gonna be left high and dry (or wet) on your next short trip.
Obviously, for the most part, these aren’t going to be made of the highest quality out there, like these top-notch family tents, however with a bit of careful pre-planning in regards to pitching location and the weather, they will serve you well.
Okay so let’s move on and check who has affordable tents with good reviews.
Best Cheap Tents Reviewed
Coleman Sundome 6 Person Tent
Probably one of the best selling budget tents in a 4 person model out there, the Sundome from Coleman provides an easy pitch, low profile Dome design and intuitive design to keep you dry.
You can set this up in under 10 minutes alone no probs, and for a dome tent it’s pretty spacious inside. Marketed as a 4 person, we would probably use it for 2 people, plus gear for the most comfortable sleeping arrangement.
Integrated with Colemans WetaherTec system, so you benefit from welded flooring and inverted seams, this basically acts as a second level security against water penetration, with tight stitching and manufacturing work.
- Fast Pitch
- Weatherproofing Integration
- Well Ventilated
- Low head height due to the Dome design
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AmazonBasics 8 Person Tent
From the online giant themselves, their own take on an affordable family tent here with the 8 person Amazon Basics tent.
It has an insanely economical price for an 8 man tent, and the design aint half bad either. Boasting 4 season use, we might debate a winter camp in heavy weather conditions with a tent under $100, however the reviews so far have been positive.
As the roof is meshed to provide good ventilation inside, you will always need to make sure you have the rainfly at hand in case of a sudden shower. For best effect you could splash out on a more protective rainfly, improving the performance of the tent all round.
The footprint is pretty big with 15 x 9 feet dimensions and the head height reaches 6 foot, making it one of the tallest tents in our list, so no need for ducking and diving when coming in and out.
- Shock Corded Poles
- Large Footprint, Spacious
- Budget Family Sized Tent
- The 4 season boast is debatable
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Coleman 4 Person Instant Cabin Tent
A real instant tent here from Coleman that sits under 100 bucks, it’s a steal. Usually, due to the engineering that goes into instant pitch tents, you will find them in the over $200 category, but not this one and it’s well made too.
With 150D polyester materials used, taped seams and a rugged Polyguard coating, it has a high waterproof rating and can withstand a fair old tantrum from mother nature.
Ideal for families or a couple because cabin tents have spacious interiors due to the tall straight walls they have, this one in particular has enough space for a queen airbed, how about that, a luxury kip within budget.
As forementioned, the roof is meshed but also the rainfly is vented, maximizing ventilation and airflow, but our concern lies with its ability to withstand heavy rain. If I did decide on this model because it sets up in 30 seconds, I would probably invest in a better rainfly, personally speaking.
- 60 Second Pitch
- Durable polyester Material
- Extremely Well Ventilated
- If camping in severe rainfall, I would buy a better rainfly personally
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Alps Mountaineering Lynx 2 Person Tent
A budget backpacking tent here from Alps Mountaineering, the Lynx model line have quite a few variations and sizes, and their 2 person tent falls just under our $100 budget.
Not the largest tent in the world, but it’s easy to set up, with a free-standing design consisting of 2 aluminum poles as its structure. The poles are insanely light and connect up with elasticated tendons, guiding you all the way.
Just hook to the feet of the tent and slide through the external sheaths and the poles will bend into place.
As its also a lightweight tent it’s suitable for hitting the trail, hiking and backpacking alike. Weighing in at a subtle 5lbs, not a burden for longer hikes, there’s also a ton of storage with multiple pockets and a gear loft inside for all your accessories.
Additionally UV protected fabric keeps the harmful rays at bay, ideal for when you are camping in remote locations with little coverage.
- Lightweight Tent 5lbs
- Multiple Storage Options
- Budget Backpacking Tent
- The free stakes are aluminum, you could replace with some more robust stakes for the trail.
Related Article: How to Choose a Backpacking Tent?
Night Cat Waterproof Pop Up Tent
This pop up tent sits just under our budget at around 90 dollars, and with a 2-4 person capacity that’s pretty good value.
You can pitch this budget tent in under 60 seconds, as you can see in the picture above the frame is a hydraulic pressure mechanism, it springs out automatically and takes shape in front of you. No hassle.
For the price, it has one of the best waterproof ratings in our list today, with 210D oxford fabric, PE tarp floor and every seam in the tent has been sealed with water-resistant taping during manufacture.
Remains lightweight also because it utilizes fiberglass poles instead of steel, now in terms of strength steel wins, but for hiking and backpacking, a lightweight pop up tent has no competitor.
- 6 Month Full Refund Warranty
- Can Fit A King/Queen Size Mattress
- Budget Pop Up Tent for Hiking/Backpacking
- The capacity of 2-4 is a little vague, we would recommend this for 2-3 max only.
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CORE 6 Person Dome Tent
A high tech dome tent from CORE here with their 11 x 9 model, featuring the renowned H20 Block technology. In layman’s terms, it’s basically their system for waterproofing their tents, and it’s effective.
The materials used in this bargain tent are water repellant, when water hits the fabric it ‘beads’ allowing it to easily run off the sides and off the tent. Other tents with lower quality waterproofing tend to absorb some water or hold it somewhat, but not here.
A free rainfly comes with it and has been fully taped for better weather resistance, and when removed it reveals a meshed roof, providing great panoramic views.
- Water Repellant Technology
- Large 11 x 9 Dimensions
- Multiple Storage Options
- Good for 3 Seasons, but not 4 in our opinion.
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Coleman Montana 6 Person Tent
The thing we like most about the Montana is the size, with a 5.8 foot center height, and a 12 x 7 floor plan, it’s one of a few tents that can actually hold its capacity.
As a 6 person tent it can fit 2 queen-sized beds inside, pretty comfortably as well, then you have the awning which extends over the front entrance. A perfect place to put your hiking boots after a long day, in the shade and sheltered from the rain.
There is an 8 person model but it does break out budget by around $25 for that model, this one works well and stays within budget. However, if you want some extra gear space and can afford the extra, the 8 person might be more suitable for larger groups.
- Spacious Interior (2 Queen Sized Beds)
- 6 and 8 Person Budget Models
- Awning Extension
- The set up will take around 15-20 minutes
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Hyke and Byke Yosemite 2 Person Tent
A totally vibrant line of tents as you can see, this budget backpacking tent comes in a multitude of colors and are 1 or 2 person tents. Perfect for couples or solo backpackers, as it’s not the most spacious tent to be sleeping in with pals.
Another awesome feature, the company offer a lifetime warranty, yes you read that correctly since the Yosemite model has been sold over 60,000 times across the globe they’ve decided to back it, and you, for life.
In the picture you can see the internal tent, an ultralight frame that is free-standing and weighs all but 3lbs, ideal for hikers on the trail. The weight is due to the aluminum used in the framework and also for the tent stakes, keeping the whole pack light when stored in the carry bag.
- Best Selling Budget Backpacking Tent
- Variety of Color Choices
- The Zion series has a 5000 water rating as opposed to Yosemite’s 3000.
Featherstone Ultralight 2 Person Tent
Absolutely designed for backpackers, the Ultralight from Featherstone is an affordable, compact backpacking tent for people wanting to maybe take their first adventure on the trail.
The pack weight is at around 6lbs, that’s with the everything included in the carry bag, for ultralight enthusiasts you can drop it down to 3.8lbs with just the rainfly, footprint and poles.
The rainfly is top notch, with a 3000mm HH rating and made from RipStop Polyester, it will serve well even in pretty tough weather conditions. Which is exactly what you need when trekking off the beaten track.
- Inner Vestibule for Space
- Ultralight and Freestanding
- 3000mm HH Rating
- I prefer steel stakes over aluminum, but it depends if you want to keep your pack light or not.
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HuiLingYang 4 Person Pop Up Tent
A great budget family tent here from HuiLingYang that also benefits from an instant set up, which is probably the most stressful part of family camping, hands down.
With this pop-up tent, you can just launch it into the air (once it’s out of the carry bag) and the spring-loaded coil will explode into shape, forming a spacious 4 person tent. As you can see from the image, there are 2 large windows situated on either side, with large front and rear entrances.
This will air out in minutes if you open it all up every morning to clear any odors, additionally the windows are meshed, preventing bugs and mosquitoes from invading, but also providing air circulation at the same time.
- Meshed Window Panels
- Instant Set Up and Packing
- 1 Year Defect Product Coverage
- Always be precautious with pop up tents, they do excel in set up and convenience, but generally less robust than standard pole tents.
How to Choose a Budget Tent?
Firstly is it for a festival, camping trip with the family, or hitting the trail and backpacking solo. Each situation you might want to lean towards certain criteria more than the other.
Festival– For this I would aim for one that is simply easy to set up and that has a decent rainfly that will protect you from any light showers. The last thing you want when you arrive at a festival is a complex and time consuming set up, a pop up or instant tent will be the best here.
Family Camping– Again I might aim for one that is easy to set up, although I may vere away from pop ups, a good instant tent with a pre-attached frame would be better, not a coiled one. Like the Coleman 4 Person Instant Tent for example, this has a healthy balance between fast pitch and protective properties. It also includes things like storage pockets and a damn good rainfly, which is important.
Backpacking and Hiking– If you’re looking for an affordable backpacking tent, then a dome shaped tent would be ideal or the mountaineering ones, anything with a low profile is good. This helps you to pitch under cover in remote locations, large cabin tents (best suited for families) will be a restriction when going off the trail., due to the tall, straight walls. The dome style also helps to deflect winds. Also weight, most of the cheap backpacking tents still have a really good pack weight, aiming for something under 6lbs is totally doable and recommended.
Camping on a budget does not need to be a hassle and you don’t need to miss out.
As you can see from the above list, many of the cheap tents on the market still hold top-quality features, they may just not hold all of them simultaneously.
They are the best sellers of the past and some are even designed with economic manufacturing.
So use our buyer’s guide to help you choose the best one for your next trip.
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