The best two-man tents for use in the UK

Casual camping or more intense hiking, this is the ultimate buyer's guide to 2-man tents.

The best two-man tents for use in the UK - best 2-man tent

by Jack Barrell |
Updated on

By and large, the best two-person tents are bought by people whose camping trips consist of short stays and bunny-hopping from place to place. What they lack in space, the best two-man tent can make up for in lightness and easy-pitching, competing easily with other examples of the best tents on the market. Because they're small and low-profile, they are often far more adept in dealing with tempestuous weather than larger tents.

You've come to the right place if you're hunting for the best two-man tent. We've shortlisted the champion two-man tents. Naturally, they all have the category in common, but our picks have varying strengths and weaknesses because each is the best at something.

The best two-man tents at a glance:

The best two-man tent overall: Berghaus Cheviot - View at Amazon
The best two-man tent for space: Wild Country Hoolie Compact 2 ETC - View at Millets
The best budget two-man tent: Eurohike Pop 200 SD - View at Tiso

We've ensured that there's something for everyone here, for weekend camping, highland hiking, or summer backpacking. We also have an extensive buyer’s guide that explains waterproof rating and tent shapes, so keep reading for more info.

The best two-man tents of 2024:

Please note: All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

The best two-man tent for casual camping

This is a well-thought-out camping tent that sticks to good principles. It's light but robust; simple but effective. The dimmed bedroom is a superb touch; we like its impressive waterproof rating. Excellent for weekend camping and festivals (check out our full article on the best festival tents).

Pros

  • High waterproof rating
  • Great value

Cons

  • Not suitable for hiking

The best two-man tent overall

Make a few compromises with this bright red tent. It has a high waterproof rating, and thanks to its semi-geodesic shape, it's capable of dealing with stroppy weather, too. The trade-off is that pitching the Cheviot takes a couple of minutes longer than the tents above because of the extra poles.

Pros

  • High waterproof rating
  • Ideal tent for wild camping/hiking beginners

Cons

  • More advanced tents are ligher

The best two-man tent for backpacking on a budget

Weighing in at well under two kilos and packing down to a minute size, this is the ideal tent for summer backpackers after a good travel tent that won't break the bank. However, summer is the key thing to remember with this tent. It is very light, but it bears the minimum waterproofing you need for trekking around the UK and doesn't have the sturdiness to cope with surly weather.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good porch space for gear

Cons

  • Only suitable for milder weather

The best two-man tent for space

Wild Country Hoolie Compact 2 ETC
Price: £329 (was £350)

www.millets.co.uk

Wild Country is a sub-brand of Terra Nova and is aimed at a mid-range level. The Hoolie Compact 2 has an odd name, but it does a great job of balancing performance and price. This is perfectly demonstrated by its size and relative lightness. Because you get very generous space (lengthways), it is ideal for long hikes, wild camping, or cycle trips; yet it's no burden to carry. Being a tunnel design, it isn't quite as weather-resistant as the geodesic tents, but it's low and pinned down with a dozen guy ropes. Thus, it's still very stable.

Pros

  • Very light for the size
  • Great value

Cons

  • Takes longer to pitch than some of the others

The best two-man hiking tent

A true three-season hiking tent that weighs under two kilos and is less than £200 is an impressive feat. The Zephyros Compact 2 is a great little tent. As a two-person tent, it is quite snug and lacks decent porch space for gear, but other than these niggles, the Zephyros Compact 2 is hard to fault. It's easy to pitch, quick to pack away, stable in the wind, and dry in the rain. For keen hikers, it's all you need.

Pros

  • True 3-season tent
  • Great value
  • Easy pitching

Cons

  • Small porch space

The best two-man tent for sustainability

The manufacturing process of outdoor equipment is something that weighs heavily on the minds of increasingly more users. Indeed, gear designed for use in the outdoors really ought to be as sustainable as possible. The Telemark 2.2 PU is our favourite of a handful of tents that are PFC-free. On top of that remarkable achievement, the Telemark is a seriously good piece of kit. It's very light at just over two kilograms and has a slightly more generous porch space than the Zephyros Compact 2. The colour and low profile helps keep this tent discreet and stable.

Pros

  • PFC-free
  • Super light
  • Fantastic performance

Cons

  • Not cheap – you need to be sure you’ll use it to get your money’s worth

The best weather-resistant two-man tent

Terra Nova Quasar
Price: £839 (was £900)

www.millets.co.uk

For a full four-season alpine tent, this is your best option. At almost 3.5kg, the Quasar is the heaviest tent here, thanks to its super durable fabrics. It has UV resistance, which is indicative that this tent is aimed at alpine use. But you will find it equally capable of dealing with trips to other environments with harsh conditions, too. While there are extra poles involved, pitching remains very simple and fast.

Pros

  • Highly stable
  • Free-standing

Cons

  • Extra durability results in extra weight

The best budget two-man tent

Eurohike Pop 200 SD
Price: £28 (was £85)

www.tiso.com

Many tents claim to have fast pitching, but this little Eurohike tent truly does, thanks to its pop-up design. You essentially open up the bag, and it springs open. It's pretty snug, but it's very light. It's also ridiculously good value. Perfect for short stints away where time is extra precious. The high-vis guy lines are a nice touch. Although it's super light, the Pop 200 SD doesn't possess the robustness to be a hiking tent, but it's certainly alluring to summer campers.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Very light
  • Speedy pitching

Cons

  • Waterproofing rating could be better
  • Not that durable

Waterproof ratings explained

Like fill power with down insulation, waterproof ratings are very simple but widely misunderstood – or not known at all. All the tents you see here use the hydrostatic head to show how waterproof the fabric is. Hydrostatic head is the industry standard for measuring waterproof fabrics, such as those used for tents, jackets, etc.

The figure (for example, 3000mm), indicates how high a column of water sitting on the fabric would need to be before water begins seeping through. It’s perhaps a slightly odd thing, but it’s an effective means of measurement. It’s all to do with pressure. Testing labs don’t use such volumes of water; they use machines that apply downward pressure. Thus, a tent with a hydrostatic head rating of 3000mm can withstand a three-metre column of water before it leaks through. It sounds like a lot, but see below for our guide to waterproof ratings:

1000mm: Will keep out light rain – more water-resistant than waterproof

2000mm: Waterproof. Will keep out rain.

4000mm: Will withstand fairly heavy rain.

10,000mm+: What you should expect in hiking and ski jackets. They have to deal with rain and snow but also the extra pressure applied by backpack straps and so on.

For tents, a minimum of 2000mm is what you want. And don’t forget that the floor should have a higher rating because it has the extra pressure of you and your gear pressing down on it.

Related guide: Learn all about sleeping bags with our comprehensive guide.

Tent shapes explained

Tunnel tents

They are very popular in all sections of the tent world, from the lightest of hiking tents to big family camping tents. This is because the shape is very adaptable and space-friendly. Whether using traditional poles or an inflatable design, tunnel tents can easily split into multiple rooms if needed. You can distinguish tunnel tents by their half-cylinder shape.

Features of tunnel tents: easy pitching; spacious; often heavier than alternatives; OK in moderate wind – the bigger the tent, the less stable it is.

Dome tents

They are generally being ditched in favour of tunnel tents in family camping grounds because they can’t compete for space. However, they are still very popular with hikers and trekkers because small dome tents are quite stable and lightweight. Dome tents with geodesic designs are very good at dealing with extreme weather.

Features of dome tents: cheap; fairly light; have single zones only; okay in moderate wind – the bigger the tent, the less stable it is.

Geodesic tents

They are kind of like upgraded dome tents. They have extra crisscrossing support poles, which makes them much more adept at dealing with high winds. Because they are designed to cope with harsher weather, geodesic tents sacrifice space and are slightly more complex to pitch than other styles. They are wonderful for those camping in more extreme environments but less suitable for casual campers and families.

Features of geodesic tents: capable in harsh weather; lightweight; best suited for hiking; often a pricier option.

Backpacking tents

These are some of the lightest tents you will find. Often, they only require a single-pole plus guy line to pitch. They vary considerably in terms of ability. Some are meant for summer and mild conditions; some have more durable fabrics, making them suitable for three-season use.

Features of backpacking tents: very light; varied weather resistance; ideal for fast hikers and cycling trips.

Tipi/pyramid tents

Their tall central pole defines them. They come in a large range of sizes and are used as lightweight hiking tents, but more recently, they have found favour with those seeking the glamping experience. They are fairly easy to put up and even stand up well against the elements, but inside space cannot compete with tunnel tents.

Tipi/pyramid tent features: easy to pitch; a vast range of sizes; deal well with bad weather; sloped walls rob interior space; some come without a floor.

Useful camping kit:

Earth Pak Dry bag

Rrp: $22.35

Price: $19.60

The Earth Pak Dry Bag offers unbeatable protection for your gear, featuring waterproof construction, a secure roll-top closure, and durable materials. Ideal for all outdoor adventures, keeping contents dry and safe.

The ALLPOWERS 100W Portable Solar Panel is perfect for camping and hiking, offering efficient solar charging. Lightweight, foldable design for easy transport. Durable, weather-resistant for outdoor reliability.

If you are heading somewhere where mains electricity is not available, Goal Zero’s 13-watt monocrystalline solar panel is a great essential. At about 700g, it’s lightweight and charges devices via a USB output. Check out alternative options in our full article on the best solar chargers.

Stubai Tactical LED Torch
Price: £31.39 (was £75.00)

www.outdoorgear.co.uk

A bright 800-lumen LED torch with five light settings, including SOS and a maximum range of 300 metres. It is charged via USB and can also charge devices via USB.

Flux 5.0 Sleeping MatGo Outdoors

Space is premium when camping, and the OEX sleeping mat takes up precious little of it. Packed down, it is just 21 x 10cm and weighs 540. At full length, it's 181cm for comfort, and while it requires manual inflation, the diamond pattern means it takes moments.

Made from rip-stop nylon with a water-repellent coating. Thickness, when inflated, is 5.5cm. Read our full article on the best camping beds.

Vango Compact Gas Stove
Price: £22 (was £22.50)

www.blacks.co.uk

Stored in its little red box and weighing only 100g, the Vango gas stove is one of the camping essentials you wonu2019t even notice youu2019re carrying. It will boil a litre of water in about four minutes. Turn the wire handle on the side to control gas flow. It fits screw-top gas canisters. Check out our full article on the best camping stoves.

Jack Barrell is a Tech and Fitness Writer for What’s the Best. He is invested in all things entertainment and keeps well up to date with the latest sports and exercise trends too. On his off days Jack can usually be found doing one of two things; lifting heavy weights – or watching his favourite Star Wars for the thousandth time.

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