Finding the perfect 2-person tent can be hard. Should you go for a cheaper model and just replace it after a few years, or is it worth spending your hard-earned money on something a bit fancier?
I've asked myself the same questions many times over the years, and I've gone for both strategies at times.
To help you choose the perfect tent for your next adventure, I've condensed all my experiences into this simple guide, featuring 10 brilliant 2-person tents for different uses.
My Review Process
I'm a traveller at heart, and being a writer, I have much more freedom to head away whenever I want than your average Australian. Over the last 10 years, I've done countless small camping trips with nothing but a small tent and a few essentials, and I've used quite a few different 2-person tents.
I've used this experience to bring you the following list of the best 2-person tents on the market today. My favourite models are easy to set up and pack down, have plenty of ventilation, and are built with durable materials suited to Australia's tough conditions.
The following 10 models meet these criteria on at least a satisfactory level, and each is a great choice for specific situations.
If you're looking for a reliable all-weather, four-season tent, the MSR Elixir 2 is hard to go past. I particularly like the design of this freestanding tent, as it optimises headroom and provides ample space for 2 adults. You will also find built-in gear storage pockets for extra convenience.
It is a little expensive, but it's also a lightweight option that's super easy to set up. According to almost everyone I've spoken to about it, it's a comfortable option in strong winds and harsh conditions, which is excellent to hear.
I've spent a lot of time backpacking, and there's nothing worse than having a bulky tent taking up half of the space in your pack. Although it's an expensive tent, the Mont Moondance 2 is worth every cent. And its weight-saving features mean that it comes in at just 2kg.
On top of this, it's a fully-waterproof model that's designed for use in all but the harshest winter conditions. The internal pockets provide ample storage, and the zippered vents can be opened and closed for optimal ventilation.
If you're looking for an affordable 2P tent that's designed for Australian conditions, the Coleman Swagger Instant Up fits the bill perfectly. It takes components of the traditional swag and combines them with modern tent technology to deliver a small, comfortable shelter that's perfect for camping in the bush.
My favourite thing about the Swagger is its tough canvas design. As well as making the tent material super durable, it offers full protection from harsh weather and makes this a comfortable 3-4 season tent.
It is a little bulky, but if you're regularly camping out of a vehicle, you just can't go past the Coleman Swagger.
The Blackwolf Classic Dome tent is a small and simple yet functional model that's perfect for camping with your car. It's one of the more affordable tents on my list, and it features easy setup and ample gear storage.
On the downside, it's quite a lightweight model that's not super durable. It also doesn't perform great in winter weather or heavy rain, and I'd really only recommend it for quick trips in the warmer months.
The Exped Mira II HL is right up there with the best 2-person tents on the market. In fact, it probably would have taken the number-one position on this list if it wasn't for its rather high price. It comes in at just 1.5kg, making it one of the best ultralight tents I've seen. But despite this, it remains a decent option for all-season use in the Australian bush.
As one of the lightest tents on this list, you might expect the Exped Mira II HL to lack quality and durability. But in fact, just the opposite is true. It boasts a tough tent floor, can be used in virtually all Australian conditions, and has great ventilation.
The Darche Panorama 1400 is hands-down my favourite 2-person rooftop tent. I particularly like the spacious interior and durable canvas and other materials, and the simple design makes setup and pack down super easy. The main downside is that you can't pack it away with your bedding inside.
However, it is a very compact tent, and it comes with a full 2-year warranty, plenty of space for 2 people, and the ability to add an awning or annex. It also has great ventilation, and I'd recommend it as the best rooftop tent on the market today - if you can afford its high price.
As far as cheap beach tents go, the OZtrail Terra Beach Dome stands out to me as a pretty good option. For one, it's super affordable. It's small and lightweight - making it perfect for a couple's day out at the beach - and it offers excellent UV protection in hot weather.
On top of this, setup is as easy as folding the tent out and anchoring it by filling the built-in sand pockets. It doesn't offer great protection from rain or harsh winds, but I'd seriously recommend adding it to your beach kit for those relaxing summer days out.
Looking for something simple for a quick weekend away? Just want a small 2-person tent that the kids can use in the backyard? For cases like this, I'd say it's pretty hard to look past the OZtrail Tasman Festival dome tent. It's an adventure-ready tent that's up there with the cheapest on the market, but it certainly doesn't lack quality.
It's also super easy to put up and take down, and it performs decently in light rain and harsh winds. If you're looking for a decent tent at an affordable price, look no further.
I'm personally a big fan of pop-up tents because they are simple and affordable. The OZtrail Pop Up Pod Tent is one of my all-time favourite models, and it boasts ample living space and built-in air vents for extra airflow.
On top of this, it takes just seconds to put up and take down. There's adequate space for gear storage, and it's built from quality materials that should stand up to Australia's tough conditions.
The main downside of this (and most other) pop-up tent is that it's quite bulky, which means that it can't really be used for hiking or backpacking.
This luxury tent from The North Face will be way out of most people's price range, but I'll be the first to admit that it's an attractive option if you can afford it. It's designed for extended hiking and backpacking trips, and it boasts excellent ventilation and weather protection.
On top of this, the tent design features lightweight carbon-fibre poles, easy set-up, and dual roof vents for extra breathability. There's also plenty of storage space and tabs for hanging damp gear, stoves, lights, and pretty much whatever else you want to.
How To Choose The Best 2 Person Tent
I've put together a quick list of important factors to think about to help you choose the perfect tent. Make sure you consider the following:
I'd suggest setting your budget before you even begin looking at tents. This will help you narrow your search and should ensure you don't spend more than you can afford to.
If you need to sleep 2 people and store some gear inside your tent, you will need a decent amount of space. Some budget 2-person tents are quite small and are really only suitable for a single person, while others have significantly more space.
Australia's weather conditions can be tough, and it's important to buy a tent that won't fall apart after a few trips. Look for something that's built with durable fabric, has a tough, puncture-resistant floor, and has strong poles that won't snap or bend in harsh winds or stormy weather.
In some situations, a small, lightweight tent is crucial. For example, saving space is important if you're storing your tent in your motorcycle gear or packing it with your hiking gear. Some of the lightest tents still come with great durability and features for Australian conditions, but they are generally a little more pricey.
Different two-person tents have different levels of waterproofing. If you're just planning to use your camping tent for occasional nights away in summer, something that's water-resistant should be fine. Otherwise, I'd suggest looking for an all-weather, four-season tent that's designed for use in bad weather and rain.
Doors And Windows
Two-person tents are usually quite small, and I'd suggest paying attention to the size and number of doors and windows on the models you're considering. This is especially important if you're a larger person or have a decent amount of extra gear.
Anyone who's camped in a poor-quality tent will be able to tell you how important adequate ventilation is. Without it, you will likely experience condensation on the inside of your shelter, and it can become unbearable inside in warmer weather.
If you're planning to camp in bad weather or harsh conditions, I'd strongly suggest getting a camping tent with plenty of room. I've always found it super convenient to be able to store my hiking pack and other gear inside my tent, and I'm sure you will too.
Last, but not least, is weight. This one's pretty self-explanatory - if you're taking your tent on hiking or backpacking trips, it needs to be lightweight enough to carry.
The best overall 2-person tent is the MSR Elixir 2, closely followed by the Mont Moondance 2 and the Coleman Swagger Instant Up. There are loads of other excellent options on the market, including the others on my list above.
Remember to spend a little time selecting the right tent for your needs, and take advantage of the useful information I’ve outlined here.
But above all, look forwards to getting your tent, hitting the road, and enjoying Australia’s great outdoors!
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.