A good backcountry hunting tent shares many traits with a backpacking tent. While the definition of backcountry hunting seems to be different for everyone, it generally entails a 5-15 mile hike to your hunting ground. This means you need something lightweight and compact enough to comfortably carry for long periods.
However, many lightweight tents are often brightly colored, which while great for helping you find your tent, aren’t ideal for the backcountry.
While hunting you want to blend in with your surroundings as much as possible so that you don’t 1) scare off your prey, and 2) attract bears and other dangerous animals due to the bright colors.
In a hurry? Here’s our top 3 picks for the best backcountry hunting tents.
5 best backcountry hunting tents
A lightweight, budget backcountry hunting option
The River Country Products Trekker 2 is a super lightweight, extremely well built budget tent. Available in an army green or dark blue, it’s perfect for blending into your surroundings and remaining discrete.
Considering it weighs only 2lbs 12oz (without trekking poles), it is extremely spacious inside. At over 7 feet long, over 5 feet wide and a peak head height of 42 inches, there is plenty of room for one person and all your gear inside the tent, or two people without your gear inside.
The nylon fabric is mid weight and super durable. This is important as it allows you to pull the tent taut without fearing rips or tears. Ensuring the tent is pulled as taut as possible helps with preventing any leaks from rain sitting atop your tent due to sagging, and also gives more headroom.
The tent features top-back vents (instead of more common bottom-back) to allow moisture to escape in the night while preventing snakes from being able to slither their way inside your tent.
Being a single walled tent, it’s also best to try and keep the “fly” doors open overnight during dry weather to ensure condensation doesn’t form. The mosquito netting on the interior doors prevents bugs and other critters from getting in with the main doors open.
Another thing to note due to being single walled, is that you will probably want to use a tarp over the top of the tent (hanging above, not directly touching the tent) in rain and snow to prevent moisture penetration and leaks. While the fabric is waterproof, in torrential rain and snow, some water will make its way through the fabric eventually.
The tent is erected with the use of trekking poles. You can purchase the tent with or without trekking poles (if you do want trekking poles and don’t have any we would strongly recommend their trekking poles as they are made from a super strong and lightweight carbon fiber/aluminum mix).
If you don’t want to use trekking poles at all, you can use sticks in place of the poles or tie between two trees.
Despite the cheap price the customer service from River Country is second to none. If you have any problems or anything you are not happy with, they go above and beyond to sort you out.
A high-quality, low-priced 4-season backcountry tent
The Geertop Toproad is a super affordable 4-season backcountry hunting tent with excellent quality. Finding a 4-season tent that is “cheap” is a rarity on its own, let alone one that uses such high grade materials.
While many 4-season tents are actually really only used for winter camping due to their weight, the Geertop can be used all year round. You can use the inner layer alone in warm, dry weather to lighten your load, or add the outer layer for protection against cold, wet and snowy weather.
At 6.4lbs all in, it may not seem like the lightest option for long hikes into the backcountry. It is, however, extremely lightweight for a 4-season tent. So, if you know you will be camping in the snow or would like the option to be able to, this is a fantastic and super versatile choice.
For a 4-season tent under $120, there’s nothing this tent is missing.
The tent comes supplied with super strong but lightweight aluminum poles and aluminum L-shaped stakes (the stakes are actually good which is rarely seen with manufacturer supplied stakes).
It features a snow skirt on the outer fly to allow you to pile snow on top to seal the perimeter of the tent. This prevents snow from blowing inside your tent, helps anchor your tent down, helps rain flow away from your tent and reduces flapping in strong winds.
Other neat features include a ceiling hook for hanging a lantern/light, storage pockets, two vestibules, two large entrances for easy access and double stitched seam construction (another rarely seen technique that adds extra strength and durability to the seams).
A minimalistic, baker style backcountry hunting tent
OneTigris manufactures some of the best tents for backcountry hunting and the Backwoods Bungalow baker style 3-season tent is no exception. The design of all of their tents focuses primarily on blending in with your natural surroundings, and experiencing the great outdoors in a comfortable but minimal fashion.
Despite being single walled, the fabric coating has a hydrostatic rating of 3000mm, meaning it can handle torrential rain and driving winds without any leaks or water penetration. However, if you want added peace of mind, you can hang a tarp above the tent if you know it’s going to endure days of rain.
The optional awning is a really neat feature that adds a tonne of convenience on a backcountry hunting trip. It allows you to cook underneath it in rain/snow or organize all your hunting gear before or after your trip without it all getting soaking wet.
While it would be a little cozy for two adults, there is plenty of room for one and lots of gear, or one man and a dog.
The tent fabric is made from ripstop nylon, ensuring that you can stake and guy out the tent taut without creating tears or rips in the fabric. There is also a double entryway with one of the doors being full no-see-um mesh, allowing you to leave the nylon door open or in awning mode without bugs getting in.
Similar to the River Country Products Trekker, the tent does not need or come supplied with poles, but can be set up with hiking poles, sticks or simply strung between two trees using ridge lines.
At just over 3lbs in weight including stakes, the tent is a super lightweight and convenient option for hunting in the backcountry. The weight won’t add much to your back, and its simple design ensures you can set up and tear down within a matter of minutes.
One thing to note is that the tent doesn’t include any storage pockets inside, though this can actually be a good thing as more often than not you end up storing heavy things that can cause your tent to sag from the weight.
A bivy style tent large enough to fit you and your hunting gear inside
The Snugpak Ionosphere is a super high quality 1-person bivy style tent with plenty of room to store gear inside. Available in army green and coyote tan, you can be sure you’ll remain discrete while out in the woods or wilderness.
Its ripstop polyester nylon has a hydrostatic head rating of 5000mm meaning it can withstand torrential rain and driving wind without leaking. In fact, 5000mm is so waterproof that it can handle pressure being applied to it and water still won’t penetrate.
With only two poles and press fit connectors it’s a breeze to set up and take down.
An example to highlight the quality of this tent is the inclusion of DAC featherlite aluminum poles. As mentioned multiple times on this site, DAC poles are basically classed as one of the best in the industry in terms of strength and weight.
A really nice feature of this tent is the included repair kit. No one wants a broken pole or ripped fly while camped 15 miles into the middle of nowhere without the ability to fix it. It features everything to repair the poles, patch the fabrics, a spare cord and a storage bag to keep it all safe.
It’s also decently lightweight at 3lbs 5oz and has plenty of interior space, even if you’re tall. It’s 94” long, 35” wide and 28” tall. Obviously you can’t sit up in it, but there is plenty of length to sleep comfortably if you’re tall or want to store your gear inside with you.
Lightweight hot tent for winter backcountry hunting
If you’re looking for something warm and cozy on a winter backcountry hunting trip, then look no further than the OneTigris Smokey Hut hot tent.
A tent that’s suitable for backpacking hunting while being suitable for use with a wood stove is a rarity, and you’ve probably found your options are limited, especially if you don’t want to spend above $500.
That’s what makes this tent so special. At just over $100, you have a high quality hot tent that is light weight enough to backpack miles with.
It comes with no inner tent or floor, not only for safety for hot tent use, but also to minimize weight. While you can purchase an inner tent separately, you can’t use it as a hot tent simultaneously.
At 2lbs 9oz, it’s a super lightweight tent with plenty of space inside. You can comfortably fit two people inside or one person, your gear and a wood stove. You could also probably fit two people and a stove in at a real push, though it wouldn’t be particularly comfy.
It’s made with a silicone coated nylon fabric that has a hydrostatic rating of 3000mm, so you’ll never have to worry about getting wet, or the tent blowing down in high winds.
The TrailBuddy aluminum trekking poles are the perfect companion not only for some of the tents listed here, but for your hike into the backcountry. They are super strong, lightweight and adjustable.
They are easily adjustable from 24.5 to 54 inches, allowing you to set them to whatever height you need for hiking and then whatever height you need to pitch your tent.
The Trademark Supplies tarp is available in a vast array of sizes and colors to suit your needs. Perfect for use over your tent to add an extra layer of protection against rain and snow, or under your tent to protect your flooring and provide a comfier space in your vestibule area.