Finding a tent that is durable enough to withstand your dogs claws while also remaining lightweight enough to hit the trail with can be difficult. Many people like to sleep their dog in a separate room, but this just isn’t feasible when backpacking.
The best tent for backpacking and hiking with dogs allows enough space for you both to sleep and relax comfortably, has a strong floor made from high quality materials and preferably provides a large enough vestibule for either yours and yours dogs belongings or your dog to sleep in if you would prefer to keep him outside of your tent.
Many backpacking tents also offer “hotel” style awning add ons that create a lightweight porch that you can use to create a separate from your dog.
In a hurry? Here’s our top 3 picks for the best tent for backpacking with dogs.
Best backpacking tent designed for use with your dog
Nemo have created a special “pawprint” that you can purchase to line the inside of the Aurora 2. It protects your tent floor from damage from your dog’s paws whilst also providing comfort. It also has almost vertical walls, allowing for plenty of room for you and your dog.
Most lightweight tent for backpacking with dogs
If weight is your main factor when backpacking with your dog then look no further than the Copper Spur HV UL 2. The updated version has a much more vertical wall structure than the original, providing more space for you and your dog to relax.
Best tent for backpacking with dogs
The Nemo Aurora 2-person tent is one of our favorite tents for backpacking with your dog. Despite not being the lightest to make the list, it offers some fantastic features that will make your trip more comfortable for you and your dog. In fact, Nemo are one of the only manufacturers to create tents for dog owners.
It features almost vertical walls to create a much more spacious and liveable environment. The sprawling interior means you have more room to sleep, chill out, relax and have fun with your dog after a long day of backpacking.
With two doors and two vestibules, you’ll have plenty of space to store gear and comfortably get in and out of your tent without having to climb over your dog. It also allows for you to have one entrance and exit for your dog to go outside to the toilet without him having to climb over all of your gear.
The interior also features plenty of mesh pockets for storing your essentials, allowing you to keep belongings such as your phone safe from harm and within easy reach.
The snap attachment feature ensures the Pawprint doesn’t shift around when you or your dog moves, and keeps it firmly in place, providing wall to wall protection and comfort. You can purchase the Aurora Pawprint on Amazon here.
While the Pawprint is an optional extra, the tent does come supplied with a footprint. A rare extra with most tents. Many tent manufacturers require you to purchase the footprint separately. A nice feature from Nemo that will ensure you get the longest life out of your Aurora tent.
At 5lbs 7oz, it’s on the heavier end of the accepted backpacking weight for tents. However, this does include the footprint which most tents don’t come supplied with, so if you wanted to forego the footprint then this would reduce the weight by almost 8 oz. It packs down to a nice 23 x 7 inches, making it super easy to carry on your back without getting in the way.
Kelty tents offer exceptional quality at an affordable price. The Grand Mesa 2 has just had an awesome update for 2020 and now includes quick corners that keep poles in place during setup, an EZ-Zip vestibule with fully taped seams and a shark mouth carry bag for easy pack up.
With decently vertical sides and a length of 88” (7.3 feet), the 2-person Grand Mesa provides ample interior space for 1-person and a dog to sleep and relax comfortably. While the vestibule isn’t one of the largest, there’s still enough space to store a backpack and your shoes.
Kelty tents offer unrivalled quality for their price, and the materials used to construct the Grand Mesa 2 demonstrate this.
The poles are DAC pressfit aluminum poles. DAC poles are considered some of the best on the market in terms of quality, weight and durability. If you look at much higher priced tents, you will likely see that they use DAC poles. The floor and rainfly utilize weather resistant and super durable 68D polyester fabric, with fully taped seams.
On top of its amazing quality, Kelty has ensured that the tent is super quick and easy to set up with its color coded clip and fly attachment. After a couple of times practicing, you will very easily be able to set up and tear down within 10 minutes combined.
The tent doesn’t come supplied with a footprint which is always recommended to preserve the life of the tent floor, and can be bought on Amazon here. For under $30, it’s definitely worth the small cost to ensure your tent floor doesn’t end up with unwanted tears, rips and leaks.
Weighing in at 4lbs 1oz, the Grand Mesa 2 is a nicely lightweight tent considering it is spacious enough to fit 2 people. It also packs down to 16 x 7 inches, so is super easy to carry with you while backpacking.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 is a great lightweight tent for backpacking with your dog. If you’re planning to go backpacking with your dog this is one of the most all-round tents for backpacking.
It features a decent sized vestibule area that is adequate for cooking in bad weather and storing your gear, or can sleep your dog if it isn’t too large. If you’d prefer to have more space for cooking or a larger room for your dog to sleep, you can also purchase the MSR attachable shelter to add substantially more room.
It’s a super spacious tent for 1-person and a decently large dog, but can adequately fit 2 people and a dog if the dog sleeps in the vestibule. But what makes it such a great choice for backpacking is its quality and durability. It features a DuraShield coating on the rainfly and uses DAC featherlike NFL poles, some of the most respected technologies in camp manufacturing to protect your tent in extreme wind and rain.
But the quality doesn’t stop at these main features. Every little detail on the Hubba Hubba is top notch. From the all-metal tabs on the tent body/fly for the poles to lock into, to the perfectly symmetrical shape of the tent itself, making for a super easy set up.
Weighing only 3.9 lbs and packing down to a miniscule 18 x 6 inches, it’s one of the lightest weight tents available for backpacking with your dog, despite it’s space, durability and quality.
The Alps Mountaineering Mystique 1.5 is a high-quality, budget backpacking tent. Made to offer more space than a 1-person tent, but without the added weight of a 2-person tent, it’s the perfect backpacking companion for you and your dog.
The size and space is ideal for 1-person and 1 or 2 small dogs. It provides enough space to also store your gear inside if there is bad weather and you don’t want to store it in one of the two vestibules. Speaking of the vestibules, they are super roomy. They provide phenomenal coverage for storing gear and backpacks.
You can also use one of the vestibules to solely store dog supplies such as food and water for your dog to easily access.
The two entry and exits also offer the convenience of being able to enter and leave without climbing over your dog, or opening the door nearest to your dog in the night to allow him to go out to the toilet.
It features factory sealed seams and a 75D polyester rainfly and 75D polyester taffeta floor, the tent is weather and waterproof. The double walls ensure condensation doesn’t form in the night, a must have for anyone who’s puffed out after a hard day backpacking. It is supplied with aluminum tent poles, which is a rarely seen but welcome addition for a tent in this price range.
Despite its cheap price, the material is durable enough to stand up to your muddy dogs paws without tearing or ripping.
At 4lbs 13oz, it isn’t super lightweight, but is definitely lightweight enough to be comfortable backpacking with. The added comfort and space at the end of a long day is worth the small added weight. The fact it packs down to 18 x 5 inches also helps with the easy handling and carrying while backpacking.
The Copper Spur by Big Agnes is the tent you’re most likely to see on backpacking trails. The Big Agnes brand is practically synonymous with backpacking and it’s easy to see why. They produce some of the most lightweight, easily available and super durable backpacking tents.
The Copper Spur HV UL is an updated version of the award winning Copper Spur UL. Its upgraded features include a high volume pole structure to create steeper walls and a roomier living space. Despite being more spacious, it still maintains the super lightweight and compact features of the original Copper Spur.
The added space is a welcome detail when camping with your dog. The steeper walls provide a more liveable environment, allowing you to sleep, lay, sit and relax without feeling suffocated and claustrophobic.
With a random rip-stop pattern nylon, the Copper Spur is 25% stronger than the original, DAC poles provide maximum strength and durability against wind and strong storms (remember what we said earlier about finding DAC poles in premium tents?) and 8 superlight aluminum J stakes ensure your tent stays on the ground in extreme weather, without weighing you down any other time.
As with most tents, you need to purchase the footprint separately. If you want to ensure your tent has the longest life possible, it’s definitely wise to purchase it and can be found on Amazon for a decent price.
You can also purchase a shelter attachment for the Copper Spur if you want to add more space to store your gear outside of the tent, or as a separate room for your dog to sleep, or if you want to get super fancy, you can purchase the Copper Spur HV UL mtnGLO, which features Big Agnes’ awesome led light system.
The tent weighs only 3lb 1oz and packs down to 19.5 x 4 inches. So if you’re looking for the most lightweight tent for backpacking with your dog, the Copper Spur HV UL is it.
There aren’t many negatives to backpacking with your dog, but if there was one, it’s definitely the mud and dirt they treck into your tent after a day of fun and frolicks.
The Mud Buster STOPS this problem in its tracks (and your dog when you grab him before running inside your tent!)
Simply add water to the Mud Buster, put each of your dogs paws in and twist. Pat dry and your doggo can curl up inside your tent next to you without dirt going everywhere.
The Mud Buster is available in small, medium and large.
The Nemo Aurora pawprint fits and clips perfectly onto the floor of your Nemo Aurora tent. It not only provides protection for your tent floor, but is made of a soft material that is warm and comfortable for your dog to sleep on.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is one of the best all-round backpacking tents, so why wouldn’t you protect it from the elements and extend its life with a footprint?
Well, you wouldn’t.
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL footprint
Similar to the above, there is absolutely NO reason on the planet not to purchase a footprint to go with your tent. Particularly when you’ve splashed the cash for a lightweight, backpacking tent.
The Copper Spur is definitely a tent that should be protected with a footprint. While it’s lightweight, this is because the materials used are thinner, and while they are strong, they don’t perform particularly well when something sharp presses against them.
So, protect the floor of your tent with a footprint. You’ll regret it if you don’t. Promise.