Tarptent Double Rainbow in the Wasatch Mountains.

The Best American Made Backpacking Tents

By Matt Mullins   Last updated: May 17, 2021

I’ve backpacked since I was a little kid and have tried everything under the sun to lower my pack weight. I’ve tried hammocks (which unfortunately I don’t find comfortable), tarps which often get me wet in a gusty rain, and tacoing (rolling up) in a ground tarp during storms… none of which make for deep sleep. When the weather and mosquitoes play nice I like to sleep under the stars without a shelter, but when it rains, blows, or snows then I prefer a tent for a good night’s rest. The tents I’ve included here are the lightest, highest quality tents available anywhere in the world and they’re made in the USA.

Why Trust Me?

I know how hard it is to find honest recommendations and to narrow down American made gear. This is why I started American Gear Guide. I take my recommendations seriously and only recommend the best of the best. Of course this is my subjective opinion but I’m confident it won’t disappoint. Here are a few reasons to trust me:

  • I make independent recommendations based on personal experience (not paid to endorse a product).
  • As a passionate outdoorsman that reviews gear for a living, I also actually own and use all American made gear.
  • My background includes 10 yrs working with the Forest Service as a Wildland Firefighter, Ranger, Wildlife Crew-leader, and Forest Ecologist. I’ve been certified as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I’ve backpacked extensively throughout the USA and 34 countries including in Central & South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. See About page for more.
  • I attend industry trade shows like Outdoor Retailer to stay informed on the latest innovative equipment.
  • This guide receives regular updates with the newest gear.
  • I encourage continuous learning & self improvement, so I welcome your criticism. If you think I missed anything then please leave some helpful suggestions.

The Top Tents

Zpacks Duplex

Weight: 1.31 lbs | 21 oz | 595 g
Price: $649

Best 3 Season Uses: Backpacking, Bikepacking, Alpine Climbing, Thru-Hikes, Packrafting

The Duplex is another fantastic ultralight option. Like the HMG tents, the Duplex utilizes ultralight Dyneema Composite Fabric and trekking poles for support. The Duplex also has a bathtub floor, two doors (so you don’t have to climb over anyone), bug-netting, and room for one plus gear or you can squeeze in a friend. If you prefer, you can optionally purchase carbon fiber poles to setup the Duplex as a freestanding tent.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2 & Ultamid 4

Ultamid 2
Weight: 1.18 lbs | 19.01 oz | 539 g
Optional floored insert : 1.37 lbs | 21.98 oz | 623g
 Price: $715

Ultamid 4
Weight: ​1.44 lbs | 23.17 oz | 657 g
Optional floored insert: 1.75 lbs | 28.01 oz | 794g​
Price: $865

Best 4 Season Uses: Backpacking, Ski Touring, Bike Touring, Alpine Climbing & Mountaineering, Thru-Hiking, Packrafting

Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) tents are for those where money is no object to achieve top quality. HMG constructs their tents of super durable, waterproof DCF8 Dyneema Composite Fabric (aka Cuben Fiber) that will last the test of time. The Ultamids use trekking or ski poles as the central support so if you’re using poles anyways then this saves lots of weight. Their pyramid design is very spacious; the Ultamid 2 comfortably sleeps 2 and the Ultamid 4 sleeps 4.

​Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II

Full weight: 1.81 lbs | 29.03 oz | 823 g
Price: $695

​​Best 3 Season Uses: Backpacking, Bike touring, Thru-Hiking, Packrafting

​The Echo II is an ultralight modular tent system that can be setup with trekking poles as a tarp, bug net, or a full weatherproof tent. Like it’s cousins it’s made with high end Dyneema and waterproof zippers. The Echo II provides a much roomier ultralight shelter than a bivy and can squeeze two people when the need arises.

Tarptent Double Rainbow Tent

*Update – Manufacturing of this tent has unfortunately been moved overseas. Shame on Tarptent. Original: Super lightweight, roomy, quick and easy setup, high wind resistance, affordable, our Best Buy Award. The Double Rainbow weighs under 3 lb while providing plenty of room for 2 people with gear. I firmly believe you can’t find a better 3-season tent than the Double Rainbow, even for twice its price.
Last observed price: $299

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