Which Bikepacking Tent For A 2 Person Trip: Couple’s bikepacking tents


There are hundreds of resources available to help you choose the right tent for your bikepacking trip, but when choosing a tent for a 2 person or couples trip, you need to be aware of some important differences. We’ve gone through all the options and taken the advice from couples who have managed to survive a trip with their relationship intact, to help you pick the tent that’s right for you.

The MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3 was the most popular tent for bikepacking with couples. It has a few key features that are really important when looking for a tent you can use on a 2-person trip such as being lightweight, large enough to fit 2 people and their gear, and being a free-standing tent.

MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3

While this tent does tick a lot of the boxes that you’d want to look for in a tent for 2 people, no tent is going to be perfect for everyone. When deciding which tent is right for you, it’s important to consider some key factors such as size, weight, extra features, and obviously your budget.

What is the best size tent for a couple?

When looking for a couple’s bikepacking tent, the first important thing to recognize is that a “2-person tent” is not large enough to comfortably fit 2 people. While technically you might be able to both squish inside one, using a “2-person tent” on an extended trip, especially when no one’s had a shower, is going to end with someone sleeping outside.

We suggest looking at “3-person tents” for a couples bikepacking trip, the extra space can be invaluable when 2 people are sleeping in it each night. You have to remember that not only do you have to fit a second person into the tent, but also all the gear they are carrying!

As opposed to backpacking, the extra weight you end up carrying by taking a “3-person tent” instead of a “2-person tent” is much less noticeable when on a bike. Especially as there are 2 of you who can share the load. Taking one “3-person tent”, is also lighter than carrying 2 separate solo tents, (which will not offer as much comfort as one larger “3-person tent”).

It’s important to note that even in a “3-man tent”, you’re not going to have room to keep your bikes inside the tent at night. If this is one of your first times bikepacking and the idea of leaving your bike outside overnight scares you, take a look at our guide to keeping your bike safe.

The only reason to consider taking a “2-man tent” is if you will be using the same tent for your couples trips as you will for solo trips. In this case, you might have to compromise and find a large “2-man tent”, but really, this should be a last resort, especially if you play to go on multi-day trips.

How much should a couple’s tent weigh?

Obviously, a larger “3-man tent” is going to weigh more than the “2-man” alternatives. We’d argue this is well worth the added advantage of being able to sit up and have a bit of wiggle room! When it comes to weight, you get what you pay for. The tent we found most commonly used by bikepacking couples was the MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3, which comes in at 2.2kg (4 lbs 13 oz). This is lighter than many “2-man tents”, but is one of the reasons the Mutha Hubba comes in at £500.

While the Mutha Hubba is the best option overall, if weight is your main concern, then other “lower-priced” tents such as the Marmot Tungsten UL weigh less than the Mutha Hubba and cost less too! The Marmot Tungsten UL comes in at 2kg (4.4 lbs) for £400.

Marmot Tungsten UL

Obviously, the lighter the better when it comes to bikepacking gear, after all, you have to carry your tent up each hill on your route. However, in contrast to backpacking, this is less important. We’d suggest trying to find a tent that weighs less than 3kg (6.6 lbs).

What features should you look for in a couple’s tent?

Some features are important for any tent you are planning to use for bikepacking. First of all, having a free-standing tent (one that can be set up without having to be pegged into the ground) gives you more flexibility when deciding where to camp. This can be especially useful when bikepacking with 2 people, as you have twice as many reasons you might need to stop early for the night.

Another key feature to look at is the size that the tent packs down to. Obviously, if you are able to pack the tent down into a smaller, more compact bag, then you have more room available for essentials. Some new tents such as the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 Bikepack tent are specifically designed for bikepackers, with shorter tent poles that help the tent to be stored in a handlebar or frame bag.

The last feature to look out for in a tent for 2 people, is to look for a tent with double entrances. A double entrance allows access into the tent from either side. No more being woken in the night by your partner crawling over you to go to the toilet! Double entrance tents tend to be a little heavier than single door options, but we, and the couples we spoke to, felt that the benefit of having your own door easily exceeds the extra weight you have to carry. Not only does the extra door add another entrance to the tent, but also helps to let more fresh air into the tent on humid or hot nights.

How much should you spend on a couple’s tent?

When it comes to deciding how much to spend on a couple’s tent, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. All you need to do is remember that while a more expensive tent is likely to be better, you get diminishing returns after a certain point. Obviously, it’s nice to have extra features and more durability, but at the end of the day, the tent that’s right for you is the one you can afford.

Given weight is one of the most important factors when it comes to picking a tent, we found it very interesting to compare the weights and prices of the most popular “3-man tents”.

TentPrice (MSRP in Dollars)Weight (Kilograms)Price per Kilogram
MSR Mutha Hubba NX3$549.992.18$252
Winterial 3-Person Tent$104.992.41$44
Marmot Limelight 3P$2993.03$99
Black Diamond Vista 3$449.952.95$153
TNF Stormbreak$1993.01$66
Nemo Chogori$549.955.16$107
Nemo Galaxi$249.953.66$68
Marmot Tungsten UL$3991.97$203
A table showing the prices, weights, and price per kilogram of the most popular 3-man tents

While having a lighter tent is almost always going to be better, spending up to 6 times the price per kilogram of tent, might not be the best place to spend your money. Saving weight is important, but if that money could be better spent elsewhere, such as upgrading your bike, sleeping bag, or other gear, that might be a better option.

While the Winterial 3-person tent doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the higher-end options, for an RRP of $105, it’s hard to go wrong, especially if you’re new to bikepacking and you’re just trying a couples trip for the first time.

On the other hand, when buying a tent that 2 people can use, spending a little more money might be easier for you if you’re splitting the cost between both of you! Especially when many of the options we looked at here, cost the same as a solo bikepacking tent.

Winterial 3-person tent

Overall

When it comes to picking a tent for your first couple or multi-person trip, picking a “3-man tent” is key. If you don’t need a “2-man tent” for another reason, this is definitely the best way to go. After you’ve decided on the size of your tent, other factors like weight and extra features will often come down to your budget.

Mark Holmes

30-year-old doctor with an interest in cycling, bikepacking, and statistics.

Related Articles