9 Best 3-Person Tents for 2024

We tested the best 3-person tents on the market for 2024 and this is how they performed.

Updated on January 6th, 2024
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© Photo by B.M.A.C Adventure

We tested the best 3-person tents on the market today according to price, weight, space, design, weather resistance, and durability. Read on to see how they performed, which is best for you, and get some valuable buying advice.

Best 3-Person Tents

The best 3-person tents are:

    The product comparison table below is sortable. Click the arrow in the heading cell to sort the models by preferred spec.

    1. BIG AGNES Copper Spur HV UL3 $599.95 3 lb 14 oz Ripstop Nylon, Polyester, Pu Coating 9/10
    2. ZPACKS Triplex $799 1 lb 3.5 oz DCF 9/10
    3. NEMO Dagger OSMO 3-Person Tent $599.95 4 lb 10 oz Ripstop Nylon, Polyester 8/10
    4. REI Co-op Half Dome SL 3+ Tent with Footprint $379 5 lb 11.7 oz Ripstop Nylon 8/10
    5. MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR Aspect 3 Tent $550 4 lb 2.1 oz Ripstop Nylon 8/10
    6. SEA TO SUMMIT Telos TR3 $699 4 lb 11 oz Ripstop Nylon, Polyester, Sil-PeU Coating 8/10
    7. MSR Mutha Hubba NX 3 Tent $629.95 5 lbs Ripstop Nylon, Polyester Taffeta With Pu Coating 8/10
    8. MARMOT Limelight 3P $359 5 lb 14.9 oz Ripstop Nylon, Polyester Taffeta 8/10
    9. OZARK Trail 3-person Dome tent $29.97 5 lb 10.24 oz Polyethylene 8/10

    Best Overall 3-Person Tent

    Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3

    Price: $599.95

    big agnes copper spur hv ul3

    ✅ Great design

    ✅ Easy to set up

    ✅ Lightweight


    ❌ Not as spacious


    • Weight: 3 lb 14 oz
    • Material: Ripstop Nylon, Polyester, Pu Coating

    The Copper Spur HV UL3 is one of the best-designed 3-person backpacking tents we tested. It’s also the lightest freestanding tent we looked at, with a packed weight of 3lbs 14oz. To achieve this, the footprint of this tent is on the smaller side of other freestanding tents we tested, measuring 90” long and 70” wide at the head and 62” at the foot.

    We found the tapered foot can feel a little snug, especially if you’re trying to fit three people. The peak height of 43” is average, giving you enough room to sit up. The overhead and pockets at the foot are giant. The foot pocket is big enough to stuff your sleeping bag in hot weather!

    Another unique feature of this tent is the vestibule design. By opening the vestibules up and using two trekking poles, you can create an awning-like entry. This provides more shade in the sun and more shelter in light rain. The vestibules, when zipped up, are on the smaller side, just fitting a pack and a pair of shoes.

    The lightweight and small size means this tent packs down quite small as well. The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 is our best overall 3-person backpacking tent.

    Best Ultralight 3-Person Tent

    Zpacks Triplex

    Price: $799

    zpacks triplex

    ✅ Ultralight

    ✅ Durable

    ✅ Easy to pack


    ❌ Expensive

    ❌ Less spacious


    • Weight: 1 lb 3.5 oz
    • Material: DCF

    If you’re after one of the lightest 3-person tents on the market, the ZPacks Triplex has you covered. Weighing 1lbs 3.5oz, stakes not included, the two-door Triplex is over 2 lbs lighter than the Copper Spur HV UL3, the next lightest tent on our list. The Triplex is a non-freestanding tent that pitches with trekking poles. Because of this, we found it more fiddly than a freestanding tent to pitch.

    We love the durability, and it’s made of Dyneema, an ultralight, super strong, waterproof material. At 60” by 90”, it's the smallest 3-person tent we tested, making it a squeeze for three people. We like the higher-than-average peak height of 48” and vertical sidewalls, giving it a more roomy feeling than you might expect for its size.

    Though the specs are eye-popping, there are drawbacks to this tent. Dyneema tents do not come cheap. With an $800 price tag, this is the most expensive tent on our list. And you’ll need to factor in buying at least 8 stakes as well. Like all single-walled tents, condensation is an issue. But if you need a premium ultralight tent, the ZPacks Triplex is our pick for the best ultralight 3-person backpacking tent.

    Most Spacious and Packable 3-Person Tent

    Nemo Dagger OSMO 3-Person Tent

    nemo dagger osmo 3-person tent

    ✅ Spacious

    ✅ Packable


    ❌ Tricky to set up


    • Weight: 4 lb 10 oz
    • Material: Ripstop Nylon, Polyester

    At a packed weight of 4lbs 5oz and a 90” by 70” footprint, the Dagger Osmo 3 achieves a balance of size and weight great for both car camping and backpacking. We love that the straight sidewalls add to the usable space inside the tent too. The Dagger has two doors, and we really liked the two larger-than-average vestibules, giving you lots of covered space outside the tent. And there are built-in mesh pockets for interior storage.

    We found that the ventilation in the Dagger is good due to the large amounts of mesh on the body. Though it’s a touch heavier than the Copper Spur HV UL3 and Aspect 3, the extra floor space means you can sleep three much easier. If you want to go lux, you can (just) fit a queen-size air mattress inside when car camping. We found that this tent is very packable too, which means it’ll fit better in your pack.

    We didn’t like that the Dagger 3’s peak height is shorter than average, providing only 41” headroom. The rainfly and body are made of 15D ripstop nylon, a bit thinner than the other tents we tested. If you’re looking for a spacious tent that also packs down small, the Nemo Dagger Osmo 3 is our pick.

    Best Budget 3-Person Tent

    REI Co-op Half Dome SL 3+ Tent with Footprint

    Price: $399

    rei co-op half dome sl 3+ tent with footprint

    ✅ Inexpensive

    ✅ Spacious

    ✅ Durable


    ❌ Heavy

    ❌ Bulky


    • Weight: 5 lb 11.7 oz
    • Material: Ripstop Nylon

    The Half Dome SL 3 is a behemoth. With floor dimensions of 90” by 78” and two large vestibules, this is a big tent that you can still take backpacking. We loved that it has vertical sidewalls increasing the already roomy interior. The packed weight of 5lbs 12oz might make ultralighters cringe, but we suggest leaving the included footprint at home to save 12.5oz.

    If camping in the frontcountry, you can fit a queen-size air mattress here with no problem. This durable tent features a 40D ripstop nylon floor and a 30D ripstop nylon rainfly. We like that it also scores sustainability points by containing materials that meet the bluesign® criteria.

    REI is known for doing a good job balancing cost and features, and we found the Half Dome SL 3 is no exception. The trade-off for the low cost is the weight, and the packed size can’t match more expensive models. For those not wanting to break the bank, the REI Half Dome SL 3 is our best budget buy.

    Most Environmentally Friendly 3-Person Tent

    Mountain Hardwear Aspect 3 Tent

    Price: $580

    mountain hardwear aspect 3 tent

    ✅ Lightweight

    ✅ Durable

    ✅ Environmentally friendly


    ❌ Less spacious


    • Weight: 4 lb 2.1 oz
    • Material: Ripstop Nylon

    The Aspect 3 is a two-door tent with a packed weight of 4lbs 2oz. It’s designed to hold its own with similar tents in its class, like the Copper Spur HV UL3 and the Nemo Dagger 3, and we think it achieves that goal.

    We found the floor dimensions of 90” by 68” and a peak height of 43” are similar to other 3-person tents but slightly less spacious overall. The floor is constructed from 40D ripstop nylon, thicker than other backpacking tents which opt for 30D or 20D. This makes it a durable option.

    What sets Aspect 3 apart is its focus on sustainability. The tent body and rainfly aren’t treated with the fire retardant chemicals that many tents are. These chemicals have been linked to many health problems, including cancer. A bonus to not using these chemicals is it allows Mountain Hardware to apply silicone to both sides of the rainfly. This adds more water repellency and UV protection.

    Another plus, the poles don’t use harmful acids in the anodizing process. If you’re looking to minimize your impact on the environment, the Mountain Hardware Aspect 3 is our top choice for an environmentally friendly 3-person backpacking tent for those looking for an option.

    3-Person Tent with the Most Headroom and Ventilation

    Sea to Summit Telos TR3

    sea to summit telos tr3

    ✅ Generous headroom

    ✅ Packable


    ❌ Expensive

    ❌ Less durable


    • Weight: 4 lb 11 oz
    • Material: Ripstop Nylon, Polyester, Sil-PeU Coating

    The engineers at Sea to Summit took ventilation seriously when creating the Telos TR3. The body is designed almost entirely of mesh, and the rainfly has large roof vents to let air escape.

    We like the flexibility of this tent. There are several ways to pitch the rainfly for increased ventilation and stargazing.

    The shape of the tent is a tapered design, 71” wide at the head and 58” wide at the foot, and 90.5” long, giving it less overall floor area than other tents we tested. With the taper, we found squeezing in three people is a bit optimistic. Sea to Summit makes up for this by having a generous peak height of 58”. A full 10” more than the next tallest models on our list. Using their Tension Ridge system, the center pole slopes upward, further increasing interior space.

    We would be careful with the 20D ripstop nylon floor, which is thin compared to the rest of the competition. At $700, this is the second most expensive tent we tested. But if you want a well-ventilated tent with tons of headroom, the Sea To Summit Telos TR3 is our pick.

    The Other Noteworthy Models


    Price: $629.95

    msr mutha hubba nx 3-person tent

    ✅ Tunnel shapes creates a spacious


    ❌ Expensive

    ❌ Heavy

    ❌ Not packable


    • Weight: 5 lbs
    • Material: Ripstop Nylon, Polyester Taffeta With Pu Coating

    The Mutha Hubba is a unique tunnel-style tent. Instead of crisscrossed “X” poles to form the structure, it uses two hoops connected with a long central pole to create a tunnel shape. We like this design because it means the 44” peak height runs a long way off the tent.

    We found it gives it a very roomy feel despite the slightly smaller 84” by 68” footprint. The tunnel shape puts the doors and vestibules at the head and feet vs. the sides we think is a bit cumbersome. Due to less mesh on the tent body and the tunnel shape, condensation can be more of an issue, and we don’t recommend this tent in hot weather.

    The Mutha Hubba scored rather low by our metrics, which isn’t to say it’s a bad tent, but it doesn’t excel in any one area. And with the $630 price tag, 3rd highest on our list, we don’t think it’s worth the cost unless you’re a fan of the tunnel design.


    marmot limelight 3p

    ✅ Inexpensive

    ✅ Easy to set up

    ✅ Good car camping option


    ❌ Not as durable

    ❌ Bulky


    • Weight: 5 lb 14.9 oz
    • Material: Ripstop Nylon, Polyester Taffeta

    The design of the Limelight 3P is best described as cabin-like. We love that all four walls are vertical for the first third of their height, and the two sidewalls are vertical the whole way up. We found this, along with the peak height of 48”, makes this a very spacious tent, despite the average 90” by 68” size.

    Marmot calls this a backpacking tent, but let's be honest, at a packed weight of 6lbs 11oz, only the brave will take it far from the car. The Limelight uses 68D polyester taffeta fabric, which is less durable than the nylon options on our list.

    We like that it also includes a tent footprint. The higher headroom and walls will also allow for a queen-size air mattress to fit in. One odd design choice for us is the two doors are of different sizes. The larger, teardrop-style door can be tucked into a pocket at the foot of the door when unzipped. We like that this is a similar price to the Half Dome SL 3, which makes it an affordable option for car campers.


    Price: $29.97

    ozark trail 3-person dome tent

    ✅ Incredibly budget-friendly

    ✅ Spacious


    ❌ Heavy

    ❌ Sub-par design

    ❌ Not durable


    • Weight: 5 lb 10.24 oz
    • Material: Polyethylene

    The Ozark Trail is an exceptionally budget-friendly tent, costing about the same as a good burger and a couple of beers. We can’t help but love the large 84” by 84” footprint, which means lots of space and will easily sleep three people. For couples wanting space, it’s designed to fit a queen-size air mattress.

    We found it less roomy than the floor plan would indicate because of the curved walls. We don’t like that the single-door tent has very little mesh for ventilation. Condensation can be an issue, and it can get stuffy in warm temperatures. The rainfly is small and does not extend to the ground, leaving the door and back of the tent exposed in poor weather, making it the least weatherproof tent on our list.

    On top of being the heaviest tent we tested, it's also one of the bulkiest. A couple of features unique to this tent are a built-in E-Port for running power cables and a built-in mud mat at the entry. Given the price point, this tent is an ideal, low-risk tent for introducing children and pets to camping.

    Key Factors To Consider When Choosing


    A 3-person tent will be one of the most expensive items you take on your trip. Basic budget tents tend to be heavier, less packable, and less durable. Premium tents pack down small, are made of feather-light materials, and are durable and comfortable to spend time in.

    3-person tents that provide the greatest value:

    Affordable 3-person tents:

    Premium 3-person tents (most expensive):


    If you’re backpacking, we recommend under 5 pounds total. If you’re car camping, weight isn’t a factor. When evaluating tents, it’s important to know the difference between packed and trail weight. Packed weight is the weight of everything that comes with the tent when purchased.

    Trail weight or minimum weight, is the manufacturer’s weight of minimum components needed to set up the tent in the best-case scenario. In practice, the actual weight of the tent you throw in your pack will likely fall between these two numbers.

    The lightest 3-person tents:

    Space & Design

    Space is a mix of interior floor space, vestibule size, headroom, and design. Often two people who prioritize space choose to backpack with a 3-person tent.

    To maximize space, look for design features like large vestibules and straight side walls to increase how usable your interior space is. A clean, stable design is optimal. It allows you to set up your tent fast and to hold up in poor weather. Inside the tent, look for study, usable pockets.

    We recommend an overhead pocket or hook for a headlamp and side pockets for glasses, a phone, etc. We’ll cover more design features in more detail later in this article.

    The most spacious 3-person tents:

    3-person tents with the best design:

    Weather Resistance & Durability

    Weather resistance is a mix of material and design of your tent. Double-walled tents with separate rain flys offer the most protection from the elements. Tents made of Dyneema® have superior water-resistant capabilities versus tents made of nylon.

    Dyneema® is a super strong material. Tents made of Dyneema® are the most durable. Nylon and polyester tents with higher deniers (fabric thickness) are also durable.

    The most durable and weather-resistant backpacking tents:

    Other Things to Consider


    Packed size is important, especially if your main use is backpacking. Packs are normally sized by volume in liters. A smaller packed tent means more space for other gear or the ability to use a smaller and lighter backpack.

    If you’re sharing the tent with another person, you can distribute volume (and weight!) between each other. For example, one person can take the tent body and poles while another can take the rainfly and stakes.


    In single-door tents, the door is placed on the front of the tent. One door can mean crawling over your sleeping companions in the night. In some designs, the peak height of the tent is near the door allowing for a larger vestibule area.

    Two-door tents come with the advantage of separate entryways, causing less disturbance at night. For many campers sharing a tent, this factor alone will end the discussion of one vs. two doors. Two-door tents also provide better ventilation by allowing you to open both sides of the rainfly to create a cross breeze.

    On the other hand, single-door tents are cheaper to construct as fewer cuts and zippers are needed. They also save weight by only having one vestibule.

    3-person tent front door and pocketWide front door and several pockets for storage.

    Tent Area

    When comparing tent sizes, the first spec to look at is the floor area. This is the length and width at ground level. If you’re car camping and want to use a larger, queen-size air mattress, make sure to choose a tent that can accommodate the 60” by 80” size.

    The second factor is peak height, the height of the tent at its maximum point. This is usually in the middle of the tent, but depending on the tent, construction can be at either end. You’ll want 36” to 40” to sit up straight and 48” or more to kneel inside your tent. A taller peak height can make a smaller tent area feel roomier.

    If you're bringing your furry friend into the backcountry, they’ll need space to sleep too. Size them the same you would like a person.

    Vestibule Area

    A vestibule is a covered area outside of the door of your tent. They are not sealed in like the body of your tent. Their goal is to provide cover for storing gear and add space outside the body of your tent.

    In fair weather conditions, they can be left open to provide airflow into the tent. In poor weather, they increase the livability of a tent by giving you extra covered space for changing or spreading out gear. If you’re traveling with a dog, vestibules also are a great space to keep your pet close but not inside your tent.

    Vestibules on single-entry tents tend to be larger, giving you more space to store gear. Front vestibules can make entry and exit slightly awkward if they are too large, making it hard to reach the zipper from inside your tent. Side vestibules are typically smaller and on two-door tents. They allow individual vestibule space to prevent crowding. Alternatively, you can choose to load up one side with gear and keep the other door free for entry and exit.

    Vestibule of a 3-person tent (sideview)Large vestibule, held up by two trekking poles. (North Face Eco Trail 3)

    Freestanding vs. Non-freestanding

    Freestanding tents hold their shape without using stakes and come complete with tent poles, while non-freestanding tents are not able to stand on their own and usually require trekking poles to set up.

    While most 3-person tents are freestanding if you’re pounding out long days on the trail and counting ounces, using a non-freestanding tent is a good pick for you (see Zpacks Triplex). Here is a quick list of pros and cons:

    Freestanding tents:

    • Quick and easy to set up
    • You don't need to stake out every corner in good weather
    • Can be pitched on just about any terrain
    • More structure (ie. holds up better in windy conditions)
    • Steeper walls on the sides and corners (ie. more interior space)
    • Bulkier and heavier

    Non-freestanding tents:

    • Need stakes and tension to hold their shape
    • Requires trekking poles to create the tent structure
    • Ultralight and compact (no extra poles to carry)
    • Longer learning curve to pitch effectively
    • Difficult to pitch on rocky grounds


    Without adequate ventilation, condensation can build up in the tent and limit the performance of your gear (eg. down sleeping bags will lose the ability to fully loft, making them less effective). Condensation forms when warm air from inside the tent comes in contact with the cooler fabric of your rainfly. Good ventilation moves the warmer, humid air out of the tent before it has the chance to condense.

    Tent design plays an important part in this air exchange. Double-walled tents (ie. tents with a separate body and rainfly) are more effective against condensation. The body is partly made of mesh, making them more breathable. The extra room between the body and the rainfly allows space for air to escape the tent structure.

    In single-wall tents, the body and rainfly are combined into a single layer of material. This means less mesh and less area for warm air to escape, making condensation more problematic.

    To prevent condensation:

    • Try to pitch your tent in a spot with a gentle breeze to increase airflow
    • If the weather is nice, you can sleep with the vestibules open
    • Avoid pitching near rivers, lakes, and low-lying, humid areas
    • Avoid cooking or storing wet gear inside your tent

    Ventilation system on 3-person tentCeiling vent helps reduce the condensation inside the tent.

    Storage Pockets

    Many tents come with in-built storage pockets to help you store and organize your gear. These pockets are a handy place to keep easy-to-access items, like a headlamp, glasses, or phone.

    If you’re spending multiple nights in the same camping spot or traveling with more gear, they allow you to unpack in a more organized way. If you’re not spending a lot of time in the tent or packing up daily on a backpacking trip, they are less necessary.

    Wall Construction

    Wall construction differences are important when choosing between a 3 and 4-person tent.

    3-season tents: designed to be lighter weight, breathable and versatile.

    • Best used in mild to moderate conditions in spring, summer, and fall
    • Can be single or double-walled tents
    • More mesh to maximize ventilation

    4-season tents: designed for cold weather camping.

    • Best for hiking in winter or extreme weather conditions
    • Stronger poles and thicker fabric
    • Solid walls with minimal mesh
    • Better at retaining heat and protecting from harsh elements
    • Larger vestibules to provide extra room for removing and storing snowy clothing

    Marmote Limelight 3-person tentMarmot Limelight 3P double-wall tent.

    Tent Material

    The material a tent is made of greatly affects weight, durability, and weatherproofing. Nylon and polyester are measured in “denier,” or how thick the fabric is. Often tents have multiple deniers. Thicker in high abrasion areas and thinner in areas that need less protection.

    Nylon: most commonly used material.

    • Excellent strength-to-weight ratio
    • Durable
    • Low cost
    • More resistant to abrasion than polyester or Dyneema®
    • Sags when wet*
    • Degrades with UV exposure

    *: This can be addressed by tightening up the rainfly periodically at camp and by keeping your water-resistant coating in top shape.

    Dyneema® (formally Cuben Fiber): ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene.

    • Lightest tent material on the market
    • Very strong
    • Waterproof and UV resistant
    • More delicate, prone to puncturing, ripping, and abrasion
    • Significantly higher cost

    Tent Accessories

    There is no shortage of accessories to modify and customize your tent. Some tents come with them; others don't. Keep this in mind and budget for them when you're choosing a new tent.

    1. Footprint: a footprint is a sheet of protective material placed under your tent, giving an extra layer of material against abrasive ground and in wet conditions. Many tents offer specially fitted footprints that can be purchased separately. A cheaper, basic version is the classic blue tarp.

    2. Stakes: tent stakes are easy items to swap to save weight. Many types of material are used, from ultralight titanium to rugged steel. There are also special stakes made for pitching on sand and snow. Not all tents come packaged with stakes.

    3. Guylines: guylines are extra sets of thin cords that add stability in windy conditions. Each guyline needs its additional stake. Bonus points if your guyline is reflective, preventing tripping over them at night.

    4. Repair kit: There are specially made patch kits for mending holes in the tent fabric, fixing broken poles, and stopping leaks. If you’re in a pinch, duct tape, as always, works wonders.

    3-person tent vestibule seen from the front

    A 3-person tent vestibule seen from the front.

    Waterproofing and Sun Protection

    Does your tent need waterproofing? The answer depends. If you plan on shelling out the big bucks for a Dyneema® tent, you can skip this section.

    Materials like nylon and polyester, on the other hand, absorb water. Most tents come with a pre-applied water-resistant coating. However, over time, UV exposure, dust, and dirt build-up will reduce your tent's ability to shed water.

    When this happens, it’s a good idea to refresh the water resistance of your tent. Do this by sealing the seams of your tent and applying a waterproofing spray to help it shed water like new.

    If you’re often pitching your tent in high UV areas like deserts, on snow, and at high elevations, UV damage can be an issue. UV diminishes the waterproofing and strength of nylon and polyester fabric.

    To minimize UV damage:

    1. Pitch your tent in the shade.
    2. Take it down when it’s not being used (or cover it with an inexpensive tarp).
    3. Use a spray product like Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof. This spray offers UV protection along with waterproofing.
    📸 Some photos in this post were taken by Jonathan Davis (@meowhikes).
    Justin Sprecher photo

    About Justin Sprecher

    Justin is a thru-hiker and writer with a passion for wild backcountry. He's thru-hiked the Pacific Northwest Trail, LASHed the Great Divide Trail and Arizona Trail, and clocked up 1,000s of miles on long-distance trails around the world.

    About Greenbelly

    After thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chris Cage created Greenbelly to provide fast, filling and balanced meals to backpackers. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail.

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