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Tents

This $27 Backpacking Tent Costs Less Than a Tank of Gas (and Yes, We Tried It and It Works)

The Sierra Designs Crescent 2 is beginner-friendly two-person shelter, and right now it's more than 50% off.

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We’ve spilled a lot of ink on the lightest, strongest, and roomiest tents, but in the end, the best tent is the one you have, and spending hundreds of dollars on a new shelter is one of the biggest humps for a new backpacker to get over when they’re building out their kit. Even a budget tent can run as much as $300. Enter the Sierra Designs Crescent 2, a tent that costs less than a dinner at Applebees: Usually $60, you can grab it for more than half-off right now.

For the cut-rate price, the Crescent 2 is surprisingly livable, with 32 square feet of floor space and a 44-inch peak height. A dual-wall design with a mesh body kept both condensation and ridgetop breezes at bay during an overnight backpack in Iowa’s Hitchcock Nature Center, while a single vestibule was big enough for us to stash muddy boots and an overnight pack. An included gear loft let us stash a headlamp and phone for easy access. We didn’t notice any abrasion on the floor after nights spent on both an impacted dirt site and a gravel tent pad. While we never tested the tent in more than a light sprinkle, the fly’s 1200mm waterproof coasting should be enough to stand up to steady rain, though we’d suggest you consider sealing the seams first to prevent seepage.

Budget Tent Crescent 2
(Photo: Courtesy)

At this price, there are definitely some tradeoffs. The poles are fiberglass instead of aluminum, so we might be leery of using this shelter in a sideways storm. There’s only one door, and at 6.48 pounds, the Crescent 2 is definitely on the chunkier side of the category (it is a budget tent, after all). But considering it costs less than the gas you’ll use to get to the trailhead, we’re not about to complain.

Buy Now; $27


From 2022