Best Tent for John Muir Trail

Last Updated on January 20, 2023

While planning for your hike through John Muir Trail, you might already have a checklist of tents, backpacks, solar chargers, water bottles, etc. There are plenty of tent options specifically for hiking through this region, but which one is the best tent for John Muir Trail?

We have curated the three best tents for JMT for you based on weight, size, floor area, comfort, seasons, and robustness. After going through our detailed analysis, you will have a clear picture of the tent you want for the hike.

Best Tent for John Muir Trail

We have picked three tents from Big Agnes, Alps Mountaineering, and Nemo Dragonfly. Let’s dive right into what they have to offer for the hike!

1. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL

This tent is unique for its steeper walls and strong pole architecture. It can withstand high-velocity wind with ease and keep you safe. You will rarely find such a tent with two entrances weighing less than three pounds. 

The trekking poles are designed in such a way that the walls become steep and give a lot of room. It has a 28-inch floor area and a length of 88 inches that allows comfort for two people of average height (5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 11 inches).

Excellent ventilation is available through two opposite entrances and a rainfly vent. You can put up the tent fairly quickly, and unique buckles of Big Agnes at four corners make the job easy. There are enough storage options in the form of pockets, and they are placed in such a way that it won’t reduce your comfort.

One of the highlights of trekking is being able to see the clear night sky. Big Agnes comes with multiple-tone meshes that let you stargaze in private and peaceful. You can use the vestibule awnings to get more room, extra shade on a sunny day, and ease of access.

If you are in search of a tent that has plenty of head and feet room, and if you are in need of a good amount of storage facility, Big Agnes is the right choice for you.


  • Dual entrances can be rolled up to provide excellent ventilation and flexibility
  • Enough head and feet room for two people
  • Strong pole architecture can withstand heavy wind
  • Dual-Mesh rainfly provides excellent privacy
  • Enough storage facility for heavily-packed hikers


  • Zippers are weak and may tear
  • Not ideal for light travelers. 

2. Nemo Dragonfly Ultralight Backpacking Tent

Nemo Dragonfly two-person tent is often affectionately called the “Adventurer’s Dream.” If you are planning to keep your backpack light and still have a spacious tent, you are looking at the best John Muir Trail gear. 

The floor area of the tent is 29 square feet and has a width of 50 inches, just 1 inch short of the Big Agnes Copper Spur. The living space inside the tent is a bit close for two people but comfortable nonetheless.

Nemo Dragonfly tent comes with trapezoidal vestibules that allow sufficient storage for travelers. You can use the strut vents placed at the top of vestibule doors to create cross ventilation. 

This facility keeps the tent cool on warm nights. Nevertheless, you might need to keep the rainfly doors up for ventilation sometimes, which can welcome dust and bugs at night.

The pitching has been made significantly easier by colored poles. The tent comes with ceiling pockets in case you need to keep a nightlight. Although the tent floor is waterproof, you might want to add a footprint while staying on rocky terrain.

However, you should not choose this tent if you are planning a trip during tough weather. The trekking poles are not strong enough to withstand strong wind or heavy rains. It is perfect for trekking on sunny days in calm weather.


  • The tent only weighs around two pounds, and you can reduce it even further
  • Living space is comfortable for two people
  • Vestibules are enormous and allow room for storage
  • Dual-Mesh rain fly provides excellent privacy
  • drip line keeps raindrops away


  • Trekking pole might break while setting up if you are not careful.
  • The tent cannot endure heavy weather.

3. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

So far, we have presented two top 2-person tents. If you are looking for a single-person tent, ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 is the talk of the town right now. Being waterproof, well-grounded, and strongly built allows this tent to be used in any season.

The aluminum poles are freestanding, and you don’t have to go through the hassle of putting them up manually. Every inch of this tent is waterproof, and there is no chance of water leakage inside it. 

Moreover, the rainfly covers from top to bottom and gives robust protection against storms and rainfall from the sides. The fabric resists harmful UV rays and keeps you safe. 

The ventilation system of this tent is different from other outdoor tents we have discussed so far. You do not have to depend on rolling up the rain fly to reduce condensation inside the tent; the meshed roof vent takes care of the ventilation.

Furthermore, the interior area is perfect for a single person, even if he is seven feet tall. The tent is 88 inches long and 32 inches wide. The vestibule, with 32 inches depth, has enough storage space for a single person.

Although you can use it during autumn, summer, and spring, we do not recommend using it in snowy winter and heavy storms. This tent ensures comfort by its fully covering fly, but it comes with a cost of durability. 

If you are looking forward to a backpacking trip alone through John Muir Trail or Western Europe in typical calm weather, this free-standing tent is the perfect choice for you.


  • Freestanding poles make it easy to set up
  • The lightweight tent comes with a robust design
  • Can keep you safe from UV rays and provides ultimate rain protection
  • Zippers do not tear easily
  • Vestibule allows sufficient storage


  • Not for more than one person
  • Cannot protect against cold weather or storm winds


Now you have enough information to judge the best tent for JMT. In our opinion, you should go for the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL. 

It provides enough room for you and your company, protection from bad weather, and perfect ventilation. Its robustness and versatility make it the top tent for the JMT. 

Best tent for john muir trail

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Author: Euell Gibbons

Outdoorsman and proponent of natural diets. He loves camping, hiking and exploring the great outdoors. Camping is a way of life for him - as soon as he can get away from work, he's out there!

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