If you need a large tent for the trail to use with your friends or with family members and specifically want an 8 person backpacking tent, here you have the best that is available on the market. Keep reading.
Why choosing an 8-person tent instead of several smaller tents
There is no way to have a light tent for 8 people and you will realize this from the list below. Even if the tent’s parts are shared among participants when carried on the trail, this will still be quite heavy. So it may be better to choose a couple of smaller tents. For example, you can use two 4-person backpacking tents with a combined weight that is well below one 8-person backpacking tent.
But if this is about having fun with a group of friends, it may be worth the effort to have one tent for the group, in particular if the number of occupants is below 8. Namely, the official tent capacity is almost always determined by the number of sleeping pads that can fit on the floor. So in general, this is not a lot of space, you have to put your gear somewhere. Because of this, it is best to downgrade the number of users for up to 6 or so. But some of the tents in the list below can indeed accommodate 8 users.
I have decided to include here only the tents with a weight below 20 lb (9 kg), but with only one exception and you will realize why. This is a lot of weight as you realize, and I feel that there is no sense in carrying anything heavier than this. It is also good to keep an eye on the packed size, so most of the tents here are either dome-shaped or modified dome tents, this type is known to pack better than any other tents.
You can always check my separate long list of best 8-person tents for more options, you will find them in all possible shapes and sizes. But these presented in the list below are the lightest you will find in this capacity group.
My list of best 8 person backpacking tents
The tents in the list below are ordered by weight from heavier to lighter. But note that the weight alone may not be the best parameter to consider, I suggest that you check also the floor area/weight ratio, or the total protected area/weight ratio.
1. Marmot Limestone 8 Person Tent
This tent is the exception I mentioned above, it weighs 21 lb 3 oz (9.6 kg) so this is heavy, but see its area. You have 119 ft² (11.06 m²) of the floor area, plus two vestibules with 27 ft² + 18 ft² (2.5 m² + 1.7 m²).
In other words, the area/weight ratio here is 1.15 m²/kg, and the total protected space/weight ratio is close to 1.6 m²/kg. The inner area is large enough for 8 users, and you have plenty of space for gear. Note also that there are many wall pockets for storage.
This is an extended-dome type tent, and they have used the best materials in its construction. So you have top-quality DAC DA17 aluminum poles, and the waterproof rating is very good. The tent is ventilated and you will be fully protected in a 3-season use. Note also that this is a 2-room tent, with a removable divider.
2. Kelty Trail Ridge 8 Tent
This Trail Ridge 8 is here because of several great features. To start with the shape, this is a simple dome-style tent with only two main poles, and with a full-coverage fly. The weight is 19 lb 8 oz (8.85 kg) and the floored area is 120 ft² (11.2 m²), so the area/weight ratio is 1.26 m²/kg. The two vestibules add 23 + 23 ft² (2.1 + 2.1 m²), so the total protected area is 166 ft² (15.4 m²). In other words, the total protected area/weight ratio is excellent, 1.74 m²/kg.
Observe also that the tent is very tall, you have a peak height of 77 inches (196 cm). This is a very reliable tent with aluminum poles and a good waterproof rating of 1800 mm for the fly and the floor. You will want to know that footprint is included.
3. Eureka Tetragon HD 8 Tent
This Eureka Tetragon HD 8 Tent is with a partial coverage fly and this is both good and bad. The good is that this is a freestanding structure but the bad is that you have no vestibules for storage. It is interesting that it comes with a removable divider so you have 2 rooms. Each of the rooms is with its own door and window, so this is an obvious luxury on the trail.
The poles are fiberglass and the structure is a simple dome with a 76 inches (193 cm) peak height. The floor area is 120 ft² (11.2 m²) and the weight is 18 lb 14 oz (8.56 kg). So the area/weight ratio is 1.3 m²/kg which is still very good. The fabric is with a bit modest waterproof rating of 1000 mm, this applies also to the floor.
4. Outbound 8-Person Tent with screen porch
This Outbound 8 tent is with an inner area of 112 ft² (10.4 m²), and its weight is great, 18 lb 8 oz (8.39 kg). So the area/weight ratio is around 1.24 m²/kg. But as you see from the picture, here you also have a screened porch that is a great place to sit when the sky is clear and you will be protected from mosquitoes. You can use it also for cooking, this screen room part is supported by one extra pole and it comes with a removable floor.
Note also that this is a tunnel-type construction with fiberglass poles. I see it best suited for summer adventures or maximum for two seasons. The waterproof rating is quite low, and the tent is also very affordable.
5. Wenzel Bristlecone 8 Person Modified Dome Tent
This Wenzel Bristlecone 8 Person Modified Dome Tent is an extended dome type with a central dome and two extensions on the sides supported with one pole each. So it is not freestanding. The area is 115 ft² (10.7 m²) and there are no vestibules for gear storage. But the tent is quite light, it weighs 17.6 lb (8 kg) so this is one kilogram per person. The area/weight ratio here is 1.33 m²/kg.
The inner is organized into two rooms and each of them has its own door visible in the picture above. There are windows on the two narrow sides, and the fly also offers various configurations with additional views around and for extra ventilation. The poles are fiberglass, and you will want to know that the tent is very affordable.
So if you really want an 8 person backpacking tent, this is the list to check, you have seen some really interesting options, and you will not find anything on the market that would be more appropriate for this purpose. For each of the tents in the list I give the area/weight ratio and also the total protected space/weight ratio, so bear these parameters in mind when you choose the tent for you. Please follow the links to read more in my full reviews.
Note that this list will be updated whenever I find a tent that deserves to be included here, so bookmark this text and visit it occasionally, this will keep you informed.
It might surprise you that this is my choice although it is by far the heaviest tent here on the list, and it is also very expensive. But this tent has a great organization and plenty of storage options. When it is raining, and you are on the trail, you need a space for your packs and boots.
Thank you for reading. Please use the comment box below in the case of comments or questions. I wish you a nice day.