The characteristics of great two-person tents include roominess, durability, and ease of assembly. Other features can carry more or less weight in your decision-making, depending on what time of year you're planning on going and where your camping journey takes you. You may need to compare tents based on their weight, temperature rating, wind resistance, moisture protection, and other factors.
When it comes to size, not all two-person tents are created equal. Once you get two full-sized adults inside many two-person tents, you may wonder what the tentmaker's marketing department was thinking. Quarters can be very tight, and even if the two campers are quite friendly indeed, it's not uncommon for them to wish they had a little more space inside, whether for elbows and knees or for keeping items like books and flashlights handy. If you're backpacking to your campsites, weight is most likely at a premium, so you'll want to stick to a true two-person tent for you and one other camping buddy. However, if you're car camping, the tent's weight is not such an important factor and you should consider getting a three-person tent instead. Especially if at least one of you is tall or burly, or if weather keeps you inside the tent longer than you had planned, you'll be grateful for the extra room inside your shelter.
Two examples of lightweight two-person tents that are a little roomier than average are the Zolo 2 from Sierra Designs and the REI Half Dome 2 Plus. Both are rated for three-season use and are almost equal in packed weight: 5 lb. 5 oz. and 5 lb. 8 oz. respectively. The REI tent offers a little more space inside, with two more inches in all three directions than the Zolo model, and packs about the same, at 7 by 21 inches as opposed to 6 by 24. Each tent includes a rainfly that creates both additional protection from the elements and a covered space for stashing gear.
The highly rated Marmot Limelight 3 is nominally a three-person tent, but could be a great choice for two people who want a little more comfort to their three-season camping. The Limelight 3 is still very lightweight at just under 6 lb., and packs down to 8 by 22 inches. Among users who posted reviews of this tent to the REI website, the Limelight 3 was universally rated as “easy to set up,” even by those who criticized various other aspects of the tent.
If you need a four-season tent that's extra-lightweight and easy to set up, take a look at the Black Diamond I-TENT. It packs small (6 by 20 inches) and weighs only 4 lb. 11 oz. According to users of this tent, it is waterproof and provides good protection from winter temperatures. The I-TENT is a true two-person tent, with only 27.3 sq. ft. of floor space, but if you're camping in Alaska or the Alps, chances are you'll be snuggling up close with your fellow camper anyway, to maximize the benefits of shared body heat.