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One of the most important camping gear is shelter. Yes, your sleeping bag matters too, but having the best camping tent for your surroundings can mean the difference between a nightmarish camping experience in the cold and a relaxing time enjoying nature.
- Best Camping Tent
- Best Family Camping Tent
- Best Backpacking Tent
- Best Winter Camping Tent
- Best Car Camping Tent
How to buy a camping tent
Remember this, we Put some serious thought into our tent buying guide so you know exactly which tent to invest in. “You don’t want to buy a new one every few years because you’re saving money the first time,” says outdoor freelance writer and photographer Emily Reed. However, Reid also points out that the best tents can get expensive quickly — think anywhere from $100 to over $1,500. And if you’re a beginner looking for camping gear, your wallet can be heavy. Sometimes, the hefty price point is worth it, but for the most part, you can get everything you need in the $150 to $400 range.
Think about how you plan to use your tent so you don’t spend extra money on unnecessary upgrades. The four main types of camping to consider are car camping, backpacking, family or large group camping, and season-specific camping (we’ll cover winter camping here). While there is a lot of overlap, each of these activities has specific needs that require special tent features.
No matter the camping style, durability and weather resistance are the two golden rules that make or break a tent. Next, you need to ask how many people you plan to camp with. Larger tents will generally be heavier and more expensive than similar smaller tents, but the extra space for luggage or more people is worth it. Most of the time, a two-person tent really means just two Personal. Sometimes there is room for a change of clothes and a vestibular area (outside space covered by your rainfly) to fit a bag, but if you want some extra breathing room, you may want to size up.
Best Camping Tent
To find out the best camping tents for all kinds of activities, we talked to more than a dozen camping and outdoor experts about their favorite tents, and these are the ones they love. Below we’ve broken it down by types of one, two, and three-person camping tents, as well as options for family tents, backpacking tents, winter camping tents, and car camping tents.
Solo Camping Tent
The Nemo Hornet tent is Michelle Markel, a long-distance hiker and founder of supportpubliclands.com, her go-to for solo hiking adventures. “It covers pretty much all the important functions,” she said. For Markel, that means it’s super light (just a pound), durable, self-contained, double-layered, easy to install, and it has a side door.
With a fully connected foldable voting system, The Hornet is very easy to install, and since it’s self-contained, you can pitch on almost any flat area. Once set up, the tent offers enough space for one person to snuggle, with side doors for easy entry and exit. Markel says the side doors “make the tent feel larger when I open the fly to one side rather than one end.”
Experts love REI Co-Op’s Passage series tents for beginners, and The single-person model features a pleasingly simple (yet high-quality) design that will appeal to both novice and seasoned campers. Installation and removal is easy thanks to its X-pole configuration, and its rectangular floor space comfortably accommodates a sleeping pad.
REI Co-op Passage 1 Tent with footprints
two Person Camping Tent
For those pair camping, Reed highly recommends REI Co-op’s Half Dome line of tents for the extra wiggle room. While the tent is also light enough for backpacking, Reed found it really shines in “scenarios where weight isn’t a priority.”
“It’s larger than a traditional two-person tent and can accommodate your pup or extra gear,” she said. The tent also has two doors so you don’t have to climb over your partner to get out, mesh side pockets for storage, and the ripstop nylon fabric is durable, which Reed notes is a must-have for any tent. “I’ve had this tent for almost five years now and it’s my go-to for car camping.”
Meanwhile, REI’s Passage 2 tent is only slightly heavier than a Half Dome, highly recommend Andrea Dumais for Colorado Pie Park Ranger at Enstaunton State Park (this model has been discontinued but is still available to order, if it piques your interest, act soon). And, for those camping in three, REI has also made a three-person version of the Half Dome.
REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ Tent with footprints
REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent with Footprints
3-person camping tent
When Jacquie Whitt, owner of Adios Adventure Travel, buys tents for her adventure travel company, she likes Marmot three-person tents such as the Tungsten 3-Season tent. Whitt recommends tents for two people so they have extra space for gear and backpacks. “Groundhogs have been one of the best investments we’ve ever made in tents,” Whit said. “We have several matching tents that we use at least 25 times a year for over 5 years.”
The tent has two doors and two foyers for shoes and wet gear Enter the tent for easy access. It’s not ridiculously light, at just over four pounds, but it’s a decent weight-to-space ratio for the extra space of a three-person tent.
Another great three-person tent tent option is the Big Agnes Copper Spur tent, a lightweight, breathable model with a roomy vestibule awning and color-coded poles for easy assembly . Reviewers were particularly pleased with its waterproof fly and interior storage pockets.
Marmot Tungsten 3P tent with footprints
Best Family Camping Tent
When camping with the whole family, Reed says “space and durability will be a priority.” If you’re backpacking with kids, you’re also Weight needs to be considered, but in this case we’re assuming the car is nearby and you can focus on comfort and durability. Gabi Rosenbrien, product development manager at NEMO, also recommends standing-height shelters for extra comfort. Standing height makes it easier to hang out if it’s raining or there’s a carriage outside, which means you can use a crib, air mattress, or even a hammock if you want. Bradford also recommends tents with room dividers to provide more privacy for families and large groups when needed.
Four-Person Camping Tent
The Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4-Person Tent is a three-season option and another great tent for larger groups, especially from the price perspective. Jenny Martindale, experienced canoe trip guide and partner manager at Wild Women Expeditions, recommends looking for a three-season tent to keep costs down, while a more versatile tent means using it for a wider range of camping trips.
Speaking of versatility, North Face’s Wawona tents are double-layered for extra weather protection, so you can camp in the rain and have a better chance of keeping your equipment dry. However, the Wawona also allows for ample airflow thanks to its mesh front door.
Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4 pax tent
Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4 pax tent
Camping Tent for Six
As camping parties grow in size, comfort (if not some privacy surface) becomes more important. That’s why we love REI Co-Op’s six-person Wonderland tent – it has vertical walls to maximize headroom and living space, and it has an internal divider to create two private spaces within the same tent area.
If you’re looking to save a little money when gearing up for your camping trip, the Camp Creek tent from Alps Mountaineering is one of the best budget-friendly tents on our list, especially considering its impressive Floor area and peak height.
REI Co-op Wonderland 6 tent
Alpine Mountaineering Camp Creek 6 Person Tent
Eight-person camping tent
From large groups to single car campers, Coleman’s eight-person instant family tent is one of Bradford’s top choices. She uses it for her own comfort camps and group trips with Black Girls Camp, an Ohio-registered nonprofit that aims to get more Black women into camp and provide a safe space to learn and enjoy the outdoors.
Set up a tent in under a minute with durable and easy-to-use snap-on poles. “It sets up in about 50 seconds, and I’ve used it in wind and rain with no issues,” Bradford said. The only downside, she says, is that while the instant tent is very convenient, especially after a long drive, it doesn’t pack as small as some of her favorite traditional tents, nor is it winter-friendly — like Field and Tent like the Stream Cross Vent 8-Person Tent.
Coleman Instant Family Tent
10-Person Camping Tent
Bradford likes Coleman’s 10-Person WeatherMaster for family camping because It is divided into two rooms and has ample interior space for kids and parents. “You can tell from its name WeatherMaster that it works really well in bad weather,” Bradford said. Thanks to sturdy fiberglass poles and Guylines.
The tent has enough room for three queen-size air beds, or two extra for luggage storage or lounging. It also features ample ventilation, mesh ceilings and angled mesh windows at both ends. This tent has two doors, and a hinged door makes getting in and out super easy.
If you are looking for weather protection, you can also try the NTK Arizona GT tent. A fully waterproof tent with a lifetime warranty, gear loft and durable construction, it’s one of our favorite tents for large families and groups.
Coleman WeatherMaster 10 Person Outdoor Tent
NTK Arizona GT Camping Tent
BEST BACKPACKING TENT
When backpacking, carrying all your gear on the road means every bit of weight counts. The best backpacking gear should be lightweight, versatile and durable. When it comes to backpacking tents, Markel says, “Tent weight is one of the most important considerations because on long hikes every ounce counts.”
At the same time, you have to balance weight and durability as you don’t want your shelter in a storm or during a week A break or tear midway through the trek. “If your tent is leaking on the road, it doesn’t matter if your tent weighs less than a pound,” Reed said. For durability, look for tents with ripstop nylon material and aluminum poles.
Traveling light means very, very light (or if you’re going to field crew in Outward Bound, Texas, Phyllis Weeks says, Don’t expect the versatility and reliability of tarps. “For many warmer and drier environments, tarps are a very lightweight, price-conscious option for many outdoor adventurers,” she explains. They also allow More airflow, great for summer camping, and they’re relatively easy to find no matter where you shop. “A tarp can be as simple as buying one from the hardware store and pairing it with some P-wire and bug netting, or There are some very lightweight options on the market, including a pole or trekking poles,” Zhou said. Knowing ahead of time where you plan to camp will also make tarps a more viable option — in a pole with room to set up your tent A less windy place would be ideal.
These two tarps have been rated highly by Backcountry customers for their durability and lightness. But keep in mind that trekking poles are not included Of any.
Twin Backpacking Tent
The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 tent has multiple recommendations for backpacking as well. Reed loves the weight of the Tiger Wall tent (2 lbs. 8 oz), two doors and a vestibule, and durability. “It also has ripstop nylon on the body to help resist wear and tear,” says Reed.
Rosenberg is also backpacking for the first time People who aren’t planning to go to winter camp recommend the Tiger Wall. “It’s a great lightweight tent that gets the job done,” she says. “It also has some nice pockets, and it’s roomy.” Plus, The aluminum poles all attach together, making installation and removal quick and easy.
The MSR Hubba Hubba tent has captured the hearts of many backpackers, including two of our experts. It’s not exactly A budget tent, but it performs well in all conditions. The tent is light (3lb 4oz) but still roomy enough to comfortably share with friends. Emily Pulido, a former Rare Earth expedition guide, is trying After a lot of different tents, finally made it to the MSR Hubba Hubba. “The poles are all in one, so it’s a very simple setup and you don’t have to worry about leaving the poles behind,” she said.
Backpacker, fly angler and mountain biker Shelby Sawyer also loves her MSR Hubba Hubba. “I love the generous headspace and spacious vestibule,” she says. The tent’s symmetrical design also means you can sleep comfortably between two end without losing headroom. The tent is also very sturdy with ripstop nylon dragon.
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2 Solution Dye Tent
Ultralight Backpack Tent
Hyperlite’s Ultramid 2 is pricey, but it’s Stroeer’s first choice for any outdoor adventure where weight has to be a consideration, like her 32-day hike on the Utah Hayduk Trail. “It weighs almost nothing [1 lb. 2.85 oz.], but because it’s made of Dyneema fabric, it’s very durable,” she said.
With a pyramid structure and trekking pole setup, the The shape and structure of the tent is different from the other tents on this list. The tent has no floor to save weight, but if you need extra protection for enclosed areas, Hyperlite also sells floor and mesh mesh inserts. Stroeer admits that trekking pole settings can be a bit finicky, but says “the Ultramid’s setup and strength are far superior to any other pyramid tent I’ve tried.”
Hyperlite Ultamid 2 Ultralight Pyramid Tent
Best Winter Camping Tent
Winter camping comes with an additional set of challenges, cooler temperatures, snow, high winds. These tents need to withstand potential heavy snow accumulation and provide extreme weather protection. In this case, it’s more important to be able to trust that your tent can handle anything because you don’t want to be trapped in the snow with a leaky or broken tent. If you’re in the market for a winter tent, look for tents marked four-season or all seasons.
Rosenberg swears by her Hilleberg tent that it is extremely weather resistant. “After working in the industry for decades, I can say there really isn’t a better company to make tents than this one. Especially in extreme weather conditions,” she said.
“I use these tents in winds over 70 mph. I’ve used them in full white light conditions, dumping a foot of snow per hour,” Rosenberg said. Both Nammatj and Nallo are great options if you’re buying this brand, but if you’re going to spend your time in really extreme conditions, Nammatj has the edge.
Hilleberg Nallo GT 2 Person Tent