Skip to Content

Best Camping Tents For Comfort In The Great Outdoors

SHTFPreparedness may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

Your tent is pretty important, which is why it’s the last thing you should skimp on.

We’ve taken cost into account and devised a list of the very best camping tents on the market.

After a dozen hours of research and throwing personal experiences into the mix, based on a variety of factors listed below, these are the best options you can possibly get.

6 Best Camping Tents Reviewed

Let’s dive into the specifics and review each tent individually.

1. Coleman Sundome Camping Tent

Coleman Sundome Camping Tent
9,032 Reviews
Coleman Sundome Camping Tent
  • Dome tent with spacious interior allows you to move...
  • Easy setup in only 10 minutes
  • WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted...

For a tent that packs a whole lot of punch at a seriously low price point, look no further than this. The Coleman Sundome, available in 2, 4, and 6-person models, is all about value for money.

Although it may not have the features of the best alpine tents, such as aluminum poles, multiple ventilation points, ultralight weight, and “bombproof” waterproofing, it is still a solid, reliable, and spacious tent that is perfect for campsite camping and shorter backcountry outings for those on a tight budget.

You’ll be seriously hard-pressed to find anything quite so functional and friendly on your bank balance. With 63 ft² of floor space, the Sundome is a roomy option for up to three adults or a family of four.

It also boasts a decently sized porch area and enough headroom to ensure that “cabin fever” is unlikely to strike even on those days when weather conditions keep you holed up inside for hours on end.

What most impresses us about this tent is how simple it is to use. First and foremost, a handy, expandable carry bag makes carrying it to and from your starting point completely painless.

Secondly, when it comes to pitching, the intuitive, fuss-free, 2-pole design means setup should take no more than 10 minutes.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • The weather resistance is solid.
  • Nicely sized awning and porch area

Cons

  • Quite heavy (10.5 lbs): not suitable for hiking or thru-trekking
  • Not the best ventilation
  • Stakes are quite flimsy and likely to need replacing.

Product Information

  • Floor area: 9 x 7 m
  • Height: 4’ 11’ (center)
  • Capacity: 4 persons
  • Material: PolyguardTM fabric (70D)
  • Seasons: 2/3
  • Number of poles: 2

2. CORE Tents Dome Camping Tent

Sale
CORE Tents Dome Camping Tent
5,885 Reviews
CORE Tents Dome Camping Tent
  • Sleeps 9 people; Fits three queen air mattresses; Center...
  • CORE H20 Block Technology and adjustable ground vent.Pole...
  • Features gear loft with lantern hook and pockets to keep...

Few tents ever merit the description “palatial,”  let alone those that also fall into the budget category of family camping tents. The Core Extended Dome Tent, however, does just that.

With 144 ft2 of floor space (enough to fit 3 queen mattresses!) and a peak height of 72 inches, this tent is a true home away from home, and for those who wish to experience all the goodness of the great outdoors while retaining a little more in the way of creature comfort and livability, this tent could well provide the ideal solution.

The CORE also measures up none to shabbily performance-wise, with multiple vents keeping condensation to a minimum, a removable rainfly and large mesh panels allowing for panoramic views, huge entry points, an interior gear loft and storage pockets, and a handy E-port to run an extension cord inside the tent without exposing the interior to drafts or precipitation.

While the 600mm hydrostatic head rating and lack of a vestibule area mean this tent isn’t geared towards wet-weather camping trips, for summertime adventures with all the family, a few friends, and even the family pet, it’s a solid option that’s well worth considering.

This tent cannot withstand prolonged or heavy precipitation due to its hydrostatic head rating of only 600 mm. As such, we’d recommend it for fair-weather campers only.

Pros

  • Very spacious
  • Plenty of interior storage options
  • Large mesh panels are ideal for stargazing on rain-free nights.
  • It was easy to set up for such a large tent.
  • Removable rainfly

Cons

  • It’s not the most weather-resistant tent out there.
  • The door has no awning.
  • There is no vestibule or porch area for exterior storage.
  • Fiberglass poles are prone to breaking.

Product Information

  • Floor area: 16 x 9’
  • Height: 72 inches (center)
  • Weight: 18.2 lbs.
  • Capacity: 9
  • Material: Durable 68D polyester
  • Seasons: 2
  • Number of poles: 4

3. Coleman Montana Camping Tent

Sale
Coleman Montana Camping Tent
10,923 Reviews
Coleman Montana Camping Tent
  • Durable, Polyguard tent fabric is made to last season after...
  • Spacious interior has room for 3 queen airbeds and has a 6...
  • Snag-free, continuous pole sleeves for easy setup in about...

For family camping adventures, you want a tent that’s big, robust, simple to set up, and offers plenty of user-friendly convenience.

If you can happen to get your hands on a tent that offers all of the above and comes in at a reasonable price, then you’re onto a winner. This tent has many benefits, but its user-friendliness and interior and exterior space are its best.

Even absolute novices to camping will be instantly endeared by this tent’s ease of setup—despite using five poles, all of these are color-coded and slip effortlessly onto the tent inner in snag-free sleeves.

After packing, this tent should pitch in 10 minutes. Compared to the CORE 9-person Extended Dome Tent (above), the Coleman Montana is a little narrower but offers 2” more headroom and that all-important vestibule space the CORE lacks.

Additional features that might just win you over are the hinged door, tough, 1000D nylon floor, abundance of interior storage pockets, and a large awning over the entrance, which creates a dry, sheltered vestibule area for cooking, storing gear, or changing clothes.

Like the CORE, this isn’t the best option for wet-weather camping, but for summer and shoulder-season trips with all the family, it’s truly hard to beat.

Pros

  • Very robust and durable materials
  • Very spacious
  • Excellent peak height (74”)
  • Easy to set up
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Quite poor weather resistance
  • Fiberglass poles don’t inspire confidence.

Product Information

  • Floor area: 16’x7’ (112 ft2)
  • Height: 74”
  • Weight: 22.3 lbs.
  • Capacity: 8
  • Material: 75-denier polyester taffeta fly, 68-denier polyester mesh inner tent, 1000-denier polyethylene floor
  • Seasons: 2/3
  • Number of poles: 5

4. FLYTOP Camping Tent

FLYTOP Camping Tent
817 Reviews
FLYTOP Camping Tent
  • 【4 season tents for camping】The unfolding size :...
  • 【Easy set up】 FLYTOP outdoor camping tent provides...
  • 【WATERPROOF AND WINDPROOF】FLYTOP two person tent...

There was a time when buying a reliable waterproof tent meant having to splash some serious cash. Thankfully, the Flystop 2-Person Backpacking Tent has made those days obsolete.

When the rain rolls in and the rest of the visitors to your campsite are upping shop and heading home in a hurry, with this tent, you can kick back and let the weather do its worst, safe in the knowledge that your tent (literally) has you covered.

In short, they don’t come much more “bombproof” than this, and certainly not at this price. Using a combination of 210D materials with hydrostatic head ratings in excess of 3500mm, this is one of the most reliably waterproof tents we’ve ever had the pleasure of waiting out a storm in.

In addition to the tough materials, it also features sturdy storm flaps around the exterior of the tent to prevent groundwater or snow from entering beneath the rainfly, stormguards on each of the zippers, and double stitching with taped seams.

This tent’s design is also freestanding, meaning it’s easy to put up even if you’re camping on your own and more resistant to strong winds.

If you plan on taking your camping adventures from the summer months into the shoulder seasons or dead of winter, there are a few better tents to be doing it in than this!

Before shelling out on any of the offerings of big-name brands like Black Diamond or MSR, be sure to compare the specs with those on this tent. It might just save you a small fortune.

Pros

  • Solid waterproofing
  • Very sturdy
  • Relatively spacious
  • A 4-season tent should be reasonably priced.
  • Easy to set up thanks to its freestanding design
  • Performs well in high winds.

Con

  • Small sleeping area

Product Information

  • Floor area: approximately 28 ft2.
  • Height: 45”
  • Weight: 5.9 lbs.
  • Capacity: 2
  • Material: 210D breathable polyester + high-density fine nylon mesh (inner); 210D PU4000 mm Oxford fabric (floor); 210T PU3500 mm anti-tear checkered polyester (floor).
  • Seasons: 3/4
  • Number of poles: 2

5. ALPS Mountaineering Camping Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Camping Tent
2,961 Reviews
ALPS Mountaineering Camping Tent
  • Free standing, two pole design w/7000 Series aluminum poles;...
  • Factory sealed fly and floor seams for best weather...
  • Vestibule for gear storage and extra weather protection;...

There are very few lightweight, high-performing, genuine backpacking tents under $100. Therefore, when we discover a tent that is as reliable, lightweight, and well-made as the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx, we can’t help but get a little excited.

In short, this tent is one of the best tents for the money out there, offering solid 3-season weatherproofing, ample space for one person, simple setup, a small pack size, and a wealth of handy features such as burly #8 zippers, color-coded poles, a large vestibule, a gear loft, and interior storage pockets.

It also performs as well as any 3-season backpacking tent we know in high winds and moderate rain showers and ventilates efficiently, even in relatively humid conditions.

The bottom line? If you’re in the market for the best backpacking tent you can get your hands on, you’ll struggle to find a better option than this at even double the price.

When perusing the options of lightweight backpacking tents, you’ll come across many comparable items that cost double, sometimes even triple, the bargain-basement price of the Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1-person tent.

Don’t let the big-name logo on these more expensive tents fool you into thinking you’re getting a better product—in most cases, this performs just as well as any of them.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great price
  • Windproof

Con

  • Not suitable for winter camping.

Product Information

  • Floor area: 21 ft² (approx.)
  • Height: 36”
  • The weight of the item is 4.4 lbs, which includes 3.8 lbs of trail weight.
  • Capacity: 1
  • Material: 75D 185T Polyester Fly; 75D 185T Poly Taffeta Floor (2000mm HH rating)
  • Seasons: 2/3
  • Number of poles: 2

Things to Consider Before Buying

camping near lake

Choosing a camping tent can be a fairly daunting experience.

To simplify things and help you define the parameters that will narrow down your list of potential purchases, we’ve added a series of tips and insights below to help you get your hands on the best camping tent for your needs.

1. Dimensions

As noted above, the type of camping you plan on doing and the number of members in your group will largely dictate many of the attributes you’ll need your tent to have.

This is never more true than with the tent’s dimensions. If you are looking for a car-camping tent or a family tent, then it’s highly likely that convenience, livability, and spaciousness all score high on your must-have tick list.

The longer you spend in the tent, the more important these features become—while a “cozy” setup might be tolerable if you’re only camping for a few days at a time, on longer trips the potential for a serious case of “cabin fever” is high, thereby inflating the value of every square foot of living space.

The best tip we can offer when buying is to ignore the capacity rating provided by the manufacturer—you wouldn’t be the first buyer to be stung when purchasing a “five-person tent” only to later discover that, in reality, it can accommodate no more than three fully-grown adults anywhere near comfortably.

To get around the ruses of the marketing folks, we recommend paying more attention to the following specs and often-overlooked details:

Square Footage

Your tent’s square footage is pretty much the gold standard for gauging its livability.

While most manufacturers simply provide length and width measurements, multiplying these numbers allows you to calculate the floor area’s square footage.

Once you’ve done that, you can estimate how roomy your tent will be, using 15 square feet as a ballpark ideal allowance per adult sleeper—any less and things are going to be a little bit tight!

Peak Height

The second most significant factor contributing to livability is your tent’s peak height, which refers to the height of the tent at its tallest point.

This measurement, which is usually expressed in inches, can range from as low as 30 inches in alpine or backpacking models to as high as 80 inches in campsite or family models.

When comparing tents, it’s worth noting that just a few additional inches of headroom can seriously reduce claustrophobia and boost your tent’s overall comfort and convenience levels.

Spending most of your time on hands and knees in a lower tent might be okay on a single overnighter, but on longer trips, it’s sure to get old very quickly.

As such, for campsite campers and family campers, we’d recommend shooting for a tent with a peak height of at least 60 inches (5 feet) or closer to the 75″ mark if any members of your group are more than 6’ tall.

Length/Breadth

If you have any tall members in your family or camping group, they’ll greatly appreciate you taking the time to make sure your prospective backcountry residence will be capable of accommodating their oversized proportions!

When surveying your tent’s specs, check the floor plan to make sure the quoted length will suffice, and be sure to factor in the additional inch or so required for the top and tail of sleeping pads.

With regard to breadth, ensure that the sleeping area has enough width to accommodate your pads and gear, particularly if the tent doesn’t have any covered external storage.

Vestibule Area

The “porch” area of any tent is a highly valuable resource.

Not only does it free up interior space by allowing you to store gear outside at night, but it also provides a handy shelter space in which you can do your cooking, change your clothes, and pack your backpack for the day’s hiking without disturbing, elbowing, or otherwise assaulting your tentmates.

In short, the larger the vestibule area, the better.

2. Weather Resistance

Although very few of us are likely to set off on a camping trip when the weather forecasts are warning us of the worst, weather resistance is one of the most important features to look for in any tent, whether you’re a fair-weather camper or an all-weather warrior.

Weather conditions in mountainous areas in particular are notoriously fickle and changeable, and, as we all know, weather forecasting is hardly an exact science, meaning our anticipated soiree in the sun could easily end up a sufferfest in the snow, rain, or sleet without the right gear.

The hydrostatic head rating quantifies a tent’s waterproofing (or water resistance). To achieve this rating, place an open-ended tube over the tent fabric and measure the point at which the liquid pouring into the tube causes the fabric to leak.

For the flysheet (or “rain fly”), the ideal hydrostatic head rating is anything above 1,000mm for summertime adventurers who are car camping, campsite camping, or camping with the family (and thus have the option of making a quick retreat to the car if all hell breaks loose from above!).

For those venturing into more challenging mountainous regions or determined to continue camping regardless of the weather conditions, the recommended amount is upwards of 2,000 mm.

Your tent’s occupants and stored gear exert additional pressure on the floor material, making the groundsheet far more susceptible to leakage.

Therefore, you need a higher hydrostatic head rating—roughly 3,000 mm—to ensure that no unwanted liquid visitors visit you during the night.

3. Ventilation

Among the contenders for the title of “Biggest Bane of the Backcountry Adventurer’s Life,”  condensation ranks a close second to perhaps only mosquitoes and blisters.

Even in dry conditions, some degree of the wet stuff always seems to make its way onto our tent walls during the night, and in more basic, poorly ventilated models of tents, things can often take on the vaguely aquatic feel of a morning.

Added to the condensation problem is the odor problem—given just a few days in the backcountry, the combo of sweaty gear, muck, and poor ventilation can make things fairly funky, no matter how hard we try to keep conditions fresh.

To reduce these issues, consider the following when purchasing your tent:

  • The body of the tent and the flysheet contain sizable ventilation panels.
  • Above the door, there are flaps or awnings that allow for opening without exposing the interior of the tent to precipitation.
  • A two-door design to encourage airflow
  • A double-walled construction that permits air to circulate between the inner and outer sheets

Types of Camping Tents

large tent for camping

Car tents, family tents, alpine tents, and backpacking tents are the four main sub-types of camping tents.

1. Car Tents

Because they are not intended for trail use or carrying long distances, these tents prioritize spaciousness and convenience over weight and portability.

Some models, such as the Explorer 2 SUV and Minivan Tent featured in our review, simplify setup and maximize convenience by attaching directly to your vehicle.

2. Family Tents

As with roadside camping tents, the best family tents prioritize space, convenience, and general livability over weight and portability.

3. Alpine Tents

Built to deal with the most extreme conditions while maintaining a manageable weight, these tents are generally low on space and livability but high on durability, ruggedness, and weather resistance.

4. Backpacking Tents

Built with long-distance travel in mind, these tents are usually less roomy than tents intended for the campsite and cut back on the frills and conveniences in order to achieve the lowest weight possible.

In terms of weather resistance, they usually represent a comfortable medium between “bombproof” alpine tents and minimally weather-resistant car-camping tents.

FAQs

camping tent for whole family

What season rating do I need?

While this will depend on what time of year you intend on doing most of your camping, we’d always recommend choosing a tent that offers slightly more weather resistance than you envision needing, i.e., a three-season tent for two-season camping or a four-season tent for shoulder-season camping.

Should I go camping in bear country?

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort required to maximize safety in bear country and believe you’ll be able to enjoy yourself despite the potential presence of bears, the answer is a definite “yes.” If you believe that you will experience sleepless nights despite taking all possible safety precautions, we must decline.

I have young kids. Should I take them camping?

As with adults, there are kids who adore the experience of camping and others who are not quite so enthused, but there’s really no way of knowing whether or not your kids will enjoy it unless you give it a try. We’d recommend taking shorter trips closer to home, just in case things don’t go as well as planned.

What do you do if it rains while you are camping?

Before heading off on your trip, do everything to ensure that you’ll be ready should bad weather strike: pack your waterproof clothes, reproof your tent, boots, and jackets, allow a little leeway in your itinerary, and, of course, bring a decent book!

Wrap-Up

Numerous variables that come into play—season, group size, camping location, the type of camping we plan on doing—make things further complicated by our own personal preferences with regard to design, layout, and, of course, our budget.

That said, certain tents stand out above their competitors due to a few universally desirable attributes, and in the review above, we’ve seen a selection of the very best in each category and performance class.

However you plan on doing your camping and wherever you plan on heading on your future camping adventures, one of these outstanding backcountry boltholes will let you do it safely, in comfort, and in style!