Remember, choosing the right tent isn’t about choosing the priciest or the one with the most features—it’s about choosing the one that meets your needs. Going for a weekend glamp with the fam? Looking for a seriously insulated winter shelter? Planning a thru-hike on a shoestring budget? Here we review 11 of the best camping tents for 11 types of campers

THE BEST CAMPING TENTS REVIEWED

Product Name

  • Easy set-up
  • Well-ventilated
  • Well-insulated
  • Spacious vestibule
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Product Name

  • Lightweight
  • Great head space
  • Amazing ventilation
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Product Name

  • Spacious interior
  • Spacious vestibule
  • Well-ventilated
  • Standing room
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Product Name

  • Ultralight
  • Packs small
  • Easy set-up
  • Two doors
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BEST OVERALL CAMPING TENT

Marmot has been kicking grass since 1974 and their Limelight 2-Person Tent is no exception. It marks a crossroads between value, space, insulation, and durability. For its performance in all those categories, it ranks as our top choice for best overall tent

The Limelight is fast and intuitive to pitch, making a nighttime or stormy set-up a cinch—the colour-coded “easy pitch” clips and poles remove the guesswork. The Limelight also shines in bad weather: factory seam-sealing, a high bathtub floor, and included footprint ensure that you and your gear stay dry.

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the Limelight is the structure itself. Unlike most tents, the poles rise up straight before beginning to curve, as opposed to curving from soil to ceiling. This gives campers more interior space without increasing square footage. There’s even a Lamp Shade Pocket: a mesh ceiling pocket for hands-free lighting.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Easy set-up
  • Well-ventilated
  • Well-insulated
  • Spacious vestibule 
  • Zone Pre-Bend construction
  • Price

Cons

  • Not excessively light 
  • Packs large
Product Type

BEST VALUE TENT

If you’re looking for value, look no further than the Coleman Rondeau 3-Person Full Fly Tent. While it doesn’t boast many of the finer features of our other top picks, the Rondeau makes for a no-frills shelter that’s both reliable and durable.

The Rondeau excels in wet and windy conditions. Their exclusive WeatherTec system and spacious vestibule will keep you and your gear dry, while taped seams ensure against leaks. Its stable build has endured wind speeds of up to 56 km/hr. Set-up is fast and simple.

While the Rondeau is by no means lightweight, it remains surprisingly light for its price point. This is largely thanks to the fiberglass poles and no-nonsense construction. It’s a good choice for smaller families on car camping trips, especially in damp conditions. It’s also great for new or casual campers.

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Pros

  • Excellent for wet & windy conditions
  • Easy set-up
  • Spacious vestibule
  • Great value

Cons

  • Packs large
  • Heavy for backpacking
  • No frills
Product Type

BEST COMFORT TENT

If you love the Great Outdoors while hiking, but prefer the Great Indoors while sleeping, the North Face Homestead Super Dome 4 is a good choice. The yurt-style build is both unique and aesthetically pleasing, while the mesh walls and ceiling offer near-panoramic views of sky and country.

Comfort is king with the Super Dome 4. Three doors allow for excellent airflow and easy access, while the rainfly offers ample vestibule space without impeding access. The interior height also allows you to stand and manoeuvre with ease. Lastly, High-Low ventilation offers increased breathability. 

At 13 pounds, however, the Super Dome 4 is not the tent you’d want on a serious hiking trip. It’s best suited for car camping, or to use as a basecamp from which you can explore the surrounding area and return to at night. One downside of the high ceiling is the tent’s diminished heat retention in colder temperatures.

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Pros

  • Spacious interior
  • Spacious vestibule
  • Well-ventilated
  • Standing room
  • Resembles a yurt
  • Spectacular views without the bugs 

Cons

  • Cumbersome for backpacking
  • Tight squeeze for four people
  • Insulation with smaller groups
  • Set-up time
  • Pack weight
Product Type

BEST BACKPACKING TENT

From weekend treks to six month thru-hikes, the Marmot Tungsten Ultralight Tent (1P) is perfect for serious trail junkies. It comes in at just over 3lbs and packs small, making its portability unmatched. It’s also spacious for its dimensions, thanks to Marmot’s Zone Pre-Bend construction, similar to their Limelight model. 

As always, Marmot’s “easy pitch” clips, fly, and poles are colour-coded so you don’t waste any time pitching it. A D-shaped door on either side makes for comfortable access, while separate vestibules offer a less cluttered storage solution. 

As expected with ultralight designs, elements of comfort are sacrificed in the name of weight-savings. While the Tungsten does a good job of withstanding downpours and strong gusts, internal condensation can occur, so expect a few ceiling drips on rainy nights. 

If ultralight isn’t your thing, then the price tag can leave something to be desired. On the other hand, for hikers who subscribe to the axiom “every ounce counts”, the Tungsten fits the bill as the perfect 3-season backpacking tent in 2020.

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Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Packs small
  • Easy set-up
  • Two doors
  • Two vestibules
  • Spacious 

Cons

  • Only for 1p
  • Condensation
  • Price
  • No frills
Product Type

BEST 2-PERSON TENT

The Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2 is an excellent choice for serious hikers and mountaineers who value a comfortable night’s sleep. The most striking feature of the Battle Mountain 2 is its lightweight carrying load and easy set-up, despite being rugged enough for four season use. 

The rainfly can be staked to create two vestibules. Poly ripstop and taped seams let nothing in and make for long lasting. It stands up to fierce winds at summits and ventilates nicely lower down the slopes when the temperature rises. 3D bin pockets store just about anything you’d take with you.

With a packed weight just over 7lbs, there are definitely lighter options. With the Battle Mountain 2, you’re paying for comfort at the expense of weight-savings—the opposite of our previous pick. Unfortunately, the footprint is sold separately, but this still is one of the best camping tents out there.

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Pros

  • 2 doors, 2 vestibules
  • 2 fly vents
  • Great ventilation
  • Beautiful views
  • Packable
  • Four-season use 

Cons

  • Heavy for hiking
  • Packs large
  • Doesn’t include footprint
Product Type

BEST TENT FOR FAMILIES

The Marmot Limestone 6 is the condominium of family tents. For its size, the Limestone 6 is stylish, innovative, and modern without being clunky. It features two massive doors, in addition to two massive windows. Not only is it wide enough to comfortably sleep six, but it’s standing height allows even the group’s tallest member to perform sun salutations. 

The thoughtful interior is accessed by generous D-shaped doors, and the zoned pre-shaped construction creates vertical, not sloping walls. You’ll also find a variety of removable hanging pockets for storing essentials. For big groups, open it up for a full 83.3 square-feet of space.

Due to its size, the Limestone 6 is strictly for frontcountry or car camping—not for hikes. With a total packed weight of almost 18lbs, this is something better stored in your trunk than on your back.

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Pros

  • Spacious
  • Ample storage 
  • Thoughtfully designed
  • Great color scheme
  • Quick set-up and tear-down

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Packs large
Product Type

BEST GLAMPING TENT

Ah, glamping—the Great Outdoors with an urban twist. If you’d like to get back to nature without sacrificing too many creature comforts, then Eureka’s Copper Canyon LX 12 Person Tent is for you. With a standing height of seven feet and a zip room divider, the Copper Canyon is a hybrid of tent and cottage.

With a packed weight of over 36lbs, this behemoth isn’t suited for long treks into the woods—it is however a great choice for frontcountry and car camping, or even as a festival shelter.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Perfect for festivals, glamping, frontcountry and car camping
  • More spacious than a Tokyo apartment
  • Extension cord port

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Packs large
  • Lengthy set-up
Product Type

BEST WATER-RESISTANT TENT

What’s worse than hiking in a storm? Being stuck in a flooded, soaked, and dripping tent. In humid places like the Pacific Northwest and East Coast damp and humid conditions are the norm, not the exception. For these, we’ve found that the MSR Mutha Hubba NX V2 3 Person Tent is the best solution.

The Mutha Hubba NX V2 optimizes space without increasing area. If you’re held captive by a downpour, a dry and spacious tent are the two most important criteria. It also features an easy set-up with those colour-coded clips and built-in rain gutters and stay-dry doors. 

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Excellent in wet and windy conditions
  • Very spacious
  • Durable
  • Packable
  • Easy set-up

Cons

  • Lacks storage options
  • Requires more stakes
  • Unnecessary features in dry, alpine climates
Product Type

BEST BEACH TENT

Forget the woods—time to hit the beach. The North Face Homestead Shelter is an excellent choice for coastal camping and so simple it deservedly slips into our best camping tents roundup. Floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides means your tent won’t get hot and stuffy during the day. At night, you can socialize comfortably without opening your tent to unwanted guests (looking at you mosquitoes). 

The spacious interior boasts a six-foot standing height and an area of 87.5 square-feet. While you don’t have a vestibule for added storage, inside mesh pockets are large enough to hold all your essentials, while an internal clothesline helps keep things neat and tidy.

With a packed weight of roughly 11lbs, it’s best suited to beach camping easily accessible by car.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Great ventilation
  • Great views
  • Spacious
  • Easy set-up 

Cons

  • No vestibule
  • Heavy
  • Not ideal in rainy conditions
Product Type

BEST WINTER CAMPING TENT

For those of us who can’t get enough of nature—even in subzero temperaturesEureka’s Alpenlite XT 2 Person Tent offers a shelter solution that’s both lightweight and warm. Coming in at around 8lbs, the Alpenlite is considerably ultralight for its insulated and stable design.

The unique centre-reinforcement pole keeps the Alpenlite’s shape under heavy snowfalls and strong winds. The tapered A-frame design may at times feel cramped, but ensures a concentrated heat retention. While it does require six poles to set up, the free-standing design combined with clips, post, and grommet corner attachments ensures the fastest pitch possible under extreme conditions.

The thoughtful interior is equipped with ample storage and organizational solutions, featuring six mesh pockets, two gear loft loops, and two flashlight loops. In reduced visibility, the reflective guy outs and logos make the tent easy to spot. While the Alpenlite can be used year-round, it’s not recommended for 3-season camping due to its above-average warmth and comparatively heavy weight.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Warm
  • Sturdy
  • Lots of organizational space
  • Reflective

Cons

  • Tight fit for two
  • Condensation
  • Weight
  • Not great in warmer weather
Product Type

BEST EXCURSION TENT

The MSR Remote 2 Three-Person Mountaineering Tent is our top choice when it comes to serious wilderness excursions. This is the kind of tent you can call home for a few days or a few months. 

The Remote 2’s central-support frame makes it stable in the face of heavy snowfalls and powerful winds. Meanwhile, its robust design maximizes floor space without becoming cumbersome to transport. Inside, a large vestibule and gear loops allow you to effectively dry and store gear. 

All fabrics are ripstop, while the floor and rainfly are treated with Durable Water Repellent (DWR) and polyurethane coatings to make them water-resistant. The double-wall insulates well, and the reflective elements are ideal in reduced visibility. That said, depending how much gear you’re bringing, the Remote 2 may work better as a two-person shelter.

Price: 0.00$

Pros

  • Stable frame
  • Durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Good storage
  • Reflective

Cons

  • Tight fit for three people
  • Heavy
  • Packs large
Product Type

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CAMPING TENT

When shopping for the best camping tents, there are certain specs that separate the good from the bad from the ugly. Once you know what kind of camping you’ll be doing, you should pay attention to the following factors.

Size

As a rule of thumb, the advertised number of people that can fit in a tent tends to be optimistic. If you’re looking for a spacious two-person tent, it’s a good idea to go with a three-person model. Likewise, a one-person tent is great for devoted ultralighters, but the average solo camper will have more room to move and store gear with a two-person model. 

Weight

If you’ve spent any time around hikers, you’ve heard the term ultralight repeated ad nauseum. It was a movement that began as far back as 1884 with George W. Sears and popularized in 1992 by rock climber, Ray Jardine. The precise definition is disputed, but it typically refers to a base weight of less than 15lbs (for your pack and everything in it).

Today, big brands have been able to market ultralight gear thanks to cutting edge fabrics that remain strong and durable, despite their impressively light weight. This means modern ultralighters needn’t sacrifice comfort in the pursuit of a lighter pack. 

Keep in mind, however, that weight-savings aren’t always key—especially for the price. For car campers and glampers, it’s wise to put that money towards a more spacious and decked-out shelter. Likewise, winter campers should consider warmth before weight-savings. 

Pro tip: To lighten your tent, consider purchasing after-market tent stakes made of lightweight metals like carbon or titanium, instead of traditional aluminum or steel.

Materials

Gone are the days of heavy canvas and leather. Today, most tents are made from some sort of ripstop nylon or polyester. Ripstop refers to a thick grid pattern sewn into the fabric that prevents small abrasions from becoming full-on tears. Polyester itself is a category referring to various blends of synthetic material. It’s known to be fast-drying, weather-resistant, and more durable when compared to nylon. 

Nylon, on the other hand, is a softer and lighter option. For tents, it’s often blended with silicone to create silnylon, which maintains its softness and weight, while improving its resistance to tears and weather. In general, most tent fabrics are treated with some kind of water-repellent coating—Durable Water Repellent (DWR), silicone, and polyurethane are among the most popular. Waterproof coatings may also be added.

When reading a list of tent materials, you’ll commonly see the word denier, sometimes denoted as ‘D’. Denier is a unit of measurement for textiles. It refers to a particular fabric’s thickness—the greater the number, the thicker, heavier, and more durable the fabric tends to be. A higher denier is recommended for car camping, glamping, and festivals, while a lower denier will appeal to ultralighters.

Use

CAR CAMPING

Car camping means you won’t be physically hauling your gear for long or grueling distances, so focus on choosing a spacious and comfortable tent as opposed to one that’s compact and ultralight. Vestibules, drying lines, and mesh pockets are all great features to keep your space organized.

BACKPACKING

Weight is key here. If you plan on spending more time hiking than sitting around a campfire, choose one of the best camping tents that’s compact and portable at the expense of frills and features. Something easy to set-up and take down is definitely a plus.

MOUNTAINEERING

A good mountaineering tent needs to keep you safe while withstanding the elements. High-quality materials are a must—they should be especially durable and waterproof. In order to increase stability, the frame of a mountaineering tent is heavier than that of a traditional backpacking tent.

Features

VESTIBULE

A vestibule lets you store gear under an awning created by the rainfly and the external wall of your tent. Vestibules are useful if you have a lot of gear, are sharing a tent, or are hiking in damp and humid conditions. In the latter case, vestibules allow your gear to dry away from your body. This also reduces the potential for condensation during the night.

FOOTPRINTS

A footprint is always a good idea. It’s a flat piece of fabric that’s placed between the ground and your tent. It protects your tent against abrasion, moisture, and cold. Some tent models include a footprint, while others are sold separately. If you’re on a budget, the price of a footprint can sometimes be discouraging. A good alternative is to purchase some Tyvek from your local hardware store and cut it to size.

OTHER FEATURES

This is all about personal preference. A Lamp Shade Pocket—as seen in many of Marmot’s models—is a nice feature for lighting your tent. Colour-coded attachments are a great feature for making assembly quick and easy. If you’ve got a lot of essentials, ample mesh pockets may be a good feature for keeping your tent organized.  

FAQS FOR CAMPING TENTS

Are expensive tents worth it?

Like most things, the unfortunate answer is: it depends. The better question to ask yourself is, what will I use the tent for? A few weekends of frontcountry camping? A family or festival getaway? A six month thru-hike? The truth about tents is that you often get what you pay for. 

While expensive tents are usually better quality and offer more features, you shouldn’t be paying for quality and features you don’t need. For instance, Eurka’s Alpenlite XT 2 Person Tent is our top winter camping tent, but for summer trips or thru-hikes you’d be infinitely better off with something less expensive but more functional, like Coleman’s Rondeau 3-Person Full Fly Tent or Marmot’s Tungsten Ultralight Tent (2P).

Can you set up a tent on the beach?

Yes, but this is much easier with free-standing tents. Of course, the drawback of pitching a free-standing tent is that it can easily be blown away. To avoid this, use heavy materials like rocks to hold down the guy lines. No rocks in sight? Fill some ziplock bags with sand and use those to weigh down the lines. You can even mix water into the sand to make it heavier and then bury the bags in the ground for added stability.

What colour tent is coolest in summer?

When it comes to tents, the most important thing for keeping it cool isn’t colour—it’s airflow. In fact, a dark tent with good ventilation always beats a light tent with none. On hot days, it also helps to pitch your tent in the shade. Ultimately, what you want is a solid color, as a transparent material would effectively become a mini-greenhouse.

CONCLUSION

We hope this round-up of 2020’s best camping tents has helped. If you’re just starting out, the best advice is to go with something in your price range and see how you like it. As you gain experience, you’ll come to learn which features you want and which ones you can live without. For seasoned campers, a closet filled with tents isn’t uncommon. As our list demonstrates, every adventure has its own unique set of requirements.

For an all-round good tent suited for general use, we suggest the Marmot Limelight 2 Person Tent. Whether you’re a wilderness veteran or an outdoors novice, its balance of price, ease of set-up, weather resistance, space, and weight make it the perfect choice for a wide range of activities and campers.