The best tents will serve you for many years to come. Whether you’re looking for a stormproof shelter or a cozy family tent for camping, you need to choose wisely. A high-quality tent will keep the warmth in, keep the weather out and allow you enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep wherever you pitch up, be it a windswept mountainside or a muddy forest floor.

There used to be little choice outside of traditional A-frame designs, but the variety of tents available now means there’s something to suit everyone. And don’t let the idea of fiddly pitching put you off – the new breed of pop-up and inflatable tents makes it easier to pitch a tent than ever before.

From durable cotton canvas tents to high end polyester canopies, and single person bivy tents to 10 people large bell shelters you can find all. Whether you need it for 2 seasons or all 4 seasons, the options are vast. 

In this article, we’ve chosen our favorite tents for practically every camping situation, from the best budget tent to buy for a weekend trip to a high-end mountaineering tent that you’ll be able to use again and again.

1. The Best Tent Brands

I. Coleman

Without a doubt, Coleman is one of the most recognized manufacturers of outdoor products.

A classic in the world of tents and camping equipment. The only problem being that they are also quite heavy and usually take up a lot of space. I’d say they work well for camping. In other words, you take the tent in the car, arrive at a campsite and set it up. Perfect.

However, if your idea is to travel, carry the tent in your backpack, etc. I wouldn’t buy a Coleman, they have good price and quality, but that extra weight and space are going to take their toll over time.

II. The North Face

The North Face is an outdoor equipment manufacturer that has been in business for almost 30 years. Its products are manufactured with the best materials in North America and Asia, resulting in equipment with innovative and functional technology with a superior value for money. Given their great reputation, these products are widely used by world-class climbers, explorers, and extreme skiers, which has also contributed greatly to the brand’s success.

III. Sea to Summit

Founded in Australia in 1990 with the goal of “equipping and inspiring” by providing innovative, meticulously designed and lightweight outdoor products, Sea to Summit has become a globally recognized adventure gear brand. It has more than 230 employees and offices in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Germany, and the United States.

IV. Naturehike

Naturehike has a relatively short history in the camping and outdoor industry, having been founded in 2005. However, this has not been a reason to prevent it from positioning itself as one of the sales leaders in today’s market. Their commitment is based on offering natural and lightweight products – for hiking, climbing, camping and other outdoor sports. In addition, in the words of the company, they take customer opinions into account to ensure the improvement of the products and thus be able to offer the best value for money.

V. MSR

MSR (Mountain Safety Research) was created in 1969, when Larry Penberthy decided it was time to improve the safety of existing climbing equipment. Since Larry was both an engineer and a mountaineer, he was able to seamlessly combine the wisdom he had gained in both spheres to develop a superior product. The idea that has been present over the years in the company is that better, safer and more reliable equipment is the key to opening the doors to great adventures.

VI. Marmot

Marmot was created in 1974 with the aim of manufacturing and distributing mountaineering and outdoor activity equipment with exceptional design and value for money. Tom Boyce, David Huntley and Eric Reynolds were in charge of shaping this project and promoting it since its creation in Grand Junction, Colorado. Today, the brand enjoys worldwide popularity and recognition for its innovative products and flawless track record.

VII. Other Brands?

There are thousands of makes and models. However, let me give you a piece of advice: don’t buy a tent for $20 or $50 at a store and expect it to be of great quality.

If you’re going to use it in a dry climate, it might work for a while, but cheap tents usually end up being expensive in the long run. Cheap stores tend to offer very low-quality products. I’m speaking from experience; I’ve also bought tents from cheap stores, and they didn’t last long.

Furthermore, they often present a problem: they are not breathable. This means that you wake up with all the walls of the tent covered in condensation. It is also common for them to leak water during heavy rains.

Best Sellers of 2024

1. ALPS Zephyr 2

Price: $164.99

The ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2 tent has become a reliable companion for camping and hiking, standing out for its quick assembly and robust aluminum design. It is ideal for adventurers and nature lovers who value comfort and functionality on their excursions. Among its most outstanding features are its excellent ventilation and the two vestibules for storage.

During the Waterproof and Endurance tests, the tent demonstrated its ability to keep us dry and protected, even under heavy rain conditions, which justifies its high rating of 9. The ease of assembly was evident from the first attempt at installation; Its intuitive design allowed for quick and hassle-free assembly. Regarding weight and portability, the Zephyr 2 tent is slightly heavier compared to some alternatives on the market, but it is still easily transportable, making it easier to move around during hikes.

In conclusion, ALPS Mountaineering’s Zephyr 2 Tent provides exceptional value for its price, offering strength, comfort, and ease of use that will satisfy the most demanding campers.

2. Moon Lence Pop-up Tent

Price: $129.99

The Moon Lence Pop-up Tent is the epitome of convenience and ease for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a hassle-free camping experience. With its innovative pop-up design, this tent can be set up in a matter of seconds, allowing you to spend less time wrestling with poles and more time enjoying your surroundings.

Despite its rapid setup, the Moon Lence Pop-up Tent doesn’t compromise on quality or durability. Made from high-quality materials and featuring waterproof construction, this tent provides reliable protection from the elements, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your camping trip.

Additionally, this tent offers ample interior space for sleeping and storage, making it perfect for solo adventurers or small groups. The mesh windows and vents ensure excellent ventilation, preventing condensation buildup and promoting airflow for a comfortable sleeping environment.

Compact and lightweight, the Moon Lence Pop-up Tent is easy to transport and store, making it ideal for backpacking, hiking, or car camping adventures. Whether you’re exploring the wilderness or enjoying a weekend at the campground, this tent is sure to enhance your outdoor experience with its convenience, reliability, and comfort.

3. MIER Lanshan 2p Tent

Price: $252.99

The MIER Lanshan Pro tent series offers ultralight yet durable shelter options for outdoor enthusiasts. Made from 20D nylon, these tents are lightweight, waterproof, and tear-resistant, providing reliable protection against various weather conditions. With quick and easy setup, ample space, and convenient features like mesh pockets and vestibules, the Lanshan Pro tents are versatile options for backpacking, hiking, camping, and other outdoor adventures.

Backed by a two-year warranty, these tents are designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor use while providing comfort and convenience for users.

4. MSR Elixir 3 V2

Price: $287.96

The MSR Elixir 3 V2 is a versatile and reliable tent designed for outdoor enthusiasts seeking comfort and durability in their adventures. With its spacious interior and easy setup, this tent comfortably accommodates up to three people, making it ideal for backpacking trips or camping weekends .

Featuring high-quality materials and thoughtful design elements, such as color-coded poles and clips, the Elixir 3 V2 ensures quick and hassle-free assembly, even for novice campers. Its durable construction and weather-resistant rainfly provide protection from the elements, while ample ventilation and mesh panels promote airflow and reduce condensation inside the tent.

Whether you’re exploring remote trails or enjoying a weekend getaway with friends, the MSR Elixir 3 V2 offers the perfect combination of comfort, convenience, and reliability for your outdoor adventures.

5. Kelty Grand Mesa

Price: $129.95

Designed with backpackers and campers in mind, this tent offers a spacious and comfortable shelter for up to two people, making it perfect for solo adventurers or cozy couples seeking refuge in the wilderness.

Crafted from durable materials and featuring a freestanding design, the Grand Mesa ensures stability and protection against the elements. Its color-coded clip construction and easy-to-use pole system make setup a breeze, allowing you to spend less time pitching your tent and more time enjoying your outdoor adventures.

With its full-coverage rainfly and taped seams, the Grand Mesa offers superior weather protection, keeping you dry and comfortable even during unexpected rain showers or windy conditions. Plus, its large mesh windows and dual vestibules provide ample ventilation and storage space, allowing you to keep your gear organized and easily accessible throughout your trip.

6. MSR Hubba Hubba NX

Price: $518.30

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is MSR’s BEST SELLING tent! It’s the ultimate companion for backpackers seeking versatility, compactness, and lightweight performance.

With its optimized symmetrical geometry and non-tapered floor, this tent maximizes interior space while remaining easy to carry. Integrated, adjustable stake-out loops streamline setup, allowing you to spend less time pitching and more time exploring.

Whether you’re tackling the Sawatch Range or traversing the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier, the freestanding, 3-season Hubba Hubba tent offers unparalleled livability in the backcountry. Enjoy every moment of your outdoor adventure, including your time spent inside the tent.

7. Marmot Crane Creek

Price: $194.00

The Marmot Crane Creek is the perfect choice for backpackers and mountaineers looking for a durable, self-supporting, and easy-to-assemble tent. It is constructed with specially taped seams and a waterproof exterior that is especially durable, protecting the tent from bumps, scratches, scuffs, etc. The posts, made of ultra-light aluminium, offer great resistance while adding minimal weight.

If you compare it to the previous model, you will see that this tent is a bit heavier. However, it is also more spacious and easier to use for two people, as it has two entrance doors. This can be a key factor if you’re traveling with company.

8. Naturehike P Series 3 Person Tent

Price: $119.00

Experience the ultimate in lightweight camping with our 3-person backpacking tent. Constructed from durable 210T polyester with a silver coating, this tent offers exceptional waterproofing and UPF50+ sun protection.

With easy setup thanks to 7001 aluminum alloy poles, you can have your shelter ready in just 5 minutes. Enjoy ample headroom and 360° views with two doors and ventilation windows, while the mesh design provides excellent airflow. Plus, the tent fly and inner tent can be used separately for added versatility.

Packaged with all the essentials, including tent poles, pegs, and storage bag, this tent is your perfect companion for backpacking and cycling adventures.

9. Geertop 2 person Portable tent

Price: $174.99

If you are an adventurer who does not stop all year round, regardless of the weather conditions, the Geertop Snow Rock is the ideal tent for you.

This four-season tent is renowned and praised for its incredible ability to withstand any type of weather. There are few models that can help you face the extreme cold in the same way as the Snow Rock.

It features a double waterproof layer with anti-wind, anti-rain and anti-snow technology. The use of aluminum in the rods helps them stand firm in any scenario.

In addition, it includes a snow guard ideal for keeping snow and rain away from your tent. The interior of the tent is made of breathable polyester and fine nylon fabric, which helps keep the heat inside.

Although two people can enter, the dimensions are not as spacious and it is more recommended for a single traveler. If you’re planning to brave the cold on your next trip, you’ve already found the perfect tent for you.

10. Kelty Late Start 2P Tent

Price: $155.00

Lightweight, portable, and packed with features like rain cover, water resistance, and accessory pockets, the Late Start Backpacking Tent is your reliable partner for all your outdoor adventures.

The Late Start tent offers a spacious interior of 29.5 square feet, with a peak height of 40 inches, ensuring you have ample room to relax after a day of hiking. The tent also features a single vestibule, providing an additional 7.85 square feet of storage space for your gear.

The tent’s unique design includes pre-bent aluminum poles that create extra room inside the tent. The single door, No-see-um mesh walls, and tough, water-resistant floor ensure comfort and privacy.

The floor is made from tough, 68-denier fabric that’s water-resistant up to 1800 mm, ensuring you stay dry, no matter the weather. The tent also includes a ceiling pocket for additional internal storage.

It comes with a waterproof 68 denier rainfly, with all seams sealed to keep the water out. The freestanding design means you can pitch the tent and then move it around to find the best site.

11. Naturehike Mongar 2

Price: $139.00

Crafted from high-quality materials and featuring a freestanding design, the Mongar 2 tent offers excellent stability and protection against the elements. Its color-coded poles and easy-to-use clips ensure quick and hassle-free setup, allowing you to spend less time pitching your tent and more time enjoying the great outdoors.

With its full-coverage rainfly and taped seams, the Mongar 2 provides superior weather protection, keeping you dry and comfortable even during unexpected rain showers or windy conditions. The tent’s large mesh windows and dual vestibules enhance ventilation and airflow, while offering ample storage space for your gear.

MSR Hubba Hubba NX

Editors Pick Badge

Price: $518.30

The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is MSR’s BEST SELLING tent! It’s the ultimate companion for backpackers seeking versatility, compactness, and lightweight performance.

With its optimized symmetrical geometry and non-tapered floor, this tent maximizes interior space while remaining easy to carry. Integrated, adjustable stake-out loops streamline setup, allowing you to spend less time pitching and more time exploring.

Whether you’re tackling the Sawatch Range or traversing the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier, the freestanding, 3-season Hubba Hubba tent offers unparalleled livability in the backcountry. Enjoy every moment of your outdoor adventure, including your time spent inside the tent.

Comfort: The spacious design makes it comfortable to be in thanks to its ample headroom and total area. It has a symmetrical space that also gives you a good living area without you getting overwhelmed.

Design: The MSR lives up to its reputation for high quality. The Hubba Hubba NX store uses high-quality ripstop nylon, sturdy and waterproof webbing straps and aluminum.

Features: There is no doubt about the amazing design of this tent as it has been built with double lobbies, 4 pockets, a simple single-rod configuration, high privacy panels, and good tension straps. All these features make the tent an excellent livable option.

Size/Weight: As a lightweight tent, a packed size of 46x15cm and a weight of 1.8kg, is sufficient.

Versatility: The MSR tent is a good choice, whether you’re hiking or camping. It has suitable quality materials that can come in handy during these trips.

Rating: an all-terrain tent, well worth the purchase.

Bigger Tent Options

Ayamaya 6 person Tent

Price: $139.99

The Ayamaya 6-person pop-up camping tent offers convenient setup with pre-assembled poles that pop up instantly, making it easy to pitch in seconds. Designed with a two-layer structure, this tent minimizes condensation and enhances air circulation, ensuring a dry and comfortable interior.

With a spacious interior measuring 12.5 x 8.5 ft and a center height of 4.5 inches, it comfortably accommodates 4-6 adults or 3-5 people with ample luggage. The tent’s vestibule provides additional storage space for gear, shoes, or pets. Enhanced ventilation is achieved through big doors, mesh windows, and ground vents, while waterproof-coated Oxford fabric and PU3000 polyester roof ensure water resistance and windproof performance, making it suitable for various weather conditions.

Coleman 6-person Instant-Tent

Price: $139.99

The Coleman Instant Cabin makes getting camp set up quicker and easier than ever. This instant tent has pre-attached poles that make setting up camp as simple as unfolding, extending, and securing. You can assemble the tent in about a minute and then get started on your adventure.

This camping tent is designed with the WeatherTec system that features patented welded floors and inverted seams to help ensure you stay dry if it starts to rain. An integrated vented rainfly offers added protection from the rain and improves airflow without the need for extra assembly.

This backpacking tent is made from rugged Polyguard 2X double-thick fabric that stands up to the rigors of the outdoors, so you can use it reliably season after season. This 6-person tent offers enough room for two queen size air beds and comes with integrated storage pockets to help you keep small items organized.

And when it’s time to go home, the camping tent packs away securely in the included expandable carry bag that lets you tear away the rip strip for easy packing.

2. WHAT MAKES A GOOD CAMPING TENT

1. Ventilation

Effective ventilation is crucial for managing internal condensation. Look for tents equipped with sufficient roof vents to facilitate airflow, regardless of the weather conditions. Being confined in a stuffy tent without functional vents during inclement weather or temperature fluctuations can be unpleasant.

Certain tents feature zippers that provide access to top vents with kickstands from inside the tent, which proves useful when exterior high roofs are challenging to reach. Ensure to properly stake out the sides of your rainfly to enhance air circulation.

2. Versatility

While it would be great to have a different tent for every month of the year and each type of adventure, most hunters and anglers need to get by with one or two rigs.

Luckily, with today’s modern designs you can often use the same basic setup for a summertime lakeside barbecue and a fall fly-in moose hunt.

While specialized all-mesh construction could be pretty clutch for humid swampy areas, or insulated walls for sleeping next to your ice fishing hole, we like to go with tents that can cover many bases.

3. Durability

Walmart and Costco do sell tents. If you’re just dipping your toe in this whole camping thing, the $49.99 special could suit your needs and budget. Just don’t expect that package to stay standing in a big Chinook wind or dry in a heavy summer squall.

If you want a shelter that can handle whatever you might throw at it, look for quality, cross-stitched silnylon panels and taped or sealed seams. Check for reinforced stake pockets and guy-out points.

Quality carbon-fiber or metal poles are a must. If there’s a rainfly or footprint, make sure those won’t wilt at the first site of sticker bushes branches. Much of that analysis is visual so it helps to give a good look and feel to a potential purchase.

4. Ease of Assembly

Polar expeditions and mountaineering teams often bring large, complex, geodesic dome-style hut tents that will withstand damn near any conditions—but can take hours to deploy.

While the weather on a late-season mule deer hunt or winter steelhead quest may feel similarly daunting, it probably isn’t, and your time may be more constrained. Find a tent that strikes a balance.

Wall tents usually take a solid hour to set up, but the warmth and space is worth it for a weeklong adventure. Tipi tents can be pretty tricky to rig by yourself at first, but you get the hang of it with practice. Consider this important factor when making your decision.

5. Size and Weight

Many backpacking tents, tarps, and bivouacs available on the market these days will barely send your scale over the 2-pound mark.

We’ll discuss those more deeply in a coming article, but it’s worth mentioning now that ultra-light weight may not be the best choice when you’re camping from the truck or going in by bushplane or mule train. For general-purpose camping, size and weight may come at a lower premium, but certainly worth considering. Many wall tents weigh more than 100 pounds with poles, stakes, stove, and canvas and will simply not fit inside a compact car or sedan.

You must find the place where the weight and size of the tent matches the space available for transportation, expected conditions, and the amount of people who need to sleep.

6. 3-STATIONS OR 4-STATIONS?

3-season tents are the most popular choice among travelers and mountaineers. They are prepared to withstand storms and a little snow. They are usually super light and have good ventilation, making them perfect for short or long-term backpacking trips and mountain routes that don’t involve extreme weather or heavy snowfall.

4-season tents are designed to withstand cold weather and heavy snowfall, making them a good choice for high-altitude trekking and winter adventures.

7. DOORS & LOBBIES

If you’re going to use the tent just for yourself, a door and lobby will suffice. For two people, two doors and two lobbies would be better. That way, you won’t have to jump over your partner to get in or out, and each person will have their own lobby to store their equipment.

3. What other features should I look out for?

As with almost anything, the more you’re willing to spend on a tent, the more options you’ll have. Many higher-priced models come with a range of extra features – such as space for storing dirty gear and internal pockets to keep everything organized.

If you’re just looking for a basic, everyday tent for fair-weather camping, there are plenty of effective, budget-friendly options, but if you want to stay warm and dry in severe weather – consider spending a little extra for proven waterproofing technology from the bigger manufacturers.

And if you’re looking for gears to bring along on your next trip too, along with the tent, 50 Best Gears for Hiking and Camping could help with that.

4. How can I choose a more weatherproof tent?

Look out for a specification called the hydrostatic head (HH): this is a figure indicating how waterproof a fabric is in millimeters. To be considered waterproof, a tent’s fabric should have a minimum HH of 1,000mm – and the higher the better, so aim to choose a tent with a HH rating of 2,000mm or more.

Some tents have just a single layer and are known as “single-skin” tents, while “twin-skin” tents come with an inner and outer layer for water protection. If you go for the latter, make sure the two layers aren’t touching when you pitch the tent, as this could impact the water protection. Try to check on What Is The Best Waterproof Tent Material | Everich Outdoor for a better understanding on the subject if you’re curious.

5. What shapes do tents have?

The shapes of tents have evolved over time, the purpose of which is the comfort of installation and adaptation to the climatic environment. There are basically three ways, which are:

– Dome tent or igloo: for assembly, the rods are crossed diagonally over the base, thus tightening the outer fabric. Its great advantage is its resistance to wind and external conditions, although the interior space is quite limited.

– A-frame tents: formerly very popular with campers due to its simple design, the A-frame tent (also known as the Ridge tent) looks like a capital A, as its name suggests. Originally made of canvas with metal or wooden poles, modern options of this tent are composed of lightweight fabric such as nylon and polyester and have aluminum poles. This tent is easy to set up and surprisingly stable, but it is heavy, bulky when packed, and lacks headroom.

– Geodesic tents: they are similar to igloo tents, but with a greater number of rods, so assembly is more complicated, they have greater stability and are better resistant to external weather.

If you’re looking for an ultralight tent for your next backpacking trip, you can check on The 5 Best Ultralight Tents of 2024 | GearLab for some insights and suggestions, they’ve got great content and quality reviews on all sorts of outdoor products too.

FAQs

Why is weight important? –

Weight contributes to the overall backpacking experience, but it’s not the main feature to look for. Usually, the weight can be reduced by sacrificing the size of the sleeping space or the quality of the materials, but the best camping tents should be somewhere in between. We have found that about 2 kg is the ideal weight with which you can combine quality and comfort.

What seasons should my tent be for? –

It depends on when you want to go camping. A 3-season tent is best for the warmer months, while a 4-season tent will stand up to all inclement weather (even in winter!). It’s worth remembering that year-round tents retain heat, so they can be very hot during the summer. Basically, these categories of tents will help you identify what you need, based on your activity.

Are backpacking tents easy to set up? –

Yes, backpacking tents are designed for ease of use. Most of the models we tested take only a couple of minutes to assemble. The best tents for hiking are specifically designed with useful and instant features.

What are the most important features? –

We prefer to have double cabins for extra storage of camping gear. In addition, mounting with one or two rods and at least 2 internal pockets, will definitely make the tent more practical. Weight, strength and a comfortable sleeping space are obviously the other key features of the best camping, hiking and backpacking tents.