Best Camping Tents Reviewed!
One of the best ways to appreciate the outdoors is via a good camping trip. There is nothing like spending days hiking and exploring gorgeous national parks followed by nights around a camp fire underneath a million bright, twinkling stars. In order to enjoy your time away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you should invest in a good tent. Camping tents come in a variety of different sizes and shapes. You want a tent that is big enough to sleep in, whether for yourself alone or for a family. While it may be tempting to buy the biggest tent out there, remember that you're going to have to carry it with you on your adventure. Ideally, your tent should be easy to set up. It should be able to resist rain and feel sturdy if the wind picks up. Tents are good for different seasons. Three-season tents are lightweight and good for spring, summer, and fall. Four-season tents are usable even in winter weather conditions. If you camp often, durable material is a must so that you don't have to frequently replace your tent.
You also need to consider what type of camping you'll be doing as there are different tents designed for backpack camping versus car camping. Backpack camping (or backcountry camping) means that you are hiking during the day and carrying all of your gear, including your tent, everywhere you go and setting up in different locations at night. With car/base camping, you have a set campsite (your base) that you return to daily, so you won't be carrying your tent with you. If you choose to car camp, you can buy a traditional tent or a rooftop tent, which attaches to your vehicle. There are other types of camping that exist, such as glamping, however for the purpose of this camping tent guide, we are focusing on backpack camping and car camping. Read on to find our recommendations for different tents based on size, price, durability, stability, ease of set-up, and more!
Our Favorite: Kelty Trail Ridge 6
The Kelty Trail Ridge 6 is a 3-season, 6-person tent that is great for base camping. It measures 120 inches by 98 inches by 72 inches and an 82 square foot floor space. Packed, it measures 27 inches by 8 inches by 8 inches and weighs 15 pounds. There are three aluminum poles and color-code clip and sleeve construction. The tent walls are made out of 68D polyester/40D no-see-um mesh. Set up was thankfully simple. You can lie back and night and stargaze through the fly. The fly vents keep the tent well-ventilated. It stood up to rain without difficulty. Overall, this is a great tent for families going car camping.
Great for Families: Marmot Limestone 4P Tent
The Marmot Limestone 4P is a four-person, three-season camping tent that works great for families. It measures 63 inches by 86 inches by 100 inches. When packed, it measures 27.5 inches by 10 inches and weighs 11 pounds 11 ounces. When this tent it set up, the floor measures 59.7 square feet and has a 21 square foot vestibule area. The canopy is made out of 40 denier polyester mesh and the floor is 150-denier polyester Oxford. The rainfly fabric is 68-denier ripstop polyester. There are interior pockets for items that you want to keep in easy reach. The footprint is optional and sold separately.
Best Car Tent: Tepui Kukenam Ruggedized 3 Tent
The Tepui Kukenam Ruggedized Tent is a 3-person 4-season car tent. This tough and rugged tent sits on the roof of your car. This tent is not easy to set up – be prepared for several hours of installation work ahead of you. When open, this tent measures 56 inches by 96 inches by 52 inches. It weighs a whopping 180 pounds without the annex (sold separately). The base is made of heavy duty aluminum. The rainfly fabric is 420D Polyester Oxford with taped seams and polyurethane coating. Even though you could store things in your car, there are large internal pockets to keep things organized that you want within reach. This tent does not come cheap and initial set-up is especially time-consuming, but for those who camp regularly and in all sorts of conditions it is an amazing tent to have.
Best Backpacking Tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2
The Copper Spur HV UL2 is a three-season backpacking tent. It measures 40 inches high, 88 inches long, and 52 inches wide. The packed size is 4 inches by 19.5 inches and packed weight is just over 3 pounds. It is intended to sleep up to two people. The fly and floor are silicone treated with 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating. It has two doors, making it easy to enter and exit. The two vestibules measure 9 square feet, perfect for storing gear, and have storm flaps on their zippers. The tent is easy enough to set up with Velcro tabs to connect fly to pole structure and pre-cut guy lines. There is one fly vent to help prevent condensation accumulation. Footprint (which is made of heavier material and helps to preserve your tent) is sold separately.
Budget Pick: Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent
The Mountainsmith Morrison 2-person 3 season tent is our budget pick, costing just over $100. This backpacking tent measures 92 inches by 56 inches by 43 inches. Its packed size is 7.5 inches by 18 inches, and it weighs 5 pounds 9 ounces when packed, so not as lightweight as some other backpacking tents. The two poles are made out of 7000 series aluminum and set up was quick. The canopy fabric is 68-denier polyester and the floor and rainfly fabric are polyurethane-coated 68-denier polyester. There are some concerns about the durability of this tent so we wouldn't recommend if you are an avid camper. Instead, we would suggest you invest in a higher quality tent. It did seem to hold up in rain but we aren't certain it would do well in high wind conditions. If you camp in milder weather though this could be a great budget pick! Footprint is not included.
There is a lot to think about when choosing a tent for your next camping adventure. You need to consider how often you go camping, how many people your tent needs to fit, and the sort of conditions you'll be camping in. Unless you are planning on just camping once in your lifetime, you're probably going to want to choose a tent that is durable. Waterproofing is important unless you want to risk getting soaked by rain. Budget of course will also play a role, though it is true what they say: you get what you pay for. Our favorite tent for families who are base camping is the Kelty Trail Ridge 6 tent. It is easy to set up, waterproof, and offers a lot of space. The Marmot Limestone 4P tent is another tent that is great for families and came in a close second to the Kelty. The Tepui is certainly expensive, but it is tough enough for all seasons and offers amazing comfort for those who want a car tent. The Big Agnes Copper Spur is our backpacker tent choice. Finally, our budget choice is the Mountainsmith Morrison tent. We hope you enjoy your camping adventures! Don't forget to check out our sleeping bag guide before you go!