The 10 Best Tents

Updated February 09, 2018 by Quincy Miller

10 Best Tents
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. How much fun you have on your camping trip is directly correlated with the quality of your tent. The options below are easy to set up while protecting you from the elements and keeping nasty bugs out, so you'll spend less time struggling to get comfortable and more time doing what exactly Mother Nature intended -- getting roaring drunk by a fire. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tent on Amazon.

10. Core Instant

As the name suggests, the Core Instant can be set up in as little as 60 seconds, so you won't have to waste precious camping time swearing at tent poles. It comes in really handy when that storm sneaks up on you and you need shelter in a flash.
  • electrical cord access port
  • zippers get jammed often
  • difficult to get back in the bag
Brand CORE Equipment
Model pending
Weight 23.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Kelty Salida

Ideal for backpacking, the freestanding Kelty Salida has a roll-top carrying bag that you can just toss on top of your rucksack while you waltz through Yellowstone. It won't help you survive a blizzard, but weekend warriors will certainly get their money's worth.
  • great for scouts
  • mesh lining to keep no-see-ums out
  • doesn't have a window
Brand Kelty
Model 40812215
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Mountainsmith Morrison

The Mountainsmith Morrison boasts more than 35 square feet of space, plenty of light, and optimal ventilation, all at a great value. It's rated for use in three different seasons, so it will make a comfortable companion until heavy snow starts to fall.
  • bathtub floor design keeps water out
  • reflective guy lines
  • extremely small vestibules
Brand Mountainsmith
Model 11-2010-12
Weight 5.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Browning Glacier

Hardcore hunters looking for a little added comfort and security on their next trip will appreciate the Browning Glacier, which has a weatherproof fly that buckles securely to the tent and extra guy wire for windy conditions. The grey coloring blends into its surroundings.
  • freestanding two-pole design
  • easy for one person to pitch
  • zippers are difficult to operate
Brand Browning Camping
Model 5492711
Weight 21.2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

6. Gazelle 22272 T4

The detachable floor panel on the Gazelle 22272 T4 ensures you can stay clean even as you get back to nature, as it's easy to take off and rinse out when it gets muddy. It attaches using Velcro, ensuring that you can keep unwanted visitors from surprising you at night.
  • offers plenty of headroom
  • screened roof for stargazing
  • too bulky for backpacking
Brand Gazelle
Model 22272
Weight 37.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Coleman Sundome

Don't let the bargain-basement price of the Coleman Sundome fool you; it's a quality 2-person option that can shield you from the elements. It doesn't have many bells and whistles and you can't fit an elephant inside, but it's a great no-frills selection.
  • ideal for festivals
  • assembles in just 3 steps
  • might leak in heavy rains
Brand Coleman
Model 2000027924
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. NTK Arizona GT

Camping is more fun when you take lots of friends, and the NTK Arizona GT gives you plenty of room for all of your buddies. You can fit 9 or 10 people in here, so feel free to bring the whole family — or just stretch out all by your lonesome.
  • a queen-sized bed fits comfortably
  • durable double seams
  • includes privacy divider
Brand NTK
Model pending
Weight 27.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. MSR Hubba Hubba NX

If you just need room for you and your partner, the MSR Hubba Hubba NX is a surprisingly spacious choice that's still lightweight enough to lug around a trail all day. It has built-in rain gutters on the doors, so you can stay dry in even the most dreary conditions.
  • color-coded tabs for quick setup
  • two vestibules for your gear
  • well-ventilated for hot environments
Brand MSR
Model 2750
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Alps Mountaineering Extreme

Experienced and amateur backpackers alike ought to consider the Alps Mountaineering Extreme, a durable two-person model that can withstand just about anything Mother Nature throws at you. It's made of polyester taffeta that keeps bugs out without adding a ton of weight.
  • sturdy three-pole design
  • urethane-coated fly and floor
  • handy mesh pockets
Brand ALPS Mountaineering
Model 5232617
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow

The Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow is best for taller people who hate stooping the whole time they are in their tent. It has a spacious ceiling, semi-straight sides, and is constructed of 100% cotton duck canvas that is both watertight and breathable.
  • hefty 12-inch steel stakes included
  • four large mesh windows
  • easy to put up and take down
Brand Kodiak Canvas
Model 6010
Weight 83.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Do I Need A Tent?

A tent is defined as a shelter that consists of some type of covering like canvas or other type of fabric designed to shield the user from the elements. It is supported by a frame made of poles and rope. Some people have even been known to use low-hanging tree branches to support a makeshift tent.

The tent is going to be your most important piece of gear for your camping trip. You can choose from small tents that attach to the ground or that simply stand on their own. Or you can opt for the larger tents like the ones featured on this page. These tents use guy ropes that attach to tent pegs that you drive into the ground. This ensures that the tent stays in place to best protect you from the elements. It also keeps it from flying away while you're off on your daytime hike.

As you have seen, you can choose from any range of tent sizes. You can opt for a single person tent if you are camping alone or going with friends who already have their own tents. Or if you are feeling social, consider one of the big tents with multiple rooms so you and your friends or family can sleep in the same tent and save on gear.

Some of these tents are lightweight and ideal for hiking while others are better transported in a car or on an ATV. Most tents sold today are fairly easy to assemble, and a lot of them can be pitched by a single person in less than thirty minutes.

What Do I Need to Consider Before I Buy A Tent?

As you have already noticed, you are going to run into a lot of options when searching for the perfect tent. You will need to take a lot of factors into consideration before making your purchase.

First, consider your destination. What type of climate will you be camping in? Are you going to a dessert? Mountain top? Wooded area? Will you be at a designated campsite, or do you plan to wander off into the wilderness? Make sure you choose a tent that is appropriate for the destination's climate. If you frequent a variety of climates in your camping expeditions, a four-season tent is your best bet.

Second, you will need to check the weather forecast for your destination. Consider if you have a chance of encountering high winds, rain, snow, or dust storms. The novice camper might opt to cancel or postpone the trip in adverse conditions, but the expert camper thrives in them and will need to choose a tent that will stand up to the elements.

Third, consider the number of people the tent needs to hold and how much gear you will have. If you have a large family or a large group of friends, you will likely want to consider one of the larger tents.

Last, consider how you plan to transport the tent. If you are hiking, you might want to search for something lightweight that still meets all of your requirements. If you plan to drive to your destination, weight may not be as much of an issue.

From Need To Want

The earliest documented use of tents dates back to the Iron Age when they were originally used as homes. Once permanent structures began replacing tents as homes, tents were mostly used by military personnel and nomads.

The Romans used tents made of leather. For many years, tents were widely used by military to provide shelter for troops. These tents were made of canvas instead of leather but still mimicked the Roman concept. In World War I, larger tents were designed not only for shelter but for military activities and to house supplies and weapons.

The Native Americans dwelling in the Plains used tipis as shelters to support their nomadic lifestyles. These were tents often made of animal skins that kept them safe from the elements. The tipi differs from the traditional tent because of the hole in the top to allow smoke from campfires to escape.

Tents have evolved over time to meet more modern needs. While the general structure and concept seems to have remained the same, the designs and materials used have greatly advanced. Rather than being used out of necessity for shelter, they are now produced for recreational use.

In the 1960's, camping in tents gained widespread popularity motivating tent manufacturers to make adjustments to designs such as tunnels, additional rooms, and zippers rather than flaps. They have also added rain guards, floors, and mesh pockets and lofts for storing small items.

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Last updated on February 09, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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