10 Best Tents | March 2017

We spent 25 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Enjoy your next outdoor adventure in comfort, safety, warmth and style with one of the tents from our selection. Ranked by size, ease of setup, price and durability, and suitable for everything from deep-woods backpacking to large family outings, they'll ensure your next camping trip goes off without a hitch. Skip to the best tent on Amazon.
10 Best Tents | March 2017

Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 5
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
The bivy-style Eureka Solitaire is the ideal one-man tent. With only two poles needed for setup, and a durable but lightweight rain fly, it's compact enough to take on long weekend expeditions into the back-country without weighing you down.
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 6-foot-6-inch ceiling, semi-straight sides, and is constructed of 100% cotton duck canvas that is both watertight and breathable.
The two-person 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, and has an aerodynamic fly that will keep it standing upright even in heavy winds.
The Coleman Montana has a modified dome structure that has been designed for an easy setup, so it won't be a problem if you arrive at your campsite late and need to assemble it fast. Its rugged 1,000-denier polyethylene floor stands up to heavy use as well.
  • electrical access port
  • reverse-angle windows
  • difficult to get back into bag
Brand Coleman
Model 2000001594-Parent
Weight pending
With three separate rooms, the spacious Ozark Trail XL can accommodate a party of up to 10 people. But it's also a good option for a few couples who want their own separate spaces for sleeping, as each area can hold a full queen-sized air mattress.
  • every room has a private entrance
  • taped fly-seams resist water leakage
  • not for sale in california
Model pending
Weight 31.4 pounds
Go big with the Big Agnes Flying Diamond, which features a generous 90.5-square-foot floor area that can accommodate a large family, more vented windows than you can count on one hand, and a full-coverage fly. Two doors offer ample ventilation.
  • color-coded poles and webbing
  • easily folds up into its carry case
  • two separate areas for privacy
Brand Big Agnes
Model TFD89
Weight 25.3 pounds
The Wenzel Klondike is designed for full-on group camping. It has a large, screened front porch area where everybody can sit and eat dinner safely hidden away from mosquitoes, and two large venting or viewing windows, making it excellent for use in hot weather.
  • full mesh roof offers good air flow
  • double-staked power corners
  • privacy screens on front porch area
Brand Wenzel
Model 36424
Weight 28.6 pounds
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 securely buckles to the tent and extra guy-outs for windy conditions. The grey coloring blends into its surroundings.
  • freestanding two-pole design
  • smooth extra large zippers
  • polyester floor with 2000mm coating
Brand Browning Camping
Model 5492711
Weight 21.2 pounds
The freestanding Coleman SunDome is a good all-purpose option for the casual camper. It features two hooded windows for ventilation, a waterproof WeatherTec system, and a continuous pole sleeve construction that keeps the whole thing tight and sturdy.
  • available in several sizes
  • sets up and tears down in 10 minutes
  • has an ac accessibility port
Brand Coleman
Model 2000024583
Weight 16.6 pounds
Experienced and amateur backpackers alike ought to consider the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr, a durable two-person tent that can withstand just about anything Mother Nature throws at you. Two large vestibules on either side offer you and your partner plenty of gear storage.
  • sturdy three-pole design
  • urethane-coated fly and floor
  • exceptional quality-to-cost ratio
Brand ALPS Mountaineering
Model 5232617
Weight 6.7 pounds

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: 03/30/2017 | Authorship Information