Not everyone enjoys camping in large groups, and when 2 person models are just a bit too cramped for you and your gear, then we need the next size up, welcome to 3 person tents.
If you are the type of person that prefers camping alone for solitude and extra legroom, or with 1 or 2 other people for a cozy night under the stars, a 3 man tent can be a great addition.
Big enough to hold 3 people, but ideally geared toward 1-2 campers, the tents on our list are made with high quality materials and built to last. The models we have handpicked also include waterproofing features and strong frames to withstand the best and worst weather conditions in multiple seasons.
Backpackers and hikers are a large target market for these size tents, as they provide vestibule space for storing your packs and boots, while collapsing into a small carry pack.
The carry pack can be easily taken on the trail as most of the options in our list still retain a lightweight carry weight. The larger models with more interior space are best suited for campsite camping, due to the heavier carry weight.
Our article will outline some of the top camping tents for 3 people you should have on your radar.
While providing essential information and tips you should be aware of when shopping around.
Let’s get to it!
10 Best Three Person Camping Tents
10. ALPS Mountaineering Chaos 3-Person Tent
The Chaos is a free-standing 3 person tent from ALPS that features a full mesh design for premium ventilation with or without the attachable rain fly. Using a shock-corded single pole system, the frame is fashioned out of aluminum for a strong and lightweight structure that the tent attaches to with a series of clips.
Vertical walls at 41 inches high increase headroom, and the 41 square foot interior can fit a queen-sized air mattress for increased comfort. When the vented fly is buckled down, the tent’s dual doors are covered by dual 11 square foot storage vestibules.
Factory sealed seams provide added water protection to the already moisture-proof 1500mm coated 75D polyester fly, and 3000mm coated bathtub floor. Weighing just under 7 lbs, its packed down to a 23 x 6.5 inch sack, and also includes 3 interior pockets and a gear loft.
- Premium Ventilation Due to Mesh Design
- Waterproof Fly and Floor with Taped Seams
- Uses Single Shock-Corded Pole System
9. Marmot Crane Creek 3 Person Camping Tent
Available with or without a footprint, Marmot’s Crane Creek model is a 6.5 lb lightweight backpacking tent that sets up easily and provides you a high-quality shelter at a mid-range price. Fashioned with strong 7000 series aluminum shock-corded poles, the macaw green/crocodile colored canopy features plenty of mesh for increased ventilation.
The full coverage polyester fly is waterproofed with fully taped seams for rain protection. Additional gear space comes in the form of two side vestibules, that cover dual tents door during rainstorms.
Inside the tent you will find nearly 4 feet of height, 42 square feet of space for an air mattress, a fully-taped up bathtub floor, and interior pockets to help organize your devices.
- 6.5lb Carry Weight
- Full Coverage Waterproof Rainfly and Bathtub Floor
- Dual Vestibules for Gear Storage
8. Kelty Night Owl Tent
With a mesh-heavy design, the Night Owl follows in the footsteps of most tents in the Kelty lineup as a 3 season tent, constructed from quality materials. A 46 square foot interior is capable of housing up to 3 bodies, with 2 side vestibules each providing 10 square feet of additional storage space so you have a place for your gear.
The near vertical walls afford you more headroom, with a peak height of 3.75 feet making it easy to sit up move about. The vented, roll up rain fly is a nice feature, for those nights when you want to stargaze, and it’s simple to unroll and buckle down in seconds if rainy weather comes your way.
The DAC press-fit aluminum poles are both ultralight and strong, giving excellent frame support against heavy winds, while waterproofing features such as the bathtub floor keep wetness out of the tent.
In addition, you get noiseless zippers, storage pockets, and gear lofts, while transport is simple as it weighs all of 7 lbs., and is housed in cube carrying bag to fit your backpack easily.
- Fly Rolls Up for Stargazing or Down for Rain Protection
- Plenty of Mesh for Increased Ventilation
- Near Vertical Walls for Extra Headroom
7. Marmot Limelight 3 Person Camping Tent
Standing 4 feet tall with near-vertical walls, the Limelight’s 42.5 square foot interior and large easy access doors are just some of the reasons this model from Marmot is so popular. With packed dimensions of 22 x 8 inches, and weight of 6 lbs. 11oz., it is easily transportable, includes a footprint, and has fully taped seams throughout.
The canopy is crafted out of 40D polyester no-see-um mesh as well as 68D polyester taffeta for a lightweight but durable fabric. Not short on waterproofing, the fly and bathtub floor both use 68D poly, with the fly having 1500mm waterproofing and the floor a rating of 2000mm.
Aluminum DAC press-fit poles provide a strong frame that the tent can attach to with color coded clips to make your life easier. In addition to the vented full coverage rain fly, the Limelight has 2 vestibules and is available in 2 colors. Some cool additional features include nylon zipper pulls, and interior pockets for storing your essentials.
- 4 Feet Tall Vertical Wall Design
- Waterproofed Fly and Floor with Fully Taped Seams
- Available in Crocodile or Orange Color Options
6. Crua Duo Cocoon Maxx Combo Tent
The Duo Cocoon Maxx is a lightweight 3 person tent made from breathable polyester, with 48.75 square feet of interior space, and over 4 feet of height for easy maneuverability. With 5000mm of water-resistant coating, the fly’s hydrostatic head provides excellent protection against the elements, as well as an additional 17.6 square feet of vestibule space for storing everyone’s boots and gear.
The tent uses beveled stakes with a sturdy 8.5mm aluminum frame, and packed down in a 22 x 6 x 6 carrying case it has a weight of 7.5 lbs. With the ability to connect to the Cocoon or Cocoon Max for even more space, the Duo Maxx comes with low vents that can be staked out, and adjustable high vents ensuring that a lack of ventilation is a non-issue.
The dual-sided rain fly can be used to either cool down the tent by reflecting the sun’s rays, or harness the sun’s warmth to heat up the tent. Large zippers, B3 bug-proof mesh, storage pockets, and a light hook are excellent bonus features that will help make this tent one of the best on the market.
- Large Interior Space with Connectabillity for Additional Space
- 5000mm Waterproof Hydrostatic Head for Premium Waterproofing
- Dual-Sided Rain Fly for Heating or Cooling Tent
5. Coleman Hooligan Backpacking Tent
in 2,3 and 4 person options, the Hooligan is a budget backpacking tent that is perfect for first-timers, or those after something fast for an upcoming trip, that is also surprisingly strong. This particular model has room for a queen size air mattress, with enough additional space to accommodate a third person.
The primarily mesh designed body keeps the tent ventilated, and a 6 square foot front vestibule will allow you storage space as well as a dry entry during stormy weather.
The waterproof rain fly is just one of the Weathertec features Coleman includes, with the others being inverted seam stitching, reinforced corners, waterproof bathtub flooring, and zipper covers. The tent’s frame uses lightweight fiberglass poles designed to withstand high winds once you stake it down, giving you a well-rounded weatherproof shelter.
- Vented Fly Works with Mesh Tent for Good Airflow
- Weathertec Waterproof System for Dry Camping
- Excellent Value Budget Tent
4. ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 3-Person Tent
The Tasmanian 3 person tent has a lot going for it, with a large 49 square foot, 54 inch height interior, and an extremely affordable price tag leading the way. The tent comes with everything you need (save for a footprint), and uses two shock corded fiberglass cross poles to give it a strong support frame.
Large doors with embedded windows on opposite sides of the tent are a great feature for late night “when nature calls” moments. They use high quality #8 zips to avoid snags, working in conjunction with 2 mesh wall panels to circulate air around the clock.
The shelter is coated in a 1500mm water-resistant agent so you stay dry inside when it is wet outside, and the polyester fly also provides awning support over the doors for additional moisture protection.
Packed down, it weighs 9 lbs. but can be split to lighten the load between two people, and the traditional storage pocket and gear loft highlight the interior features.
- Around 4 Feet of Interior Height
- Excellent Ventilation With 2 Doors and Mesh Panels
- 1500mm Fly, 5000mm Floor
3. ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent
This copper/rust themed backpacking tent from ALPS uses a full no-see-um mesh design with a water-resistant bathtub floor to provide excellent views and ventilation for you and your fellow campers.
A height of 41 inches allows you to sit up inside the 40 square foot tent, and dual vestibules afford you an extra 17 square feet of gear storage space while featuring 2 large roll up doors.
Structurally, the Zephyr uses a two aluminum pole design for a strong and durable frame that the 75D polyester fabric can clip to, and included stakes and guy rope will secure the shelter to the ground.
The tent fly has multiple adjustable vents and is coated in 1500mm waterproofing, with the floor having a 3000mm rating, and sealed seams are featured throughout the entire structure. At just over 6 lbs, it is a lightweight option that is affordable, and will be a great addition to your outdoor adventuring.
- Full Mesh Design & Rain Fly Vents Provide Excellent Ventilation
- Taped Seams With 1500mm (fly) – 3000mm (floor) Waterproofing
- Lifetime Warranty Against Workmanship Defects
2. Big Agnes Blacktail
Big Agnes lives up to its name with this spacious 3 person tent that comes with its own footprint to extend the life of your investment. Dual 9 square foot vestibules on either side of the 44 square foot interior provide plenty of storage space for boots and packs, and 42 inches of height make it easy to move around in.
With 2 full-size doors, you won’t have to crawl over people on entry or exit, and white mesh walls add some privacy while allowing you enough transparency to enjoy the views around you.
Lightweight and color-coded press-fit aluminum poles give the tent a strong frame, canopy clips attach to it, and the fly uses Velcro tabs and buckle points before securing it with the provided stakes. Heavy on vents with both side and top, Big Agnes waterproofs the Blacktail with 1500mm of coating and taped seams to prevent leakage.
Inside the shelter you will find a variety of mesh and storage pockets for your essentials, and at a packed weight of 6 lbs, you can pretty much take this tent anywhere.
- Full-Size Double Doors for Easy Entry/Exit
- Privacy Mesh Transparent for Stargazing
- Waterproof Shelter Includes Footprint to Extend Longevity
1. MSR Elixir 3-Person Lightweight Tent
Including a footprint to protect the bathtub floor from premature wear and tear, MSR’s 3 person Elixir model is a lightweight tent at 7 lbs, ideal for backpackers and hikers alike. Unpacking from its 20 x 8 inch bag, the cross-arch dome frame goes together easily to provide 3.4 feet of headroom, perfect low profile design for remote camping.
The canopy easily attaches to the color-coded aluminum poles for a quick pitch. Constructed out of 40D ripstop nylon, the floor uses stronger 70D poly with 3000mm waterproofing, and the fly has 1500mm waterproofing on its 68D poly fabric.
40 square feet of interior space can accommodate 3 campers, with dual vestibules adding 17.5 square feet on each side of the tent for pack and boot storage. Outfitted with mesh and vents for efficient airflow, the tent also sports 2 easy entry doors, multiple gear lofts with interior pockets, glow in the dark zipper pulls, and a fast fly minimalist setup for when you just want a quick shelter.
- 40 Square Feet of Interior Space
- Waterproof Fly & Bathtub Floor
- Footprint Included for Fast Fly Setup
How to Choose a 3 Person Tent
While 3 person tents can hold 3 people, a more comfortable fit is 1 – 2. The floor space of these models will be in the 40 square foot range, with around 3 – 4 feet of height so you can sit up comfortably for changing, or getting in and out of the tent without smashing your head on the ceiling.
In addition, depending on the style of the rain fly, additional vestibule space can be created so you have a place to store your gear outside of the sleeping area, while still having it protected from the elements. Tents can have 1 or 2 vestibules at about 9 square feet each.
With unpredictable weather patterns and multi-season use, you need a tent that keeps you dry. Rain fly’s and tent floors are always waterproofed with an anti-moisture agent that sits somewhere in the 1500mm – 3000mm hydrostatic head range. Depending on the tent, it can employ a bathtub floor design, which gives you about 6 inches from the floor to the door zipper, helping to prevent floods and dirt from entering the sleeping space.
Tents that pay extra attention to waterproofing will have features such as double/inverted stitching, zipper covers, and taped seams throughout. If the tent you purchase only has basic waterproofing, you can always buy seam tape and water-resistant spray for an easy do-it-yourself project.
A 3 person tent with a large entry door will make it easier for you on entry and exit, and 2 doors will be even more ideal as you won’t have to climb over your fellow campers if they are asleep.
- High quality zippers (YKK, #8, or #10) are another nice feature most quality tents will have.
These make for smooth operation so there is no snagging or catching while opening doors and windows (which can lead to zipper failure).
Structurally, a tent with aluminum or fiberglass poles will provide you a strong support for windy days, while remaining lightweight enough for packing down and transporting in a backpack.
- Most tents will use polyester fabric for their canopy, with some using a more rugged ripstop nylon.
No-see-um micro mesh netting will be on most tents, using its tight weave to keep the smallest of pests out of your outdoor sanctuary.
- Inside the tent you will usually find a few pockets and gear lofts for storage or hanging a small light, and a few models will use a roll-up fly for stargazing.
This is a great feature because you can quickly roll down the fly if it suddenly starts raining.
Prices start from around $100 for the budget options like the Coleman Hooligan for example. The majority of the decent models are between $200 and $300. This is because generally, the cost of waterproofing and using quality materials at the manufacturers will land a market price within this range.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Use a 2 Person or 3 Person Tent?
If you intend to sleep 3 people, it can be done. However, it’s most efficient when used for 1-2 people and much more comfortable. If you have 3 campers, opt for a 4-5 person model instead. If you are considering a 2 person tent, then you should either be a solo camper or duo with minimal gear, and I mean minimal.
How to Set Up a 3 Person Tent?
While there are a few variations of 3 person tent styles, the majority will be a traditional pole set up due to their portability. Collapsible shock-corded fiberglass poles will connect together, to create the structural frame that the tent canopy clips to. A rain fly is usually supplied, and it will attach to the poles using Velcro loops, with buckles at the base corners for added security. The entire tent is then secured to the ground using stakes and guy lines.
Are they Waterproof?
Yes, manufacturers will waterproof their tents as they intend for them to be used in spring, summer and fall. This is achieved by coating the rainfly and floor with a water-resistant agent, usually in the 1500 – 3000mm range. Some tents will have taped seams to reduce the chances of springing a leak, and if they don’t, you can always buy waterproof spray and reinforce it yourself.
How Big is a 3 Person Tent?
On average, they will give you 40 square feet of interior space, 3 – 4 feet of height, and 9 square feet of extra vestibule space. Bivy models will be elongated with a lower head height than traditionally shaped tents.
How to Reinforce a 3 Person Tent?
While most manufacturers will include everything, you need to pitch the tent, a lot of campers upgrade the stakes that come with their 3 person tent, opting to go for a heavy-duty piece of steel. Reinforcing a tent is crucial so it holds up when the weather turns sour, and staking down the corners, as well as using the attached guy lines, will ensure the tent can’t handle Mother Nature’s fury.
Whether you’re camping with 2 or 3 people, or want to camp solo with a larger sleeping space, 3 person tents give you flexibility for both situations at a reasonable price. With the above options, you should have no problem finding a tent to serve you for years to come.