23 Best Camping Tents in 2020 | Latest Update (Full Index)

The Best Camping Tents Index (New Edition)

 

We’re going to give a full in-depth answer to the very broad question ‘what is the best tent for camping?’.

As you may already be aware, not only do tents range in sizes from 1 person all the way up to 20 person, but they also come with a wide array of features.

It can be difficult deciding which tent is right for you and will serve you best out on the field.

There are some crucial features that we need, such as waterproof fabric, durable material, a light carry weight, and a simple set up to make life easier.

Note: If you are concerned whether it is safe or not to camp during Coronavirus, please refer to our article with references and advice from government guidelines. 

 

Best for Backpacking, Lightweight Carry, 2 Person Pick
MSR Elixir 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Best Cabin Tent, Spacious Interior, Stable, 4 Person Pick
Eureka Copper Canyon 4 -Person Tent
Best Instant Setup, Multi Room, Family, 12 Person Pick
CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent - 18' x 10' …- Light
MSR Elixir 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Eureka Copper Canyon 4 -Person Tent
CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent - 18' x 10' …- Light
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Best for Backpacking, Lightweight Carry, 2 Person Pick
MSR Elixir 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
MSR Elixir 2-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Best Cabin Tent, Spacious Interior, Stable, 4 Person Pick
Eureka Copper Canyon 4 -Person Tent
Eureka Copper Canyon 4 -Person Tent
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Best Instant Setup, Multi Room, Family, 12 Person Pick
CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent - 18' x 10' …- Light
CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent - 18' x 10' …- Light
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Best Tents for Camping Reviewed (All Types)

Not always easy to spot these in the minefield of tents available online, and often we can find out the lack of these important features at the worst possible time.

Today, we are going to fully guide you in your quest to find the best tent for camping, perfect for your next camping trip.

Note: If you need a full guide for any category here, click the orange guide links below each category. This will open up a full specific guide for each one with much more information.

 

 

Camping Tents by Size

As we know the sizing can vary hugely. We strongly suggest that you apply the +2 rule to your choice in regards to the size.

For example, if there are 4 campers then you go for a 6 person, 6 campers? Choose an 8-person etc. etc.

Were going to show you a quick summary of an example of the best from each capacity. You can then go deeper into our full reviews of each size on the market.

Let’s begin.

 

Best 1 Person Tent

Captain Obvious has arrived to say these are the best for solo campers. Shocking news, right?

However, what you might not know is that the majority of 1 person tents are geared towards backpackers, hikers and ultralight enthusiasts. 

It’s not uncommon for 1-man bands to hit the campsite, but it goes without saying that solo campers often like to keep to themselves and brave the elements with a bit of remote camping. Thus, the shelters they use need to be lightweight and low-profile.

Here’s a top example.

MSR Hubba NX 1 Person Tent

MSR Hubba NX 1-Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent

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MSR are a renowned outdoor brand among the backpacking and hiking community. Producing top-notch quality, often with all the latest features and functionality. The Hubba model line is just one of many that have taken the outdoor community by storm. But comes at a price.

With their patented ‘Xtreme Shield’ coating, it gives longevity to the tents, which balances out the price tag in the long run.

Weighing at just 2.9lbs, you can see why it’s a treat for backpacking, easily carried over long distances on the trail allowing for longer excursions deep into the wilderness.

The double-zippered door allows for easy access and can be rolled up and tied neatly out the way, allowing you to put your feet up and enjoy a nice view from within. 

A cool feature is that the rainfly absorbs heat during the day, which bodes well if you’re out on the trail in hot climates. The tent is fully backed by MSR, giving a 3-year warranty on the ultralight tent against any defect workmanship and delivery issues and faults.

This is very similar to the ultralight models of Bivy Tents that are an even more specifically modified single tent, for the real outdoorsmen among us. 

Key Features:

  • 2.9lbs Weight
  • Xtreme Shield Weather Protection
  • 3 Year Warranty

 

Best 2 Person Tent

2-Person Tents are also ideal for solo campers who fancy a bit more leg and gear space, but also for a camping duo. Camping in couples or with your child is a fantastic experience and one that should be shared whenever possible. These models for 2 allow this and provide stable and safe shelters on the campsite or on the trail. We’re going to take a look at one model that serves as a great example.

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent

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An award-winning tent from Big Agnes that comes in a variety of sizes on colors, from 1-4 man options and Olive Green, Grey and Orange colors, to name a few.

A lot of attention has gone into the design of their tents, for example, the poles have been designed to arc over more prominently, creating larger interior space than tents of the same dimensions. Inside you’ll find 2 vestibules that create 18sq ft of extra space for you to store your gear and dirty hiking boots.

Definitely a fully waterproof tent and will weather pretty heavy rainfall with a 1200mm hydrostatic head rating, making it ideal for nights on the trail or at the campsite, in any weather. Everything in this tent has been tweaked towards the ultralight route, from the stakes to the tent poles, everything has been weight reduced. But without losing any stability and strength.

Quite the opposite, this updated version of the Copper Spur has actually 25% stronger poles and 20% more internal space than the older models. Big Agnes are committed to improving existing lines, as opposed to firing out new ones over and over.

Seeing this does make me feel more confident to hand over the cash for a premium tent, when you can still see your model in its top list, years later.

Key Features:

  • 2.12lbs Trail Weight
  • Updated and Improved Version
  • 29 sqft Floor Area

 

Best 3 Person Tent

3 Person Tents are ideally for 1-2 campers, but you can fit 3 at a push. Utilized often by those who need to carry extra gear on the trail for perhaps cycling, rock-climbing or kayaking for example. Or, for the larger campsite models, a small family with a +1. You can fit a nice queen size mattress in and all jump on, or fit a couple of camping pads/bags in likewise.

Alps Mountaineering Chaos 3 Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Chaos 3-Person Tent

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A brand that also makes top tents, is Alps Mountaineering. As you can imagine by the name, they produce top tents for hardcore campers. A collection of brands, falling under one umbrella, they specialize in tents that can stand the test of time.

The Chaos line for example, offers incredible weather protection, and this has become hugely popular for backpacking and remote camping. Another aspect is that they work hard to keep the prices affordable, you’re probably looking at this thinking its $400.

With the design and name, it may look intimidating, but alas for only $200, it’s a real steal. At around 6lbs weight, it wouldn’t be considered ultralight, but definitely light weight for a 3-person tent. They have 2 color themes for if this one reminds you of Satan’s own tent (it does to me), you can opt for the more chill, Grey/Navy model.

Meshed walls and storage pockets, aluminum lightweight stakes and 2 access doors, are just a few of the enticing reasons to look closer at this tent.

Key Features:

  • 6lbs Weight
  • Unique Design
  • 1500mm Waterproof Rating

 

Best 4 Person Tent

4 Person tents are hugely popular given the humble size that can be suitable from anything from 2 up to 4 campers. Personally, we recommend these for 2 campers plus gear space. You could probably fit 3 in the cabin style models, 2 in the lower profile dome ones.

Eureka Copper Canyon 4 Person Tent

Eureka Copper Canyon 4 Person Tent

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A great example of a top 4-man tent, the Copper Canyon has a cabin like structure, creating a larger interior. Allowing for maximum gear space and sleeping room.

The 7-foot center height is well above average and you can expect most other 4 person tents to be slightly lower than this.

Not too heavy to carry around, at a cool 18lbs due to the fiberglass and steel mixed frame, as opposed to a full steel frame. The fiberglass helps to keep the weight down while not affecting the strength of the framework.

Feature-wise you can find ample storage inside, in the form of 2 large pockets and a wall organizer, which is basically an elongated pocket that is meshed. Ideal for storing your gadgets and devices off of the ground floor.

Although not an instant or pop up tent, it does have an equally simple ring and pin system, which isn’t hard to figure out after a bit of practice. The traditional frame tents are normally stronger in the long run, so we’re okay with this.

This particular model also comes in 6, 8 and 12 person models as it’s so popular, so you can find one for larger groups.

One of our favorite features on this is the AC port access. I know you might be rolling your eyes at the though of being ‘connected’ online in nature, but in terms of practicality, it’s a welcome feature.

Key Features:

  • 7 Foot Center Height
  • Multiple Capacity Models Available
  • Numerous Storage Pockets Inside

 

Best 5 Person Tent

5 Person Tents may seem like an offkey number. But they are a happy medium between the smaller 4 person tents, and the often oversized 6 person models. Best used by small families and camping groups of around 3 people, 4 at a push. Tents of this capacity start to inherit much larger dimensions and aim more towards car camping, than the lightweight backpacking types of above. There still are some, but less variety than smaller capacities. Anyway, lets preview an example of what 5-man tents have to offer.

Browning Camping Big Horn Tent

Browning Camping Big Horn Tent

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Aptly named the Big Horn, it’s huge for a 5-person tent. What’s most surprising for us is the really powerful water rating, up to 2000mm. This means it will hold up brilliantly well in bad weather and heavy rainfall.

A 7 foot center height and 80 square foot of space, is then emphasized by the straight cabin walls, to create this huge internal space. With this size, comes weight. So at 21lbs it’s probably not going to be hiked around very much, but ideal for car camping at the campsite.

Well circulated due to the large 4 windows on each wall (1 integrated into door) which are meshed. Likewise, the storage pockets inside are too, so moisture won’t accumalte4 in the corners, which is important when storing electronic devices.

75D Polyester tent material keeps the elements at bay and the flooring with double that at 150D, ensures a bone-dry sleeping area in safety. There are smaller models and ones geared towards hiking, check out our list for further insight.

Key Features:

  • 7 Foot Center Height
  • 4 Large Windows
  • 1500-2000mm Water Rating

 

Best 6 Person Tent

6 Person Tents are one of the most popular sizes and feature some of the most popular tent models on the market. Coleman, CORE, Ozark Trail and many others all created their own versions, which you can see in more detail in the above link. Below we provide a glimpse of what this tent capacity can offer, let’s take a look.

Coleman WeatherMaster 6 Person Tent

Coleman WeatherMaster 6 Person Tent with Screen Room

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You may already know Coleman as being one of the top manufacturers of outdoor gear. Their wide variety of tents are evident in every capacity, however we particularly like the Weathermaster model.

It comes in 6 and 10 person models, but only the 6 man tent comes with this great screened room extension. That combined with the budget price tag, it became an instant hit with families looking for an affordable tent for the school holidays and weekend trips.

The layout has around 100 square feet of space and can be divided up with a room-divider, allowing you customize the space accordingly. If with the family, 2 sleeping areas is the usual setup, or if couple camping, you can create a huge space for gear/camping table.

The screened room provides an extra 50-55 sqft of space, perfect for storing your boots, bikes and camping coolers. With extra value they usually throw in a camping lantern with this tent, which can be attached to the lantern hoop near the hub.

As a Coleman, it includes the WeatherTec waterproofing system, which includes a tub floor, welded corners and seams. The seams are also inverted and taped, which completely prevents any water penetration.

You get a lot for the price in this one, there aren’t many that match it in the 6 person category, for a family tent. If you’re after a Cabin or backpacking model, check out our list above.

Key Feature:

  • 55sqft Screened Room
  • WeatherTec Weather Protection
  • Affordable Price Tag

 

Best 7 Person Tent

7 Person Tents are actually more abundant than one might think. We begin to see 2 room models, sports tents and tents with unique features like awnings and screens, enter the fray. For a further look at what we are talking about, check above. This model below is a glimpse of what’s on offer, and a personal favorite of ours in the 7 man category.

NTK Arizona GT 7

NTK Arizona GT 7 to 8 Person Tent

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A sports tent at heart, but as a family tent it was rated 6th for the best family tent on the USA market, which is an insane feat when you consider how large the market is.

This is for multiple reasons. Firstly, the front door entry can be propped up with poles to create an awning extension, a great touch for campers.

The waterproof rating is very impressive, at 2500mm it will hold off even strong rain out on the field. Incorporating some top technology to improve resistance like partial aluminum coating, heat-welded materials, anti-fungus flooring and many others. You can find out in our full reviews above.

Weighing in at just 11lbs due to the shock-corded poles which are made of fiberglass, a lightweight material that is sturdy and strong. The weak points and ferrules are gold plated, to provide maximum strength in traditionally weak points of a tent structure.

Inside you’ll find double vestibule, meshed no-see-um windows that fully prevent mosquitoes and numerous storage pockets. The assembly is pretty easy with color-coded instructions that match colored poles.

So even though it’s not a fastpitch tent, it can be done easily enough with practice. We won’t beat around the bush, this bad boy is expensive, but will pay off in the long term due to the quality materials used and build standard.

Key Features:

  • CPAI-84 Fire Certified
  • 2500mm Water Rating
  • Nano Flex Shock Cord Poles

 

Best 8 Person Tent

8 Person Tents are ideal for 4-8 campers; however, we definitely feel these are most suitable for around 4-6 people. Just for the fact that you will have the most convenient camping experience with all the extra room. Really taking advantage of using a couple extra camping pads and gear space.

Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent

Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent

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This is a true ‘instant tent’ it can be pitched literally within 2 minutes, which is amazing for a tent of this size. Because the framework is all pre-assembled at the manufacturers, it comes already complete.

To pitch you simply extend the frame outwards the hinges click into place. This is a really cool feature that removes the pain of setup. Instant models are sturdier than their ‘pop up’ counterparts too, but often carrying a heavier price tag.

This model, in particular, has a 14×10 ft floorplan which enables you to fit a couple of large camping mattresses. As you can see it has a cabin-style design, combined with a 6.7 feet center height, this will create a huge space inside. As cabins have the tall straight walls, giving a more spacious feel.

A Coleman tent, so it has the typical waterproofing features that are evident in most of their top models, the Weather Tec system. A system used to provide the best protection in their tents, from bathtub floors to taped seams and integrated rainfly’s, it helps immensely when out in the elements.

Not the lightest tent around, it’s about average for an 8 person, at 38lbs definitely one for the campsite and not the trail.

Key Features:

  • Instant Set Up
  • Huge Spacious Interior
  • Weather Tec Waterproofing System

 

Best 9 Person Tent

9 Person Tents offer some of the best tents with instant set up. In fact, Ozark, CORE and Coleman all offer tents in these sizes with fastpitch setups. You can discover more about these above on our list. Not only this, but the dimensions are given a boost in all directions. Featuring some huge cabin tents and models with multiple rooms and storage accessories. Below is probably one of our favorites on the list and also a best-seller among the community. Let’s take a closer look.

CORE 9 Person Instant Tent

Close up of CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent

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Here’s an example that combines all of the above mentioned in one fell swoop. With 14 x 9 ft dimensions, twinned with a Cabin design, this tent is incredibly spacious.

So much so, that 2 room dividers are included, that allows you to separate the space into 3 rooms if you wish. All dividers are removable, so the options of having a large open plan, 2 room or 3 rooms are all readily available.

We don’t need to explain why having 3 large separated spaces are perfect for family camp groups, hence the popularity.

Large enough for up to 2 queen air mattresses or multiple smaller camping pads. Equally tall, at 6.5 foot you’ll have no trouble getting in and out of the access doors. For which there are 2, a D and T shaped door on either side.

An AC port is evident at the base of the tent, allowing you to feed power inside, to keep everyone online or utilize your camping gadgets.

CORE also has their own weatherproof patent, called the H2O Block Technology. This mostly comprises of heat-sealed seams, running from the base all the way around the tent. The rainfly is also sealed, providing extra protection from the elements.

The waterproof rating is undisclosed, however from the vast majority of reviews online, it seems to be holding up fine.

Price-wise we would say its priced fairly, instant setup tents are often slightly more expensive due to the convenience. So, for a model of this size, it’s a good price.

Key Features:

  • 3 Step Setup
  • 2 Removable Room Dividers
  • H2O Block Technology (Weatherproofing)

 

Best 10 Person Tent

We finally reach double digits with the Best 10 Person Tents. Growing in-size again, these tents are most suitable for a group of 5-6 who require a nice bit of additional space. You could push to 7-8 but we wouldn’t recommend it. Within this list are the usual faces with a couple of interesting additions from Alpha Camp and Tahoe Gear, check our link above to see those. Below we have a special model from Coleman, in the form of the first ‘darkrest’ tent in our list. Let’s find out what that is.

Coleman 10 Person Darkroom Instant Tent

Coleman 10 Person Dark Room Cabin Tent Review

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A success from Coleman, their darkroom cabin offers one of the best sleeping experiences for large groups or family camping. If you’re unsure what darkroom is, allow us give a brief explanation.

Also known as ‘darkrest’ it is essentially pitch-black material on the inside, combine with light reflective material on the outside. This reflects heat during the day, and also absorbing the heat. When the cool evening comes, the heat is used to warm the interior.

Not only this, but sleeping in pitch black has positive effects on the body and also has a sleep-inducing effect, to send you off to sleep after a long day. You’ll feel the benefit in the morning after a deep sleep, ready to hit the trail once again, or an activity-filled day with the kids.

A room divider is included, but only 1. With a 14 x 10 ft floorplan and a 6.7ft center height, there is plenty of space to be divided up accordingly.

A nice touch is the reflective guy lines that are thrown in for free. This will stop you from tripping over and screaming profanities at 2 am when it’s time for a pee.

This is indeed an instant tent, that comes with a pre-assembled frame, fresh from the manufacturers. So, setup is simple and a hassle-free, giving you more time to rest after the journey.

Key Features:

  • Darkroom Technology
  • Reflective Material (UV Safe)
  • Room Divider Included

 

Best 11 Person Tent

Now we are getting into the oversized models with 11 Person Tents being the starting blocks. Currently we have picked 4 top-notch models out the many, that fit our criteria for a top tent. You can find those above. Below we give you 1 of the 4, this particular model from Ozark Trail, a brand you might recognize from TV and Walmart. We give you a brief overview below.

Ozark Trail 11 Person Instant Cabin

Ozark Trail 11 Person 3 Room Instant Tent 

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At first glance, it may look just like another cabin tent from the front, but there is more to it than meets the eye. If you dig look further, on the rear they have an extra integrated room that extends out the back. Internally this is privacy room that can be covered by a sewn-in curtain divider.

Making it a perfect room for mum and dad to rest in. Additionally, with the rest of the tent, which is the equivalent of a large cabin, you have an extra room divider. That way you can spread it into 3 rooms in total, with much more space than usual.

Also, an instant tent, so the set up can be done in just 4-5 simple steps. Taking it out the carry bag, laying it out, extending the hub upwards, then expanding the hinges outwards until they click into place.

Putting away is just as easy, and an be done in equal steps after a bit of practice, perhaps in the garden.

One thing for Ozark, they do focus on making affordable family tents, with pretty good quality. However, most of their models are 3 season. So, remember to fully coat in waterproofing spray if you’re thinking about camping with potential rain.

Some of the practical features are internal pockets and the awning that extends over the front access. For the price, this model isn’t easily beaten in this size category.

Key Features:

  • Rear Privacy Room
  • Double Dividers (3 Room Tent)
  • Affordable Price for an Instant Tent

 

Best 12 Person Tent

12 Person Tents are actually in abundance on the market. It took time to filter through our list above, but we managed to pick the best models for here and now. Huge dimensions make them suitable for groups of up to 8 or 9 campers, still with some space to spare. Although 6-8 will find the most convenient while getting the best experience. Below we have a traditional example, no gimmicks, just a huge, stable tent.

CORE 12 Person Extra Large Cabin

CORE 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent Pitched

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Being a traditional pole tent, the setup maybe a little more demanding the first time around, in comparison to instant and pop up models. After a few attempts, you’ll soon see its simplicity and get it down to a tee.

What it lacks in speed, it definitely makes up for in sheer size. You can fit up to 4 air beds inside and has a center height of 7.2 feet, feeling like a real cabin home.

There is 2 door entry on either side, which is useful for making designated entry and exit access, so campers aren’t trailing their dirt inside the tent. The other benefit is that you can air out the morning odor within minutes, by opening these access doors wide open.

Quite a hefty carry at 41lbs but ideal for campsite camping, just haul it out the car and it does come with a free heavy duty carry bag.

A nice touch is that if you’re using it for summer camping, the rainfly can be removed on a dry night. You can then kick back, relax and enjoy the panoramic views, a bit of stargazing.

All in all, a beast of a tent that is suitable for any large camping group.

Key Features:

  • Space for 4 Air Beds
  • Front and Rear Access Doors
  • 7.2 foot Center Height

 

Best 14 Person Tent

Next up, 14 Person Tents. These are suitable for those who are camping in large groups of 6-10. And for those longer camping trips to the campsite. When you’re setting up basecamp and you need space for camping tables, chairs, perhaps a camping cooking station, etc. These are the ideal tents for that purpose. There aren’t many on the market that cover this well, but we have filtered 6 in total so far. Look above for our full list, look below for our example of what’s on offer.

Ozark Trail 14 Person Basecamp Tent

Ozark Trail Base Camp 14-Person Cabin Tent

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A great example is the aptly named Basecamp tent from Ozark Trail. As you can see it literally resembles a basecamp or barracks, that houses multiple campers in separate compartments. The interior is massive and feels like you’re walking around a pod colony.

There is privacy also in the form room dividers, 3 in total. So, you can divide the space up into 4 rooms at most.

We won’t beat around the bush, as it’s not pre-assembled, the setup is slightly demanding and can take up to 20minutes for your first attempt. After a bit more practice you can get it down to a fine art, in around 10 minutes.

The dividers can be rolled up and secured on the sides, providing a huge open plan area, perfect for large camping groups to dine together.

Ventilation of the large space isn’t an issue because of the 12 large windows that surround the structure. Combined with the access doors, opening these up together for an hour will clear any odors. The meshed windows and breathable material will also keep things from getting muggy with so many bodies in the tent.

This is a budget model of a 14 man tent, and you can find other premium models in our list, with all the bells and whistles.

Key Features:

  • 12 Large Windows
  • 3 Removable Dividers
  • Affordable Price

 

Best 16 Person Tent

16 Person Tents are now strictly multiple room tents, that all come with multiple room dividers, as opposed to just 1 or 2. These models mainly all have at least 2-3 removable dividers to let you create 3-4 rooms at a minimum. We have handpicked 5 great tents in the list above, that stand up well on the field. Here is a particularly successful and robust 16 man tent that we think is worth a look.

Ozark Trail 16 Person Cabin

Ozark Trail Cabin 16 Person Tent Review

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A familiar face yet again, Ozark is one of a few brands who go the extra mile and bring out multiple huge tents. Most brands veer off at around the 12-person mark, but a few brands like Ozark Trail, Tahoe Gear and Hazel Creek keep it moving.

With a Y-Shaped design, each corner angles off into its own privacy room, which is covered with a removable room divider. A community area is located centrally, which all rooms have access too. Then when its time to sleep or chill, you can reside in your own private area.

Our favorite feature is that each corner of the Y-Shape has its very own access door. So, you won’t need to disturb other camper’s early morning, or late at night when nature calls.

With 240sqft of space, it’s no surprise 16 can get in here. Enough space for 16 sleeping bags or 4 queen air beds at maximum capacity. However, for me personally, it seems logical to use 3 mattresses in each privacy room and make use of the communal area for tables and gear. For a more practical and convenient camping experience.

We were pretty shocked at the $200 price mark, so I probably wouldn’t be treating this as a 4-season tent, it wouldn’t make sense. And we would definitely waterproof coat this with some extra spray, but for that price, I have no complaints as a great summer and 3 season tent.

Key Features:

  • Privacy Room Dividers
  • 240sqft of Space
  • Personal Access Door

 

Best 20 Person Tent

20 Person Tents are few and far between, and this will be the last tent in the capacity category. I’d be surprised if you found a tent that holds more than 20, we would be entering into handmade tarp style cabins or wall tent territory there. Keeping our list convenient and for practicality, this model is one that fits all our criteria in terms of assembly difficulty, price and family-friendly features. 

Ozark Trail 20 Person Cabin Tent

Ozark Trail 20 Person Cabin Tent

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As you can see by the image, it is the same Y-Shaped design structure, as this is the most stable for large colony type tents with multiple rooms. With the weight in each corner of the Y, there are no vulnerable areas. It’s a clever design, and one that must be utilized for Cabin tent, due to the wind-susceptible, straight walls.

So, what are the differences between this and the 16 person?

Well for starters, larger dimensions at 23 x 18 vs 25 x 21 ft, and the square footage is 240 vs 283 in the 20-man tent. Center height is 79 vs 83 and the weight is obviously heavier by around 10lbs, which is a benefit in my opinion for stability purposes.

With larger dimensions in all categories, you can expect to fit another mattress in, providing the additional 4 man space. Or, you can just enjoy the extra room for yourself and your camping gear, particularly if camp with larger equipment.

Key Features:

  • 283 Square Foot of Space
  • Easy Loop Connectors for Dividers
  • 83inch+ Head Height

 

 

Camping Tents by Season

One attribute that is often looked at as a priority, is the ‘season count’ of a tent. Is it designed for mild weather, focusing on spring, summer and autumn holiday camping, or is it designed with the intent of all-year-round use. The latter are often priced higher, due to the protective properties needed in the materials. Often having a more intricate design and structure. Let’s check out an example of each, and a link to our top lists.

Best 3 Season Tent

3 Season Tents are a huge market, and the variety on sale is apparent when you behind to search. We handpicked 10 in our list above, that all withstand moderate to high rainfall. Some cheaper tents won’t hold up well on their own without additional protection, however, these ones all come reinforced from the manufacturers. Not quite ready for winter, but can hold out in the other months.

Kelty Salida Backpacking Tent

Kelty Salida Camping & Backpacking Tent

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This is a prime example. The Salida model from Kelty has 3 sizes, with 1, 2 and 4 person models. Extremely well priced for the quality of the materials too.

The most important feature off the bat, a waterproof rating of 1800mm. This is what we look for in a 3-season tent. Average tents will sit between 500-1000mm, a market standard that is deemed waterproof. But real campers know, they don’t really hold up against moderate to heavy rainfall, they struggle.

When you’re over 1500mm, you’re safe. With roughly 10sqft of vestibule space, there’s enough room for you and 1 more to store your boots and hiking gear comfortably.

Lightweight too at only 7lbs in weight, one of the other factors for its popularity among backpackers. With color-coded poles making the assembly a cakewalk and folding down to a compact size, alleviate any setup issues.

There are models in our list above that go well over 1800mm, but normally the higher it goes, the more expensive it gets. This is a great balance between price and protection.

Key Features:

  • 1800mm Water Rating
  • 3 Capacity Sizes
  • 7lb Lightweight Carry

 

Best 4 Season Tent

4 Season Tents are for the hardcore campers among us. For people who like to brave the harsh conditions. Knowing they have a reliable tent to back them up and save them from the ever-looming risks, of wet, cold and strong winds. They are the lifeline for remote campers, and the legitimacy of a tent being sold as a 4 season, is crucial. It must be correct, and the words must hold true to that of a real 4 season tent. For this, we only look for the most insulated, waterproof and robust tents around, as there is time to take risks, when we are dealing with things like hypothermia on the trail. Here’s a fine example of one.

Alps Mountaineering Tasmanian Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Tasmanian 3-Person Tent

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Here we have an immensely well-protected tent from Alps Mountaineering. The Tasmanian, among many others in their lineup, has top-notch waterproofing. The highest in our monster list today, and so it should be, standing at 5000mm water column rating.

This will absolutely brave the elements, keeping you dry in all weather conditions throughout the year. Dual vestibules are integrated inside that offer storage space.

This model comes in 2 and 3 person as far as we know, the seams are all factory sealed and the materials used as very robust. The flysheet and flooring both utilize the same materials, with 75D 185T Polyester rainfly and the floor, 75D 185T Poly Taffeta.

Some of the best protective materials in the business that keeps the price low. Meshed pockets can be found inside, which prevents moisture accumulation. The trail weight comes in at just under 8lbs and the tent is backed for life by Alps.

Key Feature:

  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • 5000mm Water Rating Floor
  • Under 8lbs Trail Weight

 

Camping Tents by Type

It can be surprising how many different types of tents there are. We have compiled quality lists for each tent type. Only tents that met our quality checking criteria made the lists. Below we will showcase one of the top 3 from each list, to give you a visual idea of each type. Also, a brief summary revealing some of the popular features included. If you need more detailed info, just follow the links under each heading to our full in-depth guides. 

Best Dome Tent

Dome Tents are some of the most commonly shaped tents around. Popular among family tent makers, but also for remote campers, due to the low profile design. Allowing you to pitch with little headroom and the dome shape is naturally aerodynamic, providing better wind resistance. 

CORE 9 Extended Dome Tent

CORE 9 Dome Tent

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As you can see from its shape, it’s been aerodynamically designed to allow wind to glide right over it, passing by the circular shapes. Interior has been layed out with practicality in mind, allowing you to sleep up to 9 in here with 3 queen-sized mattresses. However, we feel that 1 mattress in either lowered corner would be the best approach, using the middle section to be the communal area. 

CORE tents come with their patented H2O block technology, similar to the WeatherTec system from Coleman, it employs waterproofing methods and factory seals to keep the water out. 

A huge center height for a dome tent, which is quite unique, at 72 inches you can easily sit and stand inside, but only in the center area. The head height is clearly lowered in the sleeping areas, which aids wind resistance. 

A vent system is also evident, with panels on the bottom and roof to create circualtion, while storage pockets are integrated to keep your devices off the tent floor. 

Features:

  • Lightweight Fibreglass Framework
  • 600mm Water Rating 
  • AC Cord Port Access

 

Best Cabin Tent

Cabin Tents make up the majority of the large-sized tents with multiple rooms, and the bigger family tents. Because of the straight-walled design, this creates a much larger internal space with towering head heights. Best suited for family camping groups or those needing plenty of storage space.

CORE 12 Person XL Cabin Tent

Core 12 Person Extra Large Cabin Tent

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Besides the 14, 16 and 20 person models in our list, this is probably one of the biggest family tents out there. Although not an instant set up, it is stable and strong and can fit more than everything you need for an extended vacation to the outdoors. 

Access is convenient, with 2 doors on this model. The large T shaped door is situated on the front and the D shaped door at the rear. This allows you to set an entry and exit point, streamlining the traffic of the tent and preventing the trail of mud through the interior. 

The huge rainfly covers the majority of the tent to protect from light showers and the ventilation is in abundance, which is necessary for such a large space housing many people. 

Features:

  • H2O Block Weather Protection Repels Water
  • Increased Ventilation System
  • Steel Stakes, Divider, Carry Bag All Provided

 

Best Tunnel Tent

Tunnel Tents are very popular among campsite campers, especially larger groups and families. They also have a very beneficial attribute, their aerodynamic design. Instead of tall straight walls like a cabin, tunnels are naturally shaped with a curve. The tents follow suit, and wind can glide over the top with ease, as opposed to impacting against the side.

Coleman Rocky Mountain Tunnel Tent

Coleman Rocky Mountain Tunnel Tent

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This makes a big difference in high winds and you’ll feel a lot more stable when a gust hits your campsite. This model above however is slightly unique. Apart from being a 5 person tent, it has some modern innovation.

The bedroom areas are in total darkness. Utilizing blackout or darkrest materials, you are able to sleep in complete darkness, inducing you to sleep easier. The other benefit is that it will keep you cool during the hot afternoons by reflecting heat.

Tunnel tents are also renowned for having large open spaces inside, normally with a huge porch or screened area at the front. Plenty of space for tables, camping chairs and your coolers.

Key Features:

  • Natural Aerodynamic Property
  • Blackout Bedrooms
  • Large Spacious Interior

 

Best Teepee Tent

Tipi or Teepee Tents are the most traditionally shaped tents you can find. Very similar to the A Framed Tents and Pyramid tents we see on the market recently, this type of design has been used by indigenous people living on the plains for hundreds of years. This style has legitimately stood the test of time, and for good reason.

The shape and structure are aerodynamic, there is a natural run off for rainfall and they are easily packed away and moved. All still true for modern tipi tents. So why not get back in touch with the original nomad way and try one. Here’s a good example of what our era offers.

Guide Gear Teepee Tent

Guide Gear Deluxe 14 x 14 Teepee Tent 

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This 14 x 14 tipi shelter is a new and improved version of their best-selling model. And we approve. The waterproof rating is great also, at 1200mm it can more than handle bad weather.

As a tepee you will benefit from a huge center height, this one is packing 9 foot in height with 14 x 14 footprint that can sleep 8-10 campers. However, we strongly suggest 6 with space for camping gear.

The floor is also removable, which makes it easy to clean when needed. Or to remove and use as a mud room when necessary, for storage purposes.

All the windows have been treated with waterproof coating, so no vulnerable areas for leaks. Inside there are integrated shade, which helps to provide a certain level of privacy from outside.
Ventilated well with breathable fabric, vents in the peak and ground vents below, creating an entry and exit point for air. This will help with clearing stale or muggy odors fast.

Key Features:

  • 9 Foot Center Height
  • Well Ventilated
  • 1200mm Water Rating

 

Best Cube Tent

Cube Tents also known as Pod or Modular Tents, are shelters that are capable of connecting together. With enough of them, you can create ‘colonies’ of tents, all connected, like a sci-fi moon landing. It’s also been referred to as ‘social camping’ seeing as your living in such close proximity. It definitely feels like your camp-mates turned roommates in a big complex. A truly different camping experience, and with modern methods, brands like Coleman have created some really innovative designs. Let’s take a look.

Coleman Connectable Tent Bundle

Coleman 3-Person & 6-Person Connectable Tent Bundle

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This connecting tent system from Coleman is a perfect example of what’s possible when modular camping. Their pod tents connect together to the center hub, giving you huge customization options.

The center hub is designated as 6 person and the side hub or ‘spoke’ tent is 3 person. As you can connect multiple spoke tents to the center hub, on each access door, we see the intention.

You could fit 3-5 smaller tents to the main hub, and use the center tent as an HQ. Perhaps having a large camping table in the middle, a dining area, a place to relax. The possibilities are endless.

For huge colonies you can attach multiple hubs, allowing more connectors for smaller spoke tents. Depending on how big your group or community is, you can really build it as big as you like.

They aren’t weak either, tested in 35mph wind speeds and held up well, they are no joke. For further in-depth details check our guide link in orange above.

Key Features:

  • Unique Hub and Spoke System
  • 35mph Wind Tested
  • Endless Customization

 

Best Ice Fishing Tent

Ice Fishing Tents are specifically designed for the ultimate protection due to the nature of this rather dangerous hobby. Well, dangerous for the untrained, with the right know-how and protection you’re golden. Hence the popularity of these zero temperature proof tents, that will keep the dangers of the freezing cold at bay. There are tons to choose from, as always, we have filtered the best in our list above. Below we have a great option.

Eskimo FatFish Insulated Ice Shelter

Eskimo Fatfish Portable Pop-Up Shelter

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A top brand in the ice fishing scene, manufacturing quality products from tents to folding ice chairs and bucket caddies. They do it all.

This is one of the best-selling ice shelters in their lineup, and they have a massive array of models to choose from. We like this one due to the pop-up assembly, as you don’t want to be messing about for more than an hour during a full pitch in those temperatures.

A pop up is ideal for speed and convenience.

Suitably named FatFish, its 23% larger than any same similarly sized ice tent. So great value in terms of fishing area verses other models. The fabric is also fully insulated, benefiting from 35% extra warmth in comparison to older models.

A large tent with enough space for 5-7 fishing enthusiasts, however this is dependent on the amount of gear you will be taking. Keeping within 4-5 might be a safer option if you are packing volume.

Clam and other brands enter the fray in our full reviews above, but for an example, this is a great one.

Key Features:

  • 5-7 Capacity
  • Insulated Fabric
  • Dual Access Doors

 

Buyers Guide- How to Choose a Camping Tent?

Let’s go over some basic ground rules for choosing the best tent for camping.

Various Tent Sizes

As we mentioned the capacity ranges from 1 person up to 20 person. You should always try and opt for a tent that is +2 of your group size This allows you a bit of breathing space and room for your gear.

If you’re camping with children, pets or are generally a bit claustrophobic, this can require even a +3 of your group size.

Consider also what kind of sleeper you are, if you are used to large beds then you may need a queen mattress. So, a tent with large bedroom areas and sleeping spaces are good.

If you’re an easy sleeper and only require a camping pad then a narrow tent design is fine.

 

Temporary, 3 Season or 4 Season Choices

The purpose of use must be clear. Is it a cheap throw away for a festival, then go for a budget pop up for convenience. If you’re adamant you will not use it in winter months, then a 3 season is ideal to survive Spring, Summer and Autumn months while not breaking the bank. 4 Season tents will be needed if you want all year round use and something that will last for a long time. Think of it this way:

  • 1-2 Time Yearly Use = Budget Tent or Cheap Pop Up
  • Camping in Moderate Weather = 3 Season Tent
  • All Year Use = 4 Season Tent

 

Tent Materials Used

Tents vary in style and fabric, as mentioned in our list. A typical Polyester tent is the norm you’ll find in standard tents, with Poly Taffeta or Polyurethane making up the rainfly and ground floor.

Some can be a Polymix on the tent walls, to increase protection.

Canvas tents are extremely durable and waterproof, however they are costly because of this. Usually being 4 season tents, they do have longevity, so the price can balance out over time.

Framework are made up of either aluminum, fiberglass or metal tent poles. These will be accompanied by either plastic, gold plated or steel hinges, depending on the brand and quality.

Whatever you choose a ‘high-denier’ value is something that should be sought after.

 

Various Tent Shapes

The shape is important. It can affect the tents aerodynamic ability to deal with wind, and also affect the spaciousness of the interior.

  • Cabin- Large spacious rooms, ideal for large groups and families
  • Dome- Low profile, good vs wind, good for remote camping due to low head height
  • Teepee/Bell – Cone shape has natural windproof properties, but a low surrounding head height with a super tall peak in the center.
  • Pod Tents- Great for social camping, multiple private hub rooms, lower head height.
  • Tunnel Tents- More aerodynamic than Cabins, large spacious interiors, good family tents.
  • Bivy/A-Frame – Low profile tents the best for remote camping, small space, best aerodynamic.

 

The Types of Tents

Let’s look over the types of tents available and which features catch your eye.

  • Instant Tents- Pre-assembled frames that extend outwards and click into place, often cabin model.
  • Pop Up Tent- The fastest pitching, lightweight and utilize a spring coil to explode into place.
  • Inflatable- Fast pitching when using an electric pump, very wind-resistant as the inflatable beams can’t break.
  • Traditional- Standard pole tents that are slightly more rugged and robust than their fastpitch counterparts, utilizing stronger pole material, budget tents.
  • Backpacking-Designed specifically for life on the trail, lightweight, waterproof, can be pricey.
  • Rooftop Tents- Tents that fix onto the Roof of your vehicle on a roof rack, unique elevated camping experience, expensive.
  • SUV Tents- Tents that latch onto the back access of an SUV, large family tents, feature-full tents.
  • Truck Bed Tents- Tents that sit in the truck bed, elevated camping, perfect for remote camping with a truck.

 

Desirable Tent Features

Let’s check out some great features that can make a tent worth the money.

  • Screened Room-An extension on the front or side of a tent, meshed or enclosed, perfect for shoe storage, camp coolers or a table and chairs.
  • Porch/Annex/Awning- Either of these are great for extra storage space and shelter from sun and rain.
  • Meshed Windows- Look for these, or ground vents, they will help keep air circulating and block mosquitoes.
  • Hooks or Loops- Usually on the roof of the tent, used to secure fans, lanterns or LED lights.
  • Room Dividers- When you have a large tent, removable or integrated room dividers are great for dividing up space.
  • CPAI-84-Fire certification is useful for Canvas tents or tents that use stove jacks, giving you peace of mind when making fires and cooking.
  • Storage Pockets-At least 1 or 2 at a minimum, as we need to unpack our smaller hear and store it elsewhere. Also, meshed pockets are better for electronic devices, as moisture does not build up.
  • Water Rating-Not always disclosed, but for remote and 4 season camping, look for a water rating of over 1200mm. This will help you keep dry in the wilderness with temperamental weather.
  • Reinforced Poles-Some of the more stable tents will have reinforced hinges, like fiberglass poles for a light weight. But then utilizing steel hinges on the weak points. This is a great feature for strength.

 

Conclusion

We hope our camping tent index has helped provide some understanding of all the various types of tents available.

We will continue to update this list with modern innovation in the tent world. Updating with new tent models and designs, so you can refer back to this at any time.

Feel free to follow the orange links below each subheading to a further in-depth guide into each category.

As always, happy camping folks.

From thetenthub team

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