10 Best Tunnel Tents for Camping and Backpacking 2020

10 Best Tunnel Tents for Camping and Backpacking 2020

Tunnel tents are fast becoming more and more popular on the campsite due to their unique shape and practicality.

For those of you who like a tent with an extension, such as an awning or porch, then you will love a tunnel tent. The tunnel has more coverage, protection and is vastly more stable, due to it being manufactured directly onto the original structure of the tent.

Widely used by large camping groups because of the extra sheltered area, which can be used in a variety of ways.

The perfect spot for an outdoor dog bed, away from your sleeping area. More than enough space for a camping table and chairs to set up a dining area or to store your outdoor gear like bikes, kayaks and camping coolers.

 

Best Family Tunnel Tent
skandika Nordland Family Tunnel Tent with Sewn-in Groundsheet, 200 cm Peak Height, 5000 mm Water Column, Beige/Brown, 6-Person
Best Air Tunnel Tent
Vango Odyssey Inflatable Family Tunnel Tent, Epsom Green, Airbeam 500SC
Best All Round Tunnel Tent
Coleman Waterproof Galileo Outdoor Tunnel Tent Available in Green - 5 Persons
skandika Nordland Family Tunnel Tent with Sewn-in Groundsheet, 200 cm Peak Height, 5000 mm Water Column, Beige/Brown, 6-Person
Vango Odyssey Inflatable Family Tunnel Tent, Epsom Green, Airbeam 500SC
Coleman Waterproof Galileo Outdoor Tunnel Tent Available in Green - 5 Persons
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Best Family Tunnel Tent
skandika Nordland Family Tunnel Tent with Sewn-in Groundsheet, 200 cm Peak Height, 5000 mm Water Column, Beige/Brown, 6-Person
skandika Nordland Family Tunnel Tent with Sewn-in Groundsheet, 200 cm Peak Height, 5000 mm Water Column, Beige/Brown, 6-Person
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Best Air Tunnel Tent
Vango Odyssey Inflatable Family Tunnel Tent, Epsom Green, Airbeam 500SC
Vango Odyssey Inflatable Family Tunnel Tent, Epsom Green, Airbeam 500SC
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Best All Round Tunnel Tent
Coleman Waterproof Galileo Outdoor Tunnel Tent Available in Green - 5 Persons
Coleman Waterproof Galileo Outdoor Tunnel Tent Available in Green - 5 Persons
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Not only for extra space but there is an interesting natural feature, they hold up really well in strong winds due to the aerodynamic, tubular shape of the tunnel, giving you and yours peace of mind in a storm.

Discover our choices for the best tunnel tents for camping on the market today. Our list is mainly dominated by Vango and Coleman models, as expected, with a few options from Ozark Trail, Skandika and Easy Camp joining us.

They range in capacity and design, and we’ve picked out favorite brands with the highest quality materials and overall structures.

 

 

The Best Tunnel Tents for Camping Reviewed

1. Skandika Montana Outdoor Tunnel Tent

Skandika Montana Outdoor Tunnel Tent

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Potentially our top pick, we think this is perfect for those looking to set up camp in an area with particularly harsh conditions. It has a waterproof column of 5000mm, which is incredibly high for stopping any moisture from coming through. This is built to fit 8 people and it’s massive.

There are 4 sleeping cabin spaces on either side, with a huge living section in the middle. In this part, we love that you can open all the doors to create 3 entrances for heaps of ventilation. This is such a cool design because the rooms are separated from each other which gives a lot of privacy.

The entire structure is solid with fiberglass and steel reinforcing the pressure points. These areas are specially reinforced to greatly improve stability and strength. Multiple hooded vent points help encourage airflow and are larger in the sleeping quarters as most time is spent there at night.

Features:

  • Mosquito-Repellent Meshed Bedrooms
  • Reinforced Pressure Points
  • 59” L x 122.05” W x 78.74” H

 

Related Article: 10 Best Camping Screen Tents | Camp Screen House Reviews

 

2. Vango Waterproof Odyssey 800 Tunnel Tent

Vango Waterproof Odyssey 800 Tunnel Tent

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Based on its durable construction and size, we find this to be rather well priced. You can fully stand up inside and there is a living space as well as dedicated bedrooms. You can get a healthy sleep with the blackened sleeping areas which can be divided into 2 or kept as 1 large space. This is also suitable for 8 people, but we suggest going with half of that if you want ample room.

The outer rainfly is made of 70D polyester fabric which is strong and fire retardant. A fully mesh front door generates a nice amount of airflow which is integral in warmer weather. The flooring inside is slightly raised to stop flooding, which is especially noticeable at the door where it doesn’t fully touch the ground. Mesh openings can be located outside of the bed areas. They have large hoods over them so you can keep them open and get further air circulation even when it’s raining.

Features:

  • Tension Band System for Stability
  • Clear Polyvinyl Windows
  • 53” L x 118.11” W x 78.74” H

 

Related Article: 10 Best Tents with Screen Rooms | Cabin Tents with Porches

 

3. Coleman Waterproof Galileo Tunnel Tent

Coleman Waterproof Galileo Tunnel Tent

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Slightly smaller than the previous versions, this one has 4 and 5 person models, but is perfectly suited to 2 or 3 campers. Fully tapering down at both ends, wind can travel over it without disrupting you inside. One side of the main area can be opened to reveal a big opening, so things won’t become stuffy even when it’s warm outside. An overall waterproof rating of 3000mm makes it great for hunting or fishing trips.

Double layering above the bedrooms ensures extra warmth, as well as additional waterproofing. This is because there is a gap between the outer layer and inner one, trapping warmth also preventing water penetration. Allowing the water to roll off and never enter the sleeping area.

The divider creating 2 separate rooms can be removed to make a singular one, giving you the freedom to design your own space. The living area is sectioned off from sleepers with the high bathtub flooring, which also acts as water protection due to the welded seams.

Features:

  • Front Screen Room
  • Polyester Carry Bag
  • 185” L x 131.9” W x 76.8” H

 

Related Article: 10 Best Lighted Tents Reviewed | Light Up Your Camping

 

4. Easy Camp Hurricane 300 Inflatable Tunnel Tent

Easy Camp Hurricane 300 Inflatable Tunnel Tent

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We decided to add a model that can inflate to set up since they are so incredibly easy and fast. Manufactured for 3 people, we think 2 bodies would suit it better as you’d then have additional room for luggage and other belongings. A small family with little kids could also fit well in here.

There are 2 rooms so you can separate the sleeping zone from the living area and keep things cleaner and more organized. This is a very practical layout because it makes the most out of the space.

A large canopy stretches out at the front to give you ample room for relaxing or storing things outside during the day. There are several windows with the main ones of a very large size and made from clear PVC to let lots of sunlight through.

While these can’t open, there are mesh vents that allow outside air to filter through and can even be left uncovered during rain with help from the slanted hoods. The groundsheet is sewn in to prevent leakage to keep everyone dry.

Features:

  • Vast Variety in Size and Design
  • Strong Fibreglass Frame
  • Heavy-Duty PU Coated Rainfly

 

Related Article: 10 Best 4 Season Tents for Camping and Backpacking

 

5. Coleman Rocky Mountain Tunnel Tent

Coleman Rocky Mountain Tunnel Tent

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This 5-person family tunnel tent uses its tapered end to emulate a secluded sleeping space for a better rest. The bedrooms are classified as extra-large have a blackout effect that reduces 99% of sunlight from entering. This helps everyone control their sleep system, so they don’t have to wake up at sunrise. The main section is large enough to stand up in and we think it has enough room for a table and chairs to enjoy an indoor dining experience.

Inner double layering establishes a truly waterproof experience, as you won’t get rainfall entering while you relax. Polyester PU coated fabric is fire retardant and is SPF 50 so you can use it during sunny days. Leave the front entrance completely open and fold the attached canopy outwards to make a small shady space for outdoor relaxing whilst still being protected.

When the conditions fall cooler, you’re able to zip everything entirely closed to trap heat inside. The rear room has a mesh window for moving air throughout once everything is closed, and the poly fabric is breathable so there is an element of ventilation.

Features:

  • Large Family Size
  • Blackout Bedrooms
  • Bathtub Flooring

 

Related Article: 10 Best 3 Season Tents for Camping | 3 Season vs 4 Season

 

6. Vango Odyssey Inflatable Family Tunnel Tent

Vango Odyssey Inflatable Family Tunnel Tent

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Have a classic camping experience with this Vango air tunnel tent that is rather lightweight for a 6-person volume model. Install it in a matter of minutes with the included double action pump. We love that they provide this for you because you don’t have to make any other separate purchases, and you know the valves will fit right away.

There are 2 big rooms that are divided to give extra privacy while sleeping. With the sleeping area tapered down, it allows the main zone to be large with enough room to stand and even put a table and chairs. We mention this because the cave-like form makes it more compact and easier to pack down.

The living region feels very open because the windows are vast. Two PVC plastic windows line the front and one side, while the other wall can be fully opened and act as a second door. This promotes airflow so that things don’t get humid inside.

The exterior flysheet is made with a Protex 70D waterproof and fire-retardant material that has totally taped seams. This means it can handle tough weather without breakage. We love TBS tension band system that is specific to this brand. It’s basically a patented framework system that keeps things stuck to the ground.

Features:

  • Airbeam Tunnel Model
  • 5-10 Minute Set Up
  • Waterproof and Fire-Retardant 

 

Related Article: 9 Best Blackout Tents for Camping | For Energy Preserving Sleep

 

7. Coleman Waterproof Tasman Tunnel Tent

Coleman Waterproof Tasman Tunnel Tent

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One of the most super-lightweight ones we’ve found with a tunnel structure, this is awesome for rough mountaineering for 1 or 2 people. The main difference between this and the similar previous Galileo version is the shape. While still maintaining the half-circle, it’s more compact and much slimmer in height to truly resist tough winds. Being closer to the ground means the wind can travel over you even easier and the whole structure can remain stable,

Being smaller makes it easier to transport, making it perfect for backpacking with another person where you can share the weight of other gear. Both the fly and inner materials are a robust 68D 185T polyester, with the fly having a 3000mm water column and double taped stitching. This means you’re highly protected from wet climates. Fiberglass rods used for the structure help keep it nice and light, whilst staying firm. Any mesh sections are designed to repel mosquitos and other small insects. All in all a great ultralight tunnel tent option.

Features:

  • Ultralight 8.73 lbs
  • 5” L x 59.1” W x 45.3” W
  • 1, 2 and 3 Man Capacity Models

 

Related Article: 9 Best Cube Tents for Modular Camping | Pod Tents that Connect

 

8. Ozark Trail Dome Tunnel Tent

Ozark Trail Dome Tunnel Tent

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Designed as a hybrid of a classic dome tent with a long tunnel frame, this is large enough for 8 people and would comfortably fit 4 with leftover space. The tube shape is used to differentiate the bedroom space from the main part, with a divider sheet that can be tied away when not in use.

Along with the very large front door, there is another entrance at the back where the beds go that is a D-shape for similar ease-of-access. Tub flooring coats the entirety of the interior, yet it comes up very high in the sleeping quarters for serious protection. Mesh vents can be opened to increase air circulation.

Wetter weather calls for the full-coverage outer rainfly that has taped sealed seams for added protection. As well as the previously mentioned mesh vents, the roof of the living space is all mesh for optimal stargazing opportunities. You can leave the fly off during the night in hot locations to allow maximum airflow to blow through the tent. An overhanging awning covers the welcome mat that sits outside, a great place to store those muddy boots.

Features:

  • Hybrid Design
  • Easy Ring-and-Pin Assembly
  • 28 lbs for 8 Person Capacity

 

Related Article: 19 Best Inflatable Tents | Blow Up Air Tents for Camping

 

9. Coleman Da Gama Outdoor Tunnel Tent

Coleman Da Gama Outdoor Tunnel Tent

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With the same compact design as the previous example, this one is intended for 6 persons and has a protective rain porch at the front. This is a versatile family tent that can be used in both warm and cool climates. A WeatherTec system is in place to weatherproof the entire structure, including a rainfall resistance rating of 3000mm.

Taped seams, bucket flooring, fully closable entrance, and thick polyester all combine to create a very solid structure against different weather. Minimal pole construction makes it easy to assemble, so you could do it solo or have 1 other person to help.

The hardwearing exterior follows a cozy interior, which is also weatherproofed because of the double layering. Tub flooring paired with welded seams keeps water and reduces the ability for dirt to make its way inside. The back slants down to form a closed bedroom zone that blocks you off from the living section.

PU coated polyester materials on the inner and outside parts are waterproof to keep you dry. To create a nice ambiance inside, you can hang a lantern on the provided hook.

Features:

  • Top Seller
  • Solid Steel Pole Framework
  • Carry Bag Included

 

Related Article: 14 Best Instant Tents Reviewed | Coleman vs CORE vs Ozark Trail

 

10. Coleman Oak Canyon 4 Man Tunnel Tent

Coleman Oak Canyon Tunnel Tent

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In addition to a front adjustable awning, this has blackout bedrooms which blocks 99% of light from getting inside. The unique tube shape compliments these darkened rooms because it tapers off at the end where they are positioned. This creates a cozier feel that can also contribute to a better night’s sleep. These rooms are sectioned off and have a divider between them, but you can remove it to make one big sleeping space.

Both steel and fiberglass poles are used in a hybrid design to maintain stability whilst remaining lightweight for portability. Sloping walls paired with the 4500mm waterproof rating ensure it withstands rainstorms and other harsh elements. Ventilation is provided through the big mesh openings that can be used as doors. The other is a huge PVC window that lets light in the living area during the day. Each opening can be completely zipped up to keep things warm.

Features:

  • 9” L x 110.2” W x 78.7”H
  • Durable Weatherproof Groundsheet
  • Fibreglass & Steel Framework

 

Buyers Guide – How to Pick the Best Tunnel Tent

Size & Shape

This very important to think about before purchasing a tent in tunnel form. While they all follow a similar type of shape, each kind can differ depending on the brand and size. Some have slightly taller walls, others are lower to the ground, and some have one tapered end or double sloping ends. To choose which one you should use, think about how many people will be using it, as well as what you’ll be using it for.

Like with every tent on the market, no matter the design, a person capacity rating is given to determine the maximum amount of people who can fit inside in a sleeping bag. We’ve frequently mentioned that this is only a recommendation, and you should bring half the amount of people or less if you want a comfier experience.

Since these kinds of tents often slide down either at one end or two, there might be somewhat less space for putting your gear inside and still being able to lie down. Imagine yourself and your group of people (unless you’re trekking by yourself or with one other person) and how you would all fit inside, considering the dimensions of your luggage.

The other factor is how you’ll be using it.

Will you and others spend time in it during the day?

A wide living space may be essential.

Is sleeping the main thing you’ll be using it for?

A double-layered separate bedroom should be the way to go.

 

Installing Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

You may have heard that tents with extensions can be slightly more difficult to set up than other types, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Most current designs are made for the ease of the user, some even having color-coded pole frameworks and sleeves to insert everything more precisely. Most versions have fewer rods, and they don’t cross over each other which can be much simpler to assemble.

We included inflatable versions on our above list as they are some of the most effortless to install. It’s great if an air pump is included, but not necessary, and it can take minutes for everything to inflate.

 

Additional Space

A great advantage of these is there is often either a vestibule, screen room, or attached awning within the designs. Due to their structure, they’re able to be built with lengthened ends without sacrificing the overall design. This gives you more space to store things, change out of dirty clothes, or relax underneath a cover.

 

Not Many Lightweight Options

It may be more difficult to find lighter weighing ones on the market, it’s not impossible and they do exist. As you may have noticed, we included an 8.73-pound option from Coleman on our list that can be used for backpacking. We think of tunnel-shaped tents more as a group or family shelter that are super roomy, but not as heavy and bulky as a cabin type. They also may withstand harsh weather conditions at a more efficient level than cabins, as the innovative shaft shape encourages winds to breeze right over without much movement or disturbance.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Tunnel Tent?

It is a type of tent with a design that looks like a tunnel cut in half lengthways. They are quite spacious and allow you to stand up inside, whilst the sloped walls act as a windbreak so there is less risk of it flying away. While they’re not as huge as cabin models, they are generally larger than domes or ultralightweight backpacking ones. This means they might not be as easy to carry around. In saying that though, it is possible to find some under the 10-pound weight range. Their pole framework doesn’t crossover at any point and they are versatile to withstand most weather conditions.

 

How to Put up a Tunnel Tent?

This depends on the brand and type of construction. Other than the inflation technique, here is a simple step-by-step you can follow:

  • Read all the instructions because they can differ from style to style.
  • Lay all the poles out flat into the position they will be secured in.
  • Unfold the rest of the tent and lay it flat as well.
  • Anchor it to the ground using stakes or pegs.
  • Put the poles into the sleeves or hooks of the tent material.
  • Lift it up and insert the pins into the allotted groundsheet slots.
  • Peg the guy lines into the ground.
  • Place the rainfly over the top if applicable.

 

Are Tunnel Tents Stable in Wind?

Wind doesn’t stand a chance against them if they’re properly installed and positioned. We recommend installing them facing the wind. This might seem silly, but side-on winds could possibly make it tip over if it’s not properly fastened down. Also, their half-circular design creates a sort of overhead channel that allows wind to pass right over it, and not get stuck on any high walls. This makes it significantly more difficult for it to be knocked over. Also, it’s important to tie it down with strong guy lines and heavy stakes. Another good tip is to pitch close to natural blockers like trees, shrubbery, etc. 

 

What Do I Need the Tunnel For?

It offers something different from other average shapes. Wind protection is higher than usual because of the rounded design. Most of them provide more shade because there is room for additional canopies. They’re big enough to stand in to use the living space as a play area or dining space, while the bedroom is often sloped down to save on weight. There is also generally more room for storage.

 

Conclusion

Experience the wonderful spaciousness of a camping tunnel tent. They are stable, give plenty of room to store gear, sleek in architectural design to combat winds, and let you travel with groups of friends, your family, or with your pets. You won’t feel constricted inside and being able to stand up can offer increased comfort that some other types can’t provide.

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