Explore the great outdoors in style with the best camping tents evaluated here. Go to the mountains, beaches, or even your own backyard or deck and sleep comfortably and dry with any tent shown here. Pack up the kids, coolers, and food and take off to your favorite place under the stars with sweet smelling fresh air. Near a stream or lake, tenting is an experience only appreciated by nature lovers everywhere. Camp anywhere even at a tent camping site where you will have showers and restrooms close by if this is your camping idea.
Top 10 Camping Tents
- Sleeps 6
- Main fly seams are factory taped
- INSTANT SET-UP: LESS TIME TO INSTALL, MORE TIME TO PLAY: Saratoga pop up beach tent can be set up almost...
- SUN PROTECTION & LIGHTWEIGHT & COMPACT: Say no to nasty sunburns with UPF 50+ Sun protection to all fabric
- Illumiline reflective guylines for greater visibility at night
- Instant 60 Second Setup; Sleeps 9 people; Fits two queen air mattresses; Center Height:78
- CORE H20 Block Technology and adjustable ground vent
- DURABLE MATERIAL - Keeping yourself, your camping equipment, and your personal items dry when you are camping...
- SPACIOUS AND CONVENIENT - This lightweight 2-person dome tent with a large D-style door was designed for...
- Large space. 78(L)*78(W)*51(H) inch open size, this camping travel tent provide a comfortable and spacious...
- Premium quality. Durable and lightweight fiberglass frame poles, water resistant PE floor, water-resistant...
- Select a tent for size, weight, and functionality including weatherproofing.
- Give it a trial run and put it up the first time at home.
- With kids, you will need a larger tent and some come with room dividers.
- When car camping, a heavier tent will work.
- If you are hiking or backpacking, lighter is better.
- The tents listed here are 3 seasons. If you want to camp in the winter, buy a 4-season tent for winter time.
- Choose your location wisely. Don’t put it on a slope. You will want to know where you want the sun to come up and go down. Weather usually comes from the west or northwest, so be aware of that too.
- Teach the kids about wildlife and to respect it. This picture is a groundhog and they are beautiful.
Camping Tent Types
Premium Camping Tents
The premium may seem like a generous term for a tent, but considering the price and feature set, they’ve earned the billing. Tents at this price point have the benefit of more extensive R&D and access to advanced materials, which leads to a more thoughtful design. To start, tents in this mid and high-end category make the most of their livable space—near-vertical walls, dividers, and spacious vestibules are a few examples.
Budget Camping Tents
In theory, camping is a way to simplify life and just disconnect for a while. In that spirit, budget camping tents are basic but fully functional options for fair weather campers. There isn’t a clear line where a tent goes from mid-range to budget, but we’ve found for six-person options, it happens around $200. Typical budget tents use heavier fabrics, which make them bulky and adds weight to the bottom line, but they’re also durable and resist moisture. Weather resistance is their downfall.
Hybrid Camping/Backpacking Tents
As you’ve probably deduced, even tents in the budget category can be a significant investment. And if you’re thinking about both camping and backpacking, the math quickly gets out of hand. If you’re only planning on doing both a couple of times a year with the family, it may be worth considering a hybrid camping and backpacking tent. Depending on your space needs, you could get a tent like the REI Co-op Half Dome 4 Plus, which will fit four pads side-by-side (and is very roomy for two or three people).
Interior Space: Floor Dimensions and Tent Height
Nearly every tent on the market will provide information about floor dimensions (or floor area) as well as peak height. This is helpful for understanding the basic design of the tent—the peak height, in particular, is an indication of whether or not you’ll be able to stand upright—but it only tells a part of the story.
How Many People Actually Fit in These Tents?
The tents above are given a “_ person” capacity, which typically ranges from four to eight people. This listing is based on the number of standard adult sleeping pads that can be laid side-by-side inside the tent. For example, the six-person REI Co-op Kingdom is 120-inches long, so six standard pads (20-inches wide) technically will fit. But this doesn’t mean you necessarily want to max out your tent.
For a large capacity camping tent, we unabashedly prefer two doors. The additional access is convenient if you have a full house, and zipping it open is another way to encourage airflow in the summer heat.
Their differences in build quality are noticeable between budget and premium camping tents. Spending more gets you higher quality materials that are stronger relative to their weight, and in theory, should have a longer lifespan. But a good number of campers only make it out once or twice a year—and often in nice weather—which makes spending $400-plus unappealing.
As we touched on in the section above, a weather-worthy tent is one of the main reasons to upgrade to a premium camping model. In most cases, the pole materials (aluminum is better than fiberglass) and designs are more robust, seam sealing and waterproof fabrics improve in quality, and the inclusion of full coverage rainfly help keep out blowing rain. It’s good to keep in mind that the weather can still get plenty of rowdy in the summer, particularly in the mountains (and national parks).
Weather resistance isn’t simply about withstanding wind or rain—the hot summer months bring their fair share of challenges. A tent that is hot and muggy at night can be just as miserable as a rain-soaked tent—and either way, don’t expect much sleep. For a tent to perform well in these conditions it needs to ventilate well, so look for healthy swaths of mesh. While a lot of mesh impacts privacy with the rainfly off, the increased airflow is without a doubt worth the tradeoff.
Weight and Packed Size
A quick look at the table above shows a wide range in the total weight of our recommended camping tents. On the lightweight end is a backpacking-friendly design like the MSR Papa Hubba NX at 6.5 pounds, while a large 6 or 8-person camping model will easily break 20 pounds. For car camping, the extra weight doesn’t mean a whole lot, but if you’re unable to drive up to your campsite, it’s worth considering total weight.
When choosing between tent models, it’s a good idea to take the total footprint or ground size of the tent into account—some of the 6 and 8-person models are absolutely massive. Factoring in some of the large vestibules or “garages” that can be tacked on to the end of a tent, there’s a strong likelihood that it will extend beyond the size of the raised pads at some national parks or campgrounds. If you come from a backpacking background, many car camping tents require a much larger swath of ground.
While not a requirement, it’s a good idea to use some type of footprint or ground cloth when camping. The extra layer protects the tent’s floor, thus extending the tent’s overall lifespan. But do you need to spend the big bucks and get the one specifically made for the tent? Oftentimes those are upwards of $50, which feels like a lot for a single sheet of fabric and some webbing.