Adventurers have more than one home. Their house is where their soul wanders – in all the forests, mountains and roads they travelled. Therefore, they must vigorously try to build a good, lasting house everywhere they decide to settle, even if it’s just for a few hours or days.
Choosing one of the best tents out there is a complex process that requires time and attention. You have to see your tent as your house, your shelter from all types of natural phenomena and dangers. You wouldn’t buy an apartment if you weren’t sure about its build quality, would you? Then you should take the same precautions and have the same high standards for your tent, too. You have to make sure it is cosy, comfortable, durable and especially safe.
You most certainly have some pretty bad memories regarding an outside experience with a tent. While now it might be funny looking back, at that moment the experience must have been horrible. However, after reading this article, you should not fear going through something so traumatizing again. Even though there are thousands of options on the market, we made sure to include the best choices for your requirements. Big, small, resistant, comfortable, we have it all here. Just be patient and read forward.
- Tent Buying Guide
- Things To Look At
- 20. Coleman Carlsbad 4
- 19. Coleman Sundome 6
- 18. Eureka Copper Canyon LX 6
- 17. The North Face Homestead Super Dome 4
- 16. Kodiak Canvas Flex-Bow Deluxe 8
- 15. Coleman Montana 8P
- 14. Decathlon Quechua 2 Second Easy Tent, 2-Person
- 13. Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Model 4-Person
- 12. Caddis Rapid 6
- 11. Kelty Discovery 4
- 10. Big Agnes Big House 6
- 9. Nemo Wagontop 4P
- 8. REI Co-op Trail Hut 4
- 7. MSR Habitude 6
- 6. Marmot Limestone 6P
- 5. The North Face Wawona 6
- 4. Marmot Tungsten 4P
- 3. Coleman Skydome 6P
- 2. REI Co-op Base Camp 6
- 1. REI Co-op Grand Hut 6
Tent Buying Guide
Before getting into the list, we decided to write a short tent purchasing guide for your convenience.
First off, it is crucial to understand that there is not a single type of tent. Producers have created tents for all budgets and needs. A simple categorization could be the following:
- Premium tents: These tents are like authentic homes, meaning that you could literally move in them and have no problems in terms of space, safety and protection. The prices go well over $200, but most of them are surely worth the investment.
- Budget tents: These are simple, basic tents, but they are fully functional. For someone who does not go too often in nature, this option is more than enough. You will be safe from most weather conditions and you will also feel comfortable. The price usually revolves around $200, but it can go much lower for smaller tents.
- Crossover Camping-Backpacking tents: These tents are the smallest versions, but they are also the cheapest and easiest to carry around. They’re perfect for those long hiking trips.
Things To Look At
There are multiple aspects to consider when buying a tent. The most important ones are detailed down below:
The size of the floor is similar to tents with the same capacity. However, there are a few particular models with more generous floor sizes. For example, a tent with a capacity of 6 people and a floor size of 100 square meters is more spacious than other models in theory just as large.
Peak Height & Pole Structure
The Peak Height dictates if you will be able to stand upright or not, but the pole structure is an important factor as well. Some structures will let you enjoy the height only in the middle of the tent, while more advanced ones will create almost vertical walls.
Yes, a six-person tent will fit six sleeping bags and six people, but you will not necessarily feel comfortable. This is the maximum capacity, but sleeping in such a crowded tent is never a pleasant experience. Usually, one size bigger than the number of people is the best option for you. This way, you will have enough space for activities, such as playing board games or stretching out a little.
If your tent has only one door, and you are over four people, then you might have a problem. Besides the inconvenience of going over everyone to get out, in hot summers, there will also be a lot of heat accumulation inside the tent. An extra door will save you from some angry people and for long, sweaty nights.
The reason why premium tents are highly recommended is that they are composed of superior materials that offer better protection in all conditions. However, you can find pretty resistant tents in the budget section, too. If you plan on camping in rainy places, with wind or even snow, then you should upgrade your camping game with a tent that has aluminium poles, waterproof fabric, and a full-coverage rainfly.
We can make logical reasoning here: better materials equal a longer lifespan. Why? Well, stronger poles and a resistant fabric will be harder to destroy by poor weather conditions and time erosion. Again, premium tents are the best for this characteristic, too. Even though you pay more at the beginning, the tent will last longer, and you will not have to change it every other year.
Assembling and Dissembling
Setting up a tent might be a horrific experience, as it can take hours if you have not prepared from home. You should always assemble it at least once before exploring with it outside. If you do not understand tent structures at all, you could opt for an instant tent.
Weight and Packed Size
If you plan on backpacking, then you should think about how heavy your tent is going to be. The best option for those who travel without a car is a crossover tent. If you want a more spacious tent, you should consider that a six/eight-person model can reach 20 pounds or more. Make sure you can bear such a heavy load and reflect on the fact that you will have other things to carry, too.
Enough with the technical things! We’re pretty sure you won’t have any problem finding the right tent for your needs. So without further ado, let’s take a closer at our list with the 20 best tents for camping this year.
One of the budget options on the list, the Coleman Carlsbad 4, has its pros and cons at the price of around $150. It is pitch-dark inside day and night, allowing you to enjoy some refreshing air on the hot summer days. The vestibule is proper for dogs, as it is designed to avoid tracking in mud or water.
The highest disadvantage is the pole structure, which is not the strongest on the market. Setting up the tent is also a living hell for people who do not have experience with such models. It is also a heavy tent, but for its price, it will do the job of keeping you safe in moderate conditions and for a short period.
Another Coleman, this tent is perfect for people who only go camping a couple of times every year. The budget for this tent is small- only $132 for everything it offers, and it can even go lower than that. Additionally, it is a spacious tent, making it great for short and spontaneous adventures with friends somewhere not too far from home.
However, if you are looking for a qualitative tent, this is not the option you should choose, as everything the tent is composed of feels cheap and easily breakable. The tent has a limited rainfall coverage and will only work in good weather conditions, so be careful when you choose to go camping.
This model is the tent you were looking for if you aim for space and comfort. The walls are now nearly vertical, and you can walk around it along with other five people with no problems. The size, along with the interior storage, makes the tent perfect for families or large groups. However, the price matches the size, as it costs around $300 to purchase this tent.
The expanse is, though, not the only downside of this option. The tent has not the best protection against rainy weather. Compared to other tents, this one is a little bit revealed in front of storms. It is still water-resistant and has a rainfly that covers the mesh roof. The tent is excellent for sunny climates, that is for sure.
One of the best camping tents for families or bigger groups, the Homestead Super Dome 4 offers enough room for a giant. Costing $350, this model includes an enormous door, two large windows, a vestibule and a tall dome. It has an easy set-up that takes only a few minutes and does not require assistance.
The downfall of this tent is its performance during rainy and windy conditions. The reviewers say it does not perform well in poor weather, but it is fine for calm summer rain.
This tent is unique in many ways, but what really makes it stand out is the materials from which it was created. Canvas is an extremely tough fabric that can support the worst winds and rains possible. In addition, the steel frame keeps the tent in position when it is struck by a heavy gust of wind. The tent does a good job with temperatures: when it is cold outside, it preserves heat irreproachable, while when it is hot in the exterior, the material breaths perfectly.
However, we should analyze the disadvantages, too, before rushing to buy this tent. The first thing you will notice is the exorbitant price ($670), and how huge and heavy it is, weighing around 82 pounds. Consider that it will take a lot of space in your vehicle, and do not even think of backpacking with it.
Therefore, we consider this tent one of the greatest choices if you seek 100% protection from the bad weather, but it is not for everyone.
Although other budget-friendly tents tend to pay less attention to interior livability, this is not the case with our beloved Coleman’s Montana 8P. This model stretches a solid 16 feet in length, has a tall 74-inch peak height, and includes almost vertical walls that maximize the usable space. There is a single side door placed right in the centre, which limits the efficiency of going in and out of the tent.
On the upside, the sheer size of the tent makes it a perfect match for groups of four to six people. Who should buy the Montana 8P? Families that get out a couple of times a year in moderate weather are the most qualified candidates. The tent is surprisingly sturdy in the wind due to several included guy lines for anchoring it down.
Unfortunately, its minimalist rainfly and cheaper build are vulnerable to letting rain to poor in (particularly when it’s coming at the tent sideways). In addition, there is no vestibule included —the front “porch” provides some coverage but doesn’t hide your gear and isn’t expansive enough to rely on in a storm.
Decathlon came up with a tent that keeps surprising us with prizes. This new model was designed for beginner campers and people who hate the struggle of setting up the tent. Once you place this tent on the ground, the whole process will take only a couple of seconds. For the friendly price of $199, the tent is spacious enough for two people.
However, we must admit that the ceiling is pretty low, and the vestibule is not so big. If you go camping for stargazing, you might want to consider another tent, as the rainfly is not detachable.
13. Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Model 4-Person
As the name suggests, this tent could bear the harshest weather in the world. It can resist heavy precipitations, harsh wind, and even snow. How is it such a sturdy tent? The answer is simple: quality. The model has six poles arranged in a hexagonal design for better resistance, thick floor and coating, tough fabric and a full-coverage rainfly. It performs well in hot weather, too, as it has windows and mesh vents, and it is large enough to keep things cool.
However, you should consider other options if you think you do not need such protection. The poles are the ones that tend to disappoint, as they are made out of fibreglass, not aluminium. At $350, we would like some better use of the space, and maybe a lighter option, as this one weighs 25 pounds.
12. Caddis Rapid 6
Caddis Rapid 6 is probably one of the best tents currently on the market that offer a fast set-up. Unlike its competitors, this tent has super qualitative pieces besides the poles. The model is also massive, and the space can be almost totally used due to nearly vertical walls. The tent does not include a vestibule and has only a partial-covering rainfly.
Another thing to notice is the size of this tent when packed, reaching 50 inches in length. At this size, it will be challenging to fit in a car, therefore do not even think about backpacking with it.
At the shocking price of $150, this tent offers generous space, quick set-up, and does well in fair conditions or moderate rain and wind. The best candidates for this tent are people who barely start camping. You can set up the tent yourself, even though it will be harder to arrange the poles.
The tent is super sturdy and can act as a premium in poor weather. The downsides we have noticed are the low ceiling and the single door.
While it is not one of the cheapest tents on the list, Big Agnes Big House 6 still has a reasonable price of $450 for what it offers. The highest advantage is, as the name suggests, the generous interior, along with the incredible use of space, storage pockets, and the interesting front door mat for dirty boots.
However, the tent does not include a vestibule, and the rainfly does not cover the front door. While it serves its purpose in good weather, for those who plan on camping the whole year, in all conditions, this tent is not the best option.
Another tent that has our admiration is the Nemo Wagontop 4P. Just like other tents on this list, this model stands out because of its outstanding interior space with a higher ceiling than usual and almost vertical walls.
While it looks and feels like a luxurious tent, the price is higher than most people could afford, reaching a solid $500 for the four-person option and $650 for the six-person model. In addition to that, the tent will not perform too good on high winds nights.
8. REI Co-op Trail Hut 4
This tent is easily one of the great crossover options on the list. Easy to set up and looking really cool as well, this tent also comes with a great price that’s just excellent for the space it offers.
Of course, it is not as roomy as a premium design, but it is acceptable for those who want to go backpacking.
A high ceiling, huge floor space and extensive interior storage are all qualities of the MSR Habitude tent. The components are sturdy and perform amazing against humidity. For the strong structure, we can overlook the fact that the walls are not as vertical as in other tents. The tent includes a full-coverage rainfly and includes a porch light.
However, there are other options significantly cheaper (this tent is $600) and more durable than this one, but for those who love a strong tent, this model should not be ignored.
If the price is not an issue for you ($545), then the Marmot Limestone 6P is a pretty good option. This tent has something from everything. It is spacious, has nearly vertical walls and is reasonably weather-resistant.
While the tent performs great on warm days, you should check other models for better performance in the storm.
The North Face really made a good decision updating this model by adding a hybrid double-wall construction, and a different pole organization for easier set-up.
What puts this tent in the fifth place of our list and not higher is the fact that the rainfly does not cover the tent entirely. However, the massive vestibule and the new features are enough to consider this one of the best tents for camping.
Most of the tents you will on this list are too heavy to carry even a few miles away from your car. This model, however, even if it is not as light as a feather, is still good for short backpacking trips. In terms of space, we must admit that we love the Marmot, as it has enough room to stand up, play board games, or even have a nice meal.
However, if you are looking for a sturdy tent, this might not be the best option for you, as it has thinner materials. Marmot offers options for fewer people, too, making it even lighter.
It is surprising to see such an inexpensive tent so high in our tops, but this Coleman tent offers anything you need for a budget version, and it deserves to be here. At such a modest price, the tent feels premium from all points of view. Skydome has a full-coverage rainfly and has some intriguing poles that make the walls almost vertical to maximize the space.
In addition, the poles are pre-attached, making the setting process much easier. While it has a generous vestibule, the model has only one door, and the poles are fibreglass, not aluminium. However, overall, the Coleman Skydome tent is an amazing option for people who like big tents but do not have enough money to afford an expensive one.
2. REI Co-op Base Camp 6
This tent is something else in terms of stability. It can resist powerful winds and heavy rains without a problem, being one of the best choices for those who prefer camping in the winter.
While it has a big floor area, the tent feels pretty crowded due to the absence of vertical walls, but it offers more protection than most of the tents on the list and you can even see it in the dark.
1. REI Co-op Grand Hut 6
We have finally made it to our first pick. REI has plenty of exceptional tents, but this model is a lifesaver. At only $349, this tent offers more than the highly-priced options, being one of the most spacious ones and easy to set up. Even the tall people feel good in this tent, as it has a high ceiling and a large vestibule.
What we do not like about this model is its wind resistance. The tent is weaker in front of the storms due to the X-shaped pole design. The huge interior and high quality made us overlook that aspect and consider the REI Co-op Grand Hut 6 the best tent of 2021.
Tents are a significant part of a traveler’s life, and choosing one should be considered a serious process. The best thing is to write down all your needs and try to find a tent that suits you best. On our list, we tried to include models from all price ranges and with all key features. Pick one and go!