10 Best Camping Tents for Sale

10 Best Camping Tents for Sale

Ahh, camping! A wonderful way to spend time with the family, surrounded by nature. There's nothing quite like a summer weekend out camping in the forest, in the mountains, beside the lake, or on the beach.

So now is the time to stock up on all the gear you need for your next camping trip. We found the best tents for sale so you can spend all your time enjoying your camping trip.

What's the single most important item you'll need for a camping trip? That's right: a tent! Whether you're hiking in the mountains or hitting music festivals, you'll need to be prepared with one of these tents for sale at a price within your budget.

Here's the deal:

Now that you know the importance of a quality tent, we've compiled a list of the VERY best tents we could find. We searched among the HUNDREDS of tents on the market, read thousands of reviews, tested a handful of tents under all sorts of conditions, and compared every pro, con, and specification of the tents - all to ensure that you get the best tent according to your needs.

Here is our list of the best tents for you.

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

Best Camping Tents

  • 10. Tentsile Stingray 3-Person All-Season Suspended Camping Tree House Tent
  • 9. CORE Two Room 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
  • 8. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
  • 7. Pacific Breeze EasyUp Beach Tent
  • 6. Napier Outdoors Backroadz Truck Tent
  • 5. Coleman Hooligan 4 Man Tent
  • 4. Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent
  • 3. Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent
  • 2. Coleman Hooligan 2 Man Tent
  • 1. Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent

Best Suspended Tent

#10

Tentsile Stingray 3-Person All-Season Suspended Camping Tree House Tent

Best Suspended Tent: Tentsile Stingray 3-Person All-Season Suspended Camping Tree House Tent
Size
8.9
Installation
7.8
Durability
8.7
Value
8.6
Overall
85%
85 % Editor Score
80 % User Score
29 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Provides the most comfortable sleep
  • Enables campers to camp on any terrain
  • Keeps campers dry and off the ground

With the Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent, you can camp almost anywhere and leave behind no footprints! This suspended tent attaches to three healthy trees and enables you to camp over streams, on beaches, or rough terrains! Tentsile plants 18 trees with every tent purchased.  

This tent is probably not the best choice if you are a beginner camper. The setup and design take a minute to get used to if you're only used to a regular tent. Practice setting up a few times before camping with this tent. 

Expert Ratings

Size

8.9 / 10

This suspended tent comfortably fits three adults, or two adults and two small children. It provides 75 square feet of space and can hold up to 880 pounds.

Installation

7.8 / 10

Installation takes a minute to get used to. This tent uses three ratchet straps that anchor to three strong trees (you'll need to find the trees). We definitely recommend practicing set up either using the instructions provided or tutorial videos before heading out on your camping excursions. 

Durability

8.7 / 10

Every component of this tent is made with durable, quality materials. Many users stated that this tent provided the most comfortable night of sleep ever. You'll always stay dry, and never have to worry about creepy crawlers entering your tent thanks to the suspended factor. This tent is manufactured with the intent that it will be used in all sorts of terrain and weather and is therefore built to hold up. 

Value

8.6 / 10

This tent is definitely pricey, but well worth the investment. And remember that with every purchase, the company Tentsile plants 18 trees to help save the forests and our planet! 

Overall Editor Score

8.5 / 10

Best Family Tent 

#9

CORE Two Room 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent

Best Family Tent : CORE Two Room 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
Size
8.4
Installation
8.9
Durability
8.3
Value
8.6
Overall
86%
86 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
16 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Sets up in 2 minutes or less
  • Can comfortably fit up to 12 people
  • Sturdy and waterproof

This CORE Two Room 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent is perfect for a large group of people or family excursion. The tent divides up into separate rooms if desired, and also has a mesh roof for nighttime stargazing (cover included in case of wind or rain). 

The room separation is not a wall but a zippered door lining.  

Expert Ratings

Size

8.4 / 10

This tent comfortably fits up to 12 people and can be divided into separate rooms. It's the ideal tent for a family, group of friends, or a few campers with a lot of luggage! The floor plan measures 18' x 10'. 

Installation

8.9 / 10

Set up is made super easy with this 12 person tent cabin. The poles for the tent (10 telescoping poles) come pre-attached to the structure, so within about two minutes and five simple sets, you can have your canvas ready to go. 

Durability

8.3 / 10

The mesh ceiling enables you to view the stars at nighttime while the removable water repellent rainfly keeps rain and cold winds out. This tent uses an advanced venting system - drawing cool air in from the ground and letting hot air escape through the mesh ceiling. The seams are heat-sealed - meaning you'll always stay dry. The tent is well suited for all types of weather and terrain. 

Value

8.6 / 10

You can purchase this tent on Amazon for $349.99, and it comes with a 1-year limited warranty so that you can buy with confidence. 

Overall Editor Score

8.6 / 10

Best Cold Weather Tent

#8

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

Best Cold Weather Tent: ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
Size
8.7
Installation
8.8
Durability
8.6
Value
8.5
Overall
87%
87 % Editor Score
84 % User Score
27 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Easy to assemble and set up
  • Provides great insulation and ventilation 
  • Lightweight, easily portable

The ALPS Mountaineering Lynx Tent is the perfect 1-person tent thanks to it's lightweight and self-standing structure. Camping is made easy with this tent. It's big enough for a single person to fit comfortably but small enough to help keep you insulated and warm during your colder camping excursions. 

A few users who are over six feet tall have reported that this tent felt a little small for them. The length of the tent measures 7'6". 

Expert Ratings

Size

8.7 / 10

This tent is made for one person and one person only. The length is 7'6", width is 2.67", and height is 2.67". It's the perfect solo getaway tent. There is enough room inside for one person, even over 6 feet tall, to be very comfortable. The walls are mostly mesh, which provides nice ventilation. 

Installation

8.8 / 10

Installation is made easy with the Lynx Tent. Suitable for one person, this tent is free-standing and takes about two minutes to set up with its two aluminum poles that attach to the pole clips. Disassembly is just as easy - unsnap those clips, take down the poles and that's it! 

Durability

8.6 / 10

This tent is excellent for all types of weather, especially the cold. Because of the small size, this tent warms up very quickly. In warm weather, the enhanced ventilation makes this tent breathable. 

Value

8.5 / 10

This tent is selling for only $95.96 on Amazon. For a single person tent that is going to last you for a long time, this tent is set at a value that can't be beaten! 

Overall Editor Score

8.7 / 10

Best Beach Tent

#7

Pacific Breeze EasyUp Beach Tent

Best Beach Tent: Pacific Breeze EasyUp Beach Tent
Size
8.3
Installation
8.6
Durability
8.8
Value
8.4
Overall
85%
85 % Editor Score
86 % User Score
166 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Very easy to set up; sand pouches add weight to ensure the tent stays put
  • Lightweight and hike-friendly
  • Great for shelter from the sun and wind

Lightweight, very easy to set up, ceiling fits people sitting in beach chairs, comes with pouches for packing sand to add weight, and great for traveling/carrying.

Not very spacious--barely fits two adults.

Expert Ratings

Size

8.3 / 10

This is the tent you want to take if you're planning a camping trip with small children or infants. Make no mistake: this is a SMALL tent. It says it's supposed to fit two full-sized adults, but you're better off with one adult or two children in the tent. The overhead clearance is great; it provides more than enough space to sit in a beach chair.

Installation

8.6 / 10

The tent sets up in a matter of minutes, and you'll find that it requires very little in the way of wrangling or struggling to get it up. Drive the stakes into the ground, pour sand into the pouches, and your tent isn't going anywhere!

Durability

8.8 / 10

The floor is waterproof, the materials are fairly durable, and you won't have to worry about your tent breaking. All in all, it's the beach tent you want handy on your next trip.

Value

8.4 / 10

The $65 price may be a bit steep considering the fact that you can't use this tent anywhere else (it just can't handle heavy rain, wind, or cold). However, if you live near the beach and want a tent for regular use, it's a worthwhile investment.

Overall Editor Score

8.5 / 10

Best Tent for Road Trips

#6

Napier Outdoors Backroadz Truck Tent

Best Tent for Road Trips: Napier Outdoors Backroadz Truck Tent
Size
8.6
Installation
8.4
Durability
8.5
Value
8.9
Overall
86%
86 % Editor Score
88 % User Score
206 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Perfect for camping while cross-country driving; no campground needed!
  • No need to sleep on the ground or worry about worms, insects, and snakes
  • Fairly easy two-person setup and takedown

Can turn most pickup trucks into a waterproof tent, makes camping anywhere easy, durable design, well-ventilated, wide-mouthed front entrance for easy access, and adaptable to most pickup sizes.

Requires two people to set up easily, some models arrive with faulty windows that don't seal properly, and finding the right size can be challenging.

Expert Ratings

Size

8.6 / 10

Buying the right size tent can be a bit challenging, especially if you have a modified pickup truck. However, those with stock vehicles should have no problem finding the perfect fitting tent, including all of the attachments to secure it to the pickup flatbed.

Installation

8.4 / 10

If you're looking for a way to make your road trip more comfortable, you've found it! This tent turns the back of any pickup truck into a comfortable shelter in just a few short minutes. Thanks to the simple design of the tent, you can set it up in just a few minutes. It's always easier to set up and takedown with two sets of hands, but it can be done solo (albeit with difficulty).

Durability

8.5 / 10

The sewn-in flooring keeps out moisture and adds a bit of padding. You'll find that the tent will even fit a flatbed with a bed liner or a toolbox, making it compatible with the majority of trucks. You get excellent ventilation from the four windows, but they and the door seal up nice and tight to keep out rain and wind. The tent is durable, comfortable, and perfect for your travel needs!

Value

8.9 / 10

The price tag on this bad boy starts at $160+, but it may reach upwards of $800 depending on the size of your truck. It's pricey but far cheaper than staying in hotels as you travel cross-country!

Overall Editor Score

8.6 / 10

Best 4 Season Tent

#5

Coleman Hooligan 4 Man Tent

Best 4 Season Tent: Coleman Hooligan 4 Man Tent
Size
8.8
Installation
8.7
Durability
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
89%
89 % Editor Score
90 % User Score
636 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Great value for the money
  • Setup is fairly easy--takes about 10 minutes, including rain fly
  • Can be used for all 4 seasons; especially useful for hot summers

Well-priced for a 4 man tent, surprisingly spacious, built for all-season use, easy to set up, rainfly improves protection from rain and wind, and vestibule provides extra storage space/entryway.

Reviewers report that this tent is pretty heavy and features a rather low center height.

Expert Ratings

Size

8.8 / 10

The tent may be built fairly low (just under 5' clearance), but you'll have more than enough space for sleeping. Not only can you fit 4 sleeping bags with room to roll around, but you have storage space for your gear and a vestibule for your shoes.

Installation

8.7 / 10

Thanks to the simple snag-free pole sleeves and durable metal stakes, you can get this bad boy set up and ready for sleeping in under 10 minutes.

Durability

9.0 / 10

If you're looking for a tent to bring with you on your winter, summer, spring, and autumn camping trips, look no further! This bad boy is designed for all four seasons, and it's built to handle any weather conditions. Zip it up tight to seal in the warmth, or open the canvas to enjoy the views through the bug-proof mesh screen.

Thanks to the rainfly, your tent will be able to handle a tropical rainfall. The rain fly will keep out the wind, cold, rain, sun, and heat, making your camping experience more enjoyable. The inverted seams and welded floors will reduce the risk of breakage or damaged seams, and you'll find that this is a surprisingly durable tent.

Value

9.0 / 10

For the $75 price tag, you won't find a better deal. The tent may not be on par with those used by mountaineers or Everest climbers, but remember that you're buying a tent for use with your spouse, kids, or friends. Of the Coleman tents, it's the best for all seasons.

Overall Editor Score

8.9 / 10

Best Backpacking Tent

#4

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent

Best Backpacking Tent: Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent
Size
9.0
Installation
8.9
Durability
9.0
Value
9.1
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
92 % User Score
622 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Fairly lightweight; portable and easy to carry
  • Rugged and built to withstand cold, rain, snow, and temperature extremes
  • Has ventilation for hot climates and insulation for cold climates

Well-priced, designed for 3-season use, built with durable polyester with a waterproof polyurethane coating, great for extra-tall people, and wonderfully weatherproof.

Provides limited storage space and is slightly on the heavy side.

Expert Ratings

Size

9.0 / 10

If you're looking for a tent you can carry with you on a backpacking trip, this is a good option to consider. You'll never complain about sleeping space with this tent. You can fit extra-tall people (up to 6' 8") in the tent without feeling cramped, and though it's only designed to fit 2 people, you will be able to move around and store a moderate amount of gear overnight.

Installation

8.9 / 10

It's easy to setup and take down, making it one of your best options if you're planning a long-distance backpacking trip. At just 5.5 pounds, it's a fairly lightweight option (though some people find it a bit heavy when added to the rest of their gear).

Durability

9.0 / 10

Durability is definitely one of the "pros" of this tent. It's made with durable polyurethane but has a thick polyurethane coating to ensure that it's fully weatherproof. The tent is designed for 3-season use, and it can handle cold, heat, rain, and wind with no problem. Zip it tight, and it sleeps about 15 degrees warmer than outside. Open up the tent walls, and you can let a cool breeze through the vent mesh without letting in the bugs.

Value

9.1 / 10

At $120, this is a reasonably priced tent considering how long it will last. It's pricier than your average 2 person tent, but you definitely get your money's worth with the limited lifetime warranty.

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Best 8 Man Tent

#3

Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent

Best 8 Man Tent: Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent
Size
9.0
Installation
9.2
Durability
9.0
Value
9.2
Overall
91%
91 % Editor Score
94 % User Score
272 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Great for a large family; a surprising amount of room for sleeping bags and gear
  • Multiple windows and doors allow for excellent ventilation and access
  • Very waterproof, especially with the rain fly

Beautifully roomy, great for avid campers, easy to set up and take down, designed for maximum comfort and easy access, and created using durable materials.

Pricey and a bit too heavy for backpacking.

Expert Ratings

Size

9.0 / 10

This is the perfect eight-man tent to buy if you're planning a family camping trip. You get a good amount of room for sleeping bags/air mattresses AND gear. The tent is even divided into two "rooms," offering a modicum of privacy you won't get with other tents. With the center height of 6' 5" and dimensions of 14' x 10', you have all the room you need for your family.

Installation

9.2 / 10

The poles are all attached (using stretch cord), making it easy to set up the tent in one minute. Even kids can do it!

Durability

9.0 / 10

A significant benefit of this tent is its durability. Given its size, it's created specifically for family camping trips and built to withstand heavy use from children and adults. The floors and walls are extra thick, with inverted seams to reduce leakage and prevent damage.

Leakage isn't a problem with this bad boy! The tent itself is designed to zip up nice and tight, though wind and rain can sometimes trickle through the windows if they're not sealed just right. Add a rainfly, however, and you'll get excellent water and weatherproofing.

Value

9.2 / 10

This $210 tent is the priciest one on our list. However, considering its size and durability, it's definitely worth the price. You won't find a better family tent!

Overall Editor Score

9.1 / 10

Best 2 Man Tent

#2

Coleman Hooligan 2 Man Tent

Best 2 Man Tent: Coleman Hooligan 2 Man Tent
Size
9.2
Installation
9.0
Durability
9.3
Value
9.3
Overall
92%
92 % Editor Score
96 % User Score
221 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Surprisingly roomy--almost big enough to be a 3 man tent
  • Well-priced and durable
  • Setup is a breeze

Lightweight, designed to be easily set up by just one person, full-length rain fly for maximum waterproofing, and spacious for a 2 man tent.

Too heavy to carry backpacking.

Expert Ratings

Size

9.2 / 10

This tent is perfect for two adults. You have a decent amount of room for both sleeping bags and gear, and you can cram three smaller people into the tent if you have to.

Installation

9.0 / 10

One of the main things people love about this little two-person tent is the fact that it's so easy to set up, even if you're alone. The fiberglass poles fit into the insert sleeves easily, and you'll find that it's got a very durable design.

Durability

9.3 / 10

This tent is extremely durable. With the heavy-duty plastic floor, you won't have to worry about ripping the tent as you move around. The rain fly over the top keeps you dry on even the rainiest days. 

The mesh lining of the tent serves as the perfect option for those who want to enjoy a beautiful view without dealing with mosquitos. You can simply unzip the main canvas and drink in the mountainside or forest views. When you're ready to sleep, zip the canvas back up and relax in your waterproof tent. And don't worry, you won't feel like you're trapped in an unventilated shelter.

Value

9.3 / 10

At $49, this is one of the best of the cheap tents on our list. It's built to last, easy to use, and surprisingly spacious if you're planning a couples'/buddies' camping weekend. A tent worth owning for sure!

Overall Editor Score

9.2 / 10

 

 

Best Tent Overall

#1

Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent

Best Tent Overall: Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent
Size
9.5
Installation
9.0
Durability
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
94%
94 % Editor Score
98 % User Score
2,611 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Incredibly roomy; lots of overhead space
  • Can be set up in just 1 minute
  • Durable and weatherproof

Extremely durable, very portable, affordable price tag, multi-purpose, incredibly easy to set up and take down (two-person job), and lightweight.

Difficult to take down by yourself if you're camping alone.

Expert Ratings

Size

9.5 / 10

If you're looking for an all-purpose 6 man tent for your camping trip, you'll love this bad boy!

Dimensions are 10' x  9', with a height of 6' 2" at the center pole -  making this the perfect 6 person tent for big and tall campers. You have enough space for two double air mattresses and plenty of gear storage. If you've been searching for a tent that will shelter your whole family, look no further.

Installation

9.0 / 10

Set-up is designed to be a breeze, and you can have the tent up in just 1 minute. Takedown, however, is a bit more challenging, even for two people. It can be tough to stuff the thick tent back into its bag. Thanks to the illuminated guide lines, you can always find your way back to tent after dark. All in all, a VERY good choice!

Durability

9.5 / 10

The seams are polyurethane-taped to increase their durability and weatherproofing, and you'll find that the tent's Weather-Tec system of inverted seams and welded floors can handle a good deal of rain without leaking. Weatherproofing can be even further strengthened by adding a rain fly. All in all, it's a well-built tent, both sturdy and durable.

Value

9.5 / 10

At $140, this is a mid-to-high-priced tent compared to some of the others on our list. However, our research has led us to conclude that for the money, you won't find a more durable, user-friendly, and well-designed tent around. Worth every penny.

Overall Editor Score

9.4 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 10 Best Camping Tents for Sale

10 Best Camping Tents for SaleSizeInstallationDurabilityValueOverall
Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent Thumbnail
Best Tent Overall
#1Coleman 6-Person Instant Cabin Tent
9.5
9.0
9.5
9.5
94
Coleman Hooligan 2 Man Tent Thumbnail
Best 2 Man Tent
#2Coleman Hooligan 2 Man Tent
9.2
9.0
9.3
9.3
92
Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent Thumbnail
Best 8 Man Tent
#3Coleman 8 Person Instant Tent
9.0
9.2
9.0
9.2
91
Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent Thumbnail
Best Backpacking Tent
#4Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent
9.0
8.9
9.0
9.1
90
Coleman Hooligan 4 Man Tent Thumbnail
Best 4 Season Tent
#5Coleman Hooligan 4 Man Tent
8.8
8.7
9.0
9.0
89
Napier Outdoors Backroadz Truck Tent Thumbnail
Best Tent for Road Trips
#6Napier Outdoors Backroadz Truck Tent
8.6
8.4
8.5
8.9
86
Pacific Breeze EasyUp Beach Tent Thumbnail
Best Beach Tent
#7Pacific Breeze EasyUp Beach Tent
8.3
8.6
8.8
8.4
85
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent Thumbnail
Best Cold Weather Tent
#8ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
8.7
8.8
8.6
8.5
87
CORE Two Room 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent Thumbnail
Best Family Tent 
#9CORE Two Room 12 Person Instant Cabin Tent
8.4
8.9
8.3
8.6
86
Tentsile Stingray 3-Person All-Season Suspended Camping Tree House Tent Thumbnail
Best Suspended Tent
#10Tentsile Stingray 3-Person All-Season Suspended Camping Tree House Tent
8.9
7.8
8.7
8.6
85

Faveable Expert Tips

Your Guide to Choosing the Best Tent

Choosing a tent is a surprisingly complex process! You’ve got to consider everything from size to seasons to fabric to weight to features—and that’s just the beginning. Below, we’ve come up with a complete guide to help you in choosing the right tent for your camping, hiking, beach, and mountain trips.

Sleeping Capacity

Obviously, the first thing to consider is how many people you need the tent to sleep. Tent capacity is measured according to the number of people it will be sleeping:

  • 2 person tent
  • 4 person tent
  • 6 person tent
  • and so on up to 12-person tents

However, keep in mind that this is an “average-sized” person, often trending on the smaller side of the scale.

If you are extra-large (tall, broad-shouldered, etc.), you move around a lot at night, or you just want more space, you may want to get a size larger than you currently need. The same goes for if you’re bringing pets or small children with you, or you plan to carry more gear than normal. Heck, if you just want more elbow room, it’s a good idea to consider upsizing your tent capacity by 1 person.

Bear in mind that the tent capacity refers to 1 person, but it doesn’t always include that person’s gear. If you are a 2-person hiking team and you buy a 2-person tent, there’s a very good chance the tent will fit EXACTLY the two of you with no space for your shoes, backpack, or supplies.

Unless you are going to be hauling the tent on your back, it’s always a good idea to consider getting a slightly larger tent than is necessary. Not only does this give you enough space to sleep comfortably, but you also have space to store your shoes, supplies, packs, and even a small cook stove or heater. That bit of extra space can do wonders to make you more comfortable while camping overnight.

On the flip side, if you’re going trekking or backpacking and carrying the tent on your back, a larger tent will definitely be heavier. Bear that in mind when choosing the sleeping capacity of the tent—maybe it’ll be better to cram more people into a smaller tent if it means you can carry more food, water, and other crucial supplies.

Tent Seasons

Tents come in three different “season” options:

3 Seasons – 3 Season tents are designed for using during spring, summer, and fall, when the weather conditions are fairly temperate. They tend to be lighter weight than other tents because they don’t need heavy insulation, and they typically have mesh panels that improve air flow and ventilation.

They can withstand rain storms, especially with a rainfly. However, they’re not suited for very cold, very windy, or very wet conditions. They’re better suited to keeping you dry from mild showers and late spring snowfalls than a heavy blizzard or downpour. They’ll shield you from bugs (though the mesh allows sand to blow in), and they’re great for privacy at the beach, in the mountains, or at your campsite.

3-4 Season – 3-4 Season tents are designed for use in the very early spring and the very late fall, when the temperature is dropping and the risk of heavier snow and rainfall is higher. They provide a combination of ventilation (necessary for hot-weather use), durability, and warmth-retention (for cold weather use).

They’ll usually include fewer mesh panels than 3-season tents, as well as an added pole or two to make the tent’s structure more solid and resistant to heavy wind and rain. They’re not suited for “dead of winter” use, but they can be great for frequent trips to high-elevation destinations.

4 Season – 4 Season tents are designed for all weather conditions, including fierce winds and heavy snow. They’re typically used in the winter or at elevations above the treeline, where you’re going to be facing some seriously inhospitable weather.

They’re made with more poles than 3-Season tents, which increases the durability of the tent’s structure. They also usually have a rounded dome top that won’t collect snow, fewer mesh panels (less ventilation is required in the winter), and rainflies that extend fairly close to the ground. Their primary purpose is to keep as much warmth trapped inside the tent as possible—very necessary for heavy winter use.

The type of tent you choose will depend largely on when and where you camp:

  • For summer camping or beach use, go with a 3-Season tent.
  • For early spring and late fall camping, or for hiking to high-altitude destinations, consider a 3-4 Season tent. 
  • For winter use or camping above the treeline where there’s no protection from howling winds, a 4 Season tent should be your go-to.

What is Single and Double Wall?

One thing you’ll often see on tent specifications is “single-walled” or “double-walled”.

A single-wall tent has a single wall of fabric—typically something fairly robust and wind- and water-proof—to make a lightweight tent that offers good ventilation. Single-wall tents tend to be 3-season tents, and the fact that they’re so well-ventilated makes them ideal for use in the hotter months of the year.

However, some 3-4 and 4 Season tents are now being made single-wall, using specially coated, non-breathable fabrics to make them resistant to colder temperatures without adding extra weight. They are best-suited for cold but dry alpine environments.

Single-wall tents are usually very easy to set up, and they weigh less than double-wall tents. However, they tend to be smaller than double-wall tents and will usually collect more condensation on the inside.

A double-wall tent has two layers of fabric—typically, the 100% waterproof rainfly on the outside and the more breathable, less waterproof tent wall on the inside. They tend to be less breathable than single-wall tents, but they offer a lot more resistance to rain and condensation.

Double-wall tents improve your chances of keeping the interior dry, which is ideal in heavy rain conditions. There are multiple vestibules and doors that help you to keep your gear dry, and they tend to have more space for storage and sleeping. On the downside, they’re noticeably heavier than single-wall tents, and they require far more staking and guying (securing with guy ropes) to ensure the tent, vestibule, and rainfly are all properly set up.

Double-wall tents are best-suited for heavy rain and high humidity environments, and in situations when you need to store extra gear.

Tent Fabrics

Choosing the right tent fabric is critical, as the right/wrong fabric can make or break your camping experience depending on climate, moisture, and temperature.

Cotton canvas is the classic material that has been used for tents in the U.S. for decades. It’s heavier than synthetic fabrics, and it’s ideal for both warmth on cold nights and breathability on hot nights. It offers great breathability to let the heat out, but it will do wonders to keep you warm and insulated when the weather turns chilly.

On the downside, cotton canvas tents will usually leak, especially new tents that haven’t been “weathered” (allowed to get wet, which causes the cotton fibers to swell up and nestle into each other). Cotton canvas is also far less common these days, thanks to the popularity and low cost of synthetic fabrics.

Note: Some cotton canvas tents will be coated with PVC, which can increase durability and waterproofing but will also increase weight and condensation.

Nylon is the material typically used for smaller tents, as the nylon fibers are far less likely to absorb water and thus can be made into a lighter fabric. Most nylon fabric is coated with silicone, acrylic, or polyurethane—acrylic is the cheapest and least effective while silicone is the most effective and highest-priced.

A lot of nylon tents will include a “rip-stop” pattern in the weave, which helps to strengthen the lightweight fabric and make it resistant to tearing. Nylon tends to sag when wet, so you may need to tighten the guy lines when the rain is very heavy out. Nylon is also very sensitive to UV light, so exposure to lots of sunlight may shorten the lifespan of the tent. They’re not best-suited for hot, bright summer days, but for windier, colder weather with less direct sunlight.

Polyester is a synthetic material that is often used for larger, heavier tents. Polyester is more durable and resistant to sunlight than nylon, but it also weighs more. It’s typically covered with a special coating that helps to increase waterproofing—the same acrylic, polyurethane, and silicone coatings used for nylon tents.

Polyester will weigh more, so your tent will be heavier. However, polyester won’t sag when wet and it won’t be worn so easily by direct sunlight. This makes them better spring and summer tents!

Note: Polycotton is a mix of polyester and cotton. This blend of synthetic and natural fibers makes the fabric lighter without sacrificing durability, and can be used either uncoated or with the PVC coating to keep out water.

Are Tents Fireproof?

This is a question that many people ask, and an important one! After all, if the weather gets rainy or cold, you may end up having to do a lot of cooking inside your tent—and the last thing we want is a fire hazard where we sleep.

Sadly, none of the tent fabrics mentioned above (polyester, cotton canvas, nylon, or polycotton) are truly fire-resistant. Some manufacturers will coat their tents with special fire-retardant materials, but all tents will burn.

Nylon tents are the most susceptible to fire. If the nylon catches fire, it will burn VERY quickly. Cotton canvas is the least likely to catch fire, but it will still burn with the wrong spark.

NEVER use any equipment with an open flame inside or near your tent. Be very careful with any sort of stove, heater, or heating device that could get hot enough to catch the tent on fire. If you’re going to use any sort of cooking equipment, make sure to do it far away from your tent where there’s no risk of the fabric catching fire.

What happens if it’s raining? Either eat cold meals or use a stove that is specially designed for indoor use.

For safety’s sake, keep a few buckets of water or sand beside your tent. If your tent does catch on fire, you can put it out quickly thanks to this simple preparation.

Important Features to Consider

When shopping for tents, here are a few of the other features you need to consider:

Weight – If you’re hauling this tent in the back of your truck or RV, it doesn’t really matter how much it weighs. But if you’re hauling it around on your back as you hike or climb, weight is a VERY important factor.

Rainfly – A rainfly is a handy addition to any tent, and it can do wonders to keep out even the heaviest rain. If your tent doesn’t come with a rainfly, consider purchasing one separately to use in case the weather turns wet.

Footprint – This is the name for a tarp placed beneath your tent. Not only does a footprint increase the thickness of your floor (reducing wear), but they add extra durability and water-resistance. They can also keep out bugs and creepy-crawlies.

Doors – For a small 1-2 person tent, you only need one way in and out. For larger tents (4-8 people), it may be a good idea to have 2 or more doors to give people multiple ways to access the tent. For family-sized tents (12+), more doors is always a good thing.

Be warned: doors (with their added vestibules) make the tent more comfortable and roomy, but they also make the tent heavier and increases the time required to pitch the tent.

Vestibules – Vestibules are the tent equivalent of a covered porch, and they can provide space to keep your shoes safe from the rain but outside your sleeping area. They can also double as added storage space for your gear. However, they add weight to the tent and can increase pitching time.

For hardcore hikers and trekkers, the added weight and pitching time makes vestibules as unnecessary as they are fancy. For people who care about comfort, vestibules are always a good idea.

Peak Height – This is something to consider according to your height and your desired comfort. Shorter tents are more resistant to wind and weather, but they can make changing or walking around indoors uncomfortable. Taller tents will require more guying and staking, but are great for camping in luxury.

Dome-style tents have rounded roofs that can keep off wind and snow, but the vertical walls of cabin-style tents give you more comfortable space for lounging and sleeping.

Poles and Stakes – The pole structure of a tent determines the difficulty of pitching. Some poles can simply be clipped onto the tent, which leads to faster set-up time but lower durability overall. Pole sleeves will take longer to use but will make the tent much sturdier. Aluminum poles are pricier than fiberglass, but are more durable and resistant to the elements.

Most family tents are freestanding and don’t require stakes, but active outdoor tents will come with plenty of stakes and guylines for hardcore weather conditions. Freestanding tents are easier to move around and keep clean, but they won’t be as resistant to wind, snow, or mudslides.

Tips to Help You Camp Like a Boss

If you’re planning on doing some camping, give these tips a try to streamline the experience and make your tent a whole lot more comfortable:

Get the right tent – The tips above will help you choose the tent that serves your needs best. Try a few tents until you find the one that does the job for you and your friends/family.

Find a level surface – Find the flattest, smoothest ground you can find to pitch your tent. It can be very uncomfortable to sleep on an incline!

Always prepare for rain – There’s nothing worse than waking up in a soaked tent, or with your gear totally waterlogged. Always expect and prepare for rain by bringing a rainfly, tarps to cover your gear, or somewhere waterproof to store everything overnight.

Pack bedding – Inflatable air mattresses and sleeping pads are so much better than sleeping bags! They don’t take up much space in your car or RV, but can make a world of difference in your sleep quality. Also, make sure to pack enough blankets and sleeping bags to keep you warm if the weather turns chilly.

Keep it simple – Until you’ve got lots of experience camping, don’t try to get too hardcore. Choose a tent you know you can pitch, enough gear to make your trip comfy, and start with one or two nights of camping at a time. Consider pitching your tent at a campground with all the modern conveniences to make the trip easier on everyone.

Go with someone who knows – If it’s your first time camping (alone, with friends, or as a family), consider bringing along someone who has camping experience. It’s much easier to ask advice than trying to figure out how to “rough it” on your own.

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Article Staff

Erika has a passion for writing. She is an avid traveler who loves a good road trip. Iced coffee is what keeps her going throughout the busy days in New York, New York. Currently, Erika writes for several blogs and companies specializing in travel, mental health, nature, and current news/politics.  

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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