The Best Camping Tents: Options Ranging From Glamping to All-Purpose Gear

camping tent set up


Of all the gear required to prepare for an extensive outdoor hike, a camping tent is one of the most crucial components. The last thing you want is to be setting up a tent for the first time late in the evening or on a remote hiking trail when you learn that it rips with the slightest extra pressure. The best camping tents are durable, easy to use, and reliable.

But it's not easy to muddle through all the choices out there. That's why we've researched the best camping tents on the market and selected the top options. We separated our picks by category so you can easily find a tent that suits your needs.

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Best Camping Tents - Our Top Picks

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What to Look for in a Camping Tent


Dimensions

There are two qualifiers to keep in mind when it comes to the dimensions of your camping tent–packed and set-up dimensions. Tents with larger packed dimensions may be harder to fit in your rucksack, though this may be hard to avoid if you're looking for a tent that can house a large number of people.

Similarly, there's no reason to invest in a tent that’s significantly larger than what you need because that will only increase the carry size and weight in your pack.

Weight

Generally, a lightweight option is preferable because it's much easier to carry and set up, especially if you're camping alone. But, a certain amount of heft is required for the posts you use to tack your tent into the ground, and that's an area you definitely shouldn't skimp on.

Capacity

How many people do you generally camp with at a time? Is it just you, or you and your partner? Are kids or friends tagging along? The tents we feature can fit anywhere between two and ten adults (though it's worth noting that manufacturers can't promise an abundance of elbow room, especially with larger-capacity tents).

Capacity can be tricky to nail down because you want to have space for all the people who might join your camping excursions, as well as their sleeping bags and pads, but too much unnecessary capacity means extra weight and space to account for when you pack.

Material

Look for materials that are tear-resistant and suit the climate of the environments where you usually camp. You might need a tent that’s generally weather-resistant, or if you camp in a cooler climate, then a winter weather-proof tent might be necessary. Make sure the bottom is quality material, so if you step in with your hiking boots on, it won't rip.

Also consider the materials of other features like zippers and posts—these need to be durable as well.

Best Overall Camping Tent - Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3-Person Tent

Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3 Person Tent

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 7" x 2" (packed), 68" x 90" x 41" (pitched)
  • Floor space: 42.5 sq. ft.
  • Weight: 7 lbs. 6.7 oz.
  • Material: Polyester fabric, PU coating
  • Doors: 2
  • Special features: Large, durable, great value

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Looking for a camping tent that covers all of the bases? The Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3-person tent is large, sturdy, and comes at an affordable price point. It packs down to a relatively small size, especially given its set-up dimensions.

We like that its polyester fabric walls have a polyurethane coating which provides durability and extra water resistance. Two doors provide easy access in and out of the tent. Plus, its mesh and opaque wall options make it suitable for all seasons.

What We Like

  • Large size
  • Significant square footage
  • Footprint included
  • Mesh and durable PU coated poly wall options included
  • Versatile; can use it during any season

What We Don't Like

  • Flimsy packing bag
  • Sticky door zippers
  • On the heavier side

BUY: Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 3-Person Tent

Best for Car Camping - Marmot Halo 6-Person Tent

Marmot Halo 6-Person Tent

SPECS

  • Dimensions (Packed): 25" x 14" (packed), 81" x 120" x 120" (pitched)
  • Floor space: 100 sq. ft.
  • Weight: 19 lbs. 7 oz.
  • Material: Rip-stop polyester & poly mesh
  • Doors: 2
  • Special Features: Size and durability

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Car camping offers the same satisfaction of traditional camping with some perks that make the outdoor experience a little easier. For newer campers or those who aren't crazy about the feeling of being super isolated, car camping is a good option. You still have easy access to transportation and a warm, dry space, plus you don’t have to worry about carrying your gear as you hike. Our pick in this category is the Marmot Halo 6-Person Tent.

It's large enough to fit six adults, and its height makes it far more comfortable for taller individuals than some smaller tents. It even includes a waterproof footprint, which is effective at keeping the tent interior dry even in very wet weather. We also love how the doors have both velcro and zipper closures, which could make things easier if you're traveling with kids who might struggle to open zipper doors on their own. But because of its larger size, keep in mind that it’s a heavier tent than many of the other selections on our list.

What We Like

  • Large size can sleep up to 6 adults
  • Tall enough (81") to comfortably stand inside tent
  • Mesh and opaque tent wall options
  • Zippers and velcro for extra secure doors

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy
  • Bulky packed size

BUY: Marmot Halo 6-Person Tent

Best for Winter - Mountain Hardwear Outpost 4-Season 2-Person Tent

Outpost Two 4-Season 2-Person Tent

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 7" x 24" (packed), 50" x 88" x 41.5" (pitched)
  • Floor space: 30.6 sq. ft.
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Material: Rip-stop nylon with PU coating; mesh
  • Doors: 2
  • Special features: 2 vestibules for extra space, suitable for 4 seasons

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It can be tricky to find the right tent that can hold up in winter weather. But the Mountain Hardwear Outpost 4-Season tent is durable enough to stand up to most winter weather. An added bonus? It can work for camping in more mild weather as well. It's suitable for all four seasons thanks to its mesh and insulating tent wall options. Keep in mind that it's a smaller tent that fits two adults at most, but its size makes it easy and compact to pack, and lightweight enough to carry when hiking.

We like that this tent expands in size with a second vestibule, which we recommend using for storage of camping packs and other gear. Plus, its walls, floor, and seams are waterproof. So if you run into any snow or rain, you can stay warm and dry.

What We Like

  • Highly visible color (alpine red)
  • 4 seasons
  • 2 vestibules for extra space
  • Waterproof
  • Mesh and opaque tent wall options
  • Interior pockets

What We Don't Like

  • On the small side
  • Might not durable enough for high winds

BUY: Mountain Hardwear Outpost Two 4-Season 2-Person Tent

Best for Families - Coleman Skydome XL 10-Person Tent

Coleman Skydome XL 10-Person Tent

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 25" x 10" x 10" (packed), 192" x 108" x 78" (pitched)
  • Floor space: 144 sq. ft.
  • Weight: 24 lbs. 12 oz.
  • Material: Polyester with PU coating
  • Doors: 2
  • Special features: Size

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No matter the size of your family, the Coleman Skydome XL 10-person tent should suit your needs. It’s spacious, easy to assemble, and huge. There's enough floor space for four queen-sized air mattresses, and it's nearly seven feet tall at its highest point. We also like that it comes with a room divider to provide some privacy if you're traveling with a large group. It’s also well-ventilated which you can easily seal in case of rain.

The size of the Coleman Skydome XL does come with drawbacks. Namely, this tent is large even when packed and remarkably heavy for a tent (clocks in at 25 pounds). But if you’re camping with a large group and need the extra space, we think it’s a roomy option.

What We Like

  • Large enough for four queen air mattresses
  • Sleeps up to 10
  • Mesh doors
  • Color coded posts for easy set-up
  • Affordable

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy
  • No mesh wall option
  • Lacks some of the features of higher-end tents
  • Cheap zipper

BUY: Coleman Skydome XL 10-Person Tent

Best Luxury - Mountain Hardwear Stronghold 10-Person Tent

Mountain Hardwear Stronghold 10-Person Tent

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 19" x 36" (packed), 77" H x 15'D (pitched)
  • Floor space: 171 sq. ft.
  • Weight: 46 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Material: Rip-stop nylon, nylon taffeta, PU coating
  • Doors: 2
  • Special features: Spacious and sturdy; dome shape

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Whether you're into glamping, or are looking to invest in a high-quality tent for serious climbing expeditions, we have the tent for you. We recommend checking out the Mountain Hardwear Stronghold 10-Person Tent. Shaped like a dome, this tent comes with a vent for indoor cooking (a must in super cold or wet conditions), and precipitation slides right off of the roof. Plus, it’s sturdy and comes with a lifetime warranty.

It has an interior square footage of 171 square feet, making it great for folks traveling in large groups or who want room to move inside the tent. It even includes windows, complete with UV protection. However, because this is such a durable, sturdy tent, it’s also super heavy (46 pounds).

What We Like

  • Very large; sleeps up to 10
  • Vent for cooking
  • UV-protective windows
  • Dome shape good for snowy weather
  • Sturdy
  • Lifetime-warranty

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive; definitely a luxury option
  • Heavy (even for its size)
  • Footprint (floor) not included

BUY: Mountain Hardwear Stronghold 10-Person Tent

Best for Groups - Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4-Person Tent

Eurkea Copper canyon LX Tent 4-Person Tent

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 9" x 27" (packed), 96" x 96" x 84" (pitched)
  • Floor space: 64 sq. ft.
  • Weight: 17 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Material: Polyester & PU coating
  • Doors: 1
  • Special features: Easy set-up

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If you're planning to camp in a group of four, consider the Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4-Person Tent. It's great for anyone new to camping, plus it’s easy to set up. Easy set-up can be key, especially if you’re expecting poor weather.

We like how the Eureka Copper Canyon tent comes with a removable rain guard and the mesh windows provide plenty of airflow while keeping bugs out. The tent is also made with mesh interior pockets, which is super convenient for storing odds and ends on overnight trips.

What We Like

  • Easy set-up
  • Removable rain guard
  • Pockets
  • Affordable
  • Mesh windows

What We Don't Like

  • Not as sturdy as some
  • Just one door

BUY: Eureka Copper Canyon LX 4-Person Tent

Most Weather-Resistant - Mountain Hardwear Trango 4-Person Tent

Mountain Hardwear Trango 4-Person Tent

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 9" x 28" (packed), 96" x 94" x 50" (pitched)
  • Floor space: 57 sq. ft.
  • Weight: 12 lbs. 1 oz.
  • Material: Nylon, PU-coating
  • Doors: 2
  • Special features: Weather-resistance

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Even if you think you'll be camping in mild weather, it's still worth investing in a tent that can stand up to unpredictable conditions. For those searching for the ultimate weather-resistant tent, we recommend the Mountain Hardwear Trango 4-Person Tent. This versatile tent sleeps up to four adults and can last through all four seasons. Made with water resistance in mind, its bucket-shaped tent footprint is an effective method of keeping water out of your tent as you sleep.

The Trango tent also has a fast-pitch option which comes in handy when you're caught in unexpected weather and need to set up camp quickly. Its lightweight aluminum poles are sturdy yet slightly bendy (ideal for windy weather).

What We Like

  • Lighter, fast-pitch option
  • 4-season weather resistance
  • Light aluminum poles for support
  • Waterproof, bathtub-style footprint

What We Don't Like

  • PU seam-coating may flake off

BUY: Mountain Hardwear Trango 4-Person Tent

Best Budget - ALPS Mountaineering Targhee 2-Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Targhee 2-Person Tent

SPECS

  • Dimensions: 6.5" x 20" (packed), 60" x 90" x 48" (pitched)
  • Floor space: 38 sq. ft.
  • Weight: 7 lbs. 9 oz.
  • Material: Polyester
  • Doors: 2
  • Special features: Affordability

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If you're an avid camper and have the means, we strongly suggest you invest in the highest-quality tent you can afford. The last place you want to be when your gear rips or otherwise fails is out in the middle of nowhere. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on a quality tent. So if you’re just getting into camping or don’t have the funds for a pricey option, we recommend the ALPS Mountaineering Targhee 2-Person Tent. The Targhee is a small, functional camping tent that’s lightweight, weighing in at around seven pounds, packed.

It has mesh windows and includes a footprint for keeping dry in wet conditions. It's a two-person tent (though at 38 square feet, this one is a squeeze for two adults). Keep in mind that because it’s less than $100, it isn't overwhelmingly sturdy. Fiberglass poles instead of aluminum cut down on extra weight but also lack the strength of something more substantial.

What We Like

  • One of the most affordable tents
  • Functional
  • Lightweight
  • Mesh windows
  • Footprint included

What We Don't Like

  • Small
  • Fiberglass poles feel unreliable in windy weather

BUY: ALPS Mountaineering Targhee 2-Person Tent

FAQs About Camping Tents


What is the best material for a camping tent?

The best material for a camping tent depends on your purpose. Generally, a strong, water-repellant synthetic fabric such as nylon or polyester works best for most camping tents. Most campers want something that’s strong, weather-resistant, and won't easily tear.

Also make sure to consider the materials used to make the fastenings, stakes, mesh, and tent poles. These high-stress areas are often where damage happens, so if possible, invest in a tent with good quality zippers and such.

How much does a good tent cost?

A good tent may cost you anywhere from $50-$500. A higher-quality tent may be in the thousands of dollars. There are budget-friendly options that are still reliable, but most of the time you get what you pay for. So make sure to find a good balance between quality and price.

How heavy should a camping tent be?

Camping tents vary in weight and can weigh anywhere between seven and 50 pounds. Large-capacity tents usually weigh more. Consider the weight of your preferred tent and whether you or another member of your camping group can comfortably carry it.

Should you put a tarp over your tent?

Putting a tarp over your tent can improve its water-resistance and give you better protection from the elements. But generally, it isn't necessary if you invest in a high-quality, weather-resistant tent.

How do I protect my tent floor?

To protect your tent floor, you can stake a tarp to the ground beneath your tent's footprint (floor). If your tent is relatively thin, this may be a good idea to preserve the longevity of your gear.

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