Finding the best camping tent doesn't have to be a struggle

It only takes one bad storm to make you realize the importance of a good tent while camping. Seriously. When the rain starts pelting the side of your tent or a big gush of wind blows so hard that the whole side caves in, you’ll wish you took the time to pick a good tent, not just the first one you saw on the endcap of a store aisle.

That said, there’s a lot more that goes into picking a good tent than you might think. Simply buying an expensive one at a sporting goods store doesn’t mean it’s the right tent for you.

For example, if you like to take solo hikes, you don’t need the same kind of tent as someone who likes to bring the whole family camping, dog included. So when you’re choosing your tent, think about your group size and how much gear you plan to bring with you. Do you need storage space? Are you comfortable snuggling up next to your camping partner? All tents will list their capacity, but bear in mind that there is no industry standard to define “per person” tent dimensions, so if you easily get claustrophobic or you toss and turn a lot in your sleep, it might be best to size up by at least one person.

You’ll also want to consider your tent’s packed weight. If you’re planning to drive up to your campsite, the weight likely won’t matter that much to you, but if you’re planning to carry your tent with you as you hike through the backcountry, it probably will.

Most importantly, you’ll want to pick a tent to match the kind of trip you’re taking. If you’re planning to camp in the desert, you don’t need the same kind of tent as you would if you were planning on camping on a mountain ridge (in which case, you probably want a 4-season tent). You might also want to look into a tree tent if you’re worried about snakes, critters, or flooding.

Oof, that’s a lot. But don’t be overwhelmed! We’re here to help! Whether you want to go solo camping, backpacking, mountain climbing, or on a family trip with your kids, here are our seven favorite tents to fit the occasion:

Best camping tent overall

Finding the best camping tent doesn't have to be a struggle

Image: REI

The Good

  • Ample interior storage
  • Center divider to create rooms
  • Color-coded setup
  • Spacious
  • Mesh for stargazing
  • Customizable rainfly
  • High ceiling

The Bad

  • Expensive
  • High ceiling may not be suitable for extreme high winds
  • Additional features sold separately

The Bottom Line

This high-quality, spacious tent with a customizable rainfly is hard to beat.

1. REI Co-op Kingdom 6 Tent

With room for the whole family and solid rain protection, this is our top overall pick for best tent.

  • Doors: 2
  • Packed weight: 21 pounds 6 oz.
  • Capacity: 6 people
  • Floor area: 83.3 square feet

When it comes to making quality camping gear, REI seldom disappoints. Case in point: their Kingdom 6 Tent. It is relatively easy to put together, thanks to its color-coded setup. With a barn-like, rectangular shape, this tent is tall, allowing you to fully stand up and walk around. While its height could be problematic in extremely high winds, many reviewers claim that it holds up surprisingly well, most likely thanks to its strong poles.

REI Co-op reviewer Gemmer writes:

“This tent is incredible! I had never set up a tent before in my life and I ended up having to set it up completely by myself in a forest alone with my two young children before a major storm was coming through. It was easy and user-friendly enough for me to completely set it up by myself without another soul to help. [...] The tent withstood a major storm without a single bit of dampness inside of the tent and we didn’t even have the footprint underneath the tent.”

The tent features a lot of floor space and comes with a center divider to create two rooms, making it the perfect choice for a family. It has bug-proof mesh ceilings, allowing for stargazing, and a customizable rainfly to keep the interior dry and weather resistant. While 20 pounds makes it pretty heavy for hiking, it does pack up into a backpack carry case, thus making it easier to lug to a walk-in campsite. However, given its high price-point, if you don’t camp regularly, this may not be the tent for you — especially since many of its accessories, such as its footprint and mudroom, are sold separately.

Best camping tent for families

Finding the best camping tent doesn't have to be a struggle


The Good

  • Large vestibule
  • Easy and fast setup
  • Spacious interior

The Bad

  • No room divider
  • Single-wall design so can get damp in heavy rain

The Bottom Line

With enough space for lots of people and good weather protection, this tent is a great choice for families.

2. The North Face Wawona 6

With ample space, good weather protection, and a relatively fast setup time, this tent is a great all-around choice for families wanting quality.

  • Doors: 3
  • Packed weight: 19 pounds 4 oz
  • Capacity: 6 people
  • Floor area: 86 square feet

If you’re looking for a car camping tent that pretty much has it all, then this is the one for you. The North Face Wawona 6 has enough space to comfortably sleep a family of four, though six people will definitely fit and its dome is 6’6” tall, allowing you to fully stand up inside of it. It features two large mesh windows through which you can take in the view outside and keep things ventilated on warm, summer days. By far its best feature is the front vestibule, or “porch,” where you can set up camp chairs or a picnic table. In addition, because this tent has a single-wall, waterproof design, the tent is easy and quick to pitch — something that families with kids will definitely appreciate. Best of all, the tent is equipped with lots of storage pockets, including one just for a tablet.

Amazon reviewer B. writes:

“Best tent ever!!! This is an awesome family tent for car camping. Very portable and easy to put together [...] Poles are color coated and there are only 4 in total to put together. Super easy. [...] The front ‘porch’ is massive. Easily fits two adult chairs and a camping table in between. This is typically where our dog sleeps at night too.”

Best backpacking tent

Finding the best camping tent doesn't have to be a struggle

Image: Big agnes

The Good

  • Lightweight
  • Roomy
  • Stands up well in high winds

The Bad

  • Delicate fabric

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for something lightweight and roomy, this is the backpacking tent for you.

3. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2

This ultralight, two-person tent is the perfect choice for a long backpacking trip.

  • Doors: 2
  • Packed weight: 3 pounds 1 oz.
  • Capacity: 2 people
  • Floor area: 29 square feet

Weighing in at only 3 pounds 1 oz, this tent is perfect for a long backpacking trip, especially since it is relatively roomy for a 2-person tent. It has two doors and two vestibules, along with a storm flap to keep you dry overnight. It’s got a steep dome shape, helping it stand-up to high winds, and a breathable mesh for ventilation or stargazing on clear nights. It also features storage compartments for a phone and other accessories in the sleeping area. However, it is made of thin material so it requires some care in order to last.

REI Co-op reviewer Lovethewinds writes:

“Best Tent I’ve ever had. Pitches easily and quickly, it’s even color coded, and can be pitched tight with 6 stakes. It has enough room for two people, who like each other, to sit up at the same time. We used it [in] two seasons in 10,000 ft + altitude in Montana, and it holds up well in driving rain and wind.”

Best 4-season tent

Finding the best camping tent doesn't have to be a struggle

Image: Mountain Hardwear

The Good

  • Double-wall design for wind durability
  • Spacious

The Bad

  • Pricey
  • Heavy for mountain climbing

The Bottom Line

Thanks to its double-wall design, this 4-season tent offers a great winter shelter for campers.

4. Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 Tent

This sturdy, yet spacious tent will hold up well in bad winter weather, making it a great 4-season tent.

  • Doors: 2
  • Packed weight: 9 pounds 10.2 oz.
  • Capacity: 2 people
  • Floor area: 40 square feet

When it comes to buying a 4-season tent, you need one thing most of all: durability. A tent that collapses under snow or heavy wind is useless. That’s why we love the Mountain Hardwear Trango 2, which is engineered to shelter two people in alpine conditions thanks to its double-wall design. The tent is relatively spacious for a 2-person, 4-season tent and has good headroom. It also features off-the-floor gear storage and a light diffuser pocket for your headlamp to create an allover light source in the tent.

REI reviewer Smithwick writes:

“With normal use the Trango Two tent will give you multiple years of enjoyable adventures outside. I’ve used the Trango design since 1999 and it continues to get better and better as fabrics and new elements develop.”

Best tree tent

Finding the best camping tent doesn't have to be a struggle

Image: Tentsile

The Good

  • Spacious
  • Comfortable
  • Protection from critters
  • Storage space
  • Ground conversion kit

The Bad

  • May require two people to set up
  • Not for beginners
  • Expensive

The Bottom Line

If you’re worried about ground critters or want your own portable treehouse while camping, then this is the tent for you.

5. Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent

This portable tree house is a great camping choice if you’re looking for protection from insects, snakes, rodents, and other animals.

  • Doors: 3
  • Packed weight: 25 pounds
  • Capacity: 3 adults (or adults and 3 children)
  • Floor area: 78 square feet

You won’t have to worry about flooding, uneven ground, or snakes with this tree tent. Like a hammock, it’s incredibly comfortable, but it's spacious enough to sleep three adults or two adults and three children (it can hold a total of 880 pounds.) It includes three heavy-duty straps with ratchet buckles to keep you suspended safely four feet off the ground and set-up only takes about 15 minutes. It features a waterproof rainfly to keep you dry, a no-see-um mesh to keep insects at bay and, if need be, it can also be pitched on dry ground.

Amazon reviewer Aaron writes:

“This tent is awesome! [...] I took it camping in the rain, and it was able to keep me dry. Front access through the main door is pretty straight forward, and access through the center hatch made it easy to keep the inside of the tent dry. There was plenty of room for my wife, our dog, and myself. The floor withstood my dog’s furious attempts to dig herself out (it may have taken her a bit to get used to being up in the air) and the rain fly kept us dry for the three nights we were there…”

Best budget option

Finding the best camping tent doesn't have to be a struggle

Image: Coleman

The Good

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy and quick to set up
  • Durable
  • Good ventilation

The Bad

  • Rainfly leaves part of the sides exposed
  • Only two storage pockets

The Bottom Line

A relatively spacious, affordable option for occasional campers.

6. Coleman Sundome

If you only go camping once or twice a summer, this affordable-yet-durable tent is the perfect choice.

  • Doors: 1
  • Packed weight: 10 pounds 3 oz.
  • Capacity: 4 people
  • Floor area: 100 square feet

Not everyone needs an expensive tent. If you’re the kind of person who only goes camping once or twice a summer in drive-in campgrounds, then the Coleman Sundome is the tent for you. It isn’t flashy, but it’s a very durable and sturdy dome tent and you can’t beat the price. It’s also easy to set up — should only take you 15 minutes, tops — and it’s the perfect size for a small family of two adults and a child or dog. (Though it technically sleeps four, that might be a tight fit for four adults.) With large mesh windows, it’s well ventilated too, keeping you cool in warm weather. It packs up easily in a case, though all packed up, it’s definitely a car-camping choice. We wouldn’t recommend backpacking with it.

Coleman website reviewer nc_notary writes:

“Bought this tent as a starter for camping getaways. [...] Great tent. Full size air mattress fits nicely and leaves room for a couple of lawn chairs. Air flow is great […] However I do recommend extra padding underneath the air mattress or sleeping bags. The ground gets very cold due to the thinner bottom of the tent. All in all, this is a great little tent and very affordable. 2 adults would do nicely in this tent.

Of course, budget tents come with drawbacks and the biggest one with this tent is that it isn’t the best in bad weather. The rainfly only covers the top of the tent, leaving the sides exposed which could lead to you getting wet if there is a lot of rain or heavy winds.

Best tent for solo camping

Finding the best camping tent doesn't have to be a struggle


The Good

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Vestibule
  • Easy to set up

The Bad

  • Doesn't include a footprint
  • No frills

The Bottom Line

Compact, lightweight, and affordable, this tent is perfect for the solo camper.

7. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx

This is the tent for you if you’re looking for an easy, small tent for your solo camping and hiking trip.

  • Doors: 1
  • Packed weight: 3 lbs, 5 oz
  • Capacity: 1 person
  • Floor area: 20 square feet

Let’s face it, if you’re camping on your own, you don’t need a big complicated tent: just something lightweight, easy to set up, and capable of withstanding bad weather. This tent is all of that. It’s big enough to fit all of your gear, especially since it has a vestibule, and it keeps you dry even in bad rain. It’s easy to set up and pack up, even in bad wind, and it won’t break the bank.

Reviewer WarnerB138 writes:

“Great tent. Especially for the price. Lightweight yet roomy enough for one person to sleep comfortably in any position. The large vestibule is an essential feature on this tent. It allows me to store my larger 65 Liter pack in the vestibule while I’m sleeping as well as any extra gear I need to store. It has three mesh stash pockets inside the tent, one is suspended above the head area and removable as a gear loft. Another essential feature in this tent is the mesh walls [...] which allows for ventilation during those hot summer days. But it’s not 100% mesh so it does provide good wind coverage and insulation for winter or cold weather as well.”