The 12 Best Camping Tents, According to Outdoorsy Reviewers

Whether you're into stargazing, overnight backpacking trips, or simply looking for a fun outdoor vacation for the entire family, camping is the tradition you didn't know you needed.

best camping tents tout

This year, in particular, summer will most likely feel a little different. Since statewide social distancing mandates might still be in full swing, many warm weather activities such as summer camps and amusement parks are #canceled. Even vacations like beach timeshares and European backpacking adventures will most likely be put on pause. So, what better way to get out of your home and enjoy some fresh air than camping? Whether you're hitting the outdoors solo or with friends or family, camping is a healthy alternative if you're wanting space and quality time with loved ones (or yourself) away from home.

It's called the great outdoors for a reason, and the benefits of unplugging and spending time outside, whether it's a couple-hour hike or a weekend camping trip, are huge for both your physical and mental health. Being at one with nature and escaping the area you live—whether it's a city, small town, or suburb—can not only help relieve stress, but also can help you recharge. That said, you need to be fitted with the proper gear before you hit the trail or pack up the car, especially if you're planning on spending a night (or several) beneath the stars.

For newbie campers who might be buying a tent for the first time, there are a few things you should consider when selecting your gear. A leaky tent with a poor design can put a real damper on a camping trip, so you may want to invest in a water-resistant or waterproof option to ensure you'll be comfy and cozy while exploring the outdoors—especially if you live in or plan to camp in wetter climates. That way, you also won't need to replace your tent down the road for something that can better withstand the elements. (

You'll also want to contemplate the size of the tent you'll need. Keep in mind how many campers will be nestled in the tent and what gear you'll need to store inside, including air mattresses, sleeping bags, backpacks, and heaters. Also think about how you will be traveling to your campsite: Does your tent need to fit into a backpack, or will it be thrown in the trunk of your car? Other features like mesh panels (for increased airflow) or additional storage pockets (for lanterns or kids' toys) are also great perks to be on the lookout for.

Whether you'll be pitching your tent in the mountains, in the woods, on the beach, or even just in your backyard, camping is a fun and easy way to get outdoors. Here, the best camping tents, according to super enthusiastic reviewers—from waterproof options and backpacking favorites to instant-setup tents and glamping picks for those who need a dose of luxury with their nature.

Best 1-Person Tent: ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

best camping tents alps

For any solo adventurers, a lightweight, easy-to-put together shelter is essential. This water- and UV-resistant tent weighs just 4 pounds, and setup is frustration-free, thanks to the free-standing, aluminum two-pole design. It also has an overhead gear loft to stow away a book or flashlight, and an outdoor vestibule for gear storage.

"I've had this tent for about two years now," one fan wrote. "I love and adore it, and it's lasted a bunch of trips. It is a great fit for one person plus gear (I'm a strong independent hiking woman who don't need no man). I also love that the rain cover goes all the way to the ground and has a vestibule to keep the dirty stuff outside and dry."

Buy It: ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent, $95,

Best 2-Person Tent: Coleman Sundome Tent

best camping tents coleman sundome

This tent makes getting your campsite ready a breeze, and claims to only take 10 minutes to set up! The interior can accommodate a queen air mattress, making it the perfect size for two people, and storage pockets make it easy to tuck away handy personal items such as keys, phones, and headlamps. Plus, If you happen to get stuck in unfavorable weather, covered seams and welded corners protect the inside from any water leaks.

One reviewer shared her experience using this at a weekend music festival in Michigan: "It was super windy and was raining buckets to the point where there were inches of standing water outside the tent. Without even treating it with camp dry or any sealant, we were bone dry and cozy in this tent for five days."

Buy It: Coleman Sundome Tent, from $64,

Best Family Tent: HikerGarden 8-Person Camping Tent

best camping tent family tent hikergarden

This roomy, durable tent is wind and waterproof and large enough to fit eight people: It can accommodate either three queen air mattresses or eight sleeping bags. It also features mesh panels for better air circulation while keeping out pesky bugs and mosquitos. And it comes with a curtain you can use to divide rooms for privacy—or as a space to project a movie. Nifty.

"Overall this is a great family tent that could comfortably fit six adults inside with gear. People without gear you could fit eight or more if you pack tight or have small children. There is a divider is the tent that works well to section things off and add some privacy. You can fit four largish mattresses on one side of the divider with two on the other side and still have room near your head or feet," said a customer.

Buy It: Best Family Tent: HikerGarden 8-Person Camping Tent, $160, $200,

Best Beach Tent: KingCamp Quick up 2-3 Person Camping Mesh Beach Tent

best camping tents beach tent king camp

While sturdiness and shelter from the sun is always a priority, it becomes particularly important when camping beachside. With heavy winds, high sun exposure, and an unstable, sandy surface, you need a tent that won't fall down on the job. Eight ropes, twelve steel nails, four sandbags, and a waterproof finish ensures the elements won't take this tent down, and UPF50+ fabric keeps you protected from harmful UV rays.

"This tent is perfect for camping, the beach, the park... anywhere really. Easy set up and takedown less than 3 minutes to put up anytime down. I used this as a play tent/napping spot for my 18-month-old while camping and at the beach," wrote a buyer.

Buy It: KingCamp Quick Up 2-3 Person Camping Mesh Beach Tent, $76,

Best Tree Tent: Tentsile Una Tree Tent

best camping tent tentsile

If your idea of camping is hanging between the trees, try this all-season tree tent hammock. Constructed from a nylon-polyester fabric that contours to your body, this one-person tent is light, packable, and boasts 100 percent insect-proof, tear-resistant mesh, so you can enjoy the views without the bug bites. But, if you want to feel the earth beneath you one night, you totally can, since it's also convertible to the ground—just add a sleeping pad. Also nice: For every tree tent or hammock Tentsile sells, the company donates to have 20 trees planted.

One fan raved: "Tentsile tree tents are an awesome concept and well worth our support as they continue to grow and develop their product line. Sleeping outside in the trees is now accessible to everyone and so much more comfortable and adventurous than conventional camping. Try the affordable Una. You will love it! Amazon is quicker than buying from Tensile direct."

Buy It: Tentsile Una Tree Tent, $299,

Best Glamping Tent: Danchel Four-Season Waterproof Bell Tent

best camping tent glamping

For those who prefer not to rough it ~too much~, a big canvas tent does the trick. Large enough for beds, cots, heaters, fans, lanterns, comfy blankets, and Moroccan rugs (you name it), this glamping tent offers a luxurious experience while in nature—as well as the perfect Instagramable moment.

One shopper noted: "I bought this tent mainly for festivals, and have throughly enjoyed it. I've received a ton of positive feedback, people seem to love this thing... It's huge on the inside and can easily be set up by 1 person."

Buy It: Danchel Four-Season Waterproof Bell Tent, from $349,

Fastest Set Up: Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup

best camping tent fastest setup coleman

With over 2,000 five-star reviews, this tent is incredibly easy to put together and can be set up in just one minute (seriously!), so that you can spend less time pitching your tent and more time adventuring outside. The fabric is designed to black out 90 percent of sunlight, which not only helps you stay asleep while the sun is rising (although, catching the sunrise is one of the best parts of camping!), but also helps to keep the inside of your tent cool. Plus, it has welded corners and covered seams to keep water out on rainy nights.

"I just got this tent today, so of course I haven't actually camped in it yet, but I went right out and set it up. It went up so fast, and it was almost accidental...just by handling the poles, it almost set itself up. If it took a full minute, it didn't take a second more than that, and I wasn't even trying to see how quickly I could do it," said a reviewer.

Buy It: Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup, from $95,

Best Affordable Backpacking Tent: Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent

best camping tent backpacking kelty

This lightweight backpacking tent is one of the most wallet-friendly options you'll find. It's just under 4 pounds (so won't add too much weight to your pack), has a full seam-taped construction to keep moisture out, and the freestanding, two-pole design makes it a cinch to set up—especially if you're putting it together by yourself. Bonus: The tent also comes with interior storage pockets and a vestibule space for keeping your dirty hiking boots out of your tent, but out of the rain.

"For those who don't like a long-winded review, I'll start with the most important here: This is a fantastic lightweight backpacking tent that will not break the bank, and I honestly feel that it is the best possible choice for the money. I purchased this tent, along with a Kelty Salida 2, for a backpacking trip down Havasupai (Grand Canyon). Since then, I have also taken the tent to Zion Narrows, Rim to Rim, and some other shorter backpacking trips. The tent has held up flawlessly, and has truly exceeded my expectations for a backpacking tent under $200," shared a customer.

Buy It: Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent, from $145,

Best Splurge Backpacking Tent: Big Agnes 2019 Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent

best camping tent backpacking big agnes

When backpacking, you want to keep your pack as light as possible, so finding a practically weightless tent is key. When assembled, this tent is spacious, and when it folds down to fit in your pack, it only weighs 3 pounds. The tall vertical shape gives the allusion and feeling of more space, while the two-tone mesh ceiling allows privacy as you stargaze. (

One serious hiker wrote, "If you are pretty serious about hiking, you are watching weight in your pack for multi-day hikes, and maybe on the large or tall side and need a bit more room in a one-person tent. If this is you, this tent is probably as good as it gets."

Buy It: Big Agnes 2019 Copper Spur HV UL Backpacking Tent, from $380,

Best Budget Waterproof Tent: Moon Lence Camping Tent

best camping tent waterproof moon lence

Made with waterproof and UV-resistant materials, this double-layer tent has a stiff shell and heavy-duty rainfly to protect you from harsh conditions, making it ideal for windy weather or rainy weekends. Two D-shaped doors and large mesh panels offer added ventilation for muggy weather, as well.

This tent lasted a shopper for four days of drizzle and heavy rain: "I took this out over Thanksgiving for about four days and it rained practically the entire time, fluctuating between drizzle and heavy rain but never a solid downpour, so I can't speak to that. This bad boy held up and kept all our gear dry while we were out hiking all day. We did have some tree coverage so that may have helped keep the rain off as well but even still I was impressed."

Buy It: Moon Lence Camping Tent, $80,

Best Splurge Waterproof Tent: Core 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent

best camping tent waterproof core

This waterproof tent boasts heat-sealed seams from the rainfly down to the floor to keep water and moisture out, no matter how hard it's storming. The instant set up takes just 60 seconds, so your family can take cover as soon as you get to the campground, and it accommodates up to nine campers. (

One reviewer was really able to put the waterproofness of this tent to the test: "I was recently camping in N. Georgia, and some very angry weather settled in for the night. It rained heavily and steadily for several hours, with lightning and wind. This was by far the worst storm that I have ever had the pleasure of enduring in a tent. While everyone else slept in the car, my two mini Aussies and myself slept in my CORE tent without a single drop getting inside. It held up like a boss!"

Buy It: Core 9-Person Instant Cabin Tent, from $250,

Best Roof Top Tent: Tepui Tents Low Pro Ayer 2 Tent

best camping tents tepui

This sleek and spacious tent conveniently sits right on top of your car (if your campsite is short on space, you're camping on rocky terrain, or you prefer a bit of elevation because #bears), and is designed to attach to most roof racks. Made with 100 percent recycled materials, it is durable, roomy, and comfortable enough for two people.

One owner highly recommends this as a great investment: "I absolutely love this tent. It has made my life much more convenient and comfortable. I've been solo road-tripping for a month now through Utah, Colorado, NM, and Arizona. Set up is a snap and so is the takedown. I feel so much safer sleeping on top of my car as opposed to my ground tent."

Buy It: Tepui Tents Low Pro Ayer 2 Tent, $1,500,

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles