Best Camping Tents – A Comprehensive Review
My name is Alan Fletcher, and I have been in love with mountains for the past 15 years. From the first day, I joined a mountain climbing club, to my last years working as a mountain guide, I have not seen a more welcoming sport. Mountain climbing can be done by anyone who is mentally prepared for it. As Wolfgang Güllich once said, “The brain is the most important muscle in climbing.” You do not have to be a professional athlete to give mountain climbing a go.
Now that I am a family man with kids, I do climb as much as I used to. I try to make time for camping trips with friends once in a while. However, I spend plenty of time in the gym. I also give classes to prepare amateurs for mountain climbing. My blog covers everything you would need to know when going on this adventure. Today, I write a review of the best tents for camping. There is quite a variety when it comes to outdoor gear. Hence, we need a factual review. Read on for all the information that you need to make the right purchase.
Top 10 Camping Tents Worth Buying for Your Next Trip
- Tent brand
- Ease of setup and takedown
- Material – how durable and waterproof it is
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 Person – Best Camping Tent with the Water-resistant Rainfly Feature
Embedded in the firm’s mission, the brand creates durable and high-performance products for customers searching for high-quality outdoor gear. The reputation of a brand tells us more about who makes the best camping tents. ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1 is a single tent camp bed, which is sorted with various features that topped the best camping tents 2017 list. It is designed in the form of a free-standing tent fitted with a 2-pole addition for the provision of extra space when solo backpacking. The inside part of the tent features a base size of 2’8 by 7’6 feet together with a 10 square foot extra spacing for storage of gear.
Lauded as the best small tent for camping, the Lynx 1 has a mesh feature on the upper part of the tent with the base of the durable poly taffeta floor. The door features a D-shaped design with extra-large zippers. Two mesh pockets are located inside the tent on both ends with clips for hanging a lantern. Unfortunately, it does not come along with a footprint.
An added advantage to the design of the tent is the water-resistant rainfly feature. It is sheltered with sealed seams, which protect against instances of leaking. For ventilation purposes, the mesh walls allow fresh air to be fitted on both sides. This also breaks up the buildup of condensation inside the tent in humid conditions.
When setting up the tent, it will not take you much time due to the freestanding nature of the tent with the X design. The tent poles can be easily attached as it lays down an X-pattern on top of the tent. This is followed by attaching a hook at the point of the poles that form the X-design. You then have to work down your way as you go to the center hook while attaching the poles. Finally, you have to stake the tent down at the corners of the hooks close to the tent grommets.
Generally, the Lynx 1 is a durable and lightweight mountaineering tent that offers you reliable shelter when camping solo. The interior design of the tent will provide you with that comfortable rest. The vestibule is spacious for easy storage of your outdoor gear. Fitted with a premium price tag, it is best for solo camping.
- Easy setup
- Spacious vestibule area
- Fitted with rainfly
- Not inclusive of a footprint
Coleman Dome Tent – Especially Tent for Couples
The second on the list of camping tents reviews is the Dome tent. So, which tents are best for camping? A stand out feature for the Coleman Dome tent has to be the quality and size it comes in. This is a big advantage since it won’t take a lot of your space in the car. The tent has a square shape supported with two handles making it easier to store it since it does not roll around, giving you a hard time when stacking it.
Moreover, Coleman`s tent comes with the instructions stitched to the inside of the bag. This is unlike other tents, which offer instructions in the form of a book that can get lost while camping.
The Coleman Dome tent does not present itself as a high-end tent, with its quite affordable price tag. It is well suited, especially for couples or a family consisting of three members planning to go camping.
Additionally, it has a basic setup procedure. It includes two extended fiber spring bars, which cover all corners while running across the middle. I was pleasantly surprised with the brilliance of the snag-free continuous pole sleeves component on the top of the tent at the point where the spring bars cross.
Typical tents are characterized by having four sleeves with each pole meeting at a designated X-spot on the tent in the middle. The two sleeves attached to each pole mean the tiresome process of joining the first sleeve to the middle as you maneuver your way to the next pole. However, with the Coleman brand, this is not necessary for joining all the sleeves to the pole together with the X-spot.
However, the take down of the tent can be quite challenging. Without grips, it is hard to fold the tent to fit into the bag. The quality of the zippers is something that the Coleman brand needs to improve on. I nearly damaged my nails, trying to zip up the tent with the thin zippers. Do you know that feeling when you are zipping your tent door, and the fabric ends up being caught in the zipper?
- Easy setup procedure
- Easy storage
- Thin and delicate zippers
- Not suited for cold weather conditions
Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent – Best Camping Tents 2018
The Core 9 best brand camping tents look like an umbrella together with its attached walls pinned to the floor. As a freestanding tent, it can be pitched on different terrains thanks to the self-supporting structure. The best part is that you do not have to pin the tent to the ground. The best family tents for camping reviews highly recommend it.
It comes with an instant pre-assembled frame with the poles that are permanently attached to the inner tent. This makes the setup very simple to build up, which can take less than one minute. The main poles that hold the tent altogether are also telescopic. When unfolding the tent, all you have to do is extend the tent until a click sound is formed.
You can stretch the length of the pole until it suits your desired size. The process is repeated with the remaining six poles that eventually set up the inner tent, which is attached to the pole system.
In case you are planning to go out camping with a family, this tent can be divided into a two-room setting. I highly rate the Core 9 as a hybrid tent that constitutes a single layer type with the fly added as the second layer on the roof. It can be used as a three-season or two-season camp. Therefore, it can withstand both harsh rains and windy weather. However, it can also suit perfectly when camping under mild weather conditions.
It forms part of a comfortable and pleasant tent fitted with mesh covering both the walls and ceiling. This makes for the perfect air circulation inside the tent. It has a spacious storage area with the floor measurement going 14 by 9 feet. With a divider, it can be adjusted to two rooms with a total capacity of nine people.
The setup procedure is quite simple since all structures are in place. Additionally, the body of the tent is attached to the frame at all times with it being very foldable. The same applies when taking the tent down. All you need to do is collapse the telescopic poles. This will make the entire tent to fall.
- Two-room setup with divider
- Simple setup and takedown
- No vestibule
Lethmik Backpacking Tent – Good Tent with a Waterproof Design And a Ventilation
What are the best camping tents? Well, being lightweight is a priceless quality as it reduces the load to be carried. This is an essential requirement for traveling enthusiasts searching for the best small camping tent. Apart from the lightweight nature, it comes with a double layer design that assures top performance for different backpacking activities. It additionally has a waterproof design for protecting against adverse weather conditions.
The complete package includes a carry bag, cover, alloy stakes, inner tent, one year warranty, and windproof ropes. The unique design of the tent is also a major consideration when going for a camping expedition. It features a double laying camping tent with the ventilation secured with the mesh wall panels during hot weather. For added storage, the tent is fitted with small-sized mesh pockets on the sides of the tent wall.
The best part about the tent is that it can be set up in less than a minute, which makes it one of the best car camping tents. The freestanding nature of the tent makes it easily mobile and relocated without necessarily having to disassemble the entire tent. When heading out, you can easily seal the tent into your carry bag, which can be expanded.
Despite being an affordable backpacking tent, it has some significant drawbacks from the setup to the general design. The first downside of the tent is the loose, frayed strings that hang from each seam. A thin floor material makes it semi-resistant. The rainfly does not cover the entire tent, hence making the bottom wet in case of a heavy downpour.
Furthermore, the best car camping tent stakes are also substandard. I highly recommend the purchase of custom lightweight stakes that offer extra support. The attached stakes bend easily when plunged into the ground. The windows additionally do not come with window covers that can be easily unzipped in place of the full tent cover.
- Quick set up
- Waterproof design
- Proper ventilation
- Extra storage from mesh pockets
- Sub-par tent stakes
- Loose, frayed strings
Abco Tech – Best Popup Camping Tents
Hailed as one of the best pop up camping tents, the Abo Tech can be set up in any place any time. The tent is manufactured from high-quality polyester material that comes in a range of two colors, making it one of the good cheap camping tents.
The best pop up tent camping features an easy setup procedure that can accommodate a maximum of two people. While at the beach, the tent can save you from the hot sun and rising waves. The tent pops up instantaneously into a ready to use form, which makes it very good for casual camping. It comes with two doors that are suited for two residents.
The windows of the tent are covered up nicely with nylon flaps that add the element of privacy while in the tent. In the case of humidity, it comes with a mesh for easier air circulation. The mesh is located at the front and back to add more circulation of air. Apart from the carry bag, it is fitted with an accessory bag for the increased functionality of the tent.
The downside to the tent deals with its functionality and the tent bed for camping. Since the primary purpose of the tent is a casual use, it is not suited for withstanding harsh weather conditions. It can prevent leaking of water, but this is not assured during a heavy downpour. In the case of camping in the rainy season at the beach, you can add a waterproof sealer for full protection of the seams.
It is fitted with an affordable price tag, which is bound to resonate with your savings. It is great for beginners venturing into their first camping expedition. The lightweight nature of the tent makes it more mobile when traveling around different sceneries.
Abco Tech also assures its customers of a fully risk-free satisfaction warranty. This means that you can rest assured about the functionality of the tent.
- Easy setup
- Nylon flaps for privacy
- Mesh for air circulation
- Not very durable
Kelty Salida – Compact Camping and Backpacking Tent
The Kelty Salida is a convenient, lightweight camping and backpacking tent that does not break your bank. The one-person freestanding tent offers a unique combination of both value and quality. The freestanding design means that the tent can be pitched in various terrains, which is why this tent was popular in camping tent reviews 2018.
The side walls are constituted of mesh and panels together with a waterproof floor. The seams are additionally sealed to prevent instances of leaking. The feature is replicated in the design of the fly.
Another beneficial addition to the design of the tent includes the color-coding, which makes up for a simple and straightforward setup. It features two poles entwined in an X-shaped design for extra support in different weather conditions.
The door has a D-shaped design featured on the side together with a toggle system to ensure that the door can be rolled up while being fixed to the side of the tent. It is backed with a spacious interior for easy mobility around the tent. The walls are also high to ensure maximum comfort when camping in the wilderness.
The mesh walls ensure proper ventilation. In case you want some privacy in your tent, you can remove the rainfly. The design of the tent additionally features a waterproof feature. All the seams are fully taped. It also has the unique hug clip designed for allowing tents to maintain their posture even in times of high winds. This makes it the perfect tent when solo camping under strong windy conditions. The noiseless zippers are fitted on both sides of the door for easy entering and exit from the tent.
On the downside, it does not offer that top-notch air ventilation for your tent. In case the rain is left on, it supports the buildup of moisture. This makes the tent only best suited during the summer season. It makes for perfect camping gear in the summer with no condensation expected.
- Spacious interior
- Lightweight and compact
- Withstands strong wind conditions
- Small vestibule
- Poor ventilation
Tomount 8 Person Tent – Another The Best Family Camping Tent with One Year Replacement
Are you thinking of a summer family camping expedition? Well, the Tomount is an 8-person freestanding type 2-room tent that features a door and five windows. This is the best pick. The funnel type design comes with four poles for creating normal arches. The freestanding design is additionally supported by a ridgepole that cuts across the arches attached to the tent at the end of narrow sides.
An attractive design quickly becomes a favorite one in reviews for camping tents. You are open to unobstructed views from the tent, thanks to the partial coverage fly. With a divider, you can split the room into two for accommodating more people. With a capacity maximum of 8 people, it can accommodate up to 8 sleeping pads on the ground.
It is more of a warm-weather camping tent since it is not best suited for cold conditions due to the mesh addition. It is also waterproof protected with zippers fitted in each window to prevent instances of leaking. The tall nature of the tent also ensures that leaking chances are kept at a minimum.
The fabric of the tent is made of polyester with fiberglass poles. It makes use of the standard pin and ring for a strong connection of the poles to the ground. The tent is additionally fitted with a lot of meshes, which covers the ceiling and windows. Despite mesh being a preferred option, I miss the addition of the floor vents. Most camp tent reviews agree that they are a great asset when one is locked in the tent due to prolonged rains.
Other additional features that make the Tomount tent stand out from the rest is with the electrical access port added. It also is fitted with extra storage pockets on the walls. Lastly, you are assured of the quality of the tent thanks to the one-year warranty replacement and refund warranty.
When it comes to setting up the tent, it can take you a total of 10 minutes. The snag-free continuous component, in addition to the sleeve poles, makes it easier to attach the poles to the tent. The two ways smooth zippers make it easier to enter and exit the tent.
- Large windows
- Freestanding design
- One year replacement and refund warranty
- Does not feature floor vents
- Small vestibule area for storage
Alps Mountaineering Taurus Camping Tent with Vestibules for Gear Storage
Even though it comes further down in my list, Alps remains one of the best mountaineering gear manufacturers. Their tents always provide great value at affordable prices, making them my go-to popup tents for camping. As a brand, Alps stands out by having exceptional customer service and a guarantee for all products that may turn out defective.
The Taurus 4 person, although not among camping large tents, is spacious enough for its purpose. It can comfortably fit three adults and would squeeze in a fourth person if it is needed. It is fairly light and compact, especially when folded up. That said, I would recommend the Taurus only if you are looking for small camping tents. The material of the tent is waterproof and keeps the occupants dry in the rain. The rainfly is an upgraded version that ensures no rain gets in and provides effective protection from the elements while out camping. This tent also comes with two protected vestibules that are useful when it comes to storing camping gear.
Setting up the Taurus is fairly straightforward. However, the tent comes with fiberglass poles that make setup rather frustrating. The fiberglass poles are quite heavy, making the tent bulky. While setting up these poles, you have to secure them with a metal pin at the end. This process can become tedious for those who do not know how to set up a camping tent.
Another unfortunate feature of these tents is the window material and positioning. The windows on the side of the tent are made of flimsy plastic film that can be easily cut. The material is light enough to get accidentally cut by a falling branch, leaving the inside exposed to the elements. Also, the windows are on top of the mesh, giving anyone a clear view of the inside of the tent. This means there is really no privacy while the windows are open. Most Alps mountaineering camp creek 4 tent reviews leave this tiny detail out.
- Light and compact when folded up
- Waterproof material
- Comes with vestibules for gear storage
- Fiberglass poles make set up tedious
- Windows made of flimsy material
Bessport Tents for Camping – Well Ventilated Tent for 2 Person
What is a good tent for camping? It is one that is easy to set up, waterproof, and durable. Bessport tents fit the bill on all three fronts. It is not only affordable but also the best small tent for camping. Setting up is a natural, two-step affair. You insert the poles into the slops and hook the clips up. The tent has four storage compartments at each corner that come in handy when storing gear to free up space. Two people fit comfortably in this tent, with some room left over.
The mesh around the tent provides enough lighting and allows viewing of the scenery from the inside. On each side of the rainfly, some vents improve ventilation even when the rainfly canopy is covered. The stitching is well done, especially around potential stress points. The material is waterproof, with the seams sealed to ensure no water seeps in. This tent is not big enough for a large camping party, which is its main disadvantage.
- Easy to set up
- Well ventilated
Coleman Sundome Tent – Best Tent for Camping with Your Family
Coleman is a brand that specializes in outdoor gear. From camping tents to shelters, grills and stoves to coolers and outdoor furniture, sleeping bags and airbeds, you can trust this brand to get it right when it comes to providing you comfort on your next trip. The Coleman Sundome tops my list of best camping family tents due to its spacious interior and durable material.
There are various sizes of this available for purchase. The smallest is a 2-person tent, but you can get one big enough for six people. The Sundome is so spacious that you can comfortably stand and move in it without distorting its shape. It comes in a neatly packed carry bag that has the poles, ground stakes, rainfly, doormat, and set up instructions. Thankfully, you can set up easily, even without the instructions. It takes 10 minutes to have the tent up.
The tent material is of high quality that will hold up after many uses. The zippers are well fixed and work to seal all opening. The floor has a heavy-duty tarp that is practically impenetrable. The exterior is so waterproof that little or no sealant is required. Even in a heavy storm, this tent for camping will keep you and all your belongings dry. Of course, it is always good practice to spray the seams with sealant, just in case. I should mention that Coleman makes its brand sealant, which you can buy along with the tent.
When it comes to ventilation, this remains the best brand for camping tents. It has large screen panels on the tent roof for additional ventilation on the door that improves airflow. There is also another vent at the tent’s rear, which ensures maximum air circulation.
My only criticism of this tent is the quality of the stakes. They are made of generic steel, which is not the best. You would have to spend extra money on buying good quality stakes to replace these.
- Durable, waterproof material
- Easy to set up and take down
- Ground stakes are made of generic steel
Who makes the best camping tents?
There are many best brand camping tents. Alps, Coleman, and Bessport are just a few examples of great brands that specialize in outdoor gear. Given that you know the capacity and purpose of the tent you want to buy, camping tent reviews will give you a great list to choose from. The best brand camping tent is one that fits your budget while having the qualities you value in a tent.
How to set up a camping tent?
First, you must ensure that the area is free of sharp objects. Lay the tent along with all its parts on the ground before staking down the corners. Fix the tent poles, then the tent frame. Finally, pull over the tent canvas to set it up.
What to bring for a tent camping?
While going camping, you must bring:
- Tent and shelter items – these include tarp, stakes, mat, dustpan, and everything else you will use to set up the tent.
- Bedding – a sleeping bag or air mattress for tent camping, air pump, pillow, bedsheets, and blankets.
- Clothes – warm clothes for cold and light clothes for hot seasons. Camp tent heaters make cold seasons bearable.
- Cooking utensils – paper plates and cups, cooking oil, frying pans, spoons, fork, containers and can openers.
- Personal items – toothbrush, toothpaste, shower shoes, soap, towels, and a washcloth.
Of course, you can extend this list with more components.
How to make tent camping comfortable?
Ensure everything you carry corresponds to the season you are in. Extra tarp will take care of the wetness during rainy seasons. Know how to keep warm tent camping during winter seasons. Enough water will help cool down during hot periods. This is how to camp comfortably in a tent.
How to insulate a tent for winter camping?
During winter camping, it is ideal to use a smaller tent for warmth. You can also lay tarp beneath the tent before setting up to insulate yourself. Knowing how to stay warm camping in a tent is easy. You can use warm sleeping bags, warm clothing, heat packs, thermal blankets, and camping tent heaters.
How to tent camp in the rain?
Spray sealant on the zips and seams of the tent to prevent water from leaking in through these areas. Provided you have bought a quality waterproof tent, and laid tarp beneath it, you will stay dry as it rains outside.
How to tent camp full time?
First, you must know camping tents large are great for full-time camping. You will need the space. Next, you should choose a good location that will not expose you to harsh elements. Finally, you should have all the required things.
Final Thought on Camping Tents
Knowing what is the best tent for camping is not easy. With so many options, choosing the right fit might become a challenge. It is important to know the qualities of a decent camping tent. Spaciousness, durability, waterproof material, and ease of setup are all qualities one should look out for when considering a purchase. At the same time, it is essential to stick to one’s budget. The review above contains many affordable options that give value for money. You can pay less without compromising on quality.
Going camping is an invaluable experience that is made even better by having the right gear. Are there any great tents I have left out of my review? Would you like to read more about the Mountain Hardwear Base Camp Tent? Should I do an Alps mountaineering camp creek 2 room tent review? Please let me know in the comment section below.
Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API