Tents and Shelters
Ready for a night out? Whether you’re an ultralight alpinist, family of backpackers, devoted hanger, or comfort camper, you'll find the best tents, tarps, and hammocks for your outdoor overnights right here.
Check out our top picks below—including price comparisons—to shelter you in any terrain, trip, or season: winter mountaineering, three-season thru-hiking, warm weather car camping, hammock hanging, alpine bivys, tarps, and emergency shelter.
Or you can browse our thousands of independent tent and shelter ratings and reviews by product type, brand, or price. Written by real-world hikers, backpackers, alpinists, climbers, and paddlers, Trailspace community reviews will help you select a dependable, field-tested, outdoor abode just right for your next adventure.
3-4 Season Convertible
Tarps and Shelters
BrandEagles Nest Outfitters
Priceless than $25
$25 - $49.99
$50 - $99.99
$100 - $199.99
$200 - $299.99
$300 - $399.99
$400 - $499.99
$500 and above
Recent Tent/Shelter Reviews
My Trail Tent UL 3
Very light tent rated to three people. Easy to pitch and take down. Great for backpacking with two people. Recommended. When my daughter and I were looking for a tent to start section hiking the AT, we ran into some common problems—space (footprint), weight, and price. We had been to several known backpacking supply stores and couldn't find anything that met our needs in all three areas. I saw a story online about how My Trail Co. had bought out one of the old ultra light brands and had redesigned… Full review
Hilleberg Kaitum 4
The Hilleberg Kaitum 4 is a two-door, two-vestibule, four-person, four-season tent that comes in at a more than respectable 8 lbs 10 oz (that’s a lot of numbers) designed to maximize roominess while minimizing weight. The best part is that is manages to do both, without sacrificing weather proofing or durability. I’ve been unable to find any flaws with the Kaitum and have no doubt this tent will last through years of the hardest abuse. SETUP Even when setting up the tent alone it can be done… Full review
Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2
A non-freestanding tent that has room for two, and a well sized vestibule, but not much livable interior space. Setup: The Clip Flashlight is a fairly easy tent to set up. It’s a two-arched pole design. First, stake down the base of the tent. Then place the pole ends into the grommets at the base of the tent and then use the clips to fasten the the tent to the poles. The signature “clips” that create the tent’s namesake are four twistable clips that lock the pole into the clip so there is… Full review
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2
My favorite backpacking tent has become my favorite use tent. Lightweight and easy to set up by myself. Quick and easy to pitch by myself, this is a great tent and solid free standing unit. I love the fact that there are no zippers, instead using hooks and loops. Pitches taut and stable in a myriad of conditions. Packs well and is lightweight, so lends itself to backpacking. Full review
Eureka! Wind River 2
Loved the tent. How can you rehab it and clean it? Was bought new, used around five times many moons ago. Former assistant scoutmaster till my knee got blown out in 1990s. I had the knee replaced finally a few years back. The tent cost me $300-350 new. I have come down with "camping fever." Like to listen to hf radio and dx'er too. The customer service folks were able to get me some information about the tent. They answered my e-mail in just a few days. That is real customer service. Can't… Full review
Coleman 6-Person Instant Tent
INSTANT, instant. Roomy with two cots. Lightweight. Very good for senior use. Price is good, even if you might replace within a year. Good size door for one with a walker. Packs good, super easy setup, vented, good size door for wheelchair/walker use. Very good for senior use. Full review
Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2
Ultralite secure shelter. I've long been a fan of floorless single wall shelters. To me the advantages of space per weight, dry pitch, flexibility of just how much to bring along, tracking dirt in onto...the ground, more than offset the disadvantages of fussier pitch, condensation control, and BYO bug protection. I've been a fan of pyramid tents since I first got a Chouinard MegaMid. The Ultamids from HMG are what the MegaMid wanted to be. The UM 2 is a pretty easy pitch since it has a rectangular… Full review
REI Camp Dome 2
A terrific value for the budget conscious camper. While I love taking my Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 tent on backpacking trips, it is a bit claustrophobic for car-camping trips, where weight and bulk isn't an issue. So when REI dividends and discount coupons came out, I decided on this tent from REI. A post-Easter trip to Yosemite provided an excellent opportunity to test it. At five pounds, and with a huge stuff sack, this would be stretching it for backpacking. The stuff sack is pretty roomy, so the… Full review
Enlightened Equipment Enigma
Solid lightweight option for those looking to spend a significant amount of time outdoors in a variety of environments. This quilt is also great for those more mobile sleepers who never seem to wake up in the position they went to sleep in. While I am a big fan of this product, I wouldn't recommend this to less-seasoned individuals who are heading out for shoulder season trips. I have had the pleasure of using this quilt for over 200 nights of outdoor slumber. What follows is my detailed review. Full review
Top-Rated Tents and Shelters
What’s the “best” tent or shelter for you? Consider your personal outdoor needs, preferences, and budget:
First, and most important, in what seasons, conditions, and terrain will you use your tent, tarp, or hammock? Choose a shelter that can handle the conditions you expect to encounter (rain, snow, wind, heat, humidity, biting insects, an energetic scout troop), but don’t buy more tent than you truly need, and don’t expect one tent to do it all.
Tents are typically classified by sleeping capacity (i.e. one-person, two-person, etc). However, a tent's stated sleeping capacity usually does not include much (or any) space for your gear and there’s no sizing standard between tent manufacturers. Some users size up.
Will you use the tent as a basecamp or is it an emergency shelter only? To determine if you and your gear will fit, look at the shelter’s dimensions, including floor and vestibule square areas, height and headroom (including at the sides), plus the number and placement of doors, gear lofts, and pockets, to assess personal livability, comfort, and footprint.
- Weight and Packed Size:
If you’ll be backpacking, climbing, cycling, or otherwise carrying that shelter, consider its weight, packed size (and your pack it needs to fit in), and its space-to-weight ratio before automatically opting for the bigger tent. Paddlers and car campers have more room to work with, but everyone should consider how the tent and its parts pack up for stowage.
Tents come in various designs. Freestanding tents can stand alone without stakes or guy lines and can be easily moved or have dirt and other debris shaken out without being disassembled, though they still need to be staked out. Rounded, geodesic domes are stable and able to withstand heavy snow loads and wind. Tunnel tents are narrow and rectangular, and large family cabin tents are best for warm-weather campground outings.
- Other features and specs to consider include single versus double-wall, ease of setup, stability, weather resistance, ventilation, , and any noteworthy features.
- Read more in our guide to tents.