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
Sierra Designs Lookout
All-in-all, this is a true workhorse of a tent. It's suitable for all weather conditions, it's spacious, durable, and lightweight. A few personal preferences that they could have done differently, but overall I give it a 9/10...because nobody's perfect. Haha! Setup 9/10: Without instructions, it took a couple tries to figure out the poles the first time. Otherwise, setup was a breeze. The poles attach to the tent exclusively with grommets and clips, so there aren't any annoying sleeves to deal with. Full review
Gander Mountain Trailhead 8 Family Dome
Well made, lots of space. Well made and holds my family of five and dog as well as my sister in-law and her three daughters. We have two queen size beds and three full size beds. Blocks wind well and keeps the heat inside on cool nights. Full review
The North Face Bullfrog 23
Very good tent. Light and easy to use. I've been using this tent for over 30 years now, and with few waterproof treatments it's still a very good tent. Light, fast, and easy to mount, it never failed me, even when the rain was pouring down! Full review
Sierra Designs High Route 1 FL
The High Route tent is a light tent that is designed to be stable in nasty weather and offers plenty of headroom. It's not intuitive to set up, but with practice it becomes straightforward. The Sierra Designs High Route 1 FL tent, a collaboration between long-distance hiker Andrew Skurka and Sierra Designs, has been highly anticipated over the last couple of years of development. I believe Sierra Designs is one of the most innovative mainstream outdoor companies there is, consistently coming up… Full review
Sierra Designs Flash 2 FL
First ever tent, pushed this design to its limits in harsh conditions in Scotland, Northern Canada, California desert and Tahoe in rain, snow, hail, and relentless desert sun. It stands up every time to the challenge. A couple of years ago, I was in love with a woman. I was young, like 24 or 25, but she meant the world to me then and has left her mark on me still, for sure. Things happened, we went on a "Break", but really, come on, everyone knows it's a break-up just spelled differently. Eventually… Full review
The North Face Mica FL 2
North Face's first real stab at a relatively ultralight tent is pretty dang good, except for one or two sore thumbs that may irritate you when setting it up. Some may laugh at the sight of me calling this an ultralight tent, but for how roomy it is yet able to hold such a low weight qualifies it in my opinion. I haven't used this tent more than a few times now, but I can definitely say it holds up to weather. First time using it, I got hit unexpectedly with a huge thunderstorm. Thankfully, this… Full review
REI Half Dome 2
Huge flaws from the first use—the floor seems to soak up any ground moisture, even on nights when it didn't rain, and the zippers broke very quickly. When I contacted customer service I received automated replies. I'm a seasoned traveller, hiker, and cyclist and in my opinion there are much better tents out there than this one. I purchased this tent a couple of years ago, thinking after all the great reviews, and with REI's hefty reputation at its back, that it would be a good tent. The tent leaked… Full review
Ozark Trail 10' x 14' Cabin Tent
This tent is a total piece of junk! The material is cheap vinyl that they use to make garbage bags. I set this tent up in my backyard in England, and we had a rainstorm with winds, and the tent cover has tears all over it! The tent also leaks from the bottom. I had water all over the floor. Anyone thinking about buying this, forget it and get a real tent. Full review
Terra Nova Titanium 1g Skewer Pegs
An over-specialized bit of gear that works for limited applications or hard-core ultralighters under certain conditions, but overall probably not worth the money. This is a review of the Terra Nova 1g Titanium Skewers. I am not connected to Terra Nova in any way, and I purchased the product retail. These titanium skewers come in a pack of six. They are essentially “micro stakes”—very small, thin, and ultralight titanium stakes. And while they might be good for a few specialized uses, overall… 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.